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. 47, No. 2, March-April

A Better World Is Just a Series of Innovations Away
The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet by Ramez Naam. University Press of New England. 2013. 368 pages. $29.95 cloth, $28.99 e-book. Within the past century, we have successfully eradicated diseases, multiplied our harvests...
A Digital Ownership Tug-of-War
The Digital Rights Movement: The Role of Technology in Subverting Digital Copyright by Hector Postigo. MIT Press. 2012. 244 pages. $32. How much control can a corporation claim over a digitally generated product for which it has the license? It's...
As Blogged
What's Hot @WFS.org On the Futurist Blog, our writers offer uniquely forward-looking perspectives on current events. Here is just a sample: Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, X Prizes-7 Billion Minds Put to Work By Len Rosen, posted on January 14,...
Asimov's Embarrassing Robot: A Futurist Fable: As Machines Begin to Learn and Even to Pursue Higher Knowledge, We May Need to Take Another Look at Isaac Asimov's Famous Three Laws of Robotics
The prospect of the technologic Singularity and of the projected symbiotic human relationships with machines has been hailed rightly as an evolutionary crossover, chosen rather than imposed by nature, and as more future-altering than the artificial...
A Special Message from the President of the World Future Society: Because the Future Matters
Dear Reader, The World Future Society Needs You ... because the more complex that the future becomes, the more minds we need at work: * scanning the horizon, * scouting the opportunities and risks ahead, * envisioning inspiring possibilities,...
Building a Better Future, One Molecule, Gene, or Quantum Bit at a Time
25 Things You Need to Know About the Future by Christopher Barnatt. Constable & Robinson. 2012. 398 pages. Paperback. $14.50. Running low on key natural resources won't necessarily consign us to deprivation and hardship, argues Christopher Barnatt,...
Building Better Minds-And What to Do with Them
As artificial intelligence technology advances, the event horizon known as the Technological Singularity draws near. Does that mean we must begin preparing for the inevitable domination of our robotic overlords? Not exactly. While such science-fiction...
China's Closed Circuits: Foreign Firms Are Helping China Become the World's Largest Market for Security Cameras
China, the world's most populated nation, will soon become the world's most surveilled, besting the United States as the largest market for security cameras in 2014, according to a report from Homeland Security Research Corporation (HSRC). China's...
Climate Disruption and Plankton Destruction: Researchers Urge Action to Save Phytoplankton and the Sea Life They Feed
The tiny marine plants that are vital sources of food and oxygen in the world's oceans may grow scarcer as global warming progresses this century. Their disappearance might in turn lead to depleted fish populations and even more global warming. Phytoplankton...
Educating the Future: The End of Mediocrity: Students Facing Uncertain Future Opportunities (but Very Certain Debt Loads) May Increasingly Turn Away from Private Colleges and Universities That Offer Little More Than a Diploma. Instead, They'll Seek More-Affordable Alternatives for Higher Education, Both Real and Virtual
0n May 18, 2012, the president of Chester College in Chester, New Hampshire, announced that the small, arts-oriented college was going to close for good at the end of the semester. Last-ditch fundraising efforts and finger-pointing at the school's...
Feedback
Here is a roundup of online reactions to the November-December 2012 issue of THE FUTURIST. Re: "Outlook 2013" and the Top 10 Forecasts (blog by Patrick Tucker) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Andrea Sommer (@andreasommer, via Twitter): Fantastic piece...
Five Economies That Work: Global Success Stories: Reining in Taxes and Spending May Be the Wrong Prescription for What's Ailing the World's Economies. A Few Success Stories-Israel, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Russia-Illustrate How Increased Taxing and Spending Are Adding Bounties of New Jobs and Cutting Poverty. the Key Is Doing So Wisely
"Austerity" and "limiting government spending" are popular words in the post-recession United States and western Europe. Lawmakers in these parts of the world have been slashing expenditures in hopes that this will rein in public debts and encourage...
