NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Being on the tech beat, I have long been an amateur futurist. I'm a journalist, not a scientist, and so I peer around corners looking for what's ahead, usually leaving a field once the market gets there in force. Like a western hero in that I never make much money.What I have found is that the future is never what you think it will be. The future unfolds along the path of least resistance in the market. It's not about what you think is cool, but about what someone can convince everyone they want and need. Our view of the future is always colored by what we have today. When I was a little kid, this was a mechanical future, because it was a mechanical age. The Brookings Institution still sees
My own futurism, conducted since the 2001 dot-bomb left my e-commerce beat in rubble, has convinced me that market need matters more than technical capability. In 2003 I was talking up what's now the Internet of Things, sensors and motes placed in gardens, on houses, on our yogurt and in our bodies that would give us more fine-grained control over our daily lives and health. We've seen some stuff, but most of this remains in the future. Since 2007 I've focused more on renewable energy, a revolution in how we might power our world, and I find that as 2013 dawns
we're approaching both energy abundance and cost equality between solar and oil-based energy. That's a singularity the market can get behind. Nothing against Kurzweil or IBM, but the future happens when what we can do meets what the market needs. If you're investing in technology stocks, you have as much a handle on the near-term future as any deep thinker. We're all futurists now. At the time of publication the author had positions in IBM, GOOG and MSFT. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.