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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Living in the Future

futur

Anyone who knows me at all well knows that I have a favourite saying – not a known phrase, and not a clever one either. ‘I love living in the future’. That’s it – simple! It’s very easy to forget quite how far our society has come in such a short space of time. Today we live in a world where everything is perpetually at our fingertips. Any information you desire, any dialogue with any one of millions of people; even face to face conversations over huge distances – it’s all so easy. I have a telephone I can carry around with me, so I’m never unreachable. I’m never lost either – it can pinpoint my exact location in the world. A generation ago this was the stuff of science fiction. So what does this have to do with a Nottingham blog for creatives?

If I’m honest, not a great deal. I was driven to write this post after seeing two convergent points of media. Firstly, there is a series being shown on the BBC at the moment – The Virtual Revolution. If you missed the first episode, that’s okay. We’re living in the future after all, so just grab it, watch it whenever and wherever you like. The show highlights both where the web as we know it has come from – including the incredible culture of freedom and openness – as well as where it seems to be heading, in terms of global social interaction and the power all this information seems to possess.
The other catalyst for my reflection came from an item that dropped into the CreativeNottingham inbox. It doesn’t directly concern Nottingham, as far as I can see, but one Yishay Mor of the London Knowledge Lab has posted the preamble for an academic project he’s working on. Entitled, ‘A Design Epistemology for Studying the Social Impact of New Technologies’, it was interesting for several reasons. It reinforces something that was touched on in the BBC programme – the power of sites such as Ushahidi to affect real change in the world. It also details how studying the effects of social technologies could directly lead to the refinement of said technologies, and could thereafter amplify those effects, whatever they may be.
What about it, though? Think about what you do for a living. If it doesn’t directly involve the internet, I bet it has been radically altered by the proliferation of the web. It’s going to keep on changing, too – some futurologists believe that, at some stage, we will reach a technological tipping point, a period of exponential growth in which the pace of our development will skyrocket. I’m not suggesting we’re there yet, but perhaps with the web, we’re gathering pace. As more people around the globe come online, so more information will be added to the sum of our knowledge, and so we will have to scramble to understand and adopt.
Think about recent examples, where businesses have failed to understand technology before getting involved – there’s plenty of egg on many a face. If you can’t, or won’t, keep up with the pace, you risk falling by the wayside, behind competitors or newcomers.
So, am I right? Wrong? Am I a starry-eyed idiot, with no concept of the real world? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, so sound off below!

If I’m honest, not a great deal. I was driven to write this post after seeing two convergent points of media. Firstly, there is a series being shown on the BBC at the moment – The Virtual Revolution. If you missed the first episode, that’s okay. We’re living in the future after all, so just grab it, watch it whenever and wherever you like. The show highlights both where the web as we know it has come from – including the incredible culture of freedom and openness – as well as where it seems to be heading, in terms of global social interaction and the power all this information seems to possess.

The other catalyst for my reflection came from an item that dropped into the CreativeNottingham inbox. It doesn’t directly concern Nottingham, as far as I can see, but one Yishay Mor of the London Knowledge Lab has posted the preamble for an academic project he’s working on. Entitled, ‘A Design Epistemology for Studying the Social Impact of New Technologies’, it was interesting for several reasons. It reinforces something that was touched on in the BBC programme – the power of sites such as Ushahidi to affect real change in the world. It also details how studying the effects of social technologies could directly lead to the refinement of said technologies, and could thereafter amplify those effects, whatever they may be.

What about it, though? Think about what you do for a living. If it doesn’t directly involve the internet, I bet it has been radically altered by the proliferation of the web. It’s going to keep on changing, too – some futurologists believe that, at some stage, we will reach a technological tipping point, a period of exponential growth in which the pace of our development will skyrocket. I’m not suggesting we’re there yet, but perhaps with the web, we’re gathering pace. As more people around the globe come online, so more information will be added to the sum of our knowledge, and so we will have to scramble to understand and adopt.

Think about recent examples, where businesses have failed to understand technology before getting involved – there’s plenty of egg on many a face. If you can’t, or won’t, keep up with the pace, you risk falling by the wayside, behind competitors or newcomers.

So, am I right? Wrong? Am I a starry-eyed idiot, with no concept of the real world? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, so sound off below!