Why the Future Matters Now

Imagine you had a magic box that could tell you the future. Stock prices, lottery numbers, pop culture trends, anything you wanted. The catch is that the more specific a prediction is, the more likely it is to be wrong.

That box would probably wind up being the most valuable thing on the planet. With a box like that, you could stop wars, make millions off of penny stocks, write your name on the face of history. Sure, 99% of the time it tells you the wrong stock to pick, but 1% of the time you get Apple before it hit it big, or Google, or Amazon. You can afford to eat the risk of getting lots of little decisions wrong because eventually you hit one out of the park, or you can follow the broad, safe predictions and invest in whole industries for somewhat less return.

The box isn’t as good as a time machine, but it’s still an amazing boon to your life. And you, right now, have access to that box. In future studies, you have a snapshot of what the world could look like one year, ten years, one hundred years from now. The picture is blurry and noisy and half of what we’re seeing is probably wrong, but it’s still insanely, ridiculously valuable, and will only become more so as the world changes faster and faster.

We are still stuck in a strange sort of nether zone, where the world has access to future studies performed with more intellectual rigor and a better track record than ever before, but people mostly ignore it. Science fiction only really started in the 1920s, and serious future studies came well after that. The world has no experience in being prepared for the future. You have had a diamond dropped in front of you, and all you have to do is pick it up before someone else does.

The world is changing before our eyes, and hardly anyone seems to notice until it’s smacking them in the face. Inventors and gadgeteers are this very second, making incredible technology that most people still dismiss as science fiction decades away – but it’s not, it exists in labs and universities right now. Don’t be one of those people who refused to believe technology can move forward until they can buy the newest gadget for fifty dollars, be one of the early adopters who makes their fortune off the tech that ordinary people are saying will never catch on!

You may dismiss my zeal as foolish, delusional even. Just take a moment to look a little closer at the world around you and how it’s changing, before you throw this diamond back in the dust.

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