When I launched Opencast, I was thinking about mining and fly fishing and acting. I wasn’t thinking about forecasting.
But, today, I read a book review in the FT on a book called Futurecast.
It’s written by some US government bigwig selling that peculiarly American paranoia about the future and about foreigners… this time charting the rise of China and Russia, decrying their lack of democrasy and predicting it’ll be dire for Europe – aka You and Me.
‘Europe and Japan… will remain democratic in their fashion, but their populations will age, their healthcare will rise, their taxes will go up, the immigrants they need will be resented and there will be increasingly nasty resource fights. The US will probably weather the storms quite well: “A decade from now, America will still be the world’s largest and most technologcially advanced economy and the one with the greatest impact on everyone else.” Yet it will not escape the relentless logic of globalisation: jobs will go, competition increase, the rich will get richer and the rest will be lucky to keep their present living standards.’
In all this credit crunch and dire soothsaying, all I can think of is ‘Who moved my cheese?’. In the book, the mice don’t flinch. They just get on with finding the next big thing.
Instead of total dire-ness, let’s look at the flipside. I cycled along today thinking of that phrase: ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Austerity makes the best team spirit, the best parties, the best sense of achievement… Britons will pull together. We’ll make ends meet. It will be a relief from all the high life and mass luxury nonsense. The future isn’t miserable. It’s creative, inspiring and real. It will make us feel alive.