September 9th, 2013
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

"Screw genetics! Screw aging! I want abs this summer… and arms that are somewhere between Madonna and Michelle Obama." 

As a generation raised on Adderall and The Biggest Loser, Millennials don’t feel limited by their DNA or what they see in the mirror. Given the right discipline, money, or tools they’re confident they can make their bodies do or BE whatever they want. That might mean taking energy shots (delete that 2:30 feeling!) or implanting magnets under the skin (free wifi!). The singularity IS near!*

"That’s the thing, it’s not that much of a leap," said Cannon. "We’ve had pacemakers since the ’70s." Brain implants are now being used to treat Parkinson’s disease and depression. Scientists hope that brain implants might soon restore mobility to paralyzed limbs. The crucial difference is that grinders are pursuing this technology for human enhancement, without any medical need.”  - Cyborg America, The Verge.com

*”The end-game for all this is ‘singularity’: a state of super-intelligence that could entail endless implants and body modifications - and the end of humanity as we know it. A long time before we get there, however, will be the embracing of wearable technology by the internet’s biggest brands; Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.” - Rise of the Bodyhackers, Techradar

"Biological evolution is too slow for the human species.  Over the next few decades, it’s going to be left in the dust." - Ray Kurzweil

IMPLICATION

Man, machine: they’re merging for business and/or pleasure. Understand how you can support bodyhackers before they really mess themselves up.

image via phoenixnewtimes

Reblogged from NXT
April 5th, 2013
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

#climatecontrol

Look out your window – lately the weather’s been CRAY. 2012 featured a number of extreme weather events, from SuperStorm Sandy to snowfall in the Middle East. Besides devastating communities and ruining infrastructure, these events have also served as a warning: the earth is getting warmer. At this point, it doesn’t matter who or what is to blame – but it’s clear we need to work to reduce emissions, prepare for dangerous climate conditions and even figure out how to prevent future warming from occurring. While geoengineering can feel like a comic-book answer to our problems, it won’t fix the behaviors that are causing this in the first place, and leads to the question: Will we really be willing to give up bacon* to save a few glaciers?

*“The trillions of farm animals around the world generate 18 percent of the emissions that are raising global temperatures, according to United Nations estimates, more even than from cars, buses and airplanes” (NYT).

“Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds… Phil Adams, a retired freelance photographer from North Carolina, said he was “fairly cynical” about scientists and their theories. But he believes very much in climate change because of what he’s seen with his own eyes” (CSMonitor).

“‘Each year we have extreme weather, but it’s unusual to have so many extreme events around the world at once,’ said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva. ‘The heat wave in Australia; the flooding in the U.K., and most recently the flooding and extensive snowstorm in the Middle East — it’s already a big year in terms of extreme weather calamity’” (NYT).

“If we want to avoid large climate change we need to act now on greenhouse gases,” he said. “Global warming is not yet damaging, but if we do nothing in the coming years we will have more extreme events, droughts, storms and so on” (Columbia).

“In his September 6 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, President Obama — whose reticence about so much as mentioning global warming has flummoxed environmental activists — used the subject to launch an unexpected attack on his opponent. “Climate change is not a hoax,” the president declared. “More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children’s future.” In the after-speech gabfest, Politico cited the moment as one of Obama’s top applause lines” (The Atlantic).

IMPLICATIONS

As climate change becomes less a problem for posterity and more a troubling reality, it’s time to tighten the belt on emissions for both consumers and companies. That’s if you want a belt in the future.

image via gunaxin

Reblogged from NXT
January 25th, 2013
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

#madeintheusa

If there is anything Dov Charney and Rick Santorum can agree on, it’s that the internet can be harsh American-made products are pretty great. Companies like GE, Apple and even the legendary Frisbee-maker Wham-O are relocating production of their wares stateside. While there is a solid business rationale – reduced shipping costs, protection of IP, ease of collaboration between the people who design the product and those that make it – there is an equally strong emotional component. Whether it signifies quality craftsmanship, a resurgence of our economy, or is just a rosy afterglow from the Olympics, people from Detroit to LA are bursting with a new nationalism that’s satisfied by buying stuff labeled “Made in the USA.”

