Explorers Journal - William Saturno: Maya Mural Find At first glance the mound is nothing remarkable—just a pile of dirt and stone covered in trees and vegetation. It’s in the Guatemalan forest on the outskirts of the Classic Maya site of Xultún, near another site I’ve been studying for the past decade. At some point, looters dug a hole into it, looking for a tomb. I told the student who found an eroded wall with faint glimpses of paint, “There used to be something here, but there’s nothing now.” It’s rare to find ancient Maya murals, but I’ve had great luck over the years. Saturno excavates the Xultún mural room, scraping debris near the painting of Younger Brother Obsidian. Tyrone Turner My hunch is that this may have been a workspace or teaching space for scribes, artists, or scholars. This was done in A.D. 813 or 814, 75 years before Xultún’s final days. It’s important to understand that the ancient Maya predicted the world would continue.
An interview with Jorgen Randers: ’2052′ – “It’s the story of humanity not rising to the occasion” But I decided that for my own sake it would be interesting at least to know what will happen in sufficient detail for me to believe in it so that I could then decide whether I need to continue worrying for the future, and that was the very clear ambition 18 months ago, and now the book exists and it gives me in many ways great peace of mind because I believe in the forecast I have given there and in many ways it makes life much simpler I think, for a person who has been worrying about unsustainability for such a long time. For people who haven’t read the book yet, can you tell us about 2052? What’s it going to be like? It’s a book that describes, as detailed as I can, what will happen from now until 2052, so it’s a story about world developments over the next 40 years. At a very aggregate level what the forecast says is that humanity will try very hard to achieve economic growth, income growth over the next 40 years. I think you already see the simplest examples of those evolving.
Bankrupting Nature – Launch video now online! You can view here the Press Release on the launch of the new Report to the Club of Rome. As part of the Club of Rome’s 2052 campaign , we are launching this thought-provoking book by Johan Rockstrom and Anders Wijkman. It has been designated a Report to the Club of Rome as it contributes to the discussion about the need to rethink the way we use resources. Building on the notion that there are planetary boundaries which we fail to understand, it is part of a growing school of thought that says by eroding the earth’s resource base on which human life depends, current growth models contain the roots of their own destruction. The book is published by Earthscan/Routledge in November. It is being launched in Brussels in the European Parliament in December, where the two authors will describe its findings. It has been reviewed in Nature . 1. 2. 3. Today´s – mostly vertical – approaches might give the impression that there is a significant degree of uncertainty within the scientific community. 4.
Why Change Happens: Ten Theories One of the grandest — and most frustrating — things about carrying on the great democratic conversation via blog is finding out how many of your fellow citizens (including many who are nominally on your side) turn out to be looking at the world from a completely different set of assumptions than you are. In fact, there’s simply nothing like the Internet if you want to be thrown together with people who have ordered their entire lives around fundamental propositions that would never have occurred to you if you lived to be 100. Behold your fellow earthlings, in all their bizarre and twisted glory…. A lot of these disconnects have to do with all the weird and wonderful theories people have about why change happens. Professional futurists have, through the years, boiled down all the various change theories down to about ten basic classifications. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Each of these basic change models has its appropriate uses, its explanatory strengths, and its limits.
The Global Economy Is A Giant Ponzi Scheme Essential for any healthy economy is the people to power it. And Europe, North America, Oceania — they’re all losing fuel. What will this mean for superpowers, national borders, and for xenophobia? Across once-tolerant Europe, political parties of the right are rising on a tide of bigotry. Geert Wilders of the Netherlands is the best-known example, but from Greece to Norway, from Austria to the UK, voters are flocking to far-right parties of prejudice. In America the political/racial divide has widened over the past decade or so. It’s happening in other places, too. Even in Australia, often cited as the most successful multicultural society in the world, issues of race, ethnicity and religion are increasingly prominent in political discourse. The question is, why? In a word, the answer is demographics. As we wrote in part one of this feature, half the world, including almost all the developed world, now is reproducing at below replacement level. But what happens if that all stops?
8th of JULY: Green Growth, Innovation and Finance – Countdown to Earth Overshoot Day at European Parliament in Brussels On 8th of July 2014, the Club of Rome, together with its partners, GLOBE EU, Global Footprint Network and IUCN EU Representative Office will prepare for the Earth Overshoot Day in the European Parliament in Brussels with a high-level event on ‘Green Growth, Innovation and Finance’. Join us in preparing for this day, that marks the day on which our societies have globally consumed the resources of our planet for one year, and contribute to the debate on how to prevent the Overshoot Day from happening earlier every year. Together with academics, international organizations, civil society representatives, and forward-looking businesses we will address the opportunities for green growth, innovation and greening of the financial system, as well as how to enhance European competitiveness in an increasingly natural resource constraint world, while moving towards the circular economy and sustainability. If you wish to participate in this conference, please follow this link for registration.
