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Articles and Books

For shorter foresight articles, see John's G+ posts and blog, Ever Smarter World.

"Humanity Rising: Why Evolutionary Developmentalism Will Inherit the Future, World Future Review, Nov 2015. A 21-page article on evolutionary developmentalism, a deeply clarifying perspective on the interaction of unpredictable and generative (evolutionary) with predictable and conservative (developmental) processes in living systems, the universe and other complex adaptive systems capable of replication. The hypothesis of evolutionary developmentalism has considerable evidence to support it, including convergent evolution, and it helps us see we are not here as random accidents, but that humanity plays a critical local role in the self-organization of universal complexity. Science will remain mute on questions of purpose and destiny for human civilization until this perspective moves from systems theory to fully accepted science. That may take several more generations to occur. Meanwhile, you can consider it now and gain its deep advantages for personal, organizational, and universal intuition, foresight, and strategy.

"Ten Areas of Technological Change," John Smart, 2012. A read ahead for some of my talks on technological change. A brief statement of my current thoughts on opportunities, disruptions, and threats we can expect over the next ten to twenty years in ten key domains of technological change. Also a list of a few good general interest books in each domain.

"The Transcension Hypothesis," John Smart, 2011. Author's draft, submitted for academic publication. An update of my earlier article, Answering the Fermi Paradox, 2002, exploring the implications of continual STEM compression (increasing density and efficiency of use of Space, Time, Energy, and Matter) in universal complexity development. One model for the long-term future of universal accelerating change. This model has many implications for technical-economic progress and sci-tech and public policy, if true.

How the Television Will Be Revolutionized: The iPad, Internet TV, and Web 3.0, John Smart, 2010. A 2-page summary, a 4-page article, Tomorrow's Interactive Television, The Futurist, Nov-Dec 2010, and the full 48-page whitepaper, exploring trends and issues related to the emergence of internet television and Web 3.0 (The Metaverse), and the critical role that open media standards and activist consumers can play in democratizing and empowering American society with this technology platform, and the major political and economic challenges and opportunities ahead. The next ten years will be a very exciting time for open source, open standards web media, and will bring continuing creative destruction to many sectors of big media. See also my 20 minute video, The Television Will Be Revolutionized, a talk given at TEDx Del Mar, June 2nd, 2010.

Evo Devo Universe? A Framework for Speculations on Cosmic Culture, John Smart, 2008. In: Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, NASA Press, 2009 (V7.1 Aug 2010). A 54-page overview of three increasingly specific and powerful ways of understanding predictability and unpredictability in the universe, and the meaning and implications of accelerating change for human culture: the Informational Physical Universe (IPU) hypothesis, the Evo Devo Universe (EDU) hypothesis, and the Developmental Singularity (DS) hypothesis. If you are pressed for time and want to get right to the weird stuff, just read the last 27 pages (pages 26-54), beginning with Processes of Universal Development. Are these valid systems models or unsupportable speculation? Time will tell.

Metaverse Roadmap Overview, John Smart, Jamais Cascio, and Jerry Paffendorf, 2007. A 23 page executive overview of 3D web technologies, applications, markets, and potential social impacts. Includes the following Web 3.0 (Metaverse) technologies: virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, lifelogging and pervasive web video. See also Metaverse Roadmap Inputs, John Smart (Ed.), 2007. 75-page in-depth survey of industry conditions, trends, plans, cycles, scenarios, issues, and problems relevant to the 20-year future of the metaverse, and Roadmapping: A Collaborative Foresight Tool for an intro to roadmaps, an often-useful collaborative foresight tool.

"Beyond "Presenter View": Dual Monitor Presentations in PowerPoint," John Smart, 2006
A brief guide to doing PowerPoint presentations in Dual Monitor mode, allowing presenters to have readable onscreen notes to accompany each slide.

"Curcumin: A Powerful Brain Protection Supplement," and "A Basic Brain Protection Plan," John Smart, 2006
A discussion of recent research regarding curcumin, an affordable and very potent brain protection supplement, and an argument that anyone interested in a better brain should be on it today. Accompanying this article is another outlining ten key strategies (six dietary, four non-dietary) to consider in a modern brain protection plan.

"Driving Toward an Electric Future: Natural Gas, Nanobatteries, and PHEV's (Next-Generation Hybrids)," John Smart, 2006
A discussion of trends pushing us toward Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle networks in coming years. The new nanobatteries (5X greater cycle duty and rapid filling ability) can allow battery refilling in 10 minutes using high-amperage chargers at tomorrow's filling stations, and tomorrow's power grids will be much more decentralized than today's gasoline stations, supporting even greater city densities.

"A Practical Wearable Computer: How to Make Your Own Tummy PC," John Smart, 2005, 2006
A how-to guide for those, including writers, who might benefit from using a practical and affordable wearable computer today.

"Underground Automated Highways (UAH) for High Density Cities: Post-2030 Urban Transportation," John Smart, 2005
A framework forecast for one important piece of the future of urban transportation. It relies on the convergence of several enabling technologies, such as tunnel boring systems, automated highway systems, and zero emission vehicle systems, and their superior efficiencies, safety, and public desirability over other high capacity transportation options, such as aerial systems.

