A weekly publication of possible future scenarios

A random story from the archives

New process integrates solar power into the hydrocarbon economy
Dateline: 26 February 2026
A new process for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into usable liquid fuel has been commercialized and scaled up. Originally invented ten years ago, the process uses a unique catalyst to bond hydrogen in water with CO2 in the air to form methanol, a useful liquid chemical that can be burned...

Older stories

Nowhere to hide
It’s not Big Brother that’s watching you
Dateline: 6 November 2028
Remember those spy movies from way back, when the bad guys could stick a microchip inside you, and track your every move by satellite? Well, that’s no longer as far fetched as it might seem, and who needs microchips when they’ve got SIM cards? Of course, many of us have been willing participants in the...
Is there anybody out there?
Starlink satellites succumb to solar superstorm
Dateline: 13 September 2026
Since the SpaceX constellation of internet satellites called Starlink has been fully operational, it’s been wonderful – fast and responsive broadband everywhere, no matter where in the world you find yourself. Elon Musk himself sent the first tweet via Starlink in October 2019, but that was on the original pilot constellation of just 60 satellites....
Desperately seeking sovereignty
Offgridding is the new luxury lifestyle
Dateline: 26 October 2024
There’s a new movement that’s gaining traction around the world at an astonishing pace. From obscure corners of Belgium to West Virginia woodlands, from the Australian outback to the South African Karoo to the Mojave Desert, homemakers are choosing an alternative lifestyle, off the grid. Some of these nascent communities resemble hippie communes, while other...
Solar panels are the new plastic bottles
Discarded solar panels are piling up in all sorts of unwanted places, not just e-waste dumps and landfills
Dateline: 14 October 2048
The great thing about rooftop solar panels is that they don’t require much maintenance, and give us ‘free’ electricity for about 25 years. The not so great thing about solar panels is that after 25 years, what on earth do you do with them? In the frenzy that followed Greta Thunberg’s assault on the establishment...
Electric cars targeted in new trade war
China accused of dumping as prices collapse
Dateline: 26 September 2028
China’s success as the biggest producer of cars – mainly electric cars – the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but...
Global citizenship can be yours, digitally acquired
Freedom of movement finally decoupled from where you were born
Dateline: 5 April 2029
In a world littered with dark and ominous reports, there’s finally some good news. Gone are the days when the place where your mother’s water broke, determined whether you would drown in visa applications for the rest of your life. Before, only those who’ve won the citizenship lottery were able to criss-cross the globe to...
All is true
Never let inconvenient facts get in the way of a good story
Dateline: 12 September 2023
In the post-capitalist, post-digital, post-fact world of the 2020s, we’ve come to recognize that belief is all-important, and facts don’t really matter. Belief in ‘fictions’ is what holds society together, and what makes markets work. Without a common purpose, a shared belief that the system works, no one would be prepared to enter into a...
Pay-per-person is the new digital metric
Marketers embrace the spatial web and start paying for people rather than clicks
Dateline: 10 June 2021
As mixed reality becomes more and more enmeshed with ‘real’ reality, targeting customers has never felt more like a game. The good old pay-per-click marketing metrics might have worked back in the day when the online world stayed on your computer, but in the age of extended reality, where the distinction between online and offline...
What’s your personal ROI?
Investment in your future now depends on your elevator pitch!
Dateline: 19 December 2021
University education has become a game of loans. Student debt has exploded and increasingly, in the last few years, some of the best and brightest students got accepted into elite schools, only to fail to arrive on orientation day, because they couldn’t afford the tuition. There were only so many scholarships after all. Online courses...
Let’s do Apple for lunch
Or how about coffee at Facebook?
Dateline: 3 September 2021
Sometimes it’s surprising how quickly things can change, but now we don’t think of tech brands as companies, but rather as neighbourhood stores and coffee shops. You might pop down to your local Google Shoppe for an Android scan and a healthy drink at the juice bar, or visit Microsoft (again!) for that HoloLens fix,...

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