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Lifestyles and values.

* We will increasingly treat free time as a general social asset. This free time, or "cognitive surplus" of creativity, insight, and knowledge, could be harnessed for large, communally created projects, thanks to the spread of information technology. We've gone from a world with two models of media--public broadcasts by professionals and private conversations between pairs of people--to a world where public and private media blend together and where voluntary public participation has moved from nonexistent to fundamental.

--Clay Shirky, "Tapping the Cognitive Surplus," Nov-Dec 2010, p. 21

* Accelerating change may accelerate resistance to change. The uncertainties and discomfort that accompany rapid changes (such as in new technologies and social structures) often provoke individuals to retreat into rigid belief systems and even aggressive, dysfunctional behavior. People may become more apathetic about the future at a time when they need to be more aware and engaged, warn the authors of The Techno-Human Condition. --Braden R. Allenby and Daniel Sareioitz, "The Accelerating Techno-Human Future," Sep-Oct 2011, p. 32

* New data on the neuroscience of human attraction and bonding will change the way people partner and fall in love. The feeling of romantic love is associated with the brain's dopamine system for wanting. One company has begun to bottle a perfume that contains oxytocin, the natural brain chemical that, when sniffed, triggers feelings of trust and attachment. --Helen Fisher, "The New Monogamy, Forward to the Past," Nov-Dec 2010, p. 28

* Human relationships won't die, but they will change shape. As more people conduct more social interaction in virtual space, their relations to each other in physical space will change profoundly. "Nuclear" families will morph into other arrangements. Communities could see more construction of single-person housing units due to more homeowners having virtual partners instead of live, in-person partners. Virtual marriages might become normal, and the spouses will claim real benefits and legal ties. --Arnold Brozon, "Relationships, Community, and Identity in the Neiu Virtual Society," Mar-Apr 2011, p. 31

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* Look for a rise in "lessmeatarianism" as the public grows increasingly aware of the beef industry's impacts on the climate. Less meat and dairy in our diets could reduce agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 80% by 2055, according to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. --World Trends & Forecasts, Nov-Dec 2010, p. 9

* The future is full of bicycles. As the world keeps urbanizing, people's health will increasingly suffer from environmental pollution and from sedentary lifestyles that do not allow for enough physical activity. Meanwhile, resource depletion will accelerate. Local transportation systems that encourage biking and walking could be a powerful antidote to these harmful trends, however. There are encouraging signs of more bike use already, including the creation of bike trails, rising popularity of bike tours, and more doctors encouraging elderly patients to bike more often. --Kenneth Harris, "Bike to the Future," Mar-Apr 2011, pp. 25-28

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* Gaming will help improve our ability to make decisions. Researchers observe that overconfidence can lead to poor decision making. Now, a Web-based game called World of Uncertainty gauges how confident people are when making decisions, so they can become better aware of their own biases, according to David Newman of Queen's University Belfast, one of the game creators. --World Trends & Forecasts, July-Aug 2011, pp. 10-11

* Future human societies may be divided between augmented and nonaugmented breeds. Those who can afford technological enhancements, including changes to their DNA, may become so significantly altered that they will no longer be able to breed with non-enhanced humans. --Steven M. Shaker, "The Coming Robot Evolution Race," Sep-Oct 2011, p. 22
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Publication:The Futurist
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2011
Words:593
Previous Article:Information society.
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