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How to be a Tech Futurist - Acceleration Studies Foundation

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How to be a Tech Futurist - Acceleration Studies Foundation
How to Be a Tech Futurist:
Predicting, Managing, and Creating
in a World of Accelerating Change
UAT Tech Forum 2005
John Smart, President, ASF
Slides: accelerating.org/slides.html
Presentation Outline
1. Overview
2. Types of Change
3. Intro to Accelerating Change
4. Prediction: Expecting the Future
5. Management: Thriving with Change
6. Creation: Making the Future
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Future Prediction, Management, and
Creation

Prediction
–
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Management
–
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environmental scanning, scenario development, risk
analysis, hedging, enterprise robustness, planning,
matter, energy, space, and time management systems
Creation
–
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
forecasting methods, metrics, statistical trends, the
history of prediction, technology roadmapping, science
and systems theory, marketing research
personal and entrepreneurial tools for creating
preferred futures, research and development, creative
thinking, positive psychology, social networking,
business plan production
© 2005 Accelerating.org
1. Overview
Acceleration Studies Foundation
Los Angeles
Palo Alto

ASF (Accelerating.org) is a nonprofit community of 3,100
scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, administrators,
educators, analysts, humanists, and systems theorists
discussing and dissecting accelerating change.

We practice “developmental future studies,” that is, we seek to
discover a set of persistent factors, stable trends, convergent
capacities, and highly probable scenarios for our common future,
and to use this information now to improve our daily evolutionary
choices.

Specifically, these include accelerating intelligence, immunity,
and interdependence in our global sociotechnological systems,
increasing technological autonomy, and the increasing intimacy
of the human-machine, physical-digital interface.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Brief History of Futures Studies
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
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1902, H.G. Wells, Anticipations
1904, Henry Adams, A Law of Acceleration
1945, Project RAND (RAND Corp.)
1946, Stanford Research Institute (SRI International)
1962, Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future
1967, World Future Society, Institute for the Future
1970, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock
1974, University of Houston, Studies of the Future M.S.
1977, Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden
1986, Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation,
1995, Tamkang U, Center for Futures Studies
1999, Ray Kurzweil, Age of Spiritual Machines
2002, Acceleration Studies Foundation
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Where are the U.S. College Courses in
Foresight Development?
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Tamkang University
27,000 undergrads
Top-ranked private
university in Taiwan
Like history and
current affairs, futures
studies (15 courses to
choose from) have
been a general
education requirement
since 1995.
Why not here?
© 2005 Accelerating.org
2. Two Types of Change:
Evolution and Development
Replication & Variation
“Natural Selection”
Adaptive Radiation
Chaos, Contingency
Pseudo-Random Search
Strange Attractors
Evolution
Complex Environmental Interaction
The Left and Right Hands of
“Evolutionary Development”
Left Hand
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
New Computat’l Phase Space Opening
Selection & Convergence
“Convergent Selection”
Emergence,Global Optima
MEST-Compression
Standard Attractors
Development
Right Hand
Well-Explored Phase Space Optimization
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Marbles, Landscapes, and Basins
(Complex Systems, Evolution, & Development)
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Palo Alto
The marbles (systems) roll around on the landscape, each
taking unpredictable (evolutionary) paths. But the paths
predictably converge (development) on low points (MEST
compression), the “attractors” at the bottom of each basin.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
How Many Eyes Are
Developmentally Optimal?
Evolution is always trying experimental structures.
Development has found an operational optimum.
Ex: Some reptiles (e.g. Xantusia vigilis, and certain
skinks) still have a parietal (“pineal”) vestigial third eye.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
“Convergent Evolution”:
Troodon and the Dinosauroid Hypothesis
Dale Russell, 1982: Anthropoid
forms as a standard attractor.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
A number of small dinosaurs
(raptors and oviraptors) developed
bipedalism, binocular vision,
complex hands with opposable
thumbs, and brain-to-body ratios
equivalent to modern birds. They
were intelligent pack-hunters of
both large and small animals
(including our mammalian
precursors) both diurnally and
nocturnally. They would likely
have become the dominant
planetary species due to their
superior intelligence, hunting, and
manipulation skills without the K-T
event 65 million years ago.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
How Many Wheels are Developmentally
Optimal on an Automobile?
Examples: Wheel on Earth. Social computation device.
Diffusion proportional to population density and diversity.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
3. Intro to Accelerating Change
Something Curious Is Going On
Unexplained.
