Graham Plaster

culture + diplomacy + ethics + smart power + technology + humanities + entrepreneurship + philosophy

The Near Futurist

Picture Asimov’s crumbling, Romanesque Foundation series, or the inside of Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon with its dilapidated but awesome capabilities, or Pixar’s Wall-E wandering through a world consumed by consumerism. This picture of the future has been with us for some time. It is a future in which we know great technology exists all around us, and yet through lack of human capacity, will or virtue, we are unable to marshal all of our technology to make societal progress. It is a future where technology is not purely at fault, and neither is human nature, but the two conspiring together lead us to detritus laden wastelands of missed potential. It is a world in decline … perhaps. Is that where we are? Is that where we are headed?

Enter the idealists. We are in a surprising age of American idealism, at least if you flock together with Elon’s Muskateers and the millennial entrepreneurs. Far from grunge nihilism or hippy escapism, this age seems to be teeming with ambition. This makes me pretty happy to be alive at this moment in time and also happy to be American, despite all of the upheaval we’ve seen.

Nowadays, being a futurist just means being an early adopter and a right-around-the-cornerist. It seems ironically safe to say that change is here to stay.

What are your predictions for the next 5 years, in America and also globally?

How does human nature play into that equation?

What about technology?


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