William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was' | Books | The Guardian
In 2016, William Gibson was a third of the way through his new novel when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
science  fiction 
11 weeks ago
This can be the year when we recharge nature – and ourselves | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
It’s going to be a rough year. The fatal combination of escalating climate breakdown and the capture of crucial governments by killer clowns provokes a horrible sense of inevitability.
climate  change  environment  society 
11 weeks ago
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Here’s a tiny question. How do you grieve for a billion lost lives? I don’t mean that rhetorically. I mean it quite seriously. After all, that’s how many lives were lost as Australia’s burned…so far. Not just human ones, perhaps I should say.
society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
11 weeks ago
www.washingtonpost.com
Go, go gadgets has long been the attitude in my house. Perhaps yours, too: A smartphone made it easier to stay in touch. A smart TV streamed a zillion more shows. A smart speaker let you talk to a smart thermostat without getting out of bed. That’s progress, right?
11 weeks ago
302 Found
“You don’t seriously think…civilization…is going to…collapse? Do you? LOL! Dude!! Here, have a beer!” It’s a question I get asked these days, sometimes angrily, sometimes mockingly, sometimes like I’m crazy — rarely seriously.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
11 weeks ago
302 Found
It’s often said these days, that if you think America has problems, of capitalism, of decline, of blindness and folly and self-inflicted ruin, that you must hate the rich. No, I don’t hate the rich. I think that I pity them. Here’s a little secret. I grew up among the super rich.
society  usa 
11 weeks ago
302 Found
(How) We Gave Up on the Beautiful and Timeless Idea of a Better World(The Bad Guys are Winning Because) We Gave Up on The Great Projects of Civilization and ProgressJan 11 · 13 min readHave you noticed how we never seem to reflect on, discuss, even have, beautiful and great ideas anymore? Like, say
society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
11 weeks ago
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Over the last week or so — the eternity that’s been the first week of 2020 — I’ve been clarifying in for myself what kind of decade I think it’s going to be. And the more that I think about it…the more that we’re in for a rough ride.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 weeks ago
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Here’s a tiny question. Do you think our societies are turning…sociopathic? The more that I think about it…I do. The way I think about our societies now — particularly America — is this. They’ve been captured by organized coalitions of something very much like sociopaths.
society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 weeks ago
In 2030, we ended the climate emergency. Here’s how - The Correspondent
What is human civilisation if not the result of all the stories we’ve been told? Centuries of evidence have shown that storytelling can change the course of history. Radical imagination, Read adrienne maree brown’s writings on ‘radical imagination’.
climate  change  environment  from pocket
11 weeks ago
Why is it so hard to green the grid? - Sidewalk Talk - Medium
America’s aging energy infrastructure is increasingly fragile, and it almost only ever makes the headlines when things go wrong.
energy  from pocket
12 weeks ago
CES Day 2: Bulbs, more locks and and a new business model for ADT - Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis
The CES 2020 show floor doesn’t open until today and we’ll be running around the more than 2 million square feet of gadgets to find the latest smart products and trends. On Monday night, however, we saw a nice preview of what to expect at a mini show event called Digital Experience.
internet  of  things  privacy 
12 weeks ago
CES Day 1: Locks, leaks and talking dogs - Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis
Sunday night kicked off the CES 2020 trade show in Vegas with an event called Unveiled. It’s the first of three evening events that startups and large companies pay to attend to show off new stuff. It’s a trade show format with hundreds of booths.
internet  of  things  privacy 
12 weeks ago
The next 10 years will be known as the "ecosystem" decade - Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis
There are plenty of sites offering predictions for the coming decade, however I can’t help but throw mine into the mix as well. I think the coming decade will see a slow and subtle shift that will truly change the world, much like the ubiquity of smartphones and 4G networks did in the last decade.
internet  of  things  privacy 
12 weeks ago
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Movies are often punching bags upon release. The reason why seems twofold: first, the film criticism field is a robust one with a legacy that critics would help viewers decide what was worthy of their time.¹ Second, movies cost a lot of money to make — many cost a massive amount of money to make.
apple  tv  from pocket
12 weeks ago
www.cbc.ca
The infinite triangular loop of arrows that we know as the recycling symbol adorns millions of plastic pop and water bottles we carefully sort in the blue bin. It comforts us with the idea that each one will be recycled over and over again forever. 
canada  environment  recycling 
12 weeks ago
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By now, it’s pretty apparent that a lunatic American Prez appears to want to treat international law — not to mention peace prosperity, and democracy — like some kind of sideshow. But he’s far from the only one. American Presidents have long chafed at the idea of international law.
