Looking Back at Looking Forward

sharing knowledge about organisational foresight

Blended realities, blended lives

The Institute for the Future’s Technology Horizons 2008 Research Agenda article ‘Blended Realities, Blended Lives’ looks more like the present than the future. The article notes that the “wireless Web, virtual worlds, augmented realities overlaid on top of physical ones, advanced simulations and networked knowledge promise to transform our everyday experiences…”.

In today’s The Age there is a report on research into the web and social networking. The article claims one in five Australian’s “feel their online identities were closer to their ‘true self’ than their real-world identity [and that] many are defining themselves through their virtual identities”.

That is certainly consistent with IFTF’s view that “our personalities are becoming multiple and portable”. Even the forward-looking statement that we will soon be “able to carry our avatars from one context to another…from Second Life to…Google Earth” seems to be very near future given the trend towards integration (of social networks, other web sites, communication tools).

I’ve posted on the emergence of multiple identities:


and on Protagoras, “man is the measure of all things; of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not”.

People have always had there own distinct view of ‘reality’, there own way of making sense of and interpreting things. I see the growth of multiple virtual identities as being complementary to ordinary life…through dreaming, art, conversation. The Web enhances creative expression.


December 3, 2007 Posted by | foresight, philosophy | , , , | Leave a comment

More on philosopy

In the History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell observed that “modern definitions of truth, such as those of pragmatism and instrumentalism, which are practical rather than contemplative, are inspired by industrialism as opposed to aristocracy” (page 42). The absence of strategic thinking (contemplation) in many contemporary organisations appears to be due to the dominance of pragmatisim, and in my view incrementalism – products of the industrial age. Consequently those that are in effect destitute of the long-term view are comfortable in judging those that articulate foresight as foolish.

And on Protagoras, “man is the measure of all things; of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not” (page 83). So each man in the measure of all things. There is no objective value in truth. There is no objective value in foresight.The absence of objectivity makes the majority – or at least those that dominate – the arbiters of what to believe. Foresight must be expressed in ways that are of practical value to the majority – or to the dominant – to be influential.

April 10, 2007 Posted by | foresight, philosophy | , , , | Leave a comment