FUTURODYSSEY
Volume 1, Number 12
February, 2014
In This Issue
Editorial: Minds Toward the Future
Video: The Psychology of the Future
Video: Science Fiction
Video: Contemporary Trends and Theories of the Future
New Course: Science Fiction - The Mythology of the Future
Archive: Futurodyssey and Wisdom Page Updates
Center for Future Consciousness Website
 
Books by Tom Lombardo

   
 
 
 

 
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West Side Salon for Philosophy and the Future

After running through the summer and fall of 2013, the West Side Salon is temporarily on hold, without any scheduled meetings, while the Science Fiction class is being offered this spring. Future meetings of the Salon will be announced in forthcoming newsletters. Locations may vary for later meetings. 


This Month's Highlights:  
  • Editorial: Minds Toward the Future   
  • Educational Video: The Psychology of the Future
  • Educational Video: Science Fiction - The Mythology of the Future
  • Educational Video: Contemporary Trends and Theories and Paradigms of the Future
  • New Course: Science Fiction - The Mythology of the Future  
  • Archive: Futurodyssey and Wisdom Page Updates   
Editorial: Minds Toward the Future
 

 

In the editorial of the August issue of Futurodyssey I outlined an emerging perspective on the evolutionary nature of consciousness. As I stated, "the self-conscious, purposeful human mind is an evolutionary structure and process that is an innovative development of and facilitator in the overall evolutionary process of nature. Our individual streams of consciousness constitute a highly advanced evolutionary process that uniquely contributes to the ongoing evolution of nature and the earth, and potentially the cosmos." 

Since writing that editorial, I would add, as a critical point, that future consciousness is the central function and evolutionary facilitator within human consciousness--it is the capacity within our human minds that drives our individual conscious evolution in our lives and the overall evolution of our species. It is an "evolution of evolution" -- turning the evolutionary process into a deliberative, purposeful, future-focused, and intelligent activity. Future consciousness brings a teleological and ethical dimension into evolution.

Based on these emerging ideas I wrote an article for the journal Educause Review this early winter. The article appeared in the November/December 2013 issue. Below is the first part of an expanded version of this article--the entire article is linked to my website. (See below)

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Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock and numerous other well-known books on the future, stated that everyone is a futurist. We all think about the future, imagining and evaluating possibilities, setting goals, making plans, and implementing strategies for realizing our preferable or desirable futures. Educators deliberate and debate the future of education, both regarding where we see things heading, based on observable trends, as well as where we think education should be heading, based on our educational values and ideals.

 

Instead of focusing upon some particular technology, strategy, or pedagogical system and its potential impact, for better or worse, on the future of education, I am going to outline a general philosophy for the future of education, one that includes technology but places it within a more expansive and holistic framework. This philosophy identifies a preferable future direction for education, but realistically anchors itself to certain fundamental features of contemporary affairs, human psychology, and more broadly, the human condition.

 

In a nutshell, our central ideal for the future of education should be to facilitate the development of technologically empowered wisdom-wisdom being synonymous with what I call "heightened future consciousness"--thus enabling our students to flourish and realize a good future within the evolutionary, accelerative flow of human reality. 

 

To explain in more detail and depth this proposal, I'll begin with the reality of the human condition. We live in a world of pervasive and accelerative change: All the major dimensions of human reality, from the scientific and technological to the environmental, social, economic, and psychological are in transformation, and based on various long term historical and scientific studies, the rate of change appears to be accelerating. As some argue, evolution is accelerating. 

 

Though many of us may feel overpowered, confused, and stressed out by the pace of change in our modern world, and may fight against it, longing for the "good old days" when things did not move so fast, our scientific understanding indicates that evolution and change are fundamental to the universe, and human reality is a natural expression of this overall dynamic trajectory of things; in fact, we are the cutting-edge architects of the multi-faceted wave of global transformation. 

 

 

 

We may view global accelerative change as something happening around us--as an external phenomenon that we have to contend with--yet the life stream of individual consciousness is itself transformative: Each of us moves through developmental stages, grows through learning and self-reflection, and even undergoes periodic shifts in self-identity, both professional and personal, as we progress through life. Moreover, the depth, span, and complexity of growth and change within the individual conscious human mind seems to be evolving through human history.

 

We are the architects of global evolution and change because we are intrinsically conscious agents of evolution and change; it is built into our psychology. 

