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401(k)s, abortion, youth football: 15 things we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years - Vox
[via: https://kottke.org/19/04/what-do-we-do-now-that-will-be-unthinkable-in-50-years ]

"Youth tackle football
Bosses
Eating meat
Conspicuous consumption
The drug war
The way we die
Banning sex work
401(k)s
Ending the draft
Facebook and Google
Abortion
Self-driving cars
Our obsession with rationality
Abandoning public education
The idea of a “wrong side of history”



"Some 50 years ago, in 1964, 42 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes. Smoking in bars and offices was normal and cigarettes were given to soldiers as part of military rations. Half of American physicians smoked. Ads for cigarettes bombarded the American public. That year, the surgeon general released a report outlining the health risks of smoking. Two years later, only 40 percent of Americans said that they believed smoking was a major cause of cancer.

Today, we know that smoking is bad for our health. We’ve banned smoking in most indoor public spaces. We stopped allowing tobacco companies to advertise and forced them to put warning labels on cigarette boxes. By 2001, 71 percent of the country said they recognized smoking was a major cause of cancer, and by 2017, the rate of smokers dropped to 14 percent. The habit is now looked at as a relic of the past, something we’ve come to accept as unquestionably harmful.

When we think about what common habits, social norms, or laws that are widely considered unthinkable in today’s world, a variety of past atrocities come to mind. We could point to bloodletting, Jim Crow-era segregation, and drinking and driving as being on the “wrong side” of history.

But what modern practices will we one day think of as barbaric? It’s a framework invoked frequently in political or scientific beliefs: Actor Harrison Ford recently said leaders who deny climate change are on the “wrong side of history.” President Barack Obama said Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine was on the “wrong side of history.” Filmmaker Spike Lee said that President Donald Trump himself is on the “wrong side of history.”

So what, by 2070 — some 50 years in the future — will join this group? We asked 15 thinkers, writers, and advocates to take their best guess.

Bioethicist Peter Singer says people will stop the habit of conspicuous consumption. “The ostentatious display of wealth, in a world that still has many people in need, is not in good taste. Within 50 years, we’ll wonder how people did not see that,” he writes.

Historian Jennifer Mittelstadt predicts that our volunteer army will be widely considered a mistake: “Fifty years from now Americans will observe with shock the damage to both foreign policy and domestic institutions wrought by our acceptance of an increasingly privatized, socially isolated, and politically powerful US military.”

For philosopher Jacob T. Levy, the very idea of there being a “wrong side of history” is wrong itself.

Other answers range from kids playing tackle football to expecting workers to invest in 401(k)s."
us  future  obsolescence  barbarity  draft  cars  self-drivingcars  retirement  saving  drugwar  football  americanfootball  conspicuousconsumption  capitalism  consumption  rationality  scientism  publiceducations  publicschools  schools  schooling  education  facebook  google  abortion  war  military  sexwork  death  dying  meat  food  howwelive  predictions  history  petersinger  kristatippett  jaboblevy  jennifermittelstadt  haiderwarraich  kathleenfrydl  meredithbroussard  chrisnowinski  adiaharveywingfield  bhaskarsunkara  horizontality  hierarchy  inequality  jacobhacker  economics  society  transportation 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Which City Has The Most Unpredictable Weather? | FiveThirtyEight
"You can easily make out the path of the Rocky Mountains in this map. Cities just to the east of them — like Denver and Great Falls, Montana — have much more unpredictable temperatures than almost any place to the west of them.

Cities just to the east of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico have the most predictable temperatures. San Diego’s temperatures are the most predictable of anywhere in the continental United States (Honolulu’s are the most predictable overall). Seattle and San Francisco have highly predictable temperatures, as does the Florida peninsula."
weather  predictions  2018  statistics  climate  california  visualization  honolulu  sandiego  hawaii  losangeles  sanfrancisco  fresno  phoenix  westcoast  classideas  foreden 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Zines are the future of media
"My favorite Nieman Lab prediction for journalism in 2018 (including this one I wrote myself [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/watch-out-for-spotify/ ]) is Kawandeep Virdee’s “Zines Had It Right All Along.” [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/zines-had-it-right-all-along/ ]

His actual prediction is that in 2018, digital media “will reflect more qualities that make print great.” Virdee distills a shortlist of qualities of zines and quarterly mags that he thinks are portable to digital:

• Quarterlies are a pleasure to read with a variety in layout and pacing
• They’re beautiful to hold.
• They’re less frequent, and much better.
• Even the ads are well-crafted, and trusted.
• Zines have an enormous variety.
• They’re experimental and diverse.
• This gives them a freshness and surprise.
• They’re anti-formalist; they’re relatable.

“Most sites look the same,” Virdee writes. “It can be weird and wonderful.”

The positive example he gives isn’t a text feature, but the NYT video series “Internetting with Amanda Hess.” It’s an odd choice because digital video hasn’t had much of a problem picking up on a zine aesthetic or giving us that level of freshness and surprise; it’s digital text that’s been approaching conformity.

It’s also weird that Virdee works product at Medium, which is one of the sites that, despite or maybe because of its initial splash, is kind of the poster child for the current design consensus on the web. If Virdee is making the case that Medium (and other sites) should look a lot less like Medium, that would be the most exciting thing that Medium has done in a couple of years.

The other point I’d add is that zines and quarterlies look the way they do and feel the way they feel not because of a certain design aesthetic they share, or a design consensus they break from, but because of how they’re run, who owns them, and why they’re published. They look different because they are different. So maybe we need to look at the whole package and create an… oh, I don’t know, what’s the phrase I need… an “indie web”?"
timcarmody  kawandeepvirdee  zines  publishing  blogs  blogging  digital  publications  2017  2018  quarterlies  classideas  cv  conformity  medium  media  predictions  design  originality  weirdness  aesthetics  freshness  internet  amandahess  web  online  graphicdesign  layout  webdesign  indie  indieweb  diversity  anti-formalism  relatability  surprise  variety  craft  pacing  howwewrite  howweread  print  papernet 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Impakt Festival 2017 - Performance: ANAB JAIN. HQ - YouTube
[Embedded here: http://impakt.nl/festival/reports/impakt-festival-2017/impakt-festival-2017-anab-jain/ ]

"'Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Hurts': @anab_jain's expansive keynote @impaktfestival weaves threads through death, transcience, uncertainty, growthism, technological determinism, precarity, imagination and truths. Thanks to @jonardern for masterful advise on 'modelling reality', and @tobias_revell and @ndkane for the invitation."
https://www.instagram.com/p/BbctTcRFlFI/ ]
anabjain  2017  superflux  death  aging  transience  time  temporary  abundance  scarcity  future  futurism  prototyping  speculativedesign  predictions  life  living  uncertainty  film  filmmaking  design  speculativefiction  experimentation  counternarratives  designfiction  futuremaking  climatechange  food  homegrowing  smarthomes  iot  internetofthings  capitalism  hope  futures  hopefulness  data  dataviz  datavisualization  visualization  williamplayfair  society  economics  wonder  williamstanleyjevons  explanation  statistics  wiiliambernstein  prosperity  growth  latecapitalism  propertyrights  jamescscott  objectivity  technocrats  democracy  probability  scale  measurement  observation  policy  ai  artificialintelligence  deeplearning  algorithms  technology  control  agency  bias  biases  neoliberalism  communism  present  past  worldview  change  ideas  reality  lucagatti  alextaylor  unknown  possibility  stability  annalowenhaupttsing  imagination  ursulaleguin  truth  storytelling  paradigmshifts  optimism  annegalloway  miyamotomusashi  annatsing 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Nicky Case: Seeing Whole Systems - The Long Now
"Nicky Case is an independent game developer who creates interactive games and simulations including Parable of the Polygons (02014), Coming Out Simulator (02014), We Become What We Behold (02016), To Build A Better Ballot (02016), and LOOPY (02017).



Nicky Case’s presentations are as ingenious, compelling, and graphically rich as the visualizing tools and games Nicky creates for understanding complex dynamic systems.

Case writes: “We need to see the non-linear feedback loops between culture, economics, and technology. Not only that, but we need to see how collective behavior emerges from individual minds and motives. We need new tools, theories, and visualizations to help people talk across disciplines.”

Nicky Case is the creator of Parable of the Polygons (02014), Coming Out Simulator (02014), We Become What We Behold (02016), To Build A Better Ballot (02016), and LOOPY (02017).



How to finesse complexity

HE BEGAN, “Hi, I’m Nicky Case, and I explain complex systems in a visual, tangible, and playful way.” He did exactly that with 207 brilliant slides and clear terminology. What system engineers call “negative feedback,” for example, Case calls “balancing loops.” They maintain a value. Likewise “positive feedback” he calls “reinforcing loops.” They increase a value

Using examples and stories such as the viciousness of the board game Monopoly and the miracle of self-organizing starlings, Case laid out the visual basics of finessing complex systems. A reinforcing loop is like a ball on the top of a hill, ready to accelerate downhill when set in motion. A balancing loop is like a ball in a valley, always returning to the bottom of the valley when perturbed.

