robertogreco + brucesterling   139

Critical Design Fictions CSPL 225
"Design fiction involves the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. Through practices of estrangement and defamiliarization, and through the use of carefully chosen design methods, this course experiments with the creation of provocative scenarios and imaginative artifacts that can help us envision different ways of inhabiting the world. The choices made by designers are ultimately choices about the kind of world in which we want to live--expressions of our dreams, fantasies, desires, and fears. As an integrated mode of thought and action, design is intrinsically social and deeply political. In conversation with science fiction, queer and feminist theories, indigenous discourses, drag and other performative interventions, this course explores speculative and critical approaches to design as catalysts for imagining alternate presents and possible futures. We examine a number of environmental and social issues related to climate change, incarceration, gender and reproductive rights, surveillance, emerging technologies, and labor."



"Readings include: Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, SPECULATIVE EVERYTHING: DESIGN, FICTION, AND SOCIAL DREAMING and Patrick Parrender (ed.) LEARNING FROM OTHER WORLDS: ESTRANGEMENT, COGNITION, AND THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE FICTION AND UTOPIA, along with selections from Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Julian Bleeker, Paul Preciado, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Samuel Delany, Elizabeth Grosz, José Esteban Muñoz, Ursula LeGuin, and Octavia Butler, among others.

Examination and Assignments:
Participation and collaboration, short assignments in conversation with readings, midterm and final projects. Students will design and prototype a series of objects, scenarios, and characters as devices to explore alternate presents and possible futures."

[see also:
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/channels
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/speculative-design-1519962911
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/misc-design-1519956499
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/sensory-ethnography
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/ethnographic-design-films
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/design-methods-1519961030

http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/baadams/profile.html
http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2017/10/23/taylor-07-teaches-design-thinking-workshop-at-wesleyan/
http://wesleyanargus.com/2018/02/02/fellow-barbara-adams-talks-design-ideas-minor/
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/faculty.html
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/index.html
http://www.gidest.org/barbara-adams/
https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/design-as-future-making-9780857858399/
https://nssr.academia.edu/BarbaraAdams ]
barbaraadams  design  designfiction  2018  classes  anthonydunne  fionaraby  patrickparrender  carrielambert-beatty  paulpreciado  brucesterling  darkosuvin  samueldelany  elizabethgrosz  joséestebanmuñoz  ursulaleguin  octaviabutler  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  scifi  sciencefiction  utopia  julianbleecker  dunne&raby  wesleyan 
may 2018 by robertogreco
New Year's resolutions for architecture and design in 2017 by Will Wiles
"With 2016 coming to an end, Will Wiles doses out his New Year's resolutions for architecture and design in 2017, which include resisting the hygge trend and finally taking responsibility for the climate.

I suggested New Year's Resolutions for architecture and design at the end of 2015, and the response was great. So, one year later, I've made some more:

1. An end to TED's glib solutionism

Consider president-elect Donald Trump's proposed wall to keep out Mexico. It was the most consistent pledge he made during his precedent-smashing election campaign. Trump admitted that it was his secret rhetorical weapon for when he sensed a crowd was getting bored: "I just say, 'We will build the wall!' and they go nuts," he told the New York Times.

The wall is a strong pledge to make: it's a simple, easy-to-understand design solution to a perceived problem. It's also crass, offensive and impractical in the extreme, but that didn't matter to the target audience. They got it. They went nuts.

There was a lot of this in 2016, the year zealots of various stripes promised to sweep away the knotted, stifling problems of globalisation with no more than a wave of the tiny hand. Build the wall, make America great again, drain the swamp, vote leave, take back control.

Architecture and design, which is well populated with experts and systems-thinkers, might regard itself as being apart from all this. But, in fact, one of the throbbing nerve centres of the post-expert, hand-wave era lies closer than you might think: TED, the wildly popular talks series.

TED, of course, presents itself as a hub of expertise and intelligence. And in criticising TED, I don't mean to denigrate the vast majority of its speakers, or to imply that TED equals Trump, or anything so dim. It's the format that's the problem, and the kind of intellectual legerdemain it encourages.

TED is the golden cap of the yaddering pyramid of hackism: that every wicked problem has a nifty workaround or backdoor, that it's all got a glib little design solution that'll bypass all the waffle and the smoke, and make everything OK. Ted Everyman, outsider genius, has cracked the problem that has the eggheads stumped, and it was so simple.

Trump's wall is very TED. So is his insistence that generic "smartness" on his part means that he can do without the expert advice previous presidents have relied upon, such as intelligence briefings.

The trouble for democratic opposition to these forces is that complexity and intractability make for very unenticing messages. Even more problematic is the fact that "it's complicated, let us experts handle it" is the way the globalist managerial class has ushered in many of the problems that Trump and others now claim to have solved.

Where architecture and design might be able to make a difference in the coming months is by shunning hackism and solutionism, and demonstrating instead its remarkable ability to research, explore and expose.

2. Take personal responsibility for the climate

With Trump's administration stuffed full of climate-change deniers and oil men, concerted international state action to address the warming planet looks unlikely. Worse, existing measures, such as the Paris Agreement that came into force this year, might be in peril. American leadership isn't essential for progress on the climate, but its active obstruction and wrecking of vital research could be a disastrous setback when renewed effort is needed.

The abdication of governments from climate action serves, at least, as a reminder that they can't be relied upon to enforce change. The long-awaited economic breakthrough of renewable energy has at last arrived: solar is now the word's cheapest form of energy. Simple economic forces might now drive down carbon emissions while national governments are preoccupied. Texas, a place strongly associated with oil and gas, now gets as much as half of its electricity from wind, and is anticipating a solar boom. China may also be a source of surprises.

These are changes that may yet halt the incipient climate catastrophe: not grandiose treaty-signing, but aggregated individual decisions. Be part of it in what you make and build.

3. Health warnings for the whimsy

Another Trump-related one, sadly. Trump's victory has also sparked a debate over so-called "fake news": the growing welter of misinformation, disinformation and scurrilous falsehood online. This risks crowding out more reliable sources of information and overwhelming civil society's already overtaxed critical faculties.

Again, you might wonder what that has to do with architecture and design. But of course architecture and design has a long history of generating its own "fake news" in the form of the more fanciful speculative proposals and vapourware.

There's nothing wrong with speculation, paper architecture and design fictions, of course – they're all useful endeavours and we'd be hugely poorer without them. It suits architecture and design to propose their own forms, as well as to simply deliver the proposals of others.

Even the grubbier end of that kind of activity isn't inherently bad. Here I'm talking about the completely senseless floating lilypad cities or vertical farms that get pitched out as blog-fodder for no practical purpose than showing off a designer's rendering skills and get their name about. They probably belong on Deviantart rather than Dezeen, but no one's harmed.

Really what's needed is appropriate labelling: making it clear what is speculation for the purposes of debate, what's a real proposal that's seeking backers, what might actually have a chance of actually appearing, and what's just a bit of hey-look-at-me fun. That's where the ethics get murky. Remember that Chinese straddling bus concept that turned out to be little more than a scam? Or that kooky London Garden Bridge concept that also turned out to be little more than a scam. Whimsy can be costly, people!

But seriously, knock it off with the floating cities and the vertical farms.

4. Leave "hygge" in 2016

Financial Times critic Edwin Heathcote has already done a sterling job of debunking hygge, the ubiquitous pseudo-Scandinavian lifestyle craze. Like many ubiquitous lifestyle crazes, it's a subtle blend of total common sense (fires are nice in winter) and complete balderdash.

Anyway, it's upon us now and resistance is futile – the tie-in books have already been given as presents, and they already sit amid the Christmas wreckage of many, many living rooms. And I'm sure they look harmless enough. So it's time for a word of warning.

The Guardian's Charlotte Higgins has already shown how hygge was confected within the publishing industry. I think the part played by architecture and design has been understated, though. For a start, the sector has done much to import interest in Scandinavian lifestyles by importing lots of Scandinavian people. No one in their right mind would think this was anything other than a tremendous boon, and I can only apologise to my Scandinavian friends and colleagues for the way Britain is presently making a travesty of their culture. That, and Brexit.

Let's not do hygge urbanism. The temptation will be strong, and you must resist
It truly has been a terrible year. Architecture – specifically, architecture publishing – was also making something of a fetish of things hygge before hygge was a thing, with its recent boom in cabins and log piles. I attribute this more to an interest in consumer survivalism, rather than Danish culture, but nevertheless "cabin porn" was very much the gateway.

Anyway, here's the warning. Already, thoughts will be turning to next year's endeavours, and fun ways to present them to the public. The eye will blearily cast around the living room for ideas. Thanks to architects from Jan Gehl to Bjarke Ingels, the Danish way of making cities is already rightly praised and emulated. But let's not do hygge urbanism. The temptation will be strong, and you must resist. No hygge placemaking. I beg of you. Just don't."

[via "These resolutions from @WillWiles are all worth considering, especially the one that equates Speculative Design and Fake News."
https://twitter.com/sevensixfive/status/815242847095951361

"There's a subtle but not so subtle difference between projects that are intended as critique, click bait, or outright hoax.

The hoax, as @bruces says, is in the territory of the Black Arts, and almost always maliciously and dangerously deployed.

I say this as someone whose proposal to launch manatees into space was reposted w/ straight seriousness by the Daily Mail & their commenters

The project, intended as critique (&, to be honest, clickbait!) was weaponized by DM, in the genre of "goofy eggheads wasting tax dollars""
ted  tedtalks  solutionism  climatechange  2016  2017  willwiles  architecture  design  hackism  government  governance  policy  economics  energy  renewableenergy  fakenews  news  media  specualtivedesign  fredscharmen  brucesterling  hoaxes  clickbait  critique  hygge  responsibility  speculation  whimsy  edwinheathcote  charlottehiggins  scandinavia  fetishes  publishing  cabinporn  bjarkeingels  jangehl  hyggeurbanism  urban  urbanism  placemaking 
january 2017 by robertogreco
English 508 (Spring 2016)
[See also: https://jentery.github.io/508/notes.html ]

[From the description page:
https://jentery.github.io/508/description.html

"In both theory and practice, this seminar brushes against four popular assumptions about digital humanities: 1) as a service to researchers, the field merely develops digital resources for online discovery and builds computational tools for end-users; it does not interpret texts or meaningfully engage with “pre-digital” traditions in literary and cultural criticism; 2) digital humanities is not concerned with the literary or aesthetic character of texts; it is a techno-solutionist byproduct of instrumentalism and big data; 3) digital humanities practitioners replace cultural perspectives with uncritical computer vision; instead of privileging irony or ambivalence, they use computers to “prove” reductive claims about literature and culture, usually through graphs and totalizing visualizations; and 4) to participate in the field, you must be fluent in computer programming, or at least be willing to treat literature and culture quantitatively; if you are not a programmer, then you are not doing digital humanities.

