Site updated Friday, January 06, 2006
Eighty-five-year-old futurist Frank Ogden says even tiny cows may
become unnecessary, because meat will be produced far from any farm or
"They're working on meat machines now that can grow meat into
whatever you want," Ogden says. "These factories will be put
certainly in every major city. Forty per cent of their output might be
hamburgers. But they grow it just like they're growing rats' brains in
a Petri dish. And it's pure, they can then put in what vitamins are
desired or wanted by the eating public and then for the poor people_
they'll come out with some very cheap protein product that will then
feed those people that today don't get a very balanced diet."
Ogden made a name for himself as the weird and shocking Dr. Tomorrow
in the '80s. Unlike Tinari, Ogden's not an academic, and he views his
lack of formal credentials as his greatest asset. He learns by doing.
He studied voodoo for two years in Haiti, explored (and tried) LSD and
other drugs at New Westminster's Hollywood Hospital in the '60s, and
has travelled widely, including the plains of the Sahara desert, the
jungles of Papua New Guinea and the neon-lit streets of technological
He's involved in the Berkeley-based Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence-"We're trying to find ET," he says-and the
Global Consciousness Project. "This guy from Princeton came up
with the big idea that if we put an electroencephalogram on a person's
head, we can read their brain. He suggested why don't we put something
similar on Mother Earth and see what she thinks," he
His Coal Harbour office is housed inside his floating "cyberden,"
his 31-year-old fiberglass and Plexiglas houseboat. From a comfy chair
surrounded by stacks of newspaper and magazine clippings, Ogden says
he believes futurists may become obsolete with too many variables and
outside influences affecting cities, provinces and countries. But this
hasn't stopped him from booking worldwide talks through the National
Speakers Bureau. In fact, he's even spoken on the subject.
He'll be addressing a global timber trading company later this month
about conducting business in China. He sees international connections
growing stronger, especially in healthcare.
Ogden expects more medical procedures like hip surgery will be
outsourced to countries like Malaysia and India, where Canadians will
enjoy operation vacations. He says as a result of crazy traffic,
doctors in Malaysia see 10 times more broken legs than Vancouver
doctors and are well equipped to handle hip surgeries. He predicts
reduced waiting times, low surgery costs and recuperation facilities
at beach-front resorts will draw more Westerners.
Although travellers will continue to journey abroad on large
airplanes, Ogden says small air taxis will replace large crafts that
don't cross large bodies of water. "You don't have any security.
Nobody's going to go to a lot of trouble to blow up six people in a
plane-that's just like an automobile-and they will be in great numbers
and they will go point to point," he says. "Any big city,
you've got to go through a hub. That's unbearable and it's
unsustainable. And the idea that all these millions of people go into,
say, 25 major hubs -it's chaos and one little thing goes wrong and
it's really chaos."
With the rate of change accelerating, some feel like the world is
becoming chaotic, but Ogden says we're going to have to learn to deal
"I think 'information overload,' the term, is a myth. I think
we've just got to find ways to have our brain work faster," he
says. He expects more people will take supplements to boost their
brainpower, which will eventually transform the way we
"I think people will get knowledge by thought waves. I think
there's a resonance we're learning about now that will give us
entr’e into all knowledge, and I think there're various ways of
acquiring that," he says. "Writing, that's pretty
old-fashioned. Speaking will someday be minimal, but thought waves,
they're irrelevant to time and space. You can send a thought wave to
Africa just like I could send one to you here. So I believe we have to
take advantage of things like that_ When you can think faster then you
don't have competition.