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The Official Futuretimeline Book!


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Poll: Futuretimeline Book (17 member(s) have cast votes)

Should we attempt to make a Futuretimeline book?

  1. Sounds neat! Let's do it! (10 votes [58.82%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 58.82%

  2. Not really into the idea. (3 votes [17.65%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.65%

  3. I like the idea but I find it difficult to imagine that it could happen. (4 votes [23.53%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.53%

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#1
TranscendingGod

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You see how some of your hearts just stopped when you saw the title? Then they proceeded to actually stop of disappointment when you saw that the thread was created by yours truly and not Wjfox? Well don't give up hope yet and keep reading as this idea is potentially something super involving for all of us. 

 

So as some of you know i'm prone to make suggestions which are either implausible, impossible, or so absurd as to be ignored. In fact if I recall my first post was about gathering a group of scientists and prominent technologists in a spectacular symposium. I'm also the author of this thread speaking about making this community and website into potentially something much greater.

  http://www.futuretimeline.net/forum/topic/15003-expanding-ftl-wjfox-huge-opportunity/

 

People were a bit more receptive back in the day before all this baggage i've since acquired on this site. Anyways enough about this history which no one very much cares about. Let's get on with the topic on hand. 

 

A Futuretimeline Book! Now the official part is contingent on Wjfox's blessing but the actual book is not. So i'll attempt to flesh out the idea in a few key points so that people don't get lost, or bored as is more likely, in this sea of words. 

 

  • This book will be a book written, edited, and promulgated/promoted by the community writ large. I know we have some budding/actual writers in this forum who can write a chapter or two and next thing you know we have a small book!
  • I suggest the topic of this book be the elaboration of a our near future as dictated by the predictions on the timeline. Maybe a couple of individual years and then to cover more time bloc decades and centuries into chapters. We don't necessarily have to adhere strictly to explaining each and every prediction but rather include some predictions to make an entertaining and amazing story.
  • The book does not necessarily need to be a homogenous affair where each chapter is a consistent affair aligning with the previous chapters as each chapter should reflect the diversity of our community. 

Anyways deciding the content and the style of the book is completely up to you guys not the author of this thread. Next we come to how we will make decisions and share information considering none of us will actually meet in real life (we might but i'll get to that later). 

  • I suggest we vote via the strawpoll website or some similar voting website which is accessible to all members of this community for any decision small or large. 
  • I propose that we share information via any one of those various services like google docs where all members of the community can look at the information/writing that another member is producing. 
  • Other members should be able to provide input but the authors of individual chapters should be given liberty to explore their own worlds while remaining focused on the concept of a futuretimeline. 
  • We should probably vote as to who will be the main author of the book with smaller individual contributions by several members possible. Of course what I am proposing is not a huge tome but rather a book that is small enough manageable but large enough to be engrossing. 

We have some amazing members with the talent to make such a project a success. Just for specificities sake I can vouch for the talent and passion of members like Yuli Ban, Jakob, and Wjfox, among many others to write interesting and compelling chapters for a book about the future.  There are also members with amazing talents in other areas which could enormously benefit a project like this. Ghostreaper or even someone like Evanimations could, I imagine, create an incredible front/back cover for such a book. This has to by definition be a community project. 

 

Now let me briefly talk about finances. However let me stress that this book does not have to be something that becomes a huge success or something that requires thousands of dollars in financial capital because at the end of the day, while we should hope that we make something that is entertaining and compelling and hence financially successful, this project should be one about fun where the members of our community can show off their talents. 

