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In the Presence of the Future

Mapping the Roads to Tomorrow

Georg Schmid

The divide between the techno-scientific and the humanities paradigm has critically endangered general comprehension. The prolegomena to a «unified field theory of futurology» presented here attempt to reconcile these epistemological models by meticulously investigating a gamut of supposedly separate areas, from the social use of art or religion via demographic, economic and technological data to moral and political philosophy. This highly panoramatic and integrative inspection of problems humankind will be facing in the near and foreseeable future yields novel perspectives and a superior grasp of beneficial social practice.


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Part A – Auxiliaries


I – The Trouble with History 1 – The Asymmetry of Prediction and Retrodiction, the Seeming Ambiguity of History, and Its Reconstitution by Transformation from Action into Narrative In the mid-sixties, doing research on the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, I was confounded by a number of erroneous misconceptions to be found in previous scholarship. (Of course, I'm not conceited enough to presume that I'm gifted with superior insight: I soon realized that others, though a minority, it seemed, were also sufficiently puzzled by some blindingly obvious blunders.) To begin with, there was a formidable misnomer: many said "Versailles" even when referring to the peace conference in general and to the diverse separate other treaties–St. Germain, Trianon, Sèvres. I soon found it conspicuous that the misnomer denoted a connection with what I then thought–and still think–is a misinterpretation: namely, that the treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany was (by far) the most important. Purely in terms of military defeat this interpretation could, within lim- its, be upheld; in terms of enduring consequences, however, it is misleading and in all probability a fallacious view of history. The disappearance of both the Ot- toman and the Austrian Empires–and the transformation of Tsarist Russia into a communist empire–were at the root of nearly all the major problems which were to follow. They continue to bedevil international relations to this very day. Precision never is inopportune. Certainly, the revanchist craving in Germany must be seen as a...

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