Monday, 9 May 2011


The first piece of for-publication writing I ever did was twenty-five years ago. I had an article published in ‘Management Accounting’ (November 1986) entitled Thinking the Unthinkable or Overcoming Temporal Myopia. The odd thing is that it’s this piece which has been the inspiration for a short story I’ve just written called Temporal Myopia.

The Management Accounting article described a phenomena I called temporal myopia – the difficulty managers have in considering possible future situations which are outside their own experience and which makes it difficult for them to conceive of discontinuous futures, to embrace the likelihood of change and to act courageously and decisively to mould their organisations such that it is in a position to survive these changes and to profit from them. It went on to explain how a consideration of long-wave economic cycles could be used to help overcome temporal myopia.

The father of long-wave cycles is a Russian economist of the 1920s, Nikolai Kondratieff – a real hero of mine and a major player in The Demi-Monde: Spring – who theorised that in major industrial nations economic activity waxed and waned in a cyclical fashion, these cycles having a frequency of between 48 and 60 years. The interesting thing is that the bottoming of the latest cycle came – you guessed it – in 2008!

It makes me wonder if what I was writing then was more SF than what I’m writing now.

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