Know Thy Futurist | Cathy O’Neil (Boston Review)

Know Thy Futurist; Cathy O’Neil; In Boston Review; 2017-09-25.

tl;dr → Cathy O’Neil, who is not bitter, envies the scholar-gentleman futurists as she aspires to their life of the mind, for which she writes.
and → futurists are scary people; they are serious people; they are never sour or defeated people; they are not silly people.
and → A “four box” model, two axes, four quadrants; named Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.
and → Facebook is bad.

Models

The Latent Model, single-axis [the lede is buried-last]
  • Men ↔ Women
    (bad) ↔ (good)
The Declared Model, orthogonal-axes
  • Worried ↔ Exuberant
  • Dystopian ↔ Utopian

Indictment

  • data scientists are creating machines
    data scientists are creating machines they do not fully understand.
  • data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers,
    data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers for reasons that are already very familiar to us
    These reasons are enumerated, by iconic euphemism-cum-epithet as:

    • class
    • race
    • age
    • disability status
    • quality of education
    • and other demographic measures (“other”).
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is a threat to the very concept of social mobility.
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is the end of the American dream.

Book

Nicole Aschoff; The New Prophets of Capital; Verso; 2015-03-31; 150 pages; ASIN:1781688109: Kindle: $10, paper: $4+SHT; review (2015-03-31, O’Neil likes it).
Nicole Aschoff is an editor at Jacobin magazine; she produces content for The Guardian, The Nation, Al Jazeera, and Dissent.

Commentariat

  • A complaint, and she does have one, but presented with scattered thinking; and not a lot of clarity on the problem at hand or proposals towards their remediation.
  • Always easier to criticize than to create. Imagine what someone with such an expansive viewpoint onto The Forseeable could accomplish towards remediation of the now-problematized span if the energies were dedicated towards practice instead of petulant dissent on theory.
  • Oddly, for someone who is pitching a graphical model with Cartesian-styled orthogonal axes, a.k.a. the “four box model of B-school decision theory, she (or her editors acting in her name and the name of the venue), did not see fit to publish a diagram along with the prose.
  • Wherein a data scientist is a statistician who lives in San Francisco and performs their work-product on a Macintosh computer.

Mentions

  • Singularity University
    motto: “Be Exponential.”
  • Cathy O’Neil self-identifies as a futurist.
    <quote>And I am myself a futurist. </quote>
  • Effective Altruism
    A theory of Peter Singer
  • Future of Humanity Institute
  • Something about Artificial Intelligence (AI) contra algorithms.
    <quote>[Yann LeCun] was careful to distinguish between AI and algorithms.</quote>
    The deciderata being [this is a very old definition, not due to LeCun]

    • An Artificial Intelligence (domain)
      is that which cannot (now) be done with computers.
    • An Algorithm (an algorithmic domain)
      is what can be done (nowadays) using computers.

Quotes

  • <quote>A futurist is a person who spends a serious amount of time—either paid or unpaid—forming theories about society’s future.</quote>
  • <quote>[Because] at the heart of the futurism movement lies money, influence, political power, and access to the algorithms that increasingly rule our private, political, and professional lives.</quote>
  • Singularity, The Singularity (definition); is “The Rapture” from Biblical lore. <quote><snip/>a singularity is a moment where technology gets so much better, at such an exponentially increasing rate, that it achieves a fundamental and meaningful technological shift of existence, transcending its original purpose and even nature.</quote>
  • <quote>The kinds of technologies these two groups consider are nearly disjoint, and even where they do intersect, the futurists’ takes are diametrically opposed.</quote>
  • <quote>Futurists are ready to install hardware in their brains because, as young or middle-age white men, they have never been oppressed.</quote>
  • <quote>These futurists are ready and willing to install hardware in their brains because, as they are mostly young or middle-age white men, they have never been oppressed. </quote> (second utterance).
  • <sneer><quote>(If this sounds like a science fiction fantasy for sex-starved teenagers, don’t be surprised.</quote></sneer>
  • <quote>the concept of effectiveness is limited by the fact that suffering, like community good, is hard to quantify.</quote>
  • <quote>As a group these futurists are fundamentally sympathetic figures but woefully simplistic regarding current human problems.</quote>
  • <sneer><quote>[Technoutopianists] latch on to the latest idea—e.g., will Bitcoin solve the world’s problems?—and turn it into a paid speech.</quote></sneer>
  • <quote>Most futurists are talking about sci-fi fantasies.<quote>
  • “positive futures”
    <snide><quote>It is not entirely clear what that means, but I doubt it means free credit for everyone.</quote></snide>
  • <snide><quote>This is the slick and ingratiating sales force for the futurism movement.<quote></snide>
  • <quote>In the end [her] taxonomy (as amusing as [she] finds it) doesn’t really matter to the average person.</quote>

Pantheon

  • Nicole Aschoff, theorist.
  • Sergey Brin, boffo.
  • Nick Bostrom, booster..
  • Alida Draudt, practice, Capital One; lesbian (“who techs”)
  • Daniel Drezner, theorist.
  • Robert Heinlein, theorist.
  • Steve Jobs, prophet.
  • Ray Kurzweil, a theorist; ex-practitioner: inventor credit, author credit.
  • Yann LeCun, practitioner; [a, the?] director of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Facebook.
  • Gordon Moore, practitioner; co-founder credit, Intel Corp.
  • Elon Musk, boffo.
  • Larry Page, boffo.
  • Ayn Rand, theorist.
  • Peter Singer, theorist.
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky, expert, artificial intelligence.

Referenced

Previously

Argot

The Suitcase Words
  • artificial intelligence,
    omnipotent artificial intelligence.
  • consciousness,
    machines gain consciousness,
  • transcend,
    transcend to another plane of existence.
  • clones
  • futurism
  • American dream (American Dream)
  • status quo (pedestrian Latin as status quo)
  • without,
    without unions, public education, and social safety nets.
  • outcomes
  • mock,
    mock them,
    mock them for their silly sounding and overtly religious predictions
  • Google,
  • IBM
  • Ford
  • Department of Defense
  • My hope is that by better understanding the motivations and backgrounds of the people involved—however unscientifically—we can better prepare ourselves for the
  • struggle,
    political struggle,
    upcoming political struggle
  • narrative,
    whose narrative,
    whose narrative of the future
  • oligarchs,
    tech oligarchs
  • flying cars
  • live forever
  • workers,
    gig economy workers
  • health care,
    affordable health care
  • singularity
    The Singularity
  • singularity myths
  • computer,
    the computer
  • self-aware,
    self-aware and intelligent
  • vindictive
  • believe,
    believe fervently,
    futurists believe fervently,
    some futurists believe fervently in a singularity.
  • worried
  • theorize
  • excited
  • scared
  • cautious
  • jubilant
  • Utopianists
  • Dystopianists
  • libertarians
  • seasteaders (movement)
  • Moore’s Law
  • transistor
  • Singularity University
  • hardware,
    install hardware,
    install hardware in their brains,
    Futurists are ready to install hardware in their brains because <snip/> they have never been oppressed.
    Futurists are ready to install hardware in their brains because, as young or middle-age white men, they have never been oppressed.
  • hobbyists,
    these futurists are hobbyists..
  • theories
  • wealth
  • top 0.1 percent.
  • wealthier,
    become even wealthier,
    They think of the future in large part as a way to invest their money and become even wealthier.
  • worked,
    once worked at
  • own,
    own Silicon Valley companies,
    still own Silicon Valley companies, venture capital firms, or hedge funds.
  • think,
    think of themselves,
    think of themselves as deeply clever,
    think of themselves as deeply clever—possibly even wise.
  • meritocracy
  • wine,
    expensive wine
  • drug,
    drug of choice
  • riches,
    enormous riches,
    enormous riches and very few worldly concerns
  • death and disease.
  • augmenting,
    augmenting intelligence,
    augmenting intelligence through robotic assistance
  • quality,
    better quality of life,
    better quality of life through medical breakthroughs
  • cryogenics
  • Sergey Brin
  • Larry Page
  • people,
    young people,
    blood of young people.
  • worst-case scenario
  • uploaded,
    uploaded software in the cloud.
  • graphics,
    virtual reality graphics,
    excellent virtual reality graphics,
    control the excellent virtual reality graphics,
    they can control the excellent virtual reality graphics
    a place where they can control the excellent virtual reality graphics.
  • ideas
  • teenagers,
    sex-starved teenagers
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Ayn Rand
  • blind spot,
    “I win” blind spot
  • racism
  • sexism
  • classism
  • politics
  • technology,
    solved by technology
  • government,
    the next government,
    program the next government.
  • proprietary
  • hoi polloi,
    the hoi polloi
  • the system,
    gaming the system.
  • existence,
    the nature of existence,
    the nature of existence in the super-rich bubble
  • something,
    something distinctly modern,
    something distinctly modern and computer-oriented
  • futurism,
    futurism of this flavor,
    futurism of this flavor is inherently elitist, genius-obsessed, and dismissive of larger society.
  • men,
    the men,
    the men—majority men
  • women
  • science fiction,
    dystopian science fiction,
    read dystopian science fiction,
    read dystopian science fiction in their youth,
    read dystopian science fiction in their youth and think about all the things that could go wrong once the machines become self-aware,
    read dystopian science fiction in their youth and think about all the things that could go wrong once the machines become self-aware, which has a small (but positive!) probability of happening.
  • lesswrong.com,
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • biases
  • philosophies,
    practical philosophies
  • Bayes’ Theorem
  • Roko’s basilisk
  • thought experiment
  • AI,
    an AI,
    a powerful AI,
    a superintelligent and powerful AI,
    a future superintelligent and powerful AI.
  • vindictive
  • hypothetical
  • Roko,
    Roko’s basilisk
  • AI,
    Friendly AI
  • singularity,
    a positive singularity
  • Effective Altruism,
    Effective Altruism movement
  • Peter Singer
  • Effective Altruists
  • suffering
  • responsibility,
    personal responsibility,
    personal responsibility for optimizing our money to improve the world.
  • parody
  • suffering
  • factions,
    factions believe
  • “existential risks”
  • events,
    futuristic events,
    unlikely futuristic events,
    unlikely futuristic events that are characterized by computations,
    unlikely futuristic events that are characterized by computations besieged by powers of ten,
    unlikely futuristic events that are characterized by computations besieged by powers of ten and could thus cause enormous suffering.
  • Nick Bostrom
  • Future of Humanity Institute
  • Elon Musk,
    shove Elon Musk,
    I will shove Elon Musk,
    I will shove Elon Musk into this Q2 group,
    I will shove Elon Musk into this Q2 group, even though he is not a perfect fit.
  • entrepreneur,
    an entrepreneur,
    a powerful entrepreneur,
    rich and powerful entrepreneur,
    an enormously rich and powerful entrepreneur,
    being an enormously rich and powerful entrepreneur, he probably belongs in the first group,
    being an enormously rich and powerful entrepreneur, he probably belongs in the first group, but he sometimes shows up at Effective Altruism events,
    being an enormously rich and powerful entrepreneur, he probably belongs in the first group, but he sometimes shows up at Effective Altruism events, and he has made noise recently about the computers getting mean,
    being an enormously rich and powerful entrepreneur, he probably belongs in the first group, but he sometimes shows up at Effective Altruism events, and he has made noise recently about the computers getting mean and launching us into World War III. The Guardian
  • cynics,
    The cynics,
    The cynics among us
  • Mars
  • technoutopianists.
  • Bitcoin
  • They are not super wealthy, but they aspire to be wealthier and more famous.
  • Follow the money here and you will find that they are what
  • “thought leaders,”
    single-idea merchants,
    single-idea merchants paid by oligarchs,
    single-idea merchants paid by oligarchs to feel special at TED or TED-like conferences.
  • The New Prophets of Capital
  • Nicole Aschoff
  • they,
    they will peddle,
    they will peddle whatever depoliticized fad captures the attention of the super rich at a given time.
  • Steve Jobs,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream on overdrive
  • Steve Jobs,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream on overdrive; They represent a disdain for the status quo,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream on overdrive; They represent a disdain for the status quo and the notion that we can solve it all,
    Steve Jobs as their patron saint, they represent the American dream on overdrive; They represent a disdain for the status quo and the notion that we can solve it all without the old, outdated trappings of unions, public education, and social safety nets.
  • time,
    no time,
    they have no time,
    they have no time for taking on difficult questions,
    they have no time for taking on difficult questions of structural inequality,
    they have no time for taking on difficult questions of structural inequality that do not fade away with the wave of a magical wand.
  • selling,
    selling something,
    most obviously selling something,
    they are the type of futurist that is most obviously selling something,
    Far from actually fixing problems, they are the type of futurist that is most obviously selling something,
    Far from actually fixing problems, they are the type of futurist that is most obviously selling something: a corporate vision, blind faith in the titans of industry, and the sense of well-deserved success.
  • Alida Draudt
  • apital One
  • Lesbian Who Tech, a conference
  • “positive futures”
  • free,
    free credit,
    free credit for everyone.
  • women,
    more women,
    more women still,
    more women still in this group,
    There are more women still in this group …
  • control,
    control the conversation,
    their aim is to control the conversation,
    their aim is to control the conversation and,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea in our collective imagination,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea in our collective imagination—even if that means a surveillance state,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, <snip/> to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea in our collective imagination—even if that means a surveillance state with good shopping,
    their aim is to control the conversation and, in repeating predictions about the future often enough, to cause that future, to become a fixed, normalized idea in our collective imagination—even if that means a surveillance state with good shopping.
  • people
  • singularities
  • worried
  • women
  • group,
    my group
  • women,
    majority women,
    majority women, gay men,
    majority women, gay men, and people of color.
  • underrepresented,
    underrepresented at the data science institutes
    underrepresented at the data science institutes popping up all over the country
    underrepresented at the data science institutes popping up all over the country because the commercial goals of such places are inconsistent with our inconvenient cries of concern.
  • concerned,
    I am concerned,
    And I am concerned,
    And I am concerned.  Because <reasons>enumerated</reasons>.
  • personality tests
  • filter out
  • applicants,
    job applicants,
    qualified job applicants
  • algorithms,
    risk algorithms
    crime risk algorithms,
    crime risk algorithms that convince judges,
    crime risk algorithms that convince judges to issue longer sentences.
  • algorithms,
    automated algorithms
  • processes,
    decision making processes,
    human decision making processes,
    important human decision making processes,
    most important human decision making processes,
    our most important human decision making processes,
    replacing our most important human decision making processes,
    already replacing our most important human decision making processes.
  • future,
    hypothetical future,
    hypothetical future of human suffering.
  • class
  • race
  • age
  • disability
  • eduation
  • measures,
    demographic measures,
    other demographic measures.
  • futurists
  • fantasies,
    sci-fi fantasies.
  • futurism,
    the heart of futurism,
    the heart of futurism lies money, influence, political power,
    the heart of futurism lies money, influence, political power, and access to the algorithms,
    the heart of futurism lies money, influence, political power, and access to the algorithms that increasingly rule our private, political, and professional lives.
  • Yann LeCun
  • Facebook
  • Go,
    the game Go,
    the study of the game Go
  • algorithm,
    a machine-learning algorithm
  • algorithm,
    the Facebook algorithm,
    the Facebook algorithm is already sufficiently powerful to manipulate our democracy.
  • the Q1 technologists
  • the Q3 technoutopianists
  • chess
  • Go
  • future,
    the future,
    picture of the future,
    pretty picture of the future,
    their pretty picture of the future,
    painting their pretty picture of the future.
  • success,
    what success looks like
  • clarity of purpose
  • model of success
  • world,
    hypothetical world,
    In a hypothetical world where…
    In a hypothetical world where people could live forever,
    In a hypothetical world where people could live forever—gobbling up resources indefinitely,
    In a hypothetical world where people could live forever—gobbling up resources indefinitely and exerting political influence,
    In a hypothetical world where people could live forever—gobbling up resources indefinitely and exerting political influence with outdated political frameworks,
    In a hypothetical world where people could live forever—gobbling up resources indefinitely and exerting political influence with outdated political frameworks—should we allow them to?
  • person,
    average person.
  • decision,
    automated decision.
  • Starbucks Scheduling System
  • algorithms,
    the algorithms,
    the algorithms that already charge people with low FICO scores more for insurance.
  • algorithms,
    the algorithms,
    the algorithms that already send black people to prison for longer.
  • algorithms,
    the algorithms,
    the algorithms that send more police to already over-policed neighborhoods.
  • algorithms,
    the algorithms,
    the algorithms with facial recognition cameras at every corner.
  • power,
    old fashioned power,
    look like old fashioned power,
    all of these look like old fashioned power,
    all of these look like old fashioned power to the person who is being judged.
  • power
  • influence
  • scenario,
    worst-case scenario
  • AI,
    vindictive AI,
    a vindictive AI
  • Sergey Brin
  • birthday,
    two-hundredth birthday.
  • scenario,
    worst-case scenario
  • capitalism,
    e-capitalism.
  • elite,
    member of the elite,
    skeptical member of the elite,
    not a skeptical member of the elite in sight.

