The Bookmark represents what we wish for. It’s the earliest indicator of intention, and the most vulnerable; by definition, the act of saving something for later means that whatever we hope for hasn’t happened yet. Bookmarks are placeholders for the future. By thumbing through them, we can start to see what might happen next.
Haven’t seen the whole fireside chat, but had to dig up the source when came across this great Jeff Bezos wisdom around 4.5 minutes in, on anticipating future business needs:
I very frequently get the question, “What’s going to change in the next ten years?” And that is a very interesting question. It’s a very common one. I almost never get the question, “What’s not going to change in the next ten years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two. Because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices. And I know that’s going to be true ten years from now. They want fast delivery. They want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a customer comes up and says, “Jeff, I love Amazon. I just wish the prices were a little higher”. “I love Amazon. I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.” Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up… we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers ten years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.
There’s a life metaphor in there somewhere.
“In time-travel stories, we tend to imagine that the people in the past are hicks and rubes. And when we imagine people in the future in time-travel stories, they’re always weak and decadent.”
George Herriman, 1921
Blessed with 20/20 hindsight, we’re now able to look back on a given era’s “future” and glean some of what was percolating through the collective unconscious.
Let’s pause for a moment, in fact, to notice that this kind of story almost always imagines a future world that’s far simpler than the one we currently live in, one in which all the stuff and clutter of our lives – the screens, the gizmos, the cars, the noise – has evaporated. As David Mamet once put it, every fear hides a wish.
A lot of jobs will consist of making people feel either very good or very bad about themselves.
Gibson-Faulkner space = “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” × “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
This year’s question from edge.org: “What have you changed your mind about? Why?” Dozens of scientists, researchers, philosophers, writers, and thinkers respond.