Futurologist James Martin has been found dead at the age of 79 in the waters of the Great Sound near his Agar’s Island home.
The Royal Gazette reports :
“The Bermuda Police Service said this morning that Dr. Martin’s lifeless body had been found floating in the waters of the Great Sound near his Agar’s Island home at around 5.30pm yesterday by a kayaker. A Police spokesman said an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dr. Martin’s death is ongoing, but added: “There does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.”
This news comes as a shock to the staff here at Serious Wonder. We attended the GF2045 Congress just last weekend and had the honor of witnessing Dr. Martin open the event with an amazing lecture. Dr. Martin talked of “Digital Darwinism”, how 2045 will be the “post brain map era” and foretold a coming “crunch” that is inevitable in our society. He spoke of how “In 2045 there will either be a global renaissance, or a collapse”, and also mentioned in his lecture that “Technocracy will replace aristocracy in the future”. If his past foresight gives us any clues into the future, we may want to listen to his words carefully. He spoke of climate change, overpopulation and high-tech wars.
Dr. Martin was an expert of both business and technology, and was an Englishman. He became a Bermuda resident in the 1990’s and bought Agar’s Island off Point Shares in 1997, in the Great Sound where he built an unbelievable home.
Dr. Martin made hundreds of millions of dollars during his extraordinary life. He wrote 105 text books and became the largest benefactor in the history of Oxford University, where he donated $100 million of his own money to set up the James Martin 21st Century School. In 2010, it became Oxford Martin School, comprised of 30 institutes, and Dr. Martin donated another $50 million, an amount matched by other donors. He was ranked fourth out of the 25 most influential people in computer science by Computerworld.
Oxford’s statement on the death of Dr. James Martin was: “We have lost a towering intellect, guiding visionary and a wonderful close friend”. Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “James Martin was a true visionary whose exceptional generosity established the Oxford Martin School, allowing researchers from across the disciplines to work together on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing humanity. His impact will be felt for generations to come, as through the School he has enabled researchers to address the biggest questions of the 21st century.”
He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Wired Society in 1977, and his book Technology’s Crucible, published in 1987, unbelievably depicts Arab terrorists and a major terrorist attack on New York City in 1998. His foresight into the heart of society was at times beyond eerie.
Dr. Martin also wrote The Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint for Ensuring Our Future. In 1959, he joined the American computer firm IBM where he worked until the late 1970’s. In the 1980’s he formed his own technology consultancy firm, initially known as ‘James Martin and Company’ and later ‘Headstrong’, which gained a leading-edge reputation for ultra-complex systems development. Dr. Martin is sometimes referred to in technology circles as as the ‘Father of CASE’ (Computer-Aided Systems Engineering).
He will be missed. Society needs more human beings like him. Dr. James Martin (1933-2013)
Image: SeriousWonder Media