23 Jun 2008

My favorite futurologist, Jamais Cascio (see the "Participatory Panopticon" vision), recently gave a talk in San Francisco. He talks for one hour, starting with education, but moving to almost all topics that he is interested in right now. He says the talk is about "his work in progress". Some of the thoughts are not as new as this year (e.g. see my review of "Radical Evolution" by Joel Garreau), but some I've seldom or never heard. I'm looking forward to hear Cascio's new scenario that might come out of this.

I started taking some notes halfway through the talk when I noticed that some interesting ideas of Cascio were popping up, rather than a coherent picture. Here are his ideas that I remembered:

  • A future of education: Every students creates his/her own curriculum totally from scratch?
  • There is a recent price drop for molecular 3D Printers. Looks like the price slope for other technologies, e.g. CD burners. They will be really affordable in a few years.
  • What if we could have wearable pattern recognizers? A really vague concept right now, but what a great idea! Best thought of the talk.
  • Some researchers notice an increasing ability of modern humans to think complex (by themselves). All new media stuff from the last 60 years played a role in that (albeit being called "junk food" for the brain, each at its time).
  • We will want to have personal data security in a world that will undergo physical changes (think climate change). Dislocation will happen to a lot of us.
  • Revisiting the Participatory Panopticon: How will it influence our daily storytelling when every detail is seen and we maybe even can have two or three views on it?
  • Physical augmentation will soon be for everyone (who has money, of course). Well, I knew that, but the place to pay attention to right now is the development for the disabled. Their stuff is already so cool (e.g. legs, eyes, ears) that "normal" people are starting to want them these days because they are better than our natural set!
  • On the non-material augmentation market (think physical drugs), this has already happened. Students took mental drugs (e.g. attention enhancers) to learn better. Now they arrived in the workplace. Be ready to compete against mental doping - on your job.
  • Collaboration, bottom-up Developing, Open Source - these concepts are moving into more workplaces, but also into politics. Warfare think tanks discuss why terrorism is so successful. It is because it already embraces these terms. The big players start thinking how they can play this game, too (but still remain a big global power). I read this first on Jeff Vails site (Terrorism in a Post-Cartesian World: PDF, Network Defense strategies: HTML).


# lastedited 23 Jun 2008
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