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Blog Archive for the ‘Futures’ Category


by Stephanie Gerson on November 22nd, 02007

Futarchy is an untried form of government proposed by economist Robin Hanson, in which officials define measures of national welfare while prediction markets determine which policies are most desirable. In Hanson’s words, “we would vote on values, but bet on beliefs.”

Futarchy is based on the assumption that poor nations are poor because their. . .   Read More

Predictions & Prescriptions

by Austin Brown on November 21st, 02007

Good Magazine ran an interview recently with a man they call The New Nostradamus. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses a mathematical model that is based entirely on game theory to predict the outcomes of political conflicts. He takes a very literal interpretation of the phrase “political science” and focuses his analysis strictly on issues of. . .   Read More

Svalbard gets even colder

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on November 20th, 02007

The BBC reports that the work on the Svalbard doomsday seed vault is charging right along…
Engineers have begun the two-month process of cooling down a “doomsday vault”, which will house seeds from all known varieties of key food crops.

The temperature inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will drop to -18C (0F) in. . .   Read More

Surfing the silver tsunami

by Stuart Candy on November 19th, 02007

Reuters reported in October that the first American Baby Boomer — a retired school teacher, born one second after midnight on 1 January, 01946 — has officially applied for Social Security payments. Currently, retirees seeking early benefits can apply three months before their 62nd birthday.

As the largest generation ever in the United States, the Baby Boomers. . .   Read More

Jim Henson’s “Time Piece”

by Simone Davalos on November 16th, 02007

This short film is a groovy meditation on time in a few of its facets:

“Dislocation in time, time signatures, time as a philosophical concept, and slavery to time are some of the themes touched upon in this nine-minute, experimental film, which was written, directed, and produced by Jim Henson-and starred Jim Henson. . .   Read More

Robo-scribe, the future of “hand made”

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on November 14th, 02007

  The German art group Robotlab has re-purposed an industrial robot to “hand” write a Martin Luther bible.  While in this instance there is not much feeling in the characters, one could easily imagine an algorithm that randomly introduces small errors to make it feel more hand made.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able […]

NY Times Magazine: “The Future is Drying Up”

by Camron Assadi - Twitter: @teiwaz on October 25th, 02007

The cover story from the of the New York Times Magazine this past weekend is entitled “The Future is Drying Up,” an excellent look at the work being done in the near term to cover the population explosion in the American West, as water resources become harder to allocate. It’s definitely worth a read. . .   Read More

The Future Half-Life of Verbs

by Kevin Kelly on October 24th, 02007

Language evolves, The English we might speak in the future will be different. One long term trend in English moves towards uniform ways of making verbs past tense. Ordinarily we do it by adding “ed” to the end.

To get an idea of where English might evolve to in the coming centuries, several linguists published. . .   Read More

Avatar Afterlife

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 12th, 02007

(This post was submitted by Roderick Jones, photo from Flickr user Dukal)
One of the stranger aspects of the explosion in the use of virtual worlds is when the avatar outlives the physical life of the gamer controlling it. People inhabiting virtual communities die in real life leaving their avatar and its property behind. . .   Read More

The shrinking literary future

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 2nd, 02007

I have been noticing a funny phenomenon recently in the work of my favorite science fiction authors. Their futures seem to be shrinking.

I thought it may have just been a coincidence that two of my all time favorites, William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, have both been writing less and less about the far future. . .   Read More