Jack Uldrich
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Big Oil Unlearns

Posted in Agriculture, Automobile, Business, Energy, General, Genomics, Science

As a professional futurist, I spend a great deal of time reading the back sections of newspapers looking for small trends which could grow larger in the future. Yesterday, I happened across two articles suggesting that algae—for the production of both oil and ethanol—may have a promising future. First, in an item that should have…


Will Detroit Unlearn?

Posted in Automobile, Business, General

Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel Corp, has a provocative article in today's Wall Street Journal entitled "What Detroit Can Learn From Silicon Valley." If you read the article what he is really suggesting is that automotive executives as well as government bureaucrats unlearn the idea that the automotive is a vertically integrated industry….


Unlearning the Future

Posted in Aging, Automobile, Business, Culture, Current Affairs, Defense, Education, Future, General, Genomics, Health Care, Jump the Curve, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Nanotechnology, Neuroscience, Politics, Science, Unlearn Strategy, Zenzizenzizenzic

Carl Sagan once advised the public to “never underestimate the power of exponential.” It was sound advice. Unfortunately, as with so much other wise counsel, it is easy to dismiss. You shouldn’t. Consider just a few recent examples of exponential growth. In 1998, a small Silicon Valley start-up was conducting 25 million web-based searches a…


Unlearning “Miles Per Gallon”

Posted in Advertising, Automobile, Business, General, Marketing, Unlearn Strategy

According to a study by two professors at Duke University, consumers would make more informed buying decisions about automobiles if fuel efficiency information were conveyed in “gallons per mile” as opposed to “miles per gallon.” The current “miles per gallon” standard can play tricks on people’s intuitions. The reality is that improving fuel efficiency from…



New Voice Recognition Technology Mandates Unlearning

Posted in Advertising, Algorithms, Automobile, Business, Communication, Culture, Education, Games, Jump the Curve, Marketing, Media, Politics, Software, Telecommunications, Transportation

Late yesterday, Google released a very cool new mobile application which employs voice recognition technology. The question is not so much what the technology can do today, the question is what will the technology be able to do in the near future—and how might it require professionals in the education, health care, and a host of other…


Unlearning Your Daily Commute

Posted in Algorithms, Automobile, Current Affairs, General, Politics, Travel, Web 2.0

I live in a major metropolitan area and the traffic situation drives me crazy. If someone then told me that they were going to close a road in order to reduce traffic congestion, I’d likely think they were either crazy or stupid. As I mention in my book, Jump the Curve, emerging technologies can, however,…


Unlearning Detroit

Posted in Automobile, Politics

Although the news is now almost three years old, I just learned that San Jose replaced Detroit as the 10th largest city in America. The change is symbolically important because it suggests that "Silicon Valley" has literally outpaced "Motor City." Unfortunately, our current political system still tends to provide too much attention to reviving Detroit’s…


A Watched Kettle Never Boils — or Does It?

Posted in Architecture, Automobile, Energy, General, Manufacturing, Nanotechnology, Plastics, Science, Utility

EcoGeek has an interesting article explaining how advances in nanotechnology can lead to the creation of a kettle that boils faster. The advance is significant not just because it could help consumers and businesses save money and time by bringing water to a boil faster, but because it suggests that a variety of other products—such…


Unlearning the Importance of Car Seats

Posted in Automobile, Culture, General, Manufacturing, Marketing, Politics

As a father of two young child (ages 7 and 9), I have for years been dutifully strapping my children into their car seats every time we so much as go down the block for a short drive. Millions of other parents are undoubtedly doing the same thing and, like me, probably believe that because…


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