A World in Which

(This is the full text of a talk I gave at the Institute for the Future on 21 October 2015, as part of the "New Body Language" workshop on wearable/"body area network" technologies for the Technology Horizons program.) Why do we think about the future? This may seem an odd setting in which to ask this question. We're all here tonight because we're interested in big changes that seem to be thundering ahead in technology, in politics, in the human experience. But there has to be more than "int...
Tags: Scotland, Future, Brazil, Edinburgh, William Gibson, Oakland, Omega, Hartley, Hayward, Institute, Wayne Gretzky, Izzy, Sao Paolo, Jamais Cascio, Understanding the World, Institute for Idle Curiosity About Tomorrow

Top gadgets for lawyers working from a home office

Here is a recent Daily Record column. My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. ***** Top Gadgets for Lawyers Working From a Home Office It’s been more than a year since the start of the pandemic, and what a year it’s been! The good news is that as we head into the spring, the light is finally visible at the end of the tunnel as vaccination rates increase. As a result, sometime in the near future we may finally be able to head back to our offices on a full or part-time basis. Of co...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, New York, Law, Thomson Reuters, Aba, ABA Journal, Rochester New York, New York State Bar Association, Daily Record--Legal Currents Column, Law & Technology, NBlack, Nicole Black, Amazon Another, Aidata LHA

Winnemucca to Hwy 395 north of Susanville, Part4

And now we’ll say goodbye to the Smoke Creek Desert, which we saw on the last leg of this cross-country journey, and make our way south for a very short distance, where we’ll turn off the road skirting the entire west side of the desert, and head west up Smoke Creek. Photos you’ll see in this blog post are from three different trips taken between the Smoke Creek Desert and Highway 395 during May through August of 2006, 2014, and 2015. Which means that although we’re returning to my June 15, 201...
Tags: Google, Birds, Wildflowers, Geology, Nevada, Usgs, Litchfield, Roadside, Road Trip, Caves, Playa, Silver Fox, Winnemucca, Sutcliffe, Sedimentary Rocks, Volcanic Rocks

Vegan Winter Casserole with Apples, Winter Squash and Chickun

We really enjoyed this casserole. It is slightly sweet from the apples but it is also a hearty and filling main meal. Serving Size: 4 Ingredients: creamy cheesy pumpkin sauce: 1½ cups pumpkin puree (winter squash) ¼ cup nutritional yeast ¼ cup dry mustard powder ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ¼-⅓ cups vegetable bouillon 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon cornstarch salt and pepper to taste for the casserole: 3 cups pumpkin (winter squash), cubed and steamed 2 apples, chopped 1 small red bell pepper, about 1.2 c...
Tags: Apple, Main Dishes, Vegans, Squash, Chris Walker, Chickun, Asian Dipping Sauce Red Cabbage

In the Press

Yep, pretty busy lately. I hope to have a book announcement soon, though. I was asked to write a short opinion piece for New Scientist on the problem of filtering our reality, based on the success of the "Here Active Listening" system on Kickstarter. The piece is online, but sadly for now behind a paywall. This excerpt should give you a taste: Critics have also noted an implicit class element in paying for the ability to block out other people's lives. This ambivalence will only grow as the t...
Tags: Updates, Future, Jamais Cascio, Cascio

Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw with Mint

This year we have had a bounty of apples and a good harvest of kohlrabi. So we have been enjoying this salad a few times. It’s a nice light dressing that is flavorful and accents the apples and kohlrabi nicely. Serving Size: 4 Ingredients: 2 cups kohlrabi, peeled and julienned 2 cups apples, cored and julienned handful sunflower seeds handful fresh mint leaves, chopped 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided, 2 for the dressing and 1 with water to keep the apples from browning 2 tablespoons olive ...
Tags: Apple, Vegans, Salads, Chris Walker, Apple Salad, Apple Slaw, Kohlrabi, Field Salad Kohlrabi, Marinated Kohlrabi, Mango Salad Quinoa and Pickled Beet Salad