(Don’t look for this in your physics or information theory texts…)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
From the Big Bang to Complex Stars:
“The Decelerating Phase” of Universal ED
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
From Biogenesis to Intelligent Technology:
The “Accelerating Phase” of Universal ED
Carl Sagan’s
“Cosmic
Calendar”
(Dragons of
Eden, 1977)
Each month is
roughly 1
billion years.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
A U-Shaped Curve of Change?
Big Bang Singularity
50 yrs: Scalar Field Scaffolds
50 yrs ago: Machina silico
100,000 yrs: Matter
100,000 yrs ago: H. sap. sap.
1B yrs: Protogalaxies
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Developmental Singularity?
8B yrs: Earth
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Brief History of Accelerating Change
Billion
Years Ago
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Generations Ago
13.7
Big Bang (ST origin)
13.4
Milky Way Atoms
(Energy, Matter)
6
Sun (Organic chem)
4.5
Earth (Protobionts)
3.5
Bacteria (Cell)
2.5
Sponge (Multicell)
0.7
Clams (Nerves)
0.5
Trilobites (Brains)
0.2
Bees (Swarms)
0.100
Mammals
0.002
Humans, Tools &
Clans Co-evolution
100,000
Speech
750
Agriculture
500
Writing
400
Libraries
40
Universities
24
Printing
16
Accurate Clocks
5
Telephone
4
Radio
3
Television
2
Computer
1
Internet/e-Mail
0
GPS, nano
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Henry Adams, 1909:
The First “Singularity Theorist”
The final Ethereal
Phase would last
only about four
years, and
thereafter "bring
Thought to the
limit of its
possibilities."
Wild speculation
or computational
reality?
Still too early to
tell, at present.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Technological Singularity Hypothesis
Each unique physicalcomputational substrate
appears to have its own
“capability curve.”
The information inherent in
these substrates is apparently
not made obsolete, but is
instead incorporated into the
developmental architecture of
the next emergent system.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Macrohistorical Singularity Books
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
The Evolutionary Trajectory, 1998
Trees of Evolution, 2000
Singularity 2130 ±20 years
Singularity 2080 ±30 years
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Macrohistorical Singularity Books
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Why Stock Markets Crash, 2003
The Singularity is Near, 2005
Singularity 2050 ±10 years
Singularity 2050 ±20 years
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Eric Chaisson’s “Phi” (Φ):
A Universal Moore’s Law Curve
Free Energy Rate Density
Substrate
Ф
(ergs/second/gram)
time
Galaxies
Stars
Planets (Early)
Plants
Animals/Genetics
Brains (Human)
Culture (Human)
Int. Comb. Engines
Jets
Pentium Chips
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Palo Alto
0.5
2 (counterintuitive)
75
900
20,000(10^4)
150,000(10^5)
500,000(10^5)
(10^6)
(10^8)
(10^11)
Source: Eric Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution, 2001
© 2005 Accelerating.org
“Unreasonable” Effectiveness and
Efficiency: Wigner and Mead
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the
Natural Sciences, Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner, 1960
After Wigner and Freeman Dyson’s work in 1951, on symmetries
and simple universalities in mathematical physics.
F=ma
F=-(Gm1m2)/r2
E=mc2
W=(1/2mv2)
Commentary on the “Unreasonable Efficiency of Physics
in the Microcosm,” VSLI Pioneer Carver Mead, c. 1980.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
In 1968, Mead predicted we would create
much smaller (to 0.15 micron) multi-million
chip transistors that would run far faster and
more efficiently. He later generalized this
observation to a number of other devices.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Example: Holey Optical Fibers
Lasers today can made cheaply only in some
areas of the EM spectrum, not including, for
example, UV laser light for cancer detection
and tissue analysis. It was discovered in 2004
that a hollow optical fiber filled with hydrogen
gas, a device known as a "photonic
crystal," can convert cheap laser light to the
wavelengths previously unavailable.
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Above: SEM image of a photonic crystal fiber. Note periodic
array of air holes. The central defect (missing hole in the middle)
acts as the fiber's core. The fiber is about 40 microns across.
This conversion system is a million times (106) more energy
efficient than all previous converters. These are the kinds of
jaw-dropping efficiency advances that have historically
driven the ICT revolution.
Such advances are due even more to human discovery (in
physical microspace) than to human creativity, which is why
they have accelerated throughout the 20th century, even as we
remain uncertain exactly why they continue to occur. © 2005 Accelerating.org
Understanding the Lever of ICT
"Give me a lever, a fulcrum,
and place to stand and I
will move the world."
Archimedes of Syracuse
(287-212 BC), quoted by
Pappus of Alexandria,
Synagoge, c. 340 AD
“The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of
Archimedes, with the given fulcrum [representative
democracy], moves the world.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1814)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
The lever of accelerating information and communications
technologies (in outer space) with the fulcrum of physics
(in inner space) increasingly moves the world.
