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.


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.


Experiential Scenarios


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

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


  • (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
  • futures
  • design
  • politics
  • unthinkable dystopia
  • unimaginable utopia

Claim: a false dilemma, no a binary choice.

  • urban guerrilla-style activism
  • corporate consulting

as such: all

    • 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


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.


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



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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.
  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

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>


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.


  • 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>


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>


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


A Study. That. Shows.


  • 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”


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


Ethnographic recordation
  • document the use cases
  • document the perspectives

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


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


  • 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.

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.


  • 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


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.


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



  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.


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
  • 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.

  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.




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


  • 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>


  • 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


Stuart Candy
Kelly Kornet


  • Diagetic → <fancy>from film theory, sound corresponding to the visible action</fancy>
    • Urban Dictionary (!!! buy the mug!)
    • Wictionary
    • Jimi Wales’ Wiki
      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>

      • 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


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


  • 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).




  • 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 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


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.


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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

  • 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

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

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.
  • self-protection
  • with encryption
  • system monitors
  • component isolation

Connection, determinism: technologies are built to be connected.

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

X-Ray Vision

  • 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?)
  • Earthquake swarm of on the Hayward Fault in 2024.
  • Demonstrations, Sao Paolo, 2038-04.



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


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

Connection (love)

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

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


PDV-91: Final Assignment, Design Your Own Future


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?


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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),
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
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.”


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.


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.


  • 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.

A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction | Jill Lepore

A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction; Jill Lepore; In The New Yorker; 2017-06-02.
Teaser: What to make of our new literature of radical pessimism.

Jill Lepore
  • staff, New Yorker
  • David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History and Harvard College Professor, Harvard, Opera.
  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman, a book, in promotion now.

Gregory Claeys, Dystopia: A Natural History; Oxford University Press; 2017-02-01; 576 pages; Amazon:0198785682: Kindle: no, paper: $110+SHT.

tl;dr → she’s not up for the dystopia genre, not for long. See her summation.


  • dystopian
  • apocalyptic
Eras of Popularity
  • Atlas Shrugged → 2008 of Obama.
  • 1984 → 2016 of Trump.

The Young Adult Genre

  • <quote>But the genre only really took off in the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate, when distrust of adult institutions and adult authority flourished, and the publishing industry began producing fiction packaged for “young adults,” ages twelve to eighteen.</quote>
  • <quote>All of them are characterized by a withering contempt for adults and by an unshakable suspicion of authority.</quote>
  • <quote>it’s also addressed to readers who feel betrayed by a world that looked so much better to them when they were just a bit younger.</quote>
  • <quote>Lately, even dystopian fiction marketed to adults has an adolescent sensibility, pouty and hostile</quote>


