Author: floraschnall

FM-2030 on Change

I imagine a half-human, half-machine robot, perhaps stitched together by a futurist Newt Gingrich in some sterile, state-subsidized, private, for-profit R&D facility, a sort of Frankenstein for the brave new world, when I consider the author of “The Only Real Trend is Fast-Forward,” FM-2030 (Commentary, Dec. 18). FM-2030 has apparently been programmed to feed back […]

The Only Real Trend Is Fast-Forward; Zeitgeist: During an age in which traditions are discarded daily, even the religious right can’t be termed conservative.

It is a truism that we live in an age of accelerating change. Never has progress been as rapid, global or profound as it is today. If things are changing faster and faster, what accounts for the paradox of repeated conservative election victories in North America and elsewhere? How does one explain the apparent surge […]

FM-2030 on Government

Re “Why Worry About Government? We’re on Automatic Fast Forward,” Commentary, Nov. 25: FM-2030 (what a droll name, sounds like an e-mail nickname) raises important ideas on “traditional values” that need rethinking as we approach the 21st Century. Among them are traditional values about work and the work ethic. Business is downsizing and automating, government […]

Why Worry About Government? We’re on Automatic Fast Forward Future: The direction of the country is set by forces bigger, stronger than all of Washington

An ideological battle has been raging between conservatives and liberals in the United States and Western Europe-a battle that would be comical, if not for its ferocity and for the millions of dollars dissipated on political campaigns. Implicit in this conflict is the assumption that whoever controls Congress or occupies the White House will determine […]

PERSPECTIVE ON GOVERNMENT Our Political Process Suits the 18th Century Technology has changed but decision-making has not. Our out-of-sync `democracy’ is slow, costly and exclusionary.

News flashes across the planet in seconds. Electronic transfer zips billions of dollars from continent to continent in minutes. Entire professions and industries and nations dis-exist and coalesce overnight. The world is streaming ahead faster and faster-but the American election process creeps along slower and slower. We are in the middle of another volatile election […]

Orange County 1990 Life in the Year 1999

The 1990s, futurists say, will be a decade in which the technologies already in place will become highly sophisticated and refined: American families can expect to see a tremendous amount of computer and robotic technology in the home. Based on 35 interviews with futurists and experts as diverse as automotive designers and sociologists, we offer […]

Stop With the Predictions

We do indeed live, as (author) FM-2030 points out, in a fast-changing, electronically interlocked world (“Are You Ready?” by Connie Koenenn, Jan. 11). One thing that hasn’t changed, apparently, is that a crank with a gimmick and a penchant for holier-than-thou jargon can make lots of money, even in our “post-industrial” society. What FM-2030 has […]

Part Trans and Another Part Human

I stand uneasily astride the past and the Brave New World envisioned by the futurist who has changed his name from F. M. Esfandiary to FM-2030. Evidently FM-2030 adopted his new name to be more in keeping with the digital society we live in. (Our recent story about FM-2030, by Connie Koenenn, didn’t say whether […]

Are You Ready? The Future Is Here, and This Author With a Strange Name Has a Test for Those Who Wonder if They’ll Fit In

Have you traded in your typewriter for a personal computer and your plug-in telephone for a mobile cellular unit? Do you send electronic mail instead of writing letters? Do you even know what electronic mail is? Have you relegated such routine personal chores as depositing checks and paying bills to a telebanking system? Do you […]