SAN FRANCISCO — Inside a darkened theater a viewer floats in a redwood forest displayed with Imax-like clarity on a cavernous overhead screen.
The hovering sensation gives way to vertigo as the camera dives deeper into the forest, approaches a branch of a giant redwood tree, and then plunges first into a single leaf and then into an individual cell. Inside the cell the scene is evocative of the 1966 science fiction movie “Fantastic Voyage,” in which Lilliputian humans in a minuscule capsule take a medical journey through a human body.
There is an important difference — “Life: A Cosmic Journey,” a multimedia presentation now showing at the new Morrison Planetarium here at the California Academy of Sciences, relies not just on computer animation techniques, but on a wealth of digitized scientific data as well.
Futurescaper is an online tool for making sense of the drivers, trends and forces that will shape the future. As a user interface system, it is horrible. As a tool for analyzing and understanding complex systems, it works pretty well. Several people asked me about this after my last post, so here is some more detail.
Following the logic of collective intelligence (as part of my my PhD), I broke up the the scenario thinking process into discrete chunks, came up with a system for analyzing and relating them together, and then distilled them into key outputs for helping the scenario development process: 1) Emergent Thematic Maps 2) Revealing Hidden Connections 3) Drilling Down
Have you ever thought about how completely irrelevant structured learning is? Indeed. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot unlearn and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler. The video below advocates a change in how we learn – network-centric, personal, based on your context, not based on some institution’s agenda. (Thanks to Judi Clark for sending me the link to this video.)
Burkhard Bilger in The New Yorker profiles David Eagleman, a brilliant researcher who’s studying the brain, consciousness, and the perception of time. At a personal level I’ve spent a lot of time in recent years studying and trying to comprehend my own degrees and levels of consciousness and perception. We think of our “conscious experience” as a constant, and our unconscious as inaccessible… but through attention we learn that there are gradations in the range of conscious to “un-” or “sub-” conscious experience; that perceptions can vary with context; that memory is selective and undependable; that our perception of the world is generally incomplete though we do a good job of filling the gaps. When David Eagleman was a child he fell from a roof and realized that his perception of time had changed as he was falling. Now he’s doing evidence-based research to determine how people experience the world, what are the variations, how does the brain work and how does the mind work? Read about it here. If you know about similar studies and writings, please post in comments.
Although making no reference to Buckminster Fuller and Medard Gabel that we could find, the International Futures Forum offers a useful series of pages on elements of the World Game that they work with. Here we publish the Twelve Factors and the underlying elements for each.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has announced a new initiative launching April 8, 2011: The National Conversation at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The National Conversation will examine overarching themes of U.S. international and domestic policy, drawing on high-profile guests and experts from all sides of the political sphere to provide thoughtful, intelligent explorations of challenging issues with the goal of informing the national public policy debate.
From uprisings in the Arab world to troubled economies around the globe, challenges to America’s role in the global community have seldom been greater or more complex. And with economic woes at home and our military capacity stretched thin through involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, many are left wondering about our ability to respond and adapt to a rapidly changing world. At a time when national unity around a shared vision is lacking, there is a growing belief that a new national security narrative must emerge that defines the role of the U.S. in global affairs for a new century. But can we achieve such a national consensus in this era of hyper-partisanship? A possible answer comes in the form of an anonymous “white paper.” Two US military officers have written an essay describing a vision for the missing narrative under the authorship of “Mr. Y.” Join our panel as it discusses the ideas contained in this provocative paper from an unexpected source. Is this the blueprint for the narrative we seek?
The inaugural National Conversation kicks off April 8 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., with a discussion on the search for a new national security narrative to guide U.S. policy in the 21st Century. Five panelists will participate in a discussion moderated by award-winning New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman. The panel will feature: Steve Clemons, founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation; Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim American to be elected into the U.S. Congress; Robert Kagan, senior fellow for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution; Brent Scowcroft, U.S. national security adviser to President Ford and President H.W. Bush; and Professor Anne Marie Slaughter, former director for policy planning for the U.S. Department of State and current Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.
REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement.
On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”
Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft's way of life. Shot in cinemascope on 35mm film in Silicon Valley, REVOLUTION OS tracks down the key movers and shakers behind Linux, and finds out how and why Linux became such a potent threat.
REVOLUTION OS features interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda. To view the trailer or the first eight minutes go to the ifilm website for REVOLUTION OS.