Now consider how to deal with a situation where you have an “attractor” (a deep valley) that attracts a system toward failure:

[image]

The situation is precarious for the ball because it is near a hilltop that is a reinforcing loop. If the ball is nudged over the top, it will plummet to the bottom of the balancing-loop valley and be stuck there. It would take enormous effort raise the ball out of such an attractor—which might be financial collapse or civil war. Case’s solution is not to try to move the ball, MOVE THE HILLS—identify the balancing and reinforcing loops in the system and weaken or strengthen them as needed to reconfigure the whole system so that the desired condition becomes the dominant attractor.

Now add two more characteristics of the real world—dense networks and chaos (randomness). They make possible the phenomena of emergence (a whole that is different than the sum of its parts) and evolution. Evolution is made of selection (managed by reinforcing and balancing loops) plus variation (unleashed by dense networks and chaos). You cannot control evolution and should not try--that way lies totalitarianism. Our ever popular over-emphasis on selection can lead to paralyzed systems—top-down autocratic governments and frozen businesses. Case urges attention to variation, harnessing networks and chaos from the bottom up via connecting various people from various fields, experimenting with lots of solutions, and welcoming a certain amount of randomness and play. “Design for evolution,” Case says, “and the system will surprise you with solutions you never thought of.”

To do that, “Make chaos your friend.”

--Stewart Brand"
systems  systemsthinking  nickycase  2017  illustration  visualization  longnow  maps  mapping  stewartbrand  games  gaming  gamedesign  capitalism  socialism  monopoly  economics  technology  culture  precarity  chaos  networks  evolution  socialtrust  voting  design  complexity  abstraction  communication  jargon  unknown  loopiness  alinear  feedbackloops  interconnectedness  dataviz  predictions  interconnected  nonlinear  linearity  interconnectivity 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Cassandra Plays the Stock Market | Quiet Babylon
"I imagined her playing the stock market. She starts buying dot-coms in 1994 and gets out in 2000. She sees the housing crisis from miles away and has sold all her subprime holding by early 2008.

But her story is a tragedy, so then I imagined her getting put away for insider trading. They don’t have any solid evidence, but no one believes her defence and the jury becomes certain she’s guilty. She’s the only person punished for the collapse of the banking system. Thankfully, it’s a white collar crime so pretty soon, she gets out. She’s like Martha Stewart.

I feel like I know a lot of people who kind of see themselves as a Cassandra. I feel that way sometimes, myself. We look at the world, we notice a lot of obviously terrible decisions that people and institutions are making, we point out that things won’t go well, no one listens to us, and then things don’t go well. We console ourselves that we’d seen it coming. It’s kind of a romantic feeling. You feel like you’re smarter than most people.

I was talking to my wife Pamela about all this and she gently pointed out that in my white-collar retelling, I’d missed the whole point of the Cassandra myth. In the story, things don’t go at all well for Cassandra. Her city burns. She is assaulted and kidnapped and eventually killed by the invaders. Cassandra doesn’t get to insulate herself from the worst of it. She suffers the consequences along with everyone else.

She is bound to the fate of her people. As we are bound to the fate of ours.

It’s not good enough to be right.

A funny thing has happened in my professional circles since the election.

In the wake of these terrible events, pretty much all of my colleagues have discovered the renewed importance of whatever it is we were working on in the first place. I, of course, have discovered the renewed importance of understanding the role of fiction and speculation in shaping the future of the world. I think we should be suspicious about this.

At the place where I work — a university — there has been a particular renewal in talking about how important it is that we teach everyone more critical thinking. The feeling is that the outcome of this election is the result of people being duped, and that if they’d had better critical thinking skills, that people would have been somehow inoculated against the bad ideas, and better able to think for themselves (and vote the way we thought they should).

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit hanging around the online communities of the kind of people we are worried about reaching here, and I am here to tell you: They are using their critical thinking skills.

They are fully literate in concepts like bias and in the importance of interrogating sources. They believe very much in the power of persuasion and the dangers in propaganda and a great many of them believe that we are the ones who have been behaving uncritically and who have been duped. They think that we are the unbelieving victims of fraud.

Which is not to set up some kind of false equivalency between sides. But I do want us to consider the possibility that we don’t need to talk across that barrier, and that it might not be possible to talk across it. That we need to consider that if it’s true that vast swaths of the voting populace are unbelieving victims of fraud, that there’s not much we can do for them. That we may need instead to work to invigorate our allies, discourage our enemies, and save the persuasion for people right on the edge.

But, again, I’m saying all of this to you as someone who has not figured this out."
timmaly  future  futurism  speculation  cassandra  2017  fraud  kazysvarnelis  robertsumrell  gigurdjieff  belief  criticalthinking  allies  persuasion  speculativefutures  predictions 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Trumped Up Data
"I’ve started working on my annual review of the year in ed-tech, something I’ve done for the past six years. It’s an intensive project – I will write some 75,000 words between now and the end of December – that forces me to go back through all the events and announcements of the previous twelve months. I don’t do so to make predictions about the future. But rather I look for patterns so that I can better understand how the past might orient us towards certain futures. I listen closely to the stories that we have told ourselves about education and technology, about the various possible futures in which these two systems (these two sets of practices, these two sets of ideologies) are so deeply intertwined. I pay attention to who tells the stories, who shares the stories, who believes the stories. In thinking about the past, I am always thinking about the future; in thinking about the future, we are always talking about the past.

That’s what’s at the core of a slogan like “Make America Great Again,” of course. It invokes a nostalgic longing for a largely invented past as it gestures towards a future that promises “greatness” once again.

Last week – and it feels so long right now – I gave a talk titled “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Issue a Press Release.” I argued there’s something frighteningly insidious about the ways in which predictions about the future of education and technology are formulated and spread. These predictions are predicated on a destabilization or disruption of our public institutions and an entrenchment of commodification and capitalism.

These predictions don’t have to be believable or right; indeed, they rarely are. But even when wrong, they push the future in a certain direction. And they reveal the shape that the storytellers want the future to take.

In my talk, I called these predictions a form of “truthiness.” I’d add to that, an observation that sociologist Nathan Jurgenson made last night about “factiness”:
On the right, they have what Stephan Colbert called “truthiness,” which we might define as ignoring facts in the name of some larger truth. The facts of Obama’s birthplace mattered less for them than their own racist “truth” of white superiority. Perhaps we need to start articulating a left-wing version of truthiness: let’s call it “factiness.” Factiness is the taste for the feel and aesthetic of “facts,” often at the expense of missing the truth. From silly self-help-y TED talks to bad NPR-style neuroscience science updates to wrapping ourselves in the misleading scientism of Fivethirtyeight statistics, factiness is obsessing over and covering ourselves in fact after fact while still missing bigger truths.

“Factiness” connects to a lot of what we saw in this election, to be sure – this faith, as Jurgenson points out, in polling despite polling being wrong repeatedly, all along. It connects to a lot of what we hear in technology circles too – that we can build intelligent systems that model and adapt and learn and predict complex human behaviors. And that, in turn, is connected to education’s long-standing obsession with data: that we can harness elaborate analytics and measurement tools to identify who’s learning and who’s not.

I don’t believe that answers are found in “data” (that is, in “data” as this pure objective essence of “fact” or “truth”). Rather, I believe answers – muddier and more mutable and not really answers at all – live in stories. It is, after all, in stories where we find what underpins and extends both “truthiness” and “factiness.” Stories are crafted and carried in different ways, no doubt, than “data,” even when they serve the same impulse – to control, to direct.

Stories are everywhere, and yet stories can be incredibly easy to dismiss.
We do not listen.

Sometimes I joke that I’ve been described as “ed-tech’s Cassandra.” Mostly, it’s unfunny – not much of a joke at all considering how things worked out for poor Cassandra. But I do listen closely to the stories being told about the future of education and technology, and all I can do is to caution people that these stories rely on some fairly dystopian motifs and outcomes.

I’m also a folklorist, an ethnographer. I approach education technology with that disciplinary training. I listen to the stories. I observe the practices. I talk to people.

