310 posts tagged with Future.
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Where's my flying car?

Some Futurists got it Wrong. Others simply got it awesome and awesomer.
posted by Lord_Pall on Sep 10, 2007 - 41 comments

The Final Frontier

Primary Terminal: Foster + Partners chosen for Branson's [YouTube] spaceport.
posted by brautigan on Sep 6, 2007 - 26 comments

Does this mean we get to fly?

Physicists have 'solved' mystery of levitation Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing ... the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts. Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate. But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.
posted by MythMaker on Aug 19, 2007 - 30 comments

Robots: Where Are They Now?

Bots've come a long way, baby. So everybody knows about Honda's flashy ASIMO, and the sadly canceled QRIO, but now Wakamaru, Mitsubishi's entry into the field, seems to have been first among semi-autonomous humanoid robots to find a job. I wish it luck, but it might need to grow up a little. Maybe it can learn from Domo, son of Cog, robot of yore.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 17, 2007 - 15 comments

Stranger in a Strange Land

7/7/7 marks the 100th birthday of Grandmaster Robert Anson Heinlein, born July 7th 1907. Long live Lazarus Long! While any attempt at a tribute would but naturally turn into a passionate link infested paean to this visionary genius, one of the Big 3, along with Asimov and Clarke, one must honour his contribution with a pointer to the Heinlein Concordance, a portal of his stories, characters, concepts and timelines.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. ~ Robert A. Heinlein 1907 - 1988
posted by infini on Jul 6, 2007 - 93 comments

Space Diving

Why yes, I WOULD like to ride a rocket into space, then jump out of it and free-float to an Earth re-entry. Columbia widower Jonathan Clark and X Prize launcher Rick Tumlinson want to redefine re-entry. Whether for fun or for survival, the two want to make it possible for you or me to survive the 150 mile, 18,000 MPH, 8.2G, 3,000°F fall back to Earth in the worlds first orbital life vest. [via]
posted by daHIFI on Jun 27, 2007 - 49 comments

Your favorite keyboard sucks.

Dasher is text input informed by information theory. It's also trippy. David MacKay recently gave a talk in the Google TechTalks series. You can download a prototype at the official site. Plenty useful, but perhaps also a new metaphor for writing?
posted by ontic on Jun 2, 2007 - 33 comments

Where's my jetpack?

Where's my jetpack?
posted by Kattullus on May 17, 2007 - 30 comments

Your graduate research team in Guatemala - just checking in.

Paleo-Future: A look into the future that never was. More recent predictions include the future according to AT&T, Apple's Knowledge Navigator and Bill Gates on the Future of Police Work.
posted by phaedon on Apr 28, 2007 - 22 comments

Peak oil?

Go faster, shoot tankers (flash)
posted by klangklangston on Apr 6, 2007 - 20 comments

Take THAT, Viacom!

A YouTube Manifesto. A YouTube fan speaks truth to power. And then he shows us teen girls removing clothes! (Believe it or not neither is NSFW.)
posted by davy on Mar 20, 2007 - 32 comments

Bruce Sterling's Talk at SXSW

Bruce Sterling's talk at SXSW is described on the landing page as a 'rant'. It isn't. What it is is a survey from 10,000 feet at what's happening in culture and technology and on the web, and I reckon it's worth spending the hour of your life it'll take to listen to it. I hope you agree. [mp3, 59 minutes]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 19, 2007 - 52 comments

Touch Me Baby One More Time

Jeff Han, shows advances in his multitouch interfaces a year later. YT video 1. YT video 2.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 14, 2007 - 36 comments

The Big Question

"We asked 100 writers and thinkers to answer the following question: Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next? The pessimism of their responses is striking: almost nobody expects the world to get better in the coming decades, and many think it will get worse." From Prospect Magazine.
posted by limon on Mar 4, 2007 - 35 comments

Happiness is a pill.

New Media from the future... a look at infographics and commercials from 2027, courtesy of a the movie Children of Men. (qt, sound)
posted by Dave Faris on Feb 27, 2007 - 87 comments

Pass the Future, please.

