Futurehype: The Tyranny of Prophecy

Max Dublin, Author Dutton Books $21.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-24968-9
Most of the predictions made by futurists, self-proclaimed pundits and trend-spotters turn out to be false, charges Dublin. In a masterful and enjoyable debunking of the pretensions of crystal gazers in all fields, this University of Toronto sociologist administers a sound drubbing to Buckminster Fuller, Henry Kissinger, Arthur Clarke, John Naisbitt, Herman Kahn, New Age sage Stewart Brand and others whose prophecies have, in Dublin's reckoning, proved misleading or false. His targets include artificial-intelligence gurus who hype a ``computer revolution'' in the classroom, the Reagan administration's ``simplistic, debilitating'' supply-side economics and nuclear strategists who put forth dire prophecies to justify military buildup. He lambastes forecasters in the oil industry, health-care technocrats, nuclear-fusion advocates and apostles of a ``post-industrial society'' supposedly run on a flow of information and services. With a wealth of examples, Dublin drives home his message that false predictions act like false promises, lulling us into a sense of inevitability and causing us to act in self-defeating ways. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-452-26800-5
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