Possible futures and counterfactual history, Autotel

Autotel

Possible futures and counterfactual history

Date: 2016.01, Context: Aalto
counterfactual

In many moments I have been in front of two possible futures. It happens whenever I have a decision to take that will lead to very different outcomes. Many times also, I have been in situations where an unexpected event changes the course of things. Lately I have been fiddling with some future studies related studies tools such as the implications map. In this map, you start with the current situation where there are incipient trends that potentially may become the main living trend. You cannot be sure which of these starting points will grow to become a life fact. Say that if I have a pain in the arm; this may fade away or become something important. Or that found a very interesting study subject, that as well may fade away or become my main work. When a choice is in hand, to make a wise decision you may not just follow what happens by default, but study the possible outcomes of each choice; and maybe the choices that in the future will follow, having followed each path. Specially what are the happiest possible outcomes, and which seem most likely given the current reality.

In order to make wise choices a visualization tool such as implications map is important, because it allows us to see the implications of each choices much further and concretely than our dreaming imaginations may be. This is also a good tool for future prediction in terms of world futures; in which case I wonder how such a complex future could be possibly represented clearly. Now, I imagined that there was a website in which visitors could share their visions of possible futures and vote for which of the currently proposed futures will be most desired and likely. Each of these futures will entail some other futures, making a big tree structure. The current present will start going forward in this tree, but only one singular option of these possible futures will happen; leaving the past bifurcations as counterfactual histories. The interesting thing is that when we currently make speculative history, we only follow an intuition of how the past was; but is hard to get concrete data of the future speculations that were present at that time. Probably both visions are very different. Such a tool for possible futures predictions, could be also very interesting as a counterfactual history tool, when it ages.

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