A new cold war and another space race has begun:China mocked officially and is overtaking US in scientific research. | De-dollarization. +
Edge cases:Eurosclerosis, europeans are becoming poorer. + | Is the Ukraine crisis the West’s fault? Maybe or maybe not. | The new military branch. | Cuisine bridges cultures.
Democracy & free speech:
Democracy is declining. Is globalization merging democracy and autocracy?Autocracies may block Wikipedia but surveillance and cancelation spreaded to democracies and are official. The war on disinformation is a war on dissent. |
Resistance:«right to encryption», biometric mass surveillance ban and online freedom of speech bill. | Russians learnt to exploit it.
Free speech is declining:On universities. | Suppressing posts by poor or «ugly» people. | Bad reviews can put you in jail. | Journalism is activism now. | More than 1000 journalists were killed since 2010.
The forgotten majorities and its rage:In the end, the most intolerant wins.
Will tech corporations become «independent nations»?The rise of the «Liberaltarian» and the new corporate tyranny. | Algocracy. | «Data is not the new oil – it’s the new plutonium».
Edge cases:Giving up right to vote to get student loans erased. | Obese patients and smokers banned from routine surgery. | Microchip implants with vaccine passport or tickets. | Nationalizations. | Lottocracy. | Fund for future generations.
Economy & business:
All companies are technology companies now:The Not-Com bubble is popping. | Two worlds. | Another mega corp has been born. +
Capitalism 2.0 or surveillance capitalism is restrictions on free trade, universal basic income, geoarbitrage & demonetization:The power of money depends on where you live. | Independently poor. | Software is no longer sold, is adopted. | The publicly traded company is disappearing. +
Economic (ir)rationality:40% of foreign investment is tax dodging. | Empty homes. | Housing should be affordable except when I sell my house. + | Bonuses on eve of bankruptcy. | Tesla makes more money trading bitcoin than selling cars. | $7.5b undo button. | Bringing back old features. | Shrinkflation. | Crowdfunding to minimize risk. | Eventually, everything will be a subscription even high end cars.
Decline in unionization:The rise of incomes at the top. | Even tech workers and university graduate students plan to unionize.
Parents are more worried about their sons than their daughters:Young women are out earning young men. | A prenup is the latest must-have for tech startup founders.
Edge cases:Private land has become increasingly concentrated. | Talent is everywhere, opportunity is still not. | Only rich kids get summer jobs. | Asian-Americans fight back against school discrimination and for black CEOs humiliation is a part of doing business. | Anyway, regional inequality is ahead of personal inequity as a cause of revolt.
The global fertility rate is falling. Resistance:Pro-natalism. | Will nations fund fertility? +
Life expectancy growth:Prisons are a haven for the elderly. | The corporatization of nursing homes. | Aging Japan wants automation not immigration.
Migrations:Population growth in Africa. | Sending asylum-seekers far away. | The Great Replacement.
Edge cases:Neutral gender marker available on US passports. | Democracy visa.
Society & parenting:
Male shaming:Social perfectionism kills. | Hikikomori and incels. | Porno bans, sex doll brothel and AI girlfriend. Collateral damage: social exclusion fuels extremism in young men. | Boyfriend role-play.
The «feminization» of society:No one fails anymore, everybody «pivots». | The self-esteem craze. | Addiction to outrage. | Proof of X. | Parasocial relationships. | «Influencer» is the most desired occupation among youngsters. | Young female influencer is actually a mature man. | Instagram village. | Teaching kids how to be famous. | Flattery-driven open-source. | Elites may be displacing experts and may corrupt science. |
Resistance:Teens who refuse to use social media. | No one answers their phone anymore.
Children spend less time outside than prison inmates:It took just 4 generations. Hints: playgrounds a little more dangerous and agency.
Edge cases:Parents of daughters are more likely to divorce. | Kids can be surprisingly mean to robots. | Sending more foster kids to prison than college.
Work, education & skills:
Remote work is becoming the norm:When you’re a «digital nomad» the world is your office. | Asynchronous communication is the real reason remote workers are more productive. | Dark side.
Automation:The workers at the frontlines of the AI revolution. + | Jobs are at risk as self-driving trucks become viable. Fortunately most people would rather lose their job to a robot than another human.
