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Futurology: The tricky art of knowing what will happen next

Futurology: The tricky art of knowing what will happen next
23 December 2010Last updated at 02:38 By Finlo Rohrer BBC News Magazine Cheap air travel was among the predictions (illustration from Geoffrey Hoyle's book) A 1972 book which predicts what life would be like in 2010 has been reprinted after attracting a cult following, but how hard is it to tell the future? Geoffrey Hoyle is often asked why he predicted everybody would be wearing jumpsuits by 2010. These colourful ideas from his 1972 children's book, 2010: Living in the Future, helped prompt a Facebook campaign to track him down. "I've been criticised because I said people [would] wear jumpsuits," explains Hoyle, the son of noted astronomer and science fiction author Fred Hoyle. Hoyle's book is a product of its time. Fortunately, jumpsuit proliferation has not occurred as Hoyle predicted "Most of it is based on the evolution of a political system," Hoyle notes. The author also predicted widespread use of "vision phones" and doing your grocery shopping online. Continue reading the main story Related:  FuturologyFuture tech

Futurology - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks If you could see your future, would you try to make it better? If you were a Soviet in 1980 and you knew that spiraling debt would destroy your country, would you do something to stop it? If you were a German in 1933 and knew that the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State would lead to a world war, tens of millions of deaths, and the leveling of your nation, would you oppose it? Its safe to assume that we would all say yes to these questions. Futurology also uses aspects of multiple disciplines to anticipate forces of nature and predict how we will react to those forces. Methods of quantifying the effectiveness of corporate futurologists have become a complex science in itself, one that seeks to objectively define the difference between fantasy, science fiction, and science. Table of contents[edit] Part I[edit] Part II[edit] Additional reading[edit] Norbert Wiener, "Kybernetik. Wikibooks resources[edit]

Prototyping the future | Forum for the Future ‘Futures’ is a field that, since it was conceived in the 1960s, has existed to make the future better. Why have all those conversations about emerging change and how to prepare for it otherwise? Over Forum for the Future’s lifetime, however, there has been a noticeable convergence of futures practice with sustainability. Increasingly, businesses are using futures techniques to build resilience in the face of external changes that may affect their chance of success. Forum for the Future has always been about seeing the long-term view. By talking about the future rather than sustainability, we could instantly change the story away from sacrifice and loss (or cords and kale), something that alienates many people, towards something that everyone has a stake in: a positive vision, something we should be really excited about and desire and aspire towards. We have found this to be a very powerful process for building sustainability into business strategy.

Can we change the future? A scientific view... I was reading this article from 1998 about quantum theory – I know it’s pretty old…, but there was something about it that struck me! It’s maybe also because I’m reading this book that contains a lot of prescience characteristics or just my open mind. So, I decided to put together all this scientific evidence with one scope – Can we change the future? An extract from the article on ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 1998) “demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. To demonstrate this, the researchers built a tiny device measuring less than one micron in size, which had a barrier with two openings. Alain Aspect, a French physicist, in 1982 discovered that subatomic particles such as elections are able to automatically - instantaneously - simultaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. According to the de Broglie hypothesis, every object in our Universe is a wave, a situation which gives rise to this phenomenon.

Futuristic Vertical City Holds Plug-In Hexagonal Housing Units Share on Tumblr Email Malaysian architect Tay Yee Wei recently unveiled a towering vertical city populated with hexagonal housing units that offer a solution to urban population growth problems in Asian cities. The tower itself serves as a scaffolding — as the population of urban areas fluctuates, modular units can be “plugged in” to the structure to accommodate an expanding population. Wei’s Plug-in Dwelling Development was inspired by Le Corbusier’s theory — “a house is a machine for living.” The Plug-in Dwelling project assumes that the development will have a longer lifespan than the city that surrounds it. Via eVolo

Futurology podcasts Ignore this box please. Add to Browser Install Firefox add-on More ways to add DDG Feedback Report Bad Results Other Help / Feedback Add to Browser Give feedback Try this search on : YouTube How Stuff Works Live Music Archive Apple Search syntax s:d sort by date r:uk uk region site: domain search \ search first result More... r:n turn off region !     This page requires Javascript. Podcasts | Emissions, chroniques, interviews Retrouvez tout RTL sur les podcasts Sponsored link The Futurology Podcast Greetings fellow futurists, This monthAlex and myself made room for 17-year-old composer, futurist, and techno-optomist Daniel Yount. More from The Futurology Podcast #5 - YouTube Episode 5 of The Futurology Podcast, the number one podcast for's /r/ Futurology community. iPodder Blog » The Futurology Podcast | F... futurology | Answer Me This!