Previously filled.

On Constructed Culture and Technological Determinism as Self-Fulfillling Prophecies

Harro van Lente, Arie Rip; Expectations in Technological Developments: An Example of Prospective Structures to be Filled in by Agency; 28 pages; ; OAI:oai:doc.utwente.nl:34732; landing, (a photocopy of a paper article) academia.edu, landing as Chapter 7; In Cornelis Disco, Barend vander Meulen, Getting New Technologies Together: Studies in Making Sociotechnical Order; Walter de Gruyter; 1998; An earlier version of this paper was prepared, submitted, presented at the XXIth (21st?) World Congress of Sociology, ISA, Bielefield, DE, 1994-07-18; separately filled.

Mads Borup, Nik Brown, Kornelia Konrad, Harro Van Lente; The Sociology of Expectations in Science and Technology; an editorial; In Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Volume 18, Numbers 3/4, 285 –298, July – September, 2006-07; 14 pages; DOI:10.1080/09537320600777002; paywall; copy; separately noted.

Leonardo Bursztyn, Georgy Egorov, Stefano Fiorin; From Extreme to Mainstream: How Social Norms Unravel; Working Paper No. 23415; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); 2017-05; paywall; separately noted.
tl;dr →something about needing “just the right” amount of correlational clustering to allow ideas to spread appropriately.

Rand Waltzman; The Weaponization of Information; CT-473; Rand Corporation; 2017-04-27; 10 pages; landing.
Teaser: The Need for Cognitive Security

Testimony presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity on 2017-04-27; separately filled..

Christopher Paul, Miriam Matthews; The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model; PE-108-OSD; Rand Corporation; 2016; 16 pages (landscape, like slideware); landing; separately noted.
Teaser: Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It

 

How To Use a Futurist | Leading Thought (Liz Alexander)

How To Use a Futurist, promotional literature; Leading Thought; undated
25 ways futurists help organizations of all sizes and types discover, influence and experience preferred futures
Leading Thought is a training boutique.

tl;dr → demand generation for futurist work product. & interventions.  While anyone can do it, and it requires no real training, there is no actual barrier to entry in “the field”; yet there are branded methods. schemas and a lexicon to follow in the production of conforming output.

Author

Liz Alexander, Ph.D., Consulting Futurist & Co-founder, Leading Thought.
Leading Thought is a training boutique.

Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION: Why Hire a Futurist?
  2. PART ONE: OVERVIEW
  3. What can a futurist do for you?
    Nine futurists representing Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Pakistan, U.K. and the United States outline how they help their clients achieve impact.
  4. PART TWO: TOOLS
  5. How do futurists arrive at alternatives?
    “Big Time,” Implications Wheel®, and Three Horizons are just a few of the many tools and methodologies that futurists use.
  6. PART THREE: SYNERGIES7.
  7. What else do we bring to the table?
    In many respects futurists are like gardeners. We cultivate insights and ideas by drawing on a broad range of expertise, skills and talents. But we begin by cultivating ourselves!
  8. Resources and Extras
  9. How other futurists are making an impact.
  10. Are You Ready to Claim YOUR Future?
Book

Craig Badings, Liz Alexander; # THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet Book01: 140 Prompts for Designing and Executing an Effective Thought Leadership Campaign (yes, that’s really the title, you can do that when you self-publish); THINKaha; 2012-10-06; 161 pages; ISBN:1616990929; Amazon:B009VJOZLQ: Kindle: $10, paper: $5+SHT.

Mentioned

  • Causal Layered Analysis (CLA)
    claim: links metaphor to strategy
  • Metafuture, a consultancy, training services.
  • Volatile, Uncertain, Complex Ambiguous (VUCA)
  • Scenarios, a.k.a. “alternative futures”
    definition: set of fictional narratives reflecting plausible future worlds
  • Kerr Smith, a design shop.
  • Generic Alternative Futures
    of the Manoa School.
  • Industry 4.0
  • Millennials
  • Generation Z.
  • Udacity
  • Knowledge Works
  • YouTube
  • Visioning
  • Roadmapping
    something about Systems Thinking
  • Future of Cities
  • Thought Leaders
  • Arup Foresight
  • Preferred Futures
  • Big History Project
    • Big Time
    • Big Space
  • Implications Wheel®
  • Futures Wheel
  • Futures Triangle
  • The Six Pillars Method
  • Futures
    • Negative Futures
    • Positive Futures
  • <aphorism>futurists are like gardeners</aphorism>
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • a pedagogical theory
    • Benjamin Bloom
    • 1956
  • Anticipatory Action Learning (AAL)
  • Multiple Selves Theory
    perhaps David Lester
  • Visioning
  • Backcasting (contra Forecasting)
  • Delphi Method
  • Anthropology
    • “tribes” of consumer classes
    • user research, consumer research
    • The Focus Group
    • e.g. self-employed, sole proprietors, journeymen, tradesmen.
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Triple Bottom Line (3BL)
    • Concept
      • Social
      • Environmental (also, ecological)
      • Financial
    • Jimi Wales’ Wiki
    • Contra
      • Double Bottom Line
        (Regular) Bottom Line.
  • Weak Signals
  • Megatrends
    • Social, Demographic, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political (STEEP)
    • Probably other acronyms as well
  • burgeoning fields

Methods

Anticipatory Action Learning (AAL)

  • Sketch of the Concept: none
    Seems to be a group process facilitation method with guard precepts around “the triggers.”  Something about how AAL is better; gives more confidence in treated subjects and … the salubrious result obtains.
  • Definition
    • <quote>unique style of questioning the future</quote>
  • Non-Concepts
    • <quote>while critical, it does not accede to any particular tradition of
      critical theory (Continental or Indic, for example) but rather draws from the actors’ ownepistemological categories.</quote>
  • Steps: unknown
  • Goals
    • better alternative futures, better scenarios; less boosterism, gee whiz!
    • <quote cite=ref section=4>A crucial factor is seeing futures not only as forecasting but as creating confidence individuals’ and systems’ abilities to creatively adapt to new challenges. The anticipatory action learning dimension is decisive. <snip/> Organizational, social, environmental, cultural and spiritual innovation is one of the most important potential contributions of Futures Studies.</quote>
  • Separation of Concerns
    1. Sensitivity to the social norms
    2. Discomfort with the material (“the struggle”)
    3. Will can be “appropriatable by power” by “official futures” [is that good or bad?]
    4. Notional “resistance” is to be respected; negotiated with, not removed.
    5. The Other.
  • References

Causal Layered Analysis (CLA)

  • Sketch of the Concept, among the link chiclets of Tricia Lustig, at pearltrees.
  • Steps
    Recite & elaborate

    1. Litany, of operating assumptions
    2. Systems and Institutions
    3. Worldviews, the values and tacit knowledge of Systems and Institutions
    4. Myths & Metaphors, narratives, framing, language usage, etc. c.f. Lakoff; e.g. “war against” { drugs, cancer, poverty, terrorism, Christmas }.
  • References

Delphi Method

  • Sketch of the Concept: none
  • Steps
    • Interview many.
    • Blend
    • Synthesize a “consensus opinion.”
    • Report out.
  • References

Futures Wheel

  • Sketch of the Concept, among the link chiclets of Tricia Lustig, at pearltrees.
  • Steps
    • Pretend the change has already happened.
    • Elaborate.
    • Focus on unintended consequences.
  • References
    • Obvious

Generic Alternative Futures (GAF), of the Manoa School

  • Sketch of the Method
    • alternative futures, a.k.a. “scenarios”
    • futures visioning process (five futures)
    • generic alternative futures (four)
      1. continuation
      2. collapse
      3. discipline
      4. transformation
    • preferred alternative future (plus one)
      1. preferred
  • References

Mulitple Selves Theory

  • Concept
    just what it says
  • Genre
    • personality development
    • child development
    • etc.
  • References
    • David Lester; A Multiple Self Theory of Personality; Nova Science Publishers, 1st edition; 2010-03-30; 186 pages; ASIN:1608767833 kindle: no, paper: $70+SHT.

Roadmapping

Three Horizons

  • Sketch of the Method, among the link chiclets of Tricia Lustig, at pearltrees
  • Concepts (the plurals):
    • Horizons named as Horizon #0, Horizon #1, Horizon #2, Horizon #3.
    • Tomorrows named as “tomorrow++”, “tomorrow+”
  • Steps
    1. Identify Horizon #0 Recent enough past for context
    2. Identify Horizon #1, the present
    3. Imagine “tomorrow++”
      This is Horizon #3, the possible future of “30-years hence”
    4. Imagine “tomorrow +” as a blend between Horizon #1 & Horizon #3.
      This is Horizon #2, as the reasoned path-based narration from Horizon #1 & Horizon #3.
  • Reference

Six Pillars Method

  • Sketch of the Method
  • Concepts
  • Steps
    1. Mapping the Present and the Future
      Apply: futures triangle, futures landscape.
    2. Anticipating the Future
      Apply:  emerging issues analysis, futures wheel.
    3. Timing the Future
      Apply: macrohistory, macrofutures.
    4. Deepening the Future
      Apply: causal layered analysis, multiple selves theory.
    5. Creating Alternatives to the Present
      Apply: scenarios, nuts and bolts[?]
    6. Transforming the Present and Creating the Future
      Apply: visioning, backcasting, anticipatory action learning, the transcend conflict resolution method.
  • References

Visioning

  • Concept: envisioning, imagining.
  • References
    • Obvious

Pantheon

In order of appearance in the work product…

Liz Alexander
Ross Dawson
  • Ross Dawson
  • a promoter
  • founder or co-founder of six (6) companies
    • Rh7thm
    • Advanced Human Technologies
  • Basis: Sydney, Australia
Lynn Curry
Proprietor, CurryCorp
CurryCorp offers training services. <quote>optimizes organizational performance</quote>
Sohail Inayatullah
  • UNESCO Chair for Futures Studies at USIM, Malaysia.
  • Professor, Graduate Institute of Futures Studies at
    • Tamkang University
    • Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne;
    • University of the Sunshine Coast.
  • Elsewhere attributed as:
    • Professor of Futures Studies, International Management Centres
    • Professorial Research Fellow, Tamkang University, Taiwan
    • Visiting Academic at the Communication Center, Queensland University of Technology.
    • Associate editor of New Renaissance
    • Co-editor of the Journal of Futures Studies.
Robert Burke
  • instructor with Sohail Inayatullah, “Futures Thinking and Strategy Development at Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne.
  • offered taught a residential four-day Futures Thinking and Strategy Development Program on a twice-yearly cadence at Melbourne Business School for over 15 years.
  • a director of Futureware Consulting
  • associate of Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne.
  • Previously
    • CEO-title roles, various.
Sohail Inayatullah
has many appointments
Ira Wolfe
Ruben Nelson
  • Executive Director of Foresight Canada.
  • Vice Chair, the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.
  • Honors (from)
    • Queen’s University
    • the Queen’s Calgary Alumni
    • Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science
    • The World Business Academy
    • The Meridian Institute on Leadership, Governance, Change and the Future
Rushdi Abdul Rahim
  • A Senior Vice President at MIGHT
    MIGHT is a policy shop supervised by the Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia
  • The Director of myForesight® – the Malaysian Foresight Institute.
Kyle Brown
  • from Toronto, Canada
  • Senior Foresight Strategist, Idea Couture
    Idea Couture is an idea shop
  • ex-staff Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.
Mark Tuckwood
  • Leading Thought associate
  • founder and principal at Insight Gravity
    Insight Gravity is an idea shop
William Gibson
And which quote do you think they selected?
Victor Vahidi Motti
  • News Editor and Co-Chair of the Youth Council for the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF)
  • Honors
    • WFSF President’s Outstanding Young Futurists Award in 2013
    • is internationally-renowned
Joel Barker
  • a really great guy
  • “first person to popularize” credit for the concept of the “paradigm shift”
Tom Cheesewright
  • English (UK)
  • a corporate trainer
Patricia Lustig
  • Also “Tricia” Lustig; c.f. tricialustig
  • CEO of LASA Insight Ltd.
  • UK-based
  • practitioner in the methods
  • “author” credit, Strategic Foresight: Learning from the Future; Triarchy Press; 2015-07-15; 186 pages; Amazon:190947066X: Kindle: $16, paper: $21+SHT.
Umar Sheraz Sheraz
  • Senior Research Officer, Center for Policy Studies at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Jonathan Peck
  • President, Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF)
  • President, Alternative Futures Associates (AFA), the for-profit subsidiary
  • Credits
    • “leader” credit in “aspirational futures”
      … which <quote>integrates vision into scenario development</quote>
    • the method has been used in billable practice.
Jörn Bühring
  • Dr. Jörn Bühring
  • Research Assistant Professor, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University of Technology
  • program leader of the [Design] School’s Ignite Innovation Program
  • Has performed billable work for industry
  • He likes design-inspired foresight, vision and fiction.
Anne Boysen
  • Founder of After the Millennials,
    After the Millennials is an idea shop.
  • Associate,Leading Thought
  • A practitioner.
  • A graduate of the Foresight Program of the University of Houston.
Andrew Staines
Lisa Galarneau
  • Dr. Lisa Galarneau
  • An anthropologist
    A socio-cultural anthropologist
  • Graduated 25 years ago.
  • Employment: Amazon
Jacques Barcia
  • Jacques Barcia
  • Brazilian citizenship
  • Trade: reporter.
  • Has won awards
  • is an award-winning
  • “responsible” credit Mind the Future program at Porto Digital
    Porto Digital is an idea shop.
  • Staff, Dream Machine Futures Studio
    Dream Machine Futures Studio is an idea shop
Alice Walker
is quoted
Radha Mistry
  • Radha Mistry
  • Employment
  • Applied Research and Consulting (Division), Steelcase
  • Previous
    • Arup Foresight, London
    • Arup Foresight, San Francisco.
Frank Spencer
Puruesh Chaudhary
  • Founder and President of AGAHI
    AGAHI, Foresight Lab is an idea shop
  • Pakistan.
  • member, the Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum
Mazlan Othman
  • Dr. Mazlan Othman
  • Credits
    • “first astro-physicist of Malaysia”
Brian David Johnson

Practicum

Hosts

  • Burston Marsteller
  • Ford
  • OECD
  • SAP

Purveyors

Schools

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Hawaii, Manoa

Outreach

Inspiration

  • Drivers Of Change
Credits

Image: 123rf.com
Cover: Le Moal Olivier
Interior: everythingpossible

Promotions

Referenced

in arbitrary order…

Previously filled.

The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade | Pew Research Center

, ; The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade; Pew Research Center; 2017-08-10; 89 pages; landing.

Teaser

Many experts say lack of trust will not be a barrier to increased public reliance on the internet. Those who are hopeful that trust will grow expect technical and regulatory change will combat users’ concerns about security and privacy. Those who have doubts about progress say people are inured to risk, addicted to convenience and will not be offered alternatives to online interaction. Some expect the very nature of trust will change.

Concept

  • Delphi-type survey design
  • N=1,233
  • A pull-quote generation vehicle. To Wit.

Summary

  • 48% → trust will be strengthened
  • 28% → trust will stay the same
  • 24% → trust will be diminished

Scope

Six major themes on the future of trust in online interactions

Theme 1
Trust will strengthen because systems will improve and people will adapt to them and more broadly embrace them

  • Better technology plus regulatory and industry changes will help increase trust
  • The younger generation and people whose lives rely on technology the most are the vanguard of those who most actively use it, and these groups will grow larger
Theme 2
The nature of trust will become more fluid as technology embeds itself into human and organizational relationships

  • Trust will be dependent upon immediate context and applied differently in different circumstances
  • Trust is not binary or evenly distributed; there are different levels of it
Theme 3
Trust will not grow, but technology usage will continue to rise, as a “new normal” sets in

  • “The trust train has left the station”; sacrifices tied to trust are a “side effect of progress”
  • People often become attached to convenience and inured to risk
  • There will be no choice for users but to comply and hope for the best
Theme 4
Some say blockchain could help; some expect its value might be limited

  • Blockchain has potential to improve things
  • There are reasons to think blockchain might not be as disruptive and important as its advocates expect it to be
Theme 5
The less-than-satisfying current situation will not change much in the next decade
Theme 6
Trust will diminish because the internet is not secure, and powerful forces threaten individuals’ rights

  • Corporate and government interests are not motivated to improve trust or protect the public
  • Criminal exploits will diminish trust

Producers

Imagining The Internet (Center)
  • Pew Research Center
  • Elon University

Previously filled.

Code Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age | Pew Research

, ; Code Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age; 2017-02-08; 87 pages; landing.
Teaser: Algorithms are aimed at optimizing everything. They can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos. Still, experts worry they can also put too much control in the hands of corporations and governments, perpetuate bias, create filter bubbles, cut choices, creativity and serendipity, and could result in greater unemployment.

tl;dr → there be dragons; this is an important area; the future is at stake; the alarum has been sounded; there are seers who can show us the way. In their own words.

Series

Future of the Internet, of Pew Research & Elon University.

Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Themes illuminating concerns and challenges
  • Key experts’ thinking about the future impacts of algorithms
  • About this canvassing of experts
  • Theme 1: Algorithms will continue to spread everywhere
  • Theme 2: Good things lie ahead
  • Theme 3: Humanity and human judgment are lost when data and predictive modeling become paramount
  • Theme 4: Biases exist in algorithmically-organized systems
  • Theme 5: Algorithmic categorizations deepen divides
  • Theme 6: Unemployment will rise
  • Theme 7: The need grows for algorithmic literacy, transparency and oversight
  • Acknowledgments

Promotion

Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age; , (Pew Research Center); In Their Blog; 2017-02-08.

Teaser: Algorithms are aimed at optimizing everything. They can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos. Still, experts worry they can also put too much control in the hands of corporations and governments, perpetuate bias, create filter bubbles, cut choices, creativity and serendipity, and could result in greater unemployment/

Mentions

  • Pew Research Center of the Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Imagining the Internet Center at Elon Univesity
  • <ahem>the Singularity enthusiasts … .</ahem>

Themes

  1. Algorithms will continue to spread everywhere
  2. Good things lie ahead
  3. Humanity adn human judgement are lost wwhen data nad predictive modeling become paramount
  4. Biases exist in algorithymically-organized systems
  5. algorithmic categorizations deepen divides
  6. Unemployment will rise
  7. The need grows for algorithmic literacy, transparency and oversight.

Argot

  • <snicker>Artificial Intelligence (AI)</snicker>
  • algocratic governance
  • surveillance capitalism
  • information capitalism
  • topsight
  • black-box nature [of]
  • digital scientism
  • obedience score

Quoted

  • Aneesh Aneesh, Stanford University.
  • Peter Diamandis, CEO, XPrize Foundation.
  • Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard.
  • Jim Warren, activist.
  • Terry Langendoen, expert, U.S. National Science Foundation.
  • Patrick Tucker technology editor at Defense One,.
  • Paul Jones, clinical professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and director of ibiblio.org.
  • David Krieger, director of the Institute for Communication & Leadership IKF,.
  • Galen Hunt, partner research manager at Microsoft Research NExT,.
  • Alf Rehn, professor and chair of management and organization at Åbo Akademi University in Finland,.
  • Andrew Nachison, founder at We Media,.
  • Luis Lach, president of the Sociedad Mexicana de Computación en la Educación, A.C.
  • Frank Pasquale, professor of law, University of Maryland.
  • Jeff Jarvis, reporter.
  • Cindy Cohn, executive director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation,.
  • Bernardo A. Huberman, senior fellow and director of the Mechanisms and Design Lab at HPE Labs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
  • Marcel bullinga, expert.
  • Michael Rogers, principal, Practical Futurist.
  • Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths.
  • David Gelertner.
  • Deloitte Global (anonymous contributors).
  • Barry Chudakov, founder and principal at Sertain Research and StreamFuzion Corp.
  • Stephen Downes, staff, National Research Council of Canada,.
  • Bart Knijnenburg, assistant professor in human-centered computing at Clemson University.
  • Justin Reich, executive director at the MIT Teaching Systems Lab.
  • Dudley Irish, tradesman (a coder).
  • Ryan Hayes, owner of Fit to Tweet,.
  • Adam Gismondi, a visiting scholar at Boston College.
  • Susan Etlinger, staff, Altimeter Group.
  • Chris Kutarna, fellow, Oxford Martin School.
  • Vintno Cert, Internet Hall of Fame, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google:.
  • Cory Doctorow, writer, computer science activist-in-residence at MIT Media Lab and co-owner of Boing Boing.
  • Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft.
  • Doc Searls, director, Project VRM, Berkman Center, Harvard University,.
  • Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
  • Richard Stallman, Internet Hall of Fame, president of the Free Software Foundation.
  • David Clark, Internet Hall of Fame, senior research scientist at MIT,.
  • Baratunde Thurston, Director’s Fellow at MIT Media Lab, ex-digital director of The Onion.
  • Anil Dash, pundit.
  • John Markoff, New York Times.
  • Danah Boyd (“danah boyd”), founder, Data & Society, an advocacy group.
  • Henning Schulzrinne, Internet Hall of Fame, professor at Columbia University,.
  • Amy Webb, futurist and CEO at the Future Today Institute.
  • Jamais Cascio, distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future.
  • Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future,.
  • Ben Shneiderman, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland,.
  • David Weinberger, senior researcher at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

Referenced

Previously filled.

The Futures of Everyday Life: Politics and the Design of Experiential Scenarios | Stuart Candy

Stuart Candy; The Futures of Everyday Life: Politics and the Design of Experiential Scenarios; Ph.D. Dissertation; University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; 2010-08; 372 pages; DOI:10.13140/RG.2.1.1840.0248; ResearchGate.

Abstract

The great existential challenges facing the human species can be traced, in part, to the fact that we have underdeveloped discursive practices for thinking possible worlds ‘out loud’, performatively and materially, in the register of experience. That needs to change. In this dissertation, a methodology for ‘experiential scenarios’, covering a range of interventions and media from immersive performance to stand-alone ‘artifacts from the future’, is offered as a partial corrective. The beginnings of aesthetic, political and ethical frameworks for ‘experiential futures’ are proposed, drawing on alternative futures methodology, the emerging anti- mediumist practice of ‘experience design’, and the theoretical perspective of a Rancièrian ‘politics of aesthetics’. The relationships between these three domains — futures, design, and politics — are explored to show how and why they are coming together, and what each has to offer the others. The upshot is that our apparent binary choice between unthinkable dystopia and unimaginable utopia is a false dilemma, because in fact, we can and should imagine ‘possibility space’ hyperdimensionally, and seek to flesh out worlds hitherto supposed unimaginable or unthinkable on a daily basis. Developed from early deployments across a range of settings in everyday life, from urban guerrilla-style activism to corporate consulting, experiential scenarios do not offer definitive answers as to how the future will look, or even how it should look, but they can contribute to a mental ecology within which these questions may be posed and discussed more effectively than ever before.

Concept

Experiential Scenarios

Contribution

A [better] mental ecology in which [futures] questions may be posed and discussed.

Thesis
  • a diagnosis
  • a methodology
  • a corrective
  • a framework

Mentions

  • (thinking) out loud
  • (thinking) performatively and materially
  • the register of experience
  • artifacts from the future
  • experiential futures
  • alternative futures methodology
  • experience designthe emerging anti- mediumist practice of)
  • Jacques Rancière, b1940, see Jimi Wales’ Wiki
  • politics of aesthetics
  • possibility space
  • hyperdimensionally
Domains
  • futures
  • design
  • politics
Span
  • unthinkable dystopia
  • unimaginable utopia

Claim: a false dilemma, no a binary choice.

