hollywood cults and culture

On cults, climate and culture

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - based, of course (loosely) on the infamous, real-life story of the Manson Family's murder of Sharon Tait and her friends story gives us a glimpse of the dark side of happy hippie culture - and how counter-culture-culture can turn into a cult. Recently, I was asked to co-author … Continue reading On cults, climate and culture

Bronwyn williams futurist and trend analyst

Trend retrospective, a decade in the rearview mirror

At the end of last year, I was asked to write a few thoughts on the most important, most disruptive technological milestones for each year of the last decade that will continue to have an impact in the future of the decade to come. Here follows the original version of that article, before it was edited … Continue reading Trend retrospective, a decade in the rearview mirror

ancient gods Wikimedia image new gods new religions

(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

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

chimera futurism foresight

Chimera : A tail of mice and men

Human-animal hybrids are now a reality (and have been for some years now). Mutants are no longer the subject of science fiction, they are now flesh and blood beings. For example: In China, human-monkey chimeras have been designed and born. (Planet of the Apes, anyone?) Japan has approved human-rat hybrid trials.  (Ratman is somehow less exiting … Continue reading Chimera : A tail of mice and men

social cooling trend and futures talk

Social Cooling

The below is a transcript of my recent Pecha Kucha (20 slides, 20 seconds each) talk on "Social Cooling" - a disturbing phenomenon I think everyone should be aware of. Personal data is said to be the new oil…not just because of the industry’s value, but because of its power. And, like big oil is blamed … Continue reading Social Cooling

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?

Robot Rights

Can robots have rights? Should robots have rights? These deceptively big questions regarding "roborights" are shaping up to be among the Big Issues debated by law makers, scientists, engineers, and philosophers in 2019 - and far into the future. I read David J. Gunkel's Robot Rights to get a handle on where academia is "at" … Continue reading Robot Rights