In archaeological order

  • Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan, Harper, 2017.
  • Ben H. Winters, Underground Airlines, Little, Brown, 2017.
    tl;dr → <quote>early-twenty-first-century United States in which slavery abides, made crueller, and more inescapable, by the giant, unregulated slave-owning corporations that deploy the surveillance powers of modern technology, so that even escaping to the North (on underground airlines) hardly offers much hope, since free blacks in cities like Chicago live in segregated neighborhoods with no decent housing or schooling or work and it’s the very poverty in which they live that defeats arguments for abolition by hardening ideas about race.</quote>
  • Omar El Akkad, American War, Knopf, 2017.
  • Cory Doctorow, Walkaway, 2016?
    endorsed by Edward Snowden, from exile in Russia.
    “My father spies on me,” the novel’s young heroie complains.
    tl;dr → <quote>Doctorow pounds the same nails with the same bludgeon <snip/> his walkaways are trying to turn a dystopia into a utopia by writing better computer code than their enemies.</quote>
  • Cory Doctorow, Little Brother, WHEN? (earlier than Walkaway)?
    tl;dr → four teen-agers and their fight for Internet privacy rights.
  • Ernest Cline, Ready Player One, 2011.
    <quote>“I grew up a little, and I gradually began to figure out that pretty much everyone had been lying to me about pretty much everything,” the high-school-age narrator opines</quote>
  • WHO?, The Hunger Games, a trilogy, 2008.
  • M. T. Anderson, Feed, 2002.
    tl;dr → <quote>a smart and fierce answer to the “Don’t Be Evil” utopianism of Google, founded in 1996</quote>
  • Black Mirror, 2011; a serialized drama, for television
  • Barack Obama, some speech, 2008-01.
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale,, WHEN?
    patterned after Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • The Moral Majority, a movement & organization, founded in 1979
  • WHO? The Camp of the Saints, 1973; French.
    favorited by Steve Bannon.
  • Chad Walsh, opined in 1962.
  • Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957
  • WHO?, The Lord of the Flies, 1954.
  • Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1953.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano, 1952.
  • John Updike, opined in 1954.
  • George Orwell, 1984, 1949, themed: (anti-)fascist.
  • Ayn Rand, Anthem, 1937, themed: (anti-)fascist.
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1935; themed: eugenicists
  • Yevgeny Zamyatin, We, 1924; themed communist.
  • Michael Tolkin, Some Novel, Atlantic, WHEN?
  • H. G. Wells, When the Sleeper Awakes, 1899.
  • H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, 1895.
  • Anna Bowman Dodd, The Republic of the Future, 1887.
  • Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 1888.
  • Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861.
    tl;dr → same plot as The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Mary Shelley, The Last Man, 1826.
  • Thomas Paine, Rights of Man circa 1792.
  • Thomas Moore, Trip to the Island of Equality, 1792.
  • Christine de Pisan, The Song of Joan of Arc, 1429.
  • Christine de Pisan, Book of the City of Ladies, 1405.


  • <quote>Dystopias follow utopias the way thunder follows lightning.</quote>
  • <quote>Pick your present-day dilemma; there’s a new dystopian novel to match it.</quote>
  • <quote>Dystopia used to be a fiction of resistance; it’s become a fiction of submission, the fiction of an untrusting, lonely, and sullen twenty-first century, the fiction of fake news and infowars, the fiction of helplessness and hopelessness. It cannot imagine a better future, and it doesn’t ask anyone to bother to make one. It nurses grievances and indulges resentments; it doesn’t call for courage; it finds that cowardice suffices. Its only admonition is: Despair more. It appeals to both the left and the right, because, in the end, it requires so little by way of literary, political, or moral imagination, asking only that you enjoy the company of people whose fear of the future aligns comfortably with your own. Left or right, the radical pessimism of an unremitting dystopianism has itself contributed to the unravelling of the liberal state and the weakening of a commitment to political pluralism. <snip/> Wreckage is romantic. But a politics of ruin is doomed.<quote>, opined by Jill Lepore, she as herself, in summation.


meta-theoretically about dystopian literature

  • <quote>It’s a sad commentary on our age that we find dystopias a lot easier to believe in than utopias,” Utopias we can only imagine; dystopias we’ve already had <quote>, attributed to Margaret Atwood “in the nineteen-eighties.”

Previously filled.

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?


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:


  • 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>


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>


<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.


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



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.


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.


  • History and context is given.
  • Who
  • The Scenarios are cataloged: their names, dates, sketch-summaries.
  • 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.

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


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


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


Stanford 2025, about.


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.

  • 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.”

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.


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 ( is a forecaster based in Silicon Valley, in California.

  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



  • 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.


  • 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)


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


  • <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.


  • <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

  • 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
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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>

<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.

Something about “The New Economy”

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Bubble I
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • 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.

Answer #2 to Homework Assignment Week 2, PDV-91: Collect a signal, prepare & present


In the domain of advertising technology (adtech) in an daround media merchandising, advertising marketplaces, media delivery and audience measurement. In and among the platforms: SSP, DSP, EX.


As a story-line whereas in 2027 …

  • All data in and around “adtech” and “martech” is available on a blockchain system (side chain, state channel, etc.) somewhere.
  • Some of it is transparent, some of it is not, depending upon the commercial needs. This is implemented at the blockchain level. And yet, there is CALEA-type “LE Intercept” built in at all levels in the system, so nothing is really secret, just hidden.
  • Blockchain for persistent irrevocable
    • Consumer identity and profiles (data about a person)
      like TV Everywhere but more so.
    • Supply quality & availability (who publishes what; generalized Deal ID)
    • Demand availability (advertisers).
  • The “main chain” is used for slowly-changing dimensions: property records, incorporations, major collaboration deals
  • The side channels (state channels) are used to record individual trades.