During our seminar meetings, we will counter these four assumptions by examining, historicizing, and creating “design fictions,” which Bruce Sterling defines as “the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change.” Design fictions typically have a futurist bent to them. They speculate about bleeding edge technologies and emerging dynamics, or they project whiz-bang worlds seemingly ripped from films such as Minority Report. But we’ll refrain from much futurism. Instead, we will use technologies to look backwards and prototype versions of texts that facilitate interpretative practice. Inspired by Kari Kraus’s conjectural criticism, Fred Moten’s second iconicity, Bethany Nowviskie and Johanna Drucker’s speculative computing, Karen Barad’s notion of diffraction, Jeffrey Schnapp’s small data, Anne Balsamo’s hermeneutic reverse-engineering, and deformations by Lisa Samuels, Jerome McGann, and Mark Sample, we will conduct “what if” analyses of texts already at hand, in electronic format (e.g., page images in a library’s digital collections).

Doing so will involve something peculiar: interpreting our primary sources by altering them. We’ll substitute words, change formats, rearrange poems, remediate fictions, juxtapose images, bend texts, and reconstitute book arts. To be sure, such approaches have vexed legacies in the arts and humanities. Consider cut-ups, constrained writing, story-making machines, exquisite corpses, remixes, tactical media, Fluxkits, or détournement. Today, these avant-garde traditions are ubiquitous in a banal or depoliticized form, the default features of algorithmic culture and social networks. But we will refresh them, with a difference, by integrating our alterations into criticism and prompting questions about the composition of art and history today.

Instructor: Jentery Sayers
Office Hours: Monday, 12-2pm, in CLE D334
Email: jentery@uvic.ca
Office Phone (in CLE D334): 250-721-7274 (I'm more responsive by email)
Mailing Address: Department of English | UVic | P.O. Box 3070, STN CSC | Victoria, BC V8W 3W1

Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. —Karl Marx"]

[via: "when humanities start doing design without designers because design's too self-absorbed to notice being appropriated"
https://twitter.com/camerontw/status/700175377197563904
includes screenshot of Week 7 note from https://jentery.github.io/508/notes.html ]
jenterysayers  text  prototyping  digitalhumanities  speculativedesign  design  english  syllabus  maryanncaws  johannadrucker  wjtmitchell  jeffreyschnapp  evekosofskysedgwick  technosolutionism  brucesterling  fredmoten  karenbarad  jeromemcgann  marksample  bethanynowviskie  fluxkits  detournement  poetry  exquisitecorpses  algorithms  art  composition  rosamenkman  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  syllabi 
february 2016 by robertogreco
On the Political Dimensions of Solarpunk — Medium
[via: http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/131978924858/dont-ask-permission-from-a-state-beholden-to]

"Don’t ask permission from a state beholden to oligarchs, and definitely don’t expect those oligarchs to do any of this for you. Guerilla gardening is the model, but look further. Guerilla solar panel installation. Guerilla water treatment facility restoration. Guerilla magnificent temple to the human spirit construction. Guerilla carbon sequestration megastructure creation.

Figure out what a community needs to be prosperous, peaceful and sustainable in as long a term as you can wrap your head around, and start building whatever piece is most in reach before the absent state notices. Doing so just might create pockets of more effective, horizontal politics. As the state wanes, these pockets can grow in size and influence, creating a better world even if some government claims the authority of law and holds a monopoly on violence.

Now, political choices got us into this mess, and political choices could get us out. I for one argue for a comprehensive set of reforms that were inspired by the discussions held around the world during Occupy: a global debt jubilee to free both countries and individuals from debts that impoverish and enslave them; a tax on extreme wealth to control inequality and rein in the power of oligarchs; a guaranteed basic income to provide for the poor, the infirm and those more useful as caregivers, artists and thinkers than employees of businesses; a dramatic reduction in the workweek to slow down unsustainable levels of economic expansion and to eliminate the countless “bullshit jobs” that serve no function but to bore those who hold them; the regulation or even abolition of usury (once considered as great a sin as slavery), so that investments in sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in cathedral time are not hampered by interest payments that will eventually exceed principal."



"As I argued in my discussion of cities, solarpunk should be careful not to idealize either the gothic high tech or the favela chic. No matter how many High Line-style parks or vertical farms they build, Manhattan will be useless if it is only filled with the luxury condos of absentee financiers. And favelas may be full of jugaad-innovation and dense with diverse entrepreneurialism, but they feature a fatal flaw: no fire codes. Slums are fascinating from a design perspective right up until they burn down or wash away. In a world of more extreme weather, disasters will strike down favelas before their recycling-centric, low-carbon lifestyles can save the climate.

Instead, I like the idea of focusing on large-scale infrastructure projects that will provide value for communities into the long term. A seed bank; a hyper-dense vertical permaculture farm engineered for carbon fixing; a massive, low-maintenance desalination system; a space elevator. These projects could themselves be the organizing principle around which unique solarpunk communities are organized."



"I’ve seen many people describe solarpunk as optimistic. My last suggestion is this: don’t be optimistic, be hopeful. As Vaclav Havel explained: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Havel, an artist turned activist turned statesman who led his nation out of a time of crisis, in many ways embodies the transformational power of ideas and aesthetics — and thus the potential of a movement like solarpunk to do real good in the world.

This essay has been long, and it has discussed many troubling situations and possibilities. I wrote these things because I think it is important for any cohesive body of political thought to contrast what it wants with what it opposes: for transparency and privacy, against surveillance and deception; for conservation and abundance, against hoarding and exploitation; for neighborhoods and collaboratives, against gangs and police.

I also wrote this because I believe the enormity of our problems doesn’t have to paralyze us. Quite the opposite: seeing the world as it is is vital if you are going to figure out how it could be. Now is the moment to be galvanized, to know that we are on to something, and to make acting on these ideas a real part of our lives."
solarpunk  2015  andrewdanahudson  politics  favelachic  gothichightech  recycling  diy  optimism  hopefulness  scale  activism  jugaad  infrastructure  organization  horizontality  sustainability  solar  water  climatechange  gardening  hope  refugees  longnow  longnowfoundation  williamgibson  madmax  paolobacigalupi  bladerunner  overconsumption  overpopulation  thecomingrevolution  cities  urban  urbanism  brucesterling  drought  blackswans 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling Closing Talk by SXSW on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds
"World traveler, science fiction author, journalist, and future-focused design critic Bruce Sterling spins the globe a few rounds as he wraps up the Interactive Conference with his peculiar view of the state of the world. Always unexpected, invented on the fly, a hash of trends, trepidations, and creative prognostication. Don't miss this annual event favorite. What will he covered in 2015?"
makers  making  brucesterling  internetofthings  sxsw  2015  turin  torino  design  climatechange  makerspaces  ianbogost  via:steelemaley  3dprinting  economics  apple  google  amazon  microsoft  future  business  iot 
march 2015 by robertogreco
What Use Is the Future? | Boom: A Journal of California
"California is a set of circumstances that I don’t think can happen again: this weird thing, a place, sort of without history—and “without history” in air quotes here, because our history was erased; it was ripped out by the roots—a place without history, made vastly wealthy then suddenly landed right in the middle of the global cultural discussion and the global economic future, and it has been there for eighty years, arguably more. That, I don’t think, is a thing that can happen again, because there’s nowhere left without history. There’s nowhere left where there’s a fresh start, with “fresh start,” again, in air quotes.

California is, by its very nature, the end of one kind of possibility. We got to the coast and we ran out of frontier. That means that California has stayed the frontier for a very, very, very long time. In fact, the frontier is a thing of our past, everywhere on Earth. You won’t find it in the Arctic or Antarctica or the deepest Amazon or the Sahara. They’re not landscapes of human possibility. They’re simply the most remote places left."



"But failure is not our only future. We might, instead, choose to reinvent ourselves again, to become the people who can reconcile prosperity, sustainability, and dynamism. We could raise our vision to take in the whole state and imagine for it and ourselves new ways of life that fit its realities and our own. Because failing exurbs and potholed freeways, government bankruptcies and climate chaos, eroding clear-cuts, dwindling salmon runs and drought-ravaged crops, a permanent underclass and a massive housing crisis—these aren’t the only way to live. We know enough to know that remaking all of that is at least possible. We could rebuild our cities with lots of new green housing and new transit and infrastructure, run our state on clean energy, remake forestry and farming, and look at water in a more sane way. We might even find a future for the suburbs, because if the twenty-first century has a frontier, it will be, as Bruce Sterling says, in the ruins of the unsustainable. All of these things would make us richer, and done properly they would actually become an export industry, because the whole wealthy world needs to figure out all this stuff, too. So those who figure it out can sell it, and should. We need the scale and speed of change that comes with a boom, and the self-transformation you see unleashed in democratic revolutions.

The practicalities of how we build a bright green state are tough, but even tougher is the cultural question: Who are “we” when we talk about ourselves as a group? The questions of who we are together are thorny and deep-rooted here in California, and we need a new and better answer."
california  future  2015  alexsteffen  jonchristensen  green  sustainability  reinvention  brucesterling  democracy  transformation  change  systems  systemsthinking  history  2115  environmentalism  environment  westcoast  aldoleopold  futurism  culture  society  poverty  inequality 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Asylum center phonecard party | Princes of Ubiquity
"Friday October 31st, 2014. Refugees at the belgian federal asylum seekers center Klein Kasteeltje/Petit Chateau in Brussels were invited to gather in a so called ‘phonecard party’, initiated by Recyclart at the asylum center. The people from Syria, Afganistan, Albania, Palestine, Senegal.. were helped by the dj to plug-in their phones in the mixing table and play the favourite songs they stored on their device.

The result was an at least sweaty and astonishing event, with a hard to grasp atmosphere. The festive and somehow cosmopolitan mixing of local and often unshazamable mp3 hits had a dark and hysterical side to it. Nostalgia, hope, despair, trauma, adventure, melancholy, excitement and pride,.. all this was part of the melting pot and shared in a single room.

The disco gathering was loud in every aspect: the music, the cheering and the clapping, the way people danced, laughed and sweated or sat idle on a stool and stared. Loud.

Mixed groups of arab adolescent men, african women, eastern european families with childeren and elderly people all participated in what resembled an unfamiliar wedding party. Each new song that was played introduced a different traditional or less traditional dance to the floor, which was then interpreted by the others, or simply denied in favour of cheerful improvisation.

Apart maybe from my own presence, there was nothing exotic to this confusing reality of a hysterically loud transit zone.

[Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bcrevits/asylum-seekers-phonecard-party ]

About the tracklist:

Not all songs could be recognized by Shazam. Actually, the most beautiful and mainly Arab songs were not. I’m still looking for people who could help identifying them.

For the tracks I could find, a quick research often showed a direct link between the status and quest of a refugee and either the lyrics or the biography of the singer: “European gipsy”, the Palestinian winner of Arab Idol 2013 singing “Raise your keffiea”, “I’m titanium, I’m bulletproof”, the Iraqi singer Hussam Al Rassam (a singer banned from Iraq by Muslim fundamentalists), Meda (an Albanian singer born in Kosovo and living in Stuttgart) etc, “taste the money – testimony” and the international polyglot release Shiki Riddim…

It is very clear however that this tracklist shows something else as well. Unsurprisingly, we a see what Henry Jenkins called pop cosmopolitanism through monocultural ‘urban’ music mixed with Bruce Sterling’s favela chic reflected by the phablets – you have lost everything material, no job or prospects, but you are wired to the gills and potentially big on facebook. And add to that a twist of cyberbalkanization.

Taste the money (Testimony) – P-Square
La Nueva y La Ex – Daddy Yankee
European Gipsy (Balkan Cigeni) – Koddok
Ala El Koufiea – Mouhammad Assaf
Gili Gili – Sinan Hoxha
Shaki Riddim – Sir Lewis
Edhe Pak – Dhurata Dora Feat. & Lumi B
Alef Mabrook – Hussam Al Rassam
Kar E Don, E Don – Meda
Titanium (Alesso remix) Lyrics – David Guetta feat. Sia

[YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFBZkWA4dTE&list=PLMEpByAUUDHHfJaLjKMVpw8PFq8XAJJWN "
music  culture  refugees  mobile  phones  digital  henryjenkins  popcosmopolitanism  brucesterling  favelachic  cyberbalkanization  sharing  cosmopolitanism  projectideas  playlists 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The Novel and the Future of the Near Future | Hazlitt Magazine | Hazlitt
"Writers hoping to transport readers only a short distance into the future are in danger of being outfutured by reality itself. So-called “design fiction” may present creators with a more viable alternative."



"Of course, in the world of fiction a “minimum viable future” is more commonly referred to as a “shitty first draft.” It’s no surprise that Bruce Sterling is a fan of design fiction, and I can easily picture digitally-savvy Margaret Atwood hunched over a 3D printer. But an iterative approach to the future is often at odds with the slow, deliberate process of creating and populating a fictional universe. And given the clumsiness of the physical world, it’s easy to understand why writers would prefer to craft perfect sentences instead of generate imperfect vending machine novelties.

Still, if you want to see what happens when design fiction gets a bigger budget and a mass audience, check out the uncanny and discomforting BBC show Black Mirror. Featuring glimpses of our terrible (and terribly plausible) near future(s), it’s not a show that lends itself to binge watching, even with only two seasons, at three episodes per.

That’s because each episode of Black Mirror hits the reset button, taking place in a unique future universe with a fresh set of actors. Creator Charlie Brooker likes to start with a provocative but recognizable piece of design fiction and then guides the viewer toward a trapdoor labeled unintended consequences. In the episode “The Entire History of You” we watch a jealous husband unable to stop himself from discovering a secret he might be better off not knowing. It’s an effective critique of where lifelogging and Facebook might take us, in part because Brooker is able to make such a vivid emotional argument. Meanwhile, in “Be Right Back,” the dead are able to speak with the living thanks to an artificial intelligence service that scrapes the emails, tweets and Facebook posts of the deceased.

Instead of the overbearing technological determinism common to many speculative novels, Black Mirror tends to favour “slight futures”—the term Wired recently used to describe the film Her. As in, “technology hasn’t disappeared … it’s dissolved into everyday life.”

I acknowledge there’s a danger that design fiction could become another buzzword ruined by overzealous ad agencies. And by its very format, design fiction subconsciously reinforces the object fetish of the Kickstarter generation. It’s hard to attack the pernicious logic of planned obsolescence when your critique is delivered in the form of yet another gadget.

But I would insist that any novelist contemplating the near future invest in some foamcore and Post-it Notes. Because I refuse to wait another half-decade for the definitive novel about the Oculus Rift."
ryanbigge  designfiction  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  blackmirror  2014  brucesterling  charliebrooker 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling's The Caryatids, my pick for best book of 2009, a novel of clear-eyed hope for the future - Boing Boing
"In The Caryatids, global warming has melted practically every government in the world (except China) -- leaving behind a slurry of refugees, rising seas, and inconceivable misery. But there are two stable monoliths sticking out of the chaos, a pair of "civil society groups" that embody the two major schools of smart green thought today: the Dispensation are Al Gore green capitalists based out of California who understand that glamor and profits, properly aimed, achieve more than any amount of stern determination and chaste conservation; their rivals are the Aquis, mostly European anarcho-techno-geeks who have abandoned money in favor of technologically mediated communal life where giant, powerful, barely controlled machines are deployed to save the refugees and heal the Earth.

The titular Caryatids are the seven clone-sisters of a Balkan war criminal (who is hiding out in orbit in a junk satellite), raised as part of a terrible fin-de-siecle plan to create a cadre of superwoman generals who would lead a militarized guerrilla force after the environmental catastrophe reached scale. Now they are scattered to the winds and divided among the world's superpowers, and the only thing they hate more than their "mother" is each other.

And the story unfolds, taking us on a tour of a 2060 Earth where the worst imaginable things have happened and yet humanity has survived. Is thriving. Not a perfect utopia, but not a tormented post-apocalyptic chaos either. Sterling's future is one in which the human race's best and most important and most deadly machine -- civilization -- survives its own meltdown.

More importantly, the future of The Caryatids is one in which human beings confront the terrible reality that technology favors attackers -- favors those who would disrupt the status quo because it gives them force-multiplier power, and undermines defenders because the complexity of a technological society always creates potential fault-lines that attackers can exploit. And in that society, Sterling's civil society types -- who care about saving the planet, even though they disagree about the best way to do this -- do their damnedest to build stable technological societies. Because in Earth's future -- and in Sterling's -- there's no going back to the land for us. Not because the land is too poisoned, but because billions of charcoal-burning hunter-gatherers are far more hazardous to the planet than a neatly ordered world of cities in which technology is used to minimize our footprints by giving us smarter handprints.

Most importantly, the future of The Caryatids is one in which there is hope. Not naive, wishful thinking hope. Hard-nosed, utterly plausible hope, for a future in which the human race outthinks its worse impulses and survives despite all the odds."
climatechange  brucesterling  hope  future  2009  corydoctorow  technology  technosolutionism  environmentalism  sustainability  novels  globalwarming  disruption  society  civilization  collapse  2060 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Urge of the Letter: Social media surely change identity performance....
"Often, the critique of device dependence in connected life today turns on forms of etiquette that emerge or change in the context of technology. Sherry Turkle is perhaps the best-known and most grounded of such critics—and yet I often find myself wondering whether she gets the moral and psychological import of such social forms precisely backward. “I talk to young people about etiquette when they go out to dinner,” she writes in a recent op-ed, “and they explain to me that when in a group of, say, seven, they make sure that at least three people are ‘heads up’ in the ‘talking’ conversation at any one time.” For Turkle, this is evidence of how “[t]echnology doesn’t just do things for us. It does things to us, changing not just what we do but who we are.” But isn’t this evidence instead of our social malleability and adaptability, our capacity for incorporating devices and signals into new modes of address? And as Jurgenson points out in the quote above, it isn’t as though devices arrived in the midst of a sociable utopia of autonomous persons engaged in exchanges of authenticity—for we humans always have deployed rituals and discursive forms to discipline, mediate, and construct social selves.

On the other hand, I’m reminded of Bruce Sterling’s observations about disconnection, in which device-independence becomes a kind of luxury practice akin to boutique poultry farming and meditation retreats—an indulgence of those wealthy enough to afford assistance in human form, or can avoid those dependencies of work, social, and civic life that increasingly require us to maintain our tech-mediated connectivity. Devices can make us susceptible to surveillance and control in insidious and comprehensive ways. It’s important to remember, however, that such control is not a thing technology does to us out of some inherent hegemonic impulse, but the result of choices we make about its design and use."
2014  matthewbattles  digitaldualism  nathanjurgenson  sherryturkle  brucesterling  nuance  disconnection  socialmedia  identity  performance  etiquette  context  technology  morality  psychology  malleability  behavior  adaptability  society  social  mediation  discipline  connectivity  surveillance  control  design  choice 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Workalong: Critical Design / Design Fiction lecture finally written up. (loooooong)
[A very thorough catalog of "design fiction" examples]

"So futures. Design fiction, critical design, speculative design and all that stuff tends to be based in the future, or a futures, or futures. Why? Because it's a fertile playground and fair game. We're open to the suggestion of future images. It's how advertising works. It's evocative, it compounds hopes and fears and it's malleable. Most work isn't about the future, it's about now, but you can explode the now into the future to make it much more visible and understandable.

The archetypal quote. [WILLIAM GIBSON] This is one of the cornerstones of futures work. Somewhere, someone else has your future, and right now, your iPhone is someone else's future.We have to understand there's no kind of absolute rule for 'the' future. There is no 'the' future. There's just a bubbling and propagating mess of technologies and hopes and fears that sometimes arrange themselves into 'a' future.

So this is kind of where you aim at when thinking about the future. This is the futures cone, another one of those tools or symbols that comes up and over and over again. Uncertainty tells us that the future opens up to possibilities. The Google Glass future vision sits in that green preferable part but is unlikely to happen. Where it becomes interesting is exploring some of those wild cards that sit right on the outside. You lend that perspective to people and you can blow their minds. 'Hey there's this new technology and they say it'll do this, but what if it did this instead.'"



"Right, so this is the end and I want to leave you with some questions that I don't have answers to, having seen all of that stuff.

First up, 'Yes, but is it art?' Most of the projects I showed end up in a gallery. They're not sold in shops or made into real products, so how is this not art? There are cleverer people than I that could answer that question. I believe on some fundamental level that it's design because it uses the language of design to try and attract an audience. Because like I said earlier, it rearranges existing phenomena we can understand to give them new meaning and because it's for other people, not for the creator.

Secondly 'What if? ... Then what?' Critical design poses difficult questions and forces us to confront them, but then what? Once we have the questions and we have the provocation how do we deal with it, individually and societally? I don't know, I'm trying to figure that out.

