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Futurism Needs More Women

Futurism Needs More Women
In the future, everyone’s going to have a robot assistant. That’s the story, at least. And as part of that long-running narrative, Facebook just launched its virtual assistant. They’re calling it Moneypenny—the secretary from the James Bond Films. Which means the symbol of our march forward, once again, ends up being a nod back. In this case, Moneypenny is a send-up to an age when Bond’s womanizing was a symbol of manliness and many women were, no matter what they wanted to be doing, secretaries. Why can’t people imagine a future without falling into the sexist past? Both the World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are headed by women right now. Somehow, I’ve become a person who reports on futurists. It turns out that what makes someone a futurist, and what makes something futurism, isn’t well defined. Zalman defines a futurist as a person who embraces a certain way of thinking. Some people think of science fiction authors as futurists, while others don’t.

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William Gibson on finding the future in the strangeness of now - Home Tuesday November 25, 2014 It's been 30 years since William Gibson changed the vocabulary of science fiction with his first book, Neuromancer. Now his latest novel, The Peripheral, puts a sci-fi lens on a new set of modern anxieties, including climate change, drones and casual mass surveillance. The Vancouver-based author joins guest host Tom Power to discuss the "unthinkable present", how cyberspace (a term he coined) has colonized the real world, and why he thinks his reputation for prescience is undeserved. WEB EXTRA | Read an excerpt of The Peripheral here Unsanctioned Web Tracking is Harmful Recently, the Technical Architecture Group (TAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a group within the W3C charged with stewardship of the Web’s architecture, released a statement that “unsanctioned tracking” is harmful to the web. What is Unsanctioned Tracking and How Does it Work? This is not an indictment of all web tracking, however, simply a narrow subset.

Leveling both sides of the playing field Leveling both sides of the playing field It seems like every day I’m getting invited to a class on negotiation skills for women or a seminar about how women can have work-life balance or a colloquium, you guessed it, for women about unconscious bias. On one hand, how fantastic is that I have avenues to tackle these challenges? The Future of Global Connectivity - SnapMunk Some of the biggest players in the tech industry have been quietly developing initiatives aimed at connecting everyone around the world to the internet. Examples like Google’s Project Loon, Facebook’s and newcomer Outernet have all made tremendous strides over the last year. Which one will come out on top? Since each one has taken a different approach, the answer may be all three. Project Loon Google’s initiative involves deploying high altitude balloons to serve as signal relays for traditional telecomm customers who reside in remote areas where reception is limited or non-existent.

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels of 2015 So Far Generation ships, sentient forests, exploding moons — there has been no shortage of action, speculation, and mystery in the year’s best sci-fi and fantasy novels. These books are remarkable, too, for the way they brazenly combine tropes from many different genres. In several of these novels, for example, mythological, intellectual, and literary history combine in unfamiliar and enlightening ways. Could Special Eyedrops Replace Night-Vision Goggles? Health The tantalizing promise—and practical pitfalls—of eyedrops that let a person see in the dark. Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > In March, Gabriel Licina pinned his eyes open and had his friend, Jeffrey Tibbetts, place several drops of a carefully calibrated liquid into his eyes. After a few minutes, to let the drops settle in, they headed outside to a dark field.

Meet 'digital nun': the Sister funding her monastery through her apps It was at her first monastery, Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester, which had its own printing press, that she became interested in technology. “I was working in the monastery printing room when we were changing from letterpress to offset litho,” she tells me. “Of course back in the 80s printers were some of the most technologically-advanced people in the world because they were all using Apple Macs and phototypesetting and so forth. And so I got interested in the computer side of things, and naturally that led to my urging the community [at the monastery] to get a website done, which we did in the 1990s.” Then, in 2004, when she helped to found Holy Trinity Monastery, “not only did we build our own website,” she recalls, “but we tried to take it one step further by doing podcasts and videos, and adding interactive elements like forums and online chapters [meetings], at a time when comparatively few Churchy people were interested in those things.”

Ray Kurzweil's Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years In my new book BOLD, one of the interviews that I’m most excited about is with my good friend Ray Kurzweil. Bill Gates calls Ray, “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.” Ray is also amazing at predicting a lot more beyond just AI. This post looks at his very incredible predictions for the next 20+ years. Ray Kurzweil. 125 Top Women Futurists & the End of Business as Usual Last week, we published a blog post on the Top 20 Future of Work thinkers and the companies that most connect to them. It included this quote: “What we think will take ten years will likely take two or less,” says Frank Diana, Principal in Business Evolution at the $80B IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services, in a recent blog post. “Therefore, our view of the future in the context of strategy and planning has to change. Future thinking, simulation, and the use of foresight are critical to this change.” But that leads to another question; who will inform our thinking about the future?

The Water in Rio Is Full of Sludge and Rotting Fish—And Olympians Are Supposed to Swim in It It is a cheap and easy metaphor, made no more sophisticated or amusing by the fact that it is true. The Rio 2016 Olympics are caked in all kinds of shit. There’s the bullshit of broken promises about the benefits that the Games would bring, and then there is the actual literal shit, long a reality in Rio and now visible to the world. The rivers, streams, and oceans are filled with floating feces, as the raw sewage of the city is, per custom, pumped directly into the water.