But if the past is the domain of facts over which I have no power, it is also the domain of knowable facts.
For man in his role as an active agent, the future is a field of liberty and power, but for man in his role as a cognizant being the future is a field of uncertainty. It is a field of liberty because I am free to conceive that something which does not now exist will exist in the future; it is a field of power because I have some power to validate my conception (though, naturally, not all conceptions indiscriminately!). And indeed the future is our only field of power, for we can act only on the future.
Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Art of Conjecture
The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented. . . The first step of the technological inventor is to visualize by an act of imagination a thing or a state of things which does not yet exist and which to him appears in some way desirable. He can then start rationally arguing backwards from the invention and forward from the means at his disposal until a way is found from one to the other.
Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future