Events for conferences, seminars, and salons we recommend.
New Year to our acceleration-aware friends and colleagues everywhere.
Have you stopped to take a topsight perspective on your life's accomplishments
so far? Reconsidered your future? Counted your blessings? One New
Year's Ritual we recommend is reading Edge.org's Annual Question
and responses (Jan 1, 2006: "What
is your dangerous idea?"). Write your own response after
reading these if you can and share it with your friends! Sorry for
the two month delay in publishing. We're back in the saddle and
ready to ride again. Thanks for all your emails and support in 2005.
Paffendorf ] ASF is embarking on a major foresight project
in 2006: the Metaverse Roadmap: Pathways to the 3D Web. For a brief
intro to technology roadmaps, see our Roadmapping
page. For an overview of the project, see our Metaverse
Roadmap (MVR) page. The MVR is made possible by generous start-up
support from The Electric
Sheep Company. We are creating a team of partner companies and
organizations interested in supporting the project. Partners to
date include the Arden
Institute virtual worlds research center at Indiana University
and the State of Play conference
on law, video games, and virtual worlds at the New York Law School.
ASF Research Director Jerry
Paffendorf to join the project, or for more information.
and Event Manager(s) Needed
Smart] ASF is seeking one or two bright, energetic managers
with strong organizational skills and a passion for serving technology
and futures communities. We are paying $15-20/hour ($30-40K salary
for full time) for an individual or individuals to lead several
of our 2006 projects and events. The position(s) involve administrative
and budgeting work as needed, and require a great phone presence
and willingness to make contacts for network building and occasional
pitches to potential sponsors. One benefit is that the manager can
work from their home, managing our ASF team online and through daily
conference calls. Either full- or part-time are available. If you
or someone you know is interested in the position, let us know!
You can also send a resume and references to John
Smart, and find more in the MVR
Project Manager Job Description at our public wiki.
Donations for 2006
Start the new year off right with an act of foresight and philanthropy.
Pledge $50 to a worthy cause, the Acceleration
Studies Foundation, the only 501c3 educational nonprofit dedicated
to improving understanding and guidance of accelerating processes
of planetary change. Your contributions are tax deductible, and
will greatly help us serve our community in 2006. You can donate
to our Bear Sterns endowment account (where the donated principal
generates interest income for the ASF in perpetuity), to our general
fund, or to any of our specific projects, such as building our Future
Salon Network, producing our acclaimed conference, Accelerating
Change, writing our Foresight Development university coursework
curricula, doing top-quality technology roadmapping research, or
creating great future-oriented podcasts next year! See our Donations
page for donation options.
University's Ph.D. in Futures Studies
ASF Board Member Iveta Brigis and I were in Taiwan
last month for the annual foresight conference of Tamkang
University. As you may recall, Tamkang is the only university
in the world that requires all its undergraduates (27,000 of them)
to take at least three courses in thinking about the future in order
to graduate. They offer 15 futures courses at the undergraduate
level, from personal development, to careers, to a range of topics
in national and global futures, and about as many at the Master's
level as well. In one of the trip highlights for us, Dr.
Clement Chang, president of the university, invited ASF
to help Tamkang develop curriculum for their Ph.D. program in Futures
Studies, which they plan to inaugurate circa 2008. If any of you
have an interest in developing acceleration-aware foresight curriculum
at the university level, let us know what you'd like to research.
There's a world full of students out there waiting to understand
the history and future of technology in a very powerful and practical
“You don’t have to dominate the
food chain to get by in the Web world; you can find a productive
niche and thrive, partially because you’re building
on the information value created by the rest of the Web.”
— Steven Johnson, “Web
2.0 Arrives”, Discover 10.05
you harness collective intelligence and the power of blogging,
it doesn’t [at first] mean power to the individuals.
It means power to the people best able to aggregate those
individuals. Google is a profoundly powerful company because
it has figured out algorithmically to learn from [hundreds
of] millions of people at once.” — Tim
stock market will lower to 6,000 and then accelerate to the
equivalent of 30,000 points by 2020." — Patricia
Moody and Richard Morley, The
Technology Machine: How Manufacturing Will Work in the Year
Cool tools, software,
hardware, books, articles, communities, and doo-dads we recommend
to our community. Share your finds with us!
