Futurism resources

A few new futurism resources have come to our attention recently:

The Millennium Project Futures Research Methodology Version 3.0, a “handbook on methods and tools to explore future possibilities.”

The contents include methodologies such as statistical modeling, technology sequence analysis, etc.

Detailed Roadmap of the 21st Century, a list of predictions for the twenty-first century, organized by year. e.g. for 2025:

population 7.9 billion [UN04]
China has 40M single men, and a rapidly ageing society with no social safety net [MoD07]
China might develop significant global power projection capability [MoD07]
GDP of Brazil at $2Tn, China at $12Tn, India at $4Tn, Russia at $3Tn, Mexico at $2Tn, US at $20Tn, Japan at $7Tn (all in 2005 US$) [G-S05]
combined GDP of BRICs at $20Tn, G7 at $39Tn, N-11 at $10Tn (all in 2005 US$) [G-S05]
GDP-per-capita in BRICs and N-11 (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam) around or above $3000 (in 2005 US$) [G-S05]
full MNT (molecular manufacturing assemblers) [Kurzweil06]
Tactical Autonomous Combatant (TAC) units [Alpha03]
BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India , China) GDP is 50% of G6 (US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy) [G-S03]
nano-machines for theranostics (therapy and diagnosis) are practically used inside the body [ICTAF05]
China’s 15th Five-Year Plan revealed [WP06]
Almost all fish (for food) comes from massive ocean ranches (over 100 ranches, each larger than a cubic mile in area) [Wang06]
Billion CPU personal nanocomputers [Wang06]
Over half electronic products produced with MNT [Wang06]
Nano-RFID tags with built-in memory simplify constant detailed tracking and monitoring of everything [Wang06]
MNT-enabled identity theft [Wang06]
Selective Body Sculpting is safe and effective [Wang06]
MNT counterfeiting eliminates physical currency [Wang06]
Nano-enabled space vehicles, 10-1000 times better performance [Wang06]
Nanofactories create space vehicles with ion drives with 750 kWe/kg specific power, speed 0.5 AU per day and 9.8 m/s2 acceleration. Earth to Mars in 1 to 3 days, Earth to Saturn in 20 days [Wang06]
Mining on asteroids and the moon [Wang06]
10,000 people living on lunar bases [Wang06]
High resolution direct visual feeds made in realtime and fed to retina, able to fool viewer for indefinite periods [Wang06]
MNT repair of physical trauma, almost no deaths once injured and then get MNT treatment (EMT or hospital) [Wang06]
Space elevator [Wang06]
Massive solar energy deployments, over one third of the new energy generators [Wang06]
Gene therapy to enhance human intelligence [Wang06]
Life expectancy doubles [Wang06]
Efficient asset allocation and management science boosts productivity growth by 3% per year [Wang06]
Full immersion virtual reality by neural interfacing. [Clarke99]

A history book about the Industrial Revolution, reviewed in the Economist. As I point out in Nanofuture,

There was an amazing flowering of science in France at the dawn
of the nineteenth century. D. S. L. Cardwell writes, “During the years
1790-1825 France had more scientists and technologists of first rank
than any other nation ever had over a comparable period of time.”
We can mention Carnot, Lavoisier, Laplace, Montgolfier, Dulong,
Petit, Biot, Fresnel, Gay-Lussac, Ampere, Savart, Fourier, Coriolis,
Cauchy, and Lamarck–and these are just the ones whose names are
attached to scientific laws and inventions that have survived to the
present. …

It was not only an academic leadership. France was the acknowledged
leader in most fields of actual technology. From the Jacquard loom, an
early example of automated control, to the invention of the balloon
and parachute, the French were ahead. Their roads, bridges, and
cathedrals were better. They even built more advanced ships than the
British at the time. French policy included public recognition and
prizes for scientific and technical discoveries, and public funds were
available for the development of new inventions.

So if you are a technological forecaster, what do you think
happened next? What actually happened, of course, is that the
Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain, not France. By 1850,
Britain had railroads; Britain had steamships; Britain had the
leading engine, machine tool, and textile industries in the world.

And finally, for those who think that even the most complex and thoroughgoing computer models are the key to seeing the future clearly, a cautionary note from Forbes.

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