Scope
  • urban guerrilla-style activism
  • corporate consulting

as such: all

Committee
    • Jim Dator

, chair

  • Michael J. Shapiro
  • Debora Halbert
  • Stephen Duncombe
  • Markus Wessendorf

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstract
  • List of Figures
  • Introduction. The Unthinkable And The Unimaginable
  • Chapter 1. Beyond Utopia And Dystopia
    • Three easy pieces
      1. Alternative futures
      2. Images of the future
      3. The trio of possible, probable and preferable futures
    • Mapping possibility space
    • A note about theory
    • Generating scenarios
    • The four generic futures
    • Four corners of possibility space
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2. From Experiential Gulf To Experiential Scenario
    • A tale of two cities
      1. New Orleans: Blindsided by Katrina
      2. Detroit: The future that couldn’t last
    • Lessons from New Orleans and Detroit
    • Another hurricane, and the experiential gulf
    • Reuniting brain and body
    • Mind the gap
    • For a mundane turn in futures
    • Experiential scenarios: a case study
    • Experience design
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3. The Politics Of Futures And Design
    • Scoping the political
    • Futures and design, considered politically
      1. Critical, political futures
      2. The politics of design
        1. Take One: Design as a signal of human intention
        2. Take Two: Design as reshaping the material world
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4. Why Futures And Design Are Getting Married
    • A good fit
    • Deepening discourse by design
      1. Discursive, critical and interrogative design
      2. Design fiction
    • The dance depends on who leads
    • Three principles for designing experiential scenarios
      1. Don’t break the universe
      2. The tip of the iceberg
      3. The art of the double take
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Guerrillas In The Wild
    • Situating guerrilla futures
    • Culture jamming and prefigurative politics
      1. Jamming the future
      2. Performing the preferred future
    • Three guerrilla futures interventions
      1. New York Times Special Edition
      2. Hawaii Blue Line Project
      3. FoundFutures: Chinatown
    • A comparative case study
      1. Space
      2. Media
      3. Time
      4. Narrative
      5. Audience Involvement
    • Evaluating political effectiveness
    • A checklist for guerrilla engagement
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 6. Scenario, Simulation, Hoax
    • An ontological spectrum
    • Three discursive technologies
    • Experiential concreteness and indispensable mimesis
    • Two Halloweens (Tricks, or treats?)
      1. War of the Worlds
      2. Hell House
    • Two ethical risks
      1. Distressing?
      2. Misleading?
    • Towards an ethics of experiential futures
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. The Futures Of Everyday Life
    • Has futures studies failed?
    • What would it mean to succeed?
    • How are we approaching it?
      1. Future-shock therapy vs ambient foresight
      2. Foresight that is like falling off a log
      3. Ambient foresight nodes
      4. Ambient foresight networks
      5. The limits of ambience?
    • A futures-oriented social ecology
    • Conclusion
  • Conclusion. How We Might Feel Tomorrow
  • References

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Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished | Candy, Dunagan

Stuart Candy, Jake Franklin Dunagan; Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished; In Futures; 2016 (2017-02); 18 pages; ResearchGate; DOI:10.1016/j.futures.2016.05.006

Abstract

As futures practice strives towards greater effectiveness, the foresight and design fields are in the process of discovering, learning from and remixing with each other. This paper offers a case study of an experiential futures/design fiction project co-created with workshop participants at the inaugural Emerge festival, an explicitly futures-themed hybrid arts and science event staged at Arizona State University in the city of Phoenix in 2012. The People Who Vanished was a live intervention, via performance and associated artifacts created for the occasion, reflecting on a possible future for the Phoenix area. The workshop’s compressed timeline prompted the authors to create for participants a basic framework for producing experiential scenarios. That framework, further elaborated here as the Experiential Futures Ladder, is offered as a conceptual model for scaffolding experiential scenarios and design fiction going forward. Some implications for the foresight field of this multi-scalar mode of thought, as well as of the experiential turn more broadly (towards design, media, games and performance) are outlined.

Mentions

  • a workshop
  • Emerge, a festival
  • Arizona State University
  • Phoenix, 2012
  • a live performance
  • Experiential Futures Ladder

Actualities

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Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It | Gorbis, Fidler

Marina Gorbis, Devin Fidler; Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It; In Some Blog entitled WTF? hosted on Medium; 2016-04-04.
Teaser: 8 Principles for creating on-demand platforms for better work futures

Marina Gorbis
  • Executive Director, Institute for the Future (IFTF)
WTF = What’s The Future? (get it?)
  • A blog
    CuratedEdited by Tim O’Reilly.
  • A conference
    Next: Economy Summit, San Francisco, CA, 2016-10-10 & 11.
  • Theme: All face massive, technology-driven change
    • work,
    • business,
    • society.
Listicle
  1. Earnings maximization
  2. Stability and predictability
  3. Transparency
  4. Portability of products and reputations
  5. Upskilling
  6. Social Connectedness
  7. Bias Elimination
  8. Feedback mechanisms
Concept

Brand: Positive Platforms
<quote>platforms that not only maximize profits for their owners but also provide dignified and sustainable livelihoods for those who work on them, plus enrich society as a whole — is one of the most urgent tasks we are facing today</quote>

Claims

The “results” of the Study. That. Shows.

  • Should there be minimum wages
    What should the minimum be? Even for the Mechanical Turk clicky HITS?
  • People working on platforms should be able to own the products of their work and their reputation histories, and carry them from platform to platform.
    <pull-quote>All of my portfolio links are broken now, and I don’t think people can find me anymore.<pull-quote>How has this been solved via intellectual property law the entertainment industry? For music, For film, etc.?
  • The Platforms organizations are newbies; they don’t know The Detente.
    The formal organizations have the detente after the (centuries of) labor violence and legal decisioning;
    The Platforms using the contractor-cum-employee scheme does not follow The Detente.
  • Platforms create networks
    Networks create culsters
    Clusters create bias
    Bias creates polarization
    Polarization is bad.
  • Cannot negotiate with an algorithm.
    Sure you can, to stretch the anthropomorphic negotiation metaphor, the same way a sailor negotiates with the wind to sail towards it. Study it, learn its means, learn its effects, learn its limitations: bend its power to your will.

Mentions

Background
  • on-demand platform design as a discipline
  • social choices
  • cede choices to platform creators
  • <quote>We embed values into our technologies, and today such values are reflections of Silicon Valley’s techno-centric ethos and funding models.</quote>
  • user-interaction designers, a role/
  • Arun Sundararajan
  • AirBnB, stating services
  • eBay, not cited; in another era it was the <Gee-Whiz!/>
  • income stability
    income predictability
    <quote>shifting pay structures with only a few days’ or no prior notice</quote>
  • Earnings maximization, for whom?
    Payment minimization, for whom?
    <quote>Connections between design choices and earnings are not understood.</quote>

Commentariat

How is any of this different than studying the scheme design underlying any Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme: Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware; or generalized life coaching or real estate flippage?The Multiple Listings Service (MLS) contra The Real Estate platforms e.g. Zillow, Redfin, etc.

Sounds very MLM…

  • transparency concepts
  • the algorithm
  • retention
    • data retention
    • people retention
  • career ladders
    i.e. ladder ranking, a promotion system

On Activism Against The Man

Activism against The Platform occurs outside The Platform,
It occurs on other platforms:

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Google Groups (but not <snide>Google Plus?</snide>)
  • “and other social media sites”

Clicky Class Consciousness

Mechanical Turk workers have a separable class consciousness
… just stop, pause and consider that for a minute: Mechanical Turk workers; the class consciousness of Mechanical Turk workers. Yet recall that Mechanical Turk exists because that clicky work can be done at trivial-unto-ephemeral pay rates because it can be; it’s still too expensive get machines to do it..

The Data-veillance

Something about using “vast amounts of data” as is done by these exemplary products:

  • Degreed
    skills-model job matching, contracted work
  • Unitive
    employment law compliance
  • Upwork
    skills-model job matching, contracted work

Supply & Demand

Something about the effect of surge pricing on congestion

  • in a neighborhood (where a neighborhood is a delicate thing)
  • within a city (where a city is a robust thing)
Managed Economy, Planning Economics

Something about managed trading in the controlled economy

  • Minimum wages allowed,
    contra salary caps
  • Maximum payments allowed,
    contra revenue guarantees

Exemplars of The Design Thinking

Patterns of design, the unctuousness of the UX, the ease of the affordation.
<quote>[those whose] apps are exquisitely designed</quote>

Occasion

  • As [commissioned?] research
  • Wherein it is 2015
  • Institute for the Future (IFTF)

Vehilcle

A Study. That. Shows.

Population

  • convenience sample, with snowballing
  • people who are working on “platforms”
  • admission
    • the degree of engagement or time spent on platforms
      range: passively renting to working full-time
    • degree of skill required
      range: Uber drivers → HourlyNerd
  • locations
    (United States only)

    • San Francisco
    • New York
    • Miami
    • Chicago
    • “and elsewhere”

Goals

  • Document perspectives
  • Immerse ourselves in their vocabulary
  • Something about using ethnographic methods to tune the platform to “the people.”

Output

Ethnographic recordation
  • document the use cases
  • document the perspectives
But

See the concept of the “fiduciary” in the Bitcoin discussions. c.f. Angela Walch
These are but the <ahem>Multi-sided markets</ahem>, yes?

Who

Only two individuals are cited.

Alan Cooper
  • is was a UXer
  • opined in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
  • Biography
    • <quote>He is best known as the “Father of Visual Basic”</quote>
    • Founder, Cooper, a [design shop]
  • design languages
  • optimize for usability.
  • on-demand work platforms
    the segue
Arun Sundararajan
  • Stern School of Business, New York University
    • the NEC Faculty Fellow
    • Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences
    • Doctoral Coordinator
  • The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism; The MIT Press; 2016-05-13; 256 pages; Amazon:0262034573: kindle: $10, paper: $10+SHT.
  • Expertise
    • Network effect
    • Digital rights management
    • Price discrimination

Via: Jimi Wales’ Wiki & Google Search

Referenced

  • Alan Cooper; The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity; Sams of Pearson Education; 1st edition; 2004-03-05: 288 pages; Amazon:0672326140: Kindle: maybe, paper: $30+SHT.

Roundup of miscellaneous notes, captured and organized

Blockchain Culture

The Seven(Hundred) Dwarves

  • Blockstack(.org)- The New Decentralized Internet
    • blockstack, at GitHub
    • Union Square Ventures (USV)
    • Promotion
      • Staff (USV); The Blockchain App Stack; In Their Blog; 2016-08-08.
      • Blockstack Unveils A Browser For The Decentralized Web; Laura Shin; In Forbes; 2017-05-15.
        tl;dr → <quote>Tuesday, at the main blockchain industry conference, Consensus, one of the companies working on this new decentralized web, Blockstack, which has $5.5 million in funding from Union Square Ventures and AngelList cofounder Naval Ravikant, released a browser add-on that enables that and more.<snip/>The add-on enables a browser to store the user’s identity information by a local key on the consumer’s device.</quote>; Ryan Shea, cofounder.
  • Everyone has something here.

Bluetooth Culture

Bluetooth LE (BLE)

  • and?

Bluetooth 5

  • Something about mesh networking
  • Something about the standard being released “summer 2017.”

C++ Culture

C++20

  • The roadmap onto the twenties.

Application

  • MapReduce, from ETL or EU somewhere.
  • Kyoto Cabinet, Typhoon, Tycoon
  • Virtual Reality packages
  • Ctemplate, Olafud Spek (?)
  • Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • libgraphqlparser – A GraphQL query parser in C++ with C and C++ APIs

Computing Culture

Ubicomp, <ahem>Pervicomp</ahem>

  • Rich Gold
  • Mark Weiser

Dev(Ops) Culture

Futures Cult(ure)

Advocacy

  • Cory Doctorow, the coming war against general purpose computing, an article; WHERE?
  • Cory Doctorow, dystopia contra utopia, an article; WHERE?

Fiction

  • Cory Doctorow, various works

Imagine a World In Which…

  • Stocks vs Flows
  • Chaos vs Stability
  • Permission vs Permissionless
  • Civil Society ↔ Crony Society
    • Transparency
    • Deals
    • Priorities
  • Predictive Technology “just works”
    • is trusted
    • is eventual
    • is law
    • “is” equates with “ought”

Fedora Culture

  • Flatpak

Fedora 26 Notes

  • nmcli reload con down $i
  • nm cli reload con up $i
  • eui64 must be manually configured

Internet of (unpatchable) Thingies (IoT)

  • MQTT
  • mosquito

Language Lifestyles

Go Lang

  • Go for it.
  • A package manager

LangSec

  • theory
  • implementation?

Rust Lang

  • Was there a NoStarch book?

SCOLD Lang

  • C++20?
    hey, surely someone has modules working by now, eh?

