Gavin sends us "An article that I wrote for Wired (and Playboy) a few years back that never ran in either magazine. I just put it up on my website and it seems right up BB's alley:
A rundown of futurism, going through nine sets of predictions on what the world would be like by the year 2000, from Megatrends (1988) to Glimpses of the Future (1888--and an amazing amount of correct material!), including best/worst predictions (my favorite: two astronauts will have a gunfight in outer space over a woman) and accuracy rates for each futurist."
Most of the futurists I read focused on the rise and fall of governments, and especially, the progress of technology and the sciences. The future of art and literature got short shrift, as did sex and religion. At first, I thought this was because too many of the predictors considered their readership to be drawn from the business community. But that didn’t wash: an accurate prediction of fashion trends, or societal attitudes towards sex, would be immensely valuable to any savvy investor or corporate type. Would-be prophets avoid arts and entertainment because they seem too difficult to pin down, too trend-driven. Science provides the illusion that progress occurs in an orderly fashion: Mendel’s pea-plants to the discovery of DNA to the Human Genome Project to a cure for cancer, all in a tidy line.
Welcome to the Future
Someone outfitted a Boston Dynamics SPOT mobile robot with a silly fake horse head and suddenly the future of robotics looks a lot less scary. As esteemed futurist Jim Dator once said, “Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.”
“He’s dead, Jim.” (via Laughing Squid)
Yesterday, five large department stores in the towns of Lindsay and Whitby, Ontario, Canada had to temporarily stop ringing up customers because every item scanned at the register showed up as Mr. Potato Head. “A point of sale downloading error caused item names to appear incorrectly,” said Cathy Kurzbock, manager of external communications for department […]
For all their power and capabilities, image editing software isn’t like sitting down to play a video game. You aren’t there to have fun. You’re likely looking to make a few minor tweaks to an image to make it ready to be shared, then you move on with satisfaction in a job well done. If […]
This is truly a golden age for fans of a big ginormous TV screen. Not too long ago, to buy a television over 40 inches usually meant wheeling one of those massive Mitsubishi or Toshiba projection monoliths into your home, consuming a vast portion of any room at a cost of potentially $7,000 to $8,000. […]
Nearly 30 years after it started its run as the most dominant productivity software ever created, the Microsoft Office suite of programs are now virtually synonymous with personal computing. From its days bundled with Windows to its current life as Office 365 cloud-based apps, there’s no reason to think perennial hits like Word, Excel and […]