What the Futurist holds…

I’m just flicking through the latest issue of The Futurist Magazine which arrived this morning and I thought I’d share with you the highlights of this latest treasure:

* Scent of Success

Apparently Jazz Diet Pepsi was promoted via black cherry scent strips in magazines, Thomson Holidays put smell strips of suntan lotion on their windows to remind people they could escape the cold weather and Midwest Airlines put cookies in the oven  after take off to calm nervous passengers so that the smell of cookies wafts through the cabin as the plan reaches altitude. Did you know that unlike other senses, scent travels directly to the brain’s emotional centres and produces automatic feelings in the receiver? Whereas perceptions registered by other senses travel first through interpretive brains centres before they reach the emotional centres. So the quickest way to reach emotions is through smell . . . So what would a successful agency smell like? Or a good doctor? Will the next widget on the market be customisable Glade plug ins? I wonder…

* Supercentenarians – The secret to a long life

There’s just been a study done on predicting which of us will make it to triple figures and why . . The good news is that women make it to the top of the list, women are much more likely to outlive men when it comes to supercentenarians and can I just include this quote from robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group who says “Women are statistically more likely to survive . . women are designed for endurance whereas men are designed for peak strength . . “. Anyway the big news is that you’re more likely to live longer if you…

1. Social Support –  . . have social interaction, chat on the phone and keep in touch

2. Anthropometrics –  . . have a lower body to fat ratio and higher waist to hip ratio

3. Cognition – . . keep your mind active & keep working on your cognitive abilities

4. Eating Habits – . . eat breakfast regularly & consume substantial amounts of vitamin A & carotenoids

So there you go, you can throw out your overpriced Goiji berries, get back on the treadmill and make the crossword part of your daily routine. Having said that, Jeanne Calment (122 in the Guiness Book of Records) smoked until her 120th birthday so go figure…

Credit for this image to Vermin Inc@ Flickr

Credit for this image to Vermin Inc@ Flickr

* The Singularity

Many scientists , researchers, culture watchers and futurists believe that in the next 4 decades we will enter a phase of rapid & unprecedented technological progress, caused in part by the use of machines to improve themselves using artificial intelligence. The Acceleration Studies Foundation refers to this future period as The Singularity. It will be exciting and absolutely unlike anything humanity has experienced before.

Ok admittedly this sounds a little Matrix-like but it’s a fascinating overview of the future scenarios which may play out in the metaverse space. It basically explores 4 possible scenarios [not dissimilar to the traditional 4 box method of scenario planning – forcing yourself to think through four distinct scenarios based around key themes of impact].

The article explores:

1. Virtual worlds -where humanity spends more time in virtual settings because digital worlds are supremely compelling & seductive or because the real world has suffered widespread collapse.

2. Mirror Worlds – readily accessible data about places and objects creates an ever more sophisticated digital world that mirrors our own.

3. Augmented reality – The tools & technologies of the Mirror World become more personal. Up-to-minute data about people, places and objects enhances our perceptions and deepens our understanding about what’s going on around us.

4. Lifelogging – Digital surveillance, info technology and sensing technology combine to record almost every moment of our lives in a variety of ways. This info is either helpful or hurtful depending on who controls it.

Check out the Accelerated Studies Foundation for more geek treats