The Users’ Guide to the Future #4 – What will flying be like in a post-COVID world?

International flights fell by 99% during the pandemic. Can airlines recover? Is there any future in cheap travel? What will flying be like?

Airline expert Ron Bartsch takes us on a journey through the near future of air travel : It looks a lot like the past, when air travel was expensive – and subsidised by governments.

Ron Bartsch is the former Head of Safety for QANTAS, a director of Regional Express (ReX) Airlines, and author of The Corona Dilemma.

Dr. Genevieve Bell is the Director of the 3Ai Institute at the Australian National University.

THE NEXT BILLION CARS Episode 11 – The Next Billion Bubbles

Physical distancing makes personal transportation a necessity. When public transport risks infection, cars & bikes become our safe spaces. Co-host Sally Dominguez looks at the sudden reframing of the automobile as self-contained ‘safe space’ during the pandemic. Special correspondent Drew Smith rhapsodises about the Renault Espace, the first MPV designed – to carry people.

1984 Renault Espace

Be sure to sign up for Drew Smith’s “Looking Out” newsletter – grab it here.

Episode 4.02 – SUDDEN FUTURES

We saw more change in March & April of 2020 than in the rest of our lives. How has the pandemic accelerated our journey into the future? We ask four guests from series 2 and 3 – John Robb talks about the ‘black swans’ revealed within the pandemic; Fiona Kerr explores the ways we need technology to connect – and the price we’re paying for our lack of physical contact; Ramez Naam looks at how the crash in the price of crude oil has accelerated the transition to a decarbonised economy; and Tiffany Shlain reminds us that in a world where we all want to be connected, a ‘Digital Sabbath’ is more important than ever!

John Robb is the author of “Brave New War” and shares his thoughts on the more-vital-than-ever ‘Global Guerillas‘ blog.

Fiona Kerr runs the NeuroTech Institute.

Ramez Naam guides, advises and invests in clean energy.

Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker and author of the bestseller “24/6”

Episode 4.01 – INFECTED BY BIG BROTHER

For a century, public health officials have contained pandemics by tracing outbreaks. COVIDsafe promises to do this – can we trust it?

How does contact tracking work? And did host Mark Pesce almost accidentally invent Bluetooth contact tracking during some experimenting back in 2005?

Dr. Genevieve Bell offers insights into the history of contact tracing – and how old ideas about sickness can be baked into the newest of our technologies.

Dr. Bell recently wrote a long and clear article on this topic for TECHNOLOGY REVIEW.

Toward the end of 2005, Mark Pesce did some ‘pinging’ of Bluetooth devices from his mobiles, and learned that a lot of other Bluetooth mobiles would answer his pings. He wrote it up in a paper:

The following year, working with artist John Tonkin, they created ‘Bluestates‘ – using Bluetooth contact tracking to generate ‘social graphs’ – maps of who associated with who – for ISEA 2006 in San Jose California. It got a fair bit of attention at the time, including a review in The New York Times. Here’s a short movie of how John Tonkin visualised the contact tracking data Mark Pesce gathered: