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.
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.
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.
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".
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]
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.
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)
Hate The Future. Bad news from another time.
"I Am Your Grandma." (Time-capsule SLYT)
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]
"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."
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."
Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]
Haruki Murakami talks about fiction in the 21st century. Part of the International Herald Tribune Magazine's year-end issue, 2011: Global Agenda. [more inside]
California's ailing Republicans: A dying breed? 'Republicans are relishing the coming of a new day on Capitol Hill. But across the country in California, the party of Nixon and Reagan is drifting toward obscurity. The latest sign of imperiled health: In a year Republicans notched big victories in Congress, governor's offices and statehouses around the nation, California Democrats made a clean sweep of eight statewide contests on Nov. 2. Democrats padded their majority in the Legislature, where the party controls both chambers and no congressional seats changed parties. California counted more registered Republicans in 1988 than it does today, even though the state population has since grown by about 10 million.''It's been said the future happens first in California, and the state hit a little-noticed milestone this month that will have implications in voting booths for years to come. For the first time, Hispanics account for more than half the students in the state's public schools. They will be tomorrow's voters.' [more inside]
In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow.
Baltimore area schools are using this Johns Hopkins program In an effort to combat rampant absenteeism and improve graduation rates, several Baltimore area middle schools are adopting the Stocks in the Future program developed by Johns Hopkins University program. Students are paid up to $80 a year based on their attendance and grades, which they are then allowed to invest in the stock market. Upon graduation, students keep their own portfolios (surprisingly, not all of them do). The program allows students to develop some financial literacy and has improved attendance rates.
Hatsune Miku's latest album debuted in the number one spot on the Japanese weekly Oricon album charts. She's playing live to sold out stadiums, and action figures depicting her have been shot into space... [more inside]
PopSci: Archive Gallery: From Chicago to Shanghai, 138 Visionary Years of World's Fairs [more inside]
A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future. A Yahoo Research tool mines news archives for meaning—illuminating past, present, and even future events. Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created as a venture of Yahoo's Research Lab and the Living Knowledge Project, generates timelines that will stretch into the future as well as the past. Here is what a search for MetaFilter produces. [more inside]
The London Underground. Every Londoner has used it, but has everyone really seen it? The old map is looking a bit dusty. Perhaps its time for Geographic precision or maybe 3D projection. If we add bicycles to the map, is it still an underground? [more inside]
40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years For it's 40th anniversary issue, Smithsonian magazine asks experts in various fields for insights into our future and compiles a list of 40 predictions about the future of science, nature, the arts and technology. The feature essay is by President Obama, in which he explains why he's optimistic about America's future. (VIA) [more inside]
SLYT - shows old early nineties AT&T ad in accurate future prediction SHOCK !
In 20 Years ... Upload a photo of yourself and the site produces a predictive illustration of what you'll look like in 20 or 30 years. And as an added bonus, you can toggle whether you're a drug addict or not. [more inside]
The Secret Powers of Time An animation of a lecture by Philip G. Zimbardo (previously). [more inside]
The New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940 promised visitors they would be looking at the “World of Tomorrow”. (second link is similar to the second one here)
David Gelernter, professor of computer science, painter, neoconservative columnist, and unabomber victim, on rethinking the internet. The structure called a cyberstream or lifestream is better suited to the Internet than a conventional website because it shows information-in-motion, a rushing flow of fresh information instead of a stagnant pool.
On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
"Forget everything you did today. Clear your schedule and spend the next half hour watching this video. It’s a presentation by Jesse Schell, founder of Schell Games and former creative director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. A veteran game designer, he is also on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In a talk at the DICE 2010 conference held last week in Las Vegas, he gave a presentation called Design Outside the Box. It is the most mind-blowing thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. And while this presentation was about the future of games, Schell could very well be talking about the future of technology."
“For me, augmented reality has to be the future for 2020, together with it's close cousin the internet of things... It will become commonplace to be able to overlay reviews of a product simply by pointing a screen at it, or check the weather forecast by pointing your phone at the sky.” The Pew Research Center releases its The Future of the Internet IV report, an online survey of 895 technology stakeholders’ and critics’ expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020. [more inside]
Redesigned notebooks, repurposed toys, grow-your-own breakfast, paper radios, parental pants, and more - all from the mind of design fiction enthusiast Matt Brown