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Has there ever been an easier time to be a futurist? I’m distrustful of the profession at the best of times, since it involves making pronouncements about a time that hasn’t arrived – and not being held to account for your errors when it does arrive, because then it’s no longer the future, and thus no concern of the futurists. But these days, as the world staggers uncertainly out of lockdown, it’s even easier. All you need to say is that in life in general, or in whatever field you’re supposedly expert, everything’s going to change. Education, the economy, travel, work, dating, sport, the advertising industry, the world of aluminium can manufacturing: recent stories have promised massive transformation in them all. Or as a great sage (on the groundbreaking satire The Day Today) put it a quarter of a century ago: “If you’ve got a history book at home, take it out, throw it in the bin – it’s worthless.”

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