Know Thy Futurist | Boston Review

Know Thy Futurist; Cathy O’Neil; In Boston Review; 2017-09-25.

tl;dr → Cathy O’Neil, who is not bitter, envies the scholar-gentleman futurists as she aspires to their life of the mind, for which she writes.
and → futurists are scary people; they are serious people; they are never sour or defeated people; they are not silly people.
and → A “four box” model, two axes, four quadrants; named Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.
and → Facebook is bad.

Models

The Latent Model, single-axis [the lede is buried-last]
  • Men ↔ Women
    (bad) ↔ (good)
The Declared Model, orthogonal-axes
  • Worried ↔ Exuberant
  • Dystopian ↔ Utopian

Indictment

  • data scientists are creating machines
    data scientists are creating machines they do not fully understand.
  • data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers,
    data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers for reasons that are already very familiar to us
    These reasons are enumerated, by iconic euphemism-cum-epithet as:

    • class
    • race
    • age
    • disability status
    • quality of education
    • and other demographic measures (“other”).
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is a threat to the very concept of social mobility.
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is the end of the American dream.

Wherein a data scientist is a statistician who lives in San Francisco and performs their work-product on a Macintosh computer [ref].

Separately noted.

 

Stanford PDV-91 — How to Think Like a Futurist: Improve Your Powers of Imagination, Invention, and Capacity for Change

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Syllabus

Promotion

Can you picture the three most important technologies in your life twenty years from today? Could you tell a vivid story about the single biggest challenge you’ll personally face five years from now? What about the biggest challenge the world will face in fifty years? Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism. In other words, futurist thinking gives you the ability to create change in your own life and the world around you, today.In this course, you’ll learn essential habits for thinking about the future that will increase the power of your practical imagination. These futurist habits include counterfactual thinking (imagining how the past could have turned out differently); signals hunting (looking for leading-edge examples of the kind of change you want to see in the world); and autobiographical forecasting. We’ll discuss the scientific research that explains how each habit can have a positive impact on your life, from helping you become a more original thinker to making you a more persuasive communicator. By the end of this course, you will have the playful and practical tools you need to imagine how the world (and your life) could be very different—and to use your newfound imagination to create change today.

Jane McGonigal, Director of Games Research and Development, Institute for the Future

Jane McGonigal created forecasting games for partners like the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Public Library, and the American Heart Association. Well known for her TED talks on creativity and resilience, she is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter. She received a PhD in performance studies from UC Berkeley.

References

  • Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, ISBN:978-0143110378,
  • Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken, ISBN:978-0143120612,
  • Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, ISBN:1608465764
  • Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, ISBN:978-0143110378, paperback: 2017-06-06.
  • Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken, ISBN:978-0143120612,
  • Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, ISBN 1608465764,

Followup herein and in the notes.