The Altantic: Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?

There’s some good food for thought in this article in The Atlantic by Rose Eveleth: “Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?

For me, the key sentence in this article is this: “The futures that get imagined depend largely on the person or people doing the imagining.”

An interesting paragraph:

Or take longevity, for example. The idea that people could, or even should, push to lengthen lifespans as far as possible is popular. The life-extension movement, with Aubrey de Gray as one (very bearded) spokesman, has raised millions of dollars to investigate how to extend the lifespan of humans. But this is arguably only an ideal future if you’re in as a comfortable position as his. “Living forever only works if you’re a rich vampire from an Anne Rice novel, which is to say that you have compound interest,” jokes Ashby. “It really only works if you have significant real-estate investments and fast money and slow money.” (Time travel, as the comedian Louis C.K. has pointed out, is another thing that is a distinctly white male preoccupation—going back in time, for marginalized groups, means giving up more of their rights.)

Another point, which I think argues for the critical need for humanities support and for more underrepresented groups to get into leadership positions:

In the 1970s, Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock argued that there are three types of futurism the world needed: a science of futurism that could talk about the probability of things happening, an art of futurism that could explore what is possible, and a politics of futurism that could investigate what is preferable. Futurism has done well to develop the first side, building devices and technologies and frameworks through which to see technical advances. But Zalman says that it’s fallen down a bit on the other two. “Arts and humanities are given short shrift.”

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