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(June 2002) [Printed in "Reality Module No.28" as part of "Freeform Futurology VI."]


FREEFORM FUTUROLOGY (8)
(A casual series of articles exploring various aspects of our evolving society)

Changes

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"We always overestimate what is going to happen in 2 years and underestimate what is going to happen over 10 years" - Bill Gates.

I returned to Melbourne after 3 years overseas and found myself suffering future shock. In the CBD Melbourne Central had changed from a construction site to a high glass tower with arcades and galleries of strange futuristic shops beneath it. Elsewhere telephone boxes had grown glowing orange canopies.

When we are looking change is gradual, we acclimatise. But when you look away for a time and then look back the changes can startle.

There is a lot of change going on in places you are not looking. (Casual watching of documentaries can reveal to you that the world is no longer the place it was when you were growing up and framing your perceptions of things.)

Is it any wonder predictions fail? We are using last year's data, last decade's preconceptions.

Like trying to index the Internet, we can never catch everything that is going on. Always we are behind the times.

Things are changing - there in the dark corner - where you are not looking.


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Related Works

- In This Series -
(1) What Can & Cannot Be Done - The Limits of Futurology (April 2000)
(2) The $20 Computer (April 2000)
(3) Smashing Windows(TM) - The Ascent of Non-linear Thinking (August 2000)
(4) Nu Plastic Yu! (February 2001)
(5) Nu Plastic Yu Tu! (April 2001)
(6) Artificial Minds? (AI Revisited) (August 2001)
(7) Video-On-Demand (June 2002)
(8) Changes (June 2002)
(9) The Implications of Immortality (June 2002)
(10) Cheating in Education (April 2003)

 

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Copyright © 2002 by Michael F. Green. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated: 18 July 2011