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Same Same But Different

It's great getting a chance to get Chris Anderson [The Wired one, not the TED one] to talk about the future.

Especially in the name of work.

His point is mostly about how bad we are predicting anything well. 

Not just because of timeframes.

Amara's Law: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." - Roy Amara, past president of The Institute for the Future.

But also because we are massively biased by the poles of presentism and novelty.

As in, we tend to extrapolate in a very linear fashion from the concerns of today. 

We find it hard to articulate novel things until they become, well, less novel. 


Ask Babbage about how convincing his ideas for a difference engine were before anyone could conceive of how to create one.

Yet we also tend to believe that somehow, things will be fundamentally different.

Massive discontinuities are usually envisaged: shiny costumes, new social structures, the absence of money.


And soon.

[The part of Back to the Future 2 set in the future is set in 2015.

Y'know, with the hoverboards.

And where all the movies are 3D.