Monitoring the future
Just a couple of pointers to articles contained in Swissfuture, the official quarterly journal of the Swiss Society for Future Research. On the flight over, I had time to read it.
The preferred wild card of Dr. Karl-Heinz Steinmüller is the introduction of Latin as an official language of the European Union. Arnold Brown is quoted as writing about the rising threat of thearchy, the rule by god as opposed to theocracy, the rule by priests. It's not only coming from islamic fundamentalism, but likewise from its christian counterpart. The third food-revolution (after industrial production and ?) will happen through personalised sustenance as a consequence from advances in genom & nano technologies. The 3rd revolution might result in total emancipation from the need to ingest food. Maybe we will take up energy in other forms while simulating the desired sensations neuronally (Matrix, anyone?). There are indications that digestion is bad for our health and accelerates ageing. The metabolom will be an important concept. Researchers around Carlo Montemagno have found ways to grow muscle cells on gold layers. This technology can be used to construct miniature engines in nano-machines. Soon, we may be able to grow back our own teeth by reïmplanting the patient's own treated stem cells under his gum. Geneticist Aubrey de Grey thinks that by using Strategies for engineered negligible senescence, it will be possible that people aged 60 today will be able to live for about 1000 years. Imagine the stresses on retirement systems! Former music manager Tim Renner says in his book Kinder, der Tod ist gar nicht so schlimm! that the music industry is not evil, but just stupid. Operator of motor.fm, he expects to see the emergence of new business modells centered around targeted broadcasting.
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Hmm, how many food revolutions have there been? The ones I can think of are:
- Industrial revolution/commercialisation of farming
- Green revolution of the 1960s?
- Genetic modification? Mind you, that could count as part of the green revolution.
Whatever, goes to show that Malthus and Boserup could work in harmony, eh?
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