Tales of Future Past* — It's been a looong Monday. Do you want to get off the planet and out of the city to a place where you can really live? Well, here's some food for thought on the way home down life's highways. First, take a break from all this depressing war talk. Then empower yourself by giving yourself some space and maybe taking off for a few days. Drive just a bit slower, turn up the volume and imagine that your mechanic will say the tranny's OK after all. Once you're in the front door, take time to get slightly wired and forget all about politics. Get recharged for tomorrow: have a nice long bath, put your mind at ease, watch Ur Fave shOw, and listen to some soothing music. Now, don't things look a lot better? [*Note the 'Start the Tour' links at the bottom of each page.]
posted by cenoxo on Feb 12, 2007 - 10 comments

"The crazy notion that design not only was important but could also change the world"

Clip/Stamp/Fold. The current show at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City explores an era when architecture was actually interesting. We go from "an elephant attacking the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan to a skyscraper made of Swiss cheese." On the way, we visit astronauts, bunkers, walking cities, and robots fucking – and it's all waiting for you inside these little magazines.
posted by BLDGBLOG on Feb 7, 2007 - 5 comments

Machadaynu!

Predictions of the future have been common throughout history. They have been made by everyone from wackos to geniuses. But none have been as fun to revisit as this little musical look into the future, all the way to the year 2000 (apologies to Conan O'Brien, and YouTube haters). For more goodness by the folks behind "Music 2000", please see the following, as well as this look into the future of computer games.
posted by newfers on Jan 31, 2007 - 12 comments

NYT OpEd by Thomas Homer-Dixon "The End of Ingenuity"

The End of Ingenuity (NYT OpEd by Thomas Homer-Dixon)"..cheap energy is tightening, and humankind’s enormous output of greenhouse gases is disrupting the earth’s climate. Together, these two constraints could eventually hobble global economic growth and cap the size of the global economy." See also The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization. (2006).
posted by stbalbach on Nov 30, 2006 - 61 comments

Biggest breakthroughs of the next 50 years

What will be the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the next 50 years? As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, the New Scientist asked 70 prominent minds for ideas on the subject. You can read the thoughts of scientists like Freeman Dyson, Benoit Mandelbrot and Jane Goodall individually, or browse by topic. For example, eight thinkers have something to say about alien life. The links to browse by topic can be found at the beginning of the main link. Also, compare with this thread about similar predictions from 1950.
posted by jeffmshaw on Nov 19, 2006 - 89 comments

Caution, future ahead.

Warning signs from the future. Things to look out for when you get there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 28, 2006 - 33 comments

No headphones required.

Future Phone: Call a number in Iowa, give them the international number you want to call, talk for free - well, at American long-distance rates anyway. No headphones required.
posted by trinarian on Oct 20, 2006 - 23 comments

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (Feb, 1950)
Some more up-to-date predictions: science, invention, space travel, colonisation, immortality, water shortage, flooding, nanotech, techno-apocalypse, extinction, mental health, smart machines, robots, mind uploading, AI, Asia, economics, demographics, goverance, cities. What is your prediction?
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 5, 2006 - 54 comments

The Not Too Distant Future

Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired and The Village Voice. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian on Oct 1, 2006 - 36 comments

Old people neglecting to die

The Coming Death Shortage We've talked about Aubrey De Grey and gerontology before, but what about the Anna Nicole Smith syndrome and compound interest? This piece from the Atlantic online brings up a scenario that that we may well have to deal with as the maximum possible age increases. Generational warfare, government subsidized longevity treatments ,30 year old adolescence and bio-engineered nations are just some of the things we will live to see if this forecast is accurate. (via Plastic)
posted by daHIFI on Sep 29, 2006 - 52 comments

Shop Class as Soulcraft

Much of the “jobs of the future” rhetoric surrounding the eagerness to end shop class and get every warm body into college, thence into a cubicle, implicitly assumes that we are heading to a “post-industrial” economy in which everyone will deal only in abstractions. Yet trafficking in abstractions is not the same as thinking...
posted by Kwantsar on Sep 7, 2006 - 54 comments

Row, row, row your car.

