Ariadne

Brain zapping

Robert Hickson Mar 04, 2014

It could be that the Tin foil hat brigade are right after all. Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have played around with fly mating behaviour by shooting a laser at their brain. This follows on from work implanting false memories in mice using the same technique – optogenetics. source: wikimedia commons … Read More

Energy Darwinism

Robert Hickson Feb 20, 2014

If fossil fuels are the figurative dinosaurs in the energy landscape, are renewables the agile rodents poised to take over the world? That’s an on-going and often intense debate. Will new technologies enable the fossil fuel industry to adapt and provide us all the oil (and gas) that we could possibly ever need? Will renewable sources of energy evolve rapidly … Read More

Caveat artifex

Robert Hickson Feb 09, 2014

The title is my pig latin for let the worker beware. In the US The Atlantic picked up on the US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s projections of the fastest growing jobs over the next decade. The latter conclude that the fastest growing jobs will be in healthcare, office administration, retail sales, and the food workers. These are driven … Read More

Electronic bodies

Robert Hickson Jan 30, 2014

Why go through the pain and expense of getting neural implants if you just want to get cyber-wild for an evening. Katia Vega is developing make-up applications to enable your skin to “act as an interface”. Better than glow sticks and those shoes that flash when you walk. But she isn’t all frivolity, as this Wired article notes. Read More

Fantasy Futures Feast

Robert Hickson Jan 21, 2014

In the spirit of summertime “light” content, where people imagine ideal dinner parties (or voyages to Mars), I’ve drawn up my own futures soiree. It’s not a gathering of all the great and good futurists to come up with a prediction of what the future loos like. Rather it’s a gathering of  knowledgeable and hopefully erudite folk from a range … Read More

MINTies media moments

Robert Hickson Jan 15, 2014

This week Radio NZ National has been running a BBC series on the MINT economies – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the term BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China), visits each country to look at the opportunities and challenges facing these countries as they attempt to become leading economic powers. The series … Read More

An interactive futures table of elements

Robert Hickson Dec 17, 2013

Last year I developed a Futures Periodic Table. Since then I’ve been wondering how to make it interactive, so you can drill down to find more information on each “element” and playing around with combinations. I may have a solution to that now. Last week I was at a presentation given by Paul Duignan about a visualisation tool he … Read More

Bots on film

Robert Hickson Nov 28, 2013

Its interesting monitoring the evolution of how robots are portrayed in recent films (and books). More and more are appearing, some good, some evil, some in between. The portrayals can capture our fear or our developing emotional attachments to robots, as well as the broader views of what our future may look like. As Kate Darling – … Read More

Dr Seuss, futurist?

Robert Hickson Nov 27, 2013

Once you’ve read one mega trend report, you’ve read ’em all. Or so it often seems. This is a point succinctly made by Spencer & Salvatico. They suggest that the popularity of publications on trends is because “… many people believe trends to be the beating heart of futures thinking and foresight.” You can go to town analyzing … Read More