The Trouble with Nowhere


nowhereI cannot agree more with the comments made by Stowe Boyd in his online publication, Work FuturesThe Trouble with Nowhere describes the disconnect people have with the future, and the dangers we create for ourselves by doing so.  A number of points are made by Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine, and Kenneth Boulding, the economist that first suggested the metaphor of Spaceship Earth.  Boulding writes:

There is a great deal of historical evidence to suggest that a society which loses its identity with posterity and which loses its positive image of the future loses also its capacity to deal with present problems, and soon falls apart.

And Kelly, I think, nails it with this comment:

Today we’ve become so aware of the downsides of innovations, and so disappointed with the promises of past utopias, that we now find it hard to believe even in protopia — that tomorrow will be better than today.

The popularity of today’s dystopian novels and movies, the lack of interest in positive futurist fiction and serious science in fiction, and the efforts put into rebooting and reusing old material instead of developing new fiction, bear witness to Kelly’s statement: We have given up on the future, spend too much time dwelling on the past, and dedicate all of our efforts to the ephemeral and transitory needs of today.

Read more in Work Futures.

A Worldview via balloon


World View capsule and balloonWorld View Enterprises, a Tucson, Arizona start-up, has gotten FAA approval for a revolutionary experience, riding 19 miles into the stratosphere and getting a spectacular view of the planet… by balloon.

Which may not sound like much to most jaded humans, until you remember that a commercial airliner generally flies no more than one mile high.   Mount Everest, the highest point on the planet, is about 5.5 miles high.  You’re still in atmosphere, and it’s not quite considered orbit (officially designated as being 100 km or 62 miles high)… but for the view, I’d say it’s frackin’ close enough. Continue reading