Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
The Macroscope by Joël de Rosnay was published in 1975 (in France). It is an unusual book, a mixture of theory, methodology, pedagogy and long-term vision, serious-minded and straightforward, making available to the general reader an approach based on complex thinking. It is neither an essay nor a political treatise. Although it discusses the future, it is not really a work of futurology, because explicit dates are not attached to the scenarios and mostly it is based on extrapolation from studies conducted in the United States.
The Macroscope makes use of a very powerful imaginary tool, the "macroscope", for observing the world and society and thus detecting clues about the future. To make it work, the author adopts the systemic approach, which was little known in France in the mid 1970s; this concentrates, in particular, on interdependencies, flows, and complementarities among individuals and with their environment.
Information is - along with energy and time - one of the three fundamental areas of knowledge that de Rosnay explores in order to illustrate the systemic approach. He makes the most of the fact that information exchange is not a zero-sum game; as a result, the relationships of complementarity and interdependence give rise to a network of concepts and people that is mutually reinforcing, not one that excludes. This is the basic driving force in the future society described in detail in the section of the book devoted to this topic.
What is presented is a new form of social organization, "society in real time". The author outlines the foreseeable technological developments involved and also stresses the need to think about what effects an interactive society might have. This new society in real time - of which he describes many aspects, such as being able to access information and to see the people with whom one is communicating at a distance, cable television and broadband, computer regulation of traffic and other urban flows, and computers that talk to each other - is also a remarkable foretaste of the Internet. Finally, Joël de Rosnay also discusses the substitution of telecommunications for transport, an issue that was highly topical at the time because of the first energy crisis of 1973, and he envisages already tailor-made goods and services on a mass scale. The society he describes seems quite familiar to us now, although it was not yet obvious in 1975.
L’essor de la consommation citoyenne traduit-il un retour des préoccupations d’ordre holiste dans la consommation ? En posant la question ainsi, on suppose que la consommation repose principalement sur des motivations individualistes. On suppose également que la consommation « citoyenne » est quant à elle motivée par des critères fondés précisément sur la prise en compte de dimensions collectives. Ce cahier de recherche a pour objet de vérifier la réalité de ces hypothèses. En analysant les déterminations et les enjeux sociaux ...
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The first film about the possibility of catastrophic climate change affecting the whole planet was released in France in May 2004. The Day after Tomorrow, an American spectacular, develops the scenario of a violent change in the climate causing terrible destruction all over the world: floods, tornadoes, unprecedentedly high temperatures... André Lebeau, former president of the French Meteorological Society, watched the film for Futuribles. Here he offers his analysis of the film, especially with regard to the scientific plausibility of the disaster scenario and its likely impact (in the longer term) on public opinion. As he stresses, unless there is a rapid growth of awareness of the embryonic dangers of climate change, we run the risk of ultimately not being able to cope with them.
In the future, when nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, information technologies and the cognitive sciences converge, we shall not only have biological computers, but "humanity could well achieve something like a single brain", capable of both the best and the worst.
No, this is not an exercise in science fiction. Jean-Pierre Dupuy argues convincingly here that already nanotechnologies in the areas of information and communication are being developed, with the prospect of a new "molecular electronics" whose power and consequences could be "phenomenal".
He goes on to explain how, thanks to nanobiotechnologies, the dream is coming to pass of rivalling Nature, and making what Eric Drexler has called "engines of creation". He then shows how, thanks to the cognitive sciences, everything (the universe, nature, life, the spirit) could be reduced to (or transcended by) a "network of formal neurones".
Those promoting this technoscience are "many, powerful and influential" and potentially highly dangerous, according to Jean-Pierre Dupuy. Driven by "a demiurgic plan to manufacture life by technical means", they constitute a grave threat which must be dealt with urgently.
France is on the decline - at least according to what one can often read and hear on the French media or in books. Jean-Jacques Salomon puts this pessimistic view into perspective, comparing and contrasting three recent books: two are by French authors (Jean Boissonnat, Plaidoyer pour une France qui doute [Plea for a France that Doubts]. Paris: Stock, 2004; and Jacques Verrière, L'Embellie française. Questions démographiques, enjeux civiques [The Bright Spell in France. Demographic Questions and Civic Issues]. Paris: Flammarion, 2004), who feel that the diagnosis should not be so harsh and, without denying that the country has problems, emphasize its positive aspects and the reasons for believing that it can recover; in the third, an Italian author, Aldo Schiavone (L'Histoire brisée. La Rome antique et l'Occident moderne [The Shattered History. Ancient Rome and the Modern West]. Paris: Belin, 2003), draws lessons from the decline of the Roman Empire for the West today. Greatness or decay, everything is relative and depends on the period, according to Jean-Jacques Salomon; what matters is to remain confident and sustain the things that underpin progress - the advancement of knowledge and the willingness to work.
Michel Godet comments on two recent reports by the Council for Economic Analysis on productivity and employment, and on the gap between France, the rest of Europe and the United States in this regard. This leads him to offer a different explanation of the poor performance of France, which he thinks is due to the small numbers in work, the demographic decline and the excessive emphasis only on those jobs that are judged, rightly or wrongly, to be highly productive.
