Vanishing Point

How Flash Mobs and Unions Reveal the Future of Consumer Rights

Posted by Phil Cunningham

September 7, 2016 at 10:05 AM

The 1973 story “Flash Crowd” describes an event in a future world in which an argument in a public location swells into a small riot. The news reports the event, spawning a social disruption that grows and intensifies with incredible speed.


In the 43 years hence, Flash Crowds – now known as Flash Mobs – have taken various forms. In 2003, 130 people gathered at a Manhattan Macy’s, wanting to buy a rug for the warehouse where they claimed to live together. This was followed by a group of 200 people breaking into 15 seconds of ‘spontaneous’ applause in a hotel. Flash Mobs have evolved into pranks, artworks, and even political movements (e.g., the Arab Spring uprising).

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The Deep Fundamentals of War

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

May 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

 “Knowledge, in short, is now the central resource of destructivity, just as it is the central resource for productivity.”

– Alvin & Heidi Toffler (War and Anti-War)


Technology is both our greatest strength and most terrifying vulnerability. Everyone, across the world, is always on, connected, communicating, creating, consuming and sharing information. We have the perceived capacity to be everywhere. Drones, space, bio-digital convergence, autonomous and artificial intelligence (AI) driven platforms and other pieces of rapidly advancing technology are transforming the world. We have the ability to access more data than the human mind can process which makes cutting through the ‘noise’ to identify and understand the veracity and security of our knowledge a top priority.


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Stability and Jeopardy: The Impact of IoT on National Infrastructure

Posted by Aaron Schulman

March 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM

We live in an unprecedented time. Around the world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing explosively. In 2008 Toffler Associates worked with the National Intelligence Council, and with the Department of Homeland Security, helping to envision the likely growth and potential impact of IoT, which was neither well known nor well understood. At that time, there were about 3 billion connected devices. Today, that number is approximated at 14 billion. The estimates for 2020 are 38 billion connected devices. We think those 2020 estimates are low. 

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Workforce Knowledge is Key to Protecting Infrastructure

Posted by Gregory Weber

March 9, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Conversations around infrastructure protection remain largely contained to the historically defined 16 critical infrastructure sectors. Yet as hyperconnectivity continues to tighten integration points between people, physical assets, technologies and security solutions, we see the lines blurring between the operational environments inside these sectors.

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