Exponential Minds Podcast interview

Nikolas Badminton of the Exponential Minds Podcast and I had a chat a couple of months ago. That interview is now live.

We had a pretty fun conversation. It did meander just a teeny little bit, but it does manage to mention quite a few things as a result: something of the history of my use of the Futures Cone; the levels at which foresight can be implemented; Big History and how I’ve used it to frame the coming civilisational energy transition (i.e., away from fossil fuels); as well as mention of David Christian‘s new book which continues on from Origin Story (which I was reading in manuscript at the time). Of course, there are also some aliens mentioned in there, as is Hoag’s Object. There’s also a little bit on this blog’s current scanning retrospective and the concept of futures intelligence. So, all in all, regular readers won’t find too much that is unfamiliar in the interview, but it might be fun to hear it spoken of. Nikolas did a pretty good job of paring it all back from the very long chat we had! 😉

What I am smiting my forehead over, though, is that I forgot to mention Cal Newport’s 2019 book Digital Minimalism, during the segment where we were talking about using technology with careful intention. My bad! Also, Newport’s podcast, whose name I couldn’t quite remember, is Deep Questions, and it just keeps getting better and better as Cal hits his stride with it. It’s definitely re-ignited my interest in intentional approaches to productivity. Might end up doing a series of posts on that, one of these years…

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much I did recording it! Thanks Nikolas!

The Interview:
at Exponential Minds
on YouTube

‘Dark Clouds in the Crystal Ball’

How DEVO – like Cassandra – saw the future, tried to warn us, and was widely ignored

The title for this post comes from a song lyric by the avant-garde music group DEVO, namely, from the opening song ‘Time Out for Fun’ from their fifth studio album, Oh No! It’s DEVO. By the time that album was released in late 1982, DEVO as a band had spent the better part of a decade promoting the thesis of ‘de-evolution’ – the idea that humanity, rather than progressing, was actually regressing, and was in point of fact not evolving but really de-evolving (which was the origin of their name) to a more primitive state of mindlessly conformist automatons. Continue reading “‘Dark Clouds in the Crystal Ball’”

And that’s a wrap! The End of the Swinburne MSF.

Today was the last class ever of the Swinburne MSF (2001 — 2018) — something that has been coming for a long time (announcement of closure was back in May 2016).

There is a KudoBoard where people have posted their memories of the MSF.

Q: What now?

A: Trust emergence…

Is “Hoag’s Object” an “engineered” galaxy?

The question asked in the title of this post is one I have been pondering for the most part of a decade now, ever since I saw the image, shown in Figure 1, of the galaxy PGC54559 (popularly known as Hoag’s Object) in 2010, following several months of thinking about what Kardashev Type III civilisations might look like.

hoag_hst_big_full
Figure 1. PGC54559 (“Hoag’s Object”). Image credit: NASA & The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Acknowledgement: Ray A. Lucas (STScI/AURA). Multiple formats and sizes are available from: http://hubblesite.org/image/1241/news_release/2002-21

Continue reading “Is “Hoag’s Object” an “engineered” galaxy?”

Celebrating the Master of Strategic Foresight

Last year I noted that the Master of Strategic Foresight (MSF) — with which I’ve been involved since its inception at Swinburne in 2001 and into which I’ve taught for almost as long (through guest lectures firstly, then as a formal member of teaching staff from 2003) — was being shut down, and was to be taught out over the next year or so. My fellow foresight conspirator for much of that time, Peter Hayward (aka “Captain Foresight”), retired at the end of last year, but not before we were able to celebrate the fact that the MSF had existed at all. That was what we chose to call the “MSF Wake”. Continue reading “Celebrating the Master of Strategic Foresight”

How Futurists Work/Think

Last year a colleague at the International Big History Association (www.ibhanet.org) asked me how futurists work/think. This was for a book she was writing for high school students on Big History. The final chapters of these types of books tend to focus on the future, hence the request for some ideas from someone who does this for a living. I tapped out a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head answer and sent it off. In thinking about how long since I’ve posted here, I thought I’d better get back into gear, especially as there are some ideas to share coming soon… Here is the essence of what I wrote: Continue reading “How Futurists Work/Think”

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