Maxed Out 

Wading into the future

by G.D. Maxwell

One of the reasons people get all nostalgic about the past is because they think they know what happened then. At least they think they know what happened in the part of the past they actually lived through… their past.

Another reason is because their past has been churned through the spin cycle of memory so often most of the nasty bits have been diminished, if not entirely repressed, while the really wonderful parts have been shined up to the point where they bear only passing resemblance to what actually happened and more to what shoulda happened if their superhero suit hadn’t been at the cleaners that day.

The future on the other hand….

Whatever happened to the future? Forget the future we were promised 40 or so years ago, the one with robot maids, flying cars, edible dinnerware and more leisure time than we would know what to do with. I’m still waiting for the future where I can just talk into my computer and it’ll do the typing for me. Which comes out this way when I actually try it. " I'm still need for the furniture where I can just talk into my computer and it'll do the typing for me ." As you can see, close, but no cigar.

And when you come right down to it, isn’t that the best thing about the future? We can’t be quite sure of it, can we? But with luck and hard work, maybe we can shape it in our own image.

For the handful of people who actually wade through Create Whistler’s Future – Comprehensive Backgrounder , the future will seem considerably clearer than it’s likely to actually be. It will also seem pretty rosy.

Having spent considerable money and gobbled up a fair chunk of what used to be the future to produce, it’s a little difficult to read through the narrative of the five possible futures and not think of Coronado traipsing around what’s now the southwest part of the U.S. always telling himself and his men, "Amigos, the Seven Cities of Cibola must be just around the corner. Trust me." Alas, the fabled golden cities proved to be, well, fabled.

" Step forward 17 years and imagine Whistler as it might be – the premier mountain resort destination, and a desirable place to live and work. Whistler 2020 is a destination resort community that contributes to global sustainability and is committed to sustainable living ."

That’s how all five scenarios start, more or less. For those of you who haven’t followed this saga at all, let’s take a minute to sketch the bare bones of Whistler: It’s Our Future . Consultants were hired. To avoid embarrassing the usual suspects, we’ll ignore the process by which they were hired.

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