Movable Futures

from The Technium

One of the reasons it is hard to predict what the future looks like is because much of the future is movable. The thing we are trying to forecast is changed by our attempts to make it real. Many hundreds of years ago, when creative people imagined flying machines, they imagined machines that had wings that flapped. What they imagined did not happen; the deliverable moved to an airplane with fixed wings. In the 1950s we imagined wrist-watch radios on every person in the future, and that did not happen (yet), but instead, the future moved to “radios” in the pocket of every person. Now we feel we don’t want wrist-watch radios. The future moved.

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7 Comments

  1. Predicting the future is complicated, almost impossible. When it comes to imagining what life will be like in the future, our imaginations are limited. Many times, it is based on ideas we have heard before. I believe that imagination, in most cases, falls short because we imagine things without taking into account their practical and logical sense. This causes our thoughts to move away from reality because we think of the future as a world totally different from the reality we live in today. A clear example of this is flying cars. Today, this idea may not be as viable and futuristic as people might have thought many years ago. I can’t imagine cars flying and ordinary people driving them without constantly causing multiple accidents. That’s why the future has “moved on” and today it sounds like a better idea to have electric cars that drive practically by themselves and have the latest technology. Certainly, this lack of creativity and imagination in projecting the future makes sense. It makes sense that most humans have no idea what the future is going to be like. There are only a few humans who, rather than knowing what is liable to happen, have realistic, practical, and logical ideas which they realize. These concepts determine the path of the future. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult to think about the future, since innovation and technology evolve so fast that they do not give time to the imagination. For this reason, I believe that we will always have an idea of the future based on movies. A future where technological creations, such as flying cars, seem plausible but far from being realized. The reality is that these ideas have not been realized because they are not as good as we think they are.

  2. When reading this article, the author strikes me as most definitely a realist. The points addressed here in “Movable Futures” look at not only how we perceive future advancements but also how those predictions of what the advancements will be will change.
    I most definitely agree to a full extent with the statement “The future moved.” As many years ago we could not have imagined technological advancements both scientifically and from an engineering perspective.
    However, in the twenty-first century we also have an advanced educational system which tends to be less imaginative than what we would hope, it stops creativity and more so pushes children into strict lines, only allowing them to do exactly what they are told to, no more, no less. With this approach in our education system there is no doubt that the lack of imagination in today’s generation derives from how we are taught from a young age. This therefore in accordance with the article “moveable future” is why there is a gap between what we expect for the future and what we get.
    Furthermore deriving from the article is the aspect of how we as societies and generations change what we want for the future, we constantly have an idea, but the idea is never the same. For example like specified in this article it was supposed to be a whole new innovation having radios on our wrists as watches, but we have now ended up with smart watches which aren’t even really used for radio purposes, but for sports, sms messages, and even phone calls on certain smart watches. This validates the point of how there is always and idea (the watch) but how the idea changes (from a radio to a ‘miniphone’).
    This article was a really good read and I would recommend it for those in Professor Shannon’s Disruption, Technology and Law course as it gives a different view of how generational views and ideas impact technological disruption!

  3. In today’s world it is almost impossible to predict the future. When you think about what our lives will look like in 50 years, everyone is going to have different opinions. The key points that I got out of “Movable Futures” is how we perceive future advancements. People who lived hundreds of years ago predicted that we would have flying cars and more technology that relates to that. I would agree with the article though, stating that the world today is more based off of artificial intelligence. There are tons of creations today that have robot like features that respond to our demands and listen to our commands. Example will be amazon dot, or “Alexa”. All you have to do is say Alexa play this song or do this and she will listen. I am starting to see robots being made that play sports now, teach and etc. When predicting or thinking about our futures there are no limitations to how far you could go. Technology is only advancing every year. To the point it is doing our jobs for us. Soon I believe there will be a major job shortage due to the fact that technology does that for us. Also due to the fact there are no limitations in our future I feel like it is also a bit scary. Anything is possible now in the world and every day we see unthinkable things happening. God only knows what the future is going to look like in a hundred years from now. Like I said before, predicting the future is impossible but If I had to guess what our future will look like in fifty years, I would have to say virtual reality. Ever since the pandemic almost everything in the world has turned to being virtual. Everyone has access to the internet nowadays. Also we have just been introduced to the metaverse. The metaverse allows you to almost everything you could in the real world just from the comfort of your own home. There are no limitations to what the world is about to see. Everyone is going to have their own opinion on our future but you will never know what is right or wrong until it happens.