In archaeological order…

Analysis Framework


See Evolution of the Web (animated)

There is some generalized unhappiness with how things are in the adtech industry.  The changes are in and around the 3-5 year echo of the adtech investment boom of 2013-2016 (being that the funding rounds from that era are now petering out).  c.f. LUMA Partners LUMAscape presentations.

Also, whereas The Blockchain is magic pixie dust, there will be lots of experimentation to determinie if it can be reliably used for anything at all beyond money laundering, drug trading and speculation.

There are  legitimate use cases where a slow global ledger would be warranted.  These areas are already being addressed by industry trade groups with data sharing activities; e.g. Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).
Always and ever thus.
Because of techno-determinism, the Inevitibility concept; because it can be done with the technology at hand in 2017, it will be done..
  • The technology might tnot work; there is so much hype nowadays that few are listening to the prudence signals.
    • Blockchain is indicated only when a “general public ledger” between semi-adversarial commercial traders is in place.  It is not clear that adtech matches this use model.  There are significant use cases in media trading where secrecy is warranted.  The markets are in fact opaque for a commercial reason.
    • Blockchain does not scale.  Ad trading, as an industry, runs 1T (one trillion) trades per month nowadays, at a micropayment level “a ten thousanth of a cent”  The systems that are built to support this are SOX-compliant and run live money.  they are global and warehouse scale.
    • The online entertainment industry is always one software release away from obviating much of the commercial and technical architecture.  c.f.  Apple ad blocking (in Safari), Google ad blocking (in Chrome); Mozilla ad blocking (Firefox).
  • Data regulation construal and response (e.g. GDPR) is unknown.
  • Convergence of broadcast linear Television and OTT; the “go video” apps (go99, Fox Sports Go, etc.) would modify the marketplace structures back to the “Walled Gardens” scenario where free & open trading of consumer attention was not possible; consumers would be “captured” by the verticals media companies.



  • Skill 4 (collect): references (above)/.
  • Skill 5 (forecast)
  • Skill 6 (positive Imagination)
  • Skill 7 (shadow Imagination)


Society as a social invention and you as a social inventor | Jim Dator

Jim Dator; Society as a social invention and you are aq social inventor; Futures Program, University of Hawaii; 1993; 8 pages ← socialinventor.


  1. Introduction
  2. Examples
  3. How to Become a Social Inventor
  4. Futurists as Architects
  5. Just Do It (Nikepermission to act)
  6. Some techniques for Creativity
  7. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats


  • Social construction
  • Social invention
  • Something about the vapidness of Brooke Shields.


  • The publicly-funded university
  • Community college
  • Mandatory secondary school
  • The nuclear fanily
  • Slavery, the institution.


Envisioning social change.

  • Ending slavery.
  • Ending racial segregation.
  • Ending colonialism.
  • Ending war.
  • Ending violence.


  • Awareness of problems.
  • Concern about of problems.
  • Memory for facts.
  • Fluency in ideation.
  • Flexibility
  • Originality
  • Self-discipline
  • Persistence
  • Adaptability
  • Intellectual playfulness
  • Humor
  • Nonconformity
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Self-confidence
  • Skepticism
  • Intelligence

Not exactly OCEAN, but something else

Methods of Structured Creativity

  • Brainstorning
  • Factoring
  • Anti-causality
  • Perspective shifts, as “becoming”
  • Random combinations
  • Beyond dichotomous (iterated dichotomous or multi-variate)

Laws about the Future

  1. Old people are hidebound and anti-creative; do not listen to them.
  2. Break rules, experience what happens.
  3. Technology looks like magic.
As stated.
  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Via: Arthur Clarke; “Laws about the future“; In Jimi Wales Wiki.
See the provenance for how the Three “Laws” came to be elaboated.

The Six Thinking Hats

Via Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Managing – Blue
What is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal? Can look at the big picture.
Information – White
Considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
Emotions – Red
Intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification)
Discernment – Black
Logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative. Practical, realistic.
Optimistic – Yellow
Logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony. Sees the brighter, sunny side of situations.
Creativity – Green
statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes. Thinks creatively, outside the box.

And there are allegorical combinations of the essential primes:

Initial Ideas
Blue, White, Green, Blue
Choosing between alternatives
Blue, White,(Green), Yellow, Black, Red, Blue
Identifying Solutions
Blue, White, Black, Green, Blue
Quick Feedback
Blue, Black, Green, Blue
Strategic Planning
Blue, Yellow, Black, White, Blue, Green, Blue
Process Improvement
Blue, White, White (Other peoples views), Yellow, Black, Green, Red, Blue
Solving Problems
Blue, White, Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue
Performance Review
Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, Green Red, Blue


  • Glenn Paige, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii.
  • Edward de Bono, theory; a practice, an LLC
  • Arthur Clarke, scrivener.


  • Social Alternatives, 1980-06; issues.
    <quote><snip/> is an independent, quarterly refereed journal which aims to promote public debate, commentary and dialogue about contemporary social, political, economic and environmental issues.</quote>
  • Arthur J. Cropley; More Ways Than One: Fostering Creativity in the Classroom; Frontiers in Psychotherapy Series; Praeger; 1992-01-01; 132 pages; Amazon:089391939X: Kindle: $30, paper: $20+SHT; c.f. page 19.
  • Jim Dator; Future Studies as Applied Knowledge; WHEN?; 10 pages; landing.
  • Arthur Clarke; “Laws about the future“; In Jimi Wales Wiki.
  • Edward De Bono
    • Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step; Harper Colophon; reissue edition, 2015-02-24; PUBLISHER, 1st edition “the 1960s”; 300 pages; Amazon:0060903252: Kindle: $10, paper: $2+SHT.
    • Six Thinking Hats; Back Bay Books; 1999-08-19; 192 pages; Amazon:0316178314:  Kindle: maybe, paper: $14+SHT.
  • John A. Glover, Royce R. Ronning, Cecil R. Reynolds (editors); Handbook of Creativity; Plenum Press; 1989-08-31; 448 pages; Amazon:B01JXTJ70W: Kindle: no, paper: $8+SHT → $270+SHT; c.f. page 11.
    Also: lots of other volumes entitled Handbook of Creativity, all from big-brand august university publishing labels (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.); apparently theorists in the area of Creativitity Studies are not very, um, creative.  Thank you, Thank you very much. I will be here all week.

On “Psychological Methods for Special Purpose Computer System Design”

In the context of Jim Dator’s “Society as a social invention and you as a social inventor”, 1993, previously noted.

  1. Introduction
  2. Examples
  3. How to Become a Social Inventor
  4. Futurists as Architects
  5. Just Do It (Nikepermission to act)
  6. Some techniques for Creativity
  7. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

Whereas we are reminded that this site is deleted in ~15 days (when class ends). I’ll leave the notes off stage thus.

The Dator essay is about methods and scope for structuring the creative process. I’ll tell a short story from my past. There are many methods for doing this, some of which are applicable to small groups on the span of minutes or hours, some applicable to multi-stakeholder processes operating on the span of months or years.

Some twenty five years ago, as Glasnost was unfolding and the Soviet Union falling, a bunch of the Berkeley professors went off to the Soviet Union to make friends. To keep the story short: they came back with such, we had visitors and speeches by some folks with some very very fancy titles. They weren’t widely advertised because (um) you can’t do that at Berkeley. One of the most profound experiences of my life was to hear an individual with a title something like “chairman of national academy of sciences” (something like that) give an hour long talk, in English, with the primitive transparency slideware of the day, explaining how they had come to the conclusion at the blue-ribbon panel level that the Soviet Union had lost control of the silicon & computer technology that the West had mastered. His example was the Intel 32-bit x86 architecture. He was direct. He explained how they copied the 8086, he had some estimate for how long it took. He had how long it took them to copy the i286. It took them longer to copy the i386. For the i486, all they could do was copy the mask set from “acquired” copies. They weren’t able to figure out what it did enough to rebuild one. In that era the U.S. Navy had recovered open-ocean spy gear that head U.S. i486 chips in it. They didn’t attempt the Pentium or any generation beyond that. And then we were in real time.

Separately there was a contingent from East Germany, academics and such from Dresden who explained to us that they had a group that was tasked with copying the DEC VAX 11/780 and they were visiting to learn how to repeat the same process for the new RISC architectures that were from Berkeley. MIPS was in market at that point. We knew the VAX cloning activities had happened because enterprising reporters across the years had documented the cloak-and-dagger used to get such a refrigerator-shaped device with very heavy export control supervision across the border into the East. The answer for the Dresden crew was to go down to the ASUC store and buy Hennessey & Patterson’s book. To give a sense of where the technology was back at that point, the RISC designs were new and simple enough that prototypes could be accomplished by a department-level research effort on a multi-year grant. A 64-bit multiplier in the several nanosecond range was a term project in one of those near-research graduate courses; we didn’t fab them, but proved their correctness & speed estimates with transistor-level simulations.

After the initial festivities several visitors remained. One of them sat in my 4-person cubicle for around eighteen months. His English seemed good, and we talked a lot. He wanted to study “psychological methods for special computer system design.” I’m never sure if we totally communicated about what he wanted to learn. I still don’t know what that is or might be. I got the sense that he was the “idea guy” and that he got sent because he had wacky ideas, he could generate them or he could tolerate them, one of those. He was from some (internal passport only) defense city where they did weapons development. While we didn’t do military work in our group, there were folks in & around my cohort who did clearance-level work on summer jobs and part time, off stage. These visit wasn’t about making contact with those people. It was about making friends and ramping down the cold war.

To give a sense about how closed the society was, it was clear that he had a different view about government and society and allocation of resources. For example, he wanted to buy one of the Apple computer products to send back to his son via the diplomatic pouch. This was back when fanbois would croon “it’s soooooo intuitive,” and point out the one-button mouse; against Windows with IRQs and autoexec.bat settings. He wanted a Mac. He wanted to know how to apply to get one. Surely there was some window or office to which he needed to apply. The answer was: you go down to the ASUC store and you buy it with a credit card or cash. A standard Mac was a little over one month of his stipend we figured out from looking at his U.C. offer letter. For several years afterwards he would send me email at my personal address on July 4th, wishing me and the country happiness. We lost touch in the late 90s as Bubble I unfolded.

There probably is something there in “psychological methods for …” but it would be called something different, misdirective and and very abstract. For example, if one gets into studying the “false news” phenomenon one gets into “Reflective Control Theory” which seems at a facile level to be “advertising” or “public relations” but comes at the problem from military and strategic power relations perspective. An interesting viewpoint there is that the Soviets (Russians) are reported to feel that the U.S. is (was) a master at this wherein the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was mere puffery but caused them to massively redirect their resources towards answering it, which ultimately exhausted them. They are returning the favor nowadays by using U.S.-based social media to troll our society. Seems far-fetched, but there is a body of literature thereon as filled, and filled.

The puzzle, and here is the relationship to the Dator essay, is the “psychological methods for X” being a structured creative process towards an articulated planning-centric end goal. Many of the methods that Dator highlights were developed and campaigned contemporaneously with this era of the early ’90s, just going by first-publication dates. Dator highlights a creative’s (creative person’s) personality model, a group time-management device (De Bono Six Hats, compare with Roberts Rules of Order) and an idea amplification technique (the lateral thinking). With my visitor, we went over and over his concept trying to figure out what he meant. The sentence never varied “psychological methods …” I believe it wasn’t TRIZ (TIPS), which I expected he would be familiar with as it is a Russian invention. I was looking at champion-based technology strategy, and MITI-style organized markets (such was the fashion during the Clinton administration) and High Reliability Organization (HRO) theory. It was not any of those, definitely not. He was looking for something about working with & managing very large engineering teams on very large projects (think: a decade-long or generation-long weapons system build-out, the B-1 program, JSF F-22, THAAD or Trident; but we never used weapons as an example or such specifics). He spent his full year and petitioned to get another extension, but I don’t think we ever find a theory that aligned with what he was looking for. As such I’m always intrigued by these concepts of structured creativity towards large-scale program management. Many of the themes from the Peace Studies and Civil Rights activism organizational theories apply as they operate in multi-stakeholder environments with substantially voluntary participants in a Civil Society type of framework. There is a heavy sense of outreach, idea organization and structured foreclosing of debate. But “they rhyme” rather than being direct matches.

