Todorova’s proposed morphology of counterfactual dilemmas worked well for us and promises wider application to futures research in illuminating unexpected futures. Her structure consists of three types of starting points: (1) sleeper facts waiting to be re-discovered, (2) reinterpretation or reinvention of facts we think we know, and (3) rumors, gossip, and unproven hypotheses that can masquerade as hard facts and be as important to decision making as proven facts. This structure allowed us to explore areas beyond those usually explored by futurists. At the start of our work, we asked ourselves, in the manner of historians using counterfactual analysis, how the future might turn out differently if a discarded or discredited truth were to become good science (e.g., panspermia), or if a fact that we were sure of turned out to be wrong (e.g., realignments in politics), or if some esoteric beliefs moved from the “weird” column to the “fact” column (e.g., belief in a viable afterlife). This is the thinking that guided our initial input to the Real Time Delphi of scholars and ultimately gave rise to the chapter headings of this book.
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