Science fiction has always challenged readers with depictions of the future. Can the genre actually provide glimpses of the world of tomorrow? This collection of fifteen international and interdisciplinary essays examines the genre’s predictions and breaks new ground by considering the prophetic functions of science fiction films as well as SF literature. Among the texts and topics examined are classic stories by Murray Leinster, C. L. Moore, and Cordwainer Smith; 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels, Japanese anime and Hong Kong cinema; and electronic fiction.
This timely book investigates fiction that speculates about wars likely to break out in the near or distant future. Ranging widely across periods and conflicts real and imagined, Future Wars explores the interplay between politics, literature, science fiction, and war in a range of classic texts. Individual essays look at Reagan's infamous “Star Wars” project, nuclear fiction, Martian invasion, and the Pax Americana. The use of future war scenarios in military planning dates back to the nineteenth century, and Future Wars concludes with a US Army officer's assessment of the continuing usefulness of future wars fiction.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Patricia L. Dunmire
This monograph examines the rhetorical nature and function of representations of the future in political discourse, focusing on political actors’ use of hegemonic images of future “reality” to achieve their political goals. It argues that a key ideological dimension of political rhetoric lies in politicians’ use of projections of the future to legitimate policies and actions. This argument is grounded in systemic-functional and critical discourse analyses of the “Bush Doctrine,” the U.S. policy response to the September 11 terrorist attacks which sanctioned a “preemptive” military posture. By focusing on the discursive construction of the future, this project addresses a lacunae in critical discourse studies and calls attention to the crucial role that the discourse and practice of “futurology” has played in post-Cold War politics and society. It will be of value to scholars interested in the discourses of politics, the “war on terror,” U.S. national security, and futurology.
In a society characterized by turbulence and change, predicting the future has become an invaluable skill for managers, politicians, and scientists alike. As a result, scientific researchers have become increasingly interested in the study of the future. In Knowing Tomorrow?, an international team of contributors analyzes how the concept of the future is being addressed across academic disciplines. From the perspectives as varied as psychology, philosophy, economics, and astronomy, this groundbreaking volume examines how scholars have incorporated the future in their work. By illustrating how future research can be applied and evaluated, Knowing Tomorrow? establishes this growing field as a discipline in its own right.
Modernity in the late eighteenth century transformed all domains of European life -intellectual, industrial, and social. Not least affected was the experience of time itself: ever-accelerating change left people with briefer intervals of time in which to gather new experiences and adapt. In this provocative and erudite book Reinhart Koselleck, a distinguished philosopher of history, explores the concept of historical time by posing the question: what kind of experience is opened up by the emergence of modernity? Relying on an extraordinary array of witnesses and texts from politicians, philosophers, theologians, and poets to Renaissance paintings and the dreams of German citizens during the Third Reich, Koselleck shows that, with the advent of modernity, the past and the future became 'relocated' in relation to each other.The promises of modernity -freedom, progress, infinite human improvement -produced a world accelerating toward an unknown and unknowable future within which awaited the possibility of achieving utopian fulfillment. History, Koselleck asserts, emerged in this crucial moment as a new temporality providing distinctly new ways of assimilating experience. In the present context of globalization and its resulting crises, the modern world once again faces a crisis in aligning the experience of past and present. To realize that each present was once an imagined future may help us once again place ourselves within a temporality organized by human thought and humane ends as much as by the contingencies of uncontrolled events.
The World Future Society is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization concerned with how people will live in the coming decades. Founded in 1966, the Society currently has over 25,000 members worldwide. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities. The Society publishes a number of periodicals and books, sponsors local chapters, and holds conferences and assemblies. The publications include THE FUTURIST, a bimonthly magazine reporting trends, forecasts, and ideas about the future; FUTURE SURVEY, a monthly digest of abstracts of futures-relevant literature; and FUTURES RESEARCH QUARTERLY, a professional journal providing information on more technical future-oriented topics. The Society also maintains a unique bookstore that enables members to purchase future-related books, cassette recordings of Society conference sessions, videocassettes, and more, all at special member prices. Chapters of the World Future Society are active in both the United States and abroad. Chapters offer speakers, educational courses, seminars, and other opportunities for members in local areas to meet and work together. World Future Society conferences and general assemblies provide opportunities to hear and meet many outstanding thinkers. The Society's next major conference will be held in Washington, B.C., in August 1989.
