Those words are the opening line in an online manifesto for Founders Fund, a venture-capital firm created Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal and a man who might be, in the words of New Yorker writer George Packard in the Nov. 28 issue, “the most successful technology investor in the world.”

It is his comment on the difference between the science fiction future America dreamed of in the post-war era of the ’50s and early ’60s and the future we’ve actually got. It struck me as a concise and accurate summary of how everything has gone off track and so I share it with you. And here’s another, longer version of the same thought as he talks about how the optimistic cheerfulness of the stories many of us grew up reading had turned sour:

“One way you can describe the collapse of the idea of the future is the collapse of science fiction. Now it’s either about technology that doesn’t work or technology that’s used in bad ways.”

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