Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Electric Shock Therapy For Internet Addiction


There's bald Homer, motherly Margie with her towering Tara's Bulba hairdo, Bart , and the whole Simpsons family gang all tied up in what's called as an electric orgy, undermining Dr. Monroe's aversion electric shock therapy. "Now don't you touch any of those buttons," the doctor tells Homer, but the dude is adamant, or just plain clumsy. And so the whole Simpsons family get a dose of electric shock circa 21st century.

It could be funny in animation, but it's not funny at all if it happens in real life. Worse, if it's happening in the 21st century.

Might as well go back to the Medieval Age.

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Reuters recently reported that such has been happening in Linyi, Shandong Province, wherein controversial psychiatrist Doctor Yang Yongxin, also known as "Uncle Yang," ran a boot camp called the Internet Addiction Treatment Center at Linyi Mental Hospital. Electric currents were administered by Yang to some 3000 teenagers who were believed to be guilty of their "internet addiction."

So Yang reportedly went on with said electroshock therapy for Internet addiction, electrocuting teenagers for some time, in line with the Chinese government's campaign against the excessive use of Internet by teenagers, flocking Internet cafes which were more known as "web bars", and consequently "hurting their studies and damaging family life."

All these until the Ministry of Health put a stop to it.

"Electroshock therapy for Internet addiction...has no foundation in clinical research or evidence and therefore is not appropriate for clinical application," as posted on the ministry website www.moh.gov.cn.

Further, Yang and his colleagues at the said boot camp were nowhere being "qualified psychotherapists", that the young patients were sent to the hospital "by force and prohibited from outside contact". Further , more than two hundred organizations were said to be "offering help" for the young Chinese seeking refuge with Internet over-use, away from heavy parental expectations.

Meantime, China reportedly boasts of having the world's largest Internet population, with almost 300 million users by yearend of 2008, as reported by the China Internet Network Information Center.

Newsoffuture.com , on the other hand, said that Chinese economist Lin Yifu estimates some 1 billion mobile phone users in China by year 2020, up from 449 million users in October 2006. Mobile phones are now regarded by industry insiders as "the new laptops."

The website's projected year 2020 report said that China reaches the 1 billion mark for mobile phone users by January 2020 , three times as many as 15 years ago.

The said report pointed out that India , projected to have 910 million users by year 2020, will be adding most users each month, and will most likely overtake China's total number of mobile phone users until year 2030.

China will have some 400 million Internet users by year 2020, the report further stressed, " and their impact on the Internet has been noticed significantly over the last years. One reason for this, a part from the number of users is the number of English-speaking Chinese, which has increased to almost match the native English speakers in the world."

The 2020 report further said: "The market for mobile phones in China is bigger than Europe, US and Japan combined and about 80% of the Chinese population now has a mobile phone. The worldwide use of mobile phones will most likely reach another significant mark later in 2020, when passing 5 billion mobile phone users, about 65% of the world’s population."

Make Way For Inovent's Ilumina LCD iTV

My belated kudos to our up-and-coming maverick "Inoventlings" : that harrumphing yuppies bratpack composed of De La Salle's Brian Quebengco , fellow futurist and Atenean marketing expert Mark Ruiz, and the rest of the guys from Inovent Inc. with their novel innovention making waves now and cruising through all the media hype via Ilumina LCD iTV.

Inovent Head Brian Quebengco calls it “The Inovent Revolution” , showing to both supporters and critics that Filipinos can do it and that it can be done, pioneering an innovative idea which started with a dream, fueled by passion, fired up by their continuing zeal and enthusiasm.

Quebengco says: “We stand a chance in the electronic industry, and can even excel in it … with our team actually making history. This will eventually reverse the brain drain we are experiencing.”

The Inovent team, headed by Quebengco, is composed of marketing chief inoventor Mark Ruiz; senior design expert inoventor Peter Can, Jonas Peralta, and Jaed del Mundo; junior program inoventor Ryan Bitanga; and junior inoventor Victor Yu and Nikko Garcia, who are undergraduates at the De La Salle University (DLSU) taking up electrical engineering and electronics and communications engineering (ECE).

Check out its media blitzkrieg.

“Ilumina is being positioned as a showcase of Filipino ingenuity particularly on engineering and design, signaling the changing habits of younger generations who grew up on the iPod, MP3s, and TV show and movie downloads."

"Ilumina is at the crux of a major change in our lifestyles, where you can play music, watch movies, call via VOIP (voice over internet protocol) surf the web with its wireless fidelity (wi-fi) facility, chat via Yahoo Messenger , and watch your free TV all from one unit. No need for separate players, it provides that convenience for everyone.”

The iTV prototype, awaiting Philippines-based “angel investors “ for its mass production is housed in a minimalist curved casing with a 32-inch screen , equipped with a High Definition (HD) webcam, a Blue Ray DVD slot drive, VoIP, digital video recorder, Wi-Fi/LAN facilities, 1.5 Terabyte hard drive, wireless keyboard, and a Bluetooth head phone built in the back of the remote control to allow motion gesture base.

As the proverbial “icing on the cake”, it has a gesture motion remote control similar to Nintendo’s “wii-mote”.

While waiting for their "angel investors" to gear up mass production for the iTV novel prototype, more up their sleeves from these young mavericks.

Meantime, sounds like clenched fists for their so-called "revolution". Check out Inovent Inc's "Declaration of Revolution".

"We believe in living on the edge of possible, where no one wishes to venture. We don’t care when the Old Men who control our economy and businesses tell us we can’t; we just do it. We’re tired of waiting while the Old Men grow and protect their dynasties within the comforts of our own country."

"We believe in making our own rules, our own statement, and our own words. We call Innovation and Invention, Inovention. We believe that the Philippines will become a pioneer in Technology and Inovention. Because we believe the Philippines will lead the world in Technology and Inovention."

"We believe that the Philippine people are the progressive inoventors of tomorrow because each one of us has the potential waiting to be unleashed, waiting to be given a chance."

"We know that everything we need to lead this revolution is with us and within us. We will scratch that perennial itch that says we Filipinos can do it. We believe that we have the talent and creativity to be World Class and Global and not just accept our faith as a copycat or a cut-and-paste industry."

"We can lead and leapfrog the Global technology industry. We believe that we can start an Inovention Revolution that will change people’s lives and create tremendous Philippine Pride. We are the springboard to give our country a new soul that creates the experience which will intrigue, astonish, delight and amuse the World."

More up for grabs from these young maverick Inoventlings. Pump up the volume.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Steve Jobs Won't Love Me For This: Reviewing iPhone's Apps

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Flurry mobile industry analysts said that Apple’s iPhone has a commanding lead over Android, RIM Blackberry, and JavaME, with these smartphones swaggering away as the “new laptops”.


Check out Flurry’s stats, unraveling chest-beating drumrolls that iPhone applications can and do make money,

“A strong publisher with two titles a month can expect $10 million to $15 million in sales through the iPhone channel, if the titles are well-marketed … The iPhone app industry is beginning to resemble the music industry with its "hit-driven" nature."

"One "hit" gets a developer on the map and gives them the chance to sell more apps. Successful apps often resemble successful songs: you need a good artist, a good producer, a strong distributor, and plenty of promotion.”

Steve Jobs’ iPhone, as per Flurry, is making a killing on all fronts: number of developers, number of applications, and number of consumers using these applications. For developers: iPhone gets a commanding 72% ; Android, 22% ; Java ME 5%, and BlackBerry 1%. For applications, iPhone grabs the lead with 64%; JavaME and Android both with 16%, and BlackBerry 4%.

And for consumer statistics, iPhone garners 87%, Android 7%, Java ME 6%, and BlackBerry with “relatively small numbers”.

But the iPhone App Store, launched last year with an initial 500 applications and now ballooning to 55,000 apps, has been getting both: hallelujahs and flak.

Yet, the flak seemed more resounding, as reported by Krapps.com's Alex Miro and CNNMoney.com .


Developed by Jake Landon, priced at 99 cents and also available in a free version called Zips Lite.

The virtual zipper goes up and down, up and down, as if the inane suggestiveness of the zip-up-zip-down motion is something that could tickle anyone’s fancy.

But there’s more head-scratching on this one,the 99-cent version. You change the virtual underwear’s colors, tap the camera to add your pics posing like a disheveled-haired porn star, and finally roll your eyes in boredom, exasperated disgust , or a combination of both.

At the end, you heave out a disbelieving screech: “What’s the point ?”



Almost a dollar for this app, developed by SilentLogic Studios.

For the veritable lazybum sleeping on the job? You bet.

“Promises to generate random office sounds -- mouse clicks, keyboard taps, pencil sharpeners, coughs, and rustling paper -- to give power-nappers some cover. Little sliders are supposed to control your "productivity" level and the frequency of each sound.”

You would scream in pent-up dismay and disgruntlement if you catch your overpaid boss using this application, clearly a juvenile act.

If a highschooler kid would use this in computer class, nap while taking cover via the monitor and the feigning mouse clicks, it’s a bummer wasting battery power and electricity.

Not to mention tolerating future bums in the making.

Hold the Button

Hold the Button

A freebie for iPhone users, developed by Me Mundo iPhone SL. This one’s clearly not recommended for overly busy people, but perfect for those who would like the simplest way to kill time. No brain activity needed.

A fingerprint image appears on the screen, and you put your finger on it, hold it there, until you can till it takes forever. Or until you finally gather enough ideas on what better thing to do next.

“The game is supposed to be a test of patience or stamina or will power or something… When you finally give in, you can compare your score with slackers all over the world. Uh-oh. For the uninspired,totally un-restless, and totally bored."