I’m not sure how to move forward after last night’s election results. For now, all I have is this: I want to remind people of the importance of stories – that stories might be better to turn to for understanding the future people want, better than the data we’ve been so obsessed with watching as a proxy for actually talking or listening to them."
audreywatters  2016  data  elections  edtech  truthiness  factiness  listening  nathanjurgenson  ethnography  folklore  storytelling  stories  bigdata  predictions  understanding  truth  stephencolbert 
november 2016 by robertogreco
on expertise - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"One of the most common refrains in the aftermath of the Brexit vote was that the British electorate had acted irrationally in rejecting the advice and ignoring the predictions of economic experts. But economic experts have a truly remarkable history of getting things wrong. And it turns out, as Daniel Kahneman explains in Thinking, Fast and Slow, that there is a close causal relationship between being an expert and getting things wrong:
People who spend their time, and earn their living, studying a particular topic produce poorer predictions than dart-throwing monkeys who would have distributed their choices evenly over the options. Even in the region they knew best, experts were not significantly better than nonspecialists. Those who know more forecast very slightly better than those who know less. But those with the most knowledge are often less reliable. The reason is that the person who acquires more knowledge develops an enhanced illusion of her skill and becomes unrealistically overconfident. “We reach the point of diminishing marginal predictive returns for knowledge disconcertingly quickly,” [Philip] Tetlock writes. “In this age of academic hyperspecialization, there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals—distinguished political scientists, area study specialists, economists, and so on—are any better than journalists or attentive readers of The New York Times in ‘reading’ emerging situations.” The more famous the forecaster, Tetlock discovered, the more flamboyant the forecasts. “Experts in demand,” he writes, “were more overconfident than their colleagues who eked out existences far from the limelight.”

So in what sense would it be rational to trust the predictions of experts? We all need to think more about what conditions produce better predictions — and what skills and virtues produce better predictors. Tetlock and Gardner have certainly made a start on that:
The humility required for good judgment is not self-doubt – the sense that you are untalented, unintelligent, or unworthy. It is intellectual humility. It is a recognition that reality is profoundly complex, that seeing things clearly is a constant struggle, when it can be done at all, and that human judgment must therefore be riddled with mistakes. This is true for fools and geniuses alike. So it’s quite possible to think highly of yourself and be intellectually humble. In fact, this combination can be wonderfully fruitful. Intellectual humility compels the careful reflection necessary for good judgment; confidence in one’s abilities inspires determined action....

What's especially interesting here is the emphasis not on knowledge but on character — what's needed is a certain kind of person, and especially the kind of person who is humble.

Now ask yourself this: Where does our society teach, or even promote, humility?"
experts  expertise  authority  alanjacobs  psychology  2016  danielkahneman  philiptetlock  brexit  economics  politics  predictions  dangardner  judgement  self-doubt  intellect  reality  complexity  clarity  character  hyperspecialization  specialists  specialization 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Wendell Berry on Climate Change: To Save the Future, Live in the Present by Wendell Berry — YES! Magazine
"What we must not do in our efforts of provision is to waste or permanently destroy anything of value. History informs us that the things we waste or destroy today may be needed on the morrow. This obviously prohibits the “creative destruction” of the industrialists and industrial economists, who think that evil is permissible today for the sake of greater good tomorrow. There is no rational argument for compromise with soil erosion or toxic pollution.

For me—and most people are like me in this respect—“climate change” is an issue of faith; I must either trust or distrust the scientific experts who predict the future of the climate. I know from my experience, from the memories of my elders, from certain features of my home landscape, from reading history, that over the last 150 years or so the weather has changed and is changing. I know without doubt that to change is the nature of weather.

Just so, I know from as many reasons that the alleged causes of climate change—waste and pollution—are wrong. The right thing to do today, as always, is to stop, or start stopping, our habit of wasting and poisoning the good and beautiful things of the world, which once were called “divine gifts” and now are called “natural resources.” I always suppose that experts may be wrong. But even if they are wrong about the alleged human causes of climate change, we have nothing to lose, and much to gain, by trusting them.

Even so, we are not dummies, and we can see that for all of us to stop, or start stopping, our waste and destruction today would be difficult. And so we chase our thoughts off into the morrow where we can resign ourselves to “the end of life as we know it” and come to rest, or start devising heroic methods and technologies for coping with a changed climate. The technologies will help, if not us, then the corporations that will sell them to us at a profit.

I have let the preceding paragraph rest for two days to see if I think it is fair. I think it is fair. As evidence, I will mention only that, while the theme of climate change grows ever more famous and fearful, land abuse is growing worse, noticed by almost nobody."



"It is true that changes in governmental policy, if the changes were made according to the right principles, would have to be rated as big solutions. Such big solutions surely would help, and a number of times I have tramped the streets to promote them, but just as surely they would fail if not accompanied by small solutions. And here we come to the reassuring difference between changes in policy and changes in principle. The needed policy changes, though addressed to present evils, wait upon the future, and so are presently nonexistent. But changes in principle can be made now, by so few as just one of us. Changes in principle, carried into practice, are necessarily small changes made at home by one of us or a few of us. Innumerable small solutions emerge as the changed principles are adapted to unique lives in unique small places. Such small solutions do not wait upon the future. Insofar as they are possible now, exist now, are actual and exemplary now, they give hope. Hope, I concede, is for the future. Our nature seems to require us to hope that our life and the world’s life will continue into the future. Even so, the future offers no validation of this hope. That validation is to be found only in the knowledge, the history, the good work, and the good examples that are now at hand.

There is in fact much at hand and in reach that is good, useful, encouraging, and full of promise, although we seem less and less inclined to attend to or value what is at hand. We are always ready to set aside our present life, even our present happiness, to peruse the menu of future exterminations. If the future is threatened by the present, which it undoubtedly is, then the present is more threatened, and often is annihilated, by the future. “Oh, oh, oh,” cry the funerary experts, looking ahead through their black veils. “Life as we know it soon will end. If the governments don’t stop us, we’re going to destroy the world. The time is coming when we will have to do something to save the world. The time is coming when it will be too late to save the world. Oh, oh, oh.” If that is the way our minds are afflicted, we and our world are dead already. The present is going by and we are not in it. Maybe when the present is past, we will enjoy sitting in dark rooms and looking at pictures of it, even as the present keeps arriving in our absence.

Or maybe we could give up saving the world and start to live savingly in it. If using less energy would be a good idea for the future, that is because it is a good idea. The government could enforce such a saving by rationing fuels, citing the many good reasons, as it did during World War II. If the government should do something so sensible, I would respect it much more than I do. But to wish for good sense from the government only displaces good sense into the future, where it is of no use to anybody and is soon overcome by prophesies of doom. On the contrary, so few as just one of us can save energy right now by self-control, careful thought, and remembering the lost virtue of frugality. Spending less, burning less, traveling less may be a relief. A cooler, slower life may make us happier, more present to ourselves, and to others who need us to be present. Because of such rewards, a large problem may be effectively addressed by the many small solutions that, after all, are necessary, no matter what the government might do. The government might even do the right thing at last by imitating the people."
slow  small  present  now  frugality  via:steelemaley  wendellberry  2015  climatechange  future  policy  government  nature  farming  environment  sustainability  goodness  futurism  predictions  provisions  landscape  history  past  humanity  christianity  agriculture 
october 2015 by robertogreco
'In the 2000s, there will be only answers' -- Fusion
"Some writers we know write about the future: William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin. We expect them to find insights about how humans might live. But what about someone like Marguerite Duras, an influential post-war French novelist and filmmaker? She had important things to say about the 20th century. What might she say about the future?

Photonics researcher Antoine Wojdyla stumbled across an interview with Duras from September 1985 in the French magazine Les Inrocks. Struck by Duras’ perspective on technology and deception, he translated the article out of the goodness of his heart and sent it to me. It’s strange and remarkable, an uncanny interpretation of our present.

I read her statement as a kind of pre-answer to Google and wearables and the quantified self. When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal in 2010, “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” That’s what Duras means when she says, “In the 2000s, there will only be answers.”

In any case, here’s Duras as translated by Wojdyla:
In the 2000s, there will be only answers. The demand will be such that there will only be answers. All texts will be answers, in fact. I believe that man will be literally drowned in information, in constant information. About his body, his corporeal future, his health, his family life, his salary, his leisure.

It’s not far from a nightmare. There will be nobody reading anymore.

They will see television. We will have screens everywhere, in the kitchen, in the restrooms, in the office, in the streets.

Where will we be? When we watch television, where are we? We’re not alone.

We will no longer travel, it will no longer be necessary to travel. When you can travel around the world in eight days or a fortnight, why would you?

In traveling, there is the time of the travel. Traveling is not seeing things in a rapid succession, it’s seeing and living in the same instant. Living from the travel, that will no longer be possible.

Everything will be clogged, everything will have been already invested.

The seas will remain, nevertheless, and the oceans.

And reading. People will rediscover that. A man, one day, will read. And everything will start again. We’ll encounter a time where everything will be free. Meaning that answers, at that time, will be granted less consideration. It will start like this, with indiscipline, a risk taken by a human against himself. The day where he will be left alone again with his misfortunes, and his happiness, only that those will depend on himself.

