The Future is Now

tinfoil“When a group of engineers who can see the future meets a team at Goldman Sachs who can see potential…”

So starts a brief online add. If you’ve not seen it, take a look (but click the youtube icon in the lower right corner, since it can’t be embedded).

The interesting thing, here, is that, so far as I know, no one actually sees the future. Instead, they create a product, in the present, and market it (with savvy investing advice from companies like Goldman Sachs, no doubt) in such a way that we begin to do things we never before thought we needed to do, allowing us to look toward the past as a place removed from us. Who — for instance — just a few short years ago thought any of us couldn’t even leave the house without a small wireless computing device in our pockets that tracked our every movement? So was it that cell phone manufacturers “saw the future” or that they, perhaps through some nifty marketing, created a very contemporary need and an appetite that only their own product delivered?

They invented the idea of a future to the benefit of their present.

Ads such as this do the nifty trick of putting our attention on that future, all shiny and wrapped in tinfoil, as if it is a real place, somewhere just around the corner, instead of on the always current interests that make acting as if there is a certain sort of future a useful thing to them — acts inevitably in the here and now.

Maybe that’s why everyone’s dreams of a future looks yellowed and old to those who come after them, with dreams of their own.

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