This will be, somewhat appropriately, apropos of something I’ll be
doing in the future.
I’ve stated my Prophecy Fallacy elsewhere, but just want to state it again in a more tiresome form:
- That a prophetic work is always a description of the present, or at most an exaggeration of that present.
- That people living in the
present (at least in modern times – i.e. from about 1600 onwards) believe that their age is incredibly different from and more advanced than previous
ages, and look back on the past (even as little as 20 years ago) as some sort of dark age; – whereas in fact nothing much changes from period to
period (not even in the c20th / c21st).
- That therefore people in the present, looking back on past prophetic works, are shocked
that there are so insightful of the future, when in truth the writers have predicted nothing but (as 1) just described their
I know, this connects up a bit with the stuff on modernism before modernism – but the real impetus for restating the above
is that I happened across two volumes of Pelican books entitled “The World in 1984”, a series of prophecies of a future world commissioned in 1964 by