Posts Tagged ‘futures’

The 2012 State of the Future is a concise, readable overview of the global situation, problems, solutions, and prospects for the future.  It covers the global landscape with two-page overviews with regional considerations of 15 global challenges such as energy, food, science & technology, ethics, development, water, organized crime, health, decisionmaking, gender relations, demographics, war & peace, and others. These together with the executive summary are ideal for busy executives, thought leaders, corporate strategic planners, public policy experts, policy advisors, non-profit issues organizations, teachers and professors of world issues, and anyone interested in a global overview of our prospects for the future – with discussions of problems and potential solutions.

It is produced by the Millennium Project with its 46 Nodes (groups of futurists and organizations) around the world, which collects, feeds back, and assesses insights from creative and knowledgeable people on emerging crises, opportunities, strategic priorities, and the feasibility of actions.

“The 2012 State of the Future finds the world is getting richer, healthier, better educated, living longer, and is more peaceful and better connected; yet half the world is potentially unstable. Food prices are rising, water tables are falling, corruption and organized crime are increasing, environmental viability for our life support is diminishing, debt and economic insecurity are increasing, climate change continues, and the gap between the rich and poor is widening dangerously.” says co-author and Millennium Project Director. Jerome C. Glenn.

The 2012 State of the Future – The Millennium Project GLOBAL FUTURES STUDIES & RESEARCH

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Posted: November 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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In The Matrix (1999), one of the machines’ sharp-suited kung-fu enforcers, Agent Jones, is standing over Neo on a rooftop, about to kill him. Jones looks down and sneers: ‘Only human.’ Arguably it is something like this contempt for the merely human — or a kind of embarrassment at it — that has driven actual humans over the millennia to seek to enhance themselves. For a long time now, indeed, few of us have been ‘only human’ in the sense of getting by solely on what biology has given us. Spectacles, contact lenses, dental crowns and implants, pacemakers, running shoes — all are technological improvements to the capacities of a human body. Even clothes (adopted, according to the Book of Genesis, after a moment of shame at what is ‘only human’) are enhancements, enabling us to live in hostile climates. Today, improvements in cognitive pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering and high-tech prostheses inspire some to dream of a future of accelerating species enhancement, reaching a point where we will have become — what? Übermenschen? Cyborgs? Post-humans? Or just better versions of ourselves? (via Steven Poole – On human enhancement)

IF a brain implant were safe and available and allowed you to operate your iPad or car using only thought, would you want one? What about an embedded device that gently bathed your brain in electrons and boosted memory and attention? Would you order one for your children? In a future presidential election, would you vote for a candidate who had neural implants that helped optimize his or her alertness and functionality during a crisis, or in a candidates’ debate? Would you vote for a commander in chief who wasn’t equipped with such a device? If these seem like tinfoil-on-the-head questions, consider the case of Cathy Hutchinson. Paralyzed by a stroke, she recently drank a canister of coffee by using a prosthetic arm controlled by thought. She was helped by a device called Braingate, a tiny bed of electrons surgically implanted on her motor cortex and connected by a wire to a computer. Working with a team of neuroscientists at Brown University, Ms. Hutchinson, then 58, was asked to imagine that she was moving her own arm. As her neurons fired, Braingate interpreted the mental commands and moved the artificial arm and humanlike hand to deliver the first coffee Ms. Hutchinson had raised to her own lips in 15 years. Braingate has barely worked on just a handful of people, and it is years away from actually being useful. Yet it’s an example of nascent technologies that in the next two to three decades may transform life not only for the impaired, but also for the healthy.

How Science Can Build a Better You – NYTimes.com

Posted: September 22, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Ever wished you’d never met your boss and your colleagues were holograms?

The prospect of working with people you’ll never actually meet and communicating with virtual colleagues are two of the potential scenarios identified by leading thinkers into how workplaces will evolve by 2025.

Sampling views from a panel representing Imperial College London, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Washington, other international academics and the UK government, research has just been published that points to dramatic changes in the workplace as we know it.

Forget whether it’s practical to bring your own technology devices to work – in the future, you may not even have an office.

According to the expert panel, by 2025 technology will allow us to conjure workspaces out of thin air by using interactive surfaces.

(via BBC News – The workplace of 2025 will be wherever you want it)

Posted: September 14, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The quality of being, as an aesthetic phenomenon, is radically altered in the age of hyperconnectivity in a fashion that prominently features the art of becoming, not as the mimesis of an other that is not authentic, but in a fashion that re-describes the extended narrative of the individual into a multiplicity of authentic beings.

These new authenticities are the new natures, performing acts of freedom that were not hitherto recognized as such, primarily because the technology needed for such freedom was not available, but also because the realm in which these freedoms prevail did not exist.

To the conscious aware entity that we have engendered (and in so have become) in our hyperconnected infoverse, the hypercomplex system has become interesting again. And since what makes a system interesting is its capability to reach beyond its self-image, bring back new input, criticize its self-image, upgrade it, iterate it, and reach again, we have become more interesting to ourselves again, in that we have become more free.

We are self-disrupting creatures, using our abstract capabilities to undo that which we have established for the purpose of penetrating into realms unknown; Realms that might endanger us as well as delight us, realms of freedom unknown, realms of interest, redefining not only our realities in immediacy but also our futures. These futures are operating simultaneously on many dimensions but on different speeds, hence polychronicity, and though these futures originate in virtuality, slowly but surely they leak into immediate reality, altering it in the process.

Wildcat: A polychronicity of futures Leaking into reality pervading virtuality

Posted: July 30, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Prototype Upper Body for a Child Robot “Affetto”

Affetto moves flexibly thanks to 22 pneumatic actuators in its body (3 for neck, 7 for each arm, 1 for chest, and 4 for waist). Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHWimp9uvfo to see how its realistic face moves and also http://www.er.ams.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/asadalab/project_en.html to know about our project (JSPS grant-in-aid for specially promoted research).

(by projectaffetto)

Posted: May 18, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Nine Meditations on Complexity

Complexity not as a mathematical concept, but as an almost intuitive sense of both complication and interconnectedness. Both are necessary components of a truly complex system or situation. Complicated systems have many parts, or take many steps, or have many rules; complex systems are complicated systems connected to and interdependent with other systems (likely also complex). There are rarely simple resolutions to complex (complicated interconnected) problems; because a resolution must take into account the effects of changing a complex situation on the connected systems, the resolution will of necessity be at least as complex as the problem. The associated complexity of a seemingly simple resolution generally shows up in unintended or unexpected consequences; complicated interconnections cannot be cut without repercussions. For this reason, over time, simple solutions tend to increase complexity. Complication can be the perverse result of simple interactions, but complexity is rarely so; because complex situations are also complicated, the two can be easily confused. In situations where “complexity itself” is asserted to be the problem, the actual crisis is often around complication; the trick is to devise ways to reduce the complication without damaging the interconnections. Unfortunately, that’s not simple; in many cases, it may not be possible. The only way to reduce and resolve the complexity of a given situation is to reduce its level of interconnection with other systems; doing so, however, can undermine the value or power of the given system, and will alter the systems to which it was once connected. In other words, the opposite of “complex” is not “simple,” the opposite of “complex” is “isolated.”

Open the Future: Nine Meditations on Complexity