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Recent Books Read

[This column first appeared in the Shift Age Newsletter ]

People often ask me about what books I read.  I sense that they expect some kind of unique or weird answer from a futurist.  In addition to this question I am often given books or names of books to read, usually books that have transformed the life of that person.  So I often seem to be in book conversations.

So here is a list of recent reads that I have greatly enjoyed.  In a future column I will list some older favorites that stand the test of time, even for …

There have been many cultural changes so far in 2008.  Some of these changes are in response to the rapid increase in the price of oil and other commodities.  Some of these changes have been due to technological innovations.  In both cases new behavior patterns are being established that will, to some degree become permanent and will create new dynamics in certain industries.  Today we take a look at some of the predictions made here last January.


The predicted shopping trends predicted were written with a long term view.  What is interesting is that the high price of gasoline has accelerated …

The Revolution in Storage

One of the technological innovations I have written about here and here in this column has been the reduction in size and cost of computer storage. It is one of the more significant developments in computing over the past two decades. It is part of the foundation that has allowed the explosion in mobile computing to occur. It is an integral part of the massive media files we can all now assemble and of course in the ability for all of us to become ever more productive as individuals.

Seagate, the largest producer of hard drives recently announced that …

It Now Starts with the Kindle

Amazon’s introduction of the Kindle electronic book reader feels momentous. It is the first time that the long anticipated, much debated future of the ‘ebook’ feels ready to begin in a meaningful way.

During the past ten years there has been great debate about the ebook.  Generally speaking there have been three points of view on the subject.  The first one comes from the true believers that the ebook is inevitable and that it would ultimately gain a noticeable and then sizable market share of publishing.  The second viewpoint is that while there would be a market for the ebook it …