I’ve spent an embarrassingly large portion of this week parsing Bruce’s 5000-word ramblerant on The New Aesthetic. Consider it required reading for anyone who makes or designs.
New Zealand conference Webstock asks Bruce for his opinion and thoughts, and the result is a great, long, essay which you should read. It goes well with a massive morning dose of coffee.
Treat yourself to some good ‘ol speculative fiction from the one and only Bruce Sterling from a future where the economy tanked for good, the elites went MIA or to jail, and America has become one big favela:
And boy, do I ever miss them. No more billboards, no more chain stores, no big-box Chinese depots and no neon fried-food shacks. It’s become another world, as in “another world is possible,” and we’re stuck in there. It’s very possible, very real, and it’s very smelly. There are constant power blackouts.
This is a fairly assessable post by Bruce Sterling on (a)temporality, genres, and kaleidoscope novelty, which culminates in this incredible little salvo:
It’s an ideological and philosophical problem. When do we fully realize that that our “progressives” are conservatives, and that our “conservatives” are panicked radicals? When do we get it that networking is not a way forward, but a web in all directions? That it’s the hyper that creates the stasis?
I know, right? Get this: it’s about music.
Sterling is, as always, a funny-but-teriffying doom-prophet, but without the thin hope for mankind that Bill had in his heart.
Okay, you’ve treated your future as an “unpredictable lurching thing…” and now you’re all morose about that… You and your generation CREATED that situation! Ever heard of “disruptive innovation,” “disintermediation,” “offshoring,” “small pieces loosely joined,” “de-monetization,” “plug and play,” “the network as a platform”? Of course you’ve heard of all that crap, because you’ve been tub-thumping it your entire adult life, but what the hell did you think that was all about?
There is much more at the link.
I keep hearing Bill Hicks voice in my ear as I listen to Bruce Sterling’s reboot 11 talk. From his album Shock & Awe: Fuck Artists Only
This has taken up an absurd amount of my day. Watch it now or download it and watch it when you get home from work, but watch it.