The future of future might be predictable

Look at the train station, it may not be peak hour but with the given population of India, train stations are never ever empty like this. The reason for this can be found by looking at the announcement display for the next train arrival time. It says 4 minutes, which means that a train had just left and the next one will arrive in the next four. This is the usual wait time between two trains passing through a station during non-peak hours.

This may sound too simple to describe as it may just seem obvious to you. Not so if you went two centuries back in time.

Imagine you are a guy from the 18th century and wrote a letter of 4 pages long into which you poured your heart out and soul. It addressed your love interest and she lived several states away hundreds of miles apart. He steps out on a fine sunny morning and goes to the nearest post office to mail it.

He then goes home and many days follow, weeks pass and then months. He doesn’t know where the letter is and when will it reach. He is not even sure if the letter reaches his love or is received by someone else. He doesn’t know whether she will read it immediately or misplace it in her home. He doesn’t know when she will write back a reply and when she will mail it back. He doesn’t know when to expect a postman on his door, with the letter he is anticipating most. Imagine all those painful waiting then that would have been as common as the common cold.

If you’d only gone back in time and met lovers like him, you’d know how hard it would be to sell an idea of instant messaging or instant calls like we do have today. They would laugh at you and think you’d gone mad, when you would tell them how easy it is – to predict when will a message reach, and even confirm if the reader has read, instantly. Since they would not understand any of it – they wouldn’t realize it already exists in their future.

Everything has a pattern that we observe and out of every observed pattern, we seek something that can be predicted. We observed how electrons flow and created microchips. We observed how our heart works and created electronic pacemakers. We observed how our nervous system works and enabled Stephen Hawking control a computer with his thoughts.

The more things we study the more we are able to predict their functioning. We know when to run the train and how fast it should go. We know what time it will arrive and when it will go. What if one day, we could study our mind and understand the pattern of brain. Every part of it and every electrical signal it generates – that would become the time when we could predict every action of every individual and every community as a whole. Based on the predictions then, the future would either be clearly promising or ominous. Although, we could be sure of one thing – the future of future will be predictable – if not everything a lot of it for sure.


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