Guaranteed to promote minimal muscular activity from your finger. No guarantees on burning calories.

If you’re a bit obese, congratulations! You maintain your figure!

Sexy Girl Talk - Sexy Alphabet Deluxe

Sexy Girl Talk - Sexy Alphabet Deluxe

The M Dev, developer for this app and the same creators of the now-famous Moronizer and Angry Kittens Attack, suggests: "Listen to some Sexy Alphabet. Listen to some nice pronunciation. Fun for all the guys."

Ho-hum. Coffee, please.


Taxi Hold'em

Whether you’re a big city tourist from Timbuktu or Zimbabwe who would rather have a gadget hail a taxi for you , or simply too lazy to flag these cabs , this app is --- well, supposedly --- for you, guys.

A loud whistle to flag the taxis, and flashing the word “TAXI” in bold colors when the iPHone is tilted horizontally. Smart, eh??

Try waving your iPhone with the TAXI word in the streets of snatcher-mean Divisoria -- downtown city streets of Manila -- and see how the streetboys rush to your side like hovering angels, and sneakily grab your iPhone out of your sight.

So you don’t get your taxi, and you lose your phone.

Even the cyberhecklers snicker that the TAXI bold colors, when used near epileptics, would spell “DANGER” , triggering seizures.

As Oprah often says: Back in a moment.



Developed by the Daily Burn, costing 99 cents.

FatBurner2K is the app , not for the cellulite-ridden, but for the moronic gullibles who would believe that their abominable love handles will vanish, and their calories would go burn,burn, burn with this application.


An iPhone app designed “ to help your body consume fat molecules using disharmonic, molecule to molecule, physical oscillations…” Pure baloney.

You’re instructed to put your phone on your tummy, six inches above your belly, and it vibrates like some weight-reducing expert as advertised on TV Home Shopping. You flash your self-confident smug look, ala strut-your-stuff gigolo with that narcissist Johnny Bravo mien. Suddenly, you feel like some hot Adonis.

Truth is, your weight stays as is. FatBurner2K is simply for what it is: pure entertainment.

So try to look as if you’re entertained, not disgusted.

Hair Clinic For Men and Women

Hair Clinic: for man and woman

Quite pricey at $3.99, developed by Social Project. It promises "healthy and abundant" hair by generating "various types of inaudible high and low frequencies to promote blood circulation around hair roots and under the head skin."

Bro , it’s not the answer to your prayers of having a full head of hair.

The painful truth is: you’re not gonna get help with your “Battle of the Balds”, at least, not with this app, for crying out loud.

It’s all playtime, and simply a manifestation of your unsatisfied yearnings for improving your scalp by growing hair. Don’t fret if your hair doctor suddenly bursts into uncontrollable guffaws on this one. It’s not his fault.

And the worst is yet to come: migraines galore if the iPhone’s built-in speaker is held too close to the ears.

Drunk Sniper

Drunk Sniper

If I were you, I’d go for the Drunk Sniper Lite version, totally free, as compared to the 99 cents version – both developed by Apalon.

In that way, you might be able to avoid gritting your teeth in utter abomination at this app: supposedly “virtual peeing” and “virtually aiming your virtual splashes” on the toilet bowl with target circles.

Bathroom game in utter inane fashion: played at crotch level, simulating the drunkard’s ability to aim good at the toilet bowl target with his virtual splashes, amidst swaying rooms and dizzy spells due to virtual overdrinking.

A worldwide scoring of peeing splashes , keeping track of how your peeing fares with other slackers from different parts of the globe.


Cow Toss

Cow Toss

Guess again. That’s not Guyito, Philippine Daily Inquirer’s cute mascot.

When iPhone’s Cow Toss emerged in the market, developed by Digital Thought Software and priced at 99 cents, it was regarded as "logically confusing" , with its scoring system not fully explained, eliciting confused reactions.

CNNMoney.com says : “Another publication rated Cow Toss the 4th stupidest app ever written for the iPhone, but that doesn't do justice to all the other dumb apps.”

The image of a cow flies and harrumphs into space, with your careless flicks of the finger, mooing like crazy as it bounces off and careers away, but the scoring is really something to ponder about.

So, are we having fun yet??



Certainly not for the squeamish, or the Paris Hiltonish set, or the Valley Girl populace.

Check out FlickABooger’s similar apps: iNose, iSnot, and Sneeze on Me -- wherein you develop skills on purposefully tossing your nasal excretions, in varieties of density and volume, labeled dutifully according to its appearance.

Your choices: “Super Slimer”, “Booger Bomb”, “Icky Sticky”, “Skinny Bob”, “Green Gob”, “Hackalicious” “Big Bad Bubba”, or “Fat and Juicy”. Take your pick.

Meantime, push your luck all the more for more enjoyment: do this while eating your favorite meal. Happy eating!