As long as people have been on this planet they have been formulating, imagining and planning for the future. And their individual and collective visions of this – their future-making and how they frame the future says a lot about the present.
The Future by Nick Montfort is a fascinating look at futurism. From the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series of 2018, each chapter plots the mysterious and generative potential of future-planning.
As the world ramps up and speeds ever faster towards the Singularity – that dread word of finality – predicting future trends has become a hazardous exercise given the sheer complexity of the accelerating present. Recent events in the world have shattered the mould of how things were supposed to go in relation to politics, technology and economics.
This book synethises a lot of highly complex material into a readable and non-academic book that is fascinating and ideal for non-specialists in economics, IT and technology.
It’s not a cautionary tale about our dystopian future, which seems to be the theme of so many books about the future. And quite frankly it’s exhausting to read these kinds of books and it scares the shit of me.
No, instead Montfort’s The Future side-steps discussions about crystal ball gazing and focuses on the historical lessons of future making. This is an accessible book with a lot of intellectual nourishment. Ideal for people who like futurology, quirky sci-fi history, cultural studies, Marshall McLuhan, Hyperreality studies and the weirdness of technology. Although this is the kind of book that will take a fair bit of brain power and attention to get through, so curl up with a big coffee at the ready. 4.5/5*