A weekly publication of possible future scenarios

A random story from the archives

Synthetic Biologists say it’s not what it seems
Dateline: 4 February 2022
The sugar taxes did not work, the juice cleanses came and went, and now that obesity rates have broken through the roof, it’s time for us to try something different. In 2016 Oxford scientists created oranges that tasted and smelled like grapefruit. They were driven by purely economic reasons back then, as it took about...

Older stories

Sign up for the surveillance society
Automated contact tracing, for our own protection
Dateline: 3 April 2023
As any politician knows, you should never waste a good crisis. When Covid-19 raised its ugly head, demagogues and autocrats quickly seized the day, putting entire countries in lockdown, and requiring recovered or suspected cases to surrender their personal information, so that their movements could be tracked and their contacts traced. And we happily agreed;...
RIP Travel Industry
The year that travel died
Dateline: 21 March 2021
It’s a little over a year since the coronavirus outbreak became a global pandemic, resulting in travel bans, flight cancellations, and eventually widespread lockdowns of major cities and entire countries. Air travel, except cargo and mercy flights, ground to a halt. Interstate and intercity busses were parked. As people were confined to homes, taxis and...
Hello, Generation V
New generation is not defined by age, but experiences and lifestyle
Dateline: 19 March 2023
Hello. Hi. How are you? I won’t shake hands or hug.  But you didn’t expect that either. We don’t do that anymore. We’ve learned our lesson about casual social contact. ‘No touch’ is not just the auto sensor on the door, it’s become a way of life. And when we do touch, that’s very intimate,...
Beyond the rebellion
Climate change off the agenda as business reality bites
Dateline: 12 March 2022
We all remember the Black Monday crash of 2020, when the nefarious nexus of coronavirus shutdowns and the OPEC price war sent oil plummeting to US$ 33 per barrel. Stocks and shares went with it, and the rout was real, and global. Although precipitated by seemingly random, Black Swan events, the signs were there for...
Release the phages!
Targeting a viral outbreak with a counter-virus
Dateline: 5 March 2026
The latest outbreak of a contagious coronavirus from China came as no surprise – we’ve seen this movie before, several times. But now we’re better prepared, with the sort of biotech ‘weapons’ that just didn’t exist in 2020. We’ve known for a long time, many decades in fact, that you can use one microorganism to...
Word hacking for fun and profit
Using weaponized words for corporate gain
Dateline: 26 February 2024
We all know that businesses, political parties and governments openly use words to advance their causes. It’s called advertising, and sometimes Public Relations. If it’s an overt attempt to make us buy a product, vote for someone, or behave in a certain way, then that’s fine. But sometimes it’s a lot less ethical. Like when...
Smartwear can save your life
Beyond digital disguise, privacy and health tracking
Dateline: 17 February 2027
No doubt you’re unimpressed by ads for ‘smart’ wearables that can change your life. Whether it’s the latest gear or fitbit or smart watch, it’s just another wearable gadget that connects you, or measures and tracks your personal data, right? Sure, you can get health alerts, but it’s not like personal protection equipment or body...
Your automobile needs a tech support plan
Would you buy a software-defined vehicle from a used car salesman?
Dateline: 12 February 2024
If you’re like me, you love tech and you love cars. But you don’t like buying the latest model, with all the bells and whistles, only to see it lose a fifth of its value the moment you drive it off the showroom floor. Like me, you like to buy a good pre-owned, pre-loved model...
The food is all fake
But it never tasted this good!
Dateline: 5 February 2026
A lot of strange things have happened in the food business in the last seven years. First, we saw the improbable runaway success of Impossible Foods – burgers and chicken made from plants, that taste just like the real thing. And their stock price soared! Then came a major global health scare, the novel coronavirus...
The SIMs is not a game
Machine to reality is the new business paradigm
Dateline: 29 January 2028
We’re all living in a simulation, but it’s reality. You might suspect that life is just a Matrix-like simulation, a virtual reality experience that is so realistic, we just assume it’s real. Well, when it comes to products and new things, that’s how it works now. Eight years ago, when researchers were looking for new...

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