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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sign Me Up for Scout World

One approach to preparing for the future is to create and analyze scenarios--competing plot outlines of what the future has in store. Science fiction writer and WIRED columnist Bruce Sterling puts forward a four-part scenario set in his blog, based on preparing for life in 2010. It is part of a series of blog items associated with his visit to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, well worth the read.

  • "Business As Usual" sees threats as low, business as good; don't rock the boat.
  • "Deer in the Headlights" has grave threats and a paralyzed, fearful populace. Terror runs amuck.
  • "Never Again" has high threat, high resolution of purpose (think of the post 9/11 years on steroids).
  • "Scout World" has high threat and "hysterically inventive" responses.
Sterling has the obligatory two-axis chart (response and threat), with a different kind of cutting implement representing each scenario. "Business As Usual" = Silver-plated dinner knife; "Deer in the Headlights" is a plastic picnic butter knife; "Never Again" is a saber; "Scout World" is a Swiss Army Knife with a USB memory stick on one hinge. (I would have preferred a Leatherman.)


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