You're So Predictable. Daniel Kahneman and the Science of Human Fallibility | Think Tank I will never know if my vocation as a psychologist was a result of my early exposure to interesting gossip, or whether my interest in gossip was an indication of a budding vocation. Like many other Jews, I suppose, I grew up in a world that consisted exclusively of people and words, and most of the words were about people. . . . the people my mother liked to talk about with her friends and with my father were fascinating in their complexity. Some people were better than others, but the best were far from perfect and no one was simply bad. – Daniel Kahneman, Autobiography Upon Winning the Nobel Prize In 2002, Psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for his work in Behavioral Economics. This was no “I want to thank all the little people” Oscars toast. The Illusion of Validity As a young man, Kahneman spent a year in the Psychology branch of the Israeli Defense Forces. An Extremely Reductionist List of Some of the Flaws Kahneman Has Identified in Human Judgment:
101 Signals: Want to Know Business? These Are the Only People You Need to Follow | Wired Business Business These are our favorite sources of news covering the world of business and finance. From macroeconomics to microlending, these folks are all money when it comes to delivering high-value information. If you’re drowning in noise, let WIRED’s 101 Signals be your lifeline. These are the core nutrients of a good data diet. Download the OPML file to import our signals into your preferred news reader, or automatically add them to Digg Reader. If you want to see where technology is headed tomorrow, follow the collective pool of money that powers it today. Dave Birch is one of the few people tracking the global economy’s shift to digital payments in a way that’s neither DMV-dull nor Bitcoin-bananas. When Bernanke talks, the smart money listens to Bill McBride. Yeah, email is a nasty old fire hose of forwards, fallacies, and who the f@#! Along with his business partner Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz has been building megabucks companies since the ’90s. Illustration: Nishant Choksi
Smallholder farmers ‘remain left out of most R&D’ [VIENNA] Smallholder farmers must be more involved in the research process to meet farmers’ needs and maximise its development impact, a meeting has heard. Individual subsistence farmers and farm organisations that represent their interests are a vital but underused link in the research and development (R&D) chain, experts said earlier this month (5-8 May) at the first meeting of Agrinatura, an alliance of 31 European universities working in agricultural research, in Austria. “Too many researchers are still convinced that they know everything and can do all the steps without the farmers.” Doris Herrman, Bern University Scientists are still too removed from the communities they are trying to help, said Doris Herrman, head of research at Bern University of Applied Sciences’ School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Switzerland.
We might be living in the least disruptive age in history This is a guest post by Brian Millar, Strategy Director at strategy agency Sense Worldwide. He works with global companies like Nike, Vodafone, and PepsiCo to transform their businesses. You can follow him on Twitter on @arthurascii "The world is moving faster than ever before. If you've ever sat through a consultant's presentation, including *cough* many of mine, or leafed through a copy of the Harvard Business Review or Wired then you've heard a spiel like this. My grandmother would have folded her arms and frowned. My son was born in 1999. It's not just me and granny who are sceptical. Of course, there are huge disruptive forces at play in our world, just as there always have been. Other kinds of change are forced by epic ideas that re-engineer our lives. What do we have that compares to that? There are always unsettling forces at work in the world, from the Bronze Age onwards. The world is not moving faster than previous decades.
101 Signals: The 18 People Who Will Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Design | Wired Design Design To paraphrase Steve Jobs, design isn’t just what it looks like. It’s how it works. These sources break down the way design works–what’s coming up, what’s going down, and what you need to pay attention to. If you’re drowning in noise, let WIRED’s 101 Signals be your lifeline. Download the OPML file to import our signals into your preferred news reader, or automatically add them to Digg Reader. MoMA architecture and design curator Antonelli sees design as a critical lens on the way we live. Arcangel, a conceptual artist who works in videogames and Internet trivia, is what happens when Marcel Duchamp grows up with a Game Boy. Geoff Manaugh’s strange stew of architectural history, urban planning insight, and sci-fi philosophizing is unmatched reading for understanding the cities we live in. This is still where industrial designers go to hash out big challenges in actually shipping products. Brilliant interaction design from all corners of the web. Illustration: Nishant Choksi
Quick start and challenges for UN’s tech transfer body The “lightning speed” with which a UN-led initiative to transfer technologies for tackling climate change to developing nations has been set up is impressive, but remaining challenges could prevent its success, a member of its advisory board says. Difficulties in encouraging applications for technological assistance and concern about finding enough partners to build a viable international network of expertise were two issues raised at the third advisory board meeting of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) in Copenhagen, Denmark, last month (19-21 March), says Heleen de Coninck. The associate professor of innovation studies and sustainability at the Netherlands’ Radboud University Nijmegen and outgoing board member credits the CTCN’s relative autonomy from UN bodies for its rapid progress. It is now up and running with US$35 million of funding just over a year since it was approved at the UN climate change conference in Doha in late 2012.
Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit | David Graeber David Graeber [from The Baffler No. 19, 2012] A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. Where, in short, are the flying cars? We are well informed of the wonders of computers, as if this is some sort of unanticipated compensation, but, in fact, we haven’t moved even computing to the point of progress that people in the fifties expected we’d have reached by now. As someone who was eight years old at the time of the Apollo moon landing, I remember calculating that I would be thirty-nine in the magic year 2000 and wondering what the world would be like. At the turn of the millennium, I was expecting an outpouring of reflections on why we had gotten the future of technology so wrong. The common way of dealing with the uneasy sense that this might not be so is to brush it aside, to insist all the progress that could have happened has happened and to treat anything more as silly.