HumanCar (note: 6.7mb WMV) row, row, row your car... but it's telling that they show it going downhill, but not up. And will you need 3 friends whenever you need to run to the store? More videos, and information here.
posted by crunchland on Aug 23, 2006 - 12 comments

Beyond Sustainability

Designing the Next Industrial Revolution [google video], an inspiring talk by William McDonough on design and ecology, beyond sustainability. Starts a little slow, but builds a powerful vision of a possible future. [transcript, via, see also]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jul 26, 2006 - 5 comments

Hello future!

Call the Future let's you send a phone message in the future. It sounds scary, but it could be useful for reminders. Or for pranks. The site creator's own prank was not that great, though.
posted by easternblot on Jul 16, 2006 - 15 comments

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

Timeline of Trends and Events (1750 to 2100). Large image, lots of info. Via digg
posted by sourwookie on May 27, 2006 - 51 comments

...maybe new ideas will come.

A talk given by Matt Webb on fictional futures, and a whole lot besides. Just some text and some pictures, but he takes you on a most excellent brain adventure, from Italo Calvino to a map of all the biochemical reactions on Earth to Vannevar Bush’s machine, the Memex with dozens of stops in between. One of my favorite parts -- and the coolest use of RSS I've ever seen -- is a tool to subscribe to your personal lightcone. [via]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on May 7, 2006 - 18 comments

It's Semantic

The Future of the Web
A fascinating, breathless hour-long talk (+Q&A) recently given by Sir Tim (mp3 & mp4, no transcript available). For the lazy, this recent interview covers much the same ground. [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on Apr 2, 2006 - 16 comments

"The trends that will shape our future"

A conversation about the future is a 1 hr. 15 min. Time magazine podcast (mp3 file) of a panel discussion, featuring Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban, LA Times op-ed editor Andres Martinez, author Steven Johnson ("Everything Bad Is Good for You") and magazine writer Caitlin Flanagan.
posted by edlundart on Mar 23, 2006 - 10 comments

The Simulacrisation of Technology into Life

As the Pentagon ousts plans to turn insects into cyber war machines you'd be forgiven for asking the question: Where does the real digital end and the faked life begin? Are we simulating life synthetically? or just speeding up an entirely natural process? Technologically engineered life is here to stay. Its not far fetched to speculate that simulacra may become all there is.
posted by 0bvious on Mar 15, 2006 - 13 comments

50 books that are RAND

50 Books for Thinking About the Future Human Condition, a list by the RAND corporation.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 26, 2006 - 25 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Probability senses tingling batman!

Experts can suck at predicting the future. Their intuitive sense of probability is no more developed than lay-people's. A classic experiment is to present two indistinguishable choices are presented, but with unequal probability of reward. Humans look for complex patterns, which don't exist, and preform quite poorly. Rats quickly recognize the choice with higher probability, and preform optimally.
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 11, 2005 - 34 comments

Jesus: The Clone of Turin

Future Magazine covers: A bit self-aggrandizing in a subtile way. However I found the future mag covers engaging enough in a "lite" sort of way. (click on: "See covers from the future" option)(via)
posted by edgeways on Dec 3, 2005 - 30 comments

Olaf Stapledon: The Star Maker

Olaf Stapledon was a man ahead of his time. His epic 'novel' Star Maker (1937) considered the emergence of genetic engineering, the outcome of the many worlds interpretation and delved deeper than any book before or since into the consequences of evolution on the cosmos. His fans have included the likes of Arthur C Clarke, Jorge Luis Borges and Virginia Woolf. Even his greatest detractor, C.S.Lewis, wrote an entire Cosmic Trilogy in response to his imaginings. Yet despite Stapledon's magnetic prose and extraordinary influence on speculative fiction his name remains largely forgotten by the world. Yet his words still resonate with insight: "Did not our life issue daily as more or less firm threads of active living, and mesh itself into the growing web, the intricate, ever-proliferating pattern of mankind?"
posted by 0bvious on Nov 27, 2005 - 24 comments

