As futurists, our role is to help others understand the world as it is; the likely futures ahead if we don't do anything about it; the trade offs and choices we face; and the complicated potential and probable unintended consequences and collateral damage of our present and future decisions and the incentives that shape them. … Continue reading Bad frames
Society is being virtualised in two different ways. Firstly, in the literal sense, as in how more and more of our experience is being digitised. The continuous is continuously being made discrete. What is digitised and discrete can be codified, flattened, and managed into "computer says no/go" rules which allow us to (at least pretend … Continue reading Virtualised and Discrete
On reading We have been harmonised I was reminded the if you want to control a large group, one of easiest ways to do that is to get them all 1) naked and 2) alone. Naked, so that they feel watched by the authority, their peers and -more importantly - by their own selves. Religion … Continue reading Naked, and alone
Two quotes to get you through chaotic times, when it feels like things are spiralling out of control: Tend your own garden "Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden." ~ Voltaire In a literal and figurative sense : look after yourself, take responsibility for your own … Continue reading Tend your garden, Defend your garden
"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"~ Terry Pratchett When it comes down to it, although our day to day lives may be driven by envy; what we want, what we really, really want, as conscious human beings, is immortality. Traditionally, this has taken one of three routes … Continue reading Deed, seed, creed – and the war on death
It has been rather depressing to watch people get exactly what they want. In South Africa in March, people begged to "be lead" through the COVID crisis - and they were. Crop-bottom pant regulations, arbitrary prohibition and all. They are now number three on the global misery index. In the UK, people demanded schools were shut down - … Continue reading Be careful what you beg for
Money gets surreal when it becomes untethered from reality; and a lot of strange financial wizardry began decoupling real value and nominal financial money in and around the 1970's. The website wfthappendin1978.com tells the story in pictures, in a series of economic charts that illustrate better than a thousand essays would, what happens when the rules … Continue reading WTF Happened in the 1970s?
From my perspective, all the many trends that I track are linked in one way or a another to four overarching, civilisation-level, end-game "meta trends". Of course, all four of these meta trends are themselves interlinked and interactive, and can be envisaged as four oscillating cyclical waves that pull together, pull apart and underwrite the … Continue reading Meta Trends and Far Future Visions
If you are a futurist, you should be watching the sex industry. The world's oldest industry is full of shiny new ideas and quick to adopt new trends and technologies. It's also very flexible. (Puns all fully intended). I wrote in more detail about this subject here. Enjoy.
Postalgia is a term used by science fiction writer William Gibson to explain the future fatigue plaguing contemporary culture. Postalgia is a hankering after the present; as opposed to nostalgia, which is a hankering after the past. Postalgia is the sense that things right now are as good as they will ever get. It is … Continue reading Postalgia / Prostalgia – Is this as Good as it Gets?