What Ray Kurzweil Is Doing at Google 1. What Ray Kurzweil is doing at Google: teaching computers to read. "So IBM's Watson is a pretty weak reader on each page, but it read the 200m pages of Wikipedia. And basically what I'm doing at Google is to try to go beyond what Watson could do. 2. "The system consists of a 1.0 mm×1.0 mm ingestible sensor and an on-body wearable sensor. 3. "First, Vertesi made sure there were absolutely no mentions of her pregnancy on social media, which is one of the biggest ways marketers collect information. 4. "In China Miéville’s The City & The City, citizens of the grosstopically overlapping cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma are taught from birth to 'unsee' the architecture, people, events, and surroundings of the other city. 5. "Somewhere between tongue-in-cheek pranksterism and an elaborate design fiction proposal, the so-called FOREO Institute—connected to FOREO, the beauty products firm—has a plan for "transforming the surface of the moon." Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

AirDrop House: Sustainable housing solution for flood-hit areas Conceived by architect Andrew Maynard and his team, the AirDrop House is a sustainable housing solution for flood-hit areas. The tiny houses made from dried sponge-like material could be dropped onto the affected areas by standard military aircrafts. The instant floating abodes expand up to a seven meters diameter from original one-meter diameter as soon as it contacts water. It slowly soaks up water and swells into a self-sustaining temporary house. Via: Inhabitat Can Technology Save the World? Experts Disagree Edited by David Leonhardt Follow Us: The Upshot a plainspoken guide to the news In Silicon Valley, there is a sense that tech companies are doing God’s work. “The P.C. isn’t in the first five rungs of human needs, but the smartphone certainly is,” said Marc Andreessen, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz and an inventor of the Internet browser, in one of a series of interviews with tech entrepreneurs and executives about how technology will shape the future. So smartphones are right up there with food, water and shelter? Evan Williams, a founder of Twitter, Blogger and now Medium, was less quixotic. “Technology is the direct cause of our biggest problems – global warming, health issues, potential nuclear annihilation – and it’s also a solution,” he said. Photo There is no shortage of optimism in Silicon Valley, but I’ve developed a scale to measure just how starry-eyed Silicon Valley is about its work. Mr. “Technology is necessary but not sufficient to save the world,” he said.

Who will service the billions of Internet of Things devices? When IoT goes mainstream, it will catapult the field service industry to the forefront of the business agenda' In less than five years, there will be more than 26 billion different connected devices in our homes, cars and businesses, according to Gartner. All are designed to make lives easier and facilitate tasks – and that figure doesn’t even include personal computers, tablets and smartphones. As the Internet of Things (IoT) converges with servitisation (also known as outcome-based services), machine-to-machine learning, 3D printing and wide spread cloud adoption, one of the biggest considerations is going to be around service. Whether it’s a kettle in your home or an MRI machine in a hospital, all of these billions and billions of connected smart devices are going to need servicing. This not only impacts the field service industry – it will also completely redefine it over the longer term along with people’s expectations around service delivery.

11 fascinating funeral traditions from around the globe During Kelli Swazey’s talk at TEDMED, she showed a slide of a Torajan family posing with their deceased relative. The funerals I’ve attended have all been very much the same. Relatives and friends arrive in all black and take seats in the church or synagogue pews for a somber ceremony where prayers are said, memories are shared and tears are shed. The attendees walk slowly out to their cars and form a single file line a behind the hearse, arriving at the graveyard where they place roses on the casket just before it’s lowered into the ground. Kelli Swazey: Life that doesn't end with deathIn today’s talk, cultural anthropologist Kelli Swazey shares with us a different approach to memorializing the dead. In this practice, Swazey sees something truly beautiful. Funeral practices are deeply ingrained in culture and, around the globe, hugely varied traditions reflect a wide spread of beliefs and values. The New Orleans jazz funeral. South Korean burial beads. Filipino death traditions.

According To A Nasa Funded Study, We're Pretty Much Screwed Our industrial civilization faces the same threats of collapse that earlier versions such as the Mayans experienced, a study to be published in Ecological Economics has warned. The idea is far from new, but the authors have put new rigor to the study of how so many previous societies collapsed, and why ours could follow. Lead author Mr Safa Motesharrei is no wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. Motesharrei is a graduate student in mathematics at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation-supported institution, and the research was done with funding from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent," the forthcoming paper states

How Industrial Systems Are Turning into Digital Services To some, ball bearings are boring, even though these small steel spheres are what keep everything from factory machines and wind turbines as well as cars, trucks, planes, and trains moving smoothly and safely. But to Sweden-based SKF Group — the leading company in the $76 billion global market for ball bearing systems — these objects are heroic, destined to become the “brains of rotating machinery” by transmitting data to boost performance, reduce downtime, and prevent accidents. Yet even though SKF has a century-long track record of keeping the wheels of industry turning, this new vision of bearings with brains by no means assures that SKF will prosper in the changeover in technology represented by the internet of things, in which every conceivable object can become a node on the net. So far, much of the attention around smart, connected products has been around consumer-facing goods like watches and thermostats. Building an industrial internet strategy.