Garden Pea, Fennel and Apple Soup

Compared to it’s sister “split-pea” soup, it is much lighter, a brighter green and takes less time to prepare. The flavor is very mild. Fennel is very good for digestion. Ingredients: 1-2 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced 3 cups water 1½ teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds 16 ounces garden peas (frozen), thawed 1 apple, peeled and cored Directions: Prepare the onions and fennel. Thaw the peas in a colande...
Tags: Apple, Soups, Vegans, Fennel, Chris Walker, Apple Salad, Apple Soup, Pea, Apple Slaw, Garden Pea Fennel

Legal Battle over a *Planter* in Robert Kennedy Garden

In this Washington Post article we learn of an expensive legal battle (because aren’t they all?) between Kerry Kennedy, daughter of RFK, and the man who bought Hickory Hill, where she grew up. Ethel Kennedy had asked her nine children to choose items they wanted to keep before she moved out, and Kerry chose this urn-shaped planter from the front yard.  She said she treasured it because it was just outside her bedroom window and was one of the few things the family owned that had belonged to Pres...
Tags: Google, Gardening, Supreme Court, Washington Post, Kerry, Kennedy, McLean, Susan Harris, RFK, Jackie Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy, Robert H Jackson, Kerry Kennedy, Hyannis Port Massachusetts, Hickory Hill is 25 Years Old!

At each milestone I've repeated the story about how I started Cyndi's List and first published it on March 4, 1996. At my local society meeting I shared one page full of genealogy bookmarks started the ball rolling. I've told the story time and again when asked, "How did you get started with Cyndi's List?"  For that story, see my blog post from the 20 year anniversary here:  What I don't ever get asked is why I continu...
Tags: Google, Mississippi, Washington, Aol, Netherlands, Genealogy, Midwest, CYNDI, FTM, Cyndi Ingle, Something Google, TPCGS, Alta Vista Hotbot

A "Duty" to Minimize Taxes?

Assistant Professor Daniel Hemel on the “duty” of CEOs to minimize corporate taxes: CNBC’s Jim Cramer came to the defense of Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday, arguing that Apple’s CEO has a duty to minimize the company’s corporate tax liabilities. Cramer said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”: “One of the things I did take seriously when I was in law school was taxes. The main thing you learn is that tax avoidance is everybody’s . . . duty. You’re supposed to try to avoid.” Cramer graduated fr...
Tags: Apple, Law, California, Court, Tim Cook, Ohio, Dodge, Seinfeld, Delaware, Cnbc, Sutherland, Gregory, Adams, Harvard Law School, Potter, Hughes

Links: Field tripping in Nevada, mostly along I-80 and Highway 50

A River Runs through It [link to download], ESW 2016, E-59 NBMG: Truckee River Reno to Pyramid Lake1915 Pleasant Valley earthquake centennial field trip guidebook: A public field trip to visit the largest earthquake in Nevada's history [link to download] E-58 NBMG: 50 miles south of WinnemuccaFire and Ice—Geology of the Mount Rose quadrangle, Lake Tahoe, and the Carson Range [link to download pdf], ESW 2015, E-57 NBMG: Galena Creek Visitor Center to Incline VillageCarson Rocks! A Sesquicentennia...
Tags: Google, California, Earthquake, America, Links, Earth, Mining, Geology, Volcanoes, Trinity, Nevada, Highway 50, Fossils, Reno, Roadside, Faults

IEET Fellows Published in Inaugural Issues of AI and Ethics

The initial publication of the interdisciplinary journal *AI and Ethics* is now available here.  It includes twelve articles on such issues as moral agency, climate, and regulation, and the authors include IEET fellows Kevin LaGrandeur and Wendell Wallach. [Author: [email protected] (IEET)]
Tags: Future, IEET, Wendell Wallach, Kevin LaGrandeur

Short story: The Zoom Journals

Monday. Your connection has some issues: people seem to answer your comments slightly before you say them. You are too tired to think through how that works. Brief chit chat about a new vaccine trial.Tuesday. Some people in the call you don’t recognize. Nobody introduces them. You don’t ask. No vaccine news. Wednesday. No call. Maybe? Definitely no vaccine. Tuesday. No new people in the call, even if some of them you only recognize as a vague feeling of déjà vu. You think some are missing from...
Tags: Future

Patriotism is a Dangerous Disease; Be Cosmopolitan Instead

My father died on the 4th of July. He was a flag-waving veteran who loved right-wing politics. His family is convinced expiring on Independence Day was his patriotic intention. [Author: [email protected] (IEET)]
Tags: Future

