Identifying the Future: The Horizon Beat Manifesto, v.1

Because the algorithms have me figured out, a TED playlist of alternative visions of the Future came through one of my feeds. I generally enjoy these sorts of mind experiments because it causes me to think and society as a whole to discuss possible paths that our developing technology and the global zeitgeist may evolve toward. Many times these ideas can be absurdly utopian and others bone-chillingly dystopian. We need to visualize these paths, as the future of great mass of humanity will lie somewhere between these poles. We have to decide what our cultural goals are, and then determine how our culture and society works and interacts in a heterogeneous population in a biosphere that seems pretty comfortable continuing along without big-brained, self-important apes.

The first TED talk in this playlist was from Anab Jain of Superflux, a video production company that visualizes possible futures based on emerging technology and creates representations of them. She believes that we must see these possible paths. First we eliminate the places we don’t wan to go and then analyze the opportunity costs of the ones that are left.

Charlie Brooker once described Black Mirror as:

 …they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy. And if there’s one thing we know about mankind, it’s this: we’re usually clumsy.

Superflux is trying to let us proceed into the future sure-footed. We only can be so clumsy before we are danger to ourselves and will find out just how interdependent humans are. By visualizing these paths, we make better decisions.

I am an educator and this blog grows from my thoughts and discussions about the future of education. We must not only train students in STEM fields to develop our future technology, but the arts to understand humanity’s complicated relationships with our totems. Our individuals must read, not just for information but to understand the human condition. We must understand our shared history and why we function as we do as individuals and as groups. We must write and communicate and reflect and plan, plan, plan! Education is about facilitating the development of those who will shape our future.

We need to do much better and bring underrepresented voices into this discussion and these discussions must proceed in earnest and on a large scale now. The spectrum of human experience is one of our strengths and multiple viewpoints making judgments can only aid in finding our solutions.

This post is destined to be a static page. Be warned.

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