Welcome to Outlook, the World Future Society’s annual roundup of thought-provoking forecasts, trends, and ideas. These brief items are drawn from articles and news stories originally appearing in THE FUTURIST.
The forecasts should not be interpreted as “predictions” of what the future will be like, but rather as glimpses of what may happen or proposals for what should happen. They are intended to provoke thought and inspire action. However, the opinions and ideas presented here are those of the authors or sources cited and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the World Future Society.
For more information about any of these forecasts, please refer to the original articles cited. — THE EDITORS
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March 6, 2014 - I am finally back from Florida and once again sifting through the content my web crawlers and affiliations with social networks that provide me with the fodder I turn into 21st Century Tech blog.
Seth MacFarlane, the multitasking comedian and creator of Family Guy, and other raunchy fare, happens also to be the driving force behind the new version of Carl Sagan's classic science show COSMOS, which will appear Sunday on Fox and simultaneously on other networks, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I know a number of the writers and producers who have striven to create something stunning, vivid and updated for the 21st Century.
The crisis in Ukraine shows the continued relevance of soft power. Weak in soft power, Russia turned to less effective means to get its way.
I’ve always loved ideas and I think it stems from the fact that I’ve had so many to choose from. But it wasn’t about the sheer number of ideas I got to play with. Rather it was finding that one truly remarkable gem, the golden epiphany, hiding in amongst the others.
Pundits have been wondering aloud what’s going to happen next in the Russia-Ukraine fiasco. For the answer, they might want to look beyond the two countries. What happened in Crimea could happen in many more hotspots throughout the 14 republics that once lived under Moscow rule.
Synthetic Biology and Other Benign Technologies that Could Have a Dark Side: Interview with Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh
Interview with Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Academic Project Manager at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology
How do you see the future in fifty years?
Fifty years is a long time frame. If we looked forward to the present day from 50 years in the past, there are some things that we could have predicted. For instance, global population growth and pressure on natural resources, water in particular. However, we couldn’t have predicted the global impact of the internet. My view is that there is likely to be something like that which will change things so predominantly – a potential technological wildcard.
I care about the environment just as greens are supposed to, but I see dogmatic, poorly thought through green policies as a big part of the problem facing the environment. With the greens as its friends, the Earth needs no enemies. Today, I read that solar companies are leaving Spain, where it is usually sunny, to come to the UK, where it usually isn’t, because our previous and existing governments were very keen to demonstrate their green credentials by subsidising solar power. This is obviously counter-productive, as are many other policies thought up by the green community.