Historic, recent and contemporary manifestations of future_preparedness and related fields.

  • Notes from Joi Ito's Resiliency, Risk, and a Good Compass: Tools for the Coming Chaos
  • Taleb's Rules: A number of guidelines to create systems which are less fragile during exposure to black swan events (aka taleb robustness)
  • VUCA or volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations.
  • Burners without borders: “BWB promotes activities around the globe that support a community's inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to disaster relief and grassroots initiatives that make a positive impact. (…) Following the 2005 Burning Man event, several participants headed south into the Hurricane Katrina disaster area to help people rebuild their devastated communities. What does this look like? The important thing is to create collaborations and bring as much creativity and fun to the project as possible.”
  • Architecture for Humanity: “We are a leader in creating responses to disaster reconstruction that go beyond the “one and done” projects that leave communities vulnerable to future crises. Instead, we focus on creating long-term solutions in partnership with the affected communities.”

Nista Nas Ne smije Iznenaditi: Živimo kao da će vječno biti mir, a pripremajmo se kao da će sutra rat. (Transl. Live as if the peace is eternal, prepare as if the war will start tomorrow) – Josip Broz Tito

  • Nista Nas Ne smije Iznenaditi 'Nothing can surprise us' - cit /country wide catastrophe exercises organised by ONO i DSZ (Opstenarodna odbrana i drustvena samozastita, translation: 'Nation wide defence and social self protection committee') for the military, police, health system, but also civilians (including children) in former Yugoslavia.
  • The interesting thing about NNNI was that participants often had nothing in common: small entrepreneurs, CEOs, smugglers, drunks, and others whom we wouldn't see except for the day of the exercise… - Ono sto je u vjezbama Nista nas ne smije iznenaditi bilo zanimljivo jest cinjenica da su sudjelovali ljudi iz nasih mjesnih zajednica koji inace nisu imali nista zajednicko: sitni privatnici, direktori preduzeca, sverceri, pijanci, besposlicari i oni koje nikad ne bismo vidjali osim na dan vjezbe. Svih drugih dana u godini takvi su ostajali zatvoreni izmedju svoja cetiri zida ili su se bavili nekim poslovima o kojima do danas nista nismo saznali.

See also: http://lib.fo.am/nnni

“This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party,” said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. “Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn't happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we're having a little fun with.”

More in this article from Huffington Post

The last statistics out of the USGS predict that there is a 62 percent chance that a catastrophic earthquake will hit the Bay Area in the next 30 years—leaving an estimated 3,400 dead, 63,000 seriously injured, and over 400,000 people homeless. These statistics and the staggering realization that only a small percentage of Bay Area residents are actually prepared for an emergency prompted the ARCBA to focus on an even edgier campaign that would shock, force people to think, and then take action to get prepared.

  • BOS/FIB (Brusselse Onafhankelijke Strijdkrachten/ Forces Indépendantes Bruxelloises) creating photographic, fictional war situations if Belgium would engage in a civil war. They proclaim to be ready and defend the Brusseleer and Brussels as an independent area with dutch-speaking and french-speaking multicultural ethnicities.

Eucatastrophe is a term coined by J. R. R. Tolkien which refers to the sudden turn of events at the end of a story which ensure that the protagonist does not meet some terrible, impending, and very plausible doom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucatastrophe

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist', nor 'fugitive'. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace…


If we take a step back and more generally consider the issue of partitioned versus connected systems, partitioned systems are more stable, and connected systems are both more vulnerable and have more opportunities for collective action. Vulnerability (fragility) is connectivity without responsiveness. Responsiveness enables connectivity to lead to opportunity. If collective action can be employed to address threats, or to take advantage of opportunities, then the vulnerability can be mitigated and outweighed by the benefits. This is the basic relationship between the idea of sensitivity as we described it and your concept of antifragility. –Yaneer Bar-Yam

Buddhist philosphy and lifestyle have - over the centuries - developed a gentle yet resilient way of approaching uncertainty, discomfort and calamity, as well as exhaltation, happiness and excitement. The basic idea is that we have to be able to live in the present moment, no matter what it brings. It means dropping our expectations, hopes and wishes and be open to what life brings about - whether positive, negative or neutral. We should be able to face whatever situation with compassion and equanimity - qualities that enable us to observe, think and act clearly and effectively, without emotional turmoil. Here are a few buddhist (and related) teachings on how to face uncertainty without fear or aggression:

  • Pema Chödrön: A teaching on becoming more comfortable with uncertainty in ourselves and the world, focusing on tonglen en metta meditation practices comfortable_with_uncertainty
  • Chögyam Trungpa: A small booklet on the qualities and practices of a 'Shambala warrior' - a person able to face, know and smile at fear, including meditative exercises such as the warrior breath: http://lib.fo.am/smile_at_fear
  • Thich Nhat Hanh: A short teaching on the art of flower arranging, or metaphorically the art of creating order and beauty in the chaotic environment around you. http://lib.fo.am/flower_arranging
  • Lü Tung-Pin: The classic Taoist teaching on 'turning the light around' and being able to observe the chaotic thoughts and emotions, while resting in awareness: http://lib.fo.am/golden_flower
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn: Notes from the audiobook Coming to Our Senses by the foremost mindfulness teacher and psychiatrist Kabat-Zinn, about the value of mindfulness in healing ourselves and the world: http://lib.fo.am/coming_to_our_senses
  • Leonard Koren: Wabi-Sabi could be seen as a 'resilient aesthetics' - embracing change and decay as aesthetic qualities: http://lib.fo.am/wabi_sabi
  • naikan: An introspective technique in which the practitioner looks at his/her life through relationships with people.

Survivalist Green: notes about how surviving doesn't have to be so bad

“The future is a process, not a theme park.”- Bruce Sterling quoted from: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives//006811.html

Smart Places and Spatial Interventions http://www.worldchanging.com/archives//004292.html

Critical Design, takes a critical theory based approach to design. Popularized by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby through their firm, Dunne & Raby. Critical design uses designed artifacts as an embodied critique or commentary on consumer culture. Both the designed artifact (and subsequent use) and the process of designing such an artifact causes reflection on existing values, mores, and practices in a culture. A critical design will often challenge its audience's preconceptions and expectations thereby provoking new ways of thinking about the object, its use, and the surrounding environment. Critical Designers generally believe design that provokes, inspires, makes us think, and questions fundamental assumptions can make a valuable contribution to debates about the role technology plays in everyday life.


Speculative, science, design fiction - ways of exploring the probable and improbable futures:

Speculative literature is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to horror to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern myth-making and more.

Speculative Design for a jesusautobot from Theun Karelse

Notes collected by Cocky Eek:

  • I think it's important that the elder didn't just tell them the relationship between the mud and the fish, but took them to a place where they could discover that relationship for themselves. That is what relationality and relation accountability are all about.
  • In an indigenous ontology, reality is the relationship that one has with the truth (rather than the truth being something that is 'out there' or external. Reality is not an object, but a process of relationships
  • In indigenous research, knowledge is relational. It is not just interpersonal relationships, not just with the research subjects, but its' a relationship with all of creation. It is with the cosmos, the animals, the plants and with the earth that we share this knowledge.

Some insights from an otherwise quite dreadful reality TV series The Colony about surviving disasters.


  • Future-making in film & storytelling
  • Prototyping techniques and personal fabrication (fabbing)
  • World building games and open source world building tools
  • Scenaric Thinking, framing and visualizations – open source scenario planning tools, info-vis
  • resilients/future_preparedness_notes.txt
  • Last modified: 2014-11-04 16:17
  • by maja