The “Smart City” is not so much a concrete plan as it is a nebulous ideal, one that encompasses both environmental sustainability and human happiness in the most efficient way possible. And while it’s a matter of opinion whether a given city is designed well enough to be called “smart” there’s no question the world … Continue reading
Author Archives: Scott
Sweden Runs Out of Garbage, Has to Import It
Imagine you’ve got an unlimited budget to create the most efficient garbage system the world has ever seen. (Okay, maybe not the most glamorous hypothetical I’ve ever offered you. But earth’s human population is producing 1,300,000,000 tons of solid waste every year, and it’s got to go somewhere. Just think what a hero you’d be!) … Continue reading
Peter Gabriel Jams With Bonobo; Facebook for Animals Not Far Behind
Ever wanted to text-chat with a bottlenose dolphin? Or collaborate with a bonobo on a chart-topping blues-rock anthem? I’m not promising it’ll happen, but… something like it might. A reader and friend passed along this bizarre and intriguing article from NPR: Peter Gabriel’s Interspecies Internet. The “interspecies internet” project is actually led by Neil Gershenfeld, … Continue reading
What’s Your NSA Exposure? Spy on Yourself and Find Out!
The word “metadata” has been popping up in the news a lot lately, thanks to the revelation that the U.S. National Security Agency has been collecting it from millions of Americans for years. And this is no flash-in-the-pan political scandal that will be forgotten next year; as our ultra-connected, electronic future continues to emerge, we’ll … Continue reading
5 More Wild, But Possible, Futures
Last week, we looked at several crazy – but plausible! – paradigms of the world to come. But there are way more futurist visions than I can fit in a single post, so here are 5 more futures that YOU might end up living in. Which one would you pick, if it was up to … Continue reading
6 Bizarre Theories of the Future (That Could Actually Happen)
What will the future be like? If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you’ll know a few details: massive cities, robot drivers, and computers that connect directly to your brain. But what about the big picture? What’s the whole world going to be like in 1,000 years? As the saying goes, ask 10 different … Continue reading
Can Suburbia Be Sustainable?
Big houses, big lots, big SUVs – you know the drill. Suburbs create pollution, make people drive everywhere, and use up way more space than they need. Can they ever be truly sustainable? Well, I don’t know, but there’s a trend that’s moving in the right direction, and its popularity is growing. Over at the … Continue reading
Solar Panels, Minus the Expensive Toxins
Solar panels are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re a great way to get clean electricity. Unlike fossil fuels, sun power isn’t radically altering our climate, and we won’t be staring down the barrel of a “peak sun” problem for at least another 5 billion years. On the other hand, they are relatively expensive … Continue reading
When Big Brother Lives Next Door
Picture this: it’s the near future, and you’re on a first date. You’re at an average restaurant in the suburbs, somewhere in the US. Your date, like half the people in the restaurant, is wearing a flat pin the size of a postage stamp on one lapel. As if you didn’t have enough reasons to … Continue reading
Smart City: All Brains, No Soul?
Imagine you could build the city of the future, from scratch, right now. What would it look like? What would it do? It’s not a hypothetical question. According to this Salon article, software developer Plan IT intends to do exactly that: “Plan IT Valley” will be a new city located in northern Portugal, and is … Continue reading