Saturday, 4 July 2015

A history of predicting technological advances >>> Tomorrow's World at 50 on BBC Radio 4

Why have so many of the predictions of technology turned out to be such a disappointment?
Futures Forum: "Where are the flying cars?" or, "What happened to derail so many credible ideas and prospects?"

How many of the promises of technology are distractions?
Futures Forum: "Exposing the futuristic fantasies deployed by the fossil-fuel companies"

How much technology has been held back?
Futures Forum: Planned Obsolescence: and The Men Who Made Us Spend

What tone does science fiction set for predicting science and technology?
Futures Forum: Climate change... and 'Interstellar': 'Cli-fi' escapism?

How much hubris does 'scientific advance' bring?
Futures Forum: Norman Borlaug and the “Green Revolution”: a centenary

Should we be relying on technology to solve non-technological problems?
Futures Forum: The techno-fix ... Can we engineer our way out of environmental catastrophe? Or ... Can we 'design for the real world'?
Futures Forum: Climate change: and geoengineering >>> "Climate Intervention Is Not a Replacement for Reducing Carbon Emissions"
Futures Forum: Climate change: the 'Big Fix': geoengineering solutions

How much has the science been politicized?
Futures Forum: "Climate science has been dragged into the American-style culture wars that are turning British intellectual life into a battlefield."
Futures Forum: Climate change: 'Inconvenient facts?' on Radio 4
Futures Forum: Climate change: "The forecasts are accurate, unfortunately." And yet: “the history of trying to make economic forecasts is one of complete failure.”

What is the promise of 'low-tech'?
Futures Forum: Frugal Innovation: on BBC Radio 4's In Business

How much 'technology' can we produce ourselves?

Futures Forum: Open Source Ecology >>> Homebrew Industrial Revolution >>> Do-it-yourself sustainable development

How much 'science' can we produce ourselves:
Futures Forum: Citizen science on Springwatch
Futures Forum: Engaging with science..... public attitudes survey shows "More now agree that 'it is important to know about science in my daily life.'"
Futures Forum: "Citizen scientists: Now you can link the UK winter deluge to climate change"

This evening we heard about how we, at least in the UK, have tried to predict the future of technological development:

Tomorrow's World, Today

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Everyone knows the iconic TV series Tomorrow's World - and many of us watched it as it made predictions about the future. Was it correct in its assumptions and predictions? James Burke takes a journey through the archive, and explores the story of the past half century of technological development.
Tomorrow's World began in the "White Heat" of the 1960s - as science and technology began to promise a future previously unimaginable.
From the first orbits of the moon, to the first heart transplant; from the nuclear debates of 20th century, to the economic failure of Concorde; from robots to the internet - Tomorrow's World reported on it all. How did the show do it? And did it get it right?
Now, on the programme's 50th Anniversary, James Burke - a reporter on the show from 1966-1972 - looks at how it dealt with the often huge changes that occurred in the time from when it was first broadcast, and assesses what it says about our ability to see what's around the corner.

BBC Radio 4 - Archive on 4, Tomorrow's World, Today

There is a lot of science and technology going on locally:
Sidmouth Science Festival - Home
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Café Scientifique
Norman Lockyer Observatory
Weather and climate change - Met Office
Science Strategy - University of Exeter
Climate Change and Sustainable Futures - University of Exeter

Meanwhile, here's another view on the history of predicting technological advances:

Illustration by Mark S. Fisher.

The Billionaires' Fantasia - The Baffler
BBC - Future - PetMatch: How to find a ‘cat doppelganger’

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