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A Speculation On The Evolution Of Science

“Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all...

Robots, Imagination, And Spirit

Last month in Korea a computer scientist struck up a conversation on the subway. He told me in...

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Asia’s Technology-Driven Futures

KAIST International Forum on Asia’s Futures, Session 2 Seoul, December 13, 2018 I thank...

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Fred PhillipsRSS Feed of this column.

After a dozen years as a market research executive, Fred Phillips was professor, dean, and vice provost at a variety of universities in the US, Europe, and South America. He is now Professor at University... Read More »

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One of these loons who thinks all university research is worthless managed to get another op-ed to that effect published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It's worth looking at, not for the article itself, but for the lengthy and emotional comment thread.
The US national debt is now at 100% of Gross National Product, in other words equal to what we produce in a year. Forty cents of every dollar the US government spends is borrowed. Horrible, cry the pundits! The government should behave more like a family with a budget, should know when to stop spending!

Let’s consider, though, that the average home-owning family takes on a mortgage equal to two or three times its annual earnings. (Before the crash, this number was five, not two or three.) In the US, it’s common for this family to spend 40% of its monthly income servicing the mortgage debt. So far, then, the government is acting exactly like a family – and a fairly responsible family at that, as we’re not even talking about families that abuse credit cards.
I said there were two things keeping me busy and away from Science 2.0 for the last couple of months. The second thing was my transition to Editor-in-Chief of Technological Forecasting&Social Change, as of January 1.

TFSC is the world’s premier scholarly journal on technology assessment and futures. With its long history and a current download rate of 275,000 articles per year, TFSC also is one of Elsevier’s most widely read international journals.
Sorry I've been absent for a while. (I hope you missed me!) Here's one thing that's been keeping me busy:
The Portland International Conferences on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) occur in Oregon in odd-numbered years, and in diverse locales in the even. I write from lovely Phuket island in southern Thailand, as I listen to bird- and cricket song and the crashing surf of the Andaman Sea, and gather my thoughts following the close of PICMET-2010.
Rather than hijack Eric Diaz' excellent recent post with lengthy and tangential comments, I'll post my thoughts about the roots of war here. Machines, Organizations&Us is a column on human-machine interactions, so after laying some anthropological and ethical groundwork I'll offer speculations on relationships between technology (and our feelings about technology) and war.

One of my aikido students asked me,