Monthly Archives: September 2012

More on beef and other industrially grown meat

A friend pointed me to this very interesting TED talk on industrial meat production (the beef part of it).

Not only is this very interesting overall but also some specific data points are actually quite eye opening. For instance the section that refers to today’s consumption versus decades ago was quite surprising.

I’m glad I switched to grass fed beef years ago see this previous post for more details.

 

GenX, a generation squeezed between baby boomers and Netgen

In this interesting podcast ("IdeaCast") from Harvard Business Review Publishing on Generation X the author explains how my generation is squeezed between baby-boomers and GenY/Netgen.

http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2008/05/harvard-business-ideacast-95-w.html

Although I agree with most of what is said I think the author forgot one important detail.

Indeed, my generation grew up with the end of the economic boom in the western world and the first oil crisis, the rise of unemployment and Aids and for some of us tough job market as we were getting out of college. However, many still made it and thrived so maybe this gave us a little edge when it comes to resilience don’t you think?

Anyway, I’ll advise you to subscribe to the IdeaCast podcast, they often cover interesting topics.

Long time trend forecasting

The human mind can only really comprehend linear changes. When it comes to exponential ones, very few can grasp what this means. (maybe Jules Vernes in his time managed to, but this is more an exception than the rule for sure)

Truth being told, in most cases, exponential evolution seldom lasts long. As the saying goes, even the tallest building never reaches the sky (or something like this).

However, it’s fascinating to read these books from futurologist like Ray Kurzweil or James Canton. They give you a great perspective of what could be vs. what you could think of. Even if I’m myself very technologically oriented, it’s mind boggling to see what they come up with by interpolating current trends and connecting dots.

Take for instance this Nokia video on what nanotech, one of those megatrends, could bring to the world of mobile phones (though one could hardly call this a phone). Really amazing and possible.

Nokia “Morph” concept

 

Anyway, if this is something of interest, here are a few books I can advise. I read the first one and I assisted at a talk by the author of the second one a few years back. I prefer the first one as I think Kurt is discounting a bit to quickly the complexity of the human brain that one could be able to model it completely that quickly (and even less be able to simulate the brains of the whole human brain in 1 laptop sized computer by 2040-ish). There is so much in the interactions between our brain-cells that go beyond a simple electrical signal model (hormones…) that I think it will take a long time (if ever) to really be able to model a real human brain with enough accuracy.

 

The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 Years: James Canton: Books

 

 

 

 

 

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology: Ray Kurzweil: Books

 

 

 

 

 

Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism: Patricia Aburdene: Books