Predicting The Future – Part 2 – Foresee Reality

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Most people wouldn’t know it, however, the term foresight came from the lips of a brilliant early 20th Century writer in 1932, in the quarterly scholarly journal, Futures Research Quarterly. The article was entitled, Wanted: Professors of Foresight. The writer of the article was prolific in his understanding of history, politics, social commentary and the rules of war. His novels in the early days marked him as the “father of science fiction.” His name: H.G. Wells.

In 1938, Orson Welles, no relation to him, did a famous broadcast of a portion of his War Of The Worlds that sent an entire radio audience into panic over how effectively Orson Welles told H.G.’s 1898 story of an invasion from Mars on The Mercury Theater On The Air. It aired live the night before Halloween, October 30, 1938.

Orson, who would later become a brilliant actor, producer, and filmmaker himself, held his audience spellbound and convinced that a Martian Invasion of Earth was taking place even while he was reciting so-called news bulletins about the same. There was in fact no Martian Invasion taking place, yet the panic to the radio audience was real, and what followed is now quite humorous. It was all a brilliant radio drama minus any broadcast announcements or commercial interruptions during the drama. The FCC got involved and all sorts of things ended up being addressed.

Orson Welles was no worse for the wear, and H.G. Wells benefitted from it as well in terms of those who decided to read not only his science-fiction writings, rather also his work on history and social commentary. Whether you or I agree with Wells’ political ideology, his writing is brilliant, and his foresight enabled him to be part of a think tank of people in his day that led to what is now known as Future Studies, and Futurology, the term coined for it all by Ossip K. Flechtheim in the mid 1940’s, for the study of the future.

foresee reality.The fascination of scholars in the early 20th Century regarding this desire to prognosticate about and predict the future is now an actual inter-disciplinary body of knowledge in academia. In future studies, or futurology, possible, probable, and preferable futures are postulated based on worldviews, myths, and prediction algorithms rooted in mathematics.

Do they ever get it right? You might be astounded at the many possible future scenarios that anticipated what was going to happen prior to it unfolding. Modern war-tanks were dreamed up by H.G. Wells in his science fiction work and fantasy novels from the metal-hulled warships that existed. He just made them land-worthy.

Ray Bradbury, another well-known science-fiction writer anticipated earbuds in Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. At the 1964 World’s Fair, AT&T introduced its “picturephone” which was the highlight of their pavilion exhibit, and it anticipated video-conferencing decades prior to it actually happening.

Jules Verne had men landing on the moon in the 1800’s, and it wasn’t until JFK set the goal for landing a man on the moon in his administration that Apollo 11 successfully completed that mission in 1969. It was Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World in 1931 that anticipated through science-fiction the creation of anti-depressants in the medical field. There are scores and scores more examples.

Who are the H.G. Wells’ of our day? Who is the next Jules Verne? Is it you? If you have a penchant for thinking about science from a perspective of fantasy and can write science fiction well, be that in a novel or in comic books, and you keep your nose in scientific trends, historical trends, and social commentary, you just might anticipate the future before it arrives and tell us in fiction what will be reality in the coming days.

Mark J. Chironna has been in the people-helping business for more than four decades. With a media presence spanning almost 175 nations, his message of wholeness through the integration of the spiritual and psychological is heard across the globe.

He is a theo-semiotician, and has a father’s heart for emerging generations and serves as the Presiding Bishop of Legacy Edge Alliance, a worldwide fellowship of senior apostolic leaders and churches. Bishop Chironna is regarded as an influential leader whose global reach, clarion voice, and prophetic insight are respected by leaders and followers alike.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wagner College, a Master’s Degree in psychology from Saybrook Graduate School and University, and a Doctoral Degree in Applied Semiotics and Future Leadership Studies from George Fox University, and is the founder and senior pastor of Church on the Living Edge in Orlando, Florida. He and his wife Ruth have two adult sons and three grandchildren.