Maybe those who will get over this misstep will be the heroes of the future.

It’s very likely, let’s hope there will be some left…
"
alexismadrigal  2015  answers  questions  askingquestions  questionasking  margueriteduras  predictions  passivity  reading  howweread  online  internet  web  thewaywelive  indiscipline  happiness  misfortune  travel  traveling  tv  television  media  screens  information  infooverload 
january 2015 by robertogreco
danah boyd | apophenia » What is Fairness?
"Increasingly, tech folks are participating in the instantiation of fairness in our society. Not only do they produce the algorithms that score people and unevenly distribute scarce resources, but the fetishization of “personalization” and the increasingly common practice of “curation” are, in effect, arbiters of fairness.

The most important thing that we all need to recognize is that how fairness is instantiated significantly affects the very architecture of our society. I regularly come back to a quote by Alistair Croll:
Our social safety net is woven on uncertainty. We have welfare, insurance, and other institutions precisely because we can’t tell what’s going to happen — so we amortize that risk across shared resources. The better we are at predicting the future, the less we’ll be willing to share our fates with others. And the more those predictions look like facts, the more justice looks like thoughtcrime.

The market-driven logic of fairness is fundamentally about individuals at the expense of the social fabric. Not surprisingly, the tech industry — very neoliberal in cultural ideology — embraces market-driven fairness as the most desirable form of fairness because it is the model that is most about individual empowerment. But, of course, this form of empowerment is at the expense of others. And, significantly, at the expense of those who have been historically marginalized and ostracized.

We are collectively architecting the technological infrastructure of this world. Are we OK with what we’re doing and how it will affect the society around us?"
algorithms  culture  economics  us  finance  police  policing  lawenforcement  technology  equality  equity  2014  danahboyd  alistaircroll  justice  socialjustice  crime  civilrights  socialsafetynet  welfare  markets  banks  banking  capitalism  socialism  communism  scarcity  abundance  uncertainty  risk  predictions  profiling  race  business  redlining  privilege 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Research : BirdCast
"BirdCast will allow, for the first time, real-time predictions of bird migrations: when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be flying.

Knowledge of migratory behavior will aid conservation on the ground by informing decisions for placement of wind turbines and identifying nights on which lighting of tall buildings could be reduced to prevent the deaths of millions of birds. Accurate migration models also have broader application, allowing researchers to understand behavioral aspects of migration, how migration timing and pathways respond to changing climate, and whether linkages exist between variation in migration timing and subsequent changes in population size.

New Machine-learning Techniques
We propose to develop two innovative machine-learning techniques: Collective Graphical Models (CGMs) and Semi-Parametric Latent Process Models (SLPMs). When combined, these models will reconstruct and predict the behavior of ~400 species of migrating birds across North America. The resulting model will be able to identify the complex conditions governing the dynamics of migration behavior, including choice of migratory pathways, the factors that influence when birds migrate, and the speed and duration of each night’s movements. In addition, we will improve our machine learning methods for identifying bird species from their flight calls (unique calls given by each species during nocturnal migration).

New Data Infrastructure
We will develop a new interoperable data infrastructure for synthesizing bird observations, flight calls, radar data, and covariate data from multiple sources including satellite imagery, weather, and human population data. By the end of the grant period, we will provide daily forecasts of bird migration (a daily BirdCast), as well as interactive tools for visualizing and understanding the models. We will also provide general-purpose open-source implementations of CGMs and SLPMs.

New Data Visualizations
Finally, we will develop novel web-based data visualizations for communicating the migration predictions generated by BirdCast to the general public, resulting in a strong potential for outreach and education, with opportunities for informal education regarding computer science, ecology, and conservation. These same visualization tools will provide an appealing avenue for school classes and the general public to “see” the dynamic processes of bird migration in action, strengthening their connection to the natural world. Further, by integrating these applications into existing education and outreach activities already managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we can introduce vast new audiences to exciting and important advances in computer science."
via:alexismadrigal  birds  animals  nature  migration  predictions  birdcast  science 
march 2014 by robertogreco
xkcd: 2014
"Some future reader, who may see the term, without knowing the history of it, may imagine that it had reference to some antiquated bridge of the immortal Poet, thrown across the silver Avon, to facilitate his escape after some marauding excursion in a neighbouring park; and in some Gentleman's Magazine of the next century, it is not impossible, but that future antiquaries may occupy page after page in discussing so interesting a matter. We think it right, therefore, to put it on record in the Oriental Herald that the 'Shakesperian Rope Bridges' are of much less classic origin; that Mr Colin Shakespear, who, besides his dignity as Postmaster, now signs himself 'Superintendent General of Shakesperian Rope Bridges', is a person of much less genius than the Bard of Avon. --The Oriental Herald, 1825"
predictions  2014  xkcd  history  1834  1863  1903  1905  1907  1908  1914  1923  1924  1926  1934  war  education  future  futurism  1925 
january 2014 by robertogreco
BruceS — Predicting 2014
"From 1964, in the New York Times: August 16, 1964, "Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014" by Isaac Asimov"

"The situation will have been made the more serious by the advances of automation. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction. Part of the General Electric exhibit today consists of a school of the future in which such present realities as closed-circuit TV and programmed tapes aid the teaching process. It is not only the techniques of teaching that will advance, however, but also the subject matter that will change. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran” (from “formula translation”).

Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.

Indeed, the most somber speculation I can make about A.D. 2014 is that in a society of enforced leisure, the most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work!"
2014  isaacasimov  leisurearts  artleisure  automation  work  labor  universalbasicincome  predictions  boredom  society  ubi 
december 2013 by robertogreco
A brave new world: science fiction predictions for 2013
"With the novel Empty Space in 2012, M John Harrison concluded his Kefahuchi Tract trilogy begun with Light in 2002 and Nova Swing in 2006. Empty Space and its precursors paint their drama across a canvas reaching from the infinite scale of space-time, down through the quantum universe and into the depths of the human heart. Harrison's masterpiece is the outcome of a decades-long project to fuse the conceptual strength of SF with the human insights of literary fiction. Robert Macfarlane, chair of the Booker prize judging panel in 2013, picked Empty Space as his book of the year recently, and it's unlikely to be the first plaudit as more literary readers discover M John Harrison's remarkable writing."

"Space is SF's new black: Once upon a time our imagination populated outer space with exotic alien civilisations, and the space race inspired thousands of SF novels through the 60s and 70s. But when exploration revealed nothing but a barren solar system and infinite vacuum, space fell…"
scifi  predictions  trends  mjohnharrison  via:robinsloan  robinsloan  sciencefiction  books  2013  space 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Steven Shapin reviews ‘The Pseudoscience Wars’ by Michael Gordin · LRB 8 November 2012
"If pseudosciences are not scientific, neither are they anti-scientific. They flatter science by elaborate rituals of imitation, rejecting many of the facts, theories and presumptions of orthodoxy while embracing what are celebrated as the essential characteristics of science. That is at once a basis for the wide cultural appeal of pseudoscience and an extreme difficulty for those wanting to show what’s wrong with it. Velikovsky advertised his work as, so to speak, more royalist than the king. Did authentic science have masses of references and citations? There they were in Worlds in Collision. Was science meant to aim at the greatest possible explanatory scope, trawling as many disciplines as necessary in search of unified understanding? What in orthodoxy could rival Velikovsky’s integrative vision? Authentic science made specific predictions of what further observation and experiment would show. Velikovsky did too. Was science ideally open to all claimants, subjecting itself to…"
hyperscience  parapsychology  unorthodox  orthodoxy  predictions  logic  reasoning  haroldurey  hermankahn  stanleykubrick  counterculture  hope  fear  alfredkazin  psychoanalytictheory  darwin  uniformitarianism  massivechange  change  catastrophism  worldsincollision  mythology  astronomy  coldwar  1950  fringe  immanuelvalikovsky  books  2012  pseudoscience  science  michaelgordin  stevenshapin  charlesdarwin 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Bagels are stranger than fiction
"It is a feeling unique to writers of zeitgeisty fiction, and maybe there ought to be a long German word for it: anger at the real world for outpacing your publication date. If you could transcribe it, the feeling would go something like this: Arghhh couldn’t you have waited just a few months to reveal this technology? To get interested in this trend? This idea? In a few months, my book would already be out, and I would get credit for being so prescient!

It’s an absurd feeling, of course, because writers aren’t any more prescient, as a rule, than entrepreneurs or designers or anyone else with an interest in the zeitgeist. It’s just a lot easier to describe a new technology—or any new idea, really—than it is to actually implement it, so writers sometimes get there first.

