The Futurist

The Futurist, subtitled A Journal of Forecasts, Trends and Ideas About the Future, is a journal that explores social and technological changes, with forecasts, trends and ideas about the future. Founded in 1967, The Futurist is published bimonthly by the World Future Society.Articles focus on the topic of sociology. The Editors of this journal are Edward S. Cornish and Jeff Cornish.

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 3, May-June

A Futurist Mind-Set: A Best-Selling Futurist Author Shares His Approach to Seeing Tomorrow in the Trends of Today
In 1967, America's cities were burning, and companies did not know what was going on and what they should do in response. This instability fed my hunt for a mechanism to monitor the transition the country was going through. How could I really see where...
Countering Cyber Attacks: Analysts Devise Way to Calculate the Threat of Attacks on the Infostructure
In the cyber age, individuals have more power to wage an attack of dangerous proportions on whatever target may provoke their ire--other individuals, corporations and organizations, and even nations. Since information infrastructure is increasingly...
Defeating Terrorism: Is It Possible? Is It Probable?
Forecasting International (FI) is in the business of predicting future developments. Therefore, let us begin with a few of the easiest and least welcome predictions that FI has ever made. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] * Terrorist events will be more...
Designing for the "Other 90 Percent": Fancy Clothes and Cars for the Rich and Famous Aren't the Only Things Needing Great Design. A New Exhibition Honors Design Solutions for the World's Poor and Needy
A pot for more-efficient food storage, a bicycle rigged to carry hundreds of pounds of cargo, and simple pumps for irrigating crops during the dry season. These are just a few simple technologies that deal with the everyday problems of the 90% of humanity...
Device Thwarts Digital-Picture Taking
In a single year, 24 million digital cameras (including camera phones) are sold in the United States, and the firm Gartner Dataquest speculates that 80% of U.S. households will own a digital-picture-taking device of some sort by 2010. It stands...
Men Not at Work: Men, Women, Young People Are Opting out of Labor-Force Participation
Women's increased participation in the labor force since the 1950s is a well-known trend. Less remarked upon is the fact that men have been decreasing their participation, albeit more gradually, over the course of the same period, according to a new...
Microinsurance for Megadisasters
Four billion people across the globe subsist on less than $2 a day; among them, fewer than 10 million have access to insurance for what little property they have. By some estimates, only 1% to 3% of families in developing-world countries carry any...
Our Cashless Future: Despite Continued Concerns over Privacy and Security, the Era of Digital Currency Has Arrived
The counterfeiting of paper currency is likely to explode in the United States within the next five to 10 years, the inevitable result of innovations in optical scanning technology, according to currency expert Robert Schafrik. The growing ease of...
Promoting Parenthood in Japan
With a declining birthrate and the steady attrition of its aging population, Japan may run out of people in the next 900 years, claims one professor. Long before that scenario plays out, however, the nation is seriously addressing the challenges of...
Rise of the Cashless Do-Gooders: A Georgia Preacher Tells the Story of the Cashless Collection Plate
In the fall of 2003, our leadership team at the Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, was looking for ways to better serve our community, so we embraced the idea of adding to our current facility a costly undertaking that would require a lot of...
Subprime Lenders Target Women Unfairly: Discriminatory Lending Practices Pose Growing Problem
The U.S. real estate boom that began in 2002 has resulted in record rates of subprime lending, an expensive and risky loan product reserved for borrowers with troubled credit. Roughly 19% of all home loans in 2005 were of this type. Now, nearly 2.2...
Survival of the Cutest: "Lovable" May Be the Most Practical Evolutionary Trait for Endangered Species
According to conservation biologists, human preference for cute or attractive animals over less-charismatic creatures will increasingly affect which species survive and which ones perish in the years ahead. To shed light on which animal traits appeal...
The Rise of Brain-Focused Teaching: Teachers Look to Neuroscience for Help in the Classroom
The development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the 1980s revolutionized medicine, particularly neuroscience, by giving doctors a unique window into the workings of the brain. Now, fMRI technology, and our advanced knowledge of how...
The Search for Foresight: The World Future Society's First Conference; in This Third Installment of His Memoirs, the Society's Founding President Tells the Inside Story of Its First Conference, Held in 1971
On December 1, 1966, the newly founded World Future Society had exactly three members, but by 1970 our membership had grown to 4,000. During this time, we upgraded THE FUTURIST from a newsletter to an illustrated magazine that won acceptance in...
The World Future Society at 40: First Impressions; A Staff Writer and Editor Recalls the World Future Society's Humble Atmosphere and Grand Aspirations
The World Future Society was born on a back porch in Bethesda, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. Its founding staff consisted of journalist Ed Cornish (who had left his full-time job at the National Geographic Society to take this challenge...
Time for a Global Welfare System?
Terrorism, job shakeouts, pandemics, climate change, and other dislocations are largely the result of tectonic shifts in the global economy. Insecurity is growing in the developed world in spite of efforts to resolve problems stemming from globalization....
Violent Crime and Cash: The Connection; Privacy Concerns about Digital Cash May Be Overblown
Since publishing "Toward a Cashless Society" in THE FUTURIST (July-August 2004), I have been both encouraged and disappointed. On the positive side, a milestone will be laid when Singapore issues the world's first government-issued electronic currency...
Wireless Devices May Compromise Privacy: Trendy Gadgets May Say More about You Than You Think
A shoe that clocks your mileage for you and talks to your iPod may seem like a great idea, but users of the popular Nike+iPod could be surprised to learn that their digital music player is broadcasting sensitive information about them, such as where...
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