How To Predict the Technological Future, According to Wired

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 25 2012 3:45 PM

How To Predict the Technological Future, According to Wired

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MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 22: Thomas Goetz of WIRED speaks during the Digital Life Design conference (DLD) at HVB Forum on January 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany. DLD (Digital - Life - Design) is a global conference network on innovation, digital, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and investors for crossover conversation and inspiration. (Photo by Nadine Rupp/Getty Images)

Photo by Nadine Rupp/Getty Images

To learn where technology is headed, you just need to know seven rules, says Wired Executive Editor Thomas Goetz. A strong thread running through these rules is the idea that technology will continue to open doors—and that opening doors will in turn drive technology.

Among his tips is “Favor the liberators,” which means that you should bet on those who are opening up access to new goods and tools, “turning scarcity into plenty.” For example, Goetz points out that MP3 pirates helped make today’s digital music market possible.

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Goetz also suggests that would-be futurists “Bank on openness.” In addition to open-source software—which often creates the tools that best suit users’ needs—he discusses transparency. Companies that are open to collaboration, with other businesses or with their customers, are the future. “The world at large is moving … toward transparency, collaboration, and bottom-up innovation,” he writes.

Read more on Wired.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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