Sometimes, but not always."
conjurerers  invention  predictions  food  2012  fiction  writing  bagels  robinsloan 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Beyond Prediction - Charlie's Diary
"The fact is that if I've learned one thing in two years of studying how we think about the future, it's that the one thing that's sorely lacking in the public imagination is positive ideas about where we should be going. We seem to do everything about our future except try to design it. It's a funny thing: nobody ever questions your credentials if you predict doom and destruction. But provide a rosy picture of the future, and people demand that you justify yourself. Increasingly, though, I believe that while warning people of dire possibilities is responsible, providing them with something to aspire to is even more important. The foresight programme has given me a lot of tools to do that in a justifiable way, so I might as well use them."
forecasting  innovation  future  doomandgloom  predictions  design  optimism  hope  planning  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Technium: Your Two Things
"…2 devices each person will carry are one general purpose combination device, & one specialized device (per your major interests & style)…

At the same time the attraction of a totem object, or something to hold in your hands, particularly a gorgeous object, will not diminish. We may remain w/ one single object that we love, that does most of what we need okay, & that in some ways comes to represent us. Perhaps the highly evolved person carries one distinctive object—which will be buried w/ them when they die.

…I don't think we'll normally carry more than a couple of things at once, on an ordinary day. The # of devices will proliferate, but each will occupy a smaller & smaller niche. There will be a long tail distribution of devices.

50 yrs from now a very common ritual upon meeting of old friends will be the mutual exchange & cross examination of what lovely personal thing they have in their pocket or purse. You'll be able to tell a lot about a person by what they carry."
kevinkelly  totems  possessions  evocativeobjects  objects  devices  future  predictions  technology  specialization  generalpurpose  combinationdevices  beauty  2011  specialists 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Brain on Trial - Magazine - The Atlantic
"Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order."

"Neuroscience is beginning to touch on questions that were once only in the domain of philosophers and psychologists, questions about how people make decisions and the degree to which those decisions are truly “free.” These are not idle questions. Ultimately, they will shape the future of legal theory and create a more biologically informed jurisprudence. "
science  psychology  philosophy  behavior  biology  crime  punishment  nature  nurture  naturenurture  davideagleman  2011  mentalillness  mentalhealth  brain  impulsivity  impulse-control  adolescence  incarceration  adolescents  law  legal  future  forwardthinking  thinking  somnambulism  social  socialpolicy  rehabilitation  neuroscience  criminality  recidivism  predictions  data  brainchemistry  pathology  pathologies  tourettes  alzheimers  schizophrenia  mania  depression  murder  blame  blameworthiness  capitalpunishment  logic  freewill  will  jurisprudence 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Really Smart Phone - WSJ.com
"Researchers are harvesting a wealth of intimate detail from our cellphone data, uncovering the hidden patterns of our social lives, travels, risk of disease—even our political views."
mobile  phones  cellphones  data  statistics  predictablity  health  predictions  research  2011  politics  policy  movement  travel  behavior  society  psychology  socialcontagion  robertleehotz  mit  alexpentland  humandynamiclaboratory  sms  texting  twitter  communication  happiness  smartphones  socialnetworks 
april 2011 by robertogreco
This Ain’t Your Parent’s Future Johnny Holland – It's all about interaction
"Historically, we have attempted to wrap up the future in tight, neatly explained packages. I propose we let go of those controlling urges. Drop the hubris act. Forget about having any authority over the future. If we are able to embrace the ambiguity of the future, break through current structures, think beyond contemporary logic, and work outside of predictable contexts, the future has a real chance – not just of providing us with faster, smaller, sexier gizmos, but of actually being a better place than today."
future  futurism  designfiction  authority  hubris  control  ambiguity  technology  predictions  context  retrofuture  risk  funding  communication  practicality  arthurcclarke  scifi  sciencefiction  transportation  sethsnyder 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Jonah Lehrer on Problems With SATs, GREs, the NFL Combine and Other Performance Tests | Head Case - WSJ.com
"Though the SAT does a decent job of predicting the grades of college freshmen—the test accounts for about 12% of the individual variation in grade point average—it is much less effective at predicting levels of achievement after graduation. Professional academic tests suffer from the same flaw. A study by the University of Michigan Law School, for instance, found that LSAT scores bore virtually no relationship to career success as measured by levels of income, life satisfaction or public service."

"The reason maximal measures are such bad predictors is rooted in what these tests don't measure. It turns out that many of the most important factors for life success are character traits, such as grit and self-control, and these can't be measured quickly."

"The larger lesson is that we've built our society around tests of performance that fail to predict what really matters: what happens once the test is over."
education  teaching  testing  gre  sat  standardizedtesting  2011  jonahlehrer  tcsnmy  whatmatters  predictions  measurement  well-being  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  assessment  recommendations  learning  perseverance  self-control  nfl 
april 2011 by robertogreco
New Statesman - The search for meaning. J G Ballard's vision of the world is unsurpassed in its clairvoyant exactitude. His latest despatch from the near future is as bleak and beautiful as ever, writes John Gray
"filling stations or high rises, flyovers or shopping malls … Wrenched from routine perception, they become as mysterious as Stonehenge. … Heathrow Airport is "a beached sky-city, half space station and half shantytown". Dust on a coffee table is "a nimbus that seemed like an ectoplasmic presence, a parallel world with its own memories and regrets". … Experimenting with science fiction, quasi-autobiographic realism and, more recently, the thriller, he has given us a rendition of the contemporary scene that is unsurpassed in its clairvoyant exactitude. In Crash, he announced the marriage of celebrity and sudden death that, more than a quarter-century later, was to give us the Diana cult. … Millennium People dissects the perverse psychology that links terrorists with their innocent victims. This is news from the near future, another despatch from one of the supreme chroniclers of our time."
via:preoccupations  jgballard  2003  books  toread  predictions  johngray  bookreviews  nearfuture  sciencefiction  scifi  millenniumpeople 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Alex Payne — A Thought on Communication
"Our text-based environment, w/ its countless abbreviations & emoticons & bits of slang, has come us to define us culturally. For those suffering RSI, the constant output & input streams of text have even come to define us physically.<br />
<br />
This is where we are today. In short, text rules, & if you can write effectively (as distinct from writing well), you rule too…<br />
<br />
Your children will know a very different way of relating to people who are not physically present. It will change the way they work, maintain friendships, relate to family members, fall in love, & experience the world. It will change their sense of self, & self-worth. It may be a boon, or it may be harmful. Most likely, it’ll be a bit of both, because after all, it’s still about people.<br />
My generation will be at something of a loss when this new world comes about… [Unable to] compete with the telepresence-native adults that the children of today will grow up to be."
communication  alexpayne  predictions  future  video  speakularity  text  writing  telepresence  beauty  aesthetics  human  people  society  digitalnatives 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Abnormal Use: Views of 2011 From 1931
"Ford, writing in 1931, just two years after the stock market crash, predicted that we as a nation might focus more on the intangibles of life than the bottom line:

"We shall go over our economic machine and redesign it, not for the purpose of making something different than what we have, but to make the present machine do what we have said it could do. After all, the only profit of life is life itself, and I believe that the coming eighty years will see us more successful in passing around the real profit of life. The newest thing in the world is the human being. And the greatest changes are to be looked for in him.""
henryford  1931  predictions  2011  future  history  economics  well-being 
december 2010 by robertogreco
What happens next? « Prospect Magazine
"The revolutions of the future will appear in forms we don’t even recognise—in a language we can’t read. We will be looking out for twists on the old themes but not noticing that there are whole new conversations taking place. Just imagine if all the things about which we now get so heated meant nothing to those who follow us—as mysteriously irrelevant as the nuanced distinctions between anarcho-syndicalism and communist anarchism. At least we can hope for that. As the cybernetician Stafford Beer once said to me: “If we can understand our children, we’re all screwed.” So revel in your mystification and read it as a sign of a healthy future. Whatever happens next, it won’t be what you expected. If it is what you expected, it isn’t what’s happening next."
technology  culture  future  facebook  music  brianeno  generations  predictions  futures  staffordbeer 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Cars (again) - Charlie's Diary
"By around 2050, I'm fairly sure that the human-driven automobile will be a specialised race-track toy for gear-heads, much as horse-drawn carriages in the developed world are a quaint hobby or a deliberate affectation demanded by certain cultural groups (I'm thinking Amish here). Privately owned cars will exist, but will function more like a chauffeur-driven limo. They won't even need to be parked by your house; whistle and it'll come when you need it. Poor folks won't have their own car, they'll just have fractional reserve part-ownership of a vehicle — after all, even at peak rush hour, 95% of the UK vehicle fleet is parked up; we don't need one car per person, we just need available wheels whenever we want to go somewhere. By 2110, I figure driving a manually-controlled car around will be looked on the way we'd look on someone carrying a sword in public; at best it's a weird and archaic affectation, and at worst — call the police!"
cars  future  travel  robots  technology  cities  trains  transportation  transit  driving  2050  2010  charliestross  predictions 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Jonah Lehrer's Head Case Column on Punditry - WSJ.com
"The dismal performance of experts inspired Mr. Tetlock to turn his case study into an epic experimental project. He picked 284 people who made their living "commenting or offering advice on political & economic trends," including journalists, foreign policy specialists, economists & intelligence analysts, & began asking them to make predictions. Over the next 2 decades, he peppered them w/ questions: Would George Bush be re-elected? Would apartheid in South Africa end peacefully? Would Quebec secede from Canada? Would the dot-com bubble burst? In each case, the pundits rated the probability of several possible outcomes. By the end of the study, Mr. Tetlock had quantified 82,361 predictions.

