In a recent post, the famous liberal economist Paul Krugman asks us to "[c]onsider for a moment a sort of fantasy technology scenario." Even for a fan of Krugman's writing like I am, the appearance of that word "scenario" should be chilling enough to those who know how often it portends think-tank non-thinking is on the way.
Insecurity Theater: How Futurological Existential-Risk Discourse Deranges Serious Technodevelopmental Deliberation
The BBC reports: The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) will study dangers posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change. The scientists said that to dismiss concerns of a potential robot uprising would be "dangerous".
A recent article over at io9 offers a rapid-fire scroll of lovely pictures of lovely gardens from Tivoli and Versailles to Suzhou and the Mehtab Bagh. The bright-green images are from Flickr, their vapid captions read like snippets from Wikipedia, but the ideological operation of the article (which may fancy itself "Bright Green") is pure, pernicious futurological bunkum.
When I was a kid it seemed like every refrigerator had a bottle of Thousand Island dressing in it.
Now, it seems nearly every refrigerator has a bottle of Ranch dressing in it.
Progress under consumer capitalism is marvelous and inexorable. Who knows what salad dressing will grace the refrigerators of the future?
Nobody thinks that pouring more sand onto a pile of sand -- or even pouring more abacuses onto a pile of abacuses -- is the least bit likely eventually to prompt the pile to "wake up" and become intelligent, even though the pile grows incomparably more complex the larger it grows.
There is quite an uproar among the cryonicists at the moment about Kim Suozzi, a young woman who is about to die from a fatal brain tumor and is seeking donations to fund a cryosuspension she irrationally wants but cannot afford on her own.
...Until, One Supposes, There Is Nobody Left To Buy Anything In A World Reduced To An Uninhabitable Cinder. You Know, for Profit!
Songwriter Gotye has released a YouTube re-mix of his ubiquitous hit "Somebody That I Used to Know" generated from YouTube clips of his fans doing their own covers of that hit. It is a mildly edifying clip, but seems to me far more interesting than the simple tribute we are being told it is, whether a tribute to Gotye's fans, a tribute to the YouTube utility that mediated and indispensably facilitated his fame, or a tribute to Kutiman's fabulous Thru-YOU project.
Students have been learning the basics of logic through the re-iteration of this syllogism for centuries.
A speech made by ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson at the Council on Foreign Relations last month has been attracting greater and greater attention as its implications sink in.
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Futurists: BetaLaunch, THE FUTURIST magazine's invention and idea expo, is entering its third year and will be part of the opening night event at WorldFuture 2013. We'll be updating you soon on the BetaLaunch winners that will be showcasing their startups and inventions this July in Chicago. Right now, we would like to catch you up on one of our alumni, the Cyberhero League, an anti-bulling, pro-future game platform that teaches responsibility, sustainability, and civic-mindedness.
Over many centuries, attempts have been made to get food production out of the cities. Produce comes from the land and is transported into the cities. In most western cities, abattoirs have disappeared. Markets are still there, but no longer have a central role in our shopping.
Star Trek Into Darkness: Eye candy for the amygdala. Yes, this is another Hollywood blockbuster depicting a dystopian future with big explosions and small innovations. However, the first ten minutes are worth the price of the ticket. I was pleasantly surprised to see J.J. Abrams using the Ancient Aliens theory and a huge wink to author Zecharia Sitchin's work in the opening scene located on the fictional (depending on who you ask) world of Nibiru.
Spray-on skin. Lab-grown ears. Human tissue grown in a petri dish. We're going deep into sci-fi territory (and it is already happening).
“Extropy” is celebrating its first quarter of a century. The idea was formally introduced as a philosophy of the future in 1988, and many things have happened from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. A new millennium has been born and the philosophy of extropy is well-suited for these new times of accelerating change, full of challenges and opportunities.
One definition of resilience is “the ability to cope with shocks and keep functioning in a satisfying way”. Resilience is about the self organizing capacity of systems. This means the ability to bounce back after disaster, or the ability to transform if a bad stage has happened.