Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘dreaming of the future’

Predicting the Future – Maybe It’s What We Make It

Posted by Plish on July 23, 2011

I came across this great little blurb at Impact Lab where Seagrams distillery  made predictions in the 1940’s about what life would be like in the future.  One of the pictures, shown below, shows what is essentially a Sport Bar with flat screen TV’s. 

What’s missing from this scene?  See what you come up with and then continue reading….

The first obvious feature is that the hockey players, including the goalie, are not wearing any protective headgear.

The other aspect is that there are no other races (or women) shown in the image, only white men.

Why do television sets and bars get ‘modernized’ but behaviors don’t?

First, helmets for players.  It was considered uncool for players to use head protection.  It’s a macho thing!   Helmets would get in the way of fans identifying the players!   Why would players in the future be less macho? If anything they’d be more macho, right?  (The natural  question to ask is: are hockey players of the present less macho because they wear helmets?)

I suspect that macho-ism explains the fact that it’s all men in the bar as well.   It’s interesting that a more racially diverse crowd wasn’t considered part of the future.

Let’s shift gears from people to objects – the TV’s. Why did flat screen TV’s in bars get predicted?

Think about the attributes of any product – things like size, weight, speed, flavor, temperature, etc.  The future tends to hold products that are smaller, thinner, lighter, faster, more flavorful, hotter/colder,… well, you get the idea. 

These physical, touchy-feely aspects come into being because we want things to be better.  We imagine them better and make them better. In a way, we make the future.

People, on the other hand, are harder to figure out. 

But then, maybe it’s not that much different.  If we want to predict how people will behave, maybe we should just imagine ourselves better, more open, more loving, more concerned about safety, more concerned about each other…

Then we should just make the future that way.

Posted in Design, Evolution, imagination, innovation, The Future, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

R.A.D. Curricula Needed in Techie Times

Posted by Plish on November 20, 2009

I was recently in a discussion about a do-it-yourself digital camera called the “Big Shot“. 

The main point of contention was whether or not this device actually helped kids learn about photography.

Make no bones about it, the Big Shot definitely has an impact on kids – especially the inner city children that were able to try this out.  The Big Shot is a great tool for getting children together, for giving them pride in what they build, for getting them to socialize, to share their creativity.  Rock On, Big Shot!!

However, with regards to actually teaching about photography, I’m not sure it hits the mark. 

To have a powerful impact teaching anyone anything, the teaching should inspire:

R-Respect for the past

A– Awe of the present experience

D – Dreams for the future

Teaching should be R.A.D. !

Following the R.A.D. model I would propose the following kits and curriculum:

Respect for the past – A do-it-yourself single shot camera kit that lets kids see film developing; A pinhole camera; A contact photograph of a leaf would all be instructive about light and how people took and still take pictures.

Awe for the present experience – Build the Big Shot.

Dreams for the future – This actually happens naturally when ‘R’ and ‘A’ occur.  Ask them to dream based upon what they’ve experienced. 

When the R.A.D. process is followed, people (adults and children alike) see themselves as part of a continuum, not just techno-consumers.

In today’s day, it’s too easy to see technology as a stand alone solution to our problems.  Sure, technology can be helpful, but real solutions start in the locus between the ears and behind the eyes, the place where we bow respectfully to the past, get excited with awe about the present, and realize there is so much more that the future holds, and we’re all a part of it. 


Posted in Authenticity, Brain Stimulation Tools, children, Creative Environments, creativity, culture of innovation, Education, imagination, innovation, Play, Society, Team-Building, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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