How did the experts do? When it came to predicting the likelihood of an outcome, the vast majority performed worse than random chance. In other words, they would have done better picking their answers blindly out of a hat. Liberals, moderates & conservatives were all equally ineffective."
jonahlehrer  experts  forecasting  politics  psychology  predictions 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Yahoo Builds the Nostradamus of Search Engines | Fast Company
"Bold predictions are made every day. We'll reduce our carbon emissions by 50% in 20 years, boast business leaders. No, make that 80% in 15 years. We'll cut the deficit in half by 2015, pandering politicians claim. That leaves us with dozens of conflicting estimates and ballpark figures that are soon forgotten. It's hard to hold experts to their predictions, but that could all change soon thanks to an experimental search engine from Yahoo.

Developed by the company's Barcelona research lab, Time Explorer is a search engine for the past, present, & future. Results are displayed on a timeline that stretches years back *& forward. Move your mouse over the future part of the timeline, & you get predictions for what was supposed to happen in that year from as much as 20 years ago. For example, the timeline for "North Korea" lets us know that the rogue state should have developed some 200 nuclear warheads--according to an inaccurate op-ed in the NY Times by Nicholas Kristof in 2004."
yahoo  search  future  past  present  predictions  2010  accuracy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Max Headroom predicted my job, 20 years before it existed
"The entire 80s cyberpunk Max Headroom TV series is available today on DVD, and one of the pleasures of rewatching the series is discovering how many things it got right about the future."
1980s  cyberpunk  future  futurism  io9  maxheadroom  television  tv  predictions  technology  journalism  sciencefiction  media  scifi  punk  1988  1987  annaleenewitz  ratings  instant-ratings  4chan  piratevideo  mediahacking  security  2010 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Bassett Blog 2010/05: Disruptive Realities (Part I)
"Exacerbating that reality is that while the boomers’ priorities of an intellectually stimulating environment, the opportunity to give back to the world, and autonomy regarding work tasks were a slam dunk for independent schools, those values don’t appear on the “top ten” list of Millennials. Rather our young protégés expect quick and early prospects for advancement and a steady rate of promotion. This in the context of their expecting to change jobs frequently and in a work environment that has had only one advancement option: leave the classroom to become an administrator. Thus, demography of the workplace will require from school leaders a more complex and flexible environment to keep the natives happy and productive.
patbassett  nais  generations  leadership  tcsnmy  education  independentschools  schools  future  predictions  enrollment  demographics  management  administration  flexibility  work 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Apple iPad Is For Old People - Apple ipad old people - Gizmodo
"My prediction: Within 2 years you will be reading articles describing how it was obvious - with hindsight - that the iPad would be a hit with aging baby boomers. But who needs hindsight when you have Ultimi Barbarorum?"
ipad  geriatriccomputing  education  simplicity  apple  predictions 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The WELL: Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2010
"you've treated your future as an "unpredictable lurching thing" & now you're all morose about that...your generation CREATED that situation! Ever heard of "disruptive innovation," "disintermediation," "offshoring," "small pieces loosely joined," "de-monetization," "plug & play," "the network as a platform"?...Guys w/ stacks of gold bars & working oil wells don't have stability! Much less guys like you...want some security? Demand government housing subsidies & guaranteed minimum income! They bailed out every broke mogul...might as well bail out civil population...You're Canadian always in Cali married to Briton always in Japan...you're not gonna "end up" anywhere. Forget about that...you have made your mobile bed...lie in it."..."coherent picture of your future."...imagine you're 3yo. You want to give your Dad, back in 1974, a coherent picture of 2010...something very actionable, lucid & practical...tell me what you oughta tell him about 2010, back in 1974. Use words of 1 syllable"
brucesterling  corydoctorow  2010  futurology  futurism  future  politics  business  media  environment  predictions  china  brasil  nomads  neo-nomads  technology  society  culture  commentary  google  world  life  intelligence  fear  pessimism  optimism  jonlebkowsky  jamaiscascio  brazil 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Futurist Richard Watson's predictions for 2010 - Speakers Corner
"Constant partial stupidity ... Digital isolation ... Hunger for shared experiences ... Flight to the physical ... Expecting less ... Conspicuous non-consumption ... Unsupervised adults ... Localism ... Re-sourcing ... Fear fatigue" + "Ten things on the way out: Dining rooms, Letter writing on paper, Paper statements and bills, Optimism about the future, Individual responsibility, Intimacy, Humility, Concentration, Retirement, Privacy"
future  libraries  predictions  2010  richardwatson  fear  human  multitasking  conspicuousconsumption  consumption  frugality  outsourcing  localism  isolation  social  twitter  sharedexperience  physical  books  distraction  attention  non-consumption  postconsumerism  re-sourcing  paper  optimism  responsibility  safety  health  comfort  greed  loneliness  via:TheLibrarianEdge 
january 2010 by robertogreco
TeachPaperless: 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020
1. Desks 2. Language Labs 3. Computers 4. Homework 5. The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions 6. Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher 7. Fear of Wikipedia 8. Paperbacks 9. Attendance Offices 10. Lockers. 11. IT Departments 12. Centralized Institutions 13. Organization of Educational Services by Grade 14. Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology 15. Paid/Outsourced Professional Development 16. Current Curricular Norms 17. Parent-Teacher Conference Night 18. Typical Cafeteria Food 19. Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering 20. High School Algebra I 21. Paper [At TCSNMY we've done a lot of this, but still need to work on: 4-slowly, 5-kinda, but need more parent ed, 8-need better screens, 12-slowly, 13-need lots of parent ed, 15-getting there, 17-not sure I agree (we do student-parent-teacher conferences), 20, 21-slowly making progress]"