Projects

Generally

  • Repig, in C++, with threads, in an NVMe

mod_profile

  • sure, what?

mod_proliphix

  • Interface to the (discontinued) Proliphix thermostats

mod_resting

  • CDN Store
  • Picture Store
  • Document Cache (store & forward)

mod_files

  • Firefox Tiles

SCOLD Experiences

SCOLD near-syntax, common errors

  • #import <hpp>
  • missing #divert
  • #using, a declaration
  • #origin
  • #namespace
  • $@

Suggestions

Build System
  • –with-std-scold or maybe –with-scold
module-c-string
  • vecdup, like strdup
  • vectree, like strfree→free
module-json
  • json::check::Failure or json::Cast.
  • namespace json::is
    • is_array
    • is_null
    • is_object
  • json::as<…>(…)
module-path
  • pathify(…)
module-sqlite
  • column result
  • concept guarding the template parameter, from C++17
module-string
  • typed strings
    • location
    • path
    • etc.
  • and

Surveillance Culture

Concepts

  • Eigenpeople
  • Eigenpersonas
  • Personality modeling

Literature

Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Jordi Quoidbach, Florent Robic, Alex (Sandy) Pentland; Predicting Personality Using Novel Mobile Phone-Based Metrics; In: A.M. Greenberg, W.G. Kennedy, N.D. Bos (editors) Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction as Proceedings of Social Computing, Behavioral (SBP 2013), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7812; 2013; paywalls: Springer, ACM. Previously filled.

Theory

  • POSS (Post Open Source Software)
    defined as: if everything is on GitHub, then who needs licenses?
    Was this ever amplified?
    Certainly it is facially incorrect and facile.

Psychology

  • Rob Horning; Sock of Myself, an essay; In Real Life Magazine; 2017-05-17
    tl;dr → riffing on happiness, Facebook. Is. Bad. Q.E.D. R.D. Laing , The Divided Self,; John Cheney-Lippold’s We Are Data; Donald Mackenzie.
  • Michael Nelson; University of California, Riverside.

Purposive directionality

  • increase
    • predictability
  • reduce
    • uncertainty
    • variability

Various

Uncomprehensible, Unknown, Unpossible

  • Sunlight, a package? FOSS?

The Experiential Turn | Candy, Dunagan

Stuart Candy, Jake Franklin Dunagan; The Experiential Turn; In Human Futures; 2016-12; 4 pages (2 as slideware); ResearchGate

Original Sources

Candy, S. and Dunagan, J. (2016). Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished. In Futures. Separately noted.

Nostrum

Become…
  • a student of history
  • a mindreader, of others mental models.
  • a flexible thinker
  • a master of situations
  • an engineer of experiences
  • a fastidious documentarian
  • a willing collaborator

Abstract

For futures studies to impact mainstream culture and contribute to civilisation-scale “social foresight” it must be capable of bridging the “experiential gulf” between abstract possible futures, and life as it is directly apprehended in the embodied present. Some suggestions are offered for core skills and sensibilities to be cultivated by futurists in order to engage the experiential register.

Mentions

  • gulf of foresight
  • emotional impact
  • Experiential Futures Ladder
  • Experiential Futures
  • social foresight
  • OCAD
  • CCA
  • The ‘R’s
    • VR
    • AR
    • MR
  • Games

Actualities

References

  1. Candy, S. (2010). The Futures of Everyday Life. University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  2. Candy, S. (2015). The Thing from the Future. In: Curry (Ed.). The APF Methods Anthology. APF.
  3. Candy, S. and Dunagan, J. (2016). Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished. In Futures.
  4. Dator, J. (1993). From Future Workshops to Envisioning Alternative Futures. Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies.
  5. Dator, J. (1996). Futures Studies as Applied Knowledge. In Slaughter (Ed.). New Thinking for a New Millennium. Routledge.
  6. Jungk, R. and Mullert, N. (1987) Future Workshops. Institute for Social Inventions.
  7. Ramos, J. (2006). Consciousness, culture and the communication of foresight. In Futures.
  8. Slaughter, R. A. (1996). Futures Studies: From Individual to Social Capacity. In Futures.
  9. Voros, J. (2008). Integral Futures: An approach to futures inquiry. In Futures.

Making the Futures Present | Amy Helen Margaret Greyson

Amy Helen Margaret Greyson; Making the Futures Present, report ocadu:1441, Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation; OCAD University; 2016-12 (2017-02-14); 193 pages; CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
About: OCAD U is an art, design and media university in Canada.

Abstract

This research explores personal experiential futures in the creation of a new technique for helping an individual to envision a preferred future for himself or herself living in complex global futures.

“Making the Futures Present” is the prototype of a proposed personal futures technique that begins by exploring ‘the world out there’ before ‘the inner world’. By the end of a three-phase interview cycle each participant receives a personalized high-fidelity prototype. That artifact or experience intentionally provokes the participant’s perception of the expected future. The proposed technique employs concepts from experiential futures, ethnographic futures research and prototyping processes. This technique is described in this paper step by step with images from every stage of the process. The paper includes a literature review of evolving foresight practices that locating this technique in personal futures, a growing area of interest. The paper refers to comparable narrative therapy practices and other disciplines that can be useful references in the evolution of this technique. Outcomes from this research, by way of participant statements and supporting theory, yield various insights for the development of this technique and why this concept is necessary now.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • My View of Our Story
    • A New Story about our Future Self
    • From Purpose to Preferred Futures
    • Background to Personal Futures
    • The Intention Behind the Approach
    • A Proposal for Futures Practice
    • The Proposed Technique
    • Conclusion
  2. Locating Making the Futures Present in Time
    • A Futures History Lesson
    • Personal Foresight Frameworks and Methodologies
    • Comparable Practices in Social Science
    • Conclusion
  3. The Emergence of Personal Futures
    • Personal Futures
    • Examples of Personal Futures Projects
    • Conclusion
  4. The Design of Making the Futures Present
    • Ethnographic Futures Research
    • Experiential Futures
    • A Human-centred Approach
    • Characteristics of Making the Futures Present
      • Interactive Interviews
      • Deep listening
      • Language
      • Systems Thinking
      • Prototypes
    • Other Disciplines of Envisioning a Preferred Future
    • Conclusion
  5. The Importance of Making the Futures Present
    • The Importance of Personal Futures for Individuals
    • Three Myths and One Truism
    • The Importance of Personal Futures in Society
    • Conclusion
  6. Making the Futures Present Technique
    • The Research Method
      • Research
    • Approval for the Research
    • The Participant’s Journey
      • 1: Generating Scenarios
      • 2: Generating Prototypes
      • 3: Generating a High-Fidelity Prototype
    • The Process for Designing the Final High-fidelity Prototype
    • The Follow-up Interview07
    • The Evolution of the Interview Protocol09
    • The Experiential Futures Ladder
    • Conclusion
  7. Research Reflections
    • Giving Participants the Fabricated Futures Present
  8. Evaluating Making the Futures Present
    • Might Making the Futures Present help someone to create a new personal future narrative?
    • An Optimal Outcome
    • Indicators of Success
    • Opportunities and Challenges for the Technique
    • Conclusion
  9. From Apathy to Action
    • Implementation Plan
    • Next steps
    • A limitation of the proposed approach
    • Conclusion
  10. Conclusion
    • In Response to the Research Question
    • In Response to the Sub-questions
    • A final summary
Bibliography
  • Appendix A: Formal Steps of the Proposed Technique
  • Appendix B: Three Case Studies
  • Appendix C: Participants
  • Appendix D: Participant Feedback
  • Appendix E: Consent forms
  • Appendix F: Introductory Script at the Start of the First Interview
  • Appendix G: The Creative Warm-up Activity

Ethnographic Experiential Futures | Candy, Kornet

Stuart Candy, Kelly Kornet; A Field Guide to Ethnographic Experiential Futures, version 1.1, Situation Lab 02017 (c.f. ten thousand year clock); presented at Design Develop Transform, Brussels; 2017-06, DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.30623.97448; landing.

tl;dr → how to run advanced product development to incorporate focus group feedback.

Method
  1. Map
  2. Multiply
  3. Mediate
  4. Mount
  5. Map(again)

Map → document.
Multiply → a metaphor, as such.
Mediate → build (model, mock up, prototype)..
Mount → test.

Concept

EXF = EF + XF

Given

  • Ethnographic Futures (EF) and when does as “Research” (EFR)
  • Experiential Futures (XF)

Therefore

  • Ethnographic Experiential Futures (EXF)

<quote ref=”that“> Ethnographic Futures is more descriptive; looking for what’s present but often hidden in people’s heads. Experiential Futures is more creative; rendering these notional possibilities visible, tangible, immersive and interactive, externalising and concretising representations of them for closer inspection and deeper discussion.</quote>

Mentions

  • EFR Categories
    • Ethnographic Futures Research (EFR)
    • from [Textor 1989] unavailable, only two pages anyway.
  • Experiential Futures (XF)
  • Ethnographic Experiential Futures (EXF)
  • Situation Lab
  • Extrapolation Factory
  • 1-888-FUTURES
  • Experiential Futures Ladder
  • Setting
  • Scenario
  • Situations
  • Stuff (artifacts)
  • facilitator
  • designer

Who

Stuart Candy
Kelly Kornet

Argot

  • Diagetic → <fancy>from film theory, sound corresponding to the visible action</fancy>
    • Urban Dictionary (!!! buy the mug!)
    • Wictionary
    • Jimi Wales’ Wiki
      <quote>
      a style of fictionstorytelling that presents an interior view of a world in which:

      1. details about the world itself and the experiences of its characters are revealed explicitly through narrative
      2. the story is told or recounted, as opposed to shown or enacted.</quote>
    • FilmSound.org
      <quote>

      • Another term for diegetic sound is actual sound
      • Another term for non-diegetic sound is commentary sound.
      • Diegesis is a Greek word for “recounted story”
        The film’s diegesis is the total world of the story action
        </quote>

Referenced

  • Greyson, Making the Futures Present
  • Candy & Dunagan, Foundfutures Chinatown
  • Textor, Ethnographic Futures Research
  • Kornet, Causing an Effect
  • Foundfutures, a “guerilla futures” performance

Promotions

  • He, Himself; Ethnographic Experiential Futures; In His Blog entitled the sceptical futuryst; 2017-06-23.
    (no title case and he use precedes his year system with a zero, e.g. 02017, to convey that the work was done in octal on computers in the medieval times circa 1039 BCE a Long Now-type ten-thousand year calendar).

Mentions

Who

Separately

Researchgate
  • The Futures of Everyday Life Politics and the Design of Experiential Scenarios; landing
  • Field Guide to the Ethnographic Experiential Futures; landing
  • Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished; landing
  • The Experiential Turn; landing; an overview.

Previously

Blogspot
Tags

Previously filled.

A World in Which | Jamais Cascio

Jamais Cascio; A World in Which; In His Blog entitled Open The Future; 2016?

The piece is the full text of a talk

Mentions

Why do we think about the future?

  • Because we cancould.
    <snide>Institute for Idle Curiosity About Tomorrow</snide>.
  • The future because
    • that the future matters
    • that we still have a say in the future we get
  • Think of the future in generational terms, not just as a count of years.
  • The Study of the future
    The “study” of the future is foresight.

    • to act appropriately, to act responsibly
    • for prudence
  • It is cultural anthropology
    • history
    • economics <ahem>which is a religion</quote>
  • Who listens to these stories?
    • <quote>[NOT] academic cabals that communicate through peer-reviewed journals and passive-aggressive blog posts. </quote>
    • folks whom might not know <quote>The future is a journey, not a destination.</quote>
    • Therefore
      • Be a storytellers so they will listen & buy.
      • Narrative, renarrative.
      • anticipatory history.
      • depictions of change, via story.
    • [there exists a plurality of] foresight practitioners who dislike the storytelling trope, because storytelling seems too unserious. AND THIS IS SERIOUS.

Storytelling

  • Joseph Campbell
  • <quote>We use a narrative of the imaginary to explain the deep structure of the world.</quote> The parable system.
  • Fancy
    • “strategic wind-tunneling”
    • “contingency analysis”
    • “preference-agnostic outcome projection”
  • Foresight scenarios
    • are myth-making
    • are explicit stories of how the world works.

The Incantation

This is a world in which…

  • The blatant introduction
  • The futurist’s version of once upon a time.
  • All assumptions about the way of things come under scrutiny.
    • What do I want this world to be?
    • How does this future differ from the here and now?
    • What is the story of this new reality?

Scenarios ~ Science Fiction

Similar work product, but distinct mindset & accents.

Scenarios
  • use characters to highlight world structure
  • packed tight in the limited space
  • multiple story lines
Science Fiction
  • uses world structure to advance character development.
  • sparse detail
  • as much space as the audience has time for; trilogy? serialized saga?
  • single story line, by definition.

Reminders

  • Useful foresight scenarios need to be about people, our desires and our fears.
  • Technologies are fundamentally cultural artifacts
  • Technologies’creation and use are manifestations of [the] values, beliefs, and intentions of their [owners, developers, a.k.a. their creators].
  • These need to be stories of how we live our lives, not just a catalog of inventions lightly sprinkled with global events.
  • They should ask us, how do we grapple with the challenges presented to us by a world in which?
  • Scenarios should seem to be either utopian or dystopian.

Quotes

  • the scientism <quote>part of the brain that lights up when</quote>
  • <aphorism>skate to where the puck will be</aphorism> attributed to Wayne Gretzky.
  • “the past is a foreign country,” attributed to LP Hartley.
  • “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet,” William Gibson.

Who

  • William Gibson.
  • Wayne Gretzky.
  • Leslie Poles Hartley, 1895-12-30→1972-12-13; Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Work Product

Body Area Networks

  1. Papers, Please
  2. X-Ray Vision
  3. Memory
Theme

Body Area Networks are commonplace and diverse, but with different rules and affordances in different parts of the world.

Questions
  • Can privacy be possible here?
  • Can you ever be alone in this world?
  • What risks might you run seeking to be by yourself?