"Measuring Innovation in an Accelerating World: Review of "A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation," Johnathan Heubner, TF&SC 2005," John Smart, 2005
Consideration of the reasons behind the apparent decline in global innovation that has been independently observed by a small number of technology scholars in recent decades.

"Human Performance Enhancement in 2032: A Scenario for Military Planners," John Smart, 2005
A scenario proposing mild biotechnology and powerful information technology developments in the coming generation, and an introduction to the concept of the valuecosm and basic implications for security planning.

"What I Believe But Cannot Prove: Speculations on Evolutionary Development and the Cosmic Purpose of Accelerating Change,"John Smart, 2004
1,000 word precis of the developmental singularity hypothesis, one paradigm for accelerating universal change.

"The Political-Economic Pendulum: The United States Example" and "Digital Activism: Youth Education in the Plutocratic and Unilateral United States of the Early 21st Century," John Smart, from Thinking Creatively in Turbulent Times, Howard Didsbury, Ed., 2004. The first article makes the case that the degree of centralization seen in political and economic systems follows a simple pendular dynamic, and that our recent twenty five year history of increasing political and economic plutocracy in U.S. society must swing back toward greater democracy when environmental conditions are ready, as has clearly occurred at least four previous times in U.S. history. The second article suggests general strategies for parents to improve youth education in the present environment.

"Considering the Singularity: A Coming World of Autonomous Intelligence," John Smart, from 21st Century Opportunities and Challenges, Howard Didsbury, Ed., 2003.
A brief introductory explanation of the implication of accelerating trends in computer autonomy and intelligence.

"Answering the Fermi Paradox: Exploring the Mechanisms of Universal Transcension," John Smart, from Journal of Evolution and Technology, June 2002.

"The Coming Technological Singularity," Vernor Vinge, 1993
The classic article that, in conjunction with the birth of the world wide web, renewed discussion of accelerating technological change in the world community.

"A Possible Cure for Death," Charles B. Olson, 1988
The classic article that makes the first detailed argument that very inexpensive and validated preservation of every individual's memories, identity, and mind may soon be possible with simple chemopreservation (chemical fixation) at biological death. Inspired ASF's involvement with the founding of the Brain Preservation Foundation in 2010, which exists to advance this noble idea and bring this humanizing, life-affirming, and violence-reducing technology to all of humanity as soon as possible.

Books

The Foresight Guide, ForesightGuide.com, 2016. (500 pages, free online in a page-commentable book-blog form). A 14-chapter overview of general futures thinking and professsional foresight practice. Covers the domains of universal, personal, global, and organizational foresight, across the STEEPS foresight categories. Includes models, methods, practitioner advice, leader lists, and resources for foresight development, counterfactuals, startup ideas, and stories of the 21st century. Over time, I hope the Guide will become a key resource for students, entrepreneurs, organizational leaders, academics, and lay thinkers interested in a Big Picture overview of the field of strategic foresight. The Guide is one of the curricular texts in my new startup, Foresight University.

Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, NASA Press, 2009 (Free book PDF, 612 pages). Edited by Steven J. Dick and Mark Lupisella. Contributors are the editors plus Eric Chaisson, Kathryn Denning, Daniel Dennett, Howard Bloom, Susan Blackmore, James Gardner, Paul Davies, Seth Shostak,, Doug Vakoch, David Christian, JoAnn Palmeri, and myself. I contributed Chapter 6, Evo Devo Universe? A Framework for Speculations on Cosmic Culture, John Smart, 2008 (Free article PDF, 54 pages). An introduction to three powerful frameworks for understanding predictability and unpredictability in the universe, and the meaning and implications of accelerating change for human culture: the Informational Physical Universe (IPU) hypothesis, the Evo Devo Universe (EDU) hypothesis, and the Developmental Singularity (DS) hypothesis. If you are pressed for time and want to get right to the weird stuff, just read pages 26-54 in the article PDF, or pages 245-279 in the book PDF, beginning with Processes of Universal Development. Are these valid systems models or unsupportable speculation? Time will tell.

Humanity 3000 Seminar 4 Proceedings, John Smart, Aug 21-23, 2003 (PDF, 350 pages)
The fourth Humanity 3000 event at the Foundation for the Future. Every few years the Foundation invites a group of multidisciplinarians to discuss and debate big picture issues for the long term future of humanity, in three time frames (25 years, and a much more dubious 250 years and 1,000 years). Seminar 4 involved Dan Barker, Don Beck, Charlie Brass, Angela Close, Carl Coon, Peter Corning, Paul Davies, Russell Genet, John Hartung, Ronald Moore, Adriana Ocampo, Gary Schwartz, Seung-Schik Yoo, myself, facilitated by Sesh Velamoor, Walter Kistler, Bob Citron, and other members and observers at the Foundation. I made a case for the importance, nuances, and challenges of adapting to accelerating technological change.

 

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