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“There are two ways to say ‘The future is now’: you can say it optimistically, like, ‘The future is now! Isn't that cool?’ Or you could be like, ‘The future is now, and we're totally screwed.’” Rose Eveleth, of the future-envisioning podcast Flash Forward, tracks the past and present of one of her favourite phrases.
General Motors’ trippy 1956 ad Design for Dreaming.
Rose Eveleth on Design for Dreaming: “In a world full of incredible technology, why can we still not imagine anything more interesting than a woman making dinner alone?”
Rose also writes about subsequent works referencing Design for Dreaming.
How your language’s future tense influences how you plan ahead.
“Although many languages across the globe picture the future as in front of us and the past as behind us, there are notable exceptions.”
An actually worthy “The future is now!”: black holes are photographed for the first time.
A funny experiment in the-future-is-now of decades past: eating around Epcot.
The seminal 1970 book Future Shock.
The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/future.
Got more listening time to fill? This week I was an honorary Green sibling, subbing in for John Green on Dear Hank and John.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
Rose Eveleth makes the podcast Flash Forward, investigating possible future scenarios. Hear it at flashforwardpod.com and in the poddingplaces. Find more of Rose’s audio and written work at roseveleth.com.
Thanks to science, technology and society professor Lee Vinsel, who was a huge help behind the scenes of this episode. Find his work at leevinsel.com.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
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