Feeding the Future: 

  • This data visualization shows how the typical daily diet for someone in the U.S. has changed over the decades - far less whole milk and red meat (offset by an uptick in chicken) and an explosive increase in the amount of cooking oil consumed. Notably, animal derived nutrition is still a significant share. As carbon concerns grow and lab-perfected substitutes to animal proteins get eerily accurate thanks to venture capital pouring in, it's likely that we will see a slow drift towards fewer creature sourced calories. We're praying that Soylent won't be prominent enough to have its own category in 10 years. 




Roadmapping the Future: 

  • From polymer science to GPS, the research and development priorities set by militaries with the aim of killing one another more effectively find their way into our day to day lives, albeit in greatly transformed ways. As a means to generate something that could be reasonably recognized as progress, the pay for swords and hope for plowshares model has always been dangerous. That it sometimes delivers on the promise of a better future says more about our human capacity for creative subversion than the inherent benefits of such a system. The Wall Street Journal has an article on the development of railgun technology and it is filled with the repetitive beats that accompany each new era of betting on death: huge budgets that siphon resources (money, materials, energy - the railgun itself requires a powerplant that could run 18,750 homes) an unquestioned attraction to the aesthetics of power and violence, and rattling off stats that quantify the technology, never speaking qualitatively of impacts on human lives when it works as intended. It is inevitable that in our collective resourcefulness many will find aspects that can be bent into benevolent forms but in hacking a circuitous path to progress out of what was designed for destruction, it's hard to believe we are pulling from the best of our possible futures.  


More next week.