He stresses first the high demand for personal services, the large numbers of potential jobs in this area, and hence the need to reassess the worth of professions relating to it. He then goes on to offer a critical discussion of the analyses of productivity, emphasizing in essence that, although the hourly productivity rate in France is high, the economic results are in general poor, and this is because there are not enough people in work.
Lastly, he outlines various ways of reviving growth and employment, for instance by encouraging part-time working and replacing welfare payments that are made without any requirement to work with arrangements which would encourage more French people to stay in their jobs or return to employment.
Le fait religieux est revenu au premier plan de la conscience et de l'opinion politiques. Cette résurgence, largement sentie comme un retour du refoulé, rencontre la méconnaissance et soulève l'inquiétude. Dans l'agitation des esprits et la surexposition médiatique, un phénomène important est laissé dans l'ombre, peut-être faute d'inspirer un sentiment d'étrangeté : le catholicisme, ou plus exactement les bouleversements discrets que traverse la religion historique de la France, celle-là même pour qui fut conçu le ...
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The question keeps returning of whether other development models exist besides the one followed by the richest Western nations - does modernization inevitably mean abandoning local culture and adopting Western values? In other words, can a different balance between tradition and modernity be achieved involving varying forms of compromise related to local cultural requirements?
This question is frequently raised with regard to general development strategies; it is also raised, with growing urgency, in firms, where there is too often a tendency to think that overall performance depends on adopting "good practices" in management that are universally applicable, regardless of local circumstances.
Philippe d'Iribarne takes the opposite view: while acknowledging that universally applicable good management practices exist, he shows how they can be implemented in different ways from country to country so as to meet local needs.
Far from just sermonizing, he bases his argument on a survey carried out in four firms: a Mexican food processing company, a Moroccan firm making electronic components, a petrochemical firm in Argentina and a state-owned electricity supply company in Cameroon.
In each case he shows how the firms were able to devise their own ways of reconciling global and local requirements and balancing economic and social concerns. The author draws from these examples some lessons that are especially useful today as globalisation is leading multinationals to set up in business in countries with very different cultures.
À la demande de la société Promo Expo Conseil, le sociologue Gérard Mermet a réalisé cette étude, dont le premier volet identifiait les évolutions récentes dans le domaine du logement (en matière de temps passé, de dépenses, de confort...) et remettait en cause quelques idées reçues sur la mobilité des ménages, la politique de logement nationale ou encore la réalité du cocooning. Le deuxième volet se veut plus prospectif, quoiqu'à un horizon très court (2007). Il est introduit par ...
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À l'heure de la mondialisation des échanges, de la multiplication des techniques de communication, les langues nationales, internationales, comme les parlers régionaux connaissent de profondes mutations. Les plus pratiquées courent le risque d'une perte de qualité. Certains observateurs voient par exemple, dans la diffusion du langage SMS (Small Messaging Service) une menace pour une langue française dont les plus jeunes ne connaîtraient plus que les abréviations à la mode. Cet appauvrissement culturel est encore plus saisissant pour les ...
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Le groupe Futuribles a livré, le 16 novembre 2004, les résultats de cette étude en souscription, première étape d'un processus continu de veille mutualisée sur l'environnement stratégique des entreprises à moyen et long termes. Dans l'objectif de fournir un panorama des grandes tendances et des incertitudes majeures aux niveaux mondial, européen et français, tout en évitant de réaliser une encyclopédie ou un nouvel « état du monde », 12 enjeux majeurs ont été retenus, en accord avec les souscripteurs ...
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Besides being of interest to scientists, philosophers and sociologists, the issue of cloning is of major concern to psychoanalysts, since the idea of producing an exact copy of a human being touches the very basis of psychoanalysis: sexuality, identification, narcissism, etc.
Michel Neyraut, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, reflects here on the issues raised by the prospect of human cloning, both for the discipline and, above all, for people. He discusses three different aspects of the problem: the possible involvement of "operative thinking" (in the psychosomatic sense), the construction of a "family story" based on the illusion of an "exact copy", and the opening up of the potential for the limitless narcissistic reproduction of an individual or a group.
This article shows how essential it is, in the debate on cloning, to take into account all aspects of the question, above all the possible psychological impact on those directly affected by the technique. Hence the importance of an interdisciplinary approach - in this debate, as in any that involves the relationship between science and society.
L'Observatoire de la cyberconsommation (Cyberconso), créé en septembre 2003 par le Forum des droits sur l'Internet, publie son premier rapport sur les pratiques des consommateurs et des professionnels de la vente à distance au regard du cadre juridique applicable. De septembre 2003 à mars 2004, l'Observatoire a collecté les témoignages de près de 400 internautes et procédé à l'audition de nombreux acteurs du commerce électronique : marchands, comparateurs de prix, intermédiaires techniques et représentants des consommateurs. La ...
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Jean-Jacques Salomon presents here the main arguments in the discussion of human cloning launched in the pages of this month's issue of the journal. A long-time observer of scientific progress and, more generally, the relationship between science and society, he provides the background to genetic modification and its significance for human identity. Jean-Jacques Salomon outlines the viewpoints of Grégory Bénichou and Michel Neyraut, whose articles appear later in the issue, and alerts readers to the growing risk that fiction will be overtaken by reality and the "brave new world" Aldous Huxley imagined in the 1930s might become our own ... not necessarily for the best.
Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.