  1. We can either self publish or we can create a Kickstarter/Gofundme where the community and others can contribute so that we can have the book professionally edited and get it published with an actual publishing company. Depending on what sort of resources we accrue we could even advertise it to a degree.
  2. Now as for any proceeds I would recommend that we donate a full 80% of all profits, after all associated costs are taken care of, to an organization which we vote upon. The remaining 20% I suggest would go towards the participants and wjfox if he decided to allow us to make this book "official". If he allows us to make this book "official" or in other words associate the book with his website then I would suggest that he receive 10% and the other 10% to be distributed to the contributors of the book.
  3. What this means is that we have to have a certain quality threshold for submissions from members of the forum. If the forum finds something as simply not entertaining or sufficiently good for the book then the contributor will be denied admission. The potential for a small monetary gain should galvanize those participants to make excellent entertaining material.
  4. Although I again stress that the main motivation of this project should be fun and building up this amazing community of futurists. 

There are so many aspects that need to be stamped out before we can start so I need all of your guys' input and criticism about this idea. Making a Futuretimeline book would etch an indelible mark on the world by a group of passionate, enthusiastic, and devoted futurists. Making it the "official" book would open up myriad opportunities for the site. So now I want to take the time to thank you guys for taking the time to read this and I hope we can make such a project blossom into fruition. 


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The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#2
BasilBerylium

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I should participate, but I'm too lazy...


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#3
Maximus

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It's a good idea, but I have a few qualms about it:
 
1. When we're talking about future predictions, we should firmly expect to get a lot of shit wrong. The fact that the actual timeline is on the internet is great, because it allows us (or rather, Will) to revise predictions as they become more or less likely. This malleability is helpful because people wouldn't take us seriously if we were still claiming -insert delayed satellite- was launching next year, when in fact it's been delayed for 5 years. In a book format, all the predictions would be permanently fixed; as soon as the reader picks it up and notices a few delays and errors, they may just decide it's not worth their time. 
 
2. Not to be critical of the timeline, or other posts on the forum, but if we want people to take a book seriously we need to use better resources to back up  certain predictions. We can't predict nuclear fusion by 2050 off something nextbigfuture posted in 2013. Not saying our timeline does that, but if we were to add predictions, we would need to have a process by which the community decides how credible the sources behind a prediction are. I'm not saying everything has to be from academic journals; news articles, or articles from science oriented websites are cool too, as long as they have credible sources. But we would need some level of credibility to our sources if we want people to take the book seriously. 
 
3.  Time commitment will likely be an issue for everyone here. My semester's over right now, so I could dedicate time to doing some research for the book, but once the semester begins again, I will likely have one or two hours to spare a week at best. I imagine most members will be in a similar situation. That's not necessarily a project killer; I'm fine with this being a long-term project. However, it will require some level of commitment from all involved, and that's really hard to get even from your colleagues in real life, never mind over the internet. Keeping that commitment over months, or even years, will be very tough.
 
4. One more thing about the book format; one particular aspect of the timeline that makes it so magical is the use of pictures and videos. These really help you immerse yourself in the timeline universe. Of course, the magic of books is that they allow you to conjure up your own universe of imagery inside your head, but I feel like in this case, the pictures of steel and glass really lend the content a more futuristic and exciting feel. 
 
I'm open to the idea though. We could start by deciding on how to organize the sections of the book. We could do it by decade, century, topic (politics, space, materials, etc), and so on. 

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#4
TranscendingGod

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You're absolutely right Maximus about needing to have well thought out ideas with reliable sources but I was also thinking that we do not have to adhere exactly to the Timeline but rather the simple concept of a time line would be our main focus. As for artwork/pictures we could commission some work from our own members or out of house. Simple stuff of course.

I think we should do it by time intervals. Do you guys agree? If so should we focus on the near future and thus do like a 2020s chapter and a 2030s followed by a 2050 chapter then a 2100, 2500, 5000, 10,000, far future type of thing? Of course we won't necessarily name the chapters the decades or dates but the content would have a focus on a certain time period.
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The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#5
Erowind

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I have a lot to say about this, once I find the time I'll write some stuff up--alongside like 3 other posts for this site that have been in my backlog.

 

For now here are a few things I want to mention real quick, and I'll expound upon them later if I ever get around to it.

 

Commitment could be malleable, as in someone doesn't have to be along for the whole ride. They could be involved for a month, write a small chapter/heavily research a topic/contribute in some other way and then dip.

 

 

Decisions should be made my people actively working on the project only, as in if you never contribute you don't get a voting voice because it's not your work. If you do contribute you do get a voting voice, how we measure contribution will have to be clearly defined as to prevent strong contributors from overpowering folks who either aren't very outspoken or only make small contributions. In that, everyone should have a voice, but only those doing work should decide things.

 

 

Ideally I'd like to use consensus based decision making with direct democracy as a backup, but don't really feel like explaining, educating and advocating for that right now. For now, a small suggestion. Make it impossible to vote an impasse, in that if there are 4 voting members make a motion require 3/4 votes to pass in order to prevent ties and deadlocks. If there are 6 voting members require 4/6 instead of 3/3 and so on. This should change dynamically to prevent deadlock. This also forces communication and compromise, if over 30% of your voting base is unhappy than something needs to change in general because people are unrepresented and will feel unrepresented and leave the project. Also we could have a lite version of consensus decision making, where anyone can make an administrative decision until someone disagrees with them, at which point we call a vote. This also means all decisions will have to be transparent, we could also vote to delegate full administrative power on certain tasks to desired individuals in order to prevent bureaucracy killing the project. If that individual gets out of hand the voting members would have the power to revoke their delegated authority just as easily.

 

 

I feel like profit distribution outside of donated profits should be proportional to how much work a person puts in. How we measure this is topic for debate, but picture this scenario. There are 10 active members of the project, 9/10 of those members contribute 3 chapters, the other person contributes one chapter. Everyone gets 10% of the distributed profits even though one person did not contribute 10% of the labor. That doesn't sound very fair considering one person is generating significantly less value than the others. Needless to say that because the book will use a lot of Will's work he will get a large percentage of potential profits, but I don't think his share should just arbitrarily be set at 10%, and the rest evenly distributed, in an equally arbitrary way.


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#6
TranscendingGod

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Okay so I think we should see who is willing to contribute and participate at least as a preliminary measure. Obviously recruiting the likes of ghostreaper or any other talented member to participate in the project will be an ongoing process.

So I think if you're willing to participate you should state your name so that we can have a complete list of those we are going to include in the process.

 

Here is a link where you can add your name- https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#7
Maximus

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I would like to contribute, but like I said, I can't guarantee I will be able to put any significant amount of time into it after break ends. 



#8
TranscendingGod

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I would like to contribute, but like I said, I can't guarantee I will be able to put any significant amount of time into it after break ends. 

That is completely fine. Even the brainstorming that we are doing right now is an essential part of the process. 

 

Can you try adding your name to that list that I linked? I want to see if it works. 


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#9
Erowind

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Hey Will, what's your opinion on all this, that is assuming TG's idea gets a large enough following.


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Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#10
Outlook

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I'd be happy to join with wjfox's approval and oversight.
The Prophet (saw) said: He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.

#11
TranscendingGod

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Well now that we have a few names for some members willing to participate we could have those members, and any others who want to join as it's never too late, propose the general theme/direction of the book. Just some ideas which we can then organize and vote on the best so that we can further development those ideas.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#12
Jakob

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Well now that we have a few names for some members willing to participate we could have those members, and any others who want to join as it's never too late, propose the general theme/direction of the book. Just some ideas which we can then organize and vote on the best so that we can further development those ideas.

Collected fiction that highlights our unique visions of the future?



#13
TranscendingGod

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Yeah that could work Jakob but I think if we do that I would definitely want to include "real" future technology. Like a hard sci Fi sort of thing though it does not even necessarily have to be sci Fi.

What do other people think? Fiction is definitely probably easier than non fiction. It gives us more liberty as well. Should we put it to a vote?

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#14
Jakob

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Are we going to start writing, or will this just be a lot of talk and no action, like the "movement" you were talking about? At least this one has a tangible goal, so that's good, I guess.



#15
TranscendingGod

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Are we going to start writing, or will this just be a lot of talk and no action, like the "movement" you were talking about? At least this one has a tangible goal, so that's good, I guess.

I mean... I've been waiting for people to start spouting ideas, voting, and just generally moving this along but so far no one's said much. I guess we can start writing since it does not seem like we're going to get anywhere otherwise. I'll write a couple of pages of something so you guys can read and link it here later on this week. 


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#16
Outlook

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An issue I want to bring up about this book is that if we're going to write different sections, how do we make sure that the quality of our writing will be the same? We'd need a good editor for it to be placed in constant tone and quality so that it doesn't go all over the place, taking away from the experence. I don't think the diversity of the community is good enough to explain bad rhythm and consistency. The only ways I can imagine doing this is if anybody here that has *good* experience editing would take the time out of their day to do this, or if we have real life connections that we can pull or if we take this to an agent which I don see happening but doesnt hurt to try if we can accept commission. Another way, which I think is very unlikely to happen, is if we criticize and help each other to keep a consistent quality, highlighting bad academic writing, and general bad writing. This could also cause conflict when we write should someone get sensitive or someone act like a complete dick throughout the process, but I think this conflict would come anyways regardless as I expect someone to bring up someone else's writing if it's not good enough, with or without care for the consistency.

Another thing is legality. I'm not experienced in collective publishing, but I think everyone here doesn't want someone to runaway with the money, our work, and/or our credit for this work, especially in any legal trickster way. We don't want to be Jerry Hellered.

Also 90% to charity is too much for me. I'd prefer 0%, unless we could use this charity for some good press and good rep for the authors. Of course this is entirely reliant on the success of the book. I don't mind money going to this site though.

And I know I'm being prudish and shit, but I think this does have potential if it's executed right and presented in a way that can be enjoyed by the average reader, but above all it could be a very valuable learning experience to its contributors.

The higher the standard we keep ourselves in, the more serious this project can be taken, and more participation from more experienced individuals.

It should be recognized that projects like this take quite some time and effort to succeed, and because of this, has a very failure rate. Usually one or two people have to be motivated enough to keep it central and this is where the deciding factor in this project comes in. This isn't BROCKHAMPTON, we don't live in the same house and we could very easily be disconnected from this project with whatever goes on in real life. Because of thie managing such a project will be frustrating at times when waiting for that one individual to hand their draft or if someone gets the research or citations wrong or plagiarizes their section and you're forced to do a recheck on it. Currently, I'm engrossed in a writing competition and HS finals, so I don't really have the time to take any mangerial role this winter.

Speaking on the research though, how are we going to do this? I'd prefer if we cut a lot of pop sci shit and don't reference articles on this. If we want this to be have a high standard, we need high standard research from reputable sources. I'm a highschool student, I've never published an academic paper or written a credible piece of non fiction. I'd prefer if someone who did have good experience with this stuff does it instead.

Anyways I need to change some break pads.
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#17
Pisiu369

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I'm interested.

 

So do we each get 1 chapter? I personally wouldn't focus as much on the technological developments per se, but rather Societal and Demographically developments and evolutions. Would that be ok with you, TranscendingGod? 

 

We really need Wjfox/Will to say what he thinks about this.



#18
wjfox

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I am working on a FutureTimeline book. In fact my brother came round this evening to help me with it. We'll be contacting a publisher in the next few weeks.

 

I've been very busy lately (as I always am!), but will try to give a more detailed response to this thread at some point. There might be additional sections to the book – i.e. not just a timeline, but other stuff like descriptions of future technologies and trends, etc. Or maybe short-stories/mini-stories that could appear at certain points. I haven't decided on the exact format of this, but maybe it's something you guys could help me with, and contribute to, and be credited for. I really appreciate your enthusiasm!


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#19
TranscendingGod

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That is great because what I had proposed was obviously unattainable.


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#20
Yuli Ban

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I can't believe I never thought to mention that Will's been at this book since roughly 2013 or 2014 or so.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.





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