The value of a south facing roof

I was very struck today, as I whizzed through the countryside in a Newcastle-bound train, by the number of south-facing roofs bearing solar panels. I wonder how long it will be before we start detecting a difference in value depending on the orientation of houses. And how long before new builds start to align like […]

Why Musk will get it right with the Tesla 3

  Tesla made headlines last week when the launch of the much-awaited Tesla 3, the economy-priced electric car for the masses, garnered 325,000 pre-orders at $1,000 a pop in the very first week. Some are pointing out that Tesla has missed a lot of deadlines along the way and that the success of the 3 is […]

The era of emulation and what it means for us

What is the next phase for humanity? Robin Hanson set out to answer this question in a thought-provoking and lively talk to London Futurists on March 19th. He argues that humanity has been through several distinct economic growth phases each of which has been “exponential” in character. The first lasted nearly 200,000 years from the moment Homo Sapiens first emerged […]

More promise for solar breakthroughs

The 3D solar towers being developed by MIT illustrate just how much further we have to go in stretching the still new technology of solar power. These experimental towers are up to 20 times as efficient as today’s flat roof panels. If the British Government needed any further evidence that the plans for Hinkley Point are misguided, […]

The industries of the future

The question Alec Ross set out to answer at the RSA today was: “If the last 25 years shaped by Internet, what comes next?”  His book The Industries of the Future addresses the question more fully, but for the audience today he focussed on two examples: robots and AI, and genomics. He began, though, with central […]

Loss aversion and the EU referendum

Given the prevalence of the “loss aversion” cognitive bias, it should in theory be highly unlikely that the British population votes to leave the EU. As a refresher, here’s how Wikipedia defines it: In economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice […]

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation

The world is headed for a big transition, says David Orban, entrepreneur and Singularity University faculty member, speaking at a London Futurists lecture in London on February 6th. “Technology created humans,” he says. “And we continue to use reason to advance technology for humanity’s benefit.” But the key to the future wellbeing of society lies in practicing […]

The end of the German Economic Miracle?

There was an interesting article in The Observer today which argued that the German Economic Miracle maybe coming to an end. The argument was that the obsession with balanced budget had resulted in years of underinvestment in infrastructure and innovation and that the country was therefore unprepared for the challenges of it’s changing demography. The Observer quoted […]