“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”–Charlemagne
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”–Charlemagne
I wouldn’t call future fluency a a new jargon. I would call it a unique and practical way of looking at foresight–of integrating it into the culture of an organization.
Dmitriy Zakharov is a fellow alumnus of the University of Houston’s graduate foresight program. His recent volume Future-Fluent equates foresight with language. He breaks down it’s component parts into syntax and semantics and discusses how to implement this point of view of the future into your life and your organization.
In episode #58 of Seeking Delphi™ Dmitriy tells us of his journey to write the book, and explains what it’s all about.
For all the pain, suffering, sickness in death, all we have to look forward to if we survive the pandemic, is the worst global economy since the 1930’s. Does one need a financial analyst or a psychoanalyst? Many of us may need both.
I can’t recommend a psychoanalyst, but I can recommend an investment analyst. Jim Lee stands out from the myriad of talking heads on cable business news channels, because he is also a professional futurist. He’s a fellow member of the Association of Professional Futurists, and he joins me for episode #45 to take the long and short view of the post-COVID economic future, from next several months through the next several decades.
“If a severe pandemic materializes, all of society could pay a heavy price for decades of failing to create a rational system of health care that works for all of us.”–Irwin Redlener
There is no doubt about it. The after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for many years into the future. Healthcare. Economics. Social Interaction. Sports. Politics. Education. Just about everything will feel the effects for the rest of most of our natural lives.
In this, the first of a series looking at various scenarios for a post-pandemic world, we look at urban and social issues. Dr. Cindy Frewen is well qualified to discuss both of these areas. She is a fellow member of the Association of Professional Futurists–she served as its board chair for many years. She is an architect, has a Ph. D. in communication, and teaches social change in the University of Houston’s graduate foresight program. She also was a columnist for the Kansas City Star for many years.
It’s not likely that Thomas Jefferson meant to disparage study of the past, it’s just, like Albert Einstein’s missive that imagination is more important than knowledge, he meant that it is our dreams of the future that enable us to build a better world.
I’ve been dreaming about the future since I was a kid. Daydreaming, my parents would have said, and my wife certainly would say. But that’s OK. Somebody has to do it. If humankind is going to survive the the challenges that lie ahead, somebody needs to be thinking further ahead than the next pay check, the next quarter’s profit, and the next election. Let’s do it together.
On Seeking Delphi, the podcast, I’ll address many of the myriad uncertainties that lie ahead, some of them with existential consequences. Some of them just for fun. But all of them the stuff that imagination–and dreams–are made of.
“The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.”–Alvin Toffler
The world lost its foremost futurist in the past week, a man who was one of my heroes. Alvin Toffler taught the world how to think about the future some 45 years ago. It’s a lesson the world should relearn. I read Future Shock way back in 1973–and have been thinking about it–and the future–ever since.
The quote above describes the cause of the disease–the human psychological malady–he calls future shock. He made me think about the implications of a future that comes too fast and too hard for most people to comprehend or tolerate. It made me think about the dangers of thinking improperly about the future–or avoiding the thought of it at all. I’ll go into detail on these issues–and the potential remedies thereof–in future posts. In the meantime, I take off my virtual digital hat to the man who just may have been the foremost futurist of all time.
Writing in the New York Times on July 6, Farhad Manjoo lays out clearly and concisely why Toffler’s ideas are so relevant today. I highly urge you to read this piece, and to read Future Shock if you’ve never done so. I intend to reread it now. We have never needed foresight more than we do today.
Note: This is the second part of an article originally posted in 2012 on my first blog, The Millennium Conjectures™. Now, it’s time to invent a future in which I figure out what to post next.
I Conjecture: Every Possible Future Exists
Part Two: Quantum Mechanics and The Future
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”–Alan Kay
Note: In case you had not surmised it, the most literal title for this conjecture would be “Every Physically Possible Future of Our Universe Exists.” There is probably not a future in our universe where the laws of physics will change to allow Harry Potter to cast a patronus spell on demontors.
Inventing the quantum future at NASA
Alan Kay’s proposition suggests a philosophical viewpoint that emerges from this conjecture. But for a better quote to describing its why and wherefore, I harken back to the E.B. White words from Conjecture #2. Everything that is not forbidden is mandatory. It all boils down to Quantum Mechanics. Many physicists have latched on to this notion; given enough time, every physically possible combination of matter and energy is bound to occur. It’s all just a matter of probability. That said, there are clearly at least two distinct ways of looking at it, depending on which interpretation of quantum mechanics you ascribe to: Copenhagen or Many Worlds. Although there are other interpretations, these two have garnered the lions share of advocates in the scientific community, and the notion that every possible future exists can emerge from either one of them. (See Quantum Weirdness102 and 103 in The Millennium Conjectures™ for an explanation of both ideas.)
The difference between the two as pertains to the future can easily be stated as virtual vs. actual. The Many Worlds interpretation asserts that every physical possibility will become an actual reality in an infinitely expanding sea of parallel universes. Every possible future is, or at least becomes, physically real. On the other hand, Copenhagen implies that there is no absolute physical reality until the quantum wave function breaks down, that there is only probability on the sub-atomic level until we observe it. From this we can infer that every possible future exists only as a statistical probability, and only the one we ultimately experience will actually exist.
So what’s the difference? There isn’t any. It makes no difference, from the practical experience of entities conscious in a single one of them, whether the futures are real or virtual; we can’t tell the difference. Every one of those physical realities is still a real possibility. The good news? There most certainly is a future out there where you win the lottery! The bad news? The only sure way to “invent” that future is to buy every possible number combination. I don’t recommend quitting your day job. 😦