Papers, Please

Scene
  • Republic of Scotland
  • wristbands
  • “back in the day” was the Age of Anonymous.
Story

A trip abroad is explained:

  • arrival with external passports,
  • sightseeing internal passports,
  • health care emergency is sketched,
  • a return to home and safety is completed.
Explanation
  • self-protection
  • with encryption
  • system monitors
  • component isolation
Drive

Connection, determinism: technologies are built to be connected.

Questions
  • Who owns that connection?
    Who controls the off switch?

X-Ray Vision

Scene
  • sociental-level
  • body-area networks are called “selfies”
    <quote>Although the information is private, it may still be accessible by families, by governments, or by the device manufacturers</quote> (anyone but you, anyone but the person sitting next to you?)
Story
  • Earthquake swarm of on the Hayward Fault in 2024.
  • Demonstrations, Sao Paolo, 2038-04.
Drive

Transparency

Question

Is it possible that the best outcome might be if nobody controls the off switch?

Memory

Scene
  • Personal Area Network Devices and Accessories — PANDAs
  • Like a FitBit, but more so.
Story
  • Girlfriend Isabella — “Izzy.”
  • Shared feelings across telecom.
  • She dies in a car.
Drive

Connection (love)

Question
  • What if?
  • Would you get rid of it?
Reality

The sibling who holds the featurephone that contains the last SMS being typed when she crashed into the car in front of her. [cite?]

Previously filled.

PDV-91: References for the final assignment: Design Your Own Future

Following

PDV-91: Final Assignment, Design Your Own Future

References

In archaeological order (newer matieral on top, older material below)


Credential to Panhandle

A bold economic theory on why panhandlers should act more like registered charities; Leslie Albrecht; In MarketWatch; 2017-07-24; separately noted.
Teaser: Giving money to others boosts our happiness, but only when we know we’re making an impact
tl;dr → a license to panhandle validated with a bluetooth beacon+iOS+Cloud; appware entitled GiveSafeSamaritan, is in market now (Apple only). roles: supplicant, samaritan, supplier; It’s a scrip scheme, yet whither AML & KYC?

Cites

Swirl Networks

Promotional Pages
  • How it works
  • Location-enabled consumer audiences
  • Geofence, WiFi, Beacon, VLC

Policy Control and Charging (PCC)

Policy Control; Palo Alto Networks (vendor product documentation)
Pretty much every vendor has these nowadays. See: Sandvine, Cisco, Juniper.


Audience Exchange


Under-Culture Experiences

Ame Elliot (Simply Secure); Privacy and Threat in Practice: Mobile Messaging by Low-Income New Yorkers; Presented at the 25th  USENIX Security Symposium; 2016-08-10→12; with video; separately filled.

Themes: renter’s mindset, family phone plan, no privacy, plausible deniability within cultural socialization, always interviewing, hourly work, unscheduled work, loss of control, no physical space; <vignette>bosses require video evidence you are sick so carry an Android because the cameras are plausibly bad enough you can fake it; never carry an iPhone, they “just work” and will rat you out.</vignette>


The Perennials

Gina Pell, press cycle, multiple outlets, 2016-2017.

Gina Pell (The What) Meet the Perennials; In Her Blog, hoisted on Medium; 2016-10-19; separately filled.
Teaser: Because age ain’t nothin’ but a number
Gina Pell is Content Chief, The What, a blog.
tl;dr → Perennials are early-to-mid-career, mid-to-upper-affluence, substantially childlessfree (pre-, post-, bychoice-, anti-), educated, cosmopolitan, coastal, suburban-to-urban, but not urban; and most importantly consumerist in mindset; a.k.a. they are Creative Class “professional” types.
Promotions

Why women of 40 and 50 are the new ‘ageless generation’; Leah Hardy; In The Telegraph; 2017-07-02; separately filled.
tl;dr → Of a certain age, and forever 21 (as branded); it is “middle age” but not to be called that because old people are middle aged.

Gina Pell welcomes the Perennials: all-ages movement of relevancy; Catherine Bigelow; In The San Francisco Chronicle; 2017-02-15.
tl;dr → Gina Pell developed The Perennials concept to capture the cohort of older (uh) Millennial-Gen-Xers who, in middle age, now want some respect.

(The Robin Report); The Rise of the Perennial Millennial; In Their Blog; 2016-08-15; separately filled.
Nick Graham
CEO of Nick Graham, a Menswear brand (with a capital ‘M’), since 2014.
ex-founder, Chief Underpants Officer, JOE BOXER brand.

Perennial Millennials → a group of generationally agnostic individuals, equally committed to seeking out societal solutions, who respect the ability and intelligence of future generations to guide, be guided, and even ignore the follies of the previous generation.

Quibbling on dates, it appears that Nick Graham uttered Perennial Millennial a quarter prior to Gina Pell’s The Perennials, but the latter presentation got the attentive press cycle.


Hipsters

Call for Papers on Hipster Geographies, a panel, to perform at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), San Francisco, CA; 2016-03-29 → 2016-04-02.  Separately filled.  Only the call for participation; but see the references for background & theory.
tl;dr → Issues in & around race consciousness, a youth demographic; Seattle- and London-focused emerging adult focused. Aligned with Florida’s  Creative Class.


Verizon UIDH and Mobile Tracking

AT&T had something like this, but abandoned commercial side of the program.
Not cited..


Emerging Adulthood

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett; Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties; Oxford University Press; 2014 & 2006.


Shell & Scenarios

Angel Wilkinson, Roland Kupers; The Essence of Scenarios: Learning From the Shell Experience; Amsterdam University Press; 2014-02-18; 185 pages; Amazon:9089645942; kindle: $36, paper: $30+SHT. Separately noted.


Normcore

Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom | K-Hole, Box 1824

Report #4Youth Mode: A Report on Freedomamong Greg Fong, Sean Monahan, Emily Segal, Chris Sherron, Dena Yago of K-HOLE, BOX 1824 (creative agencies, cultural knowers, trend seers); 2013-10. 40 pages, 35 of content; as noted, circa 2013-10-31.

Series
Promotion

AT&T Project Greenstar

ATT Project Greenstar Secretly Spied Millions of Calls, excerpt, pages 92-97; In Cryptome; 2013-01-28.
See EFF Spying FAQ.

Phil Lapsley; Exploding The Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell
Grove Press, New York; 2013-02-05; 450 pages; Amazon:B009SAV5W0; Kindle: $10, paper: $5+SHT.


Data is the New Oil

Is Data The New Oil?; Perry Rotella; In Forbes; 2012-04-02.
<quote>CNBC Squawk Box segment, “The Pulse of Silicon Valley,” host Joe Kernan posed the question, “What is the next really big thing?” to Ann Winblad, the legendary investor and senior partner at Hummer-Winblad. Her response: “Data is the new oil.”</quote>

(much earlier)
<quote>Personal data is the new oil of the Internet and the new currency of the digital world.</quote>

Meglena Kuneva, European Consumer Commissioner, March 2009-03, quoted on page 5
Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class; 2011-02-17; 40 pages; landing.


[A Computer Must] Never Ask a User [something it already knows]

Eric S. Raymond, Rob W. Landley; In The Art of Unix Usability; 2004.
<quote>Rule of Automation: Never ask the user for any information that you can autodetect, copy, or deduce.</quote>,


The Tussle

David D. Clark, John Wroclawski, Karen Sollins, Robert Braden; Tussle in Cyberspace: Defining Tomorrow’s Internet; In Proceedings of ACM Special Interest Group on Communications (SIGCOMM); 2002-08-19; 16 pages; separately filled.


David J. Staley; A History of the Future; In History and Theory; Theme Issue 41; ISSN: 0018-2656; 2002-12; pages 72-89 (18 pages). Separately noted.


Saeculum Generational Theory

Neil Howe, William Strauss; The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy; Broadway Books; 1997-12-29; 400 pages; promotional site; a copy.
Neil Howe, William Strauss; Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069; Quill; 1992-09-30; 538 pages.

Followup

Paul Taylor (Pew Research Center); The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown; Public Affairs; 2014-03-04; 288 pages; kindle: $15, paper: $18; promotional site.
Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President of Special Projects at the Pew Research Center.


Both Sides Now

Joni Mitchell, Both Sides, Now, 1967.
Lyrics: Google Search (display in page), jonimitchell.com.
Background: Jimi Wales’ Wiki.


The Organization Man

William H. Whyte; The Organization Man; Simon & Schuster; 1957-07-30; 448 pages; Amazon:B01JXQDBZ2; paper: $12+SHT, Kindle: no (ahem, no of course not, they didn’t have Kindle e-readers or DRM in 1957, you had to read paper, but that didn’t stop ‘em, they knew how to read back in those days. I digress.); University of Pennsylvania Press; revised edition; Amazon:0812218191: Kindle: $15, paper: $10+SHT.


The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Sloan Wilson; The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; Some Publisher; 1955; Da Capo Press; 4 edition; 2002-10-23; 288 pages; Amazon:1568582463: Kindle: $11, paper: $2+SHT.

PDV-91: Final Project – How to Think Like a Futurist

Wendell Baker
2017-07-31
Final Project: PDV-91 – How to Think Like a Futurist
Instructor: Jane McGonigal

WHEN: 2028
WHAT: The future of advertising
WHY: Tracking (per Kelly)

Imagine a World Where.… every activity is potentially recordable, traceable, archivable, and thus monetizable. But technology is deterministic and inevitible: what can be done, will be done. It must be done unless it is uneconomic. Some boosterist once opined “data is the new oil.” Of course, this is unfounded because data is made from oil, and more. Data is made from doing things, better data than merely reading-and-clicking-and-reading web pages. Data comes from observing the world. But what comes of the exuberance for the concept is fine. Data creates knowledge to direct the world. Here we are upon the 2K‑twenties where it is better, faster, safer, simpler to record first then analyze-and-correct later. We have a national-scale billing and recording infrastructure for every phone call, every SMS message, every television show. They even record ambient street chatter, and in-car conversations: everywhere and always. Like AT&T Project Greenstar, but with positive cash flow; like Verizon UIDH, but available for every channel always and everywhere. With such abundant recorded supply, the trade has set about to optimize, streamline and ease the burdens of living, but most of all to make more money.

No one asked, but fifty years on, computing became pervasive and wholly invisible. It is “ho hum.” Such befell elevators, frozen food, television, automatic transmissions, and multi-stream recycling programs. Nobody is gushing “gee-whiz! it’s just phenomenal!” about the mobile, the online, those “digital natives,” or “the cyber,” not any more. By “computing” one comprehends the mind-numbing acts of bookkeeping, recordation and reconciliation. Nobody balances a Check21 book, a brokerage statement, an invoice-to-payment statement, and hasn’t for a generation. KYC & AML, they know who you are. One also comprehends computing in the little acts of operability and control: braking, doors, faucets, toilets flushing, lights, checkout, payment, signout, signin. But also in enforcement and supervision. There is permissioned Policy Control and Charging (PCC) layered on everything: when, where, how, who, limits and prices. Computing is safety, performance, animation, entertainment and fun. Unless in the business itself, most people comprehend the computing as nifty, fun and helpful.

The Emerging Adults have, well, emerged. Millenialism doesn’t sound forward-looking or millenarian at all. These people work stable jobs, lease the cars, buy the health insurance, swap the credit cards, hold the union cards, grind on 30-year full-amortization mortgages. They are the family plan; everyone’s gear hangs by that bill. They plan vacations around the kids, they have calendar-scheduled “date nite.” They live-apart-together. Their work moves downSandyet, to the youngs, and overseas all the time, yet they’ve figured it out. They have become The Organization’s franchise player. It’s grey flannel, but it’s their flannel, reminding them fondly of what was: hipster, cargo pockets, normcore, mass indie. It is still no less a suit. They are at peace with it, it’s what they wanted all along. They are masters at the constancy of change. The Xers have received the secret knowledge of generational wisdom as a Sandwich Generation always does; they see both sides now: what was, what will be. They know don’t they know life at all; they comprehend actuarial science, if only by poetry as time compounded. They have less time now but they too pretend they are permanently and ever thus. Many still work for The Man, because they must but also many have become The Man, even if in little ways. They are owed, they remember somewhat how it was to owe. The Perennials are now “Of a Certain Age.” Graceful and grand are some, but not all, wherein “Age is only a Number.”

Ambience

Lee is headed into the coffee shop. It’s raining, which is new. Apparently it always rains here. Lots of college types around here too. The phone buzzed a bit. It had made contact with the kiosk. Looking around, there was the linkup. All there was to do was accept the script-chit-thingy and payment was done. It also qualified one into the Frequent Coffee, College Crew segment. Swirl Networks, right there on the sticker. He knew what he was doing; given notice, he had given consent. He pulled in the other notification and donated to the homeless person sitting in the window. There was a name on the license but he didn’t read it. Too much. Everything nowadays is noticed, choiced and consented. It never ended. He had the Consent Fatigue. He moved on, other things to do.

Operations

It is the first week in January, 2029. The professional football season is finishing up. Sandy is back in the office after taking the New Year’s holiday off. Good fun, good food, good rest. Now back to work. She does audience management for the big ad exchanges. She thinks this is vaguely like the bee keeping that her great uncle used to do. No outdoors though. There’s some work to it, but as long as you keep ahead of it, the hive will always be producing. Sandy does audience shaping and amplification with a bit of open-market trading on the side. They have contracts and terms on the DataX blockchain.

Across the Fall, since August 2028, they had set up the rigging to record the attendees in the thirty one NFL stadiums. She’s going to trade on that through the Superbowl in February. Her first tranche was announced on the IAB’s Audience Exchange Protocol in December. She’s going to amplify and shape these audiences to get more out of them. She’ll have to buy some other audiences and blend them.

