The art of predicting the future convincingly is being
challenged by a realm of five trends Douglas Rushkoff
crystallizes from the intersection of
(portable information in the moment vs.
story line and trends),
shortened icon-loaded messaging
(texting, IM vs. narrative with detail,
subtelty, and nuance),
how we view time
(I am always “too busy”; helter-skelter
what is next? vs. linear clock based ),
dealing with our identity and completing tasks
(focused attention vs. multi-tasking).
These trends in his book “Present Shock” are in contrast to
what this blog entry notes.
Building on an earlier entry on Peter Diamondis’s
technology trends and an era of abundance, Robert
Stevenson has put forward the notion that the business
horizon for the chemical enterprise is bright and
clear-skied. Sure, there are problems but the story he
tells of a bright future based on raw material supplies
and the technical innovation that brought it about should
give hope internationally.
The reason Rushkoff and Stevenson seem to be opposed
is that Stevenson’s long term view deals with a narrative
with many chapters with focus on few, highly important
tasks where Rushkoff’s view of media and the attention it
divides us into is on the present, multi-tasking where
everything is important and a dilution of effort, especially
on hard, long term goals.
So, despite where the collapse of narrative and living
in the moment is taking us, I believe there is a positive
future that depends on recognizing common goals,
prioritizing efforts to solve problems which are sure
to come up.
- environmental impact of combustion and resource
recovery (water, especially)
- managing electricity generation with evolving use
- developing technology to recover, transport, and
handle wastes (improve fracking, scrubber and
use sustainable concepts)