SNS Subscriber Edition • Volume 24, Issue 14 • Week of May 6, 2019





SNS: Patterns of Concern


In This Issue
Week of 5/6/2019 Vol. 24 Issue 14


FiRe 2019 Speaker Spotlight Prather lives and breathes atmospheric science. Author of more than 200 peer-reviewed academic studies, Prather also led the creation of UC San Diego's Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE), where her team is pioneering the study of marine aerosols to better understand the impact of pollution on climate. 

Using technology developed in her lab in flights through clouds, her group was the first to show that dust and microbes traveling across the Pacific from as far away as Africa can enhance the amount of snowfall over California's Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Prather's impressive career has not gone unnoticed, landing her the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award, the NSF Special Creativity Award, membership in the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, and $40 million in NSF funding for CAIC - making it the largest federally funded center in the history of UC San Diego. 


We're delighted to be welcoming Kimberly Prather to the stage at Future in Review 2019, Oct 8-11, in La Jolla, California. Learn more about FiRe and register here.



Patterns of Concern

SNS members often ask what I read and how I make accurate predictions. In general, because of the complexity of this process (and because I love book sales), I refer them to The Pattern Future, available on Amazon.

But simply described, I'm usually following individual trends, like those that resulted in our recent discoveries providing a deeper view of the forces and beneficiaries behind the electric autonomous car ("SNS: Car Wars," 4/10/19). Often, these threads are themselves composed of small stories in back pages that, on their own, are not of particular interest, but when stitched together, provide important new insights.

Over time, this approach also reveals meta-level patterns, or what might be called patterns of patterns. This is exactly what one would expect, for instance, on the run-up to WWII, or to the Great Depression: lots of different trends all increasing in volatility, with specific concerns suddenly emerging from the background. And now, as then, it is often our largest (export) corporations that want to keep us from understanding - a problem we'll return to later.

In this week's discussion, I want to share a number of such areas of patterns of concern that I think may have been missed or underestimated in their importance, but which seem to deserve attention. In general, I believe these are leading indicators of much larger stories. In each case, I'll give a subject and brief background; in each case, much more could be written, and perhaps will be in future issues.

These are exactly the kinds of "early shoots" that non-SNS members will debate one by one, dismissing some or all; while members, many of whom now see the world through pattern recognition techniques, will put them to their own uses.

Let's take a walk together through this metadata minefield.


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