Future blast from the past

12 09 2010

via Here’s Why

Take in some futurology from the past in these videos – A combination of industry propaganda and promotions from the early 20th Century.

“Frontiers of the Future” (A Screen Editorial With Lowell Thomas) (1937) Archive.org

“To New Horizons” (1940) Archive.org

“Century 21 Calling” (1964) Archive.org

“Connected Earth” (1969) Youtube

Can you see some modern day inventions, perhaps in a slightly different form? And how about those inventions that never eventuated – was it because they were impractical, or an industry related reason, or perhaps they still might-someday-be?

What things did these futurologists never take into account? Perhaps the inverse growth relationship between the size of a TV screen and the size of a mobile handset…


CSIRO on the menu

22 12 2008

CSIRO Plant Industries has a youtube channel.

Only one movie up so far, educating on what the real deal is with GMO crops in Australia.

This is a good piece that does do its part to address some concerns regarding the health and environmental impacts of genetic engineering. I think its good and educational and helps pull back from some scaremongering that come from green politics.

It does avoid some issues though, which does pock it as propoganda framing.

On allergies, I’ve never heard anyone ty to link GM with the rise of allergies (sounds Kool-Aid conspiracy). I have heard concerns of whether placing fish proteins in vegetables may be an issue for persons allergic to fish. The food might be safe for general human consumption, but to allergic persons. Will the food be marked “GMO, may contain fish proteins” or simply “GMO foodstuff”?

On company involvement. That is great that in Australia most research is done by non-afiliated organisations. But who sponsors their research? CSIRO was notorious under its previous management for offering commercial services to the detriment of “blue-sky” research – but personally, I didn’t find it affecting their ethical integrity too much (it just meant industry directed where research was performed). And probably more importantly who benefits (and who suffers)?

On environmental impact. It is great news that GMOs can decrease output of environmental waste. But can GMOs encourage any unsustainable farming methods, such as reducing genetic diversity in a crop?

I support GM technology and research (I’d much rather see it done in animals than crops though), and I like this video. What do others think of this video.