Wicked Minds - Issue #7: Living the Future





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Wicked Minds - Issue #7: Living the Future
By Socratus • Issue #7 • View online
How should we learn to solve public problems? What methods will give us a visceral feel for the future? I once tried to convince the city of Cambridge (that’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, not Cambridge, England) to give me a block in the heart of the city for a weekend futuring exercise.
The idea was that once you passed through an invisible wall surrounding the block you were twenty years in the future and would have to act, work and play as if you were inhabiting that future right now. And after you left the zone, you would have a muscle memory for the future you want to create.
The idea fell apart after getting some traction, but it was fun thinking through the script and the props that would make that future happen today.
Perhaps I should have tried a virtual version first. This week’s newsletter is focused on the medium of public problem solving while being fully aware that the medium affects the message.

You can’t think of the future without thinking about technology. I think it will be easier to build public problem solving platforms through play than through ‘serious’ activity. Think Roblox or Minecraft - it will never be confused for the real real world, but gives enough of a visceral feel that it can be built upon.
Like what the students at UC Berkeley did when they realized they couldn’t graduate in the real world. They build the entire campus in Minecraft and conducted the graduation ceremony there.
I have a soft spot for spaces that tell a story.
But of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch: all this futuring and disrupting can have real world consequences. It would be rather ironic if our attempts to imagine a better world consumed more resources than the current works can sustain. And let’s never forget that even the most expansive imaginations can be hijacked by forces of exploitation. The web is a great example.
depending on which study you read, the annual carbon emissions from the electricity required to mine Bitcoin and process its transactions are equal to the amount emitted by all of New Zealand. Or Argentina.
To put this into perspective, one Bitcoin transaction is the “equivalent to the carbon footprint of 735,121 Visa transactions or 55,280 hours of watching YouTube,” according to Digiconomist, which created what it calls a Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. (Critics of this comparison point out that the average Bitcoin transaction is worth about $16,000, while the average Visa transaction is worth $46.37, but you get the point.)
Bitcoin's Climate Change Impact Is Under Scrutiny - The New York Times
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