ave we lost the ability to imagine the future? Several aspects of contemporary life seem to limit our ability—and desire—to do so. The world seems increas- ingly beyond our control with the swift advance of technology, world events,
and global forces. With the pace of contemporary life, many barely have time to keep up with the present, much less imagine a future. Advertising trains our desires to envi- sion only as far as our next shopping trip. The configuration of contemporary life can make imagining the future seem a futile task.
But we also seem to be spending a great deal of energy worrying about what might happen. Widespread fears of terrorism, global warming, or the outbreak of an untreat- able epidemic suggest that we see ourselves as victims awaiting a disastrous future. Efforts towards risk management are increasing as we try to prepare for any catastrophe that might possibly occur. Has the ability to envision the future simply taken a different form: fear of impending disaster?