College Of Arts And Sciences | Predicting the Future
E104 | 0166 | Zaret

11:15-12:30 MW BH 310
What will YOU be doing ten minutes from now? Ten months? Ten years? We all
make predictions about the future; this is one of the oldest human
activities. Your decision to attend Indiana University probably involved
predictions about the future. In this course we study different
predictions-big ones, trivial ones-used by individuals and groups in
anticipating and "mapping" the future. Thousands of years ago, people made
predictions by looking at the remains of burnt bones and dismembered
animals. Today, political and economic organizations use other means to
predict the outcome of elections or whether unemployment will increase.
Sweeping predictions about the future are central to the beliefs of
religious and political groups, and they are the theme of well-known novels
(1984 or Brave New World) and popular movies ("Blade Runner"). We will
examine not only various ways of predicting the future in different cultures
and historical periods but also the many specific predictions that have been
made for American society in the 21st century. What is the future, for
example, of race relations, religion, or marriage according to contemporary