February 2002 Archives

It may turn out to be nothing, but there does seem to have been a growing difference in outlook between Europe and the US since the World Trade Centre disaster (for example, Chris Patten's remarks). But now the Council of Europe is considering expelling the US, an observer, due to its continued use of the death penalty, a much more fundamental moral and policy difference.

The changing structure of markets over time

Not specifically future-oriented, but full of useful rules-of-thumb about how new business markets change over time. (24K PDF.) Looks at how markets move from fragmentation, through companies growing larger, to the biggest survivors consolidating their positions, and finally onto mergers and alliances. I don't know enough economics to evaluate its accuracy, but it's interesting nonetheless. (via Nettime)

DNA databanks without consent

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The state government in South Carolina, USA, have been keeping DNA records of all babies since 1995 without the consent of parents. Some of this data has now been passed on to a genetics laboratory and the State Law Enforcement Division despite previous reassurances by state officials. There won't be much that's still private soon... (via Politech)

I love this, whether its statistics are meaningful or not. Players of Sony's online game EverQuest spend a lot of real world money on transactions such as selling game assets via eBay. Edward Castronova at Cal State Fullerton University, USA, has written a report on the value of this world, placing it somewhere around Bulgaria in the list of the world's rich list. (via FUTUREdition)

I missed this a couple of weeks back. BT's futurist, Ian Pearson, keeps a timeline of developments expected to occur over the next twenty years. Here he elaborates on many of these, which are mainly technological. It's basically a list of predictions, rather than any kind of scenarios. The timeline itself is here and the following pages. He also has an interesting list of potential wild cards. (via FUTUREdition)