How To Be Good at the Future

Tap into technology and make yourself a Master of Tomorrow
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 12, 2011


One of these days, when the Doc Brown and McFly jokes dry up, you'll have no choice but to start thinking seriously about the future. Not just tomorrow, and the day after, but the next several hundred years, since lifespans are on track to skyrocket.

The Greater Boston region, despite being one of the oldest 'hoods in America, is a terrific place to prep for 2020 and beyond. For one thing, the city facilitates a Citizens' Committee for Boston's Future — a think tank composed of experts from fields including the arts and life sciences, whose collective mission aims to attract and retain tech and business talent. Individuals are also empowered here; those who are technologically curious can stuff their calendars with any number of tomorrow-minded meet-ups, from the Boston Media Makers (free) and Boston Book Futurists (free) to the increasingly essential Mass Innovation Nights (free). Like Boston boy Paul Revere, locals are awakening folks to looming developments. Time to saddle up.

Make it last
While it's fun to think about the high-tech goodies we'll all enjoy one day, it's important to first consider how we'll pay for them. Unless you like inspecting shopping carts at wholesale stores, we recommend "Take Command of Your Money Future" ($40) at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE), or the slightly pricier "Smart Choices in Retirement" ($44) at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (CCAE). At the latter, "you'll learn 10 principles to help make your money last, with the goal of providing a stable, steady retirement income." Ski mask, duct tape, shotguns, and getaway car not included.

Once your paper's straight, you might want to consider "Reiki Energy Healing" ($137) at CCAE, since, as any avid Fox News viewer knows, we'll all be sick and uninsured by next year. If those "holistic methods of promoting relaxation and stress release" don't do the trick — and you've compounded your depression by attending the "World in Crisis: Population, Pollution, and Diminishing Resources" ($158) discussion at CCAE — then head across the river to Brookline Adult & Community Education (BACE;, where folks are working toward solutions at "Brookline Tomorrow: An Afternoon with Climate Action Heroes" (free). The January 23 panel will "break new ground [with a] historic gathering and call to action," and features such guests as City Year founder Alan Khazei and Rob Garrity from the Mass Climate Action Network, as well as a reception afterward.

As a financially prudent and environmentally conscious cog in this exciting new society, you'll want to discover "How To Figure Out Your Digital Camera" ($44) at BCAE, where you can also upgrade your point-and-shoot game with "Digital Photography: The Next Step" ($44). Both classes will help you better understand "resolution, metering, exposure, balance," and other modalities that most cats never use. And why stop there? With "Making Sense of Social Media" ($55) and "Getting Published in Lit Mags and eZines" ($60) at BCAE, you're en route to becoming a full-blown member of the Internet literati. The former is an especially essential crash course in everything from Facebook to Flickr; just remember that this stuff is more fun than it is difficult — in fact some of the loudest Twitter feeds belong to the dumbest schmucks on Earth.

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Internet, Education, Boston Center for Adult Education,  More more >
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