(Carver Mead, Seth Lloyd, George Gilder…)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Our Historical Understanding of
Accelerating Change
In 1904, we seemed nearly ready
to see intrinsically accelerating
progress. Then came mechanized
warfare (WW I, 1914-18, WW II,
1939-45), Communist oppression
(60 million deaths). 20th century
political deaths of 170+ million
showed the limitations of humanengineered accelerating progress models.
Today the idea of accelerating progress remains in the
cultural minority, even in first world populations. It is viewed
with interest but also deep suspicion by a populace
traumatized by technological extremes, global divides, and
economic fluctuation.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control, 1993
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: Of the 100 top economies in the world, how
many are multinational corporations and how
many are nation states?
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: Of the 100 top revenue generating entities in
the world, how many are multinational
corporations and how many are nation states?
76 MNC’s and 24 Nations.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
GBN, Future of Philanthropy, 2005
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: How many of the lowest net-worth Americans
would it take to approximate Bill Gate’s net
worth? (296 million Americans in 2005)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: How many of the lowest net-worth Americans
would it take to approximate Bill Gate’s net
worth?
Roughly 110 million Americans in 1997,
when his net worth was $40 billion. At $30
billion presently (2005), Mr. Gates ranks
roughly as the 60th largest country, and the
55th largest business. When MSFT went
public in 1986, Bill was worth $230 million.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
NYU economist Edward Wolff (See also Top Heavy, 2002)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: Disney and Sony (respectively) produce and
launch one new product every _________?
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Acceleration Quiz
Q: Disney and Sony (respectively) produce and
launch one new product every _________?
Three minutes for Disney.
Twenty minutes for Sony.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Elizabeth Debold, What is Enlightenment?, March-May 2005
© 2005 Accelerating.org
World Economic
Performance
GDP Per Capita in
Western Europe,
1000 – 1999 A.D.
This curve looks
quite smooth on a
macroscopic scale.
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Palo Alto
Notice the “knee of
the curve” occurs at
the industrial
revolution, circa
1850.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Three Hierarchical Systems
of Social Change
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Technological (dominant since 1950!)
“It’s all about the technology” (what it enables, how
inexpensively it can be developed)
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Economic (dominant 1800-1950’s, secondary now)
“It’s all about the money” (who has it, control they gain with it)
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Political/Cultural (dominant pre-1800’s, tertiary now)
“It’s all about the power” (who has it, control they gain with it)
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Palo Alto
Developmental Trends:
1. The levels have reorganized, to “fastest first.”
2. More pluralism (a network property) on each level.
Pluralism examples: 40,000 NGO’s, rise of the power
of media, tort law, Insurance, lobbies, etc.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
4. Prediction: Expecting the Future
Humans are Prediction Systems
“Our brain is structured for constant forecasting.”
Jeff Hawkins,
Inventor, PalmPilot,
CTO, Palm Computing
Founder, Redwood Neurosciences Institute
Author, On Intelligence: How a New
Understanding of the Brain will Lead to the
Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines, 2004
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Prediction Wall and
The Prediction Crystal Ball
What does hindsight tell us
about prediction?
The Year 2000 was the
most intensive long range
prediction effort of its time,
done at the height of the
forecasting/ operations
research/ cybernetics/
think tank (RAND) driven/
“instrumental rationality”
era of Futures Studies.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
(Kahn & Wiener, 1967).
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Many Accelerations are Underwhelming
Some Modest Exponentials:
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Productivity per U.S. worker hr has improved 500%
over 75 years (1929-2004, 2% per yr)
Business investment as % of U.S. GDP is flat at 11%
over 25 years.
Nondefense R&D spending as % of First World GDP
is up 30% (1.6 to 2.1%) over 21 years (1981-2002).
Technology spending as % of U.S. GDP is up 100%
(4% to 8%) over 35 years (1967-2002)
BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Moore’s Law
Moore’s Law derives from two predictions in 1965 and 1975 by Gordon
Moore, co-founder of Intel, (and named by Carver Mead) that
computer chips (processors, memory, etc.) double their complexity
every 12-24 months at near constant unit cost.
This means that every 15 years, on average, a large number of
technological capacities (memory, input, output, processing) grow by
1000X (Ten doublings: 2,4,8…. 1024). Emergence!
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
There are several abstractions of Moore’s Law, due to miniaturization
of transistor density in two dimensions, increasing speed (signals
have less distance to travel) computational power (speed© 2005
× density).
