Archive: future

October 13th, 2014 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society | Comments Off

Future of Population and U.S. Culture

Back in 2012 the U.S. Census bureau released numbers forecasting that, in the U.S., the non-Hispanic white population – the historical majority – will peak in 2024 at 244 million. That demographic group will then begin a slow decline in actual numbers while the former minority groups continue to grow, until minorities become the majority around the year 2043. This is a well known forecast, but the deeper meanings of this change for the country are under explored.

Paul de Lumen, Futuro Media Group photo

Paul de Lumen, Futuro Media Group photo

Right now, PBS is running an 8-episode series that digs into this impending demographic shift, called America by The Numbers. As the host, Maria Hinojosa notes, the standard media treatment of demographic change is that it is something to fear. But, she argues, “I think what we’re trying to do with our television series is in fact put a mirror up to our country. And if we are already in fact the country that is incredibly diverse — in many cities, already majority non-white — then why are we fearful for something that is already happening?”

I think the most fundamental question as this demographic shift takes place is whether and how the emerging majority will participate in the democratic process, both voting and running for office. Right now there are frantic efforts by the political right in the U.S. to discourage and where possible prevent people in the emerging majority from voting. If such efforts succeed for a while, then we may see much less political change than might be expected.

What do you think will be the impacts of this ongoing and fundamental change to a more diverse U.S. population?

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September 18th, 2014 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy | Comments Off

Future Rise of China, and Alibaba

Tomorrow, September 19, 2014 Alibaba, the Chinese Amazon-like company, makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO is anticipated to be the largest ever. This is just another, though powerful, indicator of the rise of China, and Asia more generally. What does this mean for the future?

Now Forecasting Net has published an interesting piece on the rise and fall of modern empires, suggesting that forecasting tools could see this coming long ago. The article is accompanied by this chart…

Source: Forecasting Net

Source: Forecasting Net

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September 5th, 2014 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Space | Comments Off

Mapping the Universe – Where are We?

This a truly astonishing video, published by Nature video, based on research led by Brent Tully, University of Hawaii. Watch, and marvel at how dense and connected the universe is, note that star clusters move toward each other as well as away, and of course ask, can we really be alone in all this vastness?

Ht to Lloyd Walker of the APF for calling attention to this video, posted at BusinessInsider.

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July 30th, 2014 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

3D Printing Future Looks Promising

Shapeways is a company bringing 3D printing to the masses. I am curious as to how large an impact 3D printing will really have on manufacturing, and how soon. Recently, spending some time teaching strategic thinking to Saint Gobain, a couple of manufacturing researchers in the class confirmed for me that they are using 3D printing more and more and in fact expect it to become faster, and more widely used than I had suspected.

Imagine a world where many products are manufactured on demand, in the local equivalent of a Kinkos copy store. Imagine the ability to tweak the design yourself, if you want, before you hit the print button. This future may be coming sooner than we think.

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July 24th, 2014 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Immigration is not overwhelming the future

During recent visits to various parts of the U.S., in casual conversation with people I am asked what I think should be done about the “tidal wave” of illegal immigration allegedly going on. When I point out that the problem is not nearly so bad now as it once was, people literally take a step back and look at me like I am crazy, so thorough is the news propaganda that hypes this issue endlessly.

It is an issue that matters to me, as a child of immigrant grandparents and mother. We ourselves are not that long in this country, and I grew up on stories of what it was like for my mother’s family to sail into New York and to pass by the Statue of Liberty with its famous but now nearly forgotten welcoming words:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Instead we have the quite embarrassing scene of hoards of “patriots” standing at the border protesting the entry of 60,000 – 60,000!! — children and young people who are refugees seeking to escape violence and poverty in their home countries. Americans should be, and used to be, much better than that.

As for the real truth about immigration the recent stats are these…

While the number of unaccompanied youth crossing the border has doubled to nearly 60,000 in the past year, the total number of undocumented immigrants has mostly declined. About 1 million people have been caught crossing the border nearly every year between 1983 until 2006, but that number has dropped to about 400,000 in 2013.

The future will undoubtedly involve people moving around the world. We had better figure out how to deal with it in an intelligent way.

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