Adapting Debates for the 21st Century

October 08 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Government   Year: 2008   Rating: 4 Hot

If you managed to watch the debate last night, you’re probably just as frustrated as everyone else at the way the candidates behaved. I’m not talking about physical behavior, but the verbal arguments. Every other line was about how the other candidate wasn’t telling the truth about certain subjects. I guess “not telling the truth” is the new way of saying “you’re lying” without coming off as confrontational.

This may be how debates have been run since the founding of this country (heck, the campaign of Jefferson vs Adams was probably the worst mud-slinging campaign of all time), but don’t you think in the age of instant information that twisting the truth only breeds distrust? What does it tell you about the candidates when every spin they try and weave can be blown apart by going to a site like

It’s time we adapted the political discourse to the 21st Century.

We need to sit these candidates down face to face and ask them the hard questions. If they try and spin a lie, the moderator should be informed via something akin to Twitter and call them on it right then and there. “I’m sorry Mr. Lincoln, you haven’t always been anti-slavery. In fact, just last week in Kentucky you told the audience you weren’t concerned about slave rights.” Can you imagine how incredible that would be? Facts would be facts, lies would be lies, and each politician would be responsible for the words they say.

This may seem a little harsh, but these people are vying for the office of President of the United States of America. This isn’t a show like Bill O’Reilly or Keith Olbermann where the commentators aren’t held accountable for their lies mistakes.

The American people deserve more from the candidates and this method of debating (only three debates, are you kidding me?) is incredibly outdated. Let’s get the candidates to speak the truth and stop this incessant parlay which makes every debate seem like a tie.

image courtesy of Mich Licht at

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Scenario Land: Bringing the Future to Life through Fiction & Scenarios

October 15 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 3

Hello All & Welcome to Scenario Land!

Ever since I got hip to the reality of accelerating change I’ve been working to bridge that understanding to the masses. My string of efforts have included blogging, working with the Acceleration Studies Foundation on their powerful conference series and Metaverse Roadmap Project:, pitching TV shows about the future (in addition to Augmented Reality space adventures – think Big Brother meets Space Balls), and co-launching MemeBox with fellow futurist Jeff Hilford.

And now the real fun begins…

This blog, Scenario Land, is the culmination of my burning drive to make futurism more accessible to the people who just don’t have the time nor the interest to pore through awesome books like Mega Trends, The Fourth Turning, and The Singularity is Near. The intent is to strike a balance between entertainment and technical trend analysis, establishing a portal where creative and critical thinkers alike can engage the future together.

It’s a place where you can fearlessly share your thoughts on the world of tomorrow. Whether your strength lies in narrative story-telling, essay writing, illustration, composite imaging, comics, video, machinima or elsewhere, Scenario Land is a broadcast platform that can amplify your visions of the future. If you’ve got a big imagination and a desire to debate the road ahead, this is the place to make that happen.

I plan on using it to evolve my simulation of the future and sincerely hope you will do the same.

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Blending Entertainment & Futurism, Scenario Land Joins MemeBox's Future Blogger Network

October 15 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future
Category: Other   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

MemeBox is proud to announce the launch of Scenario Land. Edited by futurist and Future Blogger co-editor Alvis Brigis, the new site tackles the future head-on through a provocative blend of speculative fiction and plausible trend-informed scenarios.

“Striking the balance between entertainment and empirical futurism, Scenario Land is a place where creative and critical thinkers alike can engage the future,” says Brigis, “Whether your strength lies in narrative story-telling, essay writing, illustration, composite imaging, comics, video, machinima or elsewhere, Scenario Land is a great outlet for sharing and debating visions of our future.”

As a branch of MemeBox’s FutureBlogger network, Scenario Land overlaps with other future-focused sister blogs including The Energy Roadmap ( and Future of Gadgets (launching soon). This unique system allows Scenario Land to retain a unique voice while also amplifying reach and inviting valuable perspectives from other niche focus areas.

“Change is accelerating, making it increasingly difficult to envision the futures ahead of us,” points out MemeBox CEO Jeff Hilford, “So our goal here at MemeBox is to create a rich, interactive playground that allows you to explore various trends and tomorrows. Scenario Land is a key part of our growing ecosystem where people can fearlessly speculate about and debate all things future.”

If you’ve got a big imagination for the future and want to contribute your thoughts about a rapidly changing world, Scenario Land is the place to get it all out and spread your powerful ideas.

Be sure to check out Alvis’ Welcome Post to readers and enjoy!

Where McCain and Obama stand on Science and Technology

August 01 2008 / by justinelee / In association with Future
Category: Government   Year: General   Rating: 2

Over the past few months Americans have been trying to grasp what each presidential nominee will bring to the table once inaugurated as our Commander-in-Chief this coming January.

With looming issues that include the economy, the war in Iraq, and gas prices, there has been little emphasis placed on how either John McCain or Barack Obama feel about the government’s role in science and technology despite a growing group of citizens who want the issue debated.. These individuals believe that the future of America’s science and technology sectors are crucial to the success of our economy, world image, and ultimately our well-being.

I found this table presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), useful but not definitive.

The table compares the decisions made by McCain and Obama regarding policies on science and technology spanning energy, health care and innovation.

It is clear through this table that Obama has given each issue some more thought: his calls for change include concrete numbers and percentages, while McCain’s do not.

With some more research, I found that much of the same was reflected in McCain and Obama’s campaign websites and other articles written about their stances.

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Horgan and Kurzweil duke it out over the Singularity

October 25 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Other   Year: 2008   Rating: 1 Hot

In a futurist battle-royal, John Horgan (author of The Undiscovered Mind) and Ray Kurzweil (CEO of Kurzweil Technologies, author of The Singularity is Near) held a debate over the Singularity in front of the assembled audience. What I thought was going to be rather scientific actually turned out to be a very interesting conversation.

John Horgan started off the debate on the attack. “I’m the skunk at Kurzweil’s garden party” he began, warming the audience to his stance. (To be fair, he was going up against the central figure in the Singularity movement in front of a lot of Singularity proponents – tough by any standards.)

He announced that he himself had once believed in the notion of a Singularity. Jovially, he kidded that once he had in fact experienced the Singularity as he tripped on drugs. “I became the Singularity.” What came next was a traditional thorough assault on the Singularity movement.

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