Bucky Fuller Returns?

July 23 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: General   Rating: 10 Hot

By Garry Golden

If curators at New York’s Whitney Museum are correct, the world might once again turn towards Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller for inspiration in addressing global challenges.

Bucky Fuller (1895-1983) is widely recognized as one of the world’s great modern visionaries of the 20th century. He was a natural Futurist, not because of his intellect, but his wisdom to challenge widely held assumptions from the world around him.

He blended his skills as a writer, thinker, and engineer into a concept he called “Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science.” Bucky believed that the essence of human life on the planet is to solve problems and continue expanding our awareness and views of what is possible.

New York’s Whitney Museum has re-opened the question of Bucky’s outlook towards the world with its latest exhibition Buckminster Fuller Starting with the Universe running through September 21, 2008.

Our best strategy for addressing problems of the 21st century might be to revisit the core principles of his philosophy related to design, shape and energy. If the Whitney curators, are correct, Bucky Fuller might turn out to be one of the most influential thinkers of not one, but two centuries.

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Cisco Partners with NASA on Planetary Skin Project, Previews Massive Web Collaboration Platform

March 05 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: General   Rating: 10 Hot

MemeboxDigitalPlanet Earth is about to get its own version of the Web!

Cisco Systems is partnering with NASA to create a massive online collaborative global monitoring platform called the "Planetary Skin" to capture, collect, analyze and report data on environmental conditions around the world, while also providing researchers social web services for collaboration. 

This type of platform is essential for Climate and Ecosystem researchers, but it also might be a sneak peak at the future of the Internet.

'Smart Planet': Age of Sensors & Structured Data
If life in the past few decades has been forever altered by complex microprocessor chips, the next century could see the same social disruption via simple, low cost networked sensors and 'embedded objects' that mirror a digital signal of our analog world. But making this disconnected data relevant is a challenge.

The 'Planetary Skin' platform [video] will stitch together 'petabytes' of unstructured data collected by sensors (land, sea, air, space) reporting on changing environmental conditions.  The platform will also allow for 'streamlining of decision making' and 'collaborative swarming' on analysis of relevant data.  The project's first layer, “Rainforest Skin,” will be prototyped during 2009.

Good for NASA, Great for Cisco, and Wonderful for 'Mirror World' Metaverse Enthusiasts

The benefits to NASA and Planetary system researchers is clear.  Forget about Facebook, these scientists are looking for a functional digital research simulation 'Mirror World' (as envisioned by David Gelertner).

Meanwhile, Cisco is working diligently to make itself the most relevant web company in the next era of Internet architecture where collaboration, video, 3D simulations and structured data change the nature of our interactions.  'Planetary Skin' might be Cisco Systems under the radar, but out in the open effort of essentially building its own Internet of Tomorrow.

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SnapShot: 2015

April 01 2008 / by Marisa Vitols / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2015   Rating: 7

If you’re interested in how a specific future year may shape up, the Future Scanner offers a wealth of information to this end. A quick search through 2015 scans revealed a plethora of information about the expected state of cancer treatment, interfaces, artificial intelligence, robotics, the environment and much more.

Take a look at the following results for a quick snapshot of 2015:

Health of the General Population: Although it has been predicted that 75% of Americans will be overweight by then, what and how we’re eating might be very different from today. Check out these winning designs from the competition “Dining in 2015” as well as the potential for elegant designer fruit that could hit grocery stores by 2015. And though the future of fruit is exciting, the future of food prices may not be so, according to this prediction that cereal prices will rise by between 10% and 20% by 2015 due to supplies not matching future demands, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The most exciting prediction regarding health in 2015 is the likelihood that cancer may be well on its way to being cured. According to this Future Blogger post by futuretalk “Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, then director of the National Cancer Institute outlined his goal to eliminate suffering and death from cancer by 2015.”

Gadgets and Gizmos: Lots of exciting technologies to look forward to in this year. Check out these awesome laptop prototypes as well as Nokia’s Nano-phone being developed with the 2015 goal in mind.

(cont.)

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Energy Grand Challenges for the 21st Century

September 22 2008 / by jvarden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 7 Hot

“If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Grand Challenges can be defined as fundamental problems in need of solutions. An Energy Grand Challenge is indeed what its name implies – a competition to be challenged and won in regard to energy use, sustainability, cost, and efficiency.

Multiple teams enter as candidates to reach the goal, whether it is a certain level of fuel efficiency, carbon dioxide removal, or future energy solutions. The winner receives a prize, usually in the form of a generously large sum of money. But the Challenge’s impact, however, is not only on the team that wins the grand prize, but the technology that springs from the research, which can expand its positive influence to affect the world.

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Would Styrofoam Housing Work?

August 25 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Home   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

I recently came upon an interesting article about a village in Japan being built entirely out of Styrofoam. The walls of these buildings are pretty thick, but it only takes three people a few hours to assemble and a layer of mortar and paint ensure protection from the elements. Here’s a short clip of the actual assembly…

Having grown up in a Bucky Fuller dome structure, I immediately took a liking to this shape. Not only is the dome incredibly strong, but it also uses less material than the average home. But having also been raised by hippies, any mention of the word Styrofoam sends chills down my spine. I agree, it’s a great material for a dome structure in that it’s highly insulated against cold and hot temperatures and, like in the video, very easy to build. But there are myriad problems with such a building material.

For instance, the disposal of the houses would be an environmental catastrophe. Also, imagine the toll that 20 years of sun and rain would exert on such a light and highly corrosive structure. There’s a reason water is called the Universal Solvent – it can eat through just about anything given enough time. The idea of an entire village, much less a country, having all its Styrofoam houses replaced is staggering (maybe ship them to war-torn countries to be made into napalm?).

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Friendfeed Journalism, Algae-diesel & a Mega-Mothership

June 12 2008 / by Marisa Vitols / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 5 Hot

The Future Scanner Daily Top 5 serves to highlight 5 of the best scans submitted to the Future Scanner during the last 24 hours.

Europeans Make Big Dent in the Auto Industry

October 24 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger
Category: Environment   Year: 2011   Rating: 4

Chicago Tribune, 2012

According to a June 15 analysis published in the French bi-monthly magazine L’Auto-Journal, a long-standing car magazine, the European Union will soon no longer be on the short list of the top 3 contributors of greenhouse gases. The French-originated NAC (Nouvelle Affaire de Carburant) program, widely known as the New Fuel Deal by the English-speaking world, was initially criticized by citizens of nearly every European nation for being an economic fiasco.

The brainchild of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who served a six month stint as EU president, has certainly paid off for the environment, despite the widespread criticism and dire predictions. The Affaire was created by the members of the EU’s French-led APRE Summit (Automobile-fabricants pour la Protection et la Régénération de l’Environment, or ACRE – Auto-makers for the Conservation and Regenration of the Environment) in 2011, which formed an impressive international think-tank consisting of automobile manufacturers, leaders in the alternative fuel industry, financial wizards and various government officials. Despite initial opposition from such countries as the Czech Republic and Ireland, the plan was consensually ratified in February, 2010.

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