Energy Futures

From children’s books and streets of the future (see yesterday’s post) to the distant future of energy. especially zero-point energy and metalic hydrogen energy storage and transmission. Both feature on my table of distruptive technologies (17 out of 100 entries are energy related). If you don’t know about these they are very much set in the sci-fi fringe of current physics, but both could be possible one day. Zero point energy is essentially the idea that the universe is not made of static particles, but is, in fact, a sea of constantly moving waves or fluctuating matter. Metallic hydrogen is when the gas is made to change to a metallic state (physical form). This state has never naturally existed on Earth before, but it has the potential to become a superconductor enabling zero-disipation energy transmission. It could also allow storage using persistent currents in superconducting coils.

Posted in Disruptive Tech, Emerging Technology, Energy | Leave a comment

Future Cities

I seem to be carving out a niche with books about the future for kids. I’ve just contributed to a second, the updated version of A Street Through Time, published by DK £10.99. Works well, I think, alongside the future of air map (not really for kids).

It’s for kids remember!

Posted in Books, Cities, Future for Kids | Leave a comment

If you don’t like something do something about it

The best bit from the BBC series Years and Years (set in the near future). Watch from about 2-minutes in (2:40 to be precise). The £1 t-shirt (more often the £5 jeans and fast fashion generally) is a perfect way to demonstrate how ethics go out of the window in the face of money (“principles aren’t principles until they cost you money”). The removal of human contact in banks and supermarkets is also spot on.

Posted in Film/TV clips, Future, Preferred futures | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hedonistic sustainability

I’m not sure this is a trend as such, but the concept is certainly interesting. On top of the Copenhill power plant in Copenhagen the architect has placed a dry ski-slope. Why? Why not? The architect uses the term “hedonistic sustainability”.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Time to Think

I’ve started buying old watches, notably old diver’s watches from the 1960s and 1970s.

They are generally cheap as chips, unless you pick a big brand. The one in the picture is a fairly obscure Sicura from the 1960s (probably). It’s rather worn, which is why I like it.

It cost me £110, so if it gets lost I wouldn’t lose sleep over it, although the more I wear it the more attached to it I become. If only I knew it’s history. Who wore it and where?

One of the best bits about the watch is it isn’t that great at telling the time. This one gains about 40-minutes a day, unless I wear it to bed, in which case the loss drops to 10-minutes depending upon how much I toss and turn in bed (it’s self-winding). The point is I always know roughly what time it is, and if it’s absolutely essential that I do something bang on time I can always look at the clock on my phone.

Anyway, I think there is something loosely liberating about not knowing the exact time.

What’s this got to do with the future? Nothing, except that if pushed I suppose one might start to ponder the nature of time and the relationship of past, present and future. And when is ‘future’ exactly? I was speaking with a friend and sci-fi writer Lavie Tidhar a while back and his working definition of ‘future’ was when things got weird. But that’s now surely? My own ‘future’ tends to be 10-15 years out, but personally I’m more focussed on the present these days. Anyway, the future was always a bit of an excuse to get people to engage more with the present.

As for clock watching, I think the purpose of clocks generally is to be prepared for future events. That’s possibly the worst load of mumbo jumbo I’ve ever muttered in a blog post.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Image of the Day

Just had a lovely lunch at Riddle & Finns (in Brighton) with my web guy Matt Doyle (from Robertson NSW). I should perhaps have used this image above (seen pasted to a wall in Brighton) for yesterday’s post about dead tech.

Posted in Dead tech, Future, Sightings | Tagged | Leave a comment

Quote of the Week

Not 100% true (floppy discs or zip drives anyone?), but I like the thought.

Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment

2020 Trends

I’m having a clearout of my office and I keep stumbling on various things. Here’s the cover from someting I did 10 years ago, along with a list of 10 trends for 2010. They seem pretty on the ball for 2020. Someone once said that I’m 10-years ahead of everyone else, which perhaps could be read as meaning that anything I say now can’t be assessed, or isn’t meaningful, until 2030.

Posted in 2010 Trends, 2020 Trends, 2030 | Leave a comment

The World in 2020

2020 hindsight

I cannot wait to re-read this little lot and work out what they got right, what they got wrong and possibly why. The World in 2020 (top) was written in 1994, Horizons 2020 (Siemans) in 2004 , Future Agenda 2020 (Vodafone) in 2010 and Futrecast 2020 in 2008.

Posted in 2020 Trends, Predictions, World in 2020 | Leave a comment

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

I should perhaps point out that this isn’t photoshop, it’s an actual fire globe in Austria. Can’t help but think that Sydney fireworks missed a trick. Perhaps they should have asked everyone around the harbour to simply turn they phone flash lights on instead and given the cost of the fireworks to the rural fire service.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment