Re: Global Business Network

Mon, 21 Nov 1994 01:48:54 +0000

>My naivety (sp?) lets me believe anthropology can be of some help to a
>"different" view of the future. I might be wrong but if someone gives it a
>try, it could be very interesting.
>I don't want to begin a discussion about politics, it wouldn't be the place
>for it. But I think that our scientific curiosity about human life is
>excited in that kind of enquiry...

The problem with the type of GBN 'futurism' that you discuss is that, as
usual, it is derived from a small sample of data based on economic and
other quantitative trends from, say, the last hundred years. It may be
nonlinear, chaos-theory-based models that they are using, but it's the
sameold, sameold. My feeling is predictions about the human future should
use the fullness of human experience and human history, which contains more
than market trends and poll numbers, for making their forecasts... hence,
the need for Anthrofuturism, which draws on the time-depth of archaeology,
the cross-cultural perspective of cultural anthropology, the evolutionary
perspective of physical and biological anthropology, the semiotic methods
of linguistic anthropology, and the practical orientation of applied
anthropology. Plus a willingness to speak about where the human race is
going <and do the kind of bold extrapolation required for any kind of
futurism>, as well as where it's been or is at (I liked the recent piece on
"Cosmic Humanities" in the AAA Newspaper - it's exactly what I mean by
anthrofuturism. Heavily drenched with science fiction? Maybe. But this is
because it seems only science fiction writers seem to be willing to take
risks and speculate beyond their data.)


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