“GE’s appliance unit does $5 billion in business—and today, 55 percent of that revenue comes from products made in the United States. By the end of 2014, GE expects 75 percent of the appliance business’s revenue to come from American-made products like dishwashers, water heaters, and refrigerators, and the company expects that its sales numbers will be larger, as the housing market revives” (The Atlantic).

“…In a survey last year of 1,300 affluent shoppers by Unity Marketing, a Pennsylvania-based consulting and marketing group, respondents ranked the United States first (higher than Italy or France) in perceived manufacturing quality of luxury goods” (NYT).

“In an email to supporters of his grassroots group ‘Patriot Voices’ Tuesday, [Rick Santorum] unveiled a ‘Made in the USA Christmas Challenge.’ ‘We want you to … buy as many Christmas and holiday presents as you can that are made right here in the U.S.,’ reads the email from Santorum and his wife, Karen. ‘As you hit the stores on Black Friday, be mindful of who’s made what you’re buying’” (USNews).

“To some, this inauguration, in fact, may have been as much an occasion for celebrating the first lady’s style… Her choices are safe but interesting, with enough of a story and a variety to keep fashion obsessives engrossed. Wearing a broad array of mostly American designers also feeds into the idea that she is doing her part for the fashion industry” (NYT).

Implications:

We’re going to have to learn how to make stuff again.

image via American Apparel

Reblogged from NXT
December 12th, 2012
themodernworld
In 2013 the conversation will shift from ‘Climate Change’ to ‘Climate Control.’
SB
September 21st, 2012
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

OUTSOURCE YOUR LIFE

The newest outsourcing isn’t Fortune 500 companies sending work overseas. Instead, it’s average people relying on technology to make time for the things they want to do and avoid the things they don’t. New jobs that never existed before have been created in a world where individuals are increasingly specialized.

“In an effort to improve productivity, some companies are turning to personal concierge services. The idea is to let someone else plan employees’ trips — both for work and leisure — find them a plumber or a dog sitter, or choose where to take their car for an oil change….“Concierge services used to be associated with this white-glove service of bringing you a lobster at 4 a. m., but the new concierge is more about saving time,” said Daniel Abas, founder of Red Butler” (NYT).

In the 1940s, there were no life coaches; in 2010, there were 30,000. The last time I Googled “dating coach,” 1,200,000 entries popped up. “Wedding planner” had over 25 million entries. The newest entry, Rent-a-Friend, has 190,000 entries” (NYT).

“Apps such as Habit Maker, Habit Breaker let users choose the behavior they’d like to target, whether it’s saying “thank you” more or going shopping less” (The Atlantic).

IMPLICATIONS

If we farm out our actions and our decisions, how will we take responsibility for our actions? 

Reblogged from NXT
August 23rd, 2012
themodernworld

"Local" might not be enough anymore, the TRU trap should be looking to buy "Native"

June 8th, 2012
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

MATH IS DEAD

In a world where technology is omnipresent and information is only a few clicks away, memorization and facts have gone the way of the landline. 

“Unlike literature, history, politics and music, math has little relevance to everyday life…All the mathematics one needs in real life can be learned in early years without much fuss. Most adults have no contact with math at work, nor do they curl up with an algebra book for relaxation. Those who do love math and science have been doing very well…Our graduate schools are the best in the world. The [US] has produced about 140 Nobel laureates since 1983 (about as many as before 1983). As for the rest, there is no obligation to love math any more than grammar, composition, curfew or washing up after dinner” (Washington Post).

In just a few years, technology has revolutionized what it means to go to nursing school…but the most profound recent change is a move away from the profession’s dependence on committing vast amounts of information to memory. It is not that nurses need to know less, educators say, but that the amount of essential data has exploded” (NYT).