Short story: The Friendly Buildings

Scattered among the brutally degentrified neighborhoods of the former New City lie the Friendly Buildings, windows unbroken, cameras spry.When the Cloud burst and even fewer people could afford aspirationally smart architecture, the company managing them disappeared a puff of shells, and the no longer maintained embedded computers were taken over after a brief but spirited digital free-for-all. It’s said that the war was less than entirely bloodless, somewhere else whence the voices come. The i...
Tags: Future, New City

Short story: The Rumor of Dragons

I worked regularly with murderers and worse, but the only patient that scared me was the young prosthetics engineer with a brainhack addiction I met in my office once a week.It was her eyes. They moved in a pattern neither random nor similar to any condition I had ever met, which made sense, as her neurochemistry was in a carefully self-tuned and almost unique state. That was what brainhack did: the combination of drugs, implants, and software allowed people to achieve cognitive and emotional co...
Tags: Future

Short story: The Garden Gambit

It was the second time he was sitting in her garden, and again her AI snake was looking at him from over her shoulder.The first time he had not thought about the intelligence he knew far exceeded the snake’s own hardware, about the obviously engineered subliminal harmonics of the garden, or about the way the woman seemed to smile and nod at something the snake had softly hissed to her like a joke or a command. The first time he just listened to the offer and refused it with pride. “Mathematical...
Tags: Future

Participatory Panopticon: 2019

In April of 2004--just a bit over 15 years ago--I posted this question to Worldchanging: "What happens when you combine mobile communications, always-on cameras, and commonplace wireless networks?" I called the answer the Participatory Panopticon. Remember: at that point in time, Blackberry messaging was the height of mobile communication, cameras in phones were rare and of extremely poor quality, and EDGE was the most common form of wireless data network. Few people had truly considered wha...
Tags: Future, Jamais Cascio, Participatory Panopticon, Meshforum

Short story: The barista who could disarm nuclear bombs

She didn’t know she could, not having seen one during the week the skillware was in her glasses’s software library. But the company that supplied Starbucks with barista-guiding software had military contracts for slightly different sorts of skill, and was not above their occasional misplacement.For the week that took them to find and fix the problem, her glasses would have recognized an armed nuclear bomb and overlaid instructions for its safe disposal, which she would have followed with the sam...
Tags: Future, Starbucks

What the heck was that?

The previous entry was my attempt at a "counter-factual" scenario -- that is, a scenario based on the present-day reality, but with a critical element changed. In this case, it was a scenario in which Clinton managed to eke out a victory in November of 2016. I asked myself how, realistically, would the heavily-partisan and anger-infused political environment react to a Clinton victory? Would the Republicans in Congress simply shrug and say, "okay, she won, back to business" or would they escala...
Tags: Obama, Congress, Future, Iran, Paris, Scott Pruitt, Clinton, Ajit Pai, Jamais Cascio, Betsy DeVos

Gun Control's MP3 Moment

Reading the continued, ongoing arguments about gun regulations ("reasonable" or otherwise) is frustrating. Not only for the usual reasons (absolutist positions, inability to recognize multi-causal phenomena, relentless hostility towards different opinions, etc.), but because of how incredibly irrelevant it is becoming. 3D-printable firearms are already here, and becoming increasingly reliable. Every gun control law in the world is obsolete. With a 3D printer costing a thousand dollars or less...
Tags: Future, Jamais Cascio

High-Frequency Combat

Science and technology luminaries Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak count among the hundreds of researchers pledging support of a proposed ban on the use of artificial intelligence technologies in warfare. In "Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers", the researchers (along with thousands of citizens not directly involved with AI research) call on the global community to ban "offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control." They argue that the ...
Tags: Future, Robot Overlords, Steve Wozniak, Stephen Hawking Elon Musk, Jamais Cascio

BREAKING: President's Advisors Mull Resignation, Sources Claim

This news report slipped through a wormhole from an alternate universe where a sufficient number of voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania gave those states to Hillary Clinton in 2016, thereby making her President of the United States. Otherwise, the election happened just as in our universe. --Jamais Cascio Key advisors have reportedly asked President Hillary R. Clinton to consider resignation before the 2018 mid-term elections, in a bid to avoid the troubling likelihood of the Pr...
Tags: Isis, Supreme Court, Obama, Republicans, Congress, North Korea, Senate, White House, China, Future, Syria, Fox, Pennsylvania, Gop, Hillary Clinton, United States

