Friday, 24 September 2010

The future

Not what it used to be

I had been sneaking a long, fascinated look at this week's Special Issue of Scientific American on the newsagent's shelves, and a very good collection of articles this is too, not just for sic transit buffs. The issue's title is 'The end'.

I walked out into the street with my purchase and almost knocked over a thin young man who was walking by in as big a dream as myself. As we do in our culture, we mumbled apologies to each other and immediately went our preoccupied ways.

I had just time to read the slogan on his T-shirt:

The future isn't what it used to be.

How so very apposite in 2010 – though hardly new. I have checked, and the expression is a very well established one (various attributions) and goes back perhaps at least to the forties, its full form being versions of:

The trouble with today is that the future isn't what it used to be.


Careers for life, pension plans, technologies, familiar institutions, society itself, never mind the climate, economics, population shifts, politics... and tossed around in this swirling mass, li'l ole Conductive Education, trying, as they say, to 'plan for the future'.

Whatever next?

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