CCleaner.com (Crap Cleaner)
Freeware for deleting cookies, and temp files from the
cache on IE, Firefox, Windows Registry, Recycle Bin, etc. 12 million
people have downloaded this app. It took 11 secs to delete 600 MB
of crap off my laptop, and 67 seconds to delete 1.6MB of crap off
my desktop. My browsers are MUCH snappier now. I'm going to run
it on the first of every month, when I do my backups. Wish I could
get it to automatically 'take out the trash'. Maybe in the next
You should have this or something equivalent. If you are using IE,
you should also set your Temporary Internet Files (TIF) Cache to
50 MB instead of 350 MB. That will also speed up your browsing significantly.
Under XP, go to Tools>Internet Options>General>"Settings"
button to find the TIF cache.
VGN-TX and Verizon's BroadbandAccess
Card: An Ultraconnected Ultraportable Laptop, Sept 2005
2.7 pounds and with a carbon-fiber body this laptop is ultraportable.
I carry it in a small backpack when I leave the house—almost
a wearable like the TummyPC.
This was the hot ticket in the electronics district in Taipei when
we visited there last month. It recently debuted in the U.S. as
well, for the same price: $2,200. The new Vaio has several features
(like a DVD burner) you wouldn't expect in anything this small,
but the neatest thing is the screen. It's barely an eighth of an
inch thick, lighter and thinner than any we've seen before, and
incredibly bright. The reason it's so bright and crisp is because
the entire backplane is white organic LED (the "light
source of the future") with an LCD screen overlaid on it.
That makes it far more energy efficient than other screens to date,
giving the laptop 6.5 hours of real-world battery life (or 10 hrs
with the extended battery), twice as long as previous models.
Don't buy the
U.S. version, the VGN-TX670GP, because it comes with the Cingular
2.5G cellular modem installed, which is significantly slower than
home broadband. Instead order the international version from your
local Sony store, the VGN-TX17GP,
and then for ultraconnectivity, go to your local Verizon store and
get their BroadbandAccess
3G EVDO card ($80/month, unlimited bandwidth) on a one year
contract. This is the only setup in the U.S. at present that I know
of that will let you surf the internet at better than cable modem
and DSL speeds, from anywhere you can get cellphone reception, including
as a passenger in a car driving at 60 miles an hour. That makes
it either Star Trek technology or the minimum requirement
for 21st century living, depending on your attitude with regard
to these things.
month ATimes considers processes of change in five "spaces,"
providing one to three briefs in each space. The story of accelerating
change, the most fascinating story of our time, can be told as a
story of movement from outer, to human, to inner, to cyber, and
ultimately, to hyper space, the world beyond the present. Each of
these contributes to a multidisciplinary understanding of the future:
Space (the world around us: science, the natural
and built environment, universal systems)
Human Space (the human
world: our bodies, behavior, minds, human systems)
Inner Space (the world
below: energy, small tech, computer "bodies", inner
Cyber Space (the virtual
world: computer "behavior", computer "minds",
Hyper Space (the world
beyond: new paradigms, phase transitions, hyperphysics, hyper
you have important stories to share with our acceleration-aware
readers, we'd love to hear from you
Science (biology, chemistry, geology, physics, research),
the natural and built environment, universal systems (developmental
physics, hierarchical substrates)
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
Bodies (biology, health, neuroscience), behavior (business,
education, foresight, governance, innovation, pre-digital technology,
society), minds (psychology, spirituality), human systems (ecological
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
the Language-Thought Co-Evolution Debate, World
Science, 26 Dec 2005
[JS] U.C. Berkeley researcher Aubrey
Gilbert and colleagues have brought some clarity to the
persistent but controversial Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
(the theory that your language shapes your perceptions, thought,
and even nature of consciousness). Using split-brain glasses and
simple color distinction experiments, as reported in this week's
PNAS, Gilbert et. al. have discovered Whorf was half right:
Language does shape our perception, but only in the left half of
the brain! (Remember your psychology class mnemonics? Left is for
"Language and Logic", Right is for "Ridiculous"
(Emotion, Art, Humor, General Silliness, etc.). Perhaps this means
our right hemisphere keeps us all on a common footing emotionally,
regardless of culture. What an excellent design, if any of us can
only be half-misunderstood at most, as long as we always remember
to pay attention to the nonverbal cues of our fellow conversants!
to Alvis Brigis for this excellent hit.
