Tim Longhurst's Blog

Big Ideas – James Harkin’s book – plus, what are your big ideas?

July 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Scanning the “Media” section at Blackwell’s bookshop is one of my favourite things to do in Oxford. Sure, I love the web, but being able to scan and access books in real-time using my eyes and hands is something I still enjoy, while I’m sure it seems a little quaint to many of my techno-futurist readers.

On today’s scan, I noticed “Big Ideas” a book of terms us futurists bandy about to give some of the trends going on in the world. Online resources such as urban dictionary or wiktionary are great starting points for such buzzwords and their definitions, but it was nice to see someone with a sense of humour and a great way with words spin these words into print.

For those of you without a copy of the book in front of you, here are the terms Harkin defines, complete with a Google-search link so you can explore their meaning. Sure, it’s not as comfortable as snuggling up in a sofa with the book, but it takes less trees, and let’s face it, digital is very now.

I’ll confess I don’t recognise all the terms listed below, so I’m going to do some clicking myself. James has left room at the back of his book for the reader’s big ideas, so it only seems natural that my “Comments” area is the perfect place for me to invite you to post your big ideas!

The Advocacy Revolution; Badvertising; Bare Branches; Boomergeddon; Brand America; Citizen Journalism; Compassion Fatigue; The Cosmetic Underclass; Cosmopolitanism; Crowdsourcing; Crunchy Conservatism; Curation Nation; The Cyborg; Declinology; Democratization; Digital Maoism; Digital Mapping; The Economy of Prestige; Electronic Frontier Justice; The European Empire; The Experience Economy; The Free Rider or Collective Action Problem and the Prisoner’s Dilemma; Futurology; Generation Gap; Good Business; Gotcha Politics; Happiness; Incentivization; Infomania; Libertarian Paternalism; Life-Caching; The Long Tail; Maturialism; The Menaissance; Muscular Liberalism; Neurotheology; The New Puritans; The New Utopisanism; The Paradox of Choice; Peer-to-Peer Surveillance; Pension Fund Capitalism; Philoanthrocapitalism; Playtime; Positive Liberty; The Precautionary Principle; Pre-heritance; Proletarian Drift; Protirement; Public Value; Regretful Loners; Resilience; Slacktivism; Smart Mobs / Flash Mobs; Social Jet Lag; Social Networking; Social Physics; Soft Power; Status Anxiety; The Support Economy; Synthetic Worlds; The Time Economy; The Tipping Point; Transhuminism or The Singularity Thesis; True Cost Economics; Urban Gaming; Urban Villages; Virtual Anthropology; Virtual Politics; War Porn; Wild Card Theory or ; Black Swan Theory; Worst-Case Scenarios;

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Category: Communication and connection

What is a futurist? – futurist definitions – quotes from futurists – define futurist

May 22nd, 2008 · 3 Comments

I describe myself as a futurist and this is often the starting point for conversation about the choices that are being made that will impact the futures we live in. At the very least, the question, “What does a futurist do?” is occasionally asked… I’ve decided to pool together quotes that I hear or read that represent perspectives different practitioners bring to the discipline.

Please feel free to include quotes or definitions you like as a comment!

“(Futurists focus) in any of three areas:

  1. Forecasting the future, using quantitative and qualitative means,
  2. imagining the future, using primarily intuition and writing skills, and
  3. creating the future, using techniques of planning and consulting.”

-Glen Hiemstra

“The role of a futurist (and anyone can be one) – is to honour the past, inhabit the present (notice what’s going on now) and engage the future – to be involved in a process of stimulating our friends and our loved ones and even strangers to getting the grips with the fact that the future itself is a race between self-discovery and self-destruction…”
-Richard Neville

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Category: From the frontlines of the future