There was a time, some twenty, thirty years ago, when imaginative scholars in the natural and social sciences – and science fiction writers – were proud to call themselves futurists.
It’s a word rarely used today. I did not find it in a long article in die Zeit, which had caught my eye because of its amusing title: “Phono Sapiens.” It described the future of the smartphone, which will, so it announced, transform our lives. One of the authorities it quotes is Jonathan Fugelsang, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo.
I Googled him. Now I understand why futurism is obsolete. It has become mainstream. The future is already here. There is no more need for it to occupy a category of its own.
Jonathan Fugelsang, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo:
“My research interests span several topics in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, though my primary focus is in higher level cognition. Recently, my work has predominantly focused on how we integrate multiple sources of information when making complex decisions. These decisions may involve analogical, causal, deductive, or inductive reasoning processes. To understand the mechanisms underlying these processes, I use both behavioural and functional brain imaging (e.g., ERP, functional magnetic resonance imaging) methodologies.”