If History is the Secret Weapon of Futurism, Might Futurism be the Secret Weapon of History?


Last night, I took part in a terrific panel at the California Historical Society, on the occasion of the latest issue of Boom Magazine and the centenary of San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

While we we talking, the idea came up that if history is the secret weapon of futurism, perhaps futurism might be the secret weapon of history.

If learning about the patterns and flows of past events can inform one’s thinking about the patterns and flows emerging around us—and I think the study of history is one of the best ways of learning to think in terms of systems and change over time—perhaps the reverse is also true: perhaps learning to see and discuss the emergent can be an approach to make history more accessible, more compelling, perhaps even more useful.

It’s an interesting idea.