Posts Tagged ‘health’

Future forecasting remains fraught, fascinating

Our book has some fun mocking the self-assurred pronouncements of televised pundits, and also pushes our readers to seriously confront their own blinkered views of what may be coming in the decades to come.  The fundamental message of The Resilient Investor is that no matter what you see as most likely, these times of rapid change and unpredictability require a broader diversification of our time and attention, so you’ll to be “ready for anything.”  This can sometimes come across as preparing for the worst (we’ll have a post on this misconception soon), but staying poised to take advantage of new opportunities is surely the more exciting part of the equation.

A series of recent articles caught our eye in this regard.  First up, a couple of quickies from Peter Diamandis, one that looked back at eight exponential changes we’ve seen over the past ten years (e.g., in 2005, YouTube first appeared and driverless cars were just twinkles in DARPA’s eye), and another that spells out eight even more disruptive changes that he sees in the coming decade (including 8 billion people being online and a financial revolution driven by the blockchain protocol that fueled Bitcoin).

Going a tad deeper was a Huffington piece featuring few paragraphs each from seven top futurists.  What are they seeing in their crystal balls that might shape the world in ways we’ll want to be ready to respond to? Many focus on health care, where computing, sensing, and AI advancements are combining to create some huge leaps. Read the whole thing, but here are some highlights:

“By 2025, 3D printers will print clothing at very low cost. There will be many free open source designs, but people will still spend money to download clothing files from the latest hot designer just as people spend money today for eBooks, music and movies despite all of the free material available. 3D printers will print human organs using modified stem cells with the patient’s own DNA providing an inexhaustible supply of organs and no rejection issues. We will be also able to repair damaged organs with reprogrammed stem cells, for example a heart damaged from a heart attack. 3D printers will print inexpensive modules to snap together a house or an office building, lego style.”

“Predictive medicine transforms health care. Early diagnosis of disease with medical devices that sniff our breath, and free DNA sequencing that predicts our future health will be common. Personalized genetic medicine will prevent disease, saving lives and billions in lost productivity. . . . Apps designed by medical professionals will provide efficient real-time feedback, tackle chronic conditions at a much earlier stage, and help to improve the lifestyles and life outcomes of communities in the developed and developing world.”

“The technologies aren’t the most important bit—although they are super cool. It’s what society does with them, and right now it’s institutional change that’s the sticking point. What you really want to look at, in my opinion, is new ways of organizing ourselves.”


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Integral Life Practice

Integral Life Practice is an evolutionary tool that provides a foundational framework and set of practices to gain more perspective and transform all aspects of your life: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Created by well-known author and teacher Ken Wilber, the website provides access to a Practice kit as well as audio and video tools, books, forums, etc, all in pursuit of developing a comprehensive approach to life. Visit website.

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Hans Rosling: Videos that illuminate statistics to reshape your worldview

Hans Rosling is not as much of a big-picture philosopher/analyst, like many of our D-type thought leaders, but rather offers dramatic visual representations of our recent history, making the point that by nearly every measurable criteria, human society has been steadily improving. He’s a professor of international health, and a wizard at presenting statistical data in ways that delight and inspire.

Video: 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 minutes
The best introduction to his overall message; from a BBC special.

See all his TED talks here.

Video: How Not to be Ignorant About the World
In this video, Hans Roslings shares charts on global population, health, and income to demonstrate that many of our ideas about the state of the world are wrong. His son Ola provides guidance on four ways to become less ignorant about the world in which we live.

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Self-tracking tools on the Quantified Self website

The Quantified Self website is an Evolutionary tool, a collaboration of users and makers of self-tracking tools, with the aim of helping people derive meaning from their personal data. The website is part of Quantified Self Labs, a California-based company founded by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, which offers all kinds of tools and events in support of the Quantified Self. Visit website.

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RTracker: A Generic, Customizable Personal Data Tracker for the IPhone

We offer RTracker as an example of a burgeoning new trend of “lifelogging for the Quantified Self,” here via an iPhone app focused on flexible personal data tracking. A user can create and use his or her own trackers, for topics such as exercise, sleep quality, car travel, patient progress, etc. We haven’t used this or any of the similar products; this is sure to be a rapidly-evolving product category. Visit the app’s website.

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