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Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

Concentrate and ask again.

Do you know the story behind the Magic 8 Ball? Without a doubt
Can you tell me about the magic inside? As I see it, yes
Can I put it back together using my own magic? Signs point to yes
Can I make my own Magic 8 Ball digital app instead? Most likely [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Dec 8, 2012 - 24 comments

Into the Future

Hey! The Bad Brains have a new album out! You can give it a spin here at ye olde You Tubes.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 20, 2012 - 35 comments

WILD MASS GUESSING

The Futurist Magazine along with The World Future Society predicts the future with a list of the top trends and forecasts for 2013 and beyond.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 9, 2012 - 53 comments

Automatic building mapping could help emergency responders

Researchers have developed a backpack that generates building layout map in realtime. (yt) The prototype system automatically maps the wearer’s environment, recognizing movement between floors. It was designed at MIT to be used by emergency responders. Read more.
posted by crunchland on Sep 27, 2012 - 38 comments

epistolary novel

Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government [1,2,3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 26, 2012 - 46 comments

"If you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough."

Wired talks to William Gibson: on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong, on Twitter, Antique Watches and Internet Obsessions, and and on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and ‘Gangnam Style’.
posted by Artw on Sep 15, 2012 - 55 comments

The Rockwell International Integrated Space Plan

Over at Make Blog, Sean Ragan has after years of search dug up a copy of the Rockwell International Integrated Space Plan from 1989. It's now scanned and downloadable for your enjoyment.
posted by Harald74 on Sep 14, 2012 - 41 comments

A talk by writer Warren Ellis

How to See the Future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Strange New Worlds

Let's take another look at Chris Wayan's PLANETOCOPIA (previously): A series of detailed conceptions and paintings of vastly different Earths based on differing climates and land mass position. A planet designed to speed up East-West cvilization development! A life-bearing super hot world! An Earth with most of the seas missing! Forever Ice Age Earth! [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 9, 2012 - 11 comments

The End of Sex?

Science is Rewriting the Rules of Reproduction Aarathi Prasad's new book investigates taking sex out of the reproduction equation. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 19, 2012 - 28 comments

“You’re maybe going to take this journey with me for a spell, People aren’t stones.”

"... That’s the way with epiphanies: You can’t know in advance what they’ll be. Even me. I can see them coming, but I can’t understand something until I understand it.”
T he man who can see the future has a date with the woman who can see many possible futures.
posted by divabat on Aug 9, 2012 - 21 comments

My First Prototype Post

Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 1, 2012 - 14 comments

"This is what innovation looks like.

32 inventions that will change your tomorrow (NYT)
posted by crunchland on Jun 4, 2012 - 87 comments

Worker bees can leave. Even drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.

It is well known that the US military and their allies use unmanned aerial drones overseas in wars and other operations. But there are also hundreds in operation here in the U.S., according to records the Federal Aviation Administration has recently released. Local police departments already have used them in SWAT situations, and the Department of Homeland Security has given the green light for them to deploy a drone helicopter that can supposedly taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchersas well as providing surveillance. Congress has paved the way for as many as 30,000 drones in the skies over the US by 2020, which has privacy advocates alarmed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a map with all of the organizations that have permits to use drones within the confines of the US. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 24, 2012 - 93 comments

Midwifing Skynet

Quadcopters are very cool and a little creepy. It was probably only a matter of time before someone attached a machine gun to one and called it Charlene.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 23, 2012 - 67 comments

The 3 African Samurai

Heavily influenced by samurai films from film makers such as Akira Kurosawa, French/Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido produced a short award winning film, Hasaki Ya Suda (The Three Black Samurai) set in the future. Its synopsis reads: It is 2100. In the world engulfed in chaos and war whose residents are consumed by terrible hunger, the last fertile land became the subject of fierce battles. Three warriors: noble Wurubenba (Jacky Ido), Shandaru (Cedric Ido), who wants to avenge his father’s death, and Kapkaru (Min Man Ma) craving for power, will face one another in a fight for life and death. Watch the full 25-minute Hasaki Ya Suda short film (available only with French subtitles at the moment) or the 1 minute teaser. Interview with Cedric in English.
posted by infini on Apr 23, 2012 - 7 comments

Fringe. Division.

