futures studies

Futures studies and the psychology of loss

Eric Garland Futures Studies 5 Comments

When you begin working in the discipline of futures studies, you immediately dive into the mechanics of organizing data. You learn about how to identify reliable trend information from a good source. You realize that forecasts need to be pulled apart, not worshiped. Then you shift to your right brain and enjoy the thrill of building scenarios to explore what …

Why we need the Super Bowl

Eric Garland Culture Trends Leave a Comment

Social media has two distinct uses during the American spectacle known as “The Super Bowl.” First, it is used as a way for people to publicize their reactions to the game and its perennial television advertisements, which are now a tradition unto themselves. Second, it gives non-sportsfans the ability to loudly declare, “Look, everybody: here I am not participating in …

I no longer trust brands

Eric Garland Uncategorized 16 Comments

During this year’s vaguely-Christian-vaguely-Pagan consumer festival, I found myself in St Louis’ least trafficked/highest revenue shopping mall – the Plaza Frontenac. Yup, Frontenac is the epicenter of bourgeois luxury shopping for a place that supposedly shuns such non-Midwestern ostentation. Am I putting on airs by telling you this? Am I suggesting it’s how I shop all of the time? No, …

The genius of Ashley Macisaac

Eric Garland Music Leave a Comment

In a world sweltering with mediocrity, the word “genius” has come to mean anyone achieving a high level of proficiency in their given field, especially in the field of music. The public has seen the human gift of musical expression stripped down and smashed into convenient packages like so many cans of tuna. It is no wonder, then, that true, …

Strategic intelligence can be fun

Eric Garland Uncategorized 1 Comment

This picture is from the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals’ annual conference in Orlando, Florida. At left is Aurora WDC’s Vice President for Research John Thomson, a former Manhattan studio musician who plays a viciously mean guitar. During their mid-conference celebration, they let me sit in with their band Void Where Prohibited to play some 60s and 70s funk. All …