Gig economy:Is West discovering servants. | Focus and monetizing your knowledge has become more valuable than intelligence.
On didactics:Elite over-production. | Investing tuition costs nets a higher return unless you migrate for free college. | Remote learning didn’t work. | Hyperinflation means the end of grades. | «Woke» math. | Computer game on school reading list. | New classes on AI, mindfulness and how not to be duped by the news. | What is prompt engineering? +
Skills mismatch:High-paying trade jobs sit empty, while high school grads line up for university. | Hand and writing skills are becoming rare. | Hiring anyone who applied, sometimes you’re not buying, you’re selling. Vs. Factory floors full of college-educated workers. | Web design work is drying up. | Even resumes looking like Instagram or Tinder may not save you.
Edge cases:Four-day week means «I don’t waste holidays on chores». | Robots controlled by paralyzed people.
On health challenges:Death rates rising for all americans. | Sperm quality declined on dogs also. | Inflammation seems to underlie all sickness and fasting to regenerate the immune system. | Microplastics found on blood for first time.
On physical health:Regaining sight with artificial cornea implantation. | Myopia correcting «smart glasses». | Instead of filling cavities, dentists may soon regenerate them. | Walking again thanks to 3D printed spinal implant. | Pig kidney successfully transplanted and a bioartificial one is on tests. | Young blood rejuvenates old tissues. | Lab-grown blood is near.
On mental health:Transgender and gender-diverse individuals with elevated rates of autism. | Unnecessary medical care is harming patients. | The case for showering less. | Cellphones detox centers. | Ditching daylight saving time. | Travel prescriptions.
On viruses:COVID-19 coronavirus is here forever. | Mobility Index. | mRNA COVID-19 vaccines herald a new era for vaccinology. | Promising vaccines for HIV and malaria. | Ebola is now curable.
Edge cases:The human genome is finally complete. | World’s deadliest animal.
Ad-supported media:The internet of creation disappeared. Now we have the internet of surveillance and control. | Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor. | SEO is gentrifying the internet. | Click farms booming in China. | We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads. | Netflix saves kids from up to 400 hours of commercials a year. | The great race to rule streaming TV.
Democratization:Self-publishing. | Superstars are losing market share in streaming. | The dark side: media as food.
Edge cases:Slow Television or confort TV. | The lonely work of moderating a web community. | Media languages. | Vinyl set to outsell CDs.
Culture, beliefs & ethics:
Aesthetics:Less colourful world. | Normie Minimalism and Farmhouse Chic took over contemporary design. | Aging parents with lots of stuff and children who don’t want it. | Vaporwave. +
Faiths:Communism, sharing economy and vegetarianism. | Eco-anxiety and getting vasectomies to save the world. | First temple to Norse gods since Viking age and statue in honor of bitcoin creator.
Law & ethics:Web scraping is legal. | Should I block ads? | An autopilot killed two people. Is the driver guilty? Apparently not. | Human-monkey chimera embryos created in lab. | Personal experiences bridge moral and political divides better than facts and most violence is motivated by moral sentiments. | Are all world leaders psychopathic?
Edge cases:Japan’s police hunt for things to do. | Hedonism, sex and fear – why the Weimar republic is in vogue. | The escape room games industry and loot boxes.
Democratization:Too many people want to travel and it is silently changing the world. | Seaside’s appeal. | Resistance: 90-day minimum stay in Airbnbs outside resort areas.
No one wants to be a tourist anymore:The anti-tour. | Chernobyl’s «stalker» subculture. | Pandemic walks. | Randomized living. | Crowdfunded wandering. | Voluntourism. | Begpacking. | Lifestyle business tourism.
Coming back?Night trains and canteens.
Reduce, reuse & recycle:
The «plastic age». Its end is nearer:Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water. | 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. | Recycling was a lie to sell more plastic. | Most plastic recycling is dumped in landfills. | Hints: Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags and end consumer plastics. | Recycling waste plastic into strong cheap bricks.
«Right to repair»:EU introduce rules for appliances and Apple announces self service repair. | Repair is as important as innovation. | 40-year-old tractors are a hot commodity.
Edge cases:People are recycling too much garbage and it’s threatening the industry. | The war on food waste is a waste of time. | No one wants your used clothes anymore.
