Future





Built in (obviously) Japan by Hiroshi Ishiguro, the Geminoid DK is an ultra-realistic automaton designed to perfectly resemble a Danish university professor named Henrik Scharfe. Chillingly, the Geminoid is outfitted with a goatee, allowing it to blend unnoticed into the general male population should it escape from its handlers. Even more chillingly, with the fake flesh removed it’s a dead ringer for the T-800 from the Terminator movies.



In this RSA Animate, Jeremy Rifkin examines our innate capacity for empathy, one of the defining traits of the human race (though we share it with a few other species). Rifkin argues that throughout history humans have progressively expanded their “spheres of empathy”, and that our survival as a species depends on expanding empathy further, rather than retreating into tribalism. Will our empathic impulses become more globalized, along with everything else? Or do the conditions of today breed a narrow self-interest which could destroy us?


According to the Wall Street Journal‘s Marcel Dicke and Arnold Van Huis, insects are nutritious and easy to raise without harming the environment. They also have a nice nutty taste…

At the London restaurant Archipelago, diners can order the $11 Baby Bee Brulee: a creamy custard topped with a crunchy little bee. In New York, the Mexican restaurant Toloache offers $11 chapulines tacos: two tacos stuffed with Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers.

Could beetles, dragonfly larvae and water bug caviar be the meat of the future…



I’m a fan of this collection of third world war propaganda posters featured in the Guardian. New York-based designer Brian Moore created these nifty images, which explore the intersection of social networking…



Forum for the Future is a United Kingdom-based think tank with funding from corporate giants such as PepsiCo and Vodafone. Prior to New Year’s, it unveiled a series of animated shorts depicting how life within megacities might look in the year 2040. Perhaps most interesting is the vision of a benignly-Orwellian “Planned-opolis” in which daily activity is carefully regulated:




In an article for Foreign Policy, Parag Khanna argues that as mega-cities wield increasing political and economic power, the structures and sovereignty of the “countries” that contain them becomes less important. In…


Noah Schachtman reveals yet another confluence of public and private intelligence gathering, for Wired:

The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.

The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”

The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down…