It’s never ceased to amaze Sandy: who wants this stuff? There is some movie being scheduled for summer about space and robots where the distributors want young families with preteens. Sandy thought it would be smarter to hunt those people by looking for them in malls and schools. Preteens have to be in school, surely. But the customer is always paying, if not always right. There’s another RFP on her desk for college-bound students in the Northeast. She’s going to have to use amplification to get the kind of reach they want. The modeled audiences are not as easy to sell, but they can do wonders for a vaguely defined campaign.

Signals

  • Swirl Networks is a real company on a business plan that is mostly as shown. They are used here as example of the genre. There are several others in this genre.
  • Consent Fatigue is a real concern, in and around the GDPR and ePR & ePD laws.
  • Location ranging for retail is in active development now.
  • Credentialing for panhandling is a real proposal with serious academic study behind it.
  • The Bluetooth-linkup kiosk is in product development now. There are lots of hurdles to overcome to make them commercially meaningful. Today, they are science projects.
  • At Yahoo, I developed attendance recording at large venues using adtech mechanisms. An early market trial was NFL stadiums in 2015. BrightRoll Exchange, Oath Ad Systems. Others have developed similar product offerings as well. Sports venues is in GA in 2017.
  • Audience Exchange Protocol is (was) a real proposal. It is currently moribund.
  • DataX is a live product offering, but does not today incorporate a blockchain.

See the References, presented separately.


License to panhandle is validated with iBeacon, iOS and The Cloud

A bold economic theory on why panhandlers should act more like registered charities; Leslie Albrecht; In MarketWatch; 2017-07-24.
Teaser: Giving money to others boosts our happiness, but only when we know we’re making an impact

tl;dr → a license to panhandle validated with a bluetooth beacon+iOS+Cloud; appware entitled GiveSafeSamaritan, is in market now (Apple only). roles: supplicant, samaritan, supplier; It’s a scrip scheme, yet whither AML & KYC?

Occasion

Contrast With

Dispossessed in the Land of Dreams; Monica Potts; In The New Republic; 2015-12-13; previously noted.
Teaser: Those left behind by Silicon Valley’s technology boom struggle to stay in the place they call home.
Monica Potts is a fellow with the New America Asset Building program.

GiveSafe → Samaritan

  • GiveSafe (now called Samaritan)
  • FoodCircles LC
  • iOS only; see iTunes
  • Developed in Seattle, WA
  • Stable:

Mentions

  • New York City Mayor
  • Bill de Blasio, mayor, New York City
  • Manhattan
  • Elizabeth Dunn hasn’t studied panhandling specifically, but said <paraphrase>it was probably similar enough for the purposes of the interview</paraphrase>

Concept

Credentialing the homeless

<quote>[GiveSafe] notifies users when they walk past a homeless person who’s wearing an electronic “beacon.” The app provides the user with the story of how the homeless person ended up on the street. The <edit>mark</edit> can make a donation that the recipient can only use for essentials such as “bus fare, groceries, a haircut or storage locker.”</quote>

Quotes

<quote>I could see a world where just as there are different personal trainer certifying groups, there could be different panhandler certifying groups. </quote>, attributed to Brendan O’Flaherty.
<quote>Mosques could certify panhandlers who are observant Muslims, other groups could credential panhandlers who are sober.</quote>, attributed to Brendan O’Flaherty.

Quoted

  • Brendan O’Flaherty, staff, economist, Columbia University
  • Megan Hustings, interim director, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Elizabeth Dunn, professor, psychology, University of British Columbia

Referenced

Previously

In MarketWatch

Previously filled.

PDV-91, Week 3, Journal entry from the future, 2028

[artlessly], sans edits; in the thematic style of Tim Maughan’s Zero Hours [cited below]


It’s 2028-10-10, A Tuesday, the day after Monday.

My house is seventy five years old at this point. We’ve got some new additions, some internal rebuilding, but the main part of the house is still as it ever was from the remodel back in the oughties. That means that some things “work” and some parts are warped and odd-shaped. The robots haven’t really materialized to deal with this sort of thing. New-built townhomes have that sort of thing. But they have no space, no land and outrageous HOA fees. Suburbia is as it ever was. Gardening is still gardening; the water still comes in pipes. Cooking is still cooking; the fuel still comes in pipes. Garbage has to be trucked way far south to a landfill beyond Gilroy, so lots of care happens to reduce that. The good food still comes in stores. But if you’re looking for bulk food, canned food, processed food, you can just order that. You still can’t try that with the fruits & vegetables: they ship you the seconds still in a 4-hr window (nothing ever changes does it?). Shopping pretty much works as: if you know what you want, you order it and they deliver it. If it can’t be specified or it has subtle acceptance criteria, then you have to go get it.

It’s Tuesday. I watched MNF last night. They still have Monday Night Football, but it isn’t tied to a network, it’s produced and broadcast directly from the NFL studios, delivered OTT to the 90″ display in the living room. The NFL found a way to make the concussion problem reduce to a dull roar, somewhat similar to how hockey dealt with goalies getting their faces cut up by the puck before they were required to wear face masks. The games are in an a la carte format which is great, but there are no more DVRs. “They” finally cracked down hard on commercial skipping (no more TiVo, no more +15 second skip-forward easter egg). It’s difficult to watch in real time. The screens are bigger, lighter and better nowadays, but the content is crypto-sealed on every wire and at rest. You can’t build your own either, not really. Folks who do that don’t for long. They wind up on a list. HDCP finally locked down everything. You can “video on demand” but it’s really more of a “video upon supplication” not so much watching something you manage from your library. Governments are glacially slow to respond to this sort of thing, but this is one thing they do care deeply about: media copy protection.

Voice commanding is feasible for most interfaces, everything has microphones in it. The cars had it since 2014; always on OnStar they called it. The city streets got FTTH and also ubiquitous microphones in the fiber during the same trenching operation. Depending upon the part of the city, from in the early 2020s onward. Stanford campus had theirs city-scale microphones installed 2017-04; it worked well enough they installed it everywhere. It was like the Eruv debate, but less contentious. Every conversation, everywhere is recorded, indexed and available to someone.

Cameras in everything, except in the cameras. Positioning and naming things isn’t a problem any more. Things got better once the large displays became contactable from the local area. One gets so tired of squinting at a 4″ screen.
And recorded in the national-scale DVR; always and forever. Every stream, every image, indexed and available to someone.

The kids are long gone and into their graduate school times. We see them a few times a year. The older generation of the family has been gone for a while now, we’re the oldsters. It’s been clear the generations are turning for a decade now. Been having the same conversation with friends & colleagues with regularity: what happened to mom, what happened to dad; the kids launched, or didn’t, or (ahem) still haven’t.

I’m still working, and it’s been to be fun for the past decade. More of a “because I can” than “because I must.” We had this joke back in the day which ran:

Q: “what do you do”?
A: “nobody knows”

It was at once flippant, elitist and totally accurate. They tell the kids in B-school “if it can be measured, it can be managed,” and they can pretty much measure anything these days. Sensors and recordation in everything. The kid and the new hires have a harder time with it, until they figure out how to compartementalize.

We would be presumptively retired at this age, but the SSI folk keep moving the standard retirement age up so now “seventy five is the new sixty five.” They never reduced stated benefits or raised taxes. Just that one knob. Fun stuff.

Taxes are about the same except the governments got around to “going digital” on that part of the executive branch. Every transaction is transparent with AML and KYC laws being enforced unto minutia. They don’t compute your tax and send you the bill, they take it at the appointed time or withhold it prior to you receiving it. It’s convenient, but doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity. Those who owned real estate and were creatively depreciating their assets against their tax liabilities to pay no tax were really unhappy; and still are. Big corporations still use transfer pricing for this sort of thing.

People still drive too many cars for the size of the roads, the government still doesn’t maintain the roads enough. I have an electric car now. I will have replaced it. Still have the Avalanche for long trips and camping though. The Suburban base model still exists but it has various power train options: diesel, gas, voltec, pure electric.

What’s happened in the decade is not a Great Stagnation, but a focus on smoothening out the little things. There are so many things that no longer need to happen: paying bills, paying taxes (sure, you still pay, death & taxes, right? but the reconciliation is enforced automatically). There is less standing in line waiting for someone at minimum-wage to validate that you aren’t stealing. There are no more teenage jobs, or Gen-Z starter jobs, but also no more waiting. Except in New Jersey. You still have to have someone pump your gas for you. It’s a graft thing. Come to think of it there’s lots of other little ways that the graft occurs. But it’s spread out and done on a time scale and across spaces where the Taylorists can’t comprehend or measure it.

I once asked someone, an éminence grise in his field, what he thought of the news of the day in-trade and in general. His response was that he no longer considers the news. He’s just as likely to hear that someone he knew has died or fallen somehow, so he no longer considers broadly across the events of the day. He focuses his time and effort on fewer things.

Provocations

Please free-write (no editing or polishing required) a short journal entry for yourself, that begins: “It’s October 10, 2026….” Think about the age of yourself (remember, you’re 10 years older!), and your loved ones, in 2026 as you write this, and what may have changed by then. If you have no idea what to write about, think about something you’re excited to do or looking forward to in the next month — and then write about what it might be like to try to do that thing in the year 2026.

  • What are you excited about today?
  • What is your biggest worry?
  • Who are you seeing?
  • What are you doing for work?
  • What are you doing for pleasure?
  • What’s happening at home?
  • Will you be able to?
  • What would be different about it?
  • What would make it impossible to do that thing?
  • What would you do instead that will fulfill the same drive or desire?

The Essence of Scenarios: Learning From the Shell Experience | Wilkinson, Kupers

Angel Wilkinson, Roland Kupers; The Essence of Scenarios: Learning From the Shell Experience; Amsterdam University Press; 2014-02-18; 185 pages; Amazon:9089645942; kindle: $36, paper: $30+SHT.

Mentions

  • History and context is given.
  • Who
  • The Scenarios are cataloged: their names, dates, sketch-summaries.
Nowadays
  • Everyone has scenarios.
  • Everyone is a futurist.
  • Can’t tell the charlatans from the poets from the punters.
  • One must Hack the Spew consider On Bullshit, of Harry Frankfurt
Arm Thyself

With automated scenarios filtering grinding against automated generation of scenarios.
Consider

  • Reflective Control Theory, separately filled.
  • Weaponization of Information, separately filled.
  • Firehose of Falsehood, separately filled.

Essence

The Outline of Chapter 3, The Essence of the Shell Art

  1. Improving intuition
  2. Plausible, not probable
  3. Striking the balance between relevant and challenging
  4. Pragmatic, not ideological
  5. Realizing the role of the future in the present
  6. Focused and targeted
  7. Engaging the client in the process
  8. Memorable, yet disposable
  9. Storytelling – the heart of strategic conversation
  10. The necessity of numbers
  11. The creation of a scenario team
  12. Serving as door-openers and adding value to external relationships
  13. Fostering a culture of openness and curiousity
  14. Managing disagreement as an asset
  15. Providing vlaue within a broader management system

Quote

And this is substantially what is occurring today.

Quoting verbatim from Chapter 4, Looking Ahead, pages 121-122

We conclude, in the spirit of Shell scenarios, by offering thumbnail summaries of two possible scenarios for the future of the global scenarios in Shell that might arise from the interplay of the [above changes, some points, not shown].

Business Lens

Shell has finally moved on from the consensus-driven culture of its past to a more focused delivery culture in which scenarios continue to play a strategic role. The availability of market-based futures studies and foresight services, including a proliferation of global foresight hubs and publically available scenarios, leads Shell to concentrate on using a mix of outsourced and homegrown scenarios to present real business dilemmas. Inputs on the social, political, technological, and economic changes are detected using two filters – strong trends and weak signals – and e-harvested from high quality foresight initiatives and scenario studies done elsewhere. Automated web-crawls and online Delphi surveys of an increasingly extensive network of worldwide experts are combined to enable the development of scenario building blocks. This practice allows the scenario team to glean the best insights from many and varied source and also helps to maintain the ‘outsider’ perspective that is so important to the traditional scenario function of engaging with remarkable people.

In this future, the investment in building global scenarios is shifted to undertaking regular reviews of the proliferation of available scenarios and foresight studies done elsewhere and coupling those more closely with bespoken, in-house models. This focus enables Shell to conduct more rigorous and comprehensive environmental scanning and to draw on ‘big data’ sets an existing futures reports and scenarios studies to more rapidly detect and analyze longer term system risk.

Shell scenarios continue to provide the basis of the firm’s global early warning and tracking systems, fed again in real-time by a range of global dashboards and monitoring systems established by others.

Reaching Out

Dramatic changes in the energy landscape, coupled with inertia by governments in addressing the integrated risks of connectivity, such as the resource security-climate stress nexus, unleashes an era of new social movements and bottom-up changes. As a result, Shell reinvents its scenarios practice in order to reach out and establish linkages with many communities on which it depends to produce and buy its products. A new ‘open source’ scenario practice emerges in which social media technologies combined with workshop-based dialogs explore the futures of energy in the context of planetary ceilings and social foundations.

Nested scenarios – sets of scenarios focused on different scales and dimensions – are developed to appreciate nexus issues. Shell harnesses social media technologies to navigate parallel paradigms in a multi-polar world and develop new insights into multi-scale resiliency.

‘Scenario-Plus’ methods are developed, combining visioning, scenarios, and design to inform transition pathways and innovation domains. In the process Shell gains a deeper understanding of new business opportunities stemming from interactions among energy, water, and food systems, as well as from the linkages resulting from changes in governance, technology, and consumer behaviors.

