The Technological Trends That Will Shape the Next 30 Years

The Technological Trends That Will Shape the Next 30 Years
An interview with Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine and author of The Inevitable.
Jul 26 2016
<https://medium.com/the-mission/the-technological-trends-that-will-shape-the-next-30-years-c13c8b069094&gt;

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly is the most interesting nonfiction book I’ve read about the future in a long time. I constantly found myself rereading passages and marking pages to come back to later. Kevin has been an enthusiastic observer of both the human condition and the state of technology for decades as a cofounder of Wired, and his insights are deep, provocative, and wide ranging. In his own words, “When answers become cheap, good questions become more difficult and therefore more valuable.” The Inevitableraises many important questions that will shape the next few decades.

Kevin was generous enough to answer a few questions I had after finishing the book. Read on to find out why most people fail when they try to make predictions, what the future holds for the creative class, and why The Inevitable will be Kevin’s last print book. See these notes by the estimable Derek Sivers for more background.

If none of the important things of the next 100 years have been invented yet, how do you generate or select the next project or idea to pursue?

It is wide open! Most new ideas — including my own — will fail in the long term, but the ones that will succeed in becoming dominant in the next decades are most likely to come from the edge, as they have always. I’m good at working on the edge, so I look for ideas that are NOT popular at first, that seem marginal, niche, barely plausible. I’m looking for the places where technology is abused, misused, or unsupervised in order to get a glimpse of its natural inherent leanings. Where the edges go, the center follows later.

David Pogue points out that what differentiates your work as a futurist is that you have an incredible track record of getting it right. What are the most common mistakes you see people make when they try to make predictions? Why do so many intelligent analysts get it wrong?

The most difficult part about looking at the future is unlearning what we know. There is so much baked into our generally held assumptions that tend to blind us — all of us. You have to keep questioning the assumptions. But at the same time, most assumptions of what is correct are actually correct! So you have to keep knocking at the door, even though most times it yields nothing: “Is this really true? Who says? Why? Do I really believe it? What if it is wrong? What happens then?” That can be exhausting, frustrating, unproductive, so unless it becomes a habit, it gets old fast. You also have to question without too much stake in the answers. You want to have strong opinions loosely held, ready to shift rapidly when needed. Most people have trouble changing their minds. I like to have my mind changed.

Most sweeping surveys of what to expect in the coming decades focus on economic and geopolitical implications, but The Inevitable goes far beyond that.

What does the future hold for artists, writers, and creatives? What practical steps would you recommend we take to set ourselves up for success over the long term?

There will be a thousand new creative genres developed in the next two decades. Each of these forms will breed a new crop of stars that did not exist the year before. Cultivate a techno literacy. The tech will constantly change faster than you can master it, so you master life long learning. Aim lower; you don’t need a million fans; it’s a world of niches. The biggest challenge is to think different while being connected. It’s easy to think different while in isolation; it is easy to be connected. It is vastly harder to see different, make different, be different while connected to 7 billion humans all the time. Taking vacations and sabbaticals from the hive mind become important; cultivating a lateral view, nurturing the orthogonal will be essential. Not living in Silicon Valley will probably be an advantage.

[snip]

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What Hunted’s TV fugitives can teach us about the surveillance state

[Note:  This item comes from friend David Rosenthal.  DLH]

What Hunted’s TV fugitives can teach us about the surveillance state
Before meeting Edward Snowden, Ewen MacAskill wasn’t paranoid. He is now. So what does he make of the Channel 4 reality show in which 14 members of the public try to evade the security experts?
By Ewen MacAskill
Oct 14 2015
<http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/oct/14/what-hunteds-tv-fugitives-can-teach-us-about-the-surveillance-state>

I think I could disappear if I had to. Like most journalists who have worked overseas in countries with authoritarian regimes, I have always been vaguely conscious of being under surveillance. That awareness grew when I met Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, along with colleagues Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, in 2013. I was not paranoid then. I am now, at least a little bit. As a result of the Snowden revelations, I would have no hesitation about leaving all electronic communication devices behind. It’s also helpful that since my teenage days I have regularly disappeared into the Scottish mountains, sleeping out in the open, under bridges, in caves and bothies.

But Brett Lovegrove is sceptical – and he is in a good position to know, as former head of counterterrorism for the City of London police, and as lead investigator in Channel 4’s Hunted. The surveillance reality show, whose sixth and final episode goes out on Thursday, let 14 members of the public loose in the UK to see if they could evade capture for 28 days. Each was given £450 and an hour’s notice. Could they evade Lovegrove and his 30-strong team of former police, security officials and an ex-CIA analyst who helped hunt Osama bin Laden? Going into the final episode, only four of the 14 are still on the run. Can they hold out just a little longer, beating the UK’s pervasive surveillance network? Or is there nowhere left to hide in Britain in 2015?

