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Hello, NECSS Workshop participants,

Here are some articles and other resources that I mentioned in my talk on "Viewing Futurism Skeptically," along with a couple of comments that I'd intended to make but didn't, either for lack of time or temporary amnesia. Enjoy! If you have any questions, feel free to use my site's Contact form. And of course, you're more than welcome to follow my ongoing nonsensical chatter on Twitter at @tvjrennie.

—John Rennie

To understand professional futurists, remember that their primary job as they see it is not to predict the future. It's to get people to think about the future so that they're better prepared for it. I once ran into a wonderful comment by a futurist that I'll paraphrase: "I don't care about being right or wrong. I care about being useful."

Here's a PDF of my slides.

Self-driving cars: 

Fusion and its problems:

Ray Kurzweil, his predictions, and my own interactions with him:

Predictions about 2015 made by The Institute for the Future in 2005:

  • Here's the full report by the futurist organization The Institute for the Future. 
  • Here's a guide to a map that the Institute created that summarizes what was predicted.

Read and enjoy, and feel welcome to get in touch if you have questions or want to share your thoughts. —JR