One thing that seems especially striking in contemporary culture is how few benign visions on the immediate future are offered up. The mass media show all sorts of apocalyptic scenarios, ghastly futures. And there tends to be a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy to these prognostications. How rarely it is that we see a projection twenty or fifty or a hundred years into the future into a world in which we have come to our senses...
...in which we have figured things out.
-Carl Sagan, from The Varieties of Scientific Experience
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