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is global collapse imminent?

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse [more inside]
posted by flex on Sep 4, 2014 - 61 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VII

Direct brain-to-brain communication in humans has been demonstrated for the first time. DARPA begins work on miniaturized implants to control and regulate the nervous system. Researchers study using brain signals to operate drones. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 3, 2014 - 56 comments

Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?

Wilson recently calculated that the only way humanity could stave off a mass extinction crisis, as devastating as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, would be to set aside half the planet as permanently protected areas for the ten million other species. “Half Earth,” in other words, as I began calling it—half for us, half for them. [more inside]
posted by viggorlijah on Aug 31, 2014 - 41 comments

Hey you, up in the sky, learning to fly, tell me how high.

Why We're Not Driving the Friendly Skies A number of us can thank a cartoon character from the future, George Jetson, for instilling our longing. Students of aviation history might look for inspiration to the Autoplane prototype built in 1917 by the flight pioneer Glenn Curtiss. And tens of millions of motorists who have been stuck in traffic jams stretching toward the horizon must also feel a need to know: Where are the flying cars?
posted by modernnomad on Aug 22, 2014 - 25 comments

Resistance is not futile? /Hugh

I come from the future, and I’m here to tell you: transcending the limits of the flesh can be downright dull. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 1, 2014 - 16 comments

Cover Your Tracks

How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet.
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 30, 2014 - 27 comments

YOU WERE MADE FOR LONELINESS

You Were Made for Loneliness is a Twine text adventure by Tsukareta that explores the idea of love in different situations. Since it's release back in June reviews have been overall positive. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jul 20, 2014 - 8 comments

BALLS BALLS BALLS

In "These Aren't the Droids" Neko Case (previously) and Kelly Hogan (previously) imagine a future designed by teenaged fanboys, and Ellie Kemper plays the unlucky wife of a Stromtrooper. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 11, 2014 - 23 comments

Google unveils a self-driving car

Today Google unveiled their purpose-built self-driving car prototype, complete with no steering wheel, brake, or gas pedals. You just jump in, and go. The demo video is pretty impressive, and even the funnier Kara Swisher video of her first ride makes it look kind of fun. [more inside]
posted by mathowie on May 27, 2014 - 412 comments

We better get used to them...

Signs from the Near Future: What the Near Future Is Actually Going to Look Like.
posted by homunculus on May 22, 2014 - 65 comments

Everything is meaningless.

#PostModem [SLVimeo,nsfw:nudity] is "a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, as told through as series of cinematic tweets." [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee on Apr 20, 2014 - 12 comments

Evenly distribute the future: Issuing more bio-survival tickets

VC for the people - "It's just that people who have options are much more likely to actually find success than people who don't." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 18, 2014 - 20 comments

Researchers Use Stem Cells to Regenerate Muscle Nearly as Strong

Scientists Progress in Quest to Grow Muscle Tissue in Labs - "The researchers are now working on optimizing the growth of human muscle tissue, including finding a way to get blood flow to the tissue, the best source of cells and the best growing medium for the cells."
posted by kliuless on Apr 8, 2014 - 5 comments

Lovely retro future.

How Soviet artists imagined Communist life in space.
posted by Mistress on Apr 5, 2014 - 28 comments

Make Everything Awesome For Everybody: Bridging The CP Snow-Style Divide

The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution - "[Charles Percy Snow] was pleading for a more adequately educated ruling class so that the suffering of the poor might be ameliorated... Snow wanted to believe something like this: political decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions. But that's a syllogism without a minor premise." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 15, 2014 - 37 comments

"Unless you've got POWER!"

The Future has arrived.
posted by Fizz on Mar 5, 2014 - 56 comments

A Typographic Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece – seems an appropriate place to start a blog about typography in sci-fi. Amongst other delights, it offers a zero-gravity toilet, emergency resuscitations, exploding bolts, and product placement aplenty. It’s also the Ur Example of Eurostile Bold Extended’s regular appearance in spacecraft user interfaces. [via]
posted by planetesimal on Feb 2, 2014 - 36 comments

Bionic eyes for sale in 2019? Sign me up.

BBC Future predicts what will happen over the next 150 years, and also for the next 100 quintillion years, in handy infographic form.
posted by bayani on Jan 7, 2014 - 110 comments

An extraordinary atmosphere of sullen, baffled evil, as the year opens.

The State of the World 2014 Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky have started this year's WELL-based review.
posted by doctornemo on Jan 6, 2014 - 22 comments

All the colors of the-- Eames chair?

The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's collections, now searchable in color. Colors? They got colors. All kinds of colors. My god, it's just full of colors. But wait, there's even more inside... [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Dec 27, 2013 - 3 comments

The past guides us; the future needs us.

