Topic: Futures studies

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πŸ”— Timeline of the far future

πŸ”— Physics πŸ”— Lists πŸ”— Statistics πŸ”— Astronomy πŸ”— Time πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Geology πŸ”— Extinction πŸ”— Solar System πŸ”— Astronomy/Solar System

While the future can never be predicted with absolute certainty, present understanding in various scientific fields allows for the prediction of some far-future events, if only in the broadest outline. These fields include astrophysics, which has revealed how planets and stars form, interact, and die; particle physics, which has revealed how matter behaves at the smallest scales; evolutionary biology, which predicts how life will evolve over time; and plate tectonics, which shows how continents shift over millennia.

All projections of the future of Earth, the Solar System, and the universe must account for the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy, or a loss of the energy available to do work, must rise over time. Stars will eventually exhaust their supply of hydrogen fuel and burn out. Close encounters between astronomical objects gravitationally fling planets from their star systems, and star systems from galaxies.

Physicists expect that matter itself will eventually come under the influence of radioactive decay, as even the most stable materials break apart into subatomic particles. Current data suggest that the universe has a flat geometry (or very close to flat), and thus will not collapse in on itself after a finite time, and the infinite future allows for the occurrence of a number of massively improbable events, such as the formation of Boltzmann brains.

The timelines displayed here cover events from the beginning of the 11th millennium to the furthest reaches of future time. A number of alternative future events are listed to account for questions still unresolved, such as whether humans will become extinct, whether protons decay, and whether the Earth survives when the Sun expands to become a red giant.

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πŸ”— List of Emerging Technologies

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— Lists πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Invention

Emerging technologies are those technical innovations that represent progressive innovations within a field for competitive advantage.

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πŸ”— List of stories set in a future now past

πŸ”— Lists πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Sociology πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Science πŸ”— Popular Culture

This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted is now present or past. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict, alternative futures, as depicted in time travel fiction, as well as any works that make no predictions of the future, such as those focusing solely on the future lives of specific fictional characters, or works which, despite their claimed dates, are contemporary in all but name. Entries referencing the current year may be added if their month and day were not specified or have already occurred.

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πŸ”— Creeping normality

πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Sociology πŸ”— Futures studies

Creeping normality (also called landscape amnesia) is a process by which a major change can be accepted as normal and acceptable if it happens slowly through small, often unnoticeable, increments of change. The change could otherwise be regarded as objectionable if it took place in a single step or short period.

American scientist, Jared Diamond, first coined the phrase creeping normality in his 2005 book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Prior to releasing his book, Diamond explored this theory while attempting to explain why, in the course of long-term environmental degradation, Easter Island natives would, seemingly irrationally, chop down the last tree:

"I suspect, though, that the disaster happened not with a bang but with a whimper. After all, there are those hundreds of abandoned statues to consider. The forest the islanders depended on for rollers and rope didn't simply disappear one dayβ€”it vanished slowly, over decades."

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πŸ”— Kardashev Scale

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— Environment πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Astronomy πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Energy

The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy they are able to use. The measure was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. The scale has three designated categories:

  • A TypeΒ I civilization, also called a planetary civilizationβ€”can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
  • A TypeΒ II civilization, also called a stellar civilizationβ€”can use and control energy at the scale of its stellar system.
  • A TypeΒ III civilization, also called a galactic civilizationβ€”can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.

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πŸ”— Societal Collapse

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— History πŸ”— Economics πŸ”— Politics πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Sociology πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Culture πŸ”— Demographics

Societal collapse (also known as civilizational collapse) is the fall of a complex human society characterized by the loss of cultural identity and of socioeconomic complexity, the downfall of government, and the rise of violence. Possible causes of a societal collapse include natural catastrophe, war, pestilence, famine, and depopulation. A collapsed society may revert to a more primitive state, be absorbed into a stronger society, or completely disappear.

Virtually all civilizations have suffered this fate regardless of size or complexity. But some revived and transformed, such as China and Egypt, while others never recovered, such as the Mayan Empire and the civilization on Easter Island. Societal collapse is generally a quick process, but rarely abrupt. Yet some have not collapsed but have only gradually faded away, as in the case of the British Empire since 1918.

Anthropologists, (quantitative) historians, and sociologists have proposed a variety of explanations for the collapse of civilizations involving causative factors such as environmental change, depletion of resources, unsustainable complexity, decay of social cohesion, rising inequality, secular decline of cognitive abilities, loss of creativity, and misfortune. However, complete extinction of a culture is rare; in most cases, the new societies that arise from the ashes of the old one are evidently its offspring, despite a dramatic reduction in sophistication. Moreover, the influence of a collapsed society, say that of the Roman Empire, may linger on long after its death.

Societal collapse is studied by specialists of history, anthropology, sociology, and political science. More recently, they are joined by experts in cliodynamics and study of complex systems.

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πŸ”— Delphi Method

πŸ”— Statistics πŸ”— Futures studies

The Delphi method or Delphi technique ( DEL-fy; also known as Estimate-Talk-Estimate or ETE) is a structured communication technique or method, originally developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts. The technique can also be adapted for use in face-to-face meetings, and is then called mini-Delphi or Estimate-Talk-Estimate (ETE). Delphi has been widely used for business forecasting and has certain advantages over another structured forecasting approach, prediction markets.

Delphi is based on the principle that forecasts (or decisions) from a structured group of individuals are more accurate than those from unstructured groups. The experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds. After each round, a facilitator or change agent provides an anonymised summary of the experts' forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. Thus, experts are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of their panel. It is believed that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge towards the "correct" answer. Finally, the process is stopped after a predefined stop criterion (e.g., number of rounds, achievement of consensus, stability of results), and the mean or median scores of the final rounds determine the results.

Special attention has to be paid to the formulation of the Delphi theses and the definition and selection of the experts in order to avoid methodological weaknesses that severely threaten the validity and reliability of the results.

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πŸ”— Ray Kurzweil 2019 Predictions

πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Alternative Views πŸ”— Futures studies

American author, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil has become well known for his predictions about artificial intelligence and the human species, mainly concerning the technological singularity. He predicts that Artificial Intelligence would outsmart the human brain in computational capabilities by mid-21st century. His first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990, put forth his theories on the results of the increasing use of technology and predicted the explosive growth in the internet, among other predictions. Later works, 1999's The Age of Spiritual Machines and 2005's The Singularity is Near outlined other theories including the rise of clouds of nano-robots (nanobots) called foglets and the development of Human Body 2.0 and 3.0, whereby nanotechnology is incorporated into many internal organs.

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πŸ”— The Triple Revolution

πŸ”— Economics πŸ”— Politics πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Civil Rights Movement

"The Triple Revolution" was an open memorandum sent to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and other government figures on March 22, 1964. Drafted under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, it was signed by an array of noted social activists, professors, and technologists who identified themselves as the Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution. The chief initiator of the proposal was W. H. "Ping" Ferry, at that time a vice-president of CSDI, basing it in large part on the ideas of the futurist Robert Theobald.

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