The Future of Fringe. This week's episode of Fringe, 4x19, "Letters of Transit" shows us the future of the show - both in universe (recap, speculation) and for our world: Joshua Jackson says, "If you watch [Letters of Transit], you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” There are three episodes left for season four (teaser for 4x20, "Worlds Apart") and if Fox doesn't give Fringe a possible thirteen-episode fifth-season renewal, they have shot two different endings for season four. (Spoilers and speculation for Fringe.)
posted by crossoverman on Apr 21, 2012 - 122 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

Zone of Thought

Vernor Vinge is optimistic about the collapse of civilization
posted by Artw on Mar 22, 2012 - 47 comments

Back to the Future

In 1976, American students put their Tricentennial imaginings to paper. Some larger versions of the drawings are available over at Buzzfeed.
posted by gman on Feb 28, 2012 - 6 comments

There are no enemies in science, only phenomena to be studied

Peter Weyland's 2023 TED talk on how expanding the boundaries of science will change the world
posted by Artw on Feb 28, 2012 - 66 comments

The palpable fear of what we experience daily without a second thought

Future Shock (2, 3, 4, 5) is a glimpse at society on the precipice of the information age, in this 1972 documentary based on the Alvin Toffler classic about the world gone mad, due to technology and computers. Narrated by Orson Welles. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Jan 30, 2012 - 22 comments

World building the future

MeFi's own cstross on the future: Part 1, Part 2.
posted by Zarkonnen on Jan 15, 2012 - 76 comments

2061

On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 28, 2011 - 29 comments

Journalism is just a gun. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.

In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan. Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour. As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants," and the power of intrepid journalism can defeat. More: Read the first issue (or three) - browse images from the new artbook - Tor's read-along blog (another) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals" - dozens of original sketches and sample pages - timeline - quotes
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 17, 2011 - 55 comments

Before and After Science

The History and Future of Computing an interactive timeline from the New York Times which crowdsources predictions. [more inside]
posted by gwint on Dec 11, 2011 - 22 comments

“We try and illustrate a “universe-next-door” where the new product is the only novelty. Where there is still tea, and the traffic is still miserable.”

Future Drama is a tumblr devoted to that particular kind of futurism - corporate prediction demos of how their products will change the world - See The Mother Of All Demos from 1968 introducing the mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing - Apple in 1987 - Philco-Ford The Future Now!
posted by The Whelk on Dec 6, 2011 - 23 comments

Back To The Future part deux

Irina Werning has once again recreated the scenes from old photographs in a similar fashion as last time. (slightly NSFW)
posted by gman on Nov 17, 2011 - 44 comments

Pictures Under Glass

A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design - "The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to your hands. Seriously! Notice the myriad little tricks your fingers have for manipulating the ingredients and the utensils and all the other objects involved in this enterprise. Then compare your experience to sliding around Pictures Under Glass. Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"
posted by Defenestrator on Nov 9, 2011 - 96 comments

"Buddy Holly taken to outer R&B space by Timbaland"

"Bo Diddley remixed by Swizz Beatz": Willy Moon wants to be your man. [more inside]
posted by Starmie on Oct 19, 2011 - 41 comments

Women of the Future, 1902

Women of the Future, 1902 (via) [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote on Oct 8, 2011 - 32 comments

"My cake is ready!"

Kitchens of the Future! [SLYT]
posted by Fizz on Sep 17, 2011 - 22 comments

Mythundersthood

Why Africa is leaving Europe behind: Africans are relishing something of a reversal in roles. The former colonial powers in Europe are wrestling with debt crises, austerity budgets, rising unemployment and social turmoil. By contrast much of sub-Saharan Africa can point to robust growth, better balanced books and rising capital inflows. There is an opportunity in this novel scenario: for Africa to assert itself on the global stage, and for European countries to take advantage of their historic footprint in Africa by stimulating commercial expansion to their south. But it is far from clear either side will grasp it. Recently.
posted by infini on Aug 21, 2011 - 27 comments