Lovegrove has been watching with amusement many comments on Twitter and elsewhere from viewers boasting about how, unlike some of Hunted’s more hapless fugitives, they could evade capture. It is just not that easy, he says. Technological surveillance – tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, automatic numberplate recognition on motorways and other major roads, data from our smartphones, the UK’s estimated 69,000 cash machines or posted to social media – is making it easier and easier for the police and security services.

On top of all this is basic human weakness. “You can escape from the authorities but not yourself. People do not realise the psychological pressure they are placing on themselves. They become paranoid. So when people say they can get away for a month, I smile,” Lovegrove says. “The only people who can do it are those from the police, the security services and the military who have been specially trained.”

The programme opened with a doctor from Kent heading by car for the Scottish Highlands. He is eventually caught. Two women opt for the tactic of hopping on and off buses, but are spotted by a station camera on their 21st bus. Two other women from the first episode – Emily Dredge, owner of an online company, and her friend Lauren English, a decorator – head off on an erratic journey hitchhiking around England.

In that first episode, Dredge complained about the level of intrusion after investigators raid her home. “They’ve gone through my knicker drawer. They’ve gone through my bins. They have gone through my fridge. My phones and family phones have been tapped. My bank accounts have been looked at. My internet has been looked at. Every message I have ever sent on my phone has been read. Every email I have ever sent or received has been watched. My whole life is completely under surveillance,” Dredge said.

In spite of that, both she and English go into the final episode still at large. The other two on the loose are Martin Cole, an IT specialist, and Stephen Hardiker, a heating engineer, who have managed to stay off the grid by cycling and camping wild.

For some, the programme – which has attracted an audience averaging 2.4m – has been purely entertainment, a fun reality show. One tweet said: “Would you not just go and hide in Ikea? Everybody gets lost in there.” For others it is more serious, a way to highlight issues raised by Snowden about privacy.

Emma Carr, director of privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch, says: “We hear so much about the various ways that we can be put under surveillance, but for many people it is difficult to understand how that would work in practice. Most people believe they have nothing to hide and, therefore, nothing to fear but Hunted has shown that in this hyperconnected world it is is almost completely impossible for us to be 100% private.”

[snip]

Apple to iOS devs: IPv6-only cell service is coming soon, get your apps ready

Apple to iOS devs: IPv6-only cell service is coming soon, get your apps ready
Apple expands IPv6 support in iOS and OS X to prepare for the future.
By Iljitsch van Beijnum
Jun 16 2015
<http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/06/apple-to-ios-devs-ipv6-only-cell-service-is-coming-soon-get-your-apps-ready/>

On the first day of its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple presents its keynote, where it mostly unveils its consumer-facing plans. Later, when the pundits are taking their first jab at explaining what it all means, there’s the Platforms State of the Union session. At 35 minutes in, Sebastien Marineau, Apple’s VP of Core OS, dropped the following bomb: “Because IPv6support is so critical to ensuring your applications work across the world for every customer, we are making it an App Store submission requirement, starting with iOS 9.”

However, on the last day of WWDC, there was a session that put the above statement in a somewhat different light. We’ll get back to that because, in the mean time, I spent a larger part of the week than I’d like to admit testing whether various applications work over IPv6.

The current state of IPv6

My first reaction was “this means no more Skype under iOS 9.” Which led to some back-and-forth about whether Skype works over an IPv6-only network. The easiest way to test this is to get rid of that old, rickety version 4 of the Internet Protocol—it only has four billion addresses!—simply by turning it off in the Network pane of the System Preferences on your Mac. If there’s an IPv6 router present on your Ethernet or Wi-Fi network, your Mac will then configure an IPv6 address for itself—well, two, actually—and connect to the IPv6 Internet. If there’s no IPv6 router present, at least your Mac will talk to other devices on the local network over IPv6, using “link local” addresses.

In this setup, many things will work just fine. You can reach the Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Wikipedia websites using any current browser. If your mail server has IPv6, you can send and receive e-mail. Time Machine works, and you can sync your iPhone to iTunes over Wi-Fi. iTunes will stream audio (but not video) to an Apple TV.

However, there are many things that don’t work. You can’t reach any IPv4-only websites, such as support.apple.com or developer.apple.com. iCloud, Apple Maps, the iTunes/App Stores, iMessage, and iPhone call/SMS forwarding don’t work. And Skype doesn’t work: it runs, but it doesn’t “see” any contacts and it complains about a lack of Internet connectivity when you try to make calls.

In the real world, of course, people don’t go around turning off IPv6 on their Macs—and on iOS that’s not even an option. A more realistic way to test IPv6-only is by connecting to a network that doesn’t have IPv4 connectivity but does have IPv6 connectivity. This is surprisingly hard to achieve in practice, as every device that supports IPv6 also runs IPv4, and the old protocol usually can’t be turned off. However, after getting an old Cisco router out of retirement, I was able to test this scenario.

The difference between this method and turning off IPv6 at the network interface level is that devices can still communicate using IPv4 over the local network. In this setup, I was able to use AirPlay streaming of video from iTunes on the Mac to the Apple TV, too. The Apple TV was also happy to connect to Netflix and YouTube, but most other channels and iTunes Store content weren’t available. Interestingly, the weather app on the Apple Watch worked, but the weather (and sunrise/sunset) wouldn’t show up on the watch face display. On my iPhone, the Overcast and Pocket Casts podcast players couldn’t sync with their servers. SMS forwarding, the App Store, and notifications also didn’t work.

But the situation where computing devices only have IPv6 connectivity, with no way to reach the IPv4 Internet, is pretty far-fetched. In a blog post earlier this week, Geoff Huston, chief scientist at APNIC, deducted points because Apple isn’t implementing any technologies that bridge the gap between IPv4 and IPv6. He wrote:

IPv4 is not going away any time soon, and for some years to come it’s not the IPv6-only networks that will provide services to customers. It’s just not quite there yet. For years to come we need to operate the Internet in a mode that supports IPv6 and IPv4 together in Dual Stack mode. The operational premise for today’s devices and apps is simple: ‘Do IPv6 if you can, and fall back to IPv4 if you must.’ So how well is Apple doing in a dual stack world? Not as well as I would want.

Huston points out that Android supports a technology called 464XLAT. 464XLAT allows IPv4 apps to talk to IPv4 servers over IPv6 networks by having the phone translate the application’s network requests from IPv4 to IPv6. Then, at the edge of the IPv6 network, a NAT64 device translates the IPv6 packets back to IPv4 and sends them on their way to the server.

[snip]

Re: Some thoughts on Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) for future radio

[Note: This comment comes from friend Peter Ecclesine. DLH

From: “Peter Ecclesine (pecclesi)” <pecclesi@cisco.com>
Subject: RE: [Dewayne-Net] Some thoughts on Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) for future radio
Date: May 31, 2015 at 06:58:50 EDT
To: Hendricks Dewayne <dewayne@warpspeed.com>

Hi Dewayne,

the math boiled down shows nothing that already isn’t included in MIMO capacity calculations. The rotational (spin) of any wave can be decomposed into vertical and horizontal basis functions, how many orthogonal basis functions exist determine capacity (spatially these are the Eigen-modes / vectors of the channel which you can get with vertical/horizontal polarization), doing the spin at the antenna at different orthogonal frequencies is equivalent to moving the OFDM subcarrier coding (IFFT) to the antenna but you still only have 2 orthogonal propagation basis (modes, call them whatever) which are vertical and horizontal. He essentially has a different subcarrier because to get the spin at a new frequency he modulates the vertical & horizontal modes with sin(wc*t) & cos(wc*t).

petere

Some thoughts on Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) for future radio
By David Reed
May 29 2015
http://www.reed.com/blog-dpr/?page_id=117

Republicans launch attack on FCC’s net neutrality plan

Republicans launch attack on FCC’s net neutrality plan
A commissioner, a former chairman, and Congress target Obama and Tom Wheeler.
By Jon Brodkin
Feb 10 2015
<http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/02/republicans-launch-attack-on-fccs-net-neutrality-plan/>

Republicans are launching a multi-pronged assault on the net neutrality plan proposed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member commission, held a press conference Tuesday denouncing Wheeler, saying the plan goes further than the Democratic chairman admits. Pai referred to the proposal as “President Obama’s plan” because Wheeler decided to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service after Obama asked him to do so.

Wheeler says the plan does not impose rate regulation on Internet providers, but Pai said, “the claim that President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet does not include rate regulation is flat-out false.”

Although the FCC won’t decide on rates initially, home Internet customers or companies that interconnect with Internet providers would be able to complain to the FCC that rates are unreasonable.

“The plan clearly states that the FCC can regulate the rates that Internet service providers charge for broadband Internet access, for interconnection, for transit—in short, for the core aspects of Internet services,” Pai said. “To be sure, the plan says that the FCC will not engage in what it calls ex ante rate regulation. But this only means that the FCC won’t set rates ahead of time. The plan repeatedly states that the FCC will apply sections 201 and 202 of the Communications Act, including their rate regulation provisions, to determine whether the prices charged by broadband providers are ‘unjust or unreasonable.’ The plan also repeatedly invites complaints about section 201 and 202 violations from end-users and edge providers alike. Thus, for the first time, the FCC would claim the power to declare broadband Internet rates and charges unreasonable after the fact. Indeed, the only limit on the FCC’s discretion to regulate rates is its own determination of whether rates are ‘just and reasonable,’ which isn’t much of a restriction at all.”

Protestors who support net neutrality interrupted Pai’s press conference.

Pai also criticized Wheeler for releasing only a description of the plan instead of the entire 332-page document. Pai said he is prohibited from releasing the plan himself unless Wheeler allows it.

Pai said he believes in “a free and open Internet,” but said the Internet is already free and open and that net neutrality rules are thus “a solution in search of a problem.”

Wheeler’s plan would prevent Internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or prioritizing Web content in exchange for payment.

Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who is now CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, also criticized Wheeler’s plan in an op-ed in USA Today Monday.

[snip]

Redesigning a Broken Internet: Cory Doctorow

Redesigning a Broken Internet: Cory Doctorow
Institute for the Future (IFTF)
Oct 30 2014
<http://youtu.be/_J_9EFGFR-Y>

Part of the Second Curve Internet Speaker Series at the Institute for the Future, powered by Ten-Year Forecast. More information here: <http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/ten-year-forecast/reinventthenet/>

The Internet we know today is only one possible interpretation of the original vision of an open, peer-to-peer network. Think of it as a first-generation Internet, built on a fragile global network of vulnerable codes subject to abuse and even collapse. This Internet is failing from too close an encounter with a triple shock: a massive economy built on mining terabytes of personal data, ubiquitous criminal penetration of financial and identity networks, and pervasive state intruders at all levels and at every encrypted hardware and software node.

Today we also see efforts to address the Internet’s vulnerabilities. But these are just the first steps toward a resilient Second Curve Internet. In the Institute for the Future’s new Second Curve Internet Speaker Series, we’ll explore the critical elements necessary to reinvent the Internet, gathering leading minds together with IFTF’s deep experience thinking about technology and the ways of communicating, coordinating, and organizing in the changing world around us.

We’re honored to feature the visionary Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) as our first speaker in the series. Cory is a science fiction author, activist, journalist, and blogger. His forthcoming book, Information Doesn’t Want to be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, examines copyright law and the ways in which creativity and the Internet interact today—and what might be coming next.

Video: 1:25:00 min

Audio only: <https://soundcloud.com/institute-for-the-future/redesiging-a-broken-internet-cory-doctorow>

Second Curve Speaker Series announcement

[Note:  This item comes from friend Mike Liebhold.  DLH]

From: Mike Liebhold <mliebhold@iftf.org>
Subject: Second Curve Speaker Series announcement:
Date: September 4, 2014 at 9:57:00 EDT
To: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne@warpspeed.com>

Dear Dewayne

Please share as you see fit.

The Institute for the Future announces the Second Curve Internet Speaker Series:
<http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/ten-year-forecast/reinventthenet/>

The Internet we know today is only one possible interpretation of the original vision of an open, peer-to-peer network. Think of it as a first-generation Internet, built on a fragile global network of vulnerable codes subject to abuse and event collapse. This Internet is failing from too close an encounter with a triple shock: a massive economy built on mining terabytes of personal data, ubiquitous criminal penetration of financial and identity networks (both on our devices and in the cloud), and pervasive state intruders at all levels and at every encrypted hardware and software node. Today we also see efforts to address the Internet’s vulnerabilities. But these are just the first steps toward a resilient Second Curve Internet. We must learn to build a more reliable private and secure Internet for communications, creation, and commerce. 

In this speaker series, we’ll explore the critical elements necessary to reinvent the Internet, gathering leading minds together with IFTF’s deep experience thinking about technology and the ways of communicating, coordinating, and organizing in the changing world around us. – See more at: 

Please Join us for our inaugural event featuring Cory Doctorow!
<http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/ten-year-forecast/reinventthenet/second-curve-internet-series-redesigns-for-a-broken-internet/>

We’re honored to feature the visionary Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) as our first speaker in the series. Cory is a science fiction author, activist, journalist, and blogger. 

“The Internet’s broken and that’s bad news, because everything we do today involves the Internet and everything we’ll do tomorrow will require it. But governments and corporations see the net, variously, as a perfect surveillance tool, a perfect pornography distribution tool, or a perfect video on demand tool—not as the nervous system of the 21st century. Time’s running out. Architecture is politics. The changes we’re making to the net today will prefigure the future our children and their children will thrive in—or suffer under.”

—Cory Doctorow

– See more at: <http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/ten-year-forecast/reinventthenet/second-curve-internet-series-redesigns-for-a-broken-internet/#sthash.j0A11pM2.dpuf>

Michael Liebhold
Senior Researcher, Distinguished Fellow
Institute for the Future
@mikeliebhold  @iftf