[Update: http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2010/06/get-real.html ]
education  21stcenturylearning  leadership  learning  technology  future  teaching  change  innovation  2009  elearning  edtech  predictions  knowledge  ideas  2020  trends  tcsnmy  shellyblake-pock  21stcentury  21stcenturyskills  paperless  twitter 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Anthony Grafton on graduate school, and the uncertain nature of big decisions
"bigger problem that people & organizations face when thinking about future: we tend to confine our research to cases that are relatively easy to find & look only at successes, not at failures. Getting a handle on that space-- or at least a more realistic appreciation of likelihood of unexpected happening-- is one of the toughest things you can do...After all, success is what we want & it's easy to understand; failure is what we want to avoid & people fail for all sorts of unpredictable reasons. Success if what a strategy, good decision or first-rate school can bring you; failure is what'll happen if you don't get those things. We don't explore the possibility that we could get those things, execute properly & still not reach our goal; but it happens all the time. Success, we think, is comprehensible & predictable; failure is random, or something that'll happen to others. But in reality, we're probably going to end up one of those others. We're better off if we know that in advance."
success  failure  planning  future  parenting  education  gradschool  learning  academia  schools  tcsnmy  blackswans  unpredictability  predictablity  alexsoojung-kimpang  predictions  organizations  behavior  psychology 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - Learning How to Think - NYTimes.com
"The predictions of experts were, on average, only a tiny bit better than random guesses — the equivalent of a chimpanzee throwing darts at a board.
crowdsourcing  predictions  learning  culture  expertise  credentials  politics  knowledge  experts  psychology  accountability  foxes  hedgehogs 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Welcome | The Signtific Lab | Massively Multiplayer Thought Experiments
"The Signtific Lab is a public laboratory for developing and sharing cutting edge ideas about the future of science and technology. We invite scientists, engineers, designers, developers, researchers,
signtific  predictions  convergence  multiplayer  arg  research  games  education  technology  future  science  innovation  collaboration  space  community  crowdsourcing  experiment  ideas 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Facebook in 2010: no longer a walled garden - O'Reilly Radar
"My prediction is that by the end of the year Facebook will become the most open social network on the social web. I believe that not only have they now found business value in doing so, but also truly believe that the next phase of their mission, "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" requires that they do so. This means that anyone building a business based on the notion that Facebook will remain a walled garden and won't adapt - as was true with traditional media when blogging came about - will have their world turned upside down this year. Disagree if you like, but my second argument is that if Facebook does not seriously embrace these ideas this year that their current position of dominance will be usurped."
facebook  open  openid  authentication  predictions  socialnetworking  google  socialnetworks  socialmedia  walledgardens  oreilly  business  myspace 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Seed: 2009 Will Be a Year of Panic: From the fevered mind of Bruce Sterling and his alter-ego, Bruno Argento, a consideration of things ahead.
"So 2009 will be a squalid year, a planetary hostage situation surpassing any mere financial crisis, where the invisible hand of the market, a good servant turned a homicidal master, periodically wanders through a miserable set of hand-tied, blindfolded, feebly struggling institutions, corporations, bureaucracies, professions, and academies, and briskly blows one's brains out for no sane reason."
brucesterling  brunoargento  future  2009  currency  disaster  predictions  business  environment  world  seed  panic  climate  copyright  futurism  economics  politics  money  collapse  crisis  insurance  science  intellectualproperty  culture 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Responding to HTC Experiments « Javierest
"As far as I could tell, the writing above seems to implicate your colleagues within the history discipline, so I won’t assume that they should apply to geography (or anthropology, sociology, architecture…; some clarification in that regard would be certainly welcome). Nevertheless, I also think that once we start throwing up these disciplinary boundaries, then we might as well forget about experiments in any discipline. What else might experimental geography or experimental htc be if it doesn’t somehow borrow from others. (As an example, what else is Trevor Paglen’s own brand of geography if not some creative borrowing from traditions of landscape representation, ethnography, and performance)."
javierarbona  architecture  futurism  predictions  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  science  socialsciences  trevorpaglen 
january 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Weekend / Reportage - An imaginary retrospective of 2009
"It was the year when people finally gave up trying to predict the year ahead. It was the year when every forecast had to be revised – usually downwards – at least three times. It was the year when the paradox of globalisation was laid bare for all to see, if their eyes weren’t tightly shut." ... "With total debt above 350 per cent of US gross domestic product, the excesses of the age of leverage proved difficult to purge. Households reined in their consumption. Banks sought to restrict new lending. The recession deepened. Unemployment rose towards 10 per cent, and then higher. The economic downward spiral seemed unstoppable. No matter how hard they saved, Americans simply could not stabilise the ratio of their debts to their disposable incomes. The paradox of thrift meant that rising savings translated into falling consumer demand, which led to rising unemployment, falling incomes and so on, ever downwards."
2009  predictions  barackobama  markets  finance  recession  economics  globalization  future  greatrepression 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Haim Harari - At Last: Technology Will Change Education - Edge World Question Center 2009
"How come the richest person on the globe is not someone who had a brilliant idea about using technology for bringing education to the billions of school children of the world? I do not know the complete answer to this question. A possible guess is that in other fields you can have "quickies" but not in education. The time scale of education is decades, not quarters. Another possible guess is that, in education, you must mix the energy and creativity of the young with the wisdom and experience of the older, while in other areas, the young can do it fast and without the baggage of the earlier generations." ... "So, my game-changing hope and prediction is that, finally, something significant will change on this front. The time is ripe. A few novel ideas, aided by technologies that did not exist until recently, and based on humanistic values, on compassion and on true desire to extend help to the uneducated majority of the earth population, can do the trick."
education  technology  future  change  2009  edge  gamechanging  predictions  edtech  world  lcproject  tcsnmy 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Archinect : Views : Victory Gardens, or the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Architecture
"It will stop soon since cities are about to have their turn. Get ready for the great urban collapse of 2009-2010. Cities are massively overbuilt and, with the financial collapse, just as massively underfunded. ... I wager that architects will expand the discipline again by using their incredible synthetic knowledge to go into other fields. The Eameses’ venture into media design is a great illustration of this. Charles and Ray turned to media because it allowed them to get their concepts across to people much more rapidly and efficiently than architecture could. Or take Archinect for example. It’s vastly more important than any of the buildings made in the last decade. That’s why it’s no accident that I teach at Columbia: Dean Wigley’s has set out Columbia’s program as being to create “the expanded architect.” That’s exactly what we should be doing."
kazysvarnelis  architecture  future  recession  meltdown  infrastructure  design  collapse  2009  predictions  urban  urbanism  everyware  adamgreenfield  archinect  eames  unbuilt 
december 2008 by robertogreco
TNH FTW! A final post and a question for you. - Boing Boing
"what do you think you know about the future that few other people understand yet? What's going to happen in the next five years or so that will catch most of the rest of us by surprise, but not you?" See the comments (spotty as they may be), including this one: "I think the college system will collapse. I'm right in the middle of it now, and dorm life was never meant to be lived on this scale, or for this length of time. Fewer people are finishing in four years, and colleges building "upscale" dorms set absurd residency requirements just so they can make their money back. ... Schools are becoming financial institutions, and students are being driven into the psych floors of hospitals in alarming numbers because of it. To the schooling business, we're livestock, not learners. We are market statistics and target demographics. We are profit margins. And someday, we're going to realize our degrees were cheapened by their yuppy greed."
predictions  clayshirky  boingboing  colleges  universities  dystopia  future  futurism 
december 2008 by robertogreco
RGE - The world is at severe risk of a global systemic financial meltdown and a severe global depression
"The crisis was caused by the largest leveraged asset bubble and credit bubble in the history of humanity were excessive leveraging and bubbles were not limited to housing in the US but also to housing in many other countries and excessive borrowing by financial institutions and some segments of the corporate sector and of the public sector in many and different economies: an housing bubble, a mortgage bubble, an equity bubble, a bond bubble, a credit bubble, a commodity bubble, a private equity bubble, a hedge funds bubble are all now bursting at once in the biggest real sector and financial sector deleveraging since the Great Depression."
nourielroubini  economics  globalization  capitalism  crisis  2008  predictions  banking  greatdepression  markets  finance  government  policy  politics  global  world  blackswans 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Design Engaged 2008: inflated deflated futures
"I gave a presentation called “inflated deflated futures” about a phenomenon that fascinates me: failed futures and the underlying causes for mistaken predictions and visions for the future. You can find the slides and notes of my talk in slideshare. Julian addressed similar issues in his Design Fiction presentation. The talk was, sort of, a structured rant against failed futures. I tried to collect some examples of “failed futures” (which correspond to failed products) as well the causes of these issues. What I mean by failure is generally the lack of adoption for a great idea, more or less feasible technically speaking."
nicolasnova  futures  future  futurism  predictions  technology  design  failure  julianbleecker  alvintoffler 
october 2008 by robertogreco
The world needs more foxes and fewer hedgehogs [via: http://askpang.typepad.com/relevant_history/2008/08/foxes-hedgehogs.html see also: http://askpang.typepad.com/relevant_history/2008/08/berlin-on-hedge.html]
"Hedgehogs fit what they learn into a world view. Foxes improvise explanations case by case...world needs both but today needs fewer hedgehogs, more foxes...some pundits are better than others...A little knowledge is helpful. Dilettantes...do much better than...[those] who based their judgment on one-page summary of issues. But experts have little advantage over dilettantes...Bad forecasters are consulted more frequently than good ones...more famous the expert, the worse his prognostications...Foxes are better at prediction than hedgehogs because they derive information from many sources, adjust views in line with events, see a range of perspectives on each situation. Hedgehogs have one clear view, seek evidence that confirms that view, have ready explanations for apparent failures of foresight...Effective management teams include both hedgehogs & foxes...modern tendency to appoint hedgehogs and allow them to surround themselves by like-minded hedgehogs is so dangerous"