Forecasting Violent Behavior in Psychiatric Emergencies: A Simpler Evaluation Tool Offers Faster, More Accurate Predictions of Violent Behavior
Most people suffering from mental-health disorders are not violent, but when a patient is admitted to a mental hospital, the psychiatrists on hand need to determine quickly if he or she likely will become violent, according to Alan Teo, a University...
Foresight as Dialogue: As the World Changes, We May Need to Modify Our Methods of Forecasting to Better Make Sense of Change. Yet We Must Not Discard the Still-Relevant Wisdom of the Past. the President of the World Future Society Lags out Some "Rules of the Road" for Forecasting That Draw a Middle Path between Inclusiveness and Adaptation on One Hand, and Discretion and Convention on the Other
Foresight and futures discussions--whether they take the form of a written article, a conference presentation, or an in-person consultation--always include a "speaker for the future" and the listener, his or her dialogue partner. Dialogue on futures...
Four Scenarios for 2030: The National Intelligence Council Offers an Overview of Major Trends Affecting the World, Reduced to Four Basic Scenarios. However, the Report's Authors Overlook Several Key Tensions
How will individual empowerment, diffusion of power, aging populations, mass urbanization, food and water scarcity, and accelerating change shape the world of 2030? The National Intelligence Council's new report, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,...
How Innovation Could Save the Planet: Ideas May Be Our Greatest Natural Resource, Says a Computer Scientist and Futurist. He Argues That the World's Most Critical Challenges-Including Population Growth, Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Limits to Growth-Could Be Met by Encouraging Innovation
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Best of Times: Unprecedented Prosperity There are many ways in which we are living in the most wonderful age ever. We can imagine we are heading toward a sort of science-fiction utopia, where we are incredibly rich...
How to Make a Mind: Can Nonbiological Brains Have Real Minds of Their Own? in This Article, Drawn from His Latest Book, Futurist/inventor Ray Kurzweil Describes the Future of Intelligence-Artificial and Otherwise
The mammalian brain has a distinct aptitude not found in any other class of animal. We are capable of hierarchical thinking, of understanding a structure composed of diverse elements arranged in a pattern, representing that arrangement with a symbol,...
In 30 Years, Everyone Will Be Beautiful: From Personal Futures to Transhumanism to the Glocalization of Beauty and Wellbeing: Futurists Let Their Minds Wander
Wired.com recently posted an article encouraging readers to visualize themselves aging over the next 30 years. We picture ourselves in a more vulnerable stage of life, weak and sick--and flabby and wrinkled. The idea is to take our own future seriously...
Knowing What to Really Fear
The Real Story of Risk: Adventures in a Hazardous World by Glenn Croston. Prometheus. 2012. 294 pages. $19. Our biology has hard-wired us to anticipate visible, immediate threats, such as a hungry saber-toothed tiger, but it has not at all prepared...
Predicting Obesity at Birth: Nongenetic Factors May Matter More Than Genetics in Determining Risk of Obesity
A simple, free, online calculator may be able to predict a newborn's risk of becoming obese. The survey is designed to draw data from a variety of common risk factors that previously had not been combined, according to researchers in Finland who developed...
Putting More Stock in Agricultural R&D: As Some Countries Boost Funding for Agricultural Innovation, Others Struggle to Catch Up
Climate change and rising business expenses challenge the world's farmers, but private and public investors have been making historically large increases in funding for agricultural research and development to help them adapt. A report by the International...
Turkish Futurists Association: Networking, Dreaming, Digitalizing: News for the Futurist Community
The Eighth Futurist Shuffle conference was held at Microsoft Turkey on November 5, 2012, with almost 150 attendees. It enhanced our vision with the theme of "My vision for 2013 and beyond." The bimonthly conference is hosted by the Turkish Futurists...
World Future Society Programs
The World Future Society is a nonprofit educational and scientific organization chartered in the District of Columbia, U.S.A., and is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization. The Society has about 25,000 members...

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.