April 2003 Archives

Six world-changing technologies

Business 2.0 has an article by David Pescovitz listing six technologies currently being worked on that will have big impacts. Quoting the article's blurbs, they are:

The future of computer displays

An article outlining the current state of display technology, including Organic LEDs, LEPs, flexible roll-up-able displays and 3D displays.

The second such conference devoted to developing tech is underway, and I'm attending here in San Jose. So far I've been describing my experiences on my personal site, but at some point I hope to write something more suited to Overmorgen, even if it's just a single futures-oriented round-up. There's a huge amount going on and it's worth looking at all the topics covered.

The latest FutureQuest newsletter points out a UK Ministry of Defence document called Strategic Trends which is apparently "an ambitious attempt to develop a coherent view of how the world might develop over the next thirty years and the implications for defence and security." (FutureQuest is published by Fast Future who were involved in the report, so this isn't objective commentary.) Unfortunately the main PDF document won't let me see the eight pages of content if I open it with Preview or Acrobat Reader in Mac OS X. If you have any luck, post your thoughts as a comment... One day, in a far-off future, the MoD will be able to cope with these advanced technologies.

Talk on techno-utopianism

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Brian Dear points out a talk by Fred Turner of the Stanford Department of Communication entitled 'From Counterculture to Cyberculture: How The Whole Earth Catalog Brought Us "Virtual Community"' (abstract, Windows Media stream). I haven't watched the talk (the stream isn't Mac-friendly) but it sounds interesting and apparently kicks off by analysing Wired's 1997 Long Boom article.

Paul Morley 'About the Future'

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If you're in the UK and you get BBC Four, there's a programme on tonight called Paul Morley's Matter of Fact and this edition (at both 7.30pm and 11.40pm) is 'About the Future'. (I'm assuming it's a series; it's hard to tell.) Could be interesting, and Paul Morley's always good for a sardonic laugh. Here's the blurb from that BBC page:

Accelerating the future with McLuhan

The Toronto International McLuhan Festival of the Future is a new one on me. The first event is in October, covering ten fields they deem to be important. Hard to tell what it will be like as there's little content there so far, but the description "the foremost forum for the world's biggest thinkers to share thoughts on how to accelerate the future" doesn't make it sound very objective. Accelerate what future? Why does it need to be accelerated? It all sounds a bit pop-science, "gee-whizz won't the future be cool" so far, but hopefully I'm wrong. (Thanks Matt)

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