Global Egalitarianism - planetary equity via wealth redistribution, open borders & pure democracy

INTRODUCTION Walking under the freeway past the homeless encampment, you hear a voice, “I need 50 cents.” Ignoring the beseecher, you scan the news on your smartphone: Jeff Bezos now has $300 billion. Ahead, you see a struggling woman forced into an ICE van, next to signs promoting two candidates you despise but realize will control your future. [Author: [email protected] (IEET)]
Tags: Future, Jeff Bezos

IEET Fellow Kevin LaGrandeur Appointed to editorial boards of AI & Ethics and The Journal of Posthumanism

IEET Fellow Kevin LaGrandeur has recently been appointed to the editorial boards of two new journals dealing with ethics and emerging technology: AI & Ethics, and The Journal of Posthumanism.  He has also been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, whose mission is “encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI…’ [Au...
Tags: Future, Kevin LaGrandeur, Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation

Trump's "Pee Tape": The First One Probably Won't Be Real

TL;DR: It would be easy to fake a Trump/Russia "pee tape." If one shows up, there's a very high likelihood it's a forgery meant to undermine the validity of the investigation of Trump when it's shown to be a fake. What happens when you mix motivated reasoning and advanced computer graphics? You get a fake "pee tape" used as a way to undermine Trump critics and investigators. As we read more claims of confirmation of elements of the so-called "Steele Dossier," the more likely it seems for many...
Tags: Obama, Russia, Future, Moscow, George W Bush, Trump, Bush, Don, CBS Evening News, Viet Nam, Mueller, Dan Rather, Robert Mueller, Jamais Cascio, Trump Russia, Lyrebird

A New Look

You may have noticed that Open the Future has taken on a somewhat different design. You may also have noticed that I haven't been blogging lately. These are not unrelated. I've been doing quite a bit of public speaking, all over the world -- from Sarajevo to Venice to Shenzhen in the last year alone, along with multiple locations here in the U.S. -- and a good amount of work with the Institute for the Future. I've also been doing occasional commentary pieces for New Scientist magazine. So I've...
Tags: Updates, Future, Venice, Shenzhen, Sarajevo, Institute, Jamais Cascio

Things You Find in the Field: Sulfur at Sulphur

I recently drove across northern Nevada from Winnemucca to Gerlach to the NV-CA state line in the upper reaches of Smoke Creek, and while the temperature was holding steady at about 89°F, I stopped at Sulphur to take a few quick pictures. It turns out that Sulphur is a bigger place than I had realized on my several stops through the area, and so I spent a little extra time there.In the first photo, you can see the roof of a building on the ground—this roof has been photographed many times and i...
Tags: Google, Signs, Geology, Nevada, BLM, Zillow, Roadside, Road Trip, S, NV, Silver Fox, Black Rock Desert, Winnemucca, Black Rock, Gerlach, Minerals

Short story: The Green Gears

Sometimes she pictured small computer screens inside each leaf, code scrolling through them like a bad movie’s idea of what hacking looks like.She knew it was plain chemistry—changes in molecules, rearrangements of the same universal atoms—but it was also software that continuously adjusted plant physiology to internal and external conditions, even “downloading upgrades” from artificial viruses raining each night from drones like an invisible kabbalah - a highly structured prayer against hunger ...
Tags: Future, Turing

Uncertainty, Complexity, and Taking Action (revisited)

I stumbled across this transcript of a talk I gave way back in late 2008, at the "Global Catastrophic Risks" conference. I was asked to provide some closing thoughts, based on what had gone before in the meeting, so it's more off-the-cuff than a prepared statement. The site hosting the transcript seems to have gone dark, though, so I wanted to make sure that it was preserved. There was some pretty decent thinking there -- apparently, I had a functioning brain back then. Uncertainty, Complexity...
Tags: Future, Alan, George, Goldstein, Anders Sandberg, Open Future, Jamais Cascio, Nick -LSB- Bostrom, Thomas Barnett, Cascio, Asilomar

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