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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

A Publication of the World Future Society


EDITORIAL STAFF
EDWARD COHNISH

Founding Editor
CYNTHIA G . WAGNER

Editor
PATRICK TUCKER

Deputy Editor
RICK DOCKSAI

Associate Editor
KETURAH HETRICK

Editorial Assistant
LANE JENNINGS

Research Director
LISA MATHIAS

Art Director

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
CLEMENT BEZOLD, Government

Tsvj BISK, Strategic mnking


IRVING H . BUCHEN, Training
PETER EDER, Marketing and Communications
THOMAS FREY, innovation
JOYCE GIOIA, Workforce/Workplace

JAY HERSON, Futurist Community


BARBARA MARX HUBBARD, images of Man
JOSEPH P. MARTINO, Technoiogicai Forecasting
MATT NOVAK, i^istoricai Futures
JOSEPH N . PELTON, Telecommunications
ARTHUR B . SHOSTAK, Utopian Thought
DAVID P. SNYDER, Lifestyies
GENE STEPHENS, Criminai Justice
TIMOTHY WILLARD, Biofutures
RICHARD YONCK, Computing and Ai

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Connectivity and Its Discontents


One of the concepts that futurists have been buzzing more
about in recent years is the Internet of Thingsthe idea that interactive communication will extend beyond people and organizations to include objects communicating with each other. For instance, sensors buried on water pipelines would notify a city's
sanitation department if a leak may be imminent.
But another possibility might be that our environment starts
tattling on us when it knows we've misbehaved. Breaking doctor's orders by stopping off for a doughnut could get you banned
from entering the city, and your self-driving car could deposit
you at the gym instead of the office. In "Cormecting with Our
Connected World," Richard Yonck outlines some of the dramatic
changes we can expect as we move from an Internet of Things to
an Internet of Everything. (See page 16.)
One consequence of this connectivity at the local level will be
cities that are both more secure and more vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to Indu B. Singh and Joseph N. Pelton, authors
of The Safe City: Living Free in a Dangerous World. While many

people worry about the intrusiveness of public officials snooping


on private e-mails, phone calls, and other communications, the
risks from attackers should be of greater concern:
"Unauthorized access to telecommunications links could result
in the derailing of trains, back pumping of raw sewage into drinking water systems, shutting down of power plants, shutting down
911 emergency systems, stopping elevators, or shutting off critical
services to hospitals and airports," they warn. "In fact, these
types of attacks could be launched all at the same time without
warning." (See "Securing the Cyber City of the Future," page 22.)
And if that weren't enough for cities and other local governments to worry about, there is the fiscal crisis that many of them
brought on themselves by making promises to employees that
they simply cannot keep. In "The End of Public Promises? Goverrunents and the Pension Deficit Disorder," Rob Bencini points
to Detroit's recent woes as a case study. (See page 28.)
Also in this issue are our two annual reports: "Outlook 2014," a
roundup of the most thought-provoking forecasts appearing in
THE FUTURIST over the past year (page 33), and "Futurists Explore the Next Horizon" by associate editor Rick Docksai, a report on the World Future Society's 2013 annual meeting, held in
Chicago this past July (page 47).
Cynthia G. Wagner, Editor
cwagner@wfs.org

THE FUTURIST
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THE FUTURIST

November-December 2013

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