Perhaps these are related elsewhere in Dator’s writings. I haven’t gotten to “Advancing Futures” yet, maybe there. The Dator’s materials we’re working with appear to be courseware from his teaching days. If one runs down the references and ancillary reading there is a lot more there than meets the eye. It would be helpful if there was a collection & summarization of all of them.

Answer #1 to Homework Assignment Week 2, PDV-91: Collect a signal, prepare & present


In the domain of online entertainment, publishing, blogging, gaming,, movies, commerce and such as is now understood to be “siliicon valley technology,” “the web,” “the internet,” “the blogosphere,,” “the online cyberspace,” “the mobile world.”


As a story line, whereas in 2027…

  • The net is not neutral and hasn’t been for more than half a decade.
  • Network speeds, service, features, affordances vary according to carrier & fees.  The network is “Vertical” and “Splintered.” It is not flat. It is not “open.”  Without the appropriate bundled package, some entertainment sites & commercial services are not available to the consumer.  e.g. Netflix, ESPN, Google, Medium, Amazon, Fox News,,, PBS, The Comedy Channel, TheWhat,, etc.
  • Each consumer must “login to the internet” from the browser to receive any web page at all.  This carries the force of law, which is enforced at low cost to Law Enforcement. (think: like music downloading but more so).  For residential consumers the internet is like a corporate “capture portal” – all traffic is logged, monitored & billed.  There is effectively an “internet driver license.”
  • The notional general purpose “office work”-capable laptop computer has ceased to exist, those are called “work stations” and are about as interesting as a Black & Decker table saw or a Cuisinart food processor: useful in certain contexts, but not a social enabler.  They are not cultural icons of pride and wonder. All consumer computing is on closed, curated & very polished equipment sold within one of two Great Cultures (think: iOS or Android).
  • Network connectivity is “free” or for a token flat-rate fee.
    But: media experiences are not free; they are metered and billed.  Reading linkbait or “thoughtful longread thinkpieces” carries a cost to compensate the artists.
    Think “toll free data,” “sponsored data,” “channel bundling,” “web site bundling” patterned after the organized markets of Cable TV.  Micro-payments with carrier-billed presentment is universal and enshrined in law.
  • There are no “non-billed” experiences on the network; there are no DIY websites
    and avoidance of these measures by any means carries criminal legal penalties (think like the DMCA).  And these prosecutions occur.
  • Regulation of “personal data” follows GDPR-type rules, but more so. As suhc, only a few very large, very capable media companies are willing to work with consumer data (any data “about” a consumer).  Nearly all data is “consumer data”; e.g. IP address, access times, etc.. and is governed by the regulations.
  • These network media companies have developed magical Artificial Intelligence such that the network knows who you are and what you are like.  The few large media companies left are able to attune the entertainment and content construction operations to maximize their effectiveness using psychographic techniques. The “effectiveness” concept is a revenue optimization metric that manifests in return to the media owners.

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

Analysis Framework


In 2017, the notional “internet” is fun and a pleasant read.  It somehow stands “apart” from other technologies: phones, photocopiers, cars, airplanes, and computers.  By 2027, the Internet will be sixty years old at this point and multiple generations (three generations per Strauss & Howe’s theory) will have transitioned with experience of it. It will become ambient and “media centric” rather than “technology centric.”