'How do you measure success?' A question that is coming up more and more. You can measure the success of a normal design project by it's kickstarter funding or by units sold, but here we're not selling units or launching startups, we're trying to get people to deal with difficult things so how do you measure if that works? Well, there's a good spread of projects that get a lot of media attention so I guess that's a success, but is it enough?"
tobiasrevell  designfiction  speculativefiction  criticaldesign  design  futurism  2013  fionaraby  hertziantales  robots  superstudio  williamgibson  bigdog  saschapohflepp  goldeninstitute  power  normalcy  venkateshrao  anabjain  superflux  nickfoster  brucesterling  stanleykubrick  childrenofmen  diegetics  diegeticdesign  davidkirby  revitalcohen  prophecyprogram  stanleymilgram  phillippronnenburg  jamesbridle  berg  berglondon  littleprinter  newaesthetic  liamyoung  vincentfournier  josephpopper  larissasansour  peckhamouterspaceinitiative  cristinademiddel  hefinjones  welshspaceprogram  materials  3dprinting  markuskayser  thomasthwaites  toasterproject  jeremyhutchinson  cohenvanbalen  stelarc  choykafai  sputniko  agathahaines  unnaturalhistory  aihasegawa  synthetics  georgetremmel  shihofukuhara  art  canon  davidbenque  geopolitics  yosukeushigome  zoepapadopoulou  stacktivism  julianoliver  dunne&raby  anthonydunne  posthumanism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Patently untrue: fleshy defibrillators and synchronised baseball are changing the future (Wired UK)
[Design fiction unravels.
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405110546225061888
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405111061268819969
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405111820903387136
https://twitter.com/matthewward/status/405116759340249088 ]

"A design fiction is not real. This seems like a severe limitation. However, "real things" aren't absolutely and permanently real, either. Objects are designed, made, and then pass out of existence all the time.

The objects offered to us in a capitalist marketplace have three basic qualities: they are buildable, profitable and desirable. They have to be physically feasible, something that functions and works. They need some business model that allows economic transactions. And they have to provoke someone's consumer desire.

Outside of these strict requirements is a much larger space of potential objects. And those three basic limits all change with time. Through new technology, new things become buildable. Business models collapse or emerge from disruption. People are very fickle. That's how it works out -- and the supposed distinction between "real" and "not-real" is pretty small.

Most patents are never manufactured. Most startups fail and vanish. Product advertisements are fantastic -- and full of blatant lies. Most military technologies are theatrical, there to scare and intimidate and overawe people, rather than to kill them with maximum efficiency. Companies
commonly launch "vapourware" campaigns that pledge to build things they have no intention of actually building. There's a lot of fantasy and pretence in all technologies.

People who are good at design fiction are very keen on these little weaknesses in the Emperor's New Clothes. The adept of design fiction comes to realise that every object, even a common fork or dad's boring tie, is "diegetic". They're all background props in some grander story.

A fork exists so that aristocrats could avoid staining their fingers with gravy. The fork is a tool for class distinction. We use forks today not because forks are "practical", but because we're a feudal society that became democratic. Dad's boring tie was originally a Croatian "cravat" -- a coloured war scarf around the neck of a Balkan cavalryman. Ties are said to have been imported into Britain by Charles II when he returned from his exile in France, having picked up the fashion from Croatian mercenaries in the service of Louis XIII. That story is quite exotic, far-fetched and amazing -- but who cares? Ties are still boring, even despite the rhetorical stunt I just pulled where I made them seem amazing for a while.

Design fiction plays games with these transitions of the amazing and the boring, the transitions of the believable and the incredible.

If you understand that -- and if you know a lot about design, and also something about internet razzle-dazzle -- you can really mess with people's heads nowadays. With design fiction you can pull coins from their ears and rabbits out of their hats. Who couldn't like that?"

[Also here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2013/11/design-fiction-patently-untrue-by-bruce-sterling/ ]
designfiction  brucesterling  julianbleecker  2013  fiction  design  transitions  diegetic 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Bruno Munari's "Manifesto del Macchinismo" (1938) | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
"*This seventy-five-year-old declaration sounds remarkably New Aesthetic. It’s an argument: machines surround us now, we spend all our time with machines, more and more are coming along faster and faster, and it’s old-fashioned not to recognize that. Creatives should get on with accustoming themselves to the new realities of vision and production. If you took out the term “machine” and substituted “software,” you’d almost be there.

*The emphasis on glitching — “re-route them into functioning in irregular ways” — and the projection of animism and vitalism onto non-human things, that’s an especially New Aesthetic attitude. The bit about machines as reproducing insects sounds rather Singularitarian.

*It’s of interest that, during his entire lifetime, nobody was ever able to figure out what Bruno Munari was really doing, or what Munari was quite getting at. Munari was famous, busy, productive and even quite popular, but always remained somehow indefinable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Munari

Manifesto del Macchinismo
Manifesto of Machinism

Bruno Munari, 1938

“Today’s world is a world of machines.

“We live among machines, they help us with everything we do in our work and recreation. But what do we know about their moods, their natures, their animal defects, if not through arid and pedantic technical knowledge?

(((In English that sentence may sound like a train wreck, but in Italian it goes down like gelato. “Ma cosa sappiamo noi dei lore umori, della lore nature, dei lore difetti animali, se non attraverso cognizioni tecniche, aride e pedanti?”)))

“Machines reproduce themselves faster than mankind, almost as fast as the most prolific of insects; they already force us to busy ourselves with them, to spend a great deal of time taking care of them; they have spoiled us; we have to keep them clean, provide them with nourishment and rest, continually attend to them and meet their every need. In a few years’ time we will become their little slaves.

“Artists are the only ones who can save mankind from this danger. Artists have to be interested in machines, have to abandon their romantic paint-brushes, their dusty palettes, their canvases and easels. They have to start understanding the anatomy of machines, the language of machines, their nature, and to re-route them into functioning in irregular ways to create works of art with the machines themselves, using their own means.

“No more oil paints but blowtorches, chemical reagents, chroming, rust, coloring by anodes, thermal alterations.

“No more canvases and stretchers, but metals, plastics, synthetic rubbers and resins.

“The form, color, movement, noise of the world of machines no longer viewed from without and deliberately reproduced, but harmoniously composed.

“Machines today are monsters!

“Machines must become works of art!

“We shall discover the art of machines!”"
brunomunari  1938  brucesterling  machines  machineage  newaesthetic  manifoestos 
november 2013 by robertogreco
They may have the money, but we have the tools of technology. — Medium
"I went to a London comprehensive, called Woodbridge High School. OFSTED reports had it hovering around ‘average’ among similar schools. That’s about 60% of students getting 5 A-Cs at GCSE. Put frankly, the education was awful. I can list everything I learnt from the curriculum in my time there: a little bit about the war poets from a teacher who was quickly seduced into the private education sector, some cold war history, and that using your year 8 speech to speak out against homophobia gets you beaten up. I looked forward to being a grown up, being my own boss, and playing with the real world.

I was incredibly fortunate. At the age of 13, from my comfortable bedroom I began to tinker with computers. I got interested in a new technology called Ruby on Rails, an opinionated framework for making interactive websites, around which more intelligent and experienced people openly discussed and shared best practices and code. I learnt along with them, and within a couple of years, it turned out that knowledge was very profitable. Working as a programmer enabled me to drop out of my A levels, sidestep the recession, the generational debt and the joblessness being handed to all of my peers and was able to work in whatever industry or company intrigued me. By the time I was 23, I had worked in Business Continuity, the Music industry, Media, Advertising and Design. It was like industrial tourism: a never ending series of internships, except I was valued and got paid, sometimes very well.

You might think the BBC news website article narrative here charts how a boy in his twenties taught himself to code, left school and founded a dynamic startup. It could have been an iPhone app that sold a few million copies, an industry disrupting platform for whatever, or (if I was feeling fluffy and socially conscience) a social innovation startup, perhaps enabling homeless people to become just like me, a self-reliant self-starting entrepreneur!

All very tempting, but these saccharin narratives of geek boy done good carry a political message that I’m not comfortable with. People are incredibly excited in and outside of tech and in the mainstream media about specific aspects of the tech world. They are fascinated by profits, newness and the political issues of data protection and surveillance. But beyond this there is a severe lack of debate about how the tech community participates in our socio economic context. Because for all the excitement around the new powers of technology, the tech community became one of the most powerful practitioners of the neo liberal agenda, with only some of us noticing.



Many developers I speak to shy away from politics. They comfort themselves with ideas of our community being meritocratic, that the good guys will win out over partisan and agenda based politics because we are working towards a more logical, educated society. This is, of course, the same lie as the fully informed rational consumer of market liberalisation. They shrug when it’s pointed out that we’re nearly all white middle class men. The discussions around women in technology have only just started, and boy do they get defensive about it, and we haven’t even begun discussing class based privilege, so repellant is the idea of discussing something as political in our rational meritocratic nirvana. ‘Check your privilege’ is an idea that flies directly in the face of our self narratives of the underdog nerd proving himself with his intelligence and well meaning intentions.

Our generation is generally adverse to ideologies. I don’t have too much of a problem with this. I find that Ideologies often cause nothing but obstacles to those people who are actually getting things done. But as developers we are both close to the ground, and have real power. In his new short book “The new Kingmakers”, Stephen O’Grady very effectively makes the case that software developers are just that. It’s time we stopped making toys for quite rich people to make very rich people even richer."



"I have a suspicion. I suspect that the idea of the public sector not only doing something well but better than most of the private sector offends them. Turns out the best way to piss off market libertarians is to make government work.

Sure, I hear moans from Silicon Roundabout that the government is sucking up all the best talent in London, but while they’re saying that, GOV.UK increased signups to the organ donations register by 10,000 every month with just a bit of clever A/B testing as a side project. I could be working on your socially network website that tries to convince parents that fruitshoot isn’t awful for their kids (I have actually done that), or I could be doing what I’m doing now, helping bring real change to the office of the public guardian so they can do their job better. They provide support for those caring for someone who has lost mental capacity, whilst checking that the carer isn’t abusing their position.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the software developer community. I love being a part of it and I’m constantly excited about what we are doing. But I’m also frustrated. We seemed to have been coerced into working for a future that we didn’t sign up for. But hopefully, as anger amongst my generation grows at the world that has been handed to us, maybe more of us will realise that they may have the money, but we have the tools of technology."
design  government  politics  2013  ideology  technology  designfiction  brucesterling  elitism  privilege  meritocracy  gov.uk  jamesdarling 
october 2013 by robertogreco
5 Viridian Years — Medium
"Over the next month, several dozen writers, artists, and thinkers will be reconsidering the Viridian project and its principles. It is rich territory and our contributions will include historical overviews, critical examinations, close readings, futurist extensions, and a panoply of offshoots and strange tangents."