Accelerating.org
Ray Kurzweil: A Generalized Moore’s Law
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Transistor Doublings (2 years)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and KurzweilAI.net
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Processor Performance (1.8 years)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and KurzweilAI.net
© 2005 Accelerating.org
DRAM Miniaturization (5.4 years)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and KurzweilAI.net
© 2005 Accelerating.org
IT’s Exponential Economics
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and KurzweilAI.net
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Relative Growth Rates are
Surprisingly Predictable
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Brad DeLong (2003) noted that memory density predictably
outgrows microprocessor density, which predictably outgrows
wired bandwidth, which predictably outgrows wireless.
Expect: 1st: New Storage Apps, 2nd: New Processing Apps, 3rd: New
Communications Apps, 4th: New Wireless Apps
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Dickerson’s Law: Solved Protein Structures
as a Moore’s-Dependent Process
Richard Dickerson,
1978, Cal Tech:
Protein crystal
structure solutions
grow according to
n=exp(0.19y1960)
Dickerson’s law predicted 14,201 solved crystal
structures by 2002. The actual number (in online
Protein Data Bank (PDB)) was 14,250. Just 49 more.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Macroscopically, the curve has been quite consistent.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Start of Symbiosis: The Digital Era
With the advent of the transistor (June 1, 1948), the
commercial digital world emerged.
New problems have emerged (population, human rights,
asymmetric conflict, environment), yet we see solutions
for each in coming waves of technological globalization.
“The human does not change, but our house
becomes exponentially more intelligent.”
We look back not to Spencer or Marx and their
human-directed Utopias, but to Henry Adams,
who realized the core acceleration is due to
the intrinsic properties of technological systems.
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Palo Alto
Michael Riordan, Crystal Fire, 1998
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Symbiotic Age
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Palo Alto
A time when computers “speak our language.”
A time when our technologies are very
responsive to our needs and desires.
A time when humans and machines are
intimately connected, and always improving
each other.
A time when we will begin to feel “naked”
without our computer “clothes.”
© 2005 Accelerating.org
An ICT Attractor:
The Linguistic User Interface
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Palo Alto
Google’s cache (2002)
Watch Windows 2004 become
Conversations 2020…
Convergence of Infotech and Sociotech
© 2005 Accelerating.org
AI-in-the-Interface (a.k.a. “IA”)
• AI is growing, but slowly (KMWorld, 4.2003)
― $1B in ’93 (mostly defense), $12B in 2002
(now mostly commercial). AGR of 12%
― U.S., Asia, Europe equally strong
― Belief nets, neural nets, expert sys growing
faster than decision support and agents
― Incremental enhancement of existing apps
(online catalogs, etc.)
• Computer telephony (CT) making strides
(Wildfire, Booking Sys, Directory Sys).
ASR and TTS improve. Expect dedicated DSPs
on the desktop after central CT. (Circa 2010-15?)
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Palo Alto
• Coming: Linguistic User Interface (LUI)
Persuasive Computing, and
Personality Capture
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Robo sapiens
“Huey and Louey”
AIST and Kawada’s HRP-2
(Something very cool
about this algorithm…)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Aibo Soccer
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Social Software, Lifelogs
Gmail preserves, for the first time, everything we’ve ever
typed. Gmailers are all bloggers who don’t know it. Next,
some of us will store everything we’ve ever said. Then
everything we’ve ever seen. This storage (and
processing, and bandwidth) will continue to make us all
networkable in ways and at a level we never imagined.
Lifeblog, SenseCam, What Was I Thinking, and
MyLifeBits (2003) are early examples of “LifeLogs.”
Systems for auto-archiving and auto-indexing all life
experience. Add NLP, collaborative filtering, and other
early AI to this, and data begins turning into wisdom.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Personality Capture
In the long run, we become seamless with our machines.
No other credible long term futures have been proposed.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
“Technology is becoming organic. Nature is becoming
technologic.” (Brian Arthur, SFI)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Your “Digital You” (Digital Twin)
“I would never upload my consciousness
into a machine.”
“I enjoy leaving behind stories about my life
for my children.”
Prediction: When your mother dies in 2050,
your digital mom will be “50% her.”
When your best friend dies in 2080, your
digital best friend will be “80% him.”
Successive approximation, seamless
integration, subtle transition.
When you can shift your own conscious
perspective between your electronic and
biological components, the encapsulation
and transcendence of the biological may
begin to feel like only growth, not death.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Greg Panos (and Mother)
PersonaFoundation.org
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Tomorrow’s Fastspace:
User-Created 3D Persistent Worlds
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Future Salon in Second Life
Streaming audio for main speaker, chat for others.
Streaming video added 2005.
