Both science fiction and futurism seem to miss an important piece of how the future actually turns into the present. They fail to capture the way we don’t seem to notice when the future actually arrives.
Sure, we can all see the small clues all around us: cellphones, laptops, Facebook, Prius cars on the street. Yet, somehow, the future always seems like something that is going to happen rather than something that is happening; future perfect rather than present-continuous. Even the nearest of near-term science fiction seems to evolve at some fixed receding-horizon distance from the present.
There is an unexplained cognitive dissonance between changing-reality-as-experienced and change as imagined, and I don’t mean specifics of failed and successful predictions.
My new explanation is this: we live in a continuous state of manufactured normalcy. There are mechanisms that operate — a mix of natural, emergent and designed — that work to prevent us from realizing that the future is actually happening as we speak. To really understand the world and how it is evolving, you need to break through this manufactured normalcy field.
Venkatesh Rao, Welcome to the Future Nauseous