The beggining of photonic age:Solar has a better return on investment than oil and battery costs have plunged. | The new «gold rush» for green lithium. | Renewables became cheap very fast. Could we reboot a modern civilization without fossil fuels? | Supercomputer can now run on light.
Nuclear power is viable option:Mini-nuclear plants. | Largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly. | Major breakthrough in nuclear fusion.
Edge cases:Iron as a fuel. | Heat pumps + are becoming the technology of the future. | What’s an ambient superconductor? +
Ecology & climate:
Climate change is water change:Earth is greener than 20 years ago. Plant life is expanding and trees retake farmland globally as agroforestry advances. | CO2 in the atmosphere is beating records. | Buying cheap clothes has a price. It emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. The same with cement. |
Resistance:The dream of carbon air capture is becoming reality. | Anyone can make a difference. | 350 million trees planted in one day and could use wastewater.
On biodiversity:Insect and bird populations are declining but conservation efforts made wild mammals to comeback. | Bugs are evolving to eat plastic and Chernobyl black frogs reveal evolution in action.
Edge cases:Shortages make water a commodity. | Electric cars are starting to be taxed too. | Greta Thunberg.
Farming drives toward «precision agriculture»:Floating farm. | Urban rooftops. | Vertical farm out-produces flat farm. | «Planting» solar panels as water supplies dry up.
Is organic agriculture better for the environment?True cost of cheap food is health and climate crises.
«War on meat» is official:How to lower the price of plant-based meat? | The promise and perils of insect farming. | Lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time.
Urbanism & construction:
In a world of digital nomads many will be homeless:Living on pennies with a million-dollar view embracing van life. | Dorm living for professionals. | Big cities no longer deliver for low-skill workers.
The city of the future:May have way less parking once cars are not yet optimized. Hints: E-bikes and fare free public transport could be the revolution cities need.
The suburb of the future:Brings a tiny house trend but there are still too many too big houses. The allure of small towns for big city freelancers.
Is 3d printing the future of construction?Printing a tiny house in 24 hours or a two-story house is already possible. | The smart home still sucks.
Edge cases:Wooden skyscrapers or village on top of a mall. | Movable housing for scalable cities. | Crypto cities.
The age of car electrification:Corporations are embracing it and Europeans are leading. | Pickup trucks.
Eco-friendly long travels are on the way:Electric flight. | 1000km/h maglev trains. | Longest undersea rail tunnel.
Private space exploration started:Two humans into orbit and contract to develop spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon.
Edge cases:Affordable personal flying vehicle and submarine are in production. | Energy storage on auto bodies. | Electrified wingsuit. | Flight by light or windowless. | Klimaticket.
Drones, robotics & AI:
Drone revolution:Autonomous drone navigates through the forest and may fly for days. | 20-pound load delivery becomes a reality. | Drones can seed a forest, 100k trees a day or kill weeds and invasive nautical flora. They can even rescue swimmers and lost hikers, map slums for land titling or be used as sheep dogs. The dark side: tracking cars and people, scaning faces and license plates and armed with explosives.
Self-driving vehicles:Autonomous trucks are real but boats seem more solvable.
Machine learning:AI research was stagnant and used to be useless for business but it changed, 2023 is already marked by a major breakthrough. | Who knew the first AI battles would be fought by artists? | AI can beat Poker professionals.
Robots:Boston Dynamics is finally selling. | Hydrogel interfaces for merging humans and machines.
Computers:Your phone vs Supercomputers. | ARM got so successful without the public noticing. | Apple M1 means Intel’s disruption is now complete. | Using a Raspberry Pi or a iPad Pro as a main computer.
Timeless tools:Lego, paper and spreadsheets.
Edge cases:Transistors are civilization’s invisible infrastructure. | Computer files are going extinct. | Super App. | Privacy tools. | Analogic resistance: replacing touchscreen controls with mechanical ones. | Hardware pedal for improved text editing.
Getting mainstream +:Crypto index funds and relevance vs fiat money.
The quest for use cases:Web3. | Bitcoin is a hyperobject or even the singularity. | NFTs are the new conceptual art. | Leverage for dreams like life extension. | A good use case for blockchains is reward points.
The Crypto-Chernobyl:Heating homes by mining crypto currencies.