Energy, small tech (nanoengineering, miniaturization),
computer "bodies" (automation, computer hardware, nanotech,
robotics), inner systems (acceleration, efficiency, miniaturization,
Nanotechnology and the
Poor, Meridian Institute, Jan 2005 (29p
[JS] This uniquely foresighted study discusses
the great potential benefit to the developing world of the $3.7B
being spent annually on nanotech globally. This level of research
investment is already twice the highest annual outlay that occurred
during the Human Genome Project, which seems appropriate as the
near-term yields of biotech are likely to be much less dramatic
than future pundits anticipate. Nanotech, however, is likely to
have a much greater payoff in the near term, as its findings can
be implemented in global infrastructure on fast technological rather
than slow biological timescales. In addition to great new products
like Argonide's NanoCeram electropositive
filters and Seldon Lab's Nanomesh
for clean water, the report also mentions nanoenvironmental and
health issues that are only now beginning to be assessed. None of
this is nanotech in the Drexlerian self-replicating
assembler vision (as described best to date in Kinematic
Self Replicating Machines, Bob Freitas Jr. and
Ralph Merkle, 2004) but rather the exploitation
of fascinating new properties that occur in materials science and
manufacturing processes when we get them very small. Want a trivial
example? See Ghirardelli's new chocolate
powders. They are ground so finely they dissolve instantly in
water , making others seem positively primitive. Try them at home
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
(co-evolution, automation, symbiosis), computer "minds"
(computer software, simulation), cyber systems (holism, information,
intelligence, interdependence, immunity)
is Web 2.0, OReillynet.com, Tim O'Reilly, 30
[JS] Good brief (5 page) introduction
to the new technologies, standards, and infrastructure capacities
of the post-bubble web. Such advances are the infrastructure powering
the next-generation collaborative economy and society. In just two
short years since its coining the term Web 2.0 has come to mean
quite a number of things. Tim's article begins with a history lesson
and ends with a discussion of new web services protocols like AJAX,
and some of the opportunities of this new, more complex interaction
environment, including a few Web 2.0 Design Prescriptions. Beyond
the marketing buzzword, I believe Web 2.0 portends some very valuable
new business models, and by extension, a selective stock market
resurgence in coming years. Keep your eyes and ears open (and don't
sell your Google stock), interesting things are beginning to happen
in this space. Thanks to Tim Moenk.
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
New paradigms (including evolutionary development),
phase transitions, hyperphysics (black holes, multiverse, string
theory, supersymmetry), hyper systems (computational limits, emergence,
phase transitions, singularity hypotheses)
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
all deserve a double dose of fun and happiness every day. Send in
your entries for the next ATimes!
Title, Source, Person, 22 Jan 06
- Internet Radio Grows Up
Customized "stations" built based on your tastes.
You can maintain up to 100 stations at a time and access them from
any computer.Plug in an artist or song you like and Pandora will
serve you more in the same style. Click on each song as it is playing
and you can thumbs up or thubs down their selections, which is supposed
to adapt based on your feedback. You can save the titles of your
favorite songs. The ad-based version is free. I set my first radio
station on Paul Oakenfold and got a day long few-repeat no-commercials
trance track in the background. Then I tried Ambient Generation
as my next seed and got some great ambient, though here the selection
was more repetitive.
we'll see this on our iPods too, of course. If you had a choice,
why would you ever listen to music without being able to have it
intelligently respond to your feedback? One of the downsides is
that their music licenses limit the number of songs you can skip,
and they don't let you back up and replay. Looking forward to the
future evolution of these kid of "conversational" music
is always seeking interesting submissions for our Accelerating
Times (AT) web publication. AT is a "free
and priceless" monthly newsletter covering scientific, technological,
business, policy, and social dialogs in accelerating change. Anyone
may submit scan hits, mini-articles, pictures, artwork, quotes and
questions to mail(at)accelerating.org.
Accepted work will appear, fully credited, in future issues. Also
please submit your feedback on Accelerating Times articles
to the Future Salon
Weblog, beneath each article as posted. Thanks!
recently picked up a link ( http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/29/1515223&tid=209
) pointing to two very cool announcements made at ASF’s Second
Life Future Salon. First, future salon presenter Phillip Torrone,
Associate Editor of MAKE Magazine, announced that O’Reilly
Publishing (the world’s largest independent publisher of technology
books) will create a book called Second Life Hacks (blog entry http://slfuturesalonblogs.com/second_life_future_salon/2005/12/phillip_torrone_1.html
). Second, SL Future Salon blog contributor Glitchy Gumshoe (SL
name) announced on the blog ( http://slfuturesalon.blogs.com ) that
he’ll be producing a Second Life fashion show for MTV’s
Overdrive online channel and made a call for open participation
Germs & Steel ($49 DVD). Slow and watered down but probably
good for those new to Diamond's ideas.
Cat Antics. Quick download if you have broadband.. http://www.unoriginal.co.uk/footage4_4.html
to Mattea Manning
is Near Review (by John Smart)
Publish to web. Link to it here.
Cold F-X. Proven
to reduce colds!
Is Airborne proven to reduce colds?
TF&SC Article on Kurzweil.
about Metaman! The piece Greg Stock missed.
technians. The Technium.
Noveck's A Democracy of Groups (First Monday).
spoke at AC2005.
important new idea here. The growing democracy of groups will be
a major influence on the future. Beyond progressive improvements
in online collaboration, virtual corporations, search, personal
education platforms, and other areas the last critical step may
be an internet infrastructure capable of supporting online deliberative
democracy and online voting. In the same way that it took a relatively
well-developed trade and finance infrastructure before corporate
law could come into its own, an infrastructure of full digital democracy
(first at the local and state levels, no doubt) would be a force
capable of reforming plutocratic power structures that are well
defined at the state and individual rights levels, but poorly developed
in the "excluded middle" of groups.
also my piece on the valuecosm (section B3 of this
scenario) for another example of how groups will be greatly
empowered by tomorrows IT infrastructures.
Floss, the board game.
Meier's Civilization IV. Addictive! (Wikipedia entry, official site)
to Survive a Robot Uprising, Daniel Wilson.
Strategic Foresight at the College Level: Tamkang University
of the best and most competitive private universities in Taiwan,
such as Tamkang University, have long required their undergraduates
to take not only courses in history and current affairs but also
in futures thinking. ASF wants to bring this standard to the U.S.
as well. A good futures course will be tailored to the students
career interests, and cover the practical foresight tools that professionals
use when they make strategic decisions. It will help students learn
to do excellent environmental scanning, to extrapolate current trends,
to consider scenarios for possible shifts in the technology landscape,
and to develop good intuition for the most likely near and longer
term future. As many companies with formal and informal futuring
groups in the U.S. have discovered (Shell, Dow, Intel, Electronic
Arts, American Cancer Society, etc.), such intuition can greatly
improve the return on the bets they make in their companies, projects,
skillsets, and personal careers. In addition to a few required general
courses, Tamkang ensures that foresight methods and concepts are
embedded in all classes in the university curriculum. It may be
this commitment to building strategic foresight in its students
that has kept Tamkang ranked #1 in private universities by Taiwan's
employers for eight consecutive years, by two surveys. They began
their futures requirements ten years ago, in 1995.
you know of any universities that would be interested in having
ASF help in developing general or integrated futures curricula for
their students, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am confident that every university that follows Tamkang's example
would be highly regarded by both students and employers, and gain
a competitive benefit distinguishing their institution.