'Within the cacophony of voices trying to explain the recent financial crisis, Elena Esposito's voice sounds clear and deep. Steering away from simplistic condemnations and equally simplistic prescriptions for betterment, she connects the very invention of derivatives to that eternal human hope – of controlling the future. While the task is impossible, the attempts never stop, and the very process of attempting it brings some consolation. And while derivatives can be seen, claim sociologists of finance, as performative, that is shaping the future they promise to control, even this is far from certain. Esposito's fascinating and beautiful work is an important contribution to the sociology of finance, a subdiscipline of sociology that took on itself an extremely important task of explaining how the finance markets really work.'– Barbara Czarniawska, University of Gothenburg, Sweden'This is a brilliant and timely book that shows how financing is centrally implicated in the very unpredictability and uncertainty it purports to master. With the incisiveness characteristic of her style and writing, Esposito reads economics in innovative ways that disclose the hidden premises by which financial instruments trade and consume the prospects of the future.' – Jannis Kallinikos, London School of Economics, UK'Elena Esposito's analysis of financial markets and of their recent decline is radically different from the analyses which can be found in economic journals or books. Financial operations are reduced to their basic dimensions: time and money. Under this perspective, what is sold on financial markets is the possibility for the creation of commitments in the course of time, the possibility for the combination of these commitments with one another, and the identification of chances for the achievement of profit opportunities through the creation of specific combinations. The author argues that the recent crisis of the financial system was caused by oversimplified visions of the future and of risk leading to the consequence that options were not available in the present because all possibilities had been used up by the future. This oversimplified vision of the future imploded, and trust with it. The state tried to reconstruct options for the future in order to open up new possibilities and chances for learning. The author does not deliver recipes on how to prevent severe crises of the financial system in the future. Yet, her concept facilitates understanding of how financial futures are opened up or closed and thus provides insights into basic principles on whose basis future opportunities can be kept open and trust can be maintained. Innovative reforms of the financial system can only develop on the basis of unconventional analyses. Elena Esposito's book contains an analysis of this kind.'– Alfred Kieser, Mannheim University, Germany'Elena Esposito's book is a fundamental analysis of time in economics. With economic rigour underpinned by sociological reasoning, she explains the futures market more clearly than is possible with economic analysis alone. Economic concepts are considered in terms of time – actors deal in the present with future risks by transferring these risks to the present situation. As a result, we get more options and more risks at the same time: at present. No equilibrium will balance these trades because of the asymmetry of time: our actual decisions deal with our imagination of the future, that is, with the future of the present, but the results will be realized in the presence of the future – different modalities of time. The book is a sound reflection on modelling time in economic theory, a "must" for economists.'– Birger P. Priddat, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany'The Future of Futures is an original and intellectually provocative book which forces the reader to think. Esposito's essay fulfils two rather different functions. On the one hand, it brings new and persuasive arguments to bear against the erroneous thesis that the present financial crisis is merely due to human mistakes and to some specific government failures. On the other hand, the book suggests that only by reconsidering the role of time in the economy is it possible to make full sense of the crisis and to re-orient in a desired direction the future movements of money. It is a well-known fact that traditional economics has always adhered to a spatial conception of time, according to which time, like space, is perfectly reversible. Whence its inability both to understand how economies develop and to prescribe adequate policies. The author's proposal is to move steps ahead in the direction of an analysis of an economy in time, where both historical time and time as duration can find a place. Esposito's well-written, jargon-free book will capture the attention of anyone seriously interested in the future of our market systems.'– Stefano Zamagni, University of Bologna and Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center, Italy This book reconstructs the dynamics of economics, beginning explicitly with the role and the relevance of time: money uses the future in order to generate present wealth. Financial markets sell and buy risk, thereby binding the future. Elena Esposito explains that complex risk management techniques of structured finance produce new and uncontrolled risks because they use a simplified idea of the future, failing to account for how the future reacts to attempts at controlling it. During the recent financial crisis, the future had already been used (through securitizations, derivatives and other tools) to the extent that we had many futures, but no open future available.