Blogs

For Life to Exist As We Know It, A Planet Needs to Rotate and Needs Oceans

Without the ocean Earth would be a pretty inhospitable place even though we lie within our Sun's Goldilocks Zone. Those of you who live by the ocean can probably figure out why that is the case. You see the ocean is a temperature moderator and a heat transport mechanism that evens out the climate across the planet.

When Military Technologies Don't Work as Planned

The horror of 298 lives snuffed out by a missile is reverberating around the planet this week after last Thursday's downing of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777. How could missile technology meant to shoot down warplanes get used to destroy a civilian aircraft?

Kentucky Carbon Capture Installation Opens - Will This One Work?

I remain skeptical about the economics of industrial technologies for carbon capture. Almost every project started has been heavily subsidized by government. But for the operators without government subsidy there seems to be no return on investment. First of all, all existing industrial carbon capture technologies are expensive to implement.

When Everyone Becomes Blackmailable

On a recent driving trip, my wife and I became immersed in the audio version of one of Tom Clancy’s last novels, titled “Threat Vector.” Without giving away too much of the plot, a Chinese super-geek villain has hatched a plan to hack into our most secure networks and blackmail people with their darkest secrets to subversively cause chaos and disruption for the American government.

Work and the Future: Who Will? Who Won't?

If you work for the post office these days then you already have an inkling of what the 21st century will do to many jobs. Texting, email, and mobile connectivity have forever altered the way we communicate. How many of us still write letters on paper and mail them?

Studying Earth's History Reveals a Past Mystery About Our Atmosphere and the Evolution of Life

Some of you who know me personally know that in my formative years I started studying geophysics in university before a physical accident laid me up for more than a year and I in an epiphany changed my major to Islamic Studies and Medieval History. So I was both a science and history nerd all at the same time. Well nothing has changed.

The Futurist

In the July-August 2014 (Vol. 48, No. 4) Issue:

  • Looking at the Future through a Cartoonist’s Eyes
  • Visualizing the Future
  • Technolife of Romeo and Juliet in 2035
  • Terra Nova: The Religious Quest for Tomorrow
  • Backing into Eden, Gardening The World: A Parable
  • Forest Futures in the Anthropocene: Can Trees and
    Humans Survive Together?
  • What Does Moore’s Law Mean For the Rest of Society?
  • Deconstructing the Future: Seeing beyond “Magic Wand” Predictions
  • Future View: Abandoning Ship Titanistad

Futurist Update

In the Current Issue:

  • New Camera Makes the Invisible Visible
  • Salamanders Demonstrate Possibilities for Human Cell
    Regrowth
  • Renewable-Energy Solution to Tanzania’s Water Troubles
  • WorldFuture 2014 Speakers White Papers
  • China’s Gender Imbalance Could Lead to More Social Problems
  • In Memoriam: Arnold Brown
  • The Future in the News
  • What's Hot in The Futurist magazine

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Interviews

Predictive—and Persuasive—Technology: an interview with Chris Surdak, author of Data Crush

Mobile and Web technologies are making more and more data about us consumers and our lifestyle habits available to businesses. And in growing degrees, businesses are finding ways to use the data to both predict and influence their customers’ buying decisions.

Ensuring More Food for All: An Interview with Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank

Subject(s):

As the world population grows, and as its resource bases shrink, producing enough food to feed the world becomes a steeper and steeper challenge. But the world’s small farms are up to the task, argues Danielle Nierenberg, president of the “food think tank” Food Tank.

The Future of Sharing

Living comfortably has always, to some extent, relied on owning many goods. But this is becoming less and less the case. A new worldwide “sharing economy," composed of startup ventures whose products consumers rent or share instead of own, is blossoming across the globe.

Reviews of New Books

Toxicity and Mobile Technologies

Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other WiFi-Age Devices
Image of Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do about It
Author(s): Martin Blank PhD
Publisher: Seven Stories Press (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 256 pages
List Price: $23.95

Mobile phones are incredibly useful, but what effects do they have on our long-term health? Martin Blank delves into this question and presents a heavily science-backed case for concern.

What We’ll Need to Know to Bounce Back from Armageddon

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
Image of The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
Author(s): Lewis Dartnell
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 352 pages
List Price: $27.95

What if a horrific global disaster brought civilization to an end? Lewis Dartnell, a BBC science correspondent and University of Leicester space research fellow, considers the aftermath of a worldwide catastrophe such as a nuclear war, a global pandemic brought on by a super-virus, or even an unusually intense coronal mass ejection from the Sun. All of these are very unlikely events, but all are destructive enough to lay waste to global commerce, electrical grids, and civic order around the world if they ever did come to pass. We had best have some survival action plans ready, just in case, he argues.

Making the Most of Our Brains

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
Image of The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
Author(s): Michio Kaku
Publisher: Doubleday (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 400 pages
List Price: $28.95

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has not only been exploring some of the deepest mysteries of science over the years—he co-founded the string field theory of the universe and its alleged parallel multiverses—but he’s also been breaking these mysteries down to lay audiences worldwide as a professor, radio show host, and author. In The Future of the Mind, he tells readers of the latest scientific discoveries of the human brain and the startling impacts that those discoveries could have for life as we know it.

Big Data Keeps Getting Bigger

Data Crush: How the Information Tidal Wave is Driving New Business Opportunities
Image of Data Crush: How the Information Tidal Wave is Driving New Business Opportunities
Author(s): Christopher Surdak
Publisher: AMACOM (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 288 pages
List Price: $27.95

Our world is awash in ever-growing amounts of data, ranging from detailed breakdowns of what consumers are buying to macro-scale indicators of which businesses are growing and why, notes technology consultant Christopher Surdak. He explores the driving forces behind the data accumulation and the tremendous opportunities that it offers to businesses and organizations, as well as to individual consumers who make an effort to utilize it.

Learn about the future of ...

Commerce

In an article appearing in the Midwest Energy News last week it was reported that IKEA was completing the building of a store in Merriam...

Earth

Without the ocean Earth would be a pretty inhospitable place even though we lie within our Sun's Goldilocks Zone. Those of you who live by the...

Futuring

Edward Cornish has served as the World Future Society’s lead visionary, founder, first President (1966-2004), and Editor of THE FUTURIST...

Humanity

In what is the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study on adolescent brains, researchers from the University of Vermont have developed a method of...

Sci/Tech

The horror of 298 lives snuffed out by a missile is reverberating around the planet this week after last Thursday's downing of a Malaysian...

Governance

Over breakfast this morning I got into a debate with a friend about threats to humanity in the near future. I argued that anthropomorphic...