[ https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/84f454e7aa7f ]

[ https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/aade6358664b ]
timmaly  brucesterling  viridianmovement  2013  sustainability  environment  viridiannote 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The Past Will Not Be Flat — 5 Viridian Years — Medium
"The network that was supposed to abolish space ended up moving to abolish time instead. Although we once dreamt of cyberspace as a frictionless grid, the network we ended up with needs the x, y, z of realspace. It reminds us of it constantly; it wants to reside in the spaces we inhabit, rather than the other way round. Space is the network’s chief uncanny affordance, lending it a kind of cultural potential energy, a latency of meaning.

When I was young, I had a newspaper route. One morning while walking and flipping the folded papers onto porches, I had a sudden realization that the road I walked along was connected to every other road. There was only the one big road, really—a single surface to comprehend a continent.

What struck me with special force, however, was the authority of time over that space. Leaning down to place a palm on the asphalt that morning, feeling its cool and the bite of its grit, I touched that single surface—and yet its remotest parts remained absolutely alienated from me by sheer walls of time. I can’t get there from here—not without time’s transforming consent.

This time-bounded webwork of roadway is very nearly the opposite kind of network from the one we call the internet. Of course, time plays its role online. Information flows in arteries, where it remains subject everywhere to materiality—indeed it thrives on that materiality, that texture of flow and impedance. That we don’t see it thusly—even when the page-load wheel appears with its spinning memento mori—is merely a trick of ideology. No, we find that everywhere we look, the internet makes light of time. Time is the internet’s too-cheap-to-meter cultural resource, and it’s only just begun burning through it, generating a storm of atemporal media traces that pile up before us as our wings beat furiously."



"Elsewhere in “On the Concept of History,” Benjamin acknowledges that an event is not historic by nature, but instead “becomes this, posthumously, through eventualities which may be separated from it by millennia.” Acknowledging this, the historian “ceases to permit the consequences of eventualities to run through the fingers like the beads of a rosary,” preferring to record “the constellation in which his own epoch comes into contact with that of an earlier one.” The past isn’t one damn thing after another, but a constellation — a network. It’s only through the interface of this network, Benjamin seems to be saying, that we are rendered a sense of the “here-and-now” — a moment, “in which splinters of messianic time are shot through.”

Finally (but never finally), this: history is not another country, not the not-even-past, not even that which we are condemned to repeat. History is everywhere, rather; you’re soaking in it. And yet we’re not angels: our faces are turned away, and we’re trailing history in our wakes. Each wake swerves as it unfolds; they swerve in groups, as nations and populations and assemblages yet unknown (but already in potential). And at every scale — from the single missed mixed message to whole constellations of the here-and-now — history, as it escapes from the box a trace at a time, is precisely this multiple and individual.

Meanwhile at every second, Benjamin concludes, the future offers “the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter.”"
walterbenjamin  2013  matthewbattles  time  atemporality  constellationalthinking  thinking  viridiannote  environment  sustainability  networks  space  brucesterling  leomarx  benjaminfranklin  context  storytelling  internetasliterature  history  memory  past  present  future  internetasfavoritebook 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium
"Cablegate merely kicked the kneecap of the archaic and semi-useless US State Department. But Edward Snowden just strolled out of the Moscow airport, with his Wikileaks personal escort, one month after ripping the pants off the National Security Agency.

You see, as it happens, a good half of my essay “The Blast Shack” was about the basic problem of the NSA. Here was the takeaway from that essay back in 2010:
One minute’s thought would reveal that a vast, opaque electronic spy outfit like the National Security Agency is exceedingly dangerous to democracy. Really, it is. The NSA clearly violates all kinds of elementary principles of constitutional design. The NSA is the very antithesis of transparency, and accountability, and free elections, and free expression, and separation of powers ― in other words, the NSA is a kind of giant, grown-up, anti-Wikileaks. And it always has been. And we’re used to that. We pay no mind.
Well, dear readers, nowadays we do pay that some mind. Yes, that was then, while this is now.


So, I no longer feel that leaden discontent and those grave misgivings that I felt in 2010. The situation now is frankly exhilarating. It no longer has that look-and-feel of the Edgar Allen Poe House of Usher. This scene is straight outta Nikolai Gogol.

This is the kind of comedic situation that Russians find hilarious. I mean, sure it’s plenty bad and all that, PRISM, XKeyScore, show trials, surveillance, threats to what’s left of journalism, sure, I get all that, I’m properly concerned. None of that stops it from being hilarious.

Few geopolitical situations can ever give the Russians a full, free, rib-busting belly laugh. This one sure does.

If Snowden had gotten things his own way, he’d be writing earnest op-ed editorials in Hong Kong now, in English, while dining on Kung Pao Chicken. It’s some darkly modern act of crooked fate that has directed Edward Snowden to Moscow, arriving there as the NSA’s Solzhenitsyn, the up-tempo, digital version of a conscience-driven dissident defector.

But Snowden sure is a dissident defector, and boy is he ever. Americans don’t even know how to think about characters like Snowden — the American Great and the Good are blundering around on the public stage like blacked-out drunks, blithering self-contradictory rubbish. It’s all “gosh he’s such a liar” and “give us back our sinister felon,” all while trying to swat down the jets of South American presidents.

These thumb-fingered acts of totalitarian comedy are entirely familiar to anybody who has read Russian literature. The pigs in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” have more suavity than the US government is demonstrating now. Their credibility is below zero.

The Russians, by contrast, know all about dissidents like Snowden. The Russians have always had lots of Snowdens, heaps. They know that Snowden is one of these high-minded, conscience-stricken, act-on-principle characters who is a total pain in the ass.

Modern Russia is run entirely by spies. It’s class rule by the “siloviki,” it’s Putin’s “managed democracy.” That’s the end game for civil society when elections mean little or nothing, and intelligence services own the media, and also the oil. And that’s groovy, sure, it’s working out for them.

When you’re a professional spy hierarch, there are few things more annoying than these conscience-stricken Winston Smith characters, moodily scribbling in their notebooks, all about how there might be hope found in the proles somehow. They’re a drag."



"But Snowden sure is a dissident defector, and boy is he ever. Americans don’t even know how to think about characters like Snowden — the American Great and the Good are blundering around on the public stage like blacked-out drunks, blithering self-contradictory rubbish. It’s all “gosh he’s such a liar” and “give us back our sinister felon,” all while trying to swat down the jets of South American presidents.

These thumb-fingered acts of totalitarian comedy are entirely familiar to anybody who has read Russian literature. The pigs in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” have more suavity than the US government is demonstrating now. Their credibility is below zero.

The Russians, by contrast, know all about dissidents like Snowden. The Russians have always had lots of Snowdens, heaps. They know that Snowden is one of these high-minded, conscience-stricken, act-on-principle characters who is a total pain in the ass.

Modern Russia is run entirely by spies. It’s class rule by the “siloviki,” it’s Putin’s “managed democracy.” That’s the end game for civil society when elections mean little or nothing, and intelligence services own the media, and also the oil. And that’s groovy, sure, it’s working out for them.

When you’re a professional spy hierarch, there are few things more annoying than these conscience-stricken Winston Smith characters, moodily scribbling in their notebooks, all about how there might be hope found in the proles somehow. They’re a drag."

[See also the response by Cory Doctorow: http://boingboing.net/2013/08/05/how-sterlings-the-ecuadori.html ]

[And this related NPR segment: "Classic Russian Literature Sheds Light On Putin’s Russia" http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/05/10/putin-chekhov-dostoyevsky ]

[Something else that comes to mind:
The recent revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden were fascinating. But they - and all the reactions to them - had one enormous assumption at their heart.

That the spies know what they are doing.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/BUGGER ]
politics  wikileaks  nsa  spying  brucesterling  gogol  nikolaigogol  edwardsnowden  russia  cablegate  authority  democracy  hierarchy  power  control  lies  bradleymanning  secrecy  julianassange  cypherpunks 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling on Fantasy prototypes and real disruption | NEXT Berlin
[video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7KErICTSHU ]

"In the closing keynote of NEXT Berlin 2013, acclaimed science-fiction author and journalist Bruce Sterling tackled a variety of topics like design fiction, start-up culture, and the mass adoption of disruptive technology. He sees science fiction as a form of design – design fiction that is part of the start-up world."
brucesterling  anabjain  superflux  nearfuturelaboratory  designfiction  disruption  design  networkedsociety  2013  nextberlin  nextberlin2013  protoyping  future  sciencefiction  scifi  capitalism  startups  money  culture  startup 
april 2013 by robertogreco
UNDER TOMORROWS SKY
"UNDER TOMORROWS SKY IS A FICTIONAL, FUTURE CITY. SPECULATIVE ARCHITECT LIAM YOUNG OF THE LONDON BASED TOMORROWS THOUGHTS TODAY HAS ASSEMBLED A THINK TANK OF SCIENTISTS, TECHNOLOGISTS, FUTURISTS, ILLUSTRATORS, SCIENCE FICTION AUTHORS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS ARTISTS TO COLLECTIVELY DEVELOP THIS IMAGINARY PLACE, THE LANDSCAPES THAT SURROUND IT AND THE STORIES IT CONTAINS. ACROSS THE COURSE OF THE EXHIBITION INVITED GUESTS WILL WORK WITH THE CITY AS A STAGE SET TO DEVELOP A COLLECTION OF NARRATIVES, FILMS AND ILLUSTRATIONS. WANDER THROUGH THIS NEAR FUTURE WORLD AND EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES AND CONSEQUENCES OF TODAY’S EMERGING BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH. THE EXHIBITION OPENS FOR DUTCH DESIGN WEEK ON OCTOBER 20TH. THE UNDER TOMORROWS SKY PUBLIC THINK TANK WITH LIAM YOUNG, BRUCE STERLING, WARREN ELLIS, RACHEL ARMSTRONG, PAUL DUFFIELD, BLDGBLOG, EDIBLE GEOGRAPHY, NEXT NATURE, THE CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND IMAGINATION AND NEW SCIENTIST WAS HELD AT MU ON JUNE 16/17. YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEOS OF THE EVENT HERE. IN COLLABORATION WITH MU ART SPACE, EINDHOVEN AND THE 2013 LISBON ARCHITECTURE TRIENNALE. GET IN CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION"
liamyound  architecture  art  designfiction  scifi  urbanism  sciencefiction  warrenellis  brucesterling  rachelarmstrong  paulduffield  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  nicolatwilley  ediblegeography  cities  2013  future  urban  technology  futurism  illustration  writing  thinking  thinktank  landscapes 
april 2013 by robertogreco
PLAY Stories: To Be Designed
"On Oct. 1st- 3rd, 2012, a group of designers, makers and technologists gathered in Detroit to collectively imagine and produce a piece of design fiction: a catalog of products from the future."

[See also: http://tobedesigned.nearfuturelaboratory.com/ ]
design  designfiction  tobedesigned  tbd  aaronstraupcope  brucesterling  cezannecharles  chriswoebken  christiansvaneskolding  emmetbyrne  jamesbridle  johnmarshall  julianbleecker  karldaubmann  marcgreuther  marcusbleecker  mokapantages  mickfoster  micolasnova  raphaelgrignani  tombray  maganmulholland  zackjacobson-weaver  2012  nearfuturelaboratory 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Venture Ethnography 1: a bi(bli)ography « Justin Pickard
"Project Cascadia is the test-case for a cluster of ideas I’ve been playing with for the best part of five years. A chance to break out my signature obsessions …

Hauntings, world expos, gonzo journalism, science fiction, systems, geopolitics, utopianism, virtuality, globalisation, the sublime, resilience, collapsonomics, aesthetics, architecture, environmentalism, infrastructure, design, futures studies, sovereignty, atemporality, risk, the nation-state, the uncanny, Americana, technoscience, cyberpunk, multispecies ethnography, fiction, capitalism, the human senses, counterfactual history, media and cyborgs (and media cyborgs)

… and nail them to the mast of a weird and interstitial sort of boat; a soupy, hybrid writing practice that would combine the best of ethnography, journalism and science fiction.

In lieu of a biography, then, I’m offering a bibliography. Five years of my brain, in books, articles, essays, and blog posts…"
urbanism  jgballard  richardbarbrook  marcaugé  warrenellis  jenniferegan  bradleygarrett  donnaharaway  naomiklein  brunolatour  ursulaleguin  ianmacdonald  suketumehta  chinamieville  jimrossignol  michaeltaussig  huntersthompson  adamgreenfield  brucesterling  thomaspynchon  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  cityofsound  danhill  davidgraeber  matthewgandy  williamgibson  corydoctorow  douglascoupland  michaelchabon  jamaiscascio  laurenbeukes  journalism  mediacyborgs  cyborgs  geopolitics  aesthetics  utopianism  risk  atemporality  sovereignty  sciencefiction  cyberpunk  technoscience  ethnography  capitalism  globalization  collapsonomics  resilience  writing  projectcascadia  bibliographies  2011  justinpickard  bibliography  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
TO BE DESIGNED
"A multidisciplinary group of thinkers, makers and near future speculators will spend three days in Detroit to “do” science fiction: tangle up in fact and fiction and engage in curious crosstalk about the things that could be. The goal, then, is to Design Fiction and turn talk into deliberate actions and artifacts; to swerve the present by telling the story of a near future we imagine can be possible.

What we aim to create — to spur conversations about the things that will matter in the near future — is a near future product catalog. For example, a SkyMall, or Sears Wish Book or McMaster-Carr catalog for the near future. Think of it as a near future science fiction sourcebook of products. It’s a collection of stuff , as if that collection of stuff existed as routinely as Sasquatch garden statuettes, inflatable neck pillows, combination USB thumb drive nail clipper laser pointers, battery-powered screwdrivers, allen wrench sets and flat tire repair kits…"
production  conversation  artifactsfromthefuture  artifacts  storytelling  detroit  catalogs  skymall  nearfuture  sciencefiction  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinarythinking  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  aaronstraupcope  cezannecharles  chriswoebken  johnmarshall  jamesbridle  emmetbyrne  christiansvkolding  karldaubman  marcgreuther  tombray  mokapantages  nickfoster  raphaelgrignani  marcusbleecker  nicolasnova  julianbleecker  brucesterling  designfiction  nearfuturelaboratory 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Detroit's Gleaming Start-Up Tower - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
For me, the narrative of Detroit has outstripped at least what I could see of Detroit. Good things are clearly happening, but the lack of connective tissue is a bigger problem than you might imagine. Between downtown and an area like Corktown, which has an excellent coffee shop, the oft-applauded Slow's BBQ, Arbor and Folly, and a couple other bars, there's just nothing. When we left Slow's on a Thursday night at 9pm to drive the couple miles to our hotel, we got about halfway when I looked in my rearview mirror and realized that there wasn't a single other car behind us, nor approaching. There were no bikes or pedestrians, either…

But I do not know that I have that sense of euphoria. The story requires a fairy tale ending. And the reality is so daunting. I can practically hear Linkner reading this and saying, "He's soft. He's not made for Detroit." And that's probably true."
rebirth  density  nathanlabenz  jaygierak  stik  joshlinkner  detroitventurepartners  dvp  dangilbert  darkeuphoria  brucesterling  cities  detroit  alexismadrigal  2012  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling's Turing Centenary Speech | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
Discussed: weirdness, femininity, AI skepticism, the aesthetics of computational art. Sort of a mess but consistently interesting.
ai  technology  gender  via:jbushnell  brucesterling  newaesthetic  art  alanturing 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The New Aesthetic Needs to Get Weirder - Ian Bogost - Technology - The Atlantic
"The New Aesthetic is an art movement obsessed with the otherness of computer vision and information processing. But Ian Bogost asks: why stop at the unfathomability of the computer's experience when there are airports, sandstone, koalas, climate, toaster pastries, kudzu, the International 505 racing dinghy, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to contemplate?"

[Nice selection of quotes chosen and comment by @litherland below]

Yes.
Rather than wondering if alien beings exist in the cosmos, let's assume that they are all around us, everywhere, at all scales.
Why should a new aesthetic [be] interested only in the relationship between humans and computers, when so many other relationships exist just as much? Why stop with the computer, like Marinetti foolishly did with the race car?
Being withdraws from access. There is always something left in reserve, in a thing.

Cf. Derrida, e.g., “L'annihilation des restes, les cendres peuvent parfois en témoigner, rappelle un pacte et fait acte de mémoire.”
thinking  via:litherland  futuristmanifesto  filippomarinetti  thecreatorsproject  gregborenstein  timmorton  levibryant  grahamharman  brucesterling  aggregation  ontography  carpentry  dada  futurism  surprise  disruption  ubicomp  georgiatech  awarehome  michaelmateas  zacharypousman  marioromero  tableaumachine  robots  robotreadableworld  timoarnall  alienaesthetic  nataliabuckley  avant-garde  craftwork  craft  art  design  intentionality  jamesbridle  computing  computers  davidmberry  philosophy  technology  thenewaesthetic  newaesthetic  2012  ianbogost  ooo  object-orientedontology  objects 
april 2012 by robertogreco
But it moves: the New Aesthetic & emergent virtual taste | metaLAB (at) Harvard
"It’s not totally unreasonable to suppose that *something* is going on in nature, that its constituent objects have some kind of motivation, even if they’re composed of mere chemical gradients or pressure differentials or quantum states. The computer opens up a special case because we made it, and yet it manifests itself in all kinds of ways that seem like a nature—another nature—a little nature, perhaps. There is a strong sense that with computers and their networks, something is going on in there, something emergent and radically other, which nonetheless does begin to infiltrate our edges."

"I don’t think the New Aesthetic is heralding the approach of the Singularity’s event horizon, where computers will vault into consciousness and begin writing a sui-generis literature that drops fully formed from the brow of Stanislaw Lem. The New Aesthetic is making a much humbler move: pointing out these feral phenomena erupting into our midst and saying, but they move."
galileo  jgballard  berg  metalab  theory  technology  2012  jamesbridle  brucesterling  matthewbattles  newaesthetic  thenewaesthetic  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
ICON MAGAZINE ONLINE | Design Fiction | the most comprehensive archives of architecture and design content on the web
"process in which they’re working is a bit like a scientific process where you have a hypothesis & you try to experiment not knowing what the outcome is going to be."

"…how can I say anything which someone will be able to see in 20 years in the form in which it was created…serious…new contemporary problem, how do we make something work in a situation where the means of production are in a maelstrom or things are politically or financially falling apart? I don’t expect bookstores…libraries…Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Twitter…Microsoft to survive 20 years, I don’t expect NATO to survive. I don’t know about the EU. This is not like a gospel of despair or anything I just really think we could do something magnificent by just rising to the scale of the actual problem."

"Experience design is the first school of design that can actually encompass literature as a wing of itself."

"[I]t would be a shame if everything was virtual or written in a way that precludes the tangibility of things."
sciencefiction  speculative  research  future  culture  speculativedesign  ephemerality  uncertainty  process  imagination  creativity  literature  tangibility  permanence  futurism  dunne&raby  fionaraby  anthonydunne  interviews  2012  experiencedesign  designfiction  design  brucesterling  ephemeral  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
[New URL: http://www.wired.com/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/
See also: http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2012/03/13/godhelpus/#sxaesthetic
http://www.joannemcneil.com/new-aesthetic-at-sxsw/
http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-commercial-visual-culture.html
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-writing.html ]

"The “New Aesthetic” is a native product of modern network culture. It’s from London, but it was born digital, on the Internet. The New Aesthetic is a “theory object” and a “shareable concept.”

The New Aesthetic is “collectively intelligent.” It’s diffuse, crowdsourcey, and made of many small pieces loosely joined. It is rhizomatic, as the people at Rhizome would likely tell you. It’s open-sourced, and triumph-of-amateurs. It’s like its logo, a bright cluster of balloons tied to some huge, dark and lethal weight.

There are some good aspects to this modern situation, and there are some not so good ones."

"That’s the big problem, as I see it: the New Aesthetic is trying to hack a modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one. That’s the case so far, anyhow. No reason that the New Aesthetic has to stop where it stands at this moment, after such a promising start. I rather imagine it’s bound to do otherwise. Somebody somewhere will, anyhow."
machinevision  glitches  digitalaccumulation  walterbenjamin  socialmedia  bots  uncannyvalley  surveillance  turingtest  renderghosts  imagerecognition  imagery  beauty  cern  postmodernity  hereandnow  temporality  pixels  culturalagnosticism  london  theory  networkculture  theoryobjects  smallpieceslooselyjoined  collectiveintelligence  digitalage  digital  modernism  aesthetics  vision  robots  cubism  impressionism  history  artmovements  machine-readableworld  russelldavies  benterrett  siliconrounsabout  art  marcelduchamp  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  sxsw  brucesterling  2012  newaesthetic  crowdsourcing  rhizome  aaronstraupcope  thenewaesthetic  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Noah Raford » On Glass & Mud: A Critique of (Bad) Corporate Design Fiction
"Sophisticated clients such as Corning and others who commission this work should take note: despite the widespread attention given to videos like this, consumers see right through the special effects and glitzy production to the substance beneath. If there is no real substance beneath, it will come back to haunt you…

That said, we still need more video in futures work and more futures work in product design.  So instead of discouraging the use of video to engage and communicate, designers and futurists working on these projects should consider the follow criteria for making high-quality futures videos that are also profound and thoughtfully reflective of future change.

1. Don’t stare at your navel: …

2. Don’t extrapolate to infinity: …

3. Don't fetishize technology: …

4. Don't ignore what people care about: …

5. Don't dumb it down: …"
komusa  futures  susanvogel  africa  2012  reality  grittiness  futurism  aspergers  video  corning  galss  mud  brucesterling  noahradford  design  timbuktu  mali  designfiction  from delicious
march 2012 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling on design fictions.
"Slate: So what is a design fiction?
Sterling: It’s the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories.

Slate: Can you give an example?
Sterling: I think the most effective design fictions to date have been videos. They’re not science-fiction films; they don’t have any Avatar-style heroics. They’re mostly vignettes of people interacting with objects and services. There’s some element of intellectual sex appeal that makes people forward them to other people. "
2012  fiction  design  nearfuture  brucesterling  designfiction 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Timeless on Vimeo
"The digital settles in as background. We remember less and query more. Our identity play would be considered schizophrenic in the last century. We have more friends than ever before yet know new frontiers of isolation. The quantification of our experience haunts us in the form of a persistent history. And we are distracted more than we ever knew possible. These circumstances are paradoxically a description of the near future and a diagnosis of the current state of affairs. The truly timeless is redefined – it has transcended that which is classic; it has become that which is never finished."
timlessness  future  2012  experience  quantification  isolation  persistenthistory  robversteeg  angeliquespaninks  karencifarelli  ks12  patriziakommerell  gabrialshalom  maryflanagan  tobybarnes  vivianvangaal  elskevanderputten  markuskayser  jorienkemerink  peterkirn  rafaëlrozendaal  bernhardherrmann  technology  design  brucesterling  designfiction 
february 2012 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Object Cancers
"In any case, what seems more provocative here, on the level of design, would be to appropriate this protective stance and reuse it in the design of future objects, but emphasizing the other end: to allow for the scanning of any object designed or manufactured, but to to insert, in the form of watermarks, small glitches that would only become visible upon reprinting.

We might call these object cancers: bulbous, oddly textured, and other dramatically misshapen errors that only appear in 3D-reprinted objects. Chairs with tumors, mutant silverware, misbegotten watches—as if the offspring of industrial reproducibility is a molten world of Dalí-like surrealism.

Put another way, the inadvertent side-effect of the attempted corporate control over objects would be an artistic potlatch of object errors: object cancers deliberately reprinted, shared, and collected for their monstrous and unexpected originality."
2012  errors  mutations  brucesterling  objectcancers  3dprinting  objects  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
russell davies: talking on the radio / the internet with things
"This makes me feel like we're on the edge of something interesting; something Andy Huntington has called 'the GeoCities of Things' - the moment when it's as easy to make personal technology objects as it was to make a GeoCities page.

So I wonder whether the 'Internet With Things' is a more useful term than the 'Internet Of Things'. As Matt Jones has said "The network is as important to think about as the things" and the network has people in it. We're in there with the things. And people are looking for more than just sleek efficiency, they're after something else, something unexpected."
geocities  geocitiesofthings  internetofthings  russelldavies  arduino  shapingthings  brucesterling  andyhuntington  making  makers  hacking  2011  spimes  post-digital  iot 
december 2011 by robertogreco
russell davies: again with the post digital
"And then, this morning, when struggling to think of a good ending to this, I heard a brilliant talk by George Dyson – describing the early history of computing unearthed from correspondence between Turing and Von Neumann. And I thought I heard him cite this quote from Turing. I wasn’t quite fast enough with my pen to be 100% sure and I can’t find it on Google, but I think this is what he said. And, if it is, it’s exactly what I mean and we can leave it at that. What I think he said is this: “being digital should be more interesting than just being electronic”. I’m sure that meant something slightly different in the middle of the last century but the words are useful and simple now, they’ll do for me as a tiny rallying cry; being digital should be more interesting than just being electronic."
russelldavies  2011  alanturing  georgedyson  andyhuntington  papernet  internetofthings  brucesterling  mattjones  screenfatigue  newspaperclub  boredom  materials  physical  digital  embodiment  embodieddata  spimes  post-digital  iot  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | Twenty Years Fore & Aft
"People are never scared by the commonplaces of daily life, no matter how risky they are; in 2031, people choose to be alarmed by exotic, eye-catching stuff, like rare diseases and psycho serial killers…

There are no political parties. They were entirely hollowed-out and disrupted by social networks. That happened fast.…

Suburbs are the new favelas, while the prosperous live cheek-by-jowl in repurposed downtowns. Architecture guts entire city blocks, preserving the historicized skins around flats packed to Hong Kong densities. Cars are rental-shared. Furniture is mobile. Most objects have IDs…

Nothing can be ‘innovative’ unless you are convinced that change makes a difference. Without the magic patter, the semantic context that sets expectations, a rabbit in a hat is not a wonder, it’s just a weird accident. A true network society cannot progress, because it reticulates; it’s all snakes and ladders, rockets and potholes, mash-ups and short circuits."
brucesterling  2031  futurism  favelachic  cities  risk  commonplace  magic  mystery  technology  future  fiction  speculativerealism  designfiction  scifi  sciencefiction  2011  nostalgia  atemporality  books  publishing  film  reality  chernobyl  fear  life  art  glvo  classideas  projectideas  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Living with 100 items. No, 50. No, only 15. Screw it, just get beautiful, useful things – marks.dk
"Bruce Sterling’s “Last Viridian Note”…puts things into the following categories:

1. Beautiful things.
2. Emotionally important things.
3. Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
4. Everything else.

There are no numbers, no set rules for how much stuff you “must” own. I like the idea some have of only owning 100 things, or even just 50 things. But it’s only an idea. I couldn’t do it myself but I can, however, cut down on the stuff that I already own and don’t use.

DVDs go category 4…espresso machine in 3…couch, bed & chair in 3 as well…Half my clothes go in 4…& I need to buy after a pattern of 1 & 3 from now on.

…don’t think you can even buy after category 2 most of the time. That’s the kind of stuff that evolves over time…

Question yourself with everything you are about to buy; if there is a reasonable chance it will be placed in category 4 anytime soon, don’t buy it."
brucesterling  markjensen  possessions  consumption  minimalism  2011  lastviridiannote  things  simplicity  sustainability  consumerism  stuff  qualityoverquantity  viridianism  nomads  neo-nomads  materialism  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
“Sometimes the stories are the science…” – Blog – BERG
"About a decade ago – I saw Oliver Sacks speak at the Rockerfeller Institute in NYC, talk about his work.

A phrase from his address has always stuck with me since. He said of what he did – his studies and then the writing of books aimed at popular understanding of his studies that ‘…sometimes the stories are the science’.

Sometimes our film work is the design work.

Again this is a commercial act, and we are a commercial design studio.

But it’s also something that we hope unpacks the near-future – or at least the near-microfutures – into a public where we can all talk about them."
oliversacks  learning  deschooling  unschooling  education  berg  berglondon  mattjones  timoarnall  storytelling  design  understanding  newgrammars  conversation  meaning  meaningmaking  glvo  tcsnmy  classideas  art  paulklee  domains  interdisciplinarity  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  perspective  mindset  wbrianarthur  jackschulze  mattwebb  technology  future  dansaffer  rulespace  simulation  believability  materialquality  film  video  invention  creativity  time  adamlisagor  brucesterling  vernacularvideo  victorpapanek  jasonkottke  andybaio  johnsculley  apple  stevejobs  knowledgenavigator  prototypes  prototyping  iteration  process  howwework  howwelearn  communication  simulations  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
AA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE - Lectures Online: Thrilling Wonder Stories 3 (3 of 3)
"We have always regaled ourselves with speculative stories of a day yet to come. In these polemic visions we furnish the fictional spaces of tomorrow with objects and ideas that at the same time chronicle the contradictions, inconsistencies, flaws and frailties of the everyday. Slipping suggestively between the real and the imagined these narratives offer a distanced view from which to survey the consequences of various social, environmental and technological scenarios.

Thrilling Wonder Stories chronicles such tales in a sci fi storytelling jam with musical interludes, live demonstrations and illustrious speakers from the fields of science, art and technology presenting their visions of the near future. Join our ensemble of mad scientists, literary astronauts, design mystics, graphic cowboys, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries for an evening of wondrous possibilities and dark cautionary tales."
mattjones  vincenzonatali  liamyoung  brucesterling  andylockley  philipbeesley  christianlorenzscheurer  charlietuesdaygates  roderichfross  naturalroboticslab  gavinrothery  gustavhoegen  radioscienceorchestra  spov  zeligsound  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  harikunzru  chriswoebken  davegracer  simoneferracina  jaceclayton  lindsaycuff  nettle  andrewblum  jamesfleming  davidbenjamin  thrillingwonderstories  scifi  sciencefiction  art  technology  julianbleecker  storytelling  designfiction  2011  kevinslavin  towatch  debchachra  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
adam.vllm.net — Everyday Brokenness
"[This is the intro/explanation/something to a new site I’m working on about my relationship with the objects around me.]"
adammathes  brokenness  objects  2011  brucesterling  carlsteadman  obsolescence  design  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
My problem with the “Internet Of Things” « Magical Nihilism
"The network is as important to think about as the things.

The flows & the nodes. The systems & the surface. The means & the ends.

The phrase “Internet Of Things” will probably sound as silly to someone living in a spime-ridden future…

In that sense it is useful – as a provocation, and a stimulus to think new thoughts about the technology around us. It just doesn’t capture my imagination in the same way as the Spime did.

You don’t have to agree. I don’t have to be right. There’s a reason I’ve posted it here on my blog rather than that of my company. This is probably a rambling rant useless to all but myself. It’s a bit of summing-up and setting-aside and starting again for me. This is going to be really hard and it isn’t going to be done by blogging about it, it’s going to be done by doing.

This is just what I what I want to help do. Still.

Better shut-up and get on with it."
spimes  2011  mattjones  berg  berglondon  internetofthings  doing  making  cv  lcproject  glvo  mindchanges  brucesterling  future  iteration  systems  unproduct  russelldavies  physical  digital  seamlessness  beautifulseams  mujicomp  fabbing  seams  iot  mindchanging  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
A Brief History of Architecture Fiction: Implausible Futures for Unpopular Places: Places: Design Observer
"First, we identify a suitable building: Something that appears neglected, and seems to have no immediate prospects for a future use. In short, we choose an unpopular place. Next we devise a hypothetical future for that structure. Specifically, we strive to make this future blatantly implausible: maybe provocative, maybe funny; above all engaging. Then an artist creates a rendering based on the imaginary concept. This is printed onto a 3' x 5' sign, modeled on those used by real developers. That sign, finally, goes onto the building."

"Our neighborhood is the sort that people describe as "transitional," and some of the property…is vacant. On one nearby commercial structure…I noticed a sign…You've seen similar signs…It was a rendering of a development, a future, involving a small, empty building. It suddenly struck me that, given how long this sign has been here, what it depicted was, at best, a hypothetical future — and arguably a fictitious one."
design  architecture  writing  fiction  designfiction  robwalker  classideas  architecturefiction  archigram  creativity  jgballard  brucesterling  hypotheticdevelopmentorganization  writingprompts  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  carlzimmerman  brettsnyder  phantomcity  nyc  nola  neworleans  losangeles  cities  urban  urbapotential  foundfutures  honolulu  stuartcandy  packardjennings  stevelambert  genre  storytelling  benkatchor  detroit  dreams  seeing  noticing  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: The New Ecology of Things (NET) (9780979349508): Philip van Allen: Books
"What happens when every object and space has a life of its own? That's the question taken up by The New Ecology of Things (NET). In an era of ubiquitous computing, The New Ecology of Things provides a framework for addressing the complex challenges of a world of networked, computational things. The call for interesting ideas in the realm of pervasive computing is frequently directed at designers. The New Ecology of Things answers that call by going beyond the limited vision of 'smart things that think for you' and moving toward the design of meaningful interactions that make the most of our very human experience in the world.

The New Ecology of Things is more than a book, however. It is the physical portal to a transmedia publication that includes essays, a glossary, forums, interactive works, video and a provocative story by postcyberpunk author Bruce Sterling."
books  toread  ecologyofthings  internetofthings  spimes  philipvanallen  brucesterling  pervasivecomputing  ubicomp  smartobjects  accd  transmedia  ubiquitousnetworks  iot  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Network Society as ‘high decadence’ | Beyond The Beyond
"*Now that we’ve actually got a network society, we’re gonna see a lot of harrowing-critical-reassessment material of this kind. Mostly because we’re not happier for it and the general situation stinks.

*Nicholas Carr, Jaron Lanier, Andrew Keen, these guys were like the first robins in spring. Note that this kind of criticism is NOT the same as those who opposed digitalization in the first place; this isn’t Luddism, it’s retrospective in tone. “Look what has been lost. We don’t think the same, our capacity to act is diminished, we are reduced to components and gadgets, those in power over us lack accountability,” etc etc. In Gothic High-Tech, awe at the sublime power of Moore’s Law machinery is replaced by a perception that public life is febrile, rotten, fraudulent and decadent."
networksociety  web  brucesterling  internet  adamcurtis  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  documentary  jaronlanier  nicholascarr  andrewkeen  luddism  gothichightech  society  technology  culture  politics  hierarchy  networks  networkculture  well-being  machineslavery  machines  ideology  systems  systemsthinking  social  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Drift Deck
"Welcome to Drift Deck, a different sort of city guide. Think of it as a set of playing cards that help you playfully find your own, untouristy way through city streets. It's a set of simple cues, clues, actions, and provocations to see your way about the city, looking at it from a different angle. It will make you an active part of your own romp around.

Drift Deck will help you capture and share your discoveries. You'll be able to share your journey through the maps you make and the photos you take. Share your Drifts with others around the world! Be active, not passive. Enjoy."
situationist  driftdeck  exploration  derive  dérive  julianbleecker  dawnlozzi  jonbell  davidspencer  brucesterling  bencerveny  kevinslavin  katiesalen  janemcgonigal  ianbogost  janepinckard  urban  urbanism  ios  iphone  applications  cities  perspective  noticing  engagement  observation  interaction  serendipity  maps  mapping  photography  psychogeography  context  context-awareness  undesign  design  arttechnology  landscape  landscapeasinterface  play  games  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Keen On… Bruce Sterling: What Comes After the Future? (TCTV)
"So what comes after the future? I asked Bruce Sterling at SXSW.

But, for Bruce, the future is really the past. “I like narratives,” he told me, while explaining why the most “effective” futurists are good historians. So perhaps, using this logic, what comes after the future is history.

And Bruce is certainly an effective futurist as well as a good historian. Which is why when I asked him about today’s Internet obsession with “the social,” he riffed with dark euphoria about the history of socialism as well as what it’s like to be a 15-year-old kid with no knowledge of the past.

Check out yesterday’s interview with Bruce when he explains why hactivism isn’t compatible with democracy and what the difference is between gothic high tech and favela chic."
brucesterling  future  favelachic  gothichightech  2011  hactivism  sxsw  sciencefiction  futurism  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
From prop to prototype to the future NOW! | platform.wk.com
"Hence, it could be argued that design fiction aims to express and implant metaphysical ideas that cannot be expressed in words.  Thus, design fiction is effectively expressed in a medium of experience. It is expressed as a combined series of moments designed to create a new actuality or at least new assumptions.

Andrew and Sitraka have been exploring the playful space between fact and fiction. They have recently put together a presentation for the agency and also submitted a proposal to the science gallery in Dublin to further explore the implication of design fiction."
2011  designfiction  design  brucesterling  julianbleecker  andrewfriend  sitrakarakotoniaina  stuartcandy  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Plutopia 2011: The Future of Play Monday March 14, 2011 at SXSW Interactive
"The Future of Play will explore the concept of play as transformative, in terms of four key aspects: Social Play (including community and communication); Action Play (sports, gaming, etc.); Mental and Emotional Play (including exploration, adventure and imagination); and Sound Play."
sxsw  events  technology  community  interactive  play  plutopia  2011  plutopia2011  communication  social  socialplay  mentalplay  emotionalplay  soundplay  actionplay  sports  gaming  imagination  adventure  exploration  brucesterling  djspooky  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
RORY HYDE PROJECTS / BLOG » Blog Archive » ‘Know No Boundaries’: an interview with Matt Webb of BERG London
"we attempt to invent things and create culture. It’s not just enough to invent something and see it once, you have to change the world around you, get underneath it, interfere with it somehow, because otherwise you’re just problem solving. And I wont say that design has an exclusive hold over this – you can invent things and change culture with art, music, business practices, ethnography, market research; all of these are valid too – design just happens to be the way we do it…our things should be hopeful, and not just functional…beautiful, inventive and mainstream…you could see our work as experimental, or science-fiction, or futuristic…our design is essentially a political act. We design ‘normative’ products, normative being that you design for the world as it should be. Invention is always for the world as it should be, and not for the world you are in…Design these products and you’ll move the world just slightly in that direction."
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  design  invention  hope  culture  change  purpose  innovation  scifi  sciencefiction  designfiction  beauty  future  inventingthefuture  speculative  speculativedesign  fractionalai  ai  brucesterling  evolutionarysoup  storytelling  isaacasimov  arthurcclarke  argoscatalog  schooloscope  behavior  evocativeobjects  collaboration  functionalism  technology  architecture  people  structure  groups  experience  interdisciplinary  tinkering  multidisciplinary  play  playfulness  crossdisciplinary  flip  gamechanging  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Blast Shack
"You don’t have to be a citizen of this wracked & threadbare superpower in order to sense the pervasive melancholy of an empire in decline…<br />
<br />
Well…every once in a while, a situation that’s one-in-a-thousand is met by a guy who is one in a million. It may be that Assange is, somehow, up to this situation. Maybe he’s gonna grow in stature by the massive trouble he has caused. Saints, martyrs, dissidents & freaks are always wild-cards, but sometimes they’re the only ones who can clear the general air. Sometimes they become the catalyst for historical events that somehow had to happen. They don’t have to be nice guys; that’s not the point. Julian Assange did this; he direly wanted it to happen. He planned it in nitpicky, obsessive detail. Here it is; a planetary hack.<br />
<br />
I don’t have a lot of cheery hope to offer about his all-too-compelling gesture, but I dare to hope he’s everything he thinks he is, & much, much, more.
wikileaks  politics  culture  hacking  privacy  brucesterling  2010  julianassange  change  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Flipboard | Beyond The Beyond
"I wonder how long it will take Flipboard to realize that people don’t want to read content generated by their own social network. Because obviously it would make vastly more sense to read the content generated by someone else’s social network, some aspirational figure whom you aspire to become, like, say, Steve Jobs or Lady Gaga.

*Why not send me her Flipboard? Why not sell me that? By subscription. Then it’s magazines all over again. What fun! Of course, you destabilized the publishing industry totally and put everybody out of work, but what the heck, they were just hanging out mooching on Facebook and Freecycle anyway… Think of it as a giant and involuntary retraining class."
brucesterling  darkeuphoria  ipad  flipboard  magazines  sociality  socialnetworks  aspirationalnetworks  reading  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling: The Complete Interview « 40kBooks
"Contemporary writing is loaded with strange little details of erudition that used to be expensive and difficult to research. For instance, let's consider an obscure, dusty figure like, say, Massimo d'Azeglio. Or rather, [bunch of facts about him]… No American should properly know anything about this man. It took me 57 seconds to research that on Google, and that included cutting and pasting the text here.

The peril comes in thinking, as a modern writer, that you can truly understand something about Massimo Taparelli in just 57 seconds. No, you can't. To access facts is not to understand them. The Marquis d'Azeglio was an intelligent, creative and cultivated 19th century aristocrat. He was deep and broad and subtle and human, and very alien to us moderns. Modern writers may fail to understand him in this sudden electronic blizzard of bland facts about him. We may know less of him because we seem to know more of him."
scifi  writing  brucesterling  search  spimes  technology  sciencefiction  texas  travel  culture  interviews  research  understanding  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Doors of Perception 7 on Flow: The design challenge of pervasive computing
Transcriptions from the event: 14, 15, 16 November 2002 in Amsterdam

"Trillions of embedded systems are being unleashed into the world. What are the implications of a world filled with all these sensors and actuators? Some of the world’s most insightful designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs will address these questions, with you, at Doors of Perception 7 in Amsterdam on 14, 15, 16 November 2002. The theme is Flow: the design challenge of pervasive computing."
2002  markoahtisaari  massimobanzi  joshuadavis  nataliejeremijenko  eziomazini  brucesterling  johnthackara  philiptabor  pervasivecomputing  ubicomp  pervasive  flow  urbancomputing  urban  sensors  sctuators  design  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
designfiction :: NuVu studio
"In “Design Fiction Studio,” we will focus on experimental ways to combine science fiction story telling w/ new forms of media production. The students will be asked to write a short science-fiction story & expected to illustrate it in an experimental book. We will explore ways to combine alternative materials–such as very basic electronic elements, conductive inks, