Appendix 3. Resources – Media and Tools for Better Futures

Audio and Podcasts

In early 2017, the US mobile phone carrier oligopoly (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) were driven, in response to a competitive move by T-Mobile (the smallest US carrier, owned by a consumer-focused European giant, Deutsche Telekom), to finally offer the US public the first affordable unlimited streaming data plans. As we’ve discussed elsewhere in the Guide, the pattern of the most useful innovation coming first from the smallest players in a market, with the biggest players being in many ways counterinnovative (seeking to slow and patent and sit on innovation as long as possible), is a classic economic dynamic. We call it call the Innovation 80/20 Rule. Fortunately, once a really useful new innovation emerges from one of the smaller players in the long tail, and that firm starts gaining market share because of it, the big players in the fat head have to respond by rolling out the innovation that their own engineers and innovators have long wanted to do but have been prevented from doing by profit-maximizing executive priorities.

There’s nothing evil about this counterinnovative corporate behavior, they are just doing what they think is smartest for their firm, until market conditions show signs of change. As long as economic concentration exists (a fat head or oligopoly at the top), big company incentives will typically be aligned to try to control and slow down innovation, maximizing current shareholder return. There are big company exceptions to this rule (company culture can easily be more powerful than this market pattern), and society needs big companies to do big R&D and create scale, but those who care about innovation should always fund and patronize a good fraction of small firms and their early stage R&D and innovation, as a few of them will one day become large as a result, and that small-firm support, when they do good things, keeps the large firms accountable to the customer.

The good news is that average Americans can now start a habit of streaming audio from a raft of web-based platforms during our commutes and while exercising. We can now stream just the audio we want through our phones, with the ability to skip forward through ads and content that we don’t find interesting. If you value your time, and want more interesting and useful audio, I really recommend getting audio apps for your phones, and streaming them in your car and wearing your phone while exercising. The interfaces for these platforms still suck, you can’t easily remove or downvote content you don’t like, but streaming audio (like video) is now finally affordable for most of us. These platforms are primitive, but they already suck a lot less than radio, which is yesterday’s platform.

Try Amazon’s Audible for audiobooks,  and for podcasts, iTunes if you are on iOS, and Stitcher or one of its competitors if you are on Android. Google Play has a nice interface for building music playlists, but a terrible interface for podcasts. I presently use Google Play playlists for my work and exercise music, and Stitcher for my podcasts (2017). If you have a newer car, or buy a car radio with Bluetooth integration, your podcasts will start from your phone, taking you back to your last listening position, every time you enter your car, finally making your streaming audio a “lean back” experience.

Search “future” on iTunes (Mac) and Stitcher (Android) and you will find over fifty podcast shows on the future of banking, manufacturing, farming, sustainability, hiring, advertising, you name it. Many of these are highly variable in quality. But the good podcasts, when you can find them, are far more interesting than having to suffer through yet another low-value story on NPR, which is the best thing on radio today (that’s not saying a lot).

Good foresighters and futurists should keep in mind that there are far more interesting and profitable and powerful things happening all around us than the latest stories we find on NPR today. What is reported on NPR today, while usually being the best option on the radio dial, is still mostly fluff and distraction, and political side shows, with short bits of truly useful news and analysis. NPR still reports a ton of useless fluff like what Trump does, but most serious future thinkers have no need for more than a few minutes a week of updates on his latest antics. Anyone with a longer term perspective should appreciate that his presidency, and the institution of the modern presidency in general, will have only a minor impact on the accelerating entrepreneurship and increasingly digitally intelligent futures we are all busily creating.

The leading global stories have shifted, and we need a lot less coverage of the Beltway, and a lot more on science, entrepreneurship, innovation, tech, local politics, and activism. We need to be able to customize our sources to fit our politics, which should be neither right or left, but up, seeking to understand and accelerate progress, however we personally define it.

The faster we all migrate to a better listening platform, like streaming audio through your phone, the sooner our leading radio news and analysis providers like NPR will have to up their game. At present streaming platforms are largely “lean forward”, meaning you will have to take time every so often to select what you want to listen to. But eventually they’ll be mostly “lean back”, allowing you to automatically pull the kind of content you want from the web. Once versions of streaming audio platforms emerge with intuitive voice control and much better customization, via smart agents and personal AIs, people will start using streaming audio systems en masse, perhaps by the mid-2020s.

NPR will of course become a much more interesting and customizable experience in coming years as well. But each of us can help goad it to a better platform. From now on, if you support NPR, as our family does, I would try to listen to them, and donate, through their online streaming app, rather than through old school radio. Start the shift your listening to the better platform, as soon as you can. As a radio leader, NPR should be leading the move to streaming, and their online platform should be highly customizable to your listening interests. They won’t make it customizable until they’re forced to do so by a small, hungry upstart, offering you a better streaming audio experience.

So keep in mind that your mind deserves better audio than radio, and now you can get better audio affordably, if you just put a little effort into collecting it. Move past radio to create your own streaming playlists, customized to your own interests, on your favorite streaming platforms, and you’ll learn a lot more useful things about the amazing world around you.

Let me recommend just a few good podcasts to start:

Exponential Wisdom, Dan Sullivan and Peter Diamandis. Explores how technology is a driving force that is causing more innovations, new ideas and new technologies, and better and worse ways to use technology to create social progress.

Future Grind, covering Science, Tech, Business, Politics, and Futurism. Hosted and produced by entrepreneur and futurist Ryan O’Shea. Fun and accessible indie podcast. Nice open source and DIY focus.

Future Meets Law, Brian Cave. Excellent coverage of LegalTech, startups, innovation, and the future of law, conflict resolution, and risk management.

Future Thinkers, Obsessed with All Things Future: Singularity, Tech, Spirituality, and Philosophy
Hosts Mike Gilliland (@mikegilliland) and Euvie Ivanova (@euvieivanova) are two insightful, accelaware futurists living in asia (Vietnam and Bangkok respectively). They have a refereshingly humanistic take on the singularity, human empowerment and spirituality in a world of accelerating change.

Predicting Our Future, Host is Andrew Weinreich, graduate of Fordham U. Law, Serial Entrepreneur and Startup Coach. Excellent production values and research and interviews go into this show at present. Andrew started his podcast with an excellent three-part series on the future of online voting, and what we may need to do to eventually reform our painfully low voter turnout, which is almost always below 60% even for Presidential elections, and create a more democratic future.

Renewable Future. Host is Stora Enso, a €10B revenues pulp and paper manufacturer and renewable packaging provider headquartered in Finland, operating on four continents. Megatrends in consumer demand, sustainability, packaging. Light but informative. 15 min shows.

Review the Future, Technology’s (Accelerating) Impact on Culture. Hosts Ted Kupper (@tedkupper) and Jon Perry (@perryjon) are two more smart and accelaware young futurists, based in Los Angeles, CA USA. I enjoy their insights on the way our lives and work are being impacted by accelerating computing, communication, automation and nanotechnologies. Though their assumptions about the future of biotech and longevity are far too overoptimistic, most everything else they talk about is very well done.

Technotopia, John Biggs. Good diverse set of interviews with technologists, marketers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and a fun variety of social innovators. Techcrunch platform.

The Edge: The Power to Change Your Life Now, and The Tony Robbins Show, Tony Robbins.
A great quick intro to Robbin’s approach to taking control of our inner feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, improving our health and energy, and using a vastly better inner world to practice better foresight and action in the outer world. If you don’t already think you’re in a peak emotional and mental state, and even if you do, I recommend this 2 CD overview of his world view and toolsets. If you find this as valuable as I think you will, make the commitment to read his entire classic 512 page book, Awaken The Giant (Within), 1991/2013. Very likely that will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

The Long Now Podcasts. Two monthly audio podcasts, one Seminars About Long-Term Thinking (SALT), with monthly speakers in front of large audiences, and the second, Conversations at the Interval, with less famous speakers, in smaller setting of Long Now’s bar / cafe / museum space in San Francisco.

The Future of Everything. Host is the Wall Street Journal. “How science and technology are revolutionizing business, industry, culture, and society. Excellent production values.” Excellent content and top production values. 20 min shows.

The Future of Work Podcast. Hosted by author, futurist, and speaker Jacob Morgan. Great interview choices, accessible style, really good complex content and questions. Super-relevant topics.

The Tim Ferriss Show, Tim Ferriss. Great show by a relentless self-experimenter and personal productivity optimizer. He seeks to “deconstruct world-class performers” to understand their secrets. Educational and inspirational.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice