In my book 2011: Trendspotting I tried to cover as much about the future as I could, but the damn editors said a 500-page book wasn't feasible. Recently, I found one of the chapters we cut. I kinda regret it.
It's about Kurt Vonnegut.
No one understood creativity in our world like Vonnegut did. He always said the problem was that people thought too small.
In his last TV interview, the great thinker said he thought what America needed was a "cabinet post" of Secretary of the Future.
On Now on PBS, the esteemed PBS program hosted by David Brancaccio, KV said he thought such a hosted position "would help us live a more sustainable life, not pollute a place where generations in the future have to live. You could also take that to businesses being run in a more sustainable way. Politics. The deficit." Listen to his words:
KURT VONNEGUT: Look, I'll tell you. It's one thing that no cabinet had ever had, is a Secretary Of The Future. And there are no plans at all for my grandchildren and my great grandchildren.
DAVID BRANCACCIO: That's a great idea. In other words a Cabinet post-
KURT VONNEGUT: Well, it's too late! Look, the game is over! The game is over. We've killed the planet, the life support system. And, and it's so damaged that there's no recovery from that. And we're very soon going to run out of petroleum which powered everything that's modern. Razzmatazz about America. And, and it was very shallow people who imagined that we could keep this up indefinitely. But when I tell others, they say; Well, look there's- you said hydrogen fuel. Nobody's working on it.
DAVID BRANCACCIO: No one is working seriously on it is what you're saying.
KURT VONNEGUT: That's right. And, and what, our energy people, presidents of our companies, energy companies never think. All they want to do is make a lot of money right now.
We will miss you, Kurt Vonnegut. And you're right. The Government does not want to look ahead. Only (as a horse's) behind.