I was going to save this for my Web Sight (sic) of the month in my brainmail newsletter, but it’s just too (LOL) good to wait. Sent in by Matt Doyle in Robertson, Australia. I think we can all assume this will feature in my next book too. Link here. Explanation below.
“Sometimes, everybody needs a break from everybody. Enter Avoid Humans—a web-based app that combs data from Foursquare and Instagram check-ins, giving you the nearest places in your area with the least amount of humans. The app is divided into four categories-nightlife, food, coffee and refuge—and each location is color coded to indicate the current level of human presence.”
If you’re lying on a beach, or around a pool, in the northern hemisphere, here’s some holiday reading – a report on the future of holidays and travel. Click on this link.
Have you noticed the grey? Not just 50 Shades (the top selling book of the decade we’re told), but in car parks, on Pinterest, in Elle Decoration and on the catwalk. There is a theory (which we probably shouldn’t take very seriously) that major fashion trends only become obvious at the halfway point of each decade, so now might be a good time to make a call. Sales of grey t-shirts have risen hugely recently. So have sales of grey and silver cars.
So what’s the story? According to Oriole Cullen, a senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, grey was historically associated with half-mourning. In other words, if a family member died you traditionally wore black, but if someone more removed died the colour of choice was grey. So are we in some kind of collective mourning? Are we mourning the loss of something back in the day? (a phrase, like grey, that seems to have popped up out of nowhere recently). No, that’s not it. In fashion terms grey sits well with other colours. It’s also an ideal colour to showcase expensive fabrics. But ignore all this.
My view is that the most likely explanation for the rise of grey and silver tones is rampant anxiety. Silver cocoons you, either as paint on the wall, on a computer, as clothing or as a car exterior colour. Crucially, silver subconsciously represents armour and is protection against rapid change and deep uncertainty. Grey, similarly, represents solidity in the form of stone and stands for stability. Or, of course, it could all just be the whims of the facile fashion industry.
这是和帝国理工大学技术预测同行们（尤其是阿莱克斯·阿亚德（Alex Ayad），但是在后期也要特别感谢克里斯·哈利（Chris Haley））共同创作的新型科学和技术时间轴。上面是图表完工时的图片。我们对于是否把“移动电话数量超过人口”列为“当下”讨论了很久，但是电话用户超过69亿人，已经很接近人口总数了。
设计大体上基于我之前2010年后趋势和技术时间轴做的 （需要PDF版本请点击这里）。第一个草图是在厨房桌子上用铅笔在A3白纸上画的，之后不断改进了好多版（记得大约是十二版）。圆圈最初是用厨房盘子和大碗画的，彩色的线最初是用荧光笔和我孩子们的马克笔混合创作的。专业设计之前的最终版本画在了A3绘图纸上，使各要点契合并连接好。设计的功劳也属于劳伦斯·怀特利（Lawrence Whitely），特别感谢帝国理工大学的科林（Kereen）。
I received this via email a while ago from Thomas Frey in the US. My instant reaction was that it was nuts and the email ended up being deleted. But then I had second thoughts and removed the email from the rubbish bin. Perhaps the idea isn’t so crazy after all. And what was it that Einstein said about crazy ideas? “If it doesn’t sound absurd then there’s no hope for it.” Something like that. So take off your cynical spectacles and read on….
“Last week I got into a discussion with a friend about the concept of self-contained water. If you think in terms of picking up a bottle of water, only without the bottle, you get the picture.
Rocks are self-contained, baseballs are self-contained, so why can’t we devise some way to make water self-contained? Yes, we have ice, but I’m referring to a more usable form of water. As an example, if water itself could be used to form a somewhat hardened skin around a small quantity of water, we could create 100% consumable water with zero waste.
An industrial design team in London has come the closest with something called “Ooho,” a blob-like water container made out of an edible algae membrane. While it still involves using something other than water, it does give us clues on how to make a container out of what we’re trying to contain, in this case water.
As we imagine our way through this design problem, many more questions come to light. Should it be flexible like a plastic bag or a bit more ridged like a typical water bottle? What is the ideal shape? Should it be a cube for easy stacking, have a handle for easy holding, or spherical just because it looks cool?
Even a container made of water will get dirty, so how do we clean the dirt from the side of a solid water container? More water?More importantly, what is the optimal size for a self-contained water container? Should it be cup sized, quart-sized, gallon-sized, or larger? Or maybe marble-sized or pea-sized water pellets would work best.
Should the water be “eaten” like tiny liquid snacks that could be popped into your mouth at any time? Perhaps we would want flavored water like cherry water, tea water, coffee water, or chocolate water. Maybe we don’t actually eat or drink the container. Once the inside water is gone, it may be possible to just discard the bottle onto a lawn or flowerbed, as a form of enviro-littering, and wait for it to re-liquefy, sending a few drops of moisture to the thirsty plants below.
How would we fabricate the container part of water? Would it somehow be molded, pressed, 3D printed, or simply sprayed onto a form.”
Someone at the Imperial Tech Forecast event last Friday said that the new emerging tech map reminded them of an eyeball and an optic nerve. My lines (bottom right of third diagram) were merely making the point that the five key forces, or disciplines, are to some extent merging. Thinking about though, the optics thought is a good one. Bringing elements into focus, new ways of seeing, inversion of data (images) and all that.
Worth a look (although what we really want is the whole house wired up so you can talk to your house – and not mislay yet another tiny device). Watch the Youtube video.
Last night I attended the launch of Global Strategic Trends (issue 5) out to 2045.
If you don’t know it this document describes the future context for defence and security out to the year 2045, although it’s useful for general global operating environment too.
PDF (18 MB, 100 pages is on this link)
Writing in my book Future Minds, which was published in 2010, I stated that a “Slow Thinking Movement will emerge, with people celebrating slow reading, slow writing and other forms of old-fashioned paper-based communication.” (Page 171). Seems that it’s here already. First there’s Delayed Gratification, a slow journalism magazine, which is like The Week, but slower and which takes it’s cues not from the previous week’s news but from the previous month’s reflections. Now I see British Airways has announced that passengers bored with the latest Hollywood movie can watch a train journey from Bergen in Norway to Oslo, second by second for a full seven hours. It’ called “Slow TV.”
Slightly reminds me of the VHS tapes that you could buy in the 1990s that ‘played’ a fish tank or a crackling log fire.
So what else that’s fast could we make slow? How about a slow sex movement?