  4. In the posting, “Movable Futures” from the Technium, the author explains why the future is impracticable to predict. Our attempts to change the future as time goes generate a movable future. When we imagine a future invention or concept, the initial pictures we dreamed of aren’t achieved. Instead, we adapt to the obstacles along the way and produce a result that is favorable and efficient for everyone. We accept a final product that is different from the original ambition. For instance, a couple of centuries ago, scientists and thinkers predicted that there would be flying machines to aid society. Instead, we advanced and developed airplanes, an invention that many individuals utilize to travel across thousands of miles. Movable futures are mostly caused by a lack of imagination and the difference in human wants across generations.
    Our engineers and researchers predict that there will be various technological advancements to assist humans within society in the future. Many individuals believe that technology will shape the future as unforeseen incidents occur. Digitalization programs and virtual reality will play an immense role in careers and companies in the future. The path to these schemes has been significantly accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    In addition, food production and agriculture will be introduced to mass amounts of automation in the coming years. Over the past hundred years, many farmers have migrated to urban cities and adapted to the industrialized lifestyle. This decreases the supply of harvested crops and as the population exponentially increases, the demand is increasing. Engineering companies are planning to automate food production to meet supply requirements in the future.
    Furthermore, the industry of robotics is expected to significantly grow in the future. Estimates suggest that the sector could be worth as much as $260 billion by 2030. Many types of robots will be introduced into the world to complete labor-intensive and repetitive tasks. The applications of robots include industrial tasks, military forces, personnel services, medical emergencies, and entertainment purposes.
    We can’t predict the future entirely, but the ambitions and dreams of numerous individuals will guide the way.

  5. The future is something that in my personal opinion can never be guessed accurately due to the advancement of technology. As stated in the text, “But another reason why there is a gap between what we expect and what we get is that we actually change what we want along the way.” As humans we do whatever it is we can to predict the future, so that we are able to prepare for it, but in all honesty will it really work ? To be honest with you the answer is no. Without even noticing we have become so dependent on technology that when we think about what the future will look like it becomes impossible because we have a gadget for every situation. This is because as years passed technology has slowly creeped its way into our everyday lives that now it is here to stay. Who’s to say that in the future technology will control us because of advanced it has become.

  6. This article was very interesting to read, but I would like to reflect on the root of the topic, which is expressed in the first sentence of the article, “One of the reasons it is hard to predict what the future looks like is because much of the future is movable”. After reading everything and coming back to the start to reflect again, I asked myself the question: “why do we predict the future?” Assuming that we need to predict the future is a negative thing, in my opinion. I believe there is this assumption in the world nowadays that we always need to be moving forward and thinking about our next step, instead of enjoying the step we are currently taking. How many people are going to activities and not enjoying because they are too focused on the next one they have? This idea in this world nowadays, and I see that especially in the United States, is detrimental to our mental health. Although the rest of the article was interesting, I do not agree with the basis of it, which takes away credibility for me. I believe social media and the intense pressure and desire for money and material things are driving people crazy to the next cent they make and I believe if they get to the money, then they will think about the next, and the next until they reach death, where they will reflect on their life and see how crazy they were for something like money, that doesn’t go to heaven.

  7. The future is almost impossible to predict. This is because the future is movable, anything can happen at any time. My parents thought when they were my age by now we would have flying cars but by now we have electric cars that can drive themselves, but I would say that self-driving is not too reliable. We try to predict the future but the majority of the time we humans are wrong. The only person that I heard that has predicted the future multiple times is the creator of the Simpsons and I believe that it is mostly luck, even though it is quite impressive. Another reason that the future is so hard to predict is that we really do not know what is truly going on with these companies and we can only make assumptions. I can think that they will be making the first self-flyable plane, while in reality, they could be making flying cars which would blow my mind. Next, how the article states that we as humans have a lack of imagination and we could think bigger and better for the future. I would say that I am a part of most humans that have a lack of imagination for the future of us. For example just as the article states we used to think about wristwatch radios but now we have the apple watch which can do that and much more such as telling your heart rate and tracking your steps. This is why the future is basically unpredictable.

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