 

There would be no need to think about the future, if today were basically the same as yesterday. But if we can predict with some level of certainty anything about the future, it is that it will be different from the past, and surprisingly so. And it is the change that inevitably comes that pushes us into considering the future, for if we don't, we will find ourselves with skills and mindsets that are irrelevant, if not counter-productive, to the challenges and issues that come at us.

 

Being realistic about the future, it is better to thoughtfully guide the multi-dimensional processes of evolution and change, including those within ourselves, than to resist or deny them. And for a variety of psychological reasons, it is better to be informed and proactive agents guiding change, than to be passive adapters reacting to change. We should take this to heart, as educators, when we consider not only how we will guide the future of education but what capacities we should strive to strengthen in our students as well

 



New Educational Video
The Psychology of the Future: 
Flourishing in the Flow of Evolution

  
We create a good future--defined as flourishing in the flow of evolution--through the heightening of future consciousness, which is achieved by developing a core set of character virtues, most notably and centrally wisdom. 
 
This three-part video is an introduction to the psychology of heightened future consciousness and wisdom, covering all the basic psychological processes, such as emotion, motivation, thinking, creativity, and the self, involved in future consciousness, as well as the key character virtues, such as self-responsibility, hope, courage, and tenacity, involved in wisdom and creating a good future.  
New Educational Video
Science Fiction: The Mythology of the Future


 
 
Science fiction is the most popular and influential form of contemporary thinking about the future; it generates holistic future consciousness, engaging our imagination, thoughts, emotions, values, and senses. 
 
This three-part video provides a concise introductory history of science fiction, from Shelley and Wells to Vinge and Baxter, highlighting key authors, books, topics, and themes, and encompassing both literature and cinema. The strengths and values of science fiction as the most influential form of contemporary future consciousness are described. 
 

 

New Educational Video
Contemporary Trends and Theories and Paradigms of the Future
 
 

This three-part video covers general global trends, issues, and themes in the 20th and early 21st Centuries, highlighting the accelerative thrust of change over the last one hundred years, and optimistic versus pessimistic interpretations of the global transformation. 
 
The video provides a concise review of theories, trends, and possibilities in science, technology, the environment, space exploration, globalization, economics, education, the family, psychology, culture and ethics, and religion, and closes with an integrative summary and prognosis for the future of humanity. 
 

 


New Course
Science Fiction: 
The Mythology of the Future

 

     

Science fiction is the most visible and influential form of futurist thinking in contemporary popular culture. It is the mythology of the future, providing dramatic narratives of the future that both inspire and frighten us. It expands our consciousness and understanding of how humanity fits into the vast cosmic expanses of space and time. Science fiction, similar to the great myths of the past, speaks to the whole person, both emotion and intellect, providing imaginatively rich stories that educate, empower, and enlighten us. Science fiction is not just about the future of science and technology; it is about the future of everything. 

 

This six-part course provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of science fiction from its beginnings in Shelley, Verne, and Wells through the Golden and Silver Ages, the New Wave, Cyberpunk, and the great contemporary efflorescence of humanistic and cosmic science fiction. We will look at both science fiction literature and science fiction film, and consider how science fiction has both influenced and been influenced by the evolution of modern society over the last few centuries. 

 

For those who think they don't like science fiction and for those who have lost touch with the ongoing development of science fiction over the last few decades, this course is for you. It will change your mind; it will expand your mind. And for those who have followed science fiction through the years this course will help you to pull the pieces together into a coherent whole. 

 

           

 

Though there are no required assignments in the course, there will be a manageable list of strongly recommended readings and films to dive into to make the course experience more informative and enjoyable.

 

The first meeting of the class took place January 22nd (Wednesday, 1 to 3 pm); subsequent meetings will be held every other Wednesday, same time, running through at least mid-April. The next meeting is February 5th. You can still register for the class; study guides are provided for all the meetings. 
 
Register Online - Scroll to bottom of page
 
The class is being held at Sun City Grand, Chaparral Center, 19781 N. Remington Drive, Surprise, AZ. 

 

  

 

 

Archives -
Futurodyssey and Wisdom Page  Updates


In the fall of 2012 I began publishing two redesigned newsletters:
Futurodyssey--the online publication for the
Center for Future Consciousness--and the
Wisdom Page Updates--the online publication for The Wisdom Page. There are Archives for both newsletters. You can view earlier issues of each newsletter by going to: 
 
 

 

That's it for this month: An editorial article on evolution, wisdom, heightened future consciousness, and education; three new videos on future consciousness, science fiction, and contemporary trends and futurist theories; and a new course on science fiction.  
Tom & Jeanne Lombardo
Center For Future Consciousness