It is not every day that you come across books written in years past that turned out to be predictive. The ability of someone to predict something that materializes years later is mind-blowing. I recently came across a remarkable book called The Sovereign Individual: Mastering The Transition To The Informative Age. This book was written in 1997 by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. Some astounding predictions were penned down in it. Imagine a bold assertion such as this in 1997: “The cybereconomy, rather than China, could well be the greatest economic phenomenon of the next thirty years”. These are predictions that have since become tangible realities in our world today.
I wrote an article breaking down Facebook’s rebranding to Meta (short for metaverse). The metaverse is a hypothetical future (counterpart or continuation of the) internet, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space. Facebook announced this rebranding to Meta on the 28th of October in 2021. In The Sovereign Individual the metaverse was predicted with staggering precision:
“As the bandwidth revolution unfolds, it will draw people more and more into the borderless virtual world of online communities and cybercommerce, a world with enough graphic density to become the metaverse.”
Bitcoin, the first-ever cryptocurrency was launched in 2009. It is interesting to note that this was 12 years after it had been predicted in this book. Here is what was said in the book:
“Now the advent of the Information Age implies another revolution in the character of money. As cybercommerce begins, it will lead inevitably to cybermoney… A crucial part of this change will come about because of the effect of information on liberating the holders of wealth from expropriation through inflation. This new digital form of money…will consist of encrypted sequences of multihundred-digit prime numbers. Unique, anonymous, and verifiable, this money will accommodate the largest transactions. It will also be divisible into the tiniest fraction of value. It will be tradable at a keystroke in a multitrillion-dollar wholesale market without borders.”
The way this turned out to be spot on is jaw-dropping. Right now the combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies is over US$1.9 trillion. The mention of cryptocurrency being a hedge against inflation is one of its unique selling points. Of course, trading cryptocurrencies is being done at a keystroke.
Overall, their predictions on how technology would evolve were accurate. For example, “When technology is mobile, and transactions occur in cyberspace, as they increasingly will do…”
Niched Content Or Media
Media has evolved over the years with almost anyone now being able to use certain platforms to disseminate news or information. This is something that was not so years back where everything you needed in terms of news or information was mostly found in mass media. Now you can, as an individual, choose a niche and start disseminating news or information on it. In essence, mass media has mostly evolved into individualized media. It is crazy to think someone would foresee that in 1997:
“The mass media will become the individualized media. If you are interested in chess above all else, or are a keen cat fancier, you will be able to program your evening news broadcast to feature information important to you about cats or chess.”
I would encourage you to get the book if you can, it is an interesting read. I have come across several other books or articles from years back that accurately predicted the future. Though predictions can stem from a spiritual insight it is also possible to predict things via closely observing trends over time. The authors of The Sovereign Individual combined two powerful experiences and skillsets i.e. crisis investment and journalism. Thus it was mostly due to that and of course, top-notch analysis and projection that they were able to predict so much so accurately.