The Future We Imagine Is the Future We Get

Last fall, at a small SF con in Toronto, I was on a panel where the participants predicted the near-future of humanity. The panelists were two Baby Boomer men, two Millennial women (all four with PhDs), and me, a no-PhD from Generation X. I sat between these two pairs and was struck by the contrast in opinions. The Boomers saw only doom and gloom in the years ahead, but the Millennials saw many indications of progress and reasons for hope.

I don’t mention the panel’s demographics to be argumentative or to stir up gender or generational divisiveness. It was only one panel. But opinions split starkly along gender and age lines. I was amazed that the two Boomer men—the demographic who are the architects of the world we live in—were really quite scared of the future. I’d love to investigate this split further. I think it’s significant, because in a ...