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Thread: Macchine Inutili

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    Exclamation Macchine Inutili

    The Italian artist Bruno Munari began building "useless machines" (macchine inutili) in the 1930s. He was a "third generation" Futurist and did not share the first generation's boundless enthusiasm for technology, but sought to counter the threats of a world under machine rule by building machines that were artistic and unproductive.

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    A survey of 108 futurists found the following shared assumptions:

    1] We are in the midst of a historical transformation. Current times are not just part of normal history.

    2] Multiple perspectives are at heart of futures studies, including unconventional thinking, internal critique, and cross-cultural comparison.

    3] Consideration of alternatives. Futurists do not see themselves as value-free forecasters, but instead aware of multiple possibilities.

    4] Participatory futures. Futurists generally see their role as liberating the future in each person, and creating enhanced public ownership of the future. This is true worldwide.

    5] Long-term policy transformation. While some are more policy-oriented than others, almost all believe that the work of futures studies is to shape public policy, so it consciously and explicitly takes into account the long term.

    6] Part of the process of creating alternative futures and of influencing public (corporate, or international) policy is internal transformation. At international meetings, structural and individual factors are considered equally important.

    7] Complexity. Futurists believe that a simple one-dimensional or single-discipline orientation is not satisfactory. Trans-disciplinary approaches that take complexity seriously are necessary. Systems thinking, particularly in its evolutionary dimension, is also crucial.

    8] Futurists are motivated by change. They are not content merely to describe or forecast. They desire an active role in world transformation.

    9] They are hopeful for a better future as a "strange attractor".

    10] Most believe they are pragmatists in this world, even as they imagine and work for another. Futurists have a long term perspective.

    11] Sustainable futures, understood as making decisions that do not reduce future options, that include policies on nature, gender, and other accepted paradigms. This applies to corporate futurists and other non-governmental organizations. Environmental sustainability is reconciled with the technological, spiritual, and post-structural ideals. Sustainability is not a "back to nature" ideal, but rather inclusive of technology and culture.

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