Friend and colleague Dr. Jose M. Ramos has a great 8-minute video interview with futures scholar Jim Dator:
Well, I was really and pleasantly surprised by Jim’s way of being. Yes he is one of the founders of the FS field, but he was very approachable and had an amazingly warm and inviting demeanor. Of course he was brutally honest about how he saw FS and the futures of the planet in general, but done so in a way that connects and inspires.
Ramos is correct: Dator‘s comments are a succinct explanation of the value of using futures studies in your contemporary life. I look forward to more of Ramos’s interviews with World Futures Studies Federation members.
La Trobe University is cutting 45 academics from its arts and humanities programs.
I was sorry to read that Dr. Geoff Mayer will be one of them. I took several of Mayer’s classes as a cinema studies undergraduate, notably in Pre-Code cinema, film noir and western genre films. These classes taught me how film form and genre conventions can change over time and how this may reflect changes in social values. Mayer’s classes informed a 1998 proposal on Spiral Dynamics and cinema studies (PDF), a 2002 presentation on Integral theory and film (PDF), a 2003 essay on film and epistemic frameworks in futures studies (PDF), and a 2003 seminar on Spiral Dynamics that used DVD film clips (PDF). Mayer brought senior leadership and research insights to La Trobe’s cinema studies program for over a decade, and his mentoring, warmth and humour will be missed.
Scott Bradfield sums up J.G. Ballard’s final novel Kingdom Come (2006) in this New York Times review:
Ultimately, the Metro-Centre’s new and improved, radically futurized citizenry do what most Ballardian characters do: hunker down in their prisons and embrace their chains, take themselves hostage and refuse to be set free, secretly conspire with their victimizers and worship just about anybody who comes along to tell them how. This is where the future really happens, Ballard reminds his readers — way out in the suburbs where everybody looks like everybody else or faces the consequences.
You can read my 1994 REVelation Magazine interview with Ballard here.