By continuing to attend to the role of intuition and interpretative frames, and by linking in-house modeling to open-source modeling contests, Shell scenarios provide the means of evergreen sense-making and market shaping by building rapid social capital in a world where relationships determine flexibility and new ideas are only as effective as the wider networks that will make change happen.

Stanford 2025, the purpose of the elite university, Java, JavaScript

Context

Stanford 2025, about.

Consideration

A nice counterpoint to Lowen’s history in Creating the Cold War University [below]. In reading the About page, understanding who funded this and why they might have done that, I’m struck by the lifelong learning aspect and the conceptual abandonment of the “alumni” concept. That’s probably the biggest suspension of disbelief that one must have. Second to that though is that there is an argument to be made about whether autodictatism (generally the Unschooling Movement) is appropriate and to which domains of expertise it applies.  Rather than argue that, I’ll spend the time here to highlight a generation-scale ongoing experiment and debate that has been occurring at Stanford Computer Science for around twenty years.

The story runs like this: “back in the day” (of the ’90s), the discipline of Computer Science had a certain rite of passage at Stanford, Cal and probably everywhere wherein after the first intro course in a teaching language like WATFIV or Pascal, the student was immediately expected to undertake the data structures, compiler or operating systems course with mastery of the <satire>One True Language</satire>: C of Unix.  Many did not make that transition, which probably was the point of arranging the course sequence that way. Same pattern in Chem, Physics, and the B-school sequences.

In the era in question here, pre-Bubble I, Prof. Eric Roberts at Stanford, chose to migrate the introductory course to Java for pedagogical and practical reasons. Not the least was that there was demand for Java-centric knowledge in industry. Among the debates of the day, was whether an elite school like Stanford was supposed to be in the business of teaching “job skills in support of the IT trades” or whether the time and money being spent at the institution was better used to teach general principles, provoke the critical thinking and develop of timeless deep understanding.  MIT taught intro via Scheme in this era. Whereas nowadays the industry, and especially Google via the legal reminding system [cited below], understands that Java is a licensed product offering of Oracle Corporation with structured community availability and user feedback machinery patterned after the “open source” cultures. The argument was made at the time that Java, with it’s lububrious OO frameworks, “no pointer” memory model, garbage collection and “cannot crash” runtime engine was both better for teaching and the right set-point for the career path into industry.

I sketch this now because here, twenty years later, the debate is substantially the same: is the purpose of The University and the 4-year degree system about inculcating a desire for incremental lifelong learning as a “sense of self improvement” program [c.f. Parker, below], is it in support of career skills production of knowledge workers in the global economy, or regionally is it the training venue to the trades (crudely, is Stanford no different than DeVry [c.f. the Thompson & Smiley  pieces below]) or is there more to the brand, the venue, the institution, the traditions of the big schools & liberal arts themselves and their Enlightenment extensions into areas of practice?

I’m reminded of this debate both from the pointer to the Stanford 2025 outreach site and also because of some recent signal-type events which caused some notice in-industry. Stanford’s transition from Java to JavaScript for 2017-Spring.

Disclosures
  • I and my cohort learned it “old school.”
  • Today, many IT shop hire for Java and JavaScript skills, which are tested for in the interviews: can the prospect drive the compiler, show the code produced.
  • The transition occurred because [we] “couldn’t hire” C++ people, who where elsewhere in more specialized areas, and because of the effects of the Greater Taylorism in the industry: [we] didn’t need to any more.  JavaScript is good enough for “light programming” and Java for the “heavy coding.”
Editorializing

One can follow the Taylorism on into the future tense as the Function-as-a-Service devops-as-business models.  The lifelong learning, pay-as-you-go tutorials, continuous degree programs and micro-certification are just another aspect of Taylorism.  Why pay for a generalist C++ skill set when one can buy Java skills to suit the purpose? Why buy Java skills when one can get MOOC-certified JavaScript? Why buy programming expertise at all when Excel light skills will suit the purpose?  Why buy Excel when Google Sheets is “free” and in your browser right now? There are answers to these conundrums, but organizations do develop differently depending upon how they view the questions and evolve in path dependence from the answers they choose.

Referenced

in archaeological order…

 

Six Rules for Effective Forecasting | Paul Saffo, 2007

Pauil Saffo; Six Rules for Effective Forecasting; In Harvard Business Review (HBR); 2007-07/2007-08.
Paul Saffo (paul@saffo.com) is a forecaster based in Silicon Valley, in California.

Listicle
  1. Define a Cone of Uncertainty
  2. Look for the S Curve
  3. Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit
  4. Hold Strong Opinions Weakly
  5. Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward
  6. Know When Not to Make a Forecast

Concept

Mentions

  • Verbs
    • forecast
    • predict
    • identify
  • Adjectives
    • Preordained
    • Predestined
    • Uncertainty
  • Nouns
    • Signals
    • Possibilities
  • Work Products
    • Map of uncertainty
    • S-Curve of Adoption
  • <quote><snip/>, the forecaster’s task is to map uncertainty, for in a world where our actions in the present influence the future, uncertainty is opportunity.</quote>
  • Prediction is concerned with future certainty
  • Forecasting is concerned with the identification of (all) possibilities, not a limited set of illusory certainties.
  • A prediction does not have to have an internal logic,
    A forecast must have a logic to it.
  • The consumer of a forecast is not a trusting bystander
    The consumer of a forecast is a participant and a critic of the work product.
  • Forecasting identifies an S-curve pattern as it begins to emerge, well ahead of the inflection point.
  • Personas
    • forecasters
    • seers
    • prophets
  • Work Product
    • good forecasts
    • bad forecasts
  • Forecasts are meant to be scribbled on, disagreed with, and tossed out—and replaced with new, better ones.

Argot

  • VUCA → Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity
    per Jimi Wales’ Wiki.
  • Decision space
  • Intuition … the “spidey sense,” “the $gender’s intuition”
  • Cone of uncertainty
  • Frequentist (belief systems)

Who

  • Roy Amara, futurist.
  • William Gibson, bookist, fiction.
  • Marshall McLuhan, theorist, prophet.
  • Erich Honecker, prime minister (what did they call him?), East German, 1989-01.

Quoted

  • <paraphrase> there is a tendency to overestimate the short term and underestimate the long term. </paraphrase> Roy Amara to Paul Saffo circa 1977.
  • <quote>The future’s already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet<quote>, attributed to William Gibson.
  • <quote>we live in a world where the sole remaining superpower is too powerful to ignore but too weak to make a difference.</quote>, on deep background.

Aphorisms

  • <paraphrase>Son, never mistake a clear view for a short distance</paraphrase>, attributed on deep background to “a rancher.”
  • <paraphrase>history doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes</paraphrase>

The Rules

Rule 1: Define a Cone of Uncertainty

Method
  • Define the cone of uncertainty to support strategic judgment.
  • The geometric analogy
    • The closer to the center of the cone’s main axis they are, the more likely these events are to transpire.
    • A dotted line across the middle of the cone, the “expected normal” case
    • The edges are wild speculations
Other
  • factors—relationships among elements
  • distinctions in degree vs distinctions in kind;
    c.f. utility usage contra entertinment usage, e.g. of robots.
  • outliers, “wild cards”
    • trends or events that have low probability but high impact
      probabilities of occurrence under 10% or unquantifiable.
    • e.g. finding radio evidence of intelligent life somewhere else in the universe.
  • acknowledge sufficiently outlandish possibilities without losing your audience.
Humor

Given aliens show up…

  • One-third of the world’s population would probably worship the remote intelligences,
  • One-third would want to conquer them,
  • One third (the readers of this magazine article) would want to do some extraterrestrial market research and sell them something.
And…
  • human nature
    • is hardwired to abhor uncertainty.
    • is fascinated by change
  • Uncertainty, e.g. Y2K
  • Claim: <quote>The result of the Y2K nonevent was that many people subsequently rejected the possibility of other wild cards ever coming to pass. As a result, 9/11 was a much bigger surprise than it should have been.</quote>
  • consider the whole cone

Rule 2: Look for the S Curve

  • e.g. Moore’s Law
  • Viewpoint: Very large, broadly defined curves are composed of small, precisely defined and linked S curves.
  • Therefore, look for
    • larger S-curves containing
    • smaller S-curves subsumed
  • Claim: curve of Moore’s Law is still unfolding—it is still a “J”—with the top of the “S” nowhere in sight.
    • This is now known in 2017 to be false.
    • Moore’s Law and deep submicron design has hit scaling limits.
    • We have more cores but not faster cores.
  • Generalized Moore’s Law
    • There is an effect on density regardless of the material
    • Claim: Generalized Moore’s Law is still in force
  • Forecasting identifies an S-curve pattern as it begins to emerge, well ahead of the inflection point.
  • Forecasters can do worse than ordinary observers when it comes to anticipating inflection points (the question of timing)
    <ahem>as stated, they can also do better</ahem>
    <quote>Ordinary folks are simply surprised when an inflection point arrives seemingly out of nowhere, but innovators and would-be forecasters who glimpse the flat-line beginnings of the S curve often miscalculate the speed at which the inflection point will arrive.</quote>
  • Diffusion of innovation
    requires: (roughly) “a generation”
  • Example
    • Television → 20 years + WWII.
    • Silicon Valley → 20 years
    • Internet → 20 years (since invention)
  • the left-hand part of the S curve is much longer (slower) than most people imagine.
  • events will unfold slowly; no shift is in the wind.
  • the opportunities will be very different from those the muggle predictions
  • e.g. Personal Computer (PC) about entertainment, not work, not book-copied media, encyclopedias for education.

Rule 3: Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit

  • Become attuned to “things that don’t fit.” Intuition, spidey-sense. Needs systematization.
  • <quote>But by definition anything that is truly new won’t fit into a category that already exists.</quote>
  • Examine the failures.
  • Indicators come in clusters.
Exemplars
  • Online multi-player games with sales of virtual goods.
  • DARPA Grand Challenge circa 2004.
  • Roomba by iRobot.
Online Multiplayer Role-Playing (Shooter) Games

Sales of characters and in-game objects for EverQuest on eBay in the late 1990s.
Claim: such is now $1B/year run-rate business.

  • EverQuest
  • Habitat, an online environment developed by Lucasfilm Games in 1985.
  • Multiple User DimensionsDungeons (MUDs)
  • Second Life, by Linden Lab; twenty years after Habitat
  • Ultima
DARPA Grand Challenges, circa 2004

100-mile-plus race across the Mojave Desert.
for $1 million prize

  1. 2004-03 → none finished.
  2. 2005-10? → five finished
Roomba, iRobot
  • 2007 → seemed like an indicator.
  • 2017 → no longer “a thing” has come and gone.

Rule 4: Hold Strong Opinions Weakly

  • DO NOT: (over-)rely on one piece of seemingly strong information because it happens to reinforce the conclusion he or she has already reached.
  • <quote>In forecasting, as in navigation, lots of interlocking weak information is vastly more trustworthy than a point or two of strong information. </quote>
  • Paradigm shifts
  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, WHEN?
  • <quote>Good forecasting is the reverse: It is a process of strong opinions, weakly held.</quote>
  • <quote>Having strong opinions gives you the capacity to reach conclusions quickly, but holding them weakly allows you to discard them the moment you encounter conflicting evidence.</quote>
Parable

<vignette>This lesson was tragically underscored when nine U.S. destroyers ran aground on the shores of central California on the fog-shrouded evening of September 8, 1923.
The lost ships were part of DesRon 11, a 14-ship squadron steaming from San Francisco to San Diego. Misled largely by overreliance on the commander’s dead-reckoning navigation, the squadron undershot the turn into the Santa Barbara Channel and instead ended up on the rocks at Point Pedernales, several miles to the northwest. The squadron had navigated by dead reckoning for most of the trip, but as the ships approached the channel, the squadron’s commander obtained bearings from a radio direction station at Point Arguello. The bearing placed his ship, the Delphy, north of its dead reckoning position. Convinced that his dead reckoning was accurate, the commander reinterpreted the bearing data in a way that confirmed his erroneous position and ordered a sharp course change towards the rapidly approaching coast. Nine ships followed the disastrous course. Meanwhile, the deck officers on the Kennedy, the 11th boat in the formation, had concluded from their dead reckoning that they in fact were farther north and closer to shore than the position given by the Delphy. The skipper was skeptical, but the doubt the deck officers raised was sufficient for him to hedge his bets; an hour before the fateful turn he ordered a course change that placed his ship several hundred yards to the west of the ships in front of them, allowing the Kennedy and the three trailing destroyers to avert disaster. The essential difference between the two skippers’ responses was that the Delphy’s skipper ignored evidence that invalidated his dead-reckoning information and narrowed his cone of uncertainty at the very moment when the data was screaming out to broaden it. In contrast, the Kennedy’s skipper listened to the multiple sources of conflicting weak information and concluded that his ship’s position was much less certain than assumed. He hedged their bets and, therefore, saved the ship. </quote>

Rule 5: Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward

  • Marshall McLuhan, is quoted.
Parable

Something about “The New Economy”

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Bubble I
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
Exemplars
  • From Mergers&Acquisitions (M&A)
    • Jerry Levin, for instance, sold Time Warner to AOL
  • From warfare
    • Vietnam
    • Iraq I
    • Iraq II

Rule 6: Know When Not to Make a Forecast

  • There are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.
  • e.g. unchanging laws of economics.
  • Be skeptical.
  • <quote>At the end of the day, forecasting is nothing more (nor less) than the systematic and disciplined application of common sense.</quote>
  • <quote>The best way to make sense of what lies ahead is to forecast for yourself.</quote>

Previously filled.