decisionmaking  predictions  pundits  politics  policy  opinion  analysis  business  journalism  futurism 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Taleb's "fooled by randomness"
Nassim Taleb: "I prefer to read poetry. If an event is important enough, it will find its way to my ear...explains why it is better to read the New yorker on Mondays than the Wall Street Journal every morning..." + Nicolas Nova: "reason why I walk around in cities or take so much trains: to have time to ruminate from different “information-filled” places: the internet, my apartment and newsstands+book-shops."
nassimtaleb  randomness  flow  information  predictions  news  attention  trading  bias  patterns  analysis  nicolasnova  blackswans 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the web | Video on TED.com
"At the 2007 EG conference, Kevin Kelly shares a fun stat: The World Wide Web, as we know it, is only 5,000 days old. Now, Kelly asks, how can we predict what's coming in the next 5,000 days?"
onemachine  kevinkelly  via:grahamje  spimes  ubicomp  internet  ubiquitous  cloudcomputing  cloud  brain  convergence  digital  ai  semanticweb  future  futurism  predictions  technology  ted  statistics  data  email  communication  computing  computers  trends  media  web  networks 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Saffo: journal - Since the mid-1980s, my mantra for this process is “strong opinions, weakly held....Allow your intuition to guide you to a conclusion, no matter how imperfect -- this is the “strong opinion” part. ”
"...Then --and this is the “weakly held” part-- prove yourself wrong. Engage in creative doubt. Look for information that doesn’t fit, or indicators that pointing in an entirely different direction."
forecasting  future  futurism  opinion  paulsaffo  predictions  flexibility  creativity  information  decisiveness 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Superstruct! Play the game, invent the future. | The Institute For The Future [FAQ: http://www.iftf.org/node/2096 Also: http://www.openthefuture.com/2008/07/superstruct_play_the_game_inve.html]
"This fall, IftF invites you to play Superstruct, world’s 1st massively multiplayer forecasting game...not just about envisioning future...about inventing it. Everyone is welcome...Watch for opening volley of threats & survival stories, September 2008."
janemcgonigal  mmog  arg  future  predictions  play  games  gaming  iftf  classideas  2008  simulations  futurology  superstruct  multiplayer 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: the prophet of boom and doom
"When this man said the world’s economy was heading for disaster, he was scorned. Now traders, economists, even Nasa, are clamouring to hear him speak"
economics  risk  nassimtaleb  blackswans  via:blackbeltjones  sociology  interviews  religion  belief  health  diet  exercise  math  statistics  predictions  science  probability 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - Unthinkable Futures - "Believing in the improbable is quickly becoming a survival skill."
List of outrageous (for then, not all now) scenarios imagined by Kevin Kelly & Brian Eno in 1993 including several some school related: "American education works" "Schools abandon attempt to teach 3 Rs" "Schools completely abandon divisions based on age"
predictions  blackswans  nassimtaleb  kevinkelly  brianeno  future  futurism  gamechanging  flexibility  adaptability  survival  education  schools  learning  games  play  human  society  politics  history  technology  children  parenting  skills  teaching  classideas  lcproject  change 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - Digital Things I've Been Wrong About
"o one can always be right about what will work because the number of variables determining success are too high...This inherent uncertainty about success is what makes life so interesting."
future  predictions  kevinkelly  history  digital  success  forecasting 
april 2008 by robertogreco
.CSV » group think
"Now, new equations describing “crowd dynamics” are about to change our lives. And not always for the better. This is one of the most significant technology trends I have seen in years; it may also be one of the most pernicious."
behavior  personalinformatics  surveillance  systems  technology  psychology  simulations  social  society  government  crowds  perception  predictions  politics  culture  sociology  collaboration  software  modeling  socialsoftware 
april 2008 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Technology | Arthur C Clarke: predictions
"The imagination of the science fiction author Sir Arthur C Clarke bubbled over with ideas about the future of science, technology and human society. Here, BBC science and technology staff look at some that came true, and some that did not."
future  science  predictions  scifi  sciencefiction  arthurcclarke  history 
march 2008 by robertogreco
This Blog Sits at the: Assumption hunters, a new consulting business?
"ferret out the assumptions. Hire someone to go through the operation of daily business and capture every assumption...identify the parts of the world that could present challenges...Keep watch with a big board."
management  philosophy  innovation  strategy  business  organizations  administration  leadership  predictions  future  sustainability  grantmccracken 
march 2008 by robertogreco
10 Best Science Fiction Movies Ever – Most Prophetic Sci-Fi Films - Popular Mechanics
"In [Arthur C. Clarkes's] honor, PM’s resident geek and sci-fi buff analyzes the most eerily predictive, prescient films of the future. They’re not necessarily the best movies—just the ones that got the science right, or will sometime soon."
scifi  film  predictions  sciencefiction  future  futurism  history 
march 2008 by robertogreco
The age of the anti-Cassandra - Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog
"our public discourse is dominated by people who have been wrong about everything — but are still, mysteriously, treated as men of wisdom, whose judgments should be believed. Those who were actually right about the major issues of the day can’t get a
culture  media  journalism  politics  predictions  society  housingbubble  subprime  war  iraq  economics 
march 2008 by robertogreco
IBM sounds death knell for desktop | News | TechRadar.com
"Virtual Workplace will become the rule; IM & and other real-time collaboration tools will become norm, bypass e-mail; "Beyond Phone Calls to Collaborative Business Processes"; Interoperability & Open Standards; "New meeting models emerge"
future  predictions  business  computing  virtualworlds  work  IBM  via:preoccupations  mobile  phones  computers  communication  collaboration 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Technology Review: TR10: Modeling Surprise
"Combining massive quantities of data, insights into human psychology, and machine learning can help manage surprising events, says Eric Horvitz."
ai  artificial  chaos  collective  psychology  predictions  serendipity  datamining  forecasting  future  futurism  innovation  visualization  intelligence  modeling  technology  statistics  probability  bayesian 
march 2008 by robertogreco
12 Future Apps For Your iPhone - ReadWriteWeb: Reality Tagging, People Tagging, Reality Recognition, Physical Social Networks...
...Personalized Travel Guides, Digital & Physical Treasure Hunt, Distributed Mobile Games, Credit Card & Biometrics as Software, Paperless Receipts & Digital Business Cards, Medical records as Software, Physical Browsing & Digital Shopping, Location/time-
iphone  future  applications  predictions  ubicomp  mobile  phones  software  apple  trends  socialmedia  gaming  findability  ios 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Technology Review: TR10: Modeling Surprise
"Combining massive quantities of data, insights into human psychology, and machine learning can help manage surprising events, says Eric Horvitz."
microsoft  predictions  simulations  traffic  transportation  urban  blackswans  context-awareness  nassimtaleb 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - Tools for Big Love
"best predictor of longevity for system...not to inspect business model but answer: Do the people who like the place/building/system/product take care of each other? Not just object of veneration but mutual care of fans? Do they run on love?"
organizations  management  lcproject  schools  design  business  longevity  longnow  kevinkelly  clayshirky  economics  love  society  web  internet  social  community  gamechanging  predictions  schooldesign  mission  administration  leadership 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - The Kitchen Computer
"I believe in a few years electronic manufacturers -- maybe Apple -- will aim devices for the incredibly rich social space of the kitchen. In the meantime, everyone should set one up in the heart of the home. Online is a family affair."
kevinkelly  kitchen  homes  social  families  computers  future  predictions  sharing  video  conversation  online  internet  web  parenting  projectors 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Bitpipes and Mobile World Congress: History does not remember the builders of the Silk Road - only it’s travellers and it’s traders ..
"The three things which will make an impact last year and this year are: Open source on mobile devices, social networks and the browser...And Bit pipes? Think silk roads and the historical, social and technical trends that influence it!"
via:blackbeltjones  infrastructure  mobile  trends  phones  opensource  socialnetworks  history  business  communication  2008  predictions  gamechanging  change  browser  browsers 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Notes about foresight/environmental scanning
""Any truly useful idea about the futures should first seem to be ridiculous.”: The idea that airplanes would carry people, the fall of the berlin wall, paying bottled water"
change  reform  future  predictions  gamechanging  unschooling  deschooling  futurism  learning 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » Eight things I think I think
"5. Our whole economic system will be reinvented around the correct assumption that people do not create for money but for fun. 7. Entrepreneurs will equal adventurers. 8. Presence applications will impact sociality in a negative way."
economics  creativity  online  internet  ambientintimacy  presence  communication  future  predictions  google  politics  work  divorce  mobile  phones  society  behavior  celebrity  entrepreneurship 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Lumpers and Splitters
"In every classification scheme...those who tend to find similarities & lump smaller groups into larger...those who find differences...split larger groups into smaller...Sometimes lumpers prevail or splitters...rare moments of revolution mixer-uppers prev
classification  taxonomy  change  biology  technology  singularity  future  predictions  kevinkelly  species 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - The Future Doesn't Matter
"But then something weird happened in the first few years of this decade. The pace of change became so fast that it outpaced contemplation. The future became harder to predict, and exhausting to keep track of."
scifi  sciencefiction  future  futurism  predictions  kevinkelly  williamgibson  phillipkdick  nealstephenson  writing  literature  change  technology  society  contemplation  thinking 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - Sanctuaries of Disconnection
"Connectivity now so cheap, pervasive, democratic, common...will be small movement among individualists, trend-setters, early adopters to disconnect...renowned personage...rejects cell phones, email, and is available ONLY face to face."
kevinkelly  predictions  future  connectivity  mobile  phones  internet  web  online  wifi  sanctuary  scarcity  disconnection 
january 2008 by robertogreco
the fancy legged man (14 January, 2008, Interconnected)
"2008 is the year we hit Peak Attention...consequences of living post-Peak Attention? Nobody will be able to understand anything hard unless they make sacrifices."
attention  media  information  advertising  mattwebb  2008  society  technology  predictions  future  networks  memory  cognition  thinking  gamechanging  productivity  trends 
january 2008 by robertogreco
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