Cost: $10 for life + fast graphics card ($180)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Phase Transitions: Web, Semantic
Web, Social Software, Metaweb
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Nova Spivak, 2004
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Valuecosm
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Palo Alto
Microcosm, Telecosm (Gilder)
Datacosm (Sterling)
Valuecosm (Smart)
Recording and Publishing DT Preferences
Avatars that Act and Transact Better for Us
Mapping Positive Sum Social Interactions
Much Potential For Early Abuse (Advice)
Next Level of Digital Democracy (Holding
Powerful Plutocratic Actors Accountable)
Early Examples: Social Network Media
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Accelerating Public Transparency
(“Panopticon”)
David Brin,
The Transparent Society, 1998
Hitachi’s mu-chip:
RFID for paper currency
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Automation and the Service Society
Our 2002 service to manufacturing labor ratio,
110 million service to 21 million goods workers, is 4.2:1
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Voluntary Future
Lifetime hours trends:
1880
1995
2040
Total Available (after eating, 225,900
sleeping, etc.)
298,500 321,900
Worked to earn a living
182,100
122,400 75,900
Balance for Leisure and
Voluntary Work
43,800
176,100 246,000
Prediction: Great increase in voluntary activities. Culture,
entertainment, travel, education, wellness, nonprofit service,
humanitarian and development work, the arts, etc.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Source: The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism,
2000, Robert Fogel (Nobel-prize-winning economist, founder of the field of
cliometrics, the study of economic history using statistical and
mathematical models)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Saturation Example 1:
Total World Population
Positive
feedback loop:
Agriculture,
Colonial Expansion,
Economics,
Scientific Method,
Industrialization,
Politics,
Education,
Healthcare,
Information
Technologies, etc.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
So What Stopped the Growth?
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Saturation Example 2:
Total World Energy Use
DOE/EIA data shows total world energy use growth rate peaked in the
1970’s. Real and projected growth is progressively flatter since.
Saturation factors:
1. Major conservation after OPEC (1973)
2. Stunning energy efficiency of each new
generation of technological system
3. Saturation of human population and
human needs for tech transformation
Royal Dutch/Shell notes that energy use
declines dramatically proportional to
per capita GDP in all cultures.
Steve Jurvetson notes (2003) the DOE estimates solid state lighting (eg.
the organic LEDs in today's stoplights) will cut the world's energy demand
for lighting in half over the next 20 years. Lighting is approximately 20% of
energy demand.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Expect such MEST efficiencies in energy technology to be multiplied
dramatically in coming years. Technology is becoming more energyeffective in ways too few forcasters currently understand.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Global Energy Use Saturation:
Energy Consumption Per Capita
When per capita GDP reaches:
• $3,000 – energy demand
explodes as industrialization
and mobility take off,
• $10,000 – demand slows as the
main spurt of industrialization is
completed,
• $15,000 – demand grows more
slowly than income as services
dominate economic growth and
basic household energy needs
are met,
• $25,000 – economic growth
requires little additional energy.
Later developers, using
“leapfrogging technologies”,
require far less time and energy
to reach equivalent GDP.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Energy Needs, Choices, and Possibilities: Scenarios to 2050, Shell Intnat’l, 2001
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Long Term Future: Solar Energy
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Twenty to forty year development horizon.
5-10% efficiencies at present. Need 50%.
Need good, cheap energy storage systems.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Underground AHS
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Much cheaper than air transport.
10X present capacity, under our cities.
Requires IVs and ZEV’s (2025+)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Longer-Term Example:
Hurricane Control - New NASA/NOAA Mission?
Hurricane Ivan: $11B in property
damage. 11 named storms in 10
months in 2004, 7 have caused
damage in U.S.
NOAA expects decades of
hurricane hyperactivity.
Ross Hoffman, use Solar Powered Satellites (SPS’s).
In 1968, Peter Glaser, microwave-relay SPS’s for
power on earth, tuned away from climate. These would
be tuned to water vapor (like microwave oven). Low
pressure centers disruptible by atmospheric heating.
Very sensitive to hi pressure side steering. Cyclones,
monsoons, blizzards, possibly even tornados.
Research: Russian mylar mirrors, 1993, 1999 (failed).
23 m mirror (above), 5 km light circle on the ground.
Arrays would raise surface temp. several degrees.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Controlling Hurricanes, Scientific American, 10.2004
© 2005 Accelerating.org
We Have Two Options:
Future Shock or Future Shaping
“The future’s already here. It’s just not
evenly distributed yet.” ― William Gibson
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
“We need a pragmatic optimism, a cando, change-aware attitude. A balance
between innovation and preservation.
Honest dialogs on persistent problems,
tolerance of imperfect solutions. The
ability to avoid both doomsaying and
paralyzing adherence to the status quo.”
