NEW book by Futurist David Houle “The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance”

“The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance” is the second book in a series by Fork Co-Initiator and Futurist David Houle about the 2020s. The first book in the series, published in January of last year, was “The 2020s: The Most Disruptive Decade in History“.

In this new book, Houle examines the state of being that people are currently in, and the state of the world that will keep them in cognitive dissonance for the remainder of the 2020s. Cognitive dissonance happens when one’s beliefs are no longer in alignment with reality. COVID-19 is the first in a number of disruptions that will force people to live with multiple, discordant realities as they navigate life and work.

This book reviews earlier eras of massive change. Those earlier eras ranged in length from 50 to 75 years. Houle argues that we will experience just as much creative destruction, volatility and disruption in just the next 10 years. This book provides insight into how to minimize stress and strife, and live effectively, during a constant state of cognitive dissonance.

David has set an amazing introductory price of $2.99 for the eBook, which will be available only until the paperback comes out (in two weeks), so now is the time to get it!

Fork in the road with chrome

“And so we have reached a fork in the road, a pivot point. Most of the people reading this will not want to opt for the uber-private apps and platforms—I recognize that. As good as DuckDuckGo is, as good as Signal is, as good as ProtonMail is, you’ll want to use a mainstream browser, WhatsApp or iMessage, and standard email apps.”

Why You Should Never Use Google Chrome On Your iPhone, iPad Or Mac
https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2021/04/10/why-you-should-never-use-google-chrome-on-your-apple-iphone-ipad-imac-or-macbook/
via Instapaper

Ted Chiang on AI

“Are we close to artificial intelligence programmes having the ability to design improved versions of themselves and realising recursive self-improvement? Not so much, according to the acclaimed science fiction author Ted Chiang. Writing in The New Yorker, Chiang outlines in plain English how the great innovation in AI, whereby machines can create smarter versions of themselves, will only come from human ingenuity and we aren’t anywhere close to it right now.”

🔮 Legitimacy; Facebook’s algorithm; AI’s inherent intelligence; antiscience & YouTube criminals ++ #316
https://www.exponentialview.co/p/ev-316
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We have the power but will we have the will?

“It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must de-condition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.”

Anthropology of the Future
View at Medium.com
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The Fork In The Road Project: Some of the latest highlights

“We believe that this decade may very well decide if we’re going to thrive as a species, or not…” Futurist Gerd Leonhard explains the idea behind The Fork Project in this presentation.

Highlights of the latest #forkintheroadproject presentation by Futurist Gerd Leonhard

And that is why our Manifesto starts with stating this: “Humanity has entered a critical moment in its history. The coming decade is a time of great historical significance, and the decisions humanity collectively makes in the next 10 years may well determine whether our future is bright and prosperous, or whether it leads to misery and perhaps even our eventual demise as a species.” 

Futurist Glen Hiemstra (Co-Initiator) writes on his latest blog :

“The idea of the Fork in the Road Project is to use engaging futurist narratives, deep foresight and our unique story-telling ability to help dramatically accelerate global conversation and action, in this decade, on the following 4 issues:

1. Dealing with the climate crisis so that humans and all life can continue to flourish
2. Designing new economic and political frameworks, based on sustainable principles
3. Managing exponential, scientific and technological progress
4. Governing human enhancement, longevity, and human genome editing so that progress continues while consequences are carefully considered

The idea of addressing these four issue domains together, in a systemic way, was also attractive to me. In addition, you may be familiar with the theory of the civilization “great filter.” This theory asks why, with over 200 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, and at least 50 billion planets now assumed to orbit these stars in the habitable zone, why don’t we see more clear evidence of intelligent civilizations in our neighborhood? The great filter theory is this: when a civilization reaches a level of technological and scientific capability to begin to travel into space, by necessity that same technological capacity means that the civilization is maxing out its environmental impact and is also capable of producing weapons sufficient to destroy itself. Perhaps, the theory suggests, few if any galactic civilizations turn out to be mature enough to pass through this great filter and indeed “qualify for continuance in the Universe.” READ MORE

Futurist David Houle (also Co-Initiator)comments “We see the #forkintheroadproject as a call to action, an understood metaphor, a story to be told and a meme that can raise awareness that in the 2020s humanity is at the fork in the road on every major issue facing humanity.  As futurists we are not about solving problems and building organizations.  We are about seeing the trends, the dynamics, the forces at play that are ahead of us all.  We see that humanity is in one of its’ most critical junctures in history.  As people who look at the arcs of history and project them into the future, we see that this decade, these nine years to 2030 is the time when the decision will be made – consciously or ignorantly.” READ MORE

Now is the time. Stay up to the latest of the #forkinteroadproject by following us on Twitter and be a part of the movement: sign the manifesto

10 years to shape the future

“20 years ago technology was changing our behavior, like driving a car or making a phone call using the Internet. But now technology is changing us. E.g., if you wear augmented reality glasses, virtual reality helmets or brain computer interface, then the way that you are, the way that you think, the way that you’re seeing things and hearing things changes fundamentally.”

10 years to shape the future, by Gerd Leonhard | Digital Future Society

10 years to shape the future, by Gerd Leonhard


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Must read by Buckminster Fuller

“By my own rules, I may not profess any special preoccupation or capability. I am a random element. … There is nothing even mildly extraordinary about me except that I think I am durable and inquisitive in a comprehensive pattern. I have learned much; but I don’t know very much; but what I have learned, I have learned by trial and error. And I have great confidence in the meager store of wisdom that I have secured.

He admonishes that traditional education incentivizes and measures precisely the opposite — not the ability to be “inquisitive in a comprehensive pattern,” but to memorize with a narrow focus, which in turn stifles innovation:

I am convinced that humanity is characterized by extraordinary love for its new life and yet has been misinforming its new life to such an extent that the new life is continually at a greater disadvantage than it would be if abandoned in the wilderness by the parents.”

Buckminster Fuller Presages Online Education, with a Touch of TED, Netflix, and Pandora, in 1962
https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/05/buckminster-fuller-education-automation-1962/
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Gerd’s latest presentation on “The Fork In The Road Project”, March 26th 2021 (Sarasota Institute)

A few days ago, co-initiator Gerd Leonhard gave a presentation on the #forkintheroadproject event in Sarasota FL (virtually of course).

Presentation held March 26th, 2021
Here’s a slideshow of the images used for the presentation

You can listen to the Audio version here

FUTURIST: Arriving at a global fork in the road

David Houle

[This was published on March 22, 2021 in the Sarasota Herald Tribune under the Moniker “THE FUTURIST]

Last fall I had a couple of Zoom calls with two futurists for whom I have a great deal of respect. We talked about what we saw going on in the world, what the lasting effect of the global pandemic might be and what is ahead for this decade. We all came to an agreement that one of the great futurists we all read years ago, and have come back to for wisdom, had succinctly suggested where in fact we are right now, 50 years ago.

R. Buckminster Fuller,inventor of the geodesic dome and several other spectacular things, wrote a book in 1969 called “Utopia or Oblivion: the Prospects for Humanity.” In it he suggested that in several decades humanity would come to a fork in the road, the two roads being utopia and abundance on one side and a mindless road to oblivion on the other.

“Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment … Humanity is in a final exam as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in the Universe,” wrote Fuller.

The three of us – Gerd Leonhard (futuristgerd.com/), Glen Hiemstra (futurist.com/), and I – all saw that the decade of the 2020s was the fork in the road that Fuller wrote about more than 50 years ago.

As futurists who peer into the future for a living, study macro-trends and arcs of history into the present, we all see this decade as the chance to fully, proactively create the road to the future that we want, rather than unknowingly, mindlessly heading down a road to a more dystopic future. Not that we are in the last stages of anything but rather that so many big, rapidly developing dynamics will occur this decade that we must collectively face them to shape them into the good future we want for ourselves and our children and grandchildren.Your stories live here.Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define it.

We wrote the #forkintheroadproject Manifesto and put it up on our new website.  On the website forkintheroadproject.com you can read the manifesto, read about the three of us, read our blog and also see the presentation that was made at our first global Zoom call. This first meeting of the #forkintheroadproject collective had futurists from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., Spain, South Africa and Brazil. In addition, there were a couple of noted science fiction writers, media executives, producers, and thought leaders. 

We all understand the longer-term consequences. We all see that if humanity wants a future that is positive, places humanity first, faces the immediate-to-long-term threat of the climate crisis and undertakes an inclusive discussion about the future of technological intelligence, genetic modification, the reinvention of capitalism to align with the realities of the 21st century, we must act with urgency between now and 2030.

We admire and acknowledge such organizations as the U.N, the World Economic Forum, the B Team, Singularity University and the Millennium Project (whose executive director is an initial signer of our manifesto), that see the need for massive reorganization of how economics and humanity currently exist on Earth as soon as possible. We cheer them on and see many well-intentioned efforts underway.  Many of these groups are well-funded and staffed with brilliant people who see the current problems and endeavor to fix them.

We see the #forkintheroadproject as a call to action, an understood metaphor, a story to be told and a meme that can raise awareness the fork in the road on every major issue facing humanity. As futurists we are not about solving problems and building organizations. We are about seeing the trends, the dynamics, the forces at play that are ahead of us all. We see that humanity is at one of its most critical junctures in history. As people who look at the arcs of history and project them into the future, we see that this decade, these nine years to 2030 is the time when the decision will be made – consciously or ignorantly.

We have set up a second meeting of the collective for later this month. We have invited additional futurists, media people, science fiction writers and thought leaders to it. At this stage the three initiators are looking for feedback, suggestions, commitments to action and generally to discuss how the #forkintheroadproject can be amplified, gain traction and begin to raise awareness that a true sense of urgency is needed. There are a number of huge issues facing humanity, many of which need to be addressed soon. 

While many forces challenge the future, we recognize these 4 overarching issues:

  1. Dealing with the climate crisis so that humans and all life can continue to flourish on Earth.
  2. Designing new economic and political frameworks, based on sustainable principles such as “People, Planet, Purpose & Prosperity.”
  3. Managing exponential scientific and technological progress.
  4. Governing human enhancement, longevity and human genome editing so that progress continues while consequences are carefully considered

Please visit the website, read the manifesto (forkintheroadproject.com/manifesto), read and view other content and if you are moved or in agreement with us, there are several things you can do. You can sign the manifesto, sign up for the newsletter, fill out a form if you or the organization you are with might want to get involved, and finally start to spread the word by using the hashtag #forkintheroadproject.

Time is of the essence. Urgency is called for. Thank you!