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(A)I Am

When fallible human priests fail to fill the void, and reveal themselves to be more human than divine; we turn to man-made synthetic deities. Japan's robot priest confirms that we are looking for new gods for our new age - made in our own image, yet perfectly, and programmable. (And not all that different from … Continue reading (A)I Am

reflections of a revolution in france

Reflections on the Revolution in France

Reflections on the Revolution in France... a  book written by a rich Englishman of leisure, critiquing the working-class French Revolution from the other side of the pond... Revealing, (although perhaps more revealing of Burke himself than the author may have intended) as much for what it gets wrong about the French revolution itself (Burke was … Continue reading Reflections on the Revolution in France

On mob mentality

The Lottery

Shirley Jackson's collection of dystopian short-form fiction The Lottery (and other stories) is a stark reminder of the fragility, banality and horror of the un-scrutinised human condition. It's all too easy to slip into group-think that priorities the "greater good" over the individual life. And once we have accepted that, it is a slippery slope to treating people … Continue reading The Lottery

RUR bronwyn williams futurist

Rossum’s Universal Robots

"They have a phenomenal memory. If you were to read them a twenty-volume encyclopaedia they could repeat the contents in order, but they never think up anything original. They'd make fine university professors." ~ R.U.R   The defining text for robots, Rossum's Universal Robots is a facial science fiction play written in the 1920's as … Continue reading Rossum’s Universal Robots

spy secrets lies futurist

Secrets and Lies

I don't know about you, but I cannot live without a few secrets. Without secrets, without a private inner life, we lose our individuality and our sense of self. Today though, we are bombarded with messages telling us that privacy is worth sacrificing for the greater good; for the good of community security, for the … Continue reading Secrets and Lies

the end of literacy

Are we nearing the end of the age of literacy?

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. Martin As we move from the text and screen web to the voice and spacial web (and possibly even into the age of a fully connected human Brainternet), we move one step closer to … Continue reading Are we nearing the end of the age of literacy?

sure you're joking Mr Feynman

Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman

"...I have developed a very powerful sense of social irresponsibility..." ~ Richard Feynman The inimitable and endlessly quotable Richard Feynman always makes for entertaining - and enlightening - reading. Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman is part physics lecture, part biography and complete delight. A Nobel prize, winner, atom-bomb contributor, and occasional amateur philosopher, Richard Feynman, … Continue reading Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman

forest library of the future

The future library

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." - Greek proverb It's no secret - I love reading. In particular, I love reading books, real, paper books that don't hurt your eyes and don't require cables or charging. I also love future thinking and foresight. … Continue reading The future library

the age of surveillance capitalism

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

"I reject inevitability, and it is my hope that as a result of our journey together, you will too. We are at the beginning of this story, not the end... There is still time to take the reins and direct the action towards a human future that we can call home." ~ Shoshana Zoboff   … Continue reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

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