List of emerging technologies

Science fiction always uses it in varying degrees. Some believe it will bring about a perfect Technological Utopia:Heaven on Earth. Some believe it will herald a dark and dystopian future. Perhaps it will elevate man to a being that is more than human; Human+ and permanently and irrevocably transform the human condition, and still others believe that too much involvement in it will void your existence. Some religions totally depend on it and others find it harder to deal with: The list of emerging technologies.
posted by Cogentesque on Aug 16, 2011 - 49 comments

A breath of Fresco air

Jacque Fresco is 95 years old. He met Bucky Fuller and Einstein when he was a kid. He's been trying to make a better world ever since. His designs are unusual, but he has been thinking about them for a long time. In 1974 he did an interview with Larry King. More recently his idea of a resource based economy, partially exemplified by the Venus Project has particular meaning. Future By Design is an hour and a half documentary about this strange maven.
posted by twoleftfeet on Aug 1, 2011 - 12 comments

But I'm Not A Rapper...

Rap Battle Parody Had to post this when I saw it. Taking shots at rap battles nowadays always provides quality entertainment. While you're at it check out the setup for Round 2, and check out Tyler, the Creator and his Odd Future counterpart participate in their own "rap battle".
posted by dapperkoala on Jul 30, 2011 - 11 comments

TRANSMISSIONS FROM TOMORROW

Five minutes into the future - a blog where Astro Zombie posts things he finds that appear to come from the not-so-distant future. Check out New Tombstones Adorable Cars Modular Toasters Augmented Reality Shopping and Smart Lamposts [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 16, 2011 - 28 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part V: In Case You Missed It

PBS Newshour covers recent advances in medical technology in an 11 minute video. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 4, 2011 - 26 comments

The New Aesthetic

The New Aesthetic For a while now, I’ve been collecting images and things that seem to approach a new aesthetic of the future, which sounds more portentous than I mean. What I mean is that we’ve got frustrated with the NASA extropianism space-future, the failure of jetpacks, and we need to see the technologies we actually have with a new wonder.
posted by jack_mo on Jun 17, 2011 - 57 comments

The Future That Wasn’t

The past century . . . is rich with examples, both poignant and tragic, of technological possibilities not realized. On 1 September 1939, a decision was . . . taken by our species to spend five trillion dollars and expend ~72 million human lives. This decision was followed in 1947, and repeated at intervals until 1991, to expend an additional ~12 trillion dollars, and perhaps another 1-2 million human lives. . . . In the midst of the first of these costly escapades, on 15 March, 1944, the architect of the German V-2 rocket, Wernher von Braun, was arrested by the Gestapo on charges of high treason for having privately expressed regret, after dinner at a colleague’s home one evening the previous October, that he and his team were not working on a spaceship . . .
From a wide-ranging essay by Mike Darwin on the future that wasn’t. (Note: Site doesn't seem to display properly in Internet Explorer)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Jun 7, 2011 - 47 comments

Therapy With Translucent Pink Orbs That Do Nothing

Hate The Future. Bad news from another time.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jun 6, 2011 - 30 comments

In the future, you get love by video.

"I Am Your Grandma." (Time-capsule SLYT)
posted by hermitosis on May 14, 2011 - 57 comments

Clothing of the futcha.

Designers from 70 years ago predict the fashion trends in the year 2000. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Apr 3, 2011 - 73 comments

Baez/Yudkowsky

John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Apr 2, 2011 - 47 comments

Now where's my flying car?

Inside Google's Auto Driving Car
posted by empath on Mar 4, 2011 - 33 comments

"For those of us who dreamed of trips to Mars, the trouble with our times, as Paul Valery once said, is that the future is not what it used to be."

When will our Martian future get here? [via: The Space Review]
posted by Fizz on Mar 3, 2011 - 10 comments

Is "immortal glory" still possible?

Who's Going to Live Forever?
posted by crossoverman on Feb 4, 2011 - 47 comments

The Future's So Bright ...

A Day in the Future. "I don’t live in Philadelphia, but my friend has a machine that lets us see what’s happening there. I have one too. Almost everyone does. The sun won’t rise for another hour, but I don’t need to light a fire or candles. I have artificial ones, mounted on the ceiling. Hit a tiny switch and I can see everything, any time of day."
posted by WCityMike on Jan 12, 2011 - 78 comments

2112

Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 9, 2011 - 56 comments

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