From the beginning of time, humans have always yearned to know what lies ahead, whether threat or safety, scarcity or abundance. Our forebears tried to create certainty by sacrificing to gods, seeking advice from oracles, and reading the stars through astrology. As scientific methods improve and computer technology develops, we become ever more confident of our capacity to predict the future, yet the truth is there is still no certainty to be had.
In this month's selection of the Very Short Book Club--The Future: A Very Short Introduction--Jennifer Gidley considers some of our most burning questions: What is "the future?" Is the future a time yet to come? Or is it a utopian place? Does the future have a history? Is there only one future or are there many possible futures? She asks if the future can ever be truly predicted or if we create our own futures--both hoped for and feared--by our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and concludes by analyzing how we can learn to study the future.
Anyone is welcome to join this Very Short Book Club, which is gradually--and in very short doses--working toward a complete understanding of Everything by tackling a new title from the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series every month. Or just come browse our collection of 300+ VSIs, offering concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic.