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Where does "The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed" come from?

It has been attributed to Gibson, usually supposedly in The Economist of Dec 4th, 2003, which I'm not sure even exists (since their site mentions an edition of Dec 6th but none for Dec 4th). However, a version of this quote appears in a previous article dating from 2001 (“THE future is already here—it's just unevenly distributed,” a science-fiction writer, William Gibson, once joked.).

So where does this originate from? An interview? A book? Is it even a true Gibson quote?

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  • 2
    I've seen mentions of him saying it in some radio interview from the '90s but I haven't confirmed it myself. It can be hard to find copies of radio and newspaper interviews from that time. Mar 3, 2023 at 16:14
  • archive.is/L5GMv
    – ina
    Nov 24, 2023 at 22:59

1 Answer 1

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https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/01/24/future-has-arrived/

Apparently, no one can quite pinpoint the exact first occurrence of the quote, but it is correctly credited to Gibson.

Here is his comment on the subject:

The problem is that the idea would have preceded its first recorded public utterance by quite some time, in the way of these things. I would assume I thought it, then eventually said it to friends, and that by the time I said it in an interview (the most likely scenario) it had become an idea I took for granted. It wasn’t something generated to give a talk, nor was it in some essay or article.

The quote also exists in several different forms as it has been repeated in different contexts.

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  • Amazing, thank you, did not know this site!
    – Clef.
    Mar 4, 2023 at 8:06

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