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, […]

Future Shock

There was a very perceptive article in the current issue of the Economist which argued, basically, that Moore’s Law is in sight of breaking down. The result, though, is maybe not what you might think. Progress may not necessarily just get slower; it is more likely to be much, much more unpredictable. The reasons, according to the […]

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 […]

How smart is the Smart Keyboard?

The Smart Keyboard for my iPad Pro arrived today and I’ve done a quick bit of testing. As for the typing capabilities – not bad at all. The keyboard is pretty responsive to the fingers and well-spaced so even though it was unfamiliar to me, quite a fast speed can be reached and I guess […]

Flying car at last?

The thing most disappointing to life-long technophiles is that the flying car we have always dreamt of never came. In many ways we far exceeded the dreams of futurists past. The modern smart phone is vastly more powerful and capable than anyone could have predicted and the modern internet is a phenomenon way beyond prediction. […]

Reinventing society

  Veteran management guru Charles Handy has been thinking about curves. He told a packed session at the RSA today that everything moves through curves which go up before declining.  The tricky thing is that “you have to start the second curve before you reach the top of the one you are on.” As he puts […]

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 […]