In these modern times the luxury Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe has struggled to find technicians to repair its wristwatches, which can sell for as much as $400,000. To solve this problem, they opened a school at its NYC office to train a new generation of watchmakers. Around 300 people applied; six were chosen. for their temperament as much as for their technical aptitude. So what personal characteristics does Patek Philippe look for in order to select students? "We need people who are committed, so commitment is a big quality," replied master watchmaker Laurent Junod, who heads the school. Plus, "Patience, of course." "We do a training program here that is two years long. But the learning is not finished. You have to learn all your life." Right now, four weeks into the course, students are learning to make their own tools. They won't even touch a watch for months. And remembers, it's mechanical -- there's no computer! In this season of smartwatches, Patek Philippe figures its customers will understand that this is a very smart watch -- and that watchmakers have a future as well as a past.
Lots of people pretend they've got tomorrow figured out: tech gurus, politicians, C.E.O.s and (yes) journalists. But if we're honest with ourselves, the view ahead of us has never been murkier. That's because the problems that most haunt our world today - climate change and pollution, inequality and war - are problems for which technology, long our spur to envisioning better futures, looks more like a cause than a solution. Our future is hard to imagine because we have trouble imagining how we can possibly act to improve it.
In that spirit, this Future Issue is offered less as a crystal ball than as a meditation on how to think about the future at all. Below, we've asked eight experts (through first-person testimonials, compiled by the journalist Ryan Bradley) to describe how they and their industries look forward.
You can’t get a text message from a friend if you don’t own a phone. And you can’t get a message from the future unless you have a machine capable of receiving it.
That’s exactly the kind of machine University of Connecticut physics professor Ronald Mallett has in mind.
In the lobby of a Mexico City office building, people scurrying to and fro gazed briefly at the digital billboard backing a candidate for Congress in June.
They probably did not know that the sign was reading them, too.
The hour-long lunch may be a charming relic of the past, like phone cords and typewriters, but in today's 24-7 work culture, many of us don't take any lunch break at all. Fewer than 20 percent of American workers regularly step away for a midday meal, and 39 percent usually eat at their desks, according to a survey done by Right Management.
You may know the claims that doing crossword puzzles improves memory or playing classical music for your baby will make them smarter. But in this month's issue of Popular Science, researchers debunk the most common misconceptions about how our brains work. Here are three proven strategies to keep your brain at peak performance for your entire life. 1. Get The Blood Flowing, 2. Eat Your Greens, 3. Talk To People,.... Watch the video for more details and other proven strategies.
A robot that reads your mind may change the way you move. It’s a concept once thought to be impossible. But inside this lab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, researchers Justin Horowitz and Jim Patton built what’s being called a psychic robot that’s not only well versed in the mechanics of movement – when a disturbance occurs, it understands what the jolt has done and removes the affect, showing how the arm would have moved had there been no disruption. It’s technology that may help patients after a stroke or brain injury. And the technology has applications outside of healthcare and on the road.
We typically think diets take months, or even longer, to make a positive dent. For 43 children, however, Dr. Robert Lustig and his team at University of California, San Francisco, decreased triglyceride levels by 33 points on average. The LDL -- bad -- cholesterol dropped 5 points, as did diastolic blood pressure, the lower number. All of the children dramatically reduced their risk of diabetes, as their blood sugar and insulin levels normalized. Again, just 10 days. And while the study was done in children, there's no reason to believe the benefits wouldn't extend to adults, as well. It speaks to what was once an unspeakable idea -- in fact, all calories are not created equal.