Though some may argue that we rely too heavily on technofixes for all our problems, a variety of technological developments are in fact improving medicine and therapeutics, our health and overall physical well-being, and even our sex lives. But the authors in this issue suggest that one of the most important “breakthroughs” in medicine may be better communications and stronger partnerships between doctors and patients.
Learning from Our Mistakes
Things don’t always work out as we hope or plan. Take the Information Revolution, for example. When the Internet was rolled out, that Information Superhighway was supposed to open a global supermarket where everyone could sell more stuff to everyone else. We would all become more knowledgeable, thanks to free, open Web-based encyclopedias and resources, and we could all become famous authors without hassling with picky editors and publishers.
If you have taught, administered, or participated in a futuring course or program, THE FUTURIST magazine would like to hear from you! For its September-October 2014 issue, THE FUTURIST will compile articles, essays, and resources on the teaching and learning of futurism.
Best Predictions of the Year (and the Worst)
In the last issue of THE FUTURIST, the annual Outlook report offered a roundup of the year’s best forecasts appearing in our magazine. In this issue, we see what nonfuturists had to say about the future during 2013.
We were saddened to learn of the death of longtime World Future Society supporter Parker Rossman, an educator and early proponent of the global electronically networked knowledge society. He died on October 18 at the age of 94. (Read: Obituary courtesy of Parker Funeral Service.)
Rossman's work had been featured in THE FUTURIST magazine for a quarter of a century, from 1981 to 2006. Here is a transcript of his last feature article, "Beyond the Book," published in the January-February 2005 issue.
One of the concepts that futurists have been buzzing more about in recent years is the Internet of Things—the idea that interactive communication will extend beyond people and organizations to include objects communicating with each other. For instance, sensors buried on water pipelines would notify a city’s sanitation department if a leak may be imminent.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, but I’m more inclined to think the opposite is true: out of sight, out of mind. I am often startled when the landline phone on my desk rings, and then the caller wants to fax something to me. Fax? Do we still have a machine for that? Where is it?
It's great to be back in Chicago (as hot as it is) for another WorldFuture conference. This year we set our eyes on "the next horizon," the twenty-second century.
Preview of Things to Come in July! A WorldFuture Sneak Peek. For this issue of THE FUTURIST, we invited several of our 2013 conference participants to offer us a preview of their forthcoming presentations at WorldFuture 2013: Exploring the Next Horizon:
Editor's Query: Disappearing Futures. What is likely to be here today and gone tomorrow? Many things we once thought we couldn't live without are now hard to find even in antique shops. And not just "things," but institutions, values, resources, diseases, languages, and people have all come and gone from our lives.
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Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
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The Toronto-Dominion Bank, currently vying for the number one position in Canada, and a growing player in the United States, issued on April 14 a special report, Natural Catastrophes: A Canadian Economic Perspective. The document doesn't directly talk about climate change but it is inferred throughout. Instead, it talks about "weather conditions" and their socioeconomic impact.
Opportunity, the little Martian rover, continues to click after a decade on the planet's surface. It is a remarkable story that the technology continues to function providing new discoveries for scientists here on Earth. Opportunity's original mission along with its companion, Spirit, was for 90 days.
Biometrics has been hailed by some as a wonderful way of determining someone’s identity, and by others as a security mechanism that is far too easy to spoof. I generally fall in the second category. I don’t mind using it for simple unimportant things like turning on my tablet, on which I keep nothing sensitive, but so far I would never trust it as part of any system that gives access to my money or sensitive files.
Johnny Depp's new film Transcendence has had futurist fandoms in a lather for months.
April 17, 2014 - Yesterday my blog posting focused on NASA's efforts to involve the public in designing better oxygen recovery systems.
Now that most of our waking hours are spent using screens we’re visibly migrating into a digital world. Like other immigrants we want and expect better lives. New digital boundaries will let us step through the looking glass, control what’s on our screens and construct the digital lives we want — in a digital world that eliminates today’s limits.