I'm translating an article and got stuck with following sentence:

Let's play that forward with some of the implications and then relate it to computing and communication

Source: Edge, interview with Neil Gershfeld

What does it mean ?

  • 4
    Tony, welcome to ELL. With questions like these it's a good idea to include plenty of context and, if possible, the source. I made the edit for you.
    – Stephie
    Jul 12, 2015 at 9:09
  • I haven't read the whole article, just a quick glance here and there, so I'll post my idea about that sentence here instead of writing an answer. I think "play that forward" is used figuratively. The writer thinks of the whole thing as a movie or video, and the scene we're watching is our present. In order to look (or peer forward) into the future, we can "play forward" the way we click or press our (fast or skip) forward button. Jul 12, 2015 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Gershenfeld uses the phrase "play that forward" a couple of times. The metaphor comes from playing a tape forward. He's moving backwards and forwards in a history of computation and digital fabrication, so what he means is, let's see how these things developed. Let's continue this history from this point, or with these factors in mind, and do so in a chronologically forward direction.

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