The big carriers and media companies need to be seen as “growth companies” with increasing revenues.  In 2017, some of them are not growing and have not been growing for more than a decade.  c.f. stock symbols T, VZ, S, TMUS on a 10-year timespan.
Whereas in 2017, The Internet of 1990s & 2000s has become unsafe, a concept of Law & Order will begin to prevail. ,More Law and more Order.
Because it can be done with the technology at hand in 2017, it will be done. This is the technological determinism argument, the Inevitibility concept.

This scenario might evolve differently into the cone of uncertainty given a number of eventualities:  From probable to improbable.

  • GDPR effectively shuts down the internet surveillance economics as some activists have declared.  An industry is gone.
  • Continued and amplified trade tensions with China over labor, capital & technology issues.
  • Technological failure, the failure of imagination
    An Inability of north american technologists to continue to meet the pace of technology advancement in China; think “there isn’t any silicon in Silicon Valley and hasn’t been for two generations.  Rock’s Law contra Moore’s Law against the Fabless Semicondustor system [paper]; or Bunnie Huang’s estimates at talk on Shenzen at C3 or The Hardware Hacker; or Richard Danzig’s Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit.
  • Income inequality continues … and actually matters to the extent that economic life bends around it.  industries are nationalized, protests & riots for or against this or that, capital- and trade- controls are instituted, etc.  The U.S. Dollar ceases to be a “risk free asset.”
  • Demographic failure, inability to execute & continue the global cosmopolitain technopolis:
    • Japan becomes more grey than was as was c.f. demographic megatrends, [not cited.]
    • Brexit causes economic chaos in the EMEA zone [not cited].
    • e.g. Trumpism becomes a 4-term phenomenon following FDR’s The New Deal; c.f. WTF
  • The continued (infinite war) paradigm:
    • Cointinued proxy wars in all of Afghanistan, Pakhistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Israel, Turkey and unincorporated lands in & around.
    • A war with China over sea access in the South Pacific.
    • An accidental or purposeful nuclear weapon used on North Korea or the United Sates’ soil.
    • A real war with Russia?
  • The global warming thing:
    Ahem, and only because it was in the reading list.  Global warming is really real, and as-stated. We all die in a hot bouillabaise of melted polar seas, starving and clawing for any scrap of food, before 2027. per David Wallace-Wells’ scare-piece in the New York Magazine.
  • Skill 4 (collect): references (above)/.
  • Skill 5 (forecast)
  • Skill 6 (positive Imagination)
  • Skill 7 (shadow Imagination)

PDV-91 Week 2, Skills 4-7, Homework: Collect a signal, prepare & present

Answer #1

The Evolution of Network Neutrality

Answer #2

In preparation.



Skill #4: Collect a signal (with bonus challenges for Skills #5, 6, and 7)

 What’s a signal? In the words of IFTF’s Marina Gorbis, it’s an “everyday example of the future in the present.” It’s an idea, an example, a prototype, an innovation, a trend, that points one possible way forward. It’s a clue about how the future could be different.

Some futurists say a signal is like art — it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. So let’s share some signals here and see what sparks our imagination…

For this assignment, collect TWO signals of the future. Include a link to an article, video, podcast, Facebook page, or other website, and answer at least one of the “signals questions” for each signal.

Where to look:

Questions about signals: (please answer at least one of these questions, more if you’re inspired!)

  • What kind of change does this represent? From what to what?
  • What’s driving this change? What’s the “future force” behind it?
  • What could the world be like if this signal gets amplified? What if the trend continues? becomes common? Or even ubiquitous?
  • Is that a future you want?

Please post your signals here for everyone to see!

BONUS CHALLENGE: Take a look at a signal posted by someone else, and use your Positive AND Shadow Imagination. Post a reply to the signal with your answer to these two questions:

  • Positive Imagination (Skill #6): What’s one great thing that could happen if this signal gets amplified? What could go right in this future?
  • Shadow Imagination (Skill #7): What’s something you worry about happening if this signal gets amplified? What could go wrong in this future?

SUPER BONUS CHALLENGE: Okay, superstar futurists out there… if you really want to stretch your powers of imagination, combine two or more signals posted by yourself and other students and see if you can turn it into a forecast (Skill #5)! Tell a quick story (a few sentences is fine) about how these signals might combine to create a strange new world.