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January 26, 2007

Mike Love's Genealogy of Influence

Boing Boing reports that Institute for the Future researcher Mike Love has developed a Google "hack" that gives a graphical visualisation of Western key intelligentsia and their influence as a citation network. Love has a blog on the Genealogy of Influence project, its theories and practices.

Love's project would have interesting results if applied to the Futures Studies and Strategic Foresight fields. To-date the major integrative project that has done this is the multi-volume Knowledge Base of Futures Studies (KBFS) spearheaded by Richard Slaughter, now in its third edition with 80 new papers. Joseph Coates and Jennifer Jarratt's book What Futurists Believe (World Future Society, Washington DC, 1989) preceded KBFS yet mainly reflected the North American tradition of "pragmatic" futures, science and technology exemplified by the World Future Society. The major "genealogical" theory in Futures Studies is Sohail Inayatullah's interpretation of P.R. Sarkar's change cycle and macrohistory as the "search for patterns of change in social systems over long time periods", in which the "vipra" or intellectual class has a pivotal and relational role.

If Slaughter's scope and Inayatullah's theoretical framework became the basis for a "Genealogy of Influence"-type project on contemporary futurists, the results could be very interesting . . .

February 10, 2007

I Wear No Mask

Camilla: You sir, should unmask.

Stranger: Indeed?

Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you.

Stranger: I wear no mask.

Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow (1895): Act 1-Scene 2d.

Chris Stewart mentions theater and psychodynamics in a recent post:

I started by reflecting on theater sports and associated skills (believe me, the ability to cope with psychodrama and respond from various perspectives is a critical capability of a foresight practitioner – especially when consulting into a bureaucracy!).

This post resonated with me for a number of reasons: it opened a door for me to reflect on the influence of psychodynamics and theatre in my education, and how it continues to shape my practitioner work.

In high school I learnt improvisation and theatre sports: a highlight was being the Foreman in a stage production of Reginald Rose's television play 12 Angry Men (1957) in which the on-stage conflict resonated with a simultaneous power game in the school council. In the early 1990s, I encountered Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook's philosophies on theatre in the context of the Gurdjieff Work. This period was about the "initiatory" potential of theater to be a self-reflective and transformative practice.

Continue reading "I Wear No Mask" »

May 30, 2007

Aphorisms 1

The following are a collection of aphorisms that have emerged from self-reflection and encounters with various practices and traditions: judo, the Gurdjieff Work, the Temple of Set, and Carl Jung's analytical psychology.

I don't claim any originality for the aphorisms, with apologies to Robert Fripp, Friedrich Nietzsche, Don Webb and others who have played with this approach.

Continue reading "Aphorisms 1" »

June 12, 2007

Robert Jungk: Secrecy In Futures Research

Note: Provided for self-education purposes only.

In considering at last the social role of science and technology, many natural scientists, especially physicists and biologists, have severely criticised the negative impact of security measures and proprietary barriers on the free exchange of all ideas, experiments and results created in laboratories and institutes. A similar stand has not yet been taken by those studying the future.

Yet all branches of forecasting are strongly affected by the ‘factor S’ (S for secrecy), because it puts deliberate obstacles into the field of vision; worse yet it may oblige those who are ‘in the know’ to publish half-truths because they are forced to leave out a decisive piece of information.

Imagine a panel of specialists working on a comprehensive study about the present and expected future energy resources of a nation. Among them might be those who have inside knowledge of some decisive breakthrough. They are immediately faced with the problem of how they should discuss the matter, or indeed if they should discuss it at all. They must weigh up the importance of their obligations to the community and to their employers, and they must decide whether to put their name to a survey they know to be partly wrong.

Continue reading "Robert Jungk: Secrecy In Futures Research" »

June 13, 2007

Surveys of Futures in Higher Education

The World Futures Studies Federation has made available the Surveys of Futures in Higher Education study (PDF) that Jose Ramos compiled in 2002-03 as a Swinburne MSSF program intern.

I remember one of Ramos's "counterintuitive" findings was the growth of Futures Studies and Strategic Foresight courses in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, which challenged the view that FS was dominated by US courses.

Does anyone know if the WFSF or another professional futures organisation is planning a follow-up study?

Ken Wilber's Integral Politics

For the past several years American philosopher Ken Wilber has been working on several new books that promise to expand and deepen his "integral" frameworks (as part of a broader initiative: the Integral Institute).

The first book is the long-awaited second volume of the "Kosmos" trilogy, after Wilber's Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1996). The second book is The Many Faces of Terrorism which Wilber revealed in an Integral Naked podcast discussion, and which we've exchanged emails on, due to my postgrad studies in foresight, counter-terrorism and international relations.

Wilber has now revealed that Many Faces is now an Integral Politics trilogy. You can read three excerpts here: the AQAL Code, Integral Politics and A Summary of Its Essential Ingredients.

I'll give some feedback & reflections once I've read the draft excerpts.

June 14, 2007

Quality Management Resources

For the past 2 months I've been in a quality management role at Australia's Swinburne University. Here I've started to gather some online resources on quality and its relationship to process, project and risk management; benchmarking; internal audits; and other methodologies.

September 30, 2007

Ben Eltham on Micro-Entrepreneurs, Risk & Strategy

I recently caught up with Ben Eltham, founder of the Straight Out Of Brisbane (SOOB) festival, and one of the cultural creatives I met at This Is Not Art (TINA) in Newcastle. Eltham is in Melbourne to work on the Melbourne Fringe Festival and with the new independent think-tank the Center for Policy Development. You might have read Eltham's articles in Artshub, Crikey and New Mathilda.

Continue reading "Ben Eltham on Micro-Entrepreneurs, Risk & Strategy" »

October 2, 2007

Agile Disruptive GTD

Meet The Life Hackers

Wired Magazine's Gary Wolf has an extensive profile of Getting Things Done author David Allen in the October 2007 issue.

Allen's GTD system is a heuristic for time and workflow management popular in Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley firms.  GTD gained visibility after The Atlantic Monthly's James Fallow profiled Allen in its July/August 2004 issue.  New York Times columnist Clive Thompson also mentioned Allen and GTD in an influential article on the "life hacking" movement, which includes sites such as Lifehacker and Merlin Mann's 43 Folders.  Allen has parlayed this exposure into the coaching firm David Allen & Co. and its subscription online community GTD ConnectLockheed, Microsoft Research and O'Reilly Media have all applied or debated Allen's GTD in their research environments.

Continue reading "Agile Disruptive GTD" »

About Knowledge Base

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Futuristics in the Knowledge Base category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Integral Futures is the previous category.

Litany Watch is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.