This so called reality

If the universe is a hologram and the healthy human brain a valve of consciousness then where'd this mental infinity come from? Are we simply living the simulacrum? Or does Pi protect us all, forever, infinitely?
posted by 0bvious on Nov 22, 2005 - 39 comments

NOISE

NOISE is a global youth arts initiative (under 25s) that develops and profiles artists and their work across television, radio, in print and online. Requires Flash. [MI]
posted by sjvilla79 on Nov 15, 2005 - 3 comments

Gone by 2040:

Gone by 2040: Religious Hierarchy, Japan's Passivity, The Chinese Communist Party, Auto Emissions, Monogamy, The Euro, The War on Drugs, Sovereignty... To mark their 35th year in publication Foreign Policy magazine asks 16 influential thinkers which ideas, values, or institutions will be gone by the year 2040. Also discussed on NPR radio today.
posted by StarForce5 on Oct 13, 2005 - 50 comments

365 tomorrows

One story a day for 365 days. All stories of the future. Started August 1, 2005 and ending July 31, 2006.
posted by thebabelfish on Sep 12, 2005 - 12 comments

Psychoactive Drugs for the Future

Psychoactive Drugs for the Future Could brain-boosting drugs become as common as coffee?
UK government group Foresight have just released their 'Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs Project' in which the aim was to evaluate:
"How can we manage the use of psychoactive substances in the future to best advantage for the individual, the community and society?"
The report can be viewed in its entirety from here. Direct link to the Executive Summary (.pdf) via
posted by peacay on Jul 15, 2005 - 31 comments

Obituaries of the Future

Obituaries of the Future An example: June 5, 2019. Bush – George W. (72), the 43rd president of the United States, was struck down “in action” early yesterday morning from injuries sustained during a failed one-man invasion of Mexico. Write your own!
posted by jdroth on Jul 6, 2005 - 19 comments

This Is Not Your Paternal Unit's Onion

Final Installment of Frogger Poised to Sweep Oscars All the regular cast of characters return remain in this 2056 A.D. edition of Americorp.biz's Finest News Source. If you haven't visited lately, you can easily catch up on the last 51 years.
posted by hal9k on Jun 21, 2005 - 45 comments

Kubla Khan

Xanadu Home of the Future sits rotting in Kissimmee, Florida. It was built in the early 80s by Roy Mason and combined a unique architectural approach with an environment controlled by Commodore computers. Squatters were probably not part of this future plan. You can buy this visionary piece of futures past today or you could buy one in Sedona. However, be aware that the Gatlinburg and Wisconsin Xanadus were not preserved.
posted by PHINC on Jun 10, 2005 - 26 comments

"A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation,"

Review of "A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation," by Jonathan Huebner, who says the rate of human innovation has been steadily declining since the industrial revolution, and is headed toward an "economic limit" of very low apparent innovation that will be reached circa 2038. As one potential explanation, we must consider the possibility that human-initiated innovation, like energy consumption and population growth, is a process that naturally saturates with rising global income levels and technological intelligence--as technological progress increasingly satisfies current human needs, individuals become less concerned with technological development and turn more toward personal growth. More articles from Acceleration Watch.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 2, 2005 - 24 comments

Baron Mango - Functional Art

Baron Mango:
Functional Art Lover
[via]
posted by peacay on May 30, 2005 - 5 comments

Desktop Fusion

Putterman also suggests the crystals could be used as microthrusters for tiny spacecraft. By accelerating deuterium in one direction, the spacecraft would be propelled in the opposite direction.
Ok, so I know nothing about physics, apart from what I learned getting beat up in grade school, but this seems both legit and cool. Here's a MeFi discussion of the other kind of desktop fusion, you know, the kind with the bubbles. A picture of the bubble machine.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 28, 2005 - 11 comments

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