Thinking Digitally in Tyneside

This year was something of a turning point for Thinking Digital as the Tyneside-based event, regarded as a kind of home-grown TED since its launch in 2008, this year branched out into satellite events in London and Manchester. The original event was slimmed down from two days to one and there were worries that the […]

The future is coming faster than we think

 I’ve just finished belatedly reading An Optimist’s Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson. I say “belatedly” as it was written in 2011 which wouldn’t normally be a problem except that this is about accelerating future technologies (and why they are going to be good for us). It was a very good read, but already there […]

Bots are a transitional technology

Yesterday Facebook announced, as predicted, the launch of a range of tools to facilitate the development of “bots” on its Messenger platform. The argument being made far and wide is that bots are a replacement for apps which have become so numerous that their usefulness to users is plunging and most developers are no longer making […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to build a company

I spotted ReWork on my bookshelf yesterday and it reminded me how much I had enjoyed reading this thought-provoking account of 37 Signals’ business philosophy. That inspired me to see if I could find Jason Fried, the founder, talking about his approach and I found it here. Here are some of the main points: Don’t lose control […]

Old and new automative – a re-run of old and new media?

The battle between electric cars and traditional cars will follow the same lines as the battle between new and old media – here’s how. The first reaction of old media to the arrival of the internet was to dismiss it as irrelevant. Then, as the internet became more accepted traditional media companies dabbled, setting up […]

The radical potential of Blockchain

Blockchain, the technology which underpins Bitcoin has the potential to disrupt many large and powerful industries believes Niki Wiles. Speaking to London Futurists in a session in London today Wiles, Lead Data Scientist for the London-based digital media agency, 360i said Blockchain solved some of the biggest problems with today’s centralised services. Big disadvantages with […]

Thoughts on The Watch

There are a couple of things that have occurred to me about Apple’s latest new product line. The first is that fashion and rapid technology upgrade cycles don’t really mix. Thinking about the evolution of the iPhone (a product whose significance has been compared to the Apple Watch) each new iteration was thinner, more powerful, and […]

Phases of Photography

I had an interesting day on Monday wandering round the Photography Show in the NEC in Birmingham. The thing that struck me was the scale of the change sweeping through. Firstly, there were only two places where analogue photography was in evidence: on a standing selling “rare and unusual” film stock, and on the disabled […]