The History of the Future: Anxieties, Projections, and Prophecies throughout History

TLDR Throughout history, people have had anxieties and projections about the future, which have been shaped by technology and morality. From the Greeks' belief in the Delphic Oracle to the Romans' consultation of the Sibyline books, prophecies have had a significant impact on civilizations' strategies and decisions.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The history of the future is a fascinating topic that reveals a lot about people's anxieties and projections throughout history.
04:06 The idea that the future is written and has a definite endpoint is distinctive to our civilization and Muslim civilization, and this belief continues to structure the way we think of the future, including our anxieties about climate change.
08:27 The visions of the future have been shaped by both technology and morality, with the focus shifting from state conflict and totalitarianism to computers and virtual worlds, as well as environmental catastrophe.
12:30 The visions of the future have shifted from apocalyptic anxieties about climate change to a focus on computers and online technology, with a loss of utopianism and an embrace of dystopian visions.
16:33 The Greeks believed in the Delphic Oracle, but they expected its prophecies to be ambiguous and difficult to interpret, leading to misinterpretations and unforeseen consequences.
21:04 The Delphic Oracle accurately predicted the outcome of the Persian invasion of Greece, indicating that the oracles were not just about projection and had a significant impact on the Greeks' strategies and decisions.
25:08 Nostradamus and Mother Shipton's prophecies were vague and often falsified, but George Orwell's "1984" has become more relevant with the rise of surveillance technology and the control of language and thought.
29:27 The Sibyline books were ancient books of prophecy that the Romans believed in and consulted during times of crisis.
33:55 The Sibyline books provided guidance on how to appease the gods during times of crisis, and while they may not have explicitly provided prophecies, there is evidence that they contained prophecies about the fate of the Roman people.
37:54 The hosts discuss the idea of civilizations and the clash of civilizations, and mention Fukuyama's "end of history" thesis, but state that they will be going back to the past in the next episode to discuss weird wars.
Categories: History

Browse more History