Whenever I look around me, I wonder what old things are about to bear fruit, what seemingly solid institutions might soon rupture, and what seeds we might now be planting whose harvest will come at some unpredictable moment in the future. The most magnificent person I met in 2013 quoted a line from Michel Foucault to me: "People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does." Someone saves a life or educates a person or tells her a story that upends everything she assumed. The transformation may be subtle or crucial or world changing, next year or in 100 years, or maybe in a millennium. You can’t always trace it but everything, everyone has a genealogy. Rebecca Solnit in TomDispatch: The Arc of Justice and the Long Run: Hope, History, and Unpredictability [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 23, 2013 - 8 comments

Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 12, 2013 - 41 comments

1 2 Lose U

“Stylistically, I never had a plan – at the time, I was listening to a lot of intelligent drum ’n’ bass, but when I heard Squarepusher I was like, I can’t listen to normal jungle any more." Vapor City is the 9th album from North Carolina born, New York & Berlin based 'future jungle' producer Machinedrum. Illustrated by the grey-and-black industrial sprawl on the cover, (it) is about an imaginary metropolis; each of its ten tracks is devoted to one of its districts. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 20, 2013 - 20 comments

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

Putting time in perspective.
posted by fings on Sep 14, 2013 - 52 comments

The Age of Networked Matter

An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter. The Institute for the Future commissioned six science fiction writers to create short stories for their Age of Networked Matter research project. "We asked our collaborators to envision a world where humans have unprecedented control of matter at all scales, and to share with us a glimpse of daily life in that world. It was a process meant to make the future tangible." Three of the stories have appeared so far. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 28, 2013 - 9 comments

In global politics, playing by the rules doesn’t always help.

Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free
posted by infini on Jun 19, 2013 - 20 comments

In Space, No One Can Hear You Cough Politely

Project Kronos: is a documentary film set in the not too distant future, following a mission to achieve interstellar space travel. As the mission unfolds with extraordinary results, the scientists find themselves dealing with a much bigger agenda.
posted by lemuring on Jun 15, 2013 - 15 comments

Imagine "Thunderbirds" with people instead of puppets

UFO is a 1970 British science fiction television series about a secret military organization which defends the Earth from Alien invaders. The series was created by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, who previously created the "Supermarionation" puppet TV series in the 1960's (Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5), and would later create Space: 1999. The production is highly stylized, from the cars, hair styles, and future fashions to Ebert-worthy parties of the future, mesh space shirts and groovy theme music. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Important communication skills

Use "Metatalk" skill to discuss communication problems.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 15, 2013 - 46 comments

Still waiting on the jetpacks, but...

With the Terrafugia Transition flying car (or drivable plane) getting closer to production (though there are doubters), the company has released plans for the TF-X, which looks like the flying car of our dreams. The plans call for a hybrid electric fully-automated transforming car that can take-off and land vertically, travel 200 mph, and not require a pilots license. Flying cars are apparently hot again, with crowdfunded efforts, a mysterious Silicon Valley startup Zee.Aero, the UK's AugustWestland, and the AirMule getting into the game; all while Terrafugia is also developing a "flying humvee" for the military. Of course, we have seen this all before, including one of the first flying cars, which was built around a Ford Pinto and killed its inventors.
posted by blahblahblah on May 6, 2013 - 33 comments

Imagining and sharing desires and fears about the future is a way for

Since time immemorial, people have tried to predict the future. In the second half of the 20th century, these efforts grew more ambitious and sophisticated. Improvements in computational power, data gathering, and analysis were all put to work to try to lift the veil on the future. But the last decade has not been kind to futurology. Bankers' and insurers' forecasts of risk turned out to be drastically wrong, torpedoing the financial system and ushering in a long stagnation. Politicians' visions of long-term stable economic growth evaporated. Perhaps relatedly, scathing critiques of our ability to foresee the future rose to the top of bestseller lists. In this newly self-conscious mood, Nesta funded research that tries to get under the surface of different ways of talking about the future. This paper leans on that research, defending some forms of futurology. Accompanying Guardian post on uncertainty being the only certainty.
posted by infini on May 4, 2013 - 13 comments

The Top 10 Fears of African Diaspora About Africa

They wash dishes in restaurants, clean toilets and look after elderly incontinent people in the West. That makes the majority of the 30 million who have emigrated from Africa. Some are much luckier, they work in subaltern management positions in corporate America or in public institution in Europe. Few are real stars, successful with high pay and social status. Regardless of their current fate, they all share one thing in common: most of them want to return to Africa. The recent medias’ drumbeat about “Africa is Rising” is making them restless and hopeful because most of them have quite a petty life in the West. They are constantly harassed by the state police, crushed by daily racism from their neighbors and strangers, economically and politically isolated, and with very little hope for a near-future improvement. Unfortunately their dream to return home is painfully held back by deep fears and unanswered questions. Here are the top 10 fears of the African diaspora about Africa, and also the top 10 questions most of them are confronted with.
posted by infini on Apr 28, 2013 - 20 comments

Stop the killer robots before it's too late!

Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons. As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 27, 2013 - 123 comments

1993 -> 2013

For WIRED magazine's 20th anniversary, they've "gathered stories for, by, and about the people who have shaped the planet's past 20 years—and will continue driving the next."
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2013 - 36 comments

Blinking lights convey so much filler

Futuristic User Interfaces in video games, animes, and movies.
posted by Taft on Apr 11, 2013 - 36 comments

Central Station

The Smell of Orange Groves. This short story by Lavie Tidhar (author of Osama: A Novel) is part of his Central Station story cycle, taking place in or around Tel Aviv’s Central Station neighborhood sometime in the future. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 29, 2013 - 4 comments

Rise of the Afropolitan

The stereotypes about Africa/Africans are too many to list here. They’re mostly negative, myopic depictions that focus on war, famine, abject poverty, disease, and corruption. In other oversimplifications, Africans are written up as model immigrants, overachieving geniuses, or displaced chiefs moonlighting as gas station attendants. Outside of these caricatures, many Africans are going to work and school, voting in their local elections, and spending way too much time on Facebook. And they’re over the ignorance that has collectively miscast them. In response, a swelling movement of young Africans are launching concerted efforts to wrest the image of Africa from entities and interests that don’t promote a balanced understanding of the continent.
posted by infini on Mar 3, 2013 - 69 comments

Brain-to-Brain Interface in Rats

"In a stunning first for neuroscience, researchers have created an electronic link between the brains of two rats, and demonstrated that signals from the mind of one can help the second solve basic puzzles in real time — even when those animals are separated by thousands of miles."
posted by sarastro on Feb 28, 2013 - 78 comments

Is artificial intelligence more a threat to humanity than an asteroid?

Omens: When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 27, 2013 - 31 comments

"In the future, everything will be terrifying."

Dougal Dixon is a scientist, author, and illustrator. While he is most famous for his work on dinosaurs, his books After Man: A Zoology of the Future and Man After Man: An Anthropology Of The Future attempt to explore what might happen in the far future. The Posthuman Art Of Dougal Dixon. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 30, 2013 - 26 comments

PRINTER IS JAMMED. OPEN DOOR, CLEAR FOOD, THEN PRESS OK.

Looking to print your own house, jewelry or dessert? Then check out Engadget's Consumer Guide to 3D printers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 30, 2013 - 81 comments

Spoiler: Everyone Dies

The Timeline of the Far Future is a Wikipedia article which serves as a gateway to a ton of fascinating scientific topics on the far edge of human understanding: ~50,000 years from now the Earth will enter a new Glacial period; ~100,000 years from now the Earth will likely have experienced a supervolcanic eruption; ~10,000,000 years from now the East African Rift divides the continent of Africa in to two land masses; ~20,000,000,000 years from now the Universe effectively dies due to The Big Rip.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 22, 2013 - 93 comments

What, Me Worry?

Every year, Edge.org asks a question. This year's is:"What *Should* We Be Worried About?" The responses are things like "Chinese Eugenics," "We Are In Denial About Catastrophic Risks," "Worry About Internet Drivel," "The Patience Deficit," "The Power Of Bad Incentives," "The Complex, Consequential, Not-So-Easy Decisions About Our Water Resources," and "The Cultural And Cognitive Consequences Of Electronics." They are from people like Nassim Nicholas Taleb, David Rowan, Evgeny Morozov, Kate Jeffery, Vernor Vinge, Bruce Schneier, Alison Gopnik, Steven Pinker, Virginia Heffernan and Simon Baron-Cohen. There are 154 answers. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 22, 2013 - 97 comments

A Little Off the Top

"A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left." Via.
posted by holmesian on Jan 18, 2013 - 68 comments

Facebook's Graph Search

Facebook today announced their Graph Search during a live event at their headquarters. Some say it is Facebook's attempt at taking down Google and taking over web search (they did partner with Bing), but more astute observers see LinkedIn, Yelp, and OKCupid in their crosshairs too based on the live event demos. [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Jan 15, 2013 - 81 comments

So high, so low, so many things to know.

January 13, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The Magazine is celebrating by taking a yearlong look at the past and future of exploration. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 8, 2013 - 10 comments

This is not the Africa you're looking for

What Susan Rice Has Meant for U.S. Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa Right now, Africa is changing with extraordinary speed and in surprising ways, but American policy there remains stale and stuck in the past: unambitious, underinvested and conceptually outdated.
posted by infini on Jan 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Stimulated Emission

light AMPLIFICATION - Is the color of future of your future neon pink? Is the language Japanese? Are the city's an eternal nighttime of airbrushed martini glasses, glossy red lips and consumer electronics? Do you jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace? Then this is the tumblr for you. [via mefi projects]
posted by Artw on Dec 29, 2012 - 44 comments

Christmas Present

The Ghosts of Christmas - A spooky SF story for Christmas by Paul Cornell.
posted by Artw on Dec 20, 2012 - 4 comments

Body.next() { Some Assembly Required }

Feeling a little bit worn? Need to upgrade your body? We've been doing it for a long time. An overview of more recent advances (PDF) and a near-future timeline. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 15, 2012 - 9 comments

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