“It’s one thing to read and love a poem, and it’s another to carry the words with you all the time, ready at any moment to share them with someone else. This is all to say that when Heffernan mentioned the poetry-memorizing iPhone app VerseByHeart, I knew immediately that I wanted to try it out. I don’t even have an iPhone, but I borrowed one and got straight to work” (The New Yorker).

IMPLICATIONS

What do we loose when we stop memorizing? How can we take advantage of the “extra space” we’ve created in our minds by outsourcing memorization to technology?

Photo Source: Payton Lacivita

Reblogged from NXT
February 12th, 2012
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

SECRETS ARE SEXY

Secrets are currency, especially considering that people have no cash. In the digital age everything is available, all the time. Choosing who we share with, who gets to know, is power.

“The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts” (NYT).

“[Speakeasies] can be found all over the United States, skulking in the shadows. Obtrusively furtive, they represent one of the strangest exercises in nostalgia ever to grip the public, an infatuation with the good old days of Prohibition… Make it illegal, and they will come. If the authorities will not oblige, make it feel illegal” (NYT).

AmEx has launched a travel service that provides a series of surprises rather than an itinerary. “It creates sense of anticipation. (‘What will happen?’) And serendipity. (‘What could happen?’) And adventure. (‘This should be great!’) Most of all, it delivers a warm current of randomness. Our life is unpredictable” (Harvard Business Review).

IMPLICATION

Are straight-forward, simple, intuitive experiences—which have been the pursuit of good design for ages—over?

Reblogged from NXT
February 11th, 2012
themodernworld

nxtfuture:

YOU OWN NOTHING

How would you feel if someone deleted your Facebook account, forever? A lot of things you probably care about are in the hands of other people. Access is more important than ownership. This isn’t new, which is why your parents have rented videos from the video shop since forever. But now more of your things, more of your information, and more of your ideas are not really your own, and you don’t care. 

We rent/share everything: movies (Netflix), games (GameFly), dresses (Rent the Runway), cars (Zipcar, Carshare), rides, bikes, electricity, artwork, textbooks, space for working (OpenDesks), skills, gardens, parking spots, CSAs (Collaborative Consumption).

Google owns your life: “If you ever used Google while logged in to your account to search for a person, a symptom, a medical side effect, a political idea; if you ever gossiped using one of Google’s services, all of this is on Google’s servers… You can never undo it or unclick it. It stays there forever” (CNN).

Ideas are for everyone: “Dr. Nielsen and other advocates for ‘open science’ say science can accomplish much more, much faster, in an environment of friction-free collaboration over the Internet. And despite a host of obstacles, including the skepticism of many established scientists, their ideas are gaining traction” (NYT).

IMPLICATION

So the days of saving pennies for a new car may be over, but now you have to share everything with everyone else.

Reblogged from NXT
February 9th, 2012
themodernworld

TREND: JUST ENOUGH

nxtfuture:

A sharp economic downturn has changed consumer spending habits. People are saving more, reducing debt, and spending less. Rather than a temporary adjustment to economics conditions, however, some are arguing that we are seeing a shift in how people value their money and possessions. GEN-Y meanwhile, is inspired to live with less, shying away from the intense materialism of previous generations.

Read More

Reblogged from NXT
February 1st, 2012
themodernworld

HEALTH TREND: YOUR JUDGMENT SUCKS

nxtfuture:

According to Real Simple, “When you’re feeling virtuous after you’ve exercised, it’s easy to eat back all the calories you just burned (and then some). If you’re looking to lose weight, that won’t help you toward your goal, says Molly Morgan, a registered dietitian.”

People evaluate their behavior all the time. But when it comes to health, their conclusions are based more on a feeling than an objective measurement of calories. Does the walk to get coffee really cancel out the doughnut?

Read More

Reblogged from NXT
Evidence of change.

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