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Not all recent visions of the future are dystopian. Are you familiar with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Not a question for a serious economist of course, but maybe one for a science fiction fan.

Am not familiar with de Chardin. Can you suggest a book?

You can download his book 'Phenomenon of Man' here:

The blurb:

"The Phenomenon of Man (Le Phénomène Humain, 1955) is a non-fiction book written by French philosopher, paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In this work, Teilhard describes evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity, culminating in the unification of consciousness.

The book was finished in the 1930s, but was published posthumously in 1955. The Roman Catholic Church considered that Teilhard’s writings contradicted orthodoxy and prohibited their publication.

With the development of a complex Internet-based global society, some have argued that The Phenomenon of Man contains many insights that have proven prescient.[1]"

Of course, there is also a wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin

On the prediction of fifteen provinces, we should keep in mind that at the time Ontario and Quebec were only about half their current size. If the northern bits had been added as additional provinces instead of tacked on (as they were in the 1920's), and if the current territories were provinces, we'd be up to 15.

Thank you for the reference Septicus. Will add to my summer reading list.

I'm not sure those were such bad predictions for Canada, given the circumstances of the era. The late 19th century saw a significant transfer of wealth of population from Europe to the Americas, particularly the US. Once the US ran out of free land, it might not be that unreasonable to imagine those flows going toward Canada or Argentina (which, prior to the Baring crisis, was considered by some to be "the next US").

The problem, and the lesson of most predictions of the future, is that history is not linear - trends tend to be self-defeating. In the 50's they imagined people of the future driving flying cars, but using giant computers, but instead the Fordist-Keynesian paradigm hit some bottlenecks in the 70s (ie. limited oil, and stagflation). The trouble with glorious Canada predictions is that most of Canada's land mass is barely habitable, and that the wellsprings of people and capital from abroad turned off in the interwar period and beyond.

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