Predictions, right and wrong

June 27, 2014

Matt Novak (Gizmodo’s Paleofuture) has an article about my Cheap Speech and What It Will Do, 104 Yale L.J. 1805 (1995), my first article as a law professor. The opening, which I appreciate in its praise and agree with in its criticism:

In 1995 Eugene Volokh wrote the most paleofuturish article ever written. By that I mean it’s an incredibly prescient meditation on the future of media and technology. But it has just enough weird anachronisms to remind us that nobody can predict the future with absolute certainty.

Think of it as the uncanny valley of old futurism — so incredibly close to the future that actually arrived, but just inaccurate enough that it gives you a weird feeling in the pit of your stomach. Something is just a bit … off.

If you’re interested in predictions about technology, and in checking up on past predictions, check out the Gizmodo piece (a much easier read than the article, that’s for sure).

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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