The Impossibility of Scientific Predictions About Human Behaviour: Just a quick reminder that, whatever factors you look at, predicting the future is not only difficult, it’s just not a science. It may be possible but the idea that it’s scientific is just snakeoil. Having said, understood and taken this to heart, let’s enjoy some wild speculation. Maybe it will improve our understanding of the present.
5 Unexpected Factors That Change How We Forecast The Future: I’m not sure that I would call any of these unexpected and I believe the future is probably better experienced than predicted (why else would we have the present) but they’re factors.
2013 : WHAT *SHOULD* WE BE WORRIED ABOUT?: I’m not exactly worried but:
The number of untested, but freely available psychoactive substances is dramatically rising. In the European Union new drugs were detected at the rate of roughly one per week during the previous year, according to the EMCDDA– Europol 2011 annual report on new psychoactive substances, released on 26 April 2012.
Recreational drugs are often an overlooked factor by futurists. It’s hard to say how deeply LSD or pot or alcohol and our responses to them formed our society but I’d bet it’s on par with global warming or any given war. Seeing that new recreational drugs, untested on person or animal, are now flooding the market, it’s safe to say the future remains totally unpredictable. It might be a little high.
World’s Most Popular Painkiller Raises Heart Attack Risk: And that’s just the recreational market. Legal, medical drugs are showing up and having unexpected consequences too. Aside from heart attacks, some of these do double duty as we’ve seen with the street’s re-purposing of heroin, cocaine, oxy and, well, just about anything that feels good.
27 SCIENCE FICTIONS THAT BECAME SCIENCE FACTS IN 2012: And have you even seen the present lately? Shit is crazy.
Essay: On the smart city; Or, a ‘manifesto’ for smart citizens instead: This starts a little slow but, if you wade through that, it picks up quite a bit of steam before, I think, running out of it again. Basically, the author takes on the concept of an efficiency producing smart city and argues for the production of a more intelligent, involved and active citizenry. He sites intersections in Amsterdam, which have, to great effect, removed the very smart city-ish traffic lights and let people figure it out themselves.
Removing all “regulation” at this micro-level turns out to be the safe and effective thing to do as it relies on active citizens, not abdicating responsibility for wider systems and acting as an individual or outsourcing the decision-making to traffic lights. So removing regulation, though not governance, here implies far greater personal responsibility. It is not simply “self-interested actors maximising personal gain”—it relies on smart, engaged, aware and active citizens, rather than the passive systems that smart city visions are often predicated upon.
Anyway, I’m going to bed.