Future Trends – Living a Hypernormal Life

Posted By on October 21, 2016

Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.

In Future Trends – Living a Hypernormal Life we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, October 21st, 2016. We look at Adam Curtis’ new film, a smartphone laboratory, struggling for meaning in the Internet of Things, surviving a Tsunami, and a look back from 2026.

Hypernormalisation by Adam Curtis

The film has been made specially for iplayer – and is a giant narrative spanning forty years, with an extraordinary cast of characters. They include the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters, suicide bombers – and the extraordinary untold story of the rise, fall, rise again, and finally the assassination of Colonel Gaddafi.

All these stories are woven together to show how today’s fake and hollow world was created. Part of it was done by those in power – politicians, financiers and technological utopians. Rather than face up to the real complexities of the world, they retreated. And instead constructed a simpler version of the world in order to hang onto power

But it wasn’t just those in power. This strange world was built by all of us. We all went along with it because the simplicity was reassuring. And that included the left and the radicals who thought they were attacking the system. The film shows how they too retreated into this make-believe world – which is why their opposition today has no effect, and nothing ever changes.

But there is another world outside. And the film shows dramatically how it is beginning to pierce through into our simplified bubble. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago – that were then left to fester and mutate – but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury.

Here’s a review by Russell Brand (The Trews):

Read more at BBC and watch here (if in the UK or tunneling IP addresses) or here (until it gets taken down)

WSU portable smartphone laboratory detects cancer

Image courtesy of Washington State University

Washington State University researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a smartphone that can analyze several samples at once to catch a cancer biomarker, producing lab quality results.

The research team, led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently published the work in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956566316308983).

At a time when patients and medical professionals expect always faster results, researchers are trying to translate biodetection technologies used in laboratories to the field and clinic, so patients can get nearly instant diagnoses in a physician’s office, an ambulance or the emergency room.

Read more at Washington State University

“IoT: The Struggle for Meaning” by Massimo Banzi at Arduino Day

This ball could save your life in a tsunami

A Look Back from 2026: How the Deep Learning Revolution Happened | DataEDGE 2016

Here we are in 2026, and it’s been 10 years since the dawn of mainstream commercial applications of deep learning. Back in 2016, a small number of organizations were just starting to use deep learning for small, simple, (and in hindsight) obvious tasks. Who could have guessed what the next ten years would hold? In this talk, Jeremy Howard, who founded the first medical deep learning company, Enlitic (way back in 2014!) will look across industries at the history of how deep learning went mainstream, and changed all of our lives within just 10 short years.


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

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