Any journey into the Future requires a good Time Machine. While this is a relatively modern metaphor, it may be the most fantastic thought experiment ever conceived. Popular movies, sci-fi books and TV shows have played with it for ages but it remains open for more.
This theme will persist throughout this series; the constant drumbeat will be that we have to think about the Past, contemplate the Present and create the Future. I realize this smacks of a bad episode of Quantum Leap (which I loved by the way). That said, we've recently entered an era where thinking like this is possible and increasingly critical. Yes, last week's news that some particles travel faster than light was likely a false alarm, but folks like the Long Now Foundation and the Institute for the Future (among many others) have dug deep here. In this month's Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis gives a phenomenal summation on the difficulty of incenting long term thinking over the instant gratification that is digging us ever deeper into debt, obesity and environmental ruin.
I'll close today's chapter with a thought based on a conversation I had with Philip Rosedale two years ago. Often when we've talked, he gets a wild look in his eyes that might otherwise signal delusion. Unfortunately, he's got a knack for being right. What he pointed out was that the length of time between an idea appearing in Science Fiction and becoming real is growing rapidly shorter. In other words, imagine something necessary, write it down and work like hell to make it real. That's the future.