"Here at THE9BILLION you'll find the latest news, information and opinion related to living a happier and more sustainable life, one day at a time. Main categories cover Earth, Technology, Living, Business, Politics, Culture, Entertainment, and the Social aspects of life.
It's estimated that the world's population will reach around 9 billion people by 2050, and then begin to fall. We are currently approaching 7 billion. Many of us living today will still be around in 2050. The question is: given our many social and environmental issues, how are 9 billion people going to learn to live sustainably by 2050?"
Fig.1 "Greenaid Seedbomb Vending Machine", SpontaneousInterventions [http://www.spontaneousinterventions.org/project/greenaid-seedbomb-vending-machine].
"MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte prophecies the emergence of 'the Daily Me'--a communications package that is personally designed, with each component fully chosen in advance . Many of us are applauding these developments, which obviously increase individual convenience and entertainment. But in the midst of the applause, we should insist on asking some questions. How will the increasing power of private control affect democracy? How will the Internet, the new forms of television, and the explosion of communications options alter the capacity of citizens to govern themselves? What are the social preconditions for a well-functioning system of democratic deliberation, or for individual freedom itself? ...
A large part of my aim is to explore what makes for a well-functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a diverse society, such a system requires far more than restraints on government censorship and respect for individual choices. For the last decades, this has been the preoccupation of American law and politics, and indeed the law and politics of many other nations as well, including, for example, Germany, France, England, and Israel. Censorship is indeed a threat to democracy and freedom. But an exclusive focus on government censorship produces serious blind spots. In particular, a well-functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.
First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like-minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.
Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation.
As preconditions for a well-functioning democracy, these requirements hold in any large nation. They are especially important in a heterogeneous nation, one that faces an occasional risk of fragmentation. They have all the more importance as each nation becomes increasingly global and each citizen becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, a 'citizen of the world."
(Cass Sunstein, 8/7/2007)
Fig.1 San Liu (2004) 'Narcissism' webshots.com.
"In Design Interactions, then, we are not simply concerned with acquiring or refining a specific set of skills. Essentially, we are interested in the , and this means asking probing questions through design. To this end, we encourage students to consider the implications, as well as the applications, of new technologies, and thus to seek fresh approaches to interaction design – approaches that are meaningful and relevant today. In short, we see this field of design as a fertile way of thinking about the life around us, within us, and in the future beyond us."
(Royal College of Art)
"The Human Interface Technology Laboratory Aotearoa New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) is developing and commercializing technology that improves human computer interaction and by doing so unlocks the power of human intelligence.
The HIT Lab NZ conducts research with new emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality, Next Generation Video Conferencing, Immersive Visualization and Perceptual User Interfaces. Interaction Design techniques are used to adapt these technologies to the needs of end users and solve real world problems. "
(HIT Lab NZ)
"The MIT Media Lab applies an unorthodox research approach to envision the impact of emerging technologies on everyday life - technologies that promise to fundamentally transform our most basic notions of human capabilities. Unconstrained by traditional disciplines, Lab designers, engineers, artists, and scientists work atelier-style in close to 30 research groups conducting more than 400 projects that range from neuroengineering, to how children learn, to developing the city car of the future. Lab researchers foster a unique culture of learning by doing, developing technologies that empower people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all societies, to design and invent new possibilities for themselves and their communities."
(MIT Media Lab)