Tag Archives | Future

Building An Empathetic Global Civilization

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?
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Insects Will Be Our Meat In The Future

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...
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‘Bible of Futuristic Culinary Art’ Contains Cheeseburger Made Of Liquid Nitrogen

storyimages_1297116918_cuisine_640x795_310x220Everyone thought futuristic meals would be in pill form. Turns out, liquid nitrogen burgers and ultrasound fries are the way of the future. AlterNet reports:

The gastronomic world is readying for a futurist revolution with the hotly anticipated release of Nathan Myhrvold’s . An innovative exploration of how science and food interact, the 2,438-page, six-volume tome is causing a major stir.

Top Asian cuisine chef and restaurateur David Chang has called the bible of futuristic culinary art, which has recipes for cheeseburgers made with liquid nitrogen, french fries fried in ultrasound and pea soup prepared in a centrifuge, “the cookbook to end all cookbooks”.

Along with the headline-grabbing recipes, Myhrvold, a 51-year-old scientist and millionaire inventor also seems to have created – along with his Seattle-based Cooking Lab – what could be the definitive practical study of what humans eat.

[Continues at AlterNet]

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2011: We’re Living In The Future, For Good

1911-Harry-grant-dart-wellImagine if in 1995 someone had described to you what life would look like in fifteen years. It certainly sounds like “the future” that was long promised by twentieth-century science fiction, Discovery argues:

The year is 2010. America has been at war for the first decade of the 21st century and is recovering from the largest recession since the Great Depression. Air travel security uses full-body X-rays to detect weapons and bombs. The president, who is African-American, uses a wireless phone, which he keeps in his pocket, to communicate with his aides and cabinet members from anywhere in the world. This smart phone, called a “Blackberry,” allows him to access the world wide web at high speed, take pictures, and send emails.

It’s just after Christmas. The average family’s wish-list includes smart phones like the president’s “Blackberry” as well as other items like touch-screen tablet computers, robotic vacuums, and 3-D televisions.

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Is Precognition Real? New Study Shows Some Evidence That the Human Mind Can Perceive the Future

Minority ReportThis study from Professor Daryl Bem at Cornell University certainly is interesting, but what’s even more interesting is the scientific establishment doesn’t seem to be bashing his work. Check out it for yourself. Ben Goertzel writes on h+ magazine:

According to today’s conventional scientific wisdom, time flows strictly forward — from the past to the future through the present. We can remember the past, and we can predict the future based on the past (albeit imperfectly) — but we can’t perceive the future.

But if the recent data from the lab of Prof. Daryl Bem at Cornell University is correct, conventional scientific wisdom may need some corrections on this particular point.

In a research paper titled “Feeling the Future,” recently accepted for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Bem presents some rather compelling empirical evidence that in some cases — and with weak but highly statistically significant accuracy – many human beings can directly perceive the future.

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Biometric Identification: More Flawed Than You Think

BarprintDreaming of a future in which you unlock your iPod with a retina scan? The Economist examines the weaknesses of biometric authentication (that is, IDing individuals by bodily traits such as their iris, fingerprint, etc.) Contrary to what many people assume, these methods of identifying people are quite fallible, here’s why:

Thanks to gangster movies, cop shows and spy thrillers, people have come to think of fingerprints and other biometric means of identifying evildoers as being completely foolproof. In reality, they are not and never have been, and few engineers who design such screening tools have ever claimed them to be so.

Authentication of a person is usually based on one of three things: something the person knows, such as a password; something physical the person possesses, like an actual key or token; or something about the person’s appearance or behavior. Biometric authentication relies on the third approach. Its advantage is that, unlike a password or a token, it can work without active input from the user.

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Are Nations Obsolete?

1125343317F_egyptIn 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 other words, global power struggles will be less America vs. China vs. Russia and more London vs. Mumbai vs. Tokyo, with the people outside of the super-cities being of little consequence.

In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built. This new world is not — and will not be — one global village, so much as a network of different ones.

Time, technology, and population growth have massively accelerated the advent of this new urbanized era. Already, more than half the world lives in cities, and the percentage is growing rapidly. But just 100 cities account for 30 percent of the world’s economy, and almost all its innovation.

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Google & CIA Invest Together To Predict The Future

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...
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