foundation

Foundation

The Foundation trilogy by grandfather of futurism and former RAND corporation forefather, Isaac Asimov is a masterclass in playing the long game. If you want to understand foresight and strategy, you could do worse than to "waste" a weekend on this highly entertaining work of science fiction; almost like the Art of War, for nerds. … Continue reading Foundation

Generation Alpha, IQ, and the Bifurcation of Everything

Here's another question to throw into the heated (understatement of the year) debates around 1) the legality of abortion and 2) the validity of IQ scores. Ethical question: Should we encourage women to abort their low-IQ embryos?  Because now we can test for that in utero. How we answer that question, as individuals, as cultures, … Continue reading Generation Alpha, IQ, and the Bifurcation of Everything

Facial Justice

Facial Justice by LP Hartley is not a good book. In fact, I would say it is a pretty terrible book. Bad plot, bad characters, badly written. Yet, I am still featuring it here because the book's big idea is brilliant. Facial Justice imagines a not too distant future where women are forced to have … Continue reading Facial Justice

Atomised

Michel Houellebecq is clearly a polymath. In Atomised (a science fiction novel very cleverly disguised as serious prize-winning literary fiction) he demonstrates his wide ranging knowledge and deep understanding of subjects ranging from philosophy to physics, and from biology to psychology, to brilliant effect. The book reveals the author's uniquely considered philosophy of history. He illustrates through his … Continue reading Atomised

death of the gods carl miller bronwyn williams futurist futurenomics

Death of the Gods

"Our opinions and beliefs, what we hold to be true and what we think is right and wrong have all become strategic objectives... Each of us has been brought - face-to-face - to a new front line." The (very readable) Death of the Gods by Carl Miller is a whirlwind overview of the biggest Big … Continue reading Death of the Gods

Scale

"The pseudoscience of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate emphatic failure and ignore empire success." - The Life and Death of American Cities   Scale by Geoffrey West may not be the easiest read (it has a highly academic style, complete with lots of highly academic jabs at different academic fields - … Continue reading Scale

We

"Those two, in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no alternative." - We I'm really enjoying retro-science fiction at the moment. The ideas imagined in science fiction of years past planted seeds in more practical minds who went on to shape the future that we live in … Continue reading We

Cat's cradle

Cat’s Cradle

"What could possibly go wrong?" The more I read and learn about science and technology, the more often I think that we don't give enough attention to that question: What. Could. Go. Wrong. Most technology is dangerous in the wrong hands, and as technology becomes more powerful, the what could go wrong  is only escalating. … Continue reading Cat’s Cradle

I don’t like the look of your face

There is a problem with automated governance and outsourcing decision making to artificial intelligence. And that problem is probability. And the probable problem at hand is that the innocent are flagged as guilty, the right candidates flagged as wrong, at an unacceptably high probability. As we use - even highly reliable - automated systems such … Continue reading I don’t like the look of your face

Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed

The Brave New World conference took place in the Netherlands this week. One of the biggest ideas on display was that of bio-organic, 3D printed body parts. Yes, 3D body parts have been around for a while. The list of replacement cells, arteries and organs scientists can design and manufacture is an impressive, growing one. The … Continue reading Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed