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New Column Kicks Off

Starting today, I have a ~weekly column at Fast Company, covering technology, ethics and the environment, and innovation, all from a futures perspective. My editor, Noah Robischon, asked me to kick off the column with a topic near-and-dear to my heart: what happens to social relationships when we live in the era of immersive visible data.

When 'Mad Men' Meets Augmented Reality

...The more top-down control there is in the digital world, the less spam and malware we'll see -- but we'll also lose the opportunity to do disruptive, creative things. Consider Apple's iPhone App Store: Apple's vetting and remote-disable process may minimize the number of harmful applications, but it also eliminates programs that do things outside of what the iPhone designers intended.

Blended-reality technology could play in a limited, walled-garden world, but history suggests that it won't really take off until it offers broad freedom of use. This means, unfortunately, that ads, spam, and malware are probably inevitable in a blended-reality world. We're likely to deal with these problems the same way we do now: Good system design to resist malware, and filters to limit the volume of unwanted ads. All useful and necessary, but there's a twist: Filtering systems for blended-reality technologies may allow us to construct our own visions of reality.

All familiar stuff to long-time readers of Open the Future, but hopefully a nice bit of provocation for the Fast Company audience.


Congratulations on the column, Jamais. Looking forward to some good reading.

Good column. But the rebuild might take years longer than necessary because the US and UK governments are fighting desperately to keep the status quo operating. All the big bankrupt banks should have been nationalised last year and split up into smaller banks like the prudent banks who are now struggling. But the big money is still being poured into bankrupt businesses trying to keep them from being reorganised.
It will happen eventually, but we are heading for wasted years and huge deficits before they are forced to face up to doing what they should have done in the first place.

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