UChannel podcast served a lecture and Q&A session with futurist Richard Watson at the RSA. For the podcast listener there was a lot to be expected, yet also a lot to be missed. Expectations were high because of the subject: the history of the next 50 years. The RSA public was similarly affected and arrived in great numbers.
The lecture disappointed me. Fun though it is, to be informed about current trends and to let someone project them onto each other - even if the charts were not made visible for the iPod audience. (It would do to serve these as enhanced podcasts. Also in vodcast the element of charts and maps goes lost. We do not need to see the speaker, we just need the occasional glimpse at the slide. If one looks for a comparison, one needs only to look at Stanford.) However, getting the hotchpotch of trends only resulted in some sexy one-liners, but hardly in some coherent image that could serve as a history, let alone anything close to a narrative.
The real value, for me, was, that Watson taught me to look at trends, not only as far as new and upcoming developments, but also to look at things that are disappearing. As a new medium user, I can only agree TV and Radio are to disappear, but to my dismay, Watson also included blogging - let's hope not. Anyway, some food for thought, but a much ado about very little.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict,
Civilization and the Hills,
New World Order,
The Invisible Hand,
The Second World.