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Future of the Future

The next five days will see a potentially interesting -- at least to me -- intersection of a variety of important dynamics I've been following closely.

Global guerillas, or the reaction to them. What should be an hour wait for the flight will be several hours as Janice & I wrangle with security. This habit we in the West seem to have of responding to the most recent security brouhaha, no matter whether the threat was actually new or persistant, is just one of the ways the bad guys win. Frankly, I suspect that "foiled" plans are more disruptive than "successful" attacks. If a plane blows up, we all freak out, but eventually get back to normal. If a terror cell is arrested preparing for an underwear bomb, suddenly we'll all be subject to even more intrusive inspections for years to come.

The stickiness of virtual communities. This trip will be the longest I've gone in quite some time without at least poking my head into my current preferred metaverse, World of Warcraft. It's not that I'll miss the raids and battlegrounds and whatnot all that much, but I'll really miss the cameraderie of my friends and colleagues.

Climate awareness. Weather in Hawaii is close to perfect -- a balmy mid-80s, with occasional passing rainshowers. But lurking over the horizon is what could be the strongest Pacific storm season in quite a while. No tropical storms are predicted for this stay, but it's inevitable that Hawaii will get hit in the near future. What happens to a city under weather siege when there's no place to run? The Sustainability 2050 project will have to confront the question of what conditions like that would do to the state.

Immersive futurism. My talk on Thursday night will address the changing face of futurism, with the emergence of "experiential futurism," whether using role-playing, immersive environments or artifacts. I see this as part of a larger trend towards the democratization of futurism: no longer will we be content with experts telling us what the future will hold, now we want to be able to experience it -- and to change it, through our own choices.

See you on the beach.


Dang, this is great. Now I can actually tell people what I do: I build environments for quantitative immersive futurism.


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