Remembrance of Things Future

The start of a new year is a chance to plan ahead before history changes everything

Gerard Dubois for TIME

Year-end lists and new year's resolutions are as easy to mock as they are to make. But in uncertain times, reviewing and previewing are serious business. They let us imagine we can impose some order on the fresh calendar page — marking holidays, graduations, movie premieres, tax-free back-to-school shopping week — even as we wait to see which days, now anonymous or devoted to watching groundhogs, will be raised from obscurity to eternity in the history books.

"It's tough to make predictions," Yogi Berra said, "especially about the future." A whole lot of predicting went on 10 years ago, at the...

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