A toolkit for predicting the future

The Economist, Medium, Jun 02, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's a toolbox with only three tools, but they're good tools:
  • History lessons - patterns from the history of technology, eg., new forms of crime, concerns about privacy, etc.
  • Uneven distribution - in some places, the future is already here, so look for them (eg. in 2001, mobile handsets with cameras and colour screens were commonplace in Japan)
  • the imagined futures of science fiction - not only predictive, but often inspirational
My key tool has always been to focus on the human side of the equation. What will people do, what will people want to do? If tech is the driver, what is the attractor?
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