commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Crystal_ball#/media/File:John_William_Waterhouse_-_The_Crystal_Ball.JPG; Public Domain
If there’s any humor in our bleak future, it might be predicting politics and the nature of society. We all do it (yes, even here, like last few weeks!), but at least we don’t put it in a book and sell it as sober analysis. If you do, it is more likely to go into the fiction aisle of the bookstore, under the heading of science fiction (or ‘cli fi’, if that’s your thing).
What’s really amazing is how people can make serious predictions of the far future that can get turned around in only a few years. Remember the talk of the ‘End of History‘? Written in 1992, and trumpeting the triumph of liberal democracy? Even the author (in the Wikipedia article) notes that lots of other factors suddenly popped up (rapid technological advancement and biotechnology, for example; no word on the climate). Of course, he wrote another book reflecting this new information.
The most recent entry in this ‘predicting the future’ laugh track is The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. I’ll be getting a copy to peruse soon, but given the nature of past forecasts, and some sober current criticism, it seems like these predictions (like which country will be “on top”) will seem as distant and as accurate as the ones made in the 1960s, regarding our glorious future in space.