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(This comes from a suggestion that Kim had for a topic in a Cities symposium, but I think that the future could be an entire symposium of itself. Indeed, I think someone else already suggested this, but I can't think of who.) Topics could include. (-jacob)
Planning - what pitfalls have attempts to plan for the future had? How have people screwed up when trying to predict and make better the future? What types of plans for the future are people making now?
Prediction - What do people predict for the future? What have people done before? A discussion of the field of "futurology" might be in order: is it all just made up B.S., or is there some there there?
If you've all seen Back to the Future II, you'll remember that the year that story takes place is 2005. 2005 is here. Where are the hovering skateboards and flying cars? It seems that any attempt to predict technological development overstates the pace of development in some areas and overlooks areas that actually do develop. In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, humans 40,000 years in the future zoom about in faster-than-light atomic spaceships. Yet they lack basic computer systems that we take for granted. Asimov's futuristic heroes are still using slide-rules. It would be interesting to explore how the future has been imagined in fiction and film.
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