A little over 40 years ago, I brought my new master’s degree, one heavily edited published newspaper clipping, and lots of ignorance into the cluttered office of the president of the World Future Society, who was also its magazine’s editor, Ed Cornish. During a recession, I felt lucky to have an interview at all when I left Syracuse, but it seems The Futurist was looking to expand its editorial staff as the organization was heading into its 1982 General Assembly, focusing on Communications and the Future.
Review of Beyond Identities by Jim Dator.
It’s been said we can’t read the label when we’re inside the bottle, and perhaps we’re not called on to do so very often. Who I think I am doesn’t come up much, except when I’m filling out an official form or encountering someone clearly different from myself who has already formed an opinion of me. (And I of them, probably.)
I’ve traveled to Washington, D.C., many times in my career with the Research and Development branch of the U.S. Forest Service. Most trips were to meet with folks in the Washington office of the agency or to give a seminar on a research project.
Are robots replacing artists? Not yet. But I have questions. (Commentary)
“What we do now echoes in eternity.”
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The two quotations are usually attributed to two of my personal philosophical and moral guides, Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) and Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), respectively. But unfortunately, neither seems to have written these lines.
While it has long been a given that global populations have been migrating to cities, and more recently that climate change is increasing average temperatures, weather scientists are now putting the two trends together to raise concerns about the increase in urban heat-related illnesses and deaths.
While space is too vast to imagine, and there are few who are actually capable of littering there, the orbital space surrounding our own planet is considerably smaller. In recent years, the number of launches and functional objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) have increased dramatically, and the amount of orbital trash from a variety of sources has grown at an even greater rate. Meanwhile, strategies to deal with potential problems in this arena are still problematic.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, The Life of Reason (1905).
Since retiring from full-time future-writing (editing for The Futurist magazine), I’ve had time to catch up on some books I’ve saved on my shelves over the past few decades. Though I’ve gone about it backwards, I do recommend reading the past before writing the future. This might help us avoid the pitfalls that have contributed much to present misery.
It is a measure of the times to see economic sectors that have historically been substantial producers of byproduct waste take a hard look at what they have been ignoring. One such sector is the forest products industry, which had normally burned its sawdust—much like natural gas was initially burned off by the petroleum industry until they began storing it back underground elsewhere, initially in salt mines.
by Dennis M. Bushnell
The tech-related futures literature primarily concerns specific technologies and their societal impacts. This discussion is an attempt to provide a precis of the major emerging technologies and their impacts upon societal lifestyles and upon the increasing numbers of serious to existential societal issues. The discussion is based upon Bostrom’s Technological Completion Conjecture,1 wherein technologies are carried forward to produce useful capabilities.