Blur the Scenery along the Digital Divide, SEO Blog, 16 Nov 2005
article on how rapidly the internet search engine space is evolving,
with Google Analytics, Google Base, Yahoo Publishers Network, and
other recent innovations. Stunning rate of progress.
EdTech Plan Puts Students Front and Center,
Edutopia/George Lucas Educational Foundation, Diane Curtis, 1.12.05
[JS] A highlight of the January 7 release
of the U.S. DoE National
Education Technology Plan was that "the real experts --
young people for whom technology is a dominant part of their everyday
lives -- were consulted."
more people to keep the computers running, give us more bandwidth
and less firewall, enable hookups from home, give the teachers more
training and give us more computer classes," suggested one
student. "Students should have laptops to do everything in
class," said another. "We can type our homework, schoolwork,
copy notes. We should not have to carry heavy books all day long
and bring all of our books home." Added a third: Schools "could
give technology classes to students and teachers because our teachers
are falling behind the students, as they aren't good with computer
programs and software."
Hear hear! Education
remains so problematic in this country, a victim of tradition, politics,
and bureaucracy. We can see a world where advanced natural language
processing will allow kids to learn from the web as fast as their
curiosity drives them, but that world may yet be a generation away.
Until then, we need smart IT implementation, and including the students
in the process is a great start.
Allen's Getting Things Done Outlook Add-In,
David Allen's Workflow Processing Using Microsoft Outlook,
If you've read Allen's
very helpful 2003 book on stress-free productivity, you know
how important it is to have and use a system for delegating, deferring,
creating, and managing tasks, one that has a place for everything,
including tasks waiting for responses from others. Allen's "Mind
like Water" metaphor (the ripples respond not too much, not
too little, but just enough to each new impact, then quickly get
back to equilibrium) has been very helpful for me.
you're ready to bring his system to Outlook, here's the best way
to start. At Allen's personal
productivity website you'll find a 37
page e-book ($10) a "step-by-step manual for optimizing
Outlook as a personal productivity tool" using his system.
If you've ever tried to use Outlook's Tasks before (less than 1%
of use them) and found them too cumbersome (as I have), this e-book
will give you new confidence to integrate them into your life, and
improve your use of the Calendar, Notes, Contacts, and other features
you may use only rarely at present. Also see Jeff Sandquist's one
year old blog
article on using GTD, it links to lots of good implementation
can use the eBook to manually configure Outlook for Allen's system,
but if you want a shortcut (which may not be advisable for those
of us who need to really think about systems in order to implement
them) you can buy a $70 plug in allows you bring Allen's workflow
system to Outlook. The site has good web demos and a reasonably
forum. Unfortunately, the software still looks a bit buggy at
Version 2.1, some folks have experienced problems with the task
management tools and cryptic errors. Uninstalling the plug-in is
easy enough, but you can't revert all the changes you've done once
you've begun using it. So if you want to be safe, I would recommend
making a copy of the download before you install it and then trying
it on your second computer, with a backup Outlook pst file, using
a back up online email address. If it behaves reasonably well for
a month you can then install it on your primary computer. Otherwise,
just do it all manually with the $10 ebook.
tipping point has been reached in community based filtering. Desktop
is even better than Mail Frontier, our previously most recommended
filter, according to PC World's latest reviews.With 1.5
million users/spam raters, Desktop (formerly called SpamNet) has
reached an eBay/Amazon/delicious level of leverage. $40/year covers
up to two computers at a time. Outlook and OE users only. Has separate
spam and fraud identification buttons. If you only get your email
a few times a day (vs. constantly) you'll find less than 2% of your
emails will be spam, even if you have a public email address, as
I do. This elegant system ensures no false positives (legitimate
emails in your spam folder) as someone else had to mark a message
spam in order for it to go into your spam folder. With this many
users, spam exists for as little as 20 seconds before it is tagged
and the system starts filtering it out. If you mark something as
safe when others mark it as spam your reputation and ability to
influence the system rapidly goes to zero, so spammers, who are
always in the minority, can't trash the system. Immune systems always
win! Harnessing the power of the community!