Quartz Weekend Brief—Peering into the future and the year’s best writing

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

Half a century ago, author Isaac Asimov peered into the future: “What will the World’s Fair of 2014 be like?” he wrote in the New York Times. “I don’t know, but I can guess.”

With the exception of assuming the World’s Fair would still be around, Asimov was remarkably prescient. His essay forecast everything from self-driving cars (“Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with ‘Robot-brains'”) to Keurig machines (“Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee”) to photochromic lenses (“The degree of opacity of the glass may even be made to alter automatically in accordance with the intensity of the light falling upon it”).

But Asimov’s most impressive prophecy had less to do with gadgets than perceiving what that progress would mean for society. “The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot…

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