In 2008 I wrote in a blog post:
“Google rank will become a political argument. Instead of saying ‘this is why I am right’ political leaders will say ‘type Iraq war in google and look at how my speech comes up first’. [...] Google will be perceived as the ultimate organizer of relevance [...] If you are on top of google you are right, and you are right because the population put you there’.
I have never heard a politician say this yet. But I found an interesting and somehow comparable occurence of this: futurist Thomas Frey introduces himself this way on his site:
“Futurist Speaker blog is produced by Google’s top-rated futurist speaker, Thomas Frey.”
So here is someone saying “I’m the top-rated something because Google says so”. Interesting, my prediction is still wrong, but less than before ;)
The good news: civilization goes beyond 2012! You won’t escape the christmas gifts craze this year, the mayans were wrong ;)
The bad news: according to the most pessimistic scenarios outlined in The Futurist and based on “pooling the empirical trend data and the knowledge of more than 100 experts”, the world has a 25% chance to “decline to disaster”.
From 2015 through 2020, a doubling of global GDP will cause the Global MegaCrisis to become intolerable, with the planet teetering on environmental collapse. Here are TechCast’s four scenarios:
• Decline to Disaster (25% probability): World fails to react, resulting in catastrophic natural and economic calamities. Possible loss of civilization.
• Muddling Down (35% probability): World reacts only partially, so ecological damage, increased poverty and conflict create major declines in life.
• Muddling Up (25% probability): World reacts in time out of need and high-tech capabilities; widespread disaster averted, although many problems remain.
• Rise to Maturity (15% probability): World transitions to a responsible global order.
Reminds me of a talk by The rational optimist author Matt Ridley in which he was explaining that, as far as he could remember, the end of the world was constantly predicted to happen in the next 20 years. And it never happened. Inhabitants of the 50s were afraid of the nuclear winter, those of the 70s of a global war between the US and USSR, in the 2000s there was the famous bug. Now it’s global warming and the mayan calendar. Perhaps this constant fear of the future is a positive social mechanism that motivates innovators and entrepreneurs to get to work and change the status quo. Perhaps it’s a crowd control tool? What do you think?
Thierry Weber filmed my recent speech at the EPFL, a short talk I had a lot of fun to prepare and give. Check it out, it’s in French but the Apple video is really funny!
Sorry for not embedding the video directly, but our WordPress MU doesn’t tolerate embeds for some reason…