Jack Uldrich
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The Future is on the Back Pages

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I am re-reading Dan Pink’s excellent book, A Whole New Mind, and was just reminded that the creation of written language (invented by the Greeks around 5500 BC) helped reinforce the dominance of the brain’s left hemisphere–which is more analytical and sequential in nature.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but I believe it does speak to our need to break out of our regular habits (and patterns of learning about the world) from time to time. For example, a while back I encouraged my viewers to read the newspaper backwards occasionally because it was my experience that, often, the most important stories (from a long-term perspective) were those buried deep on the back pages of the paper.

Of course, I don’t believe newspapers or magazines are the only or best source of information these days but I can’t encourage you enough to break away from your regular sources and methods of gathering news. This is especially true if you wish to better understand the future. I invite you to watch this interesting TED talk by Kirk Citron of the Long Now Foundation discussing the idea of what stories from today will really be important in 100 years. Not surprising, Citron reaches the same conclusion I did and that is that the most important stories are not those which are being covered on the front pages; leading the nightly newscasts; or generating the most Internet traffic.

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