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End of an Era

On December 13, 2006, in Technology, by Administrator
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I’ve been reading Bruce Sterling in Wired magazine since their first issue.  Over a few beers in the early 90’s he pushed my analytical focus in a few very cool directions, for which I have always been grateful.  I’ll miss reading his articles in Wired, but his blog is still on my daily RSS sync.

One upshot is that futurism itself has no future. Once confined to an elite group, the tools and techniques of prognostication are all widely available. As for pundits: The world used to be full of workaday journalists, with just a thin sprinkling of opinion mongers. Now a TypePad account is a license to deliver nose-to-the-pavement perspective with an attitude. The very word futurism is old-fashioned, way too 1960s. Today’s Internet-savvy futurist is more likely to describe himself as a strategy consultant or venture capital researcher. That development doesn’t surprise me. Frankly, I saw it coming.

Another prediction of mine has come true: I’ve always known that one day I’d write my last column for Wired. You’re reading it now. I’ll continue to report my peregrinations via my blog at www.wired.com, where I’ll continue to focus on harbingers of things to come.

As a futurist, I’ve often licked my chops over rather grim possibilities. But my lasting fondness for the dark side is a personal taste, not an analysis. I’m frequently surprised, and when I consider the biggest surprises, I’m heartened that they were mostly positive. The Internet, for instance, crawled out of a dank atomic fallout shelter to become the Mardi Gras parade of my generation. It was not a bolt of destructive lightning; it was the sun breaking through the clouds.  Link

 

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