Tag Archives: futurology

The PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) Debate

The current news topics relating to PGD and the baby born without the breast cancer gene reflects some of the work I generated during my RCA design interactions degree 2005-2007.

In particular the P-Evo Clinic:

The Personal Evolution Clinic was a scenario generated during the FORESIGHT internship I was involved in during 2006. The P-Evo Clinic is the ultimate preventative measure against our obesity epidemic. P-EVO is a development of the Family Planning Association. It offers services to would-be parents, through DNA and genomic screening, to predict genetic variants in the not-yet-conceived child. Parents can prepare for possible special requirements their unborn child may need in an obesogenic environment. The experience of a visit to the P-EVO clinic is a rare blend of religious vision, health spa and theatrical spectacle.


and The Gene Ceremony

The Gene Ceremony from the FATE INSTITUTE is a ritualistic experience that focuses on the implications of predictive gene testing on our future health susceptibility. A variety of foods act as  DNA swabs to determine the likelihood of developing certain diseases or behavioural disorders. The ceremonial process ensures the experience of extracting the individuals genetic material is in line with the severity of the diagnostic information it reveals. The DNA material extracted from the jelly bone  will be used by the FATE INSTITUTE to test each participant for their susceptibility to contracting Alzheimers or breast cancer in the future. The diagnosis is one part of a custom made course of future therapy provided at the holisitic institute of the Futures Association for Therapy and Entertainment.


PGD news links

The first baby in the UK tested before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born. Doctors at University College London said the girl and her mother were doing well following the birth this week.The embryo was screened for the altered BRCA1 gene, which would have meant the girl had a 80% chance of developing breast cancer. link

Genetic tests that can detect a raised risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer are being offered for the first time to people without family histories of the diseases, The Times has learnt. The programme, run by University College London (UCL), paves the way for a new approach to preventive medicine involving widespread screening. It will also prompt greater demand for screening of embryos by parents who carry a defective gene and want to avoid passing it to their children. News of the programme came as Paul Serhal, medical director at University College Hospital’s Assisted Conception Unit, announced the birth of one of the world’s first babies selected to be free of a genetic risk of breast cancer. link

The birth of the first British baby genetically screened before conception to be free of a breast cancer gene was hailed yesterday as a breakthrough by doctors but raised fresh questions about the ethics of creating so-called designer babies. The baby girl grew from an embryo screened to ensure that it did not contain the faulty BRCA1 gene, which would have meant she had a 50%-85% of developing breast cancer. link

The Future is in (Y)our Hands

Go and vote

Go and vote

Photo: http://news.bbc.co.uk/

The Delphi Party at EPIC

The Delphi Party at EPIC

The Delphi Party at EPIC (Photo: Kate Rutter)

The Delphi Party poster at EPIC

The Delphi Party poster at EPIC

The Taxonomy of Futurists

Instructor explaining the operation of a parachute to student pilots, Meacham field, Fort Worth, Tex. (LOC)

Instructor explaining the operation of a parachute to student pilots, Meacham field, Fort Worth, Tex. (LOC)

Who are the future futurists and how were the past futurists defined?

From a paper written by Darlene E. Weingand entitled: Futures Research Methodologies:Linking Today’s Decisions With Tomorrow’s Possibilities

Here she defines 3groups of futurists in to Mainstream, Marginal and Non-Futurist

The Mainstream Futurist typically tends to be a generalist and is identified as a futures researcher or professional futurist, attends futures conferences, and/or contributes to futures journals. Six types can be listed:

The Synoptic Generalist…An Ideal, encompassing the ability to have a sense of the key elements of society, a grasp of trends and discontinuities, a willingness to forecast, a sense of pl ausible alternatives, comfort in dealing with complexity, a sense of values held by self and others, imagination, a theory of social change, direct or indirect optimism, and a sense of history.

The General Forecaster…One who forecasts [not predicts] changes in operating conditions; broad in space and long in time.

The Normative Generalist…One who makes no attempt to forecast the probably future, but rather focuses on “alternative futures”.

The Pop Futurist…the “popularizer” who writes for a broad audience, introduces people to futures thinking, and attracts people to utilizing futures research or becoming futures research ers.

The Multi-Identify Futurist…similar to the Pop Futurist; is well-known and influential, but is also known by other labels and the futurist role may be secondary.

The Specialized Futurist…a specialist in a single problem area, perhaps borrowing a few general ideas.

The Marginal Futurist has four sub-sets:

The Futurized Specialist…only secondarily a futurist; someone who is interested in futures- relevant questions, attends futures conferences and contributes to the literature, but identifies primarily with another field such as medicine, law, physics, etc.

The Closet Futurist…one who seriously thinks and writes about the future, but is in no way associated with futures research or the “futures movement”.

The Future Futurist… one who will become a futurist at a later time; possibly students.

The Forgotten Futurist…a writer or thinker from the past who dealt with futures themes but was not regarded as a futurist.

Two categories of Non-Futurist Futurists can be listed:

The Pseudo-Futurist…one who employs the language of the future, but offers no useful insight as to what might happen or what desirable futures to pursue.

The Straw-Man Futurist…a non-entity that is never defined; a conceptual and rhetorical target.

The Delphi Party, FATE Institute

Exploratree Thinking Tools by futurelab + microsoft

Those clever chaps at Futurelab have created a beta online tool that enables people to think visually! Think of all those mind maps you have done in the past that have been completely disorganized and free form. But with exploratree they will help you create frameworks for futures wheel (my favourite), a compass rose (!) and a pmi!!

I am currently reading…

Guesser gets weather right

Sourced from the Popular Science magazine in 1932, Dr. C. F. Marvin, head of the U. S. Weather Bureau, is experimenting with a “scientific guesser.” Small balls are marked for a certain kind of weather. The balls are thoroughly mixed and poured into troughs and their sequence depends solely upon laws of chance and has proved strikingly similar to actual weather records.

via modernmechanix

“The View from 2500AD” by Arthur C Clarke

An article written by Arthur C Clarke for Forbes last December.

Looking back on the appalling 21st century from our vantage point, 500 years later, it sometimes seems incredible that the human race could have survived such a time of troubles. The moment of greatest danger can now be pinpointed precisely–the year 2010.Fifty years earlier, the chief threat seemed to be from thermonuclear weapons; however, these could be manufactured only by wealthy nations possessing both vast financial resources and a high level of technology.Then, suddenly and totally unexpectedly, the situation was transformed by the invention of the Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb. The origin of this terrifying device is unknown: Like most concepts whose time has come, it was probably invented independently in a number of places. However, the first public account appeared in the September 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics under this dramatic headline:

E-BOMB: In the blink of an eye, electromagnetic bombs could throw civilization back 200 years. And terrorists can build them for $400.

Continue reading