capitalism  politics  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
12 weeks ago
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It’s the end of the first week of 2020…and I’m already exhausted. And I bet you are too. How dystopian can the headlines be? Continents burning, lunatic Presidents ordering assassinations, nations turning to violence. It strikes me that above all, we live in an age of a great dehumanization.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
12 weeks ago
Clean Up Your Recycling Game - Sidewalk Toronto - Medium
Cities around the world are leading an ambitious push to eliminate GHG emissions. Toronto has made tremendous strides on this front, targeting a 65 percent reduction by 2030. As part of that goal, the city is aiming to divert 70 percent of recyclables and organics from landfill by 2026.
cities  google  recycling  stories  by  sidewalk  toron  toronto 
12 weeks ago
Life in 2030
This is a written version of a presentation I gave live at the a16z Summit in November 2019. You can watch a video version on YouTube. My day job is to think about the future, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what life will look like in the 2030s.
future 
12 weeks ago
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The drums of war are beating again in America. This time, with yet another nation in the Middle East, for no real reason anyone thoughtful can discern. How did America end up being the world’s first poor rich country? Because, my friends, violence is a poor investment.
politics  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
12 weeks ago
'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Is a Lesson in Military Opposites | WIRED
For generations, millions of Star Wars fans have thought they were watching a good ol’ fashioned space opera. In fact, they’ve received a decades-long primer in geopolitics, warfare, and the tenets of leadership.
star  wars 
january 2020
The Love Story of R2-D2 and C-3P0 Comes to a Beautiful Close in The Rise of Skywalker | Tor.com
Now that The Rise of Skywalker has come out and the nine-film epic of the Skywalker saga has been brought to a close, I find myself looking back and reminiscing about the movies’ gorgeous, galaxy-spanning romance. No, not Anakin and Padme.
star  wars 
january 2020
It's 2020 and you're in the future — Wait But Why
It’s finally the 2020s. After 20 years of not being able to refer to the decade we’re in, we’re all finally free—in the clear for the next 80 years until 2100, at which point I assume AGI will have figured out what to call the two decades between 2100 and 2120.
history 
january 2020
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In case you haven’t by now, Australia’s burning. Wait — let me try that again. 2020 began with a…continent..on fire. Yes, really. Go ahead and think about that for a second. The pictures and stories coming out of Australia are as surreal as they are tragic and horrific.
climate  change  collapse  environment  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
january 2020
302 Found
It’s hardly just America. In Britain, there is the spectacular folly of Brexit. Australia is burning, even while the government refuses to take climate change seriously. The world is destabilizing, fracturing, unravelling, coming undone. Why? And what does the future hold?
politics  society 
january 2020
Review: The Rise of Skywalker – Whatever
(This review will be spoiler-free, but the comment thread will be allowed to have spoilers. If you’ve not seen the movie yet, tread lightly there.
star  wars 
january 2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Fixes a Critical Error in Revenge of the Sith | Tor.com
The Skywalker Saga is nine whole films long, and spans three generations. It was hoped that the final installment would find aspects to tie all three trilogies together, and it succeeded in a multitude of ways, though the most interesting one was certainly unexpected.
star  wars 
january 2020
21 Things We Loved (and 5 Things We Hated) About Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker | Tor.com
The Skywalker Saga has officially concluded with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! We have searched our feelings, and we know this to be true: This is probably the most divisive Star Wars film. (More than The Last Jedi, yes.
star  wars 
january 2020
The Bible Doesn’t Say That - Backyard Theology - Medium
According to Barna research, 82% of the general population believes that the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible. Fortunately, Christians know better than to believe this.
christianity  from pocket
january 2020
I Was Google’s Head of International Relations. Here’s Why I Left.
The company’s motto used to be “Don’t be evil.” Things have changed. When I walked out the door on my last day as Google’s Head of International Relations, I couldn’t help but think of my first day at the company.
google  from pocket
january 2020
302 Found
Happy New Year, all. Per tradition (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013), I’m back today to showcase how my iPhone homescreen looks on this first day of 2020 — highlighting the apps I used as 2019 came to a close.
apple  iphone 
january 2020
302 Found
It was a miserable, terrible, horrible decade. The worst, easily, across the globe, since the 1930s. No, the world didn’t “get better”, unless you count fascists on the march and millions in concentration camps and climate change and mass extinction and continents on fire as..
collapse  politics  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
january 2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is the Spiritual Successor of Return of the Jedi, for Worse and for Better | Tor.com
When it comes to mega-myths and long-standing pop culture phenomenons, endings are one of the most impossible things to get right.
star  wars 
january 2020
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