EPISODE 53

Here are two easy things to do that will allow you to tell the future. You won’t make any friends when you tell them now how the world is going to look 40 years from now. But then, 40 years from now, you will get honored. You’ll be regarded as awesome and amazing. (Humanly speaking, you’ll be dead.)

I learned these two little tricks from my long-dead acquaintance Philip Wylie, who died in 1971. He was extremely good at telling the future. He did it in the 1930s. He did it again in the 1940s and ’50s. He also did it in the Sixties. He only stopped doing it when he died, in the ’70s. He was almost never wrong.

A chain smoker, he predicted that smoking would be banned by now. A furious attacker of ‘Protestant’ prudery in matters of sex, he predicted the rise of mediated sex on a massive scale, i.e., internet pornography. An inveterate opponent of greed, he predicted the triumph of corporatism in America, even under ‘liberal’ administrations. He predicted doctor’s offices where everyone would be addressed by their first name:

“Glenn, woo hoo, Glenn? The doctor will see you now.”

“Bill, yes, Bill? I’m your income tax auditor, and we see, Bill, that you seem to owe us…”

Wylie predicted just about everything. And he kept doing it. He actually did it for 40 years. Nobody thanked him.

But it was easy! It is easy. You, too, can predict, with pretty fair confidence, almost everything that’s going to happen, at least in the way of cultural norms. All you need to do is understand what the New Testament says about human nature, and then understand what the Bible says about “the world”, i.e., fashion.

I submit to you, dear listener, that if you know about human nature, and if you know about fashion,
all will become clear.

Listen to this podcast, then try it yourself. By the way, it’s a sure way to have no friends. Maybe you’d better not listen to this.