― David Brin
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Carpe Diem
"In a time of change, it is learners who
inherit the future. The learned find
themselves well equipped to live in a world
that no longer exists." — Eric Hoffer
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
"Twenty years from now you will be
more disappointed by the things you
did not do than those you did do. So
throw off the bowlines. Sail away from
the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Discover. Give yourself away to the
sea of life." — Mark Twain
© 2005 Accelerating.org
5. Management: Thriving with Change
Our Greatest Strategic Interest:
Managing Globalization
“America has had 200 years to
invent, regenerate, and calibrate
the balance that keeps markets free
without becoming monsters. We
have the tools to make a difference.
We have the responsibility to make
a difference. And we have a huge
interest in making a difference.
Managing globalization is… our
overarching national interest today
and the political party that
understands that first… will own the
real bridge to the future.”
Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and
the Olive Tree: Understanding
Globalization (2000).
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Globalization Eras
Globalization I: 1800’s – WWI
Mechanism:
Industrial Revolution, cheap transportation
Backlash Ideologies:
Communism, Socialism, Fascism
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Globalization Eras
Globalization II: 1980’s – Present
Mechanism:
Information Revolution, cheap communications
Backlash Ideologies:
Fundamentalism, civil disobedience, crime, ecoactivism
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Palo Alto
Examples: Al Qaeda, Hugo Chavez, Sem Teto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Globalization Management
Backlash forces have to be kept in check by:
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Global tech innovation and diffusion
Global economic growth
Global political
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
accountability
transparency
fair policies
minimal government (maximizing tech and
economic development)
security
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The Pentagon’s New Map
A New Global Defense Paradigm
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Shrinking the Disconnected Gap
The Computational “Ozone Hole”
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
U.S. Transcontinental Railroad:
Promontory Point Fervor
Built mostly by hardworking immigrants
The Network of the 1880’s
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
IT Globalization (2000-2020):
Promontory Point Revisited
The more things change,
the more some things
stay the same.
The intercontinental internet will be
built primarily by hungry young
programmers and tech support
personnel in India, Asia, third-world
Europe, Latin America, and other
developing economic zones.
In coming decades, such individuals will outnumber the First World
technical support population between five- and ten-to-one.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Consider what this means for the goals of U.S. business and
education: Global management, partnerships, and collaboration.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Information Age:
Staggered Closing of Global Divides
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Palo Alto
Digital divide is already closing fast. 77% of
the world now has access to a telephone*.
Innovation leader: Grameen Telecom
Income divide may be closing the next
fastest. First world plutocracy still increasing,
but we are already “rationalizing” global
workforce wages in the last decade*.
Education divide may close next (post-LUI)
Power divide likely to close last. Political
change is the slowest of all domains.
*World Bank, 2005
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Digital Ecologies and Development
Key Questions: Public access? Subsidized? Education?
Strong network effects. Intrinsically socially stabilizing.
“There is no digital divide.” (Cato Institute)
Radio
Low Power TV
Groupware
Internet
IM/SMS
Avatars
Email
Cell Phones
Cordless Phones
Game PCs
Newspapers
(Program Guides)
Desktop PCs
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
PDAs
Social Software
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Oil Refinery (Multi-Acre Automatic Factory)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Tyler, Texas, 1964. 360 acres. Run by three operators,
each needing only a high school education.
The 1972 version eliminated the three operators.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Automation and Job Disruption
Between 1995 and 2002 the world’s 20 largest economies lost
22 million industrial jobs. This is the shift from a Manufacturing
to a Service Economy.
America lost about 2 million industrial jobs, mostly to China.
 China lost 15 million ind. jobs, mostly to machines. (Fortune)
 Despite the shrinking of America's industrial work force, the
country's overall industrial output increased by 50% since
1992. (Economist)
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“Robots are replacing humans or are greatly enhancing human performance in
mining, manufacture, and agriculture. Huge areas of clerical work are also
being automated. Standardized repetitive work is being taken over by
electronic systems. The key to America's continued prosperity depends on
shifting to ever more productive and diverse services. And the good news is
jobs here are often better paying and far more interesting than those on we
knew on farms and the assembly line.” (Tsvi Bisk)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
"The Misery of Manufacturing," The Economist. Sept. 27, 2003
"Worrying About Jobs Isn't Productive," Fortune Magazine. Nov. 10, 2003
“The Future of Making a Living,” Tsvi Bisk, 2003
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Understanding Process Automation
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Palo Alto
Perhaps 80% of today's First World
paycheck is paid for by automation
(“tech we tend”).
Robert Solow, 1987 Nobel in Economics
(Solow Productivity Paradox,
Theory of Economic Growth)
“7/8 comes from technical progress.”
Human contribution (20%?) to a First
World job is Social Value of Employment
+ Creativity + Education
Developing countries are next in line
(sooner or later).
Continual education and grants
(“taxing the machines”) are the final job
descriptions for all human beings.
Termite Mound
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Empire Progression
(Note the West-Far East Trajectory)
Japan
(Temporary: Pop density,
Few youth, no resources.
East Asian Tigers
(Taiwan
Hong Kong
South Korea
Singapore)
American
India
China
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Expect a Singapore-style “Autocratic Capitalist”
transition. Population control, plentiful resources,
stunning growth rate, drive, and intellectual capital.
U.S. science fairs: 50,000 high school kids/year.
Chinese science fairs: 6,000,000 kids/year. For now.
BHR-1, 2002
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Creative Destruction: Creating a Legal
and Social Culture of Innovation
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Key Metric: Of the top 25 companies in each
country 25 years ago, how many are still the
same?
France, Germany, Japan: Almost all.
Europe: Most
United States: Roughly half
Taiwan, Hong Kong: Very few
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, 2000
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Taiwan’s Example
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Palo Alto
Taiwan requires university undergraduates to
take courses in Futures Studies.
Taiwan owns 46,000 contract factories in
China (mutually assured economic
destruction).
Taiwan has become the IT hardware
manufacturing capital of the world.
Taiwan has the highest degree of economic
creative destruction in the world.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
U.S. Innovation/Competitiveness/Acceleration
has flagged in recent years
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Palo Alto
China surpassed the U.S. this year as the largest recipient of
foreign direct investment.
In 2002, US Corporate R&D declined by $8 billion, largest
percentage drop since 1950.
Five countries (Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Finland, Israel)
spend more GDP on R&D than the U.S.
Foreign owned companies and foreign born inventors now count
for nearly half of all U.S. patents, with Japan, Korea, and Taiwan
accounting for more than one fourth.
Federal R&D funding is now 1/2 of its 1960's peak of 2% of GDP.
Total scientific papers by American authors peaked in 1992 and
have been flat ever since.
Services are the fastest growing sector of many technology
companies, yet much of our service sector, now more than half the
U.S. economy, traditionally does little R&D on business process
design, organization, and management.
Innovate America, NII, Council on Competitiveness, 2004
© 2005 Accelerating.org
National Innovation Initiative
Recommendations (sample)
Talent
Investment
Politics
Expedited, expanded
sci-tech immigration
3% of federal R&D for
“innov. accel.” grants
Cabinet-level or NEC
interagency group
National sci-tech
scholarship fund, tax
credits to contributors
3% of DoD budget
must go back to scitech, 20% of this at U’s
New innovation
metrics, national
innovation agenda
Portable graduate tech
fellowships similar to
NSF fellowships
Develop “services
science” as a new
academic discipline
National innovation
scorecard, prizes.
Better patent office.
Matching funds for
postsecondary MS
programs in tech and
innovation
Reward ten regional
“innovation hotspots”
with 5 yrs of funding
Improved IP, tort law,
intangible disclosure
law.
Our Biggest Opportunity: Innovation partnerships with the 3 billion
new workers who weren’t in the global economy ten years ago.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Innovate America, NII, Council on Competitiveness, 2004
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Our Generation’s Theme
First World Saturating,
Third World Uplifting.
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Smart’s Laws of Technology
1. Tech learns ten million times faster than you do.
(Electronic vs. biological rates of evolutionary development).
2. Humans are selective catalysts, not controllers, of
technological evolutionary development.
(Regulatory choices. Ex: WMD production or transparency,
P2P as a proprietary or open source development)
3. The first generation of any technology is often
dehumanizing, the second is indifferent to humanity,
and with luck the third becomes net humanizing.
(Cities, cars, cellphones, computers).
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
The NBIC Report and Conferences
Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance:
Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science
Edited by Mike Roco and William Sims Bainbridge,
National Science Foundation, 2002 (NSF/DoC Sponsored Report)
www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
“NBICS”: 5 Choices for Strategic
Technological Development
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Palo Alto
Nanotech (micro and nanoscale technology)
Biotech (biotechnology, health care)
Infotech (computing and comm. technology)
Cognotech (brain sciences, human factors)
Sociotech (remaining technology applications)
It is easy to spend lots of R&D or marketing money on a
still-early technology in any field.
Infotech examples: A.I., multimedia, internet, wireless
It is almost as easy to spend disproportionate amounts on
older, less centrally accelerating technologies.
Every technology has the right time and place for
innovation and diffusion.
First mover and second mover advantages.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
6. Creation: Making the Future
Some Tools for Shaping the Future
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Palo Alto
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Education
Investment
Literacy / Environmental Awareness
– Technological
– Business
– Political
– Social
Foresight
Innovation
Competition (fair, creatively destructive)
Leadership
– Local Commitment
– Global Perspective
Activism
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Education Questions
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Palo Alto
How do we best educate our ourselves, our
employees, our community, our children?
How do we learn “on demand” when we need
it?
How do we learn when to act locally, and
when to act globally?
When to learn individually vs. collectively?
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Developmental Windows
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In 2005, India is seeing a grassroots
movement to get schools to teach English in
first grade (vs. fourth grade). Three to six is a
developmental window for effortless language
acquisition. Mandarin or Hindi for your child?
Zerotothree.org
What will tomorrows for-profit daycare chains be like?
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
On Demand Tech Ed: From Geek Squad
to Global Computer Helpers
80 million smart, underemployed tech workers, working
at a salary of $1,400/year (China, India)
+ 140 million U.S. labor force (2000).
+ Exponentiating capabilites of our IT systems
+ Commodity communications costs
+ PC transparency software (Gotomypc)
+ Trust (Privacy)
= On Demand Tech Education
How soon?
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Create Your Own Network:
Consider Ben Franklin’s Junto
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Met every Friday. The group invented:
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Broad Interests, Narrow Tasks.
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
the first subscription library in North America
the most advanced volunteer fire department
the first public hospital in Pennsylvania,
an insurance company, a constabulary,
improved streetlights, paving
the University of Pennsylvania.
Scientist
Inventor
Businessman
Statesman
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Investment Questions
Are you practicing socially responsible and
technologically responsible (acceleration
aware) investing?
Supporting companies, products and services that are
increasingly:
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Global
Intelligent
Interdependent
Immune/Transparent
Efficient
Innovative
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Literacy Questions
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Palo Alto
Are you computer, web, and communications
savvy?
Do you use social network media (blogs, web
communities, etc.)?
Do you subsidize online and technological
innovation (leading, not bleeding edge)?
Are you reading and interpreting what’s going
on in the world?
See ASF Community Directory
(accelerating.org/community.html)
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Foresight Questions
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Palo Alto
Do you take time to consider the past,
present, and future of your personal and
professional life?
Do you use strategic planning, scanning,
competitive intelligence, trend extrapolation,
forecasting, scenario generation, or other
futures tools?
Do you read the opinions of key future
thinkers in your areas of professional interest?
Are you supporting the emergence of a
professional futures community?
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Innovation Questions
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Palo Alto
Are you thinking about innovation across the
spectrum (products and services, offline and
online)?
Do you know which of your employees,
business partners, and customers is the most
innovative, all else equal? Do you reward that
in your business model?
Are you working with a global and virtual
innovation team?
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Leadership Questions
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Palo Alto
Are you sharing your future visions or
keeping them quiet?
Are you getting critiques and feedback, and is
this changing your perspective?
Are you responding respectfully, adequately,
yet concisely to your critics?
Are you looking for others who also want to
work toward a common vision?
Is this a mutual appreciation society or is your
group affecting real change?
Are you tolerant of parallel, pluralist
approaches?
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Good Leadership Attributes
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The best are passionate about 1) creating
community, and 2) making it easy for users to find
their voice.
Stephen Covey,
The Eighth Habit, 2004
“Find your voice and
inspire others to find theirs.”
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Slow to criticize, ego-minimizing, always striving
to be nice, modeling good behavior, empathic, yet
responsive to communication problems.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Digital Activism:
Skype (Internet Telephony)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Digital Activism:
LinkedIn (Business Networking)
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Digital Activism:
Videoconferencing and Groupware
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SOHO Web and Video Conferencing
WaveThree: $199. Max of 10, 128 Kbps/user.
Linktivity: $1,500 + dedicated server. Max of 5 users.
VoiceCafe: $75/month. Max of 5 users
Viditel: $35/month/person, unlim. meetings
iChat AV: $150 webcam, OS X, broadband
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Los Angeles
Palo Alto
Dramatic improvements over the last year.
Groupware
Groove Virtual Office: $69/person, one time cost.
Just purchased by Microsoft. Robin Good: Best
SOHO groupware solution for PowerPoints, file
sharing, IM, private spaces, and project development
tools. No audio or video capacities at present.
Drawback: Need a fast computer.
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Digital Activism:
User-Created 3D Persistent Worlds
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
Seeing the Extraordinary Present
“There has never been a time more
pregnant with possibilities.”
- Gail Carr Feldman
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
© 2005 Accelerating.org
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