Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Major Trend Update: Definitions And Predictions - 11.28.12

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There are several terms which all Global Futurists, Strategic Planners And Marketers must become familiar with. These terms are already becoming the subject matter of numerous popular and scholarly articles as well as the nuclei for entire fields of academic and business concentration. Some are quite new, while others have been rolling around for several years already. I will note provide you with complete dissertations, but I will provide you with either basic definitions or with hyperlinks to some good source research material:

DRAMATIC CLIMATE CHANGE - The climate is getting warmer. In fact 2012, when the scores come in, will likely have been the warmest year worldwide in recorded history.

DESALINIZATION - The world's most essential commodity for the sustenance of life is water. And with increased climatic heating and the occasional mega-polluting BP catastrophe, pollution of water is becoming a problem of rapidly-growing proportions. The greatest source of water is the ocean, and the little nation of Israel has the best desalinization technology and plants worldwide. A true shortage of fossil fuels will occur after a worldwide shortage of potable water becomes a United Nations priority.

INFORMATION ASSURANCE - Integrity, security, safety and storage of data are becoming increasingly difficult with the advent of the cloud, reliance on computers, the growing sophistication of hackers, and the increasing use of mobile devices. There are entire careers developing around this special info-watchdog function. Read The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog for some details in terms of the issues and the opportunities.

GENETIC MEDICINE - Rather than trying to fight diseases with protocols involving antibiotics and antiviral drugs, more and more companies will be involving in trying to predict and prevent many diseases by gene mapping, finding disease "activator genes" and bolstering those genes which act as "suppressor genes." A related and inescapable term is bio-genetics and another is biomedical engineering.
MENTALISTS - Instead of using terms like behavioral analysts, psychics, hypnotists, NLP practitioners, interrogators, the whole art and science underlying each of these wondrous phenomena is now being referred to as mentalists. Purportedly, Mentalists are highly-trained, well practiced experts at analyzing non-verbal cues, body language, speech patterns and other cataloged habits (or "tells," with apologies to Simon Baker) and deriving conclusions based upon these keen observations in conformity with time-tested behavioral patterns.

DISRUPTION AND DISRUPTION (or DISRUPTIVE) INNOVATION - This is best defined by taking a look at The Disruption Theory And Disruption Innovation Blog. We used to call it "rapid change" or "displacement of markets." Now we have a fancy neologism.

NEUROMARKETING - This field is a cousin to subliminal programming, consumer behavioral psychology, impulse consumption, emotional triggers and a bit of inter-synaptic neurochemistry. You can find out much more about it by visiting (admission is free! While supplies last!) The Neuromarketing - Scientific Influence And Persuasion Blog.

And now, with the vocabulary section finished, here are a few things to start thinking about for the future: immediate, short-run, and longer term.

I'll offer you one: I believe that within the next three to five years, digital photography will become the industry standard and professional (social functions and portraits) photography will decline steeply in demand. Simultaneous with this, I predict that royalty-free stock photos are going to become cheaper and in more common usage.

The items which follow have been excerpted from Thomas Frey's Future Trend Report, published by The DaVinci Institute. As I've said before, while I don't always agree with all of his predictions, Thomas always provides me with some interesting and compelling input as source material for the building of my blog, The Global Futurist Blog

The portions marked with [Editor's Comment] were inserted by the blogger - Douglas E. Castle 

Ray Kurzweil talks about the future workforce
Singularity University’s Vice President of Innovation and Research, Vivek Wadhwa, has written about why he believes this will be the most innovative decade in human history and how we are headed for an era of abundant and affordable health care, and how robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing will lead to an era of local manufacturing in which the creative class flourishes.
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Text message use falls in the U.S. for first time ever
Around the world, text-message traffic has been declining because Internet-powered alternatives are becoming so widely used. American cell carriers have fought off the decline until now. [Editor's Note: Texting does not permit the vast scope other multi-sensorial inputs and features offered by alternative mobile applications, particularly those which permit transmittal of still images and/or video clips]
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Six electronic gadgets you can control with your mind
Brain-computer interface (BCI) has been a favorite of science fiction movies for a long time. So, forget about keyboard, mouse, touch screens or even voice recognition: the real dream is thinking about what you want your gadget to do.
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The world's top cities for startups
The world’s unquestionable leader in generating high-tech start-ups that launch new technologies that change the way we live and work is Silicon Valley. Many cities around the world have tried to emulate its success. But until recently, the data has been lacking to calibrate and rank how far they have come.
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Social media in the workplace - Is anyone actually working?
It seems like almost everyone is social today.  Every minute, Twitter users average 100,000 tweets, Facebook users post 684,478 pieces of content, Tumblr blog owners publish 27,778 new posts and Flickr users add 3,125 new photos. Facebook and Twitter are great tools for connecting and communicating with people in our social lives, or for brands communicating with customers, the real value of pure-play social tools as standalone applications within a business has yet to be proven.
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Top 5 trends that will change HR in the future
When you look at HR trends people tend to look at what we do today and discuss ways it can be done better in the future. Applications and tools for recruiting, training, on-boarding, etc. are being developed at dizzying rates. The problem is that these new HR innovations are going to have a short half life.

[Editor's Note: Having dealt with Human Resources Departments and personnel before, and on too many occasions, they are, in my opinion, the least qualified persons making some of the most key personnel decisions - especially in larger companies -- with current "online job application techniques,' they don't ever receive or review cover letters, and provide no create way (in their automated computer field format) for prospects to differentiate themselves or to explain special extenuating or extra qualifying circumstances. The process is becoming increasingly a study in statistical matching instead of a necessary humanitarian interaction. If something poses a problem for HR departments and personnel, it actually makes me smile...]
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Wharton School and startup Evolv use big data to predict when you will quit your job
You did everything by the book when you went in for that job interview. But, after going through all the effort, would you feel slighted if the interviewer made the ultimate decision about whether or not to hire you based on an algorithm? [please refer to the Editor's previous comment]. Sadly, algorithms are only as good as the input data and the programmers who design them. Pattern recognition is not intuitive intelligence or "chemistry." It is a cheap means of stuffing applicants into prefabricated containers.]
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Boom in app development lures coders but it's tough to make a living

Over the last two years Shawn and Stephanie Grimes have spent much of their time in pursuing their dream of doing research and development for Apple, the world’s most successful corporation. [Editor's Comment: Perhaps brilliant programmers, designers and coders need 1) self-esteem training and 2) a participation in the revenue or profits associated with the programs, designs, templates, systems and applications which they devlop. Remember incentive management?]
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NASA launches Big Data Challenge
NASA along with a couple other government agencies have kicked off a series of TopCoder challenges designed to find innovative solutions to the government’s big data problems. The first contest is all about making disparate, incompatible data sets usable and actually valuable across agencies.
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Streaming video viewed on tablets is up 90%
There has been a dramatic increase over the last six months in the amount of streaming videocontent veiwed on tablet devices, according to a report released by Ooyala’s Q3 Global Video Index. (Infographic)
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Makeup may be the key to a woman's success
In a recent study  from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Procter And Gamble, and Boston University, they had a sampling of over 200 individuals, both men and women, participants rated women wearing makeup as more competent than women without makeup. [Editor's Note: And gentlemen wearing Armani Suits, Patek Phillipe watches, Bruno Magli footwear and sporting Montblanc pens are probably viewed as more competent than chaps in $150.00 suits, Hush Puppies and bathed in drugstore colognes.]
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The item which follows has been excerpted from the SmartBrief Newsletter For Nutritionists. It appears that, at least for 2013, the trend will be (amongst the gustatory cognoscenti) toward 1) eating more vegetables and less meats and processed foods; 2) eating raw, uncooked but appetizingly prepared veggie-centered dishes; and 3) consuming fewer calories. As I've mentioned before, in experiments with rodents, a 40% reduction in caloric intake corresponded with a 20% increase in lifespan.  Joyously, we have a client at CrowdFunding Incubator (Chef Brian Au) who is a renowned expert at the preparation and presentation of raw foods.

The forecasts generated by SmartBrief's collection of topically-oriented newletters tend to be highly accurate and observable within the near-term (as in 1 to 2 years), as opposed to The Future Trend Reports more generalized predictions over a longer time horizon (5 to 25 years).  SmartBrief always provides me with some interesting and compelling input as source material for the building of my blog, The Global Futurist Blog.

Low-calorie diet may reduce the risk of age-related diseases
Calorie restriction was associated with a slower aging process in the mitochondria of cells, resulting in a lower risk of age-related diseases including diabetes and heart disease, researchers wrote in the journal Nature. A low-calorie diet appeared to retain the cell membrane's acidity levels, which reduced the degradation of the mitochondria, researchers reported. Yahoo/Asian News International (11/22) 

Thank you as always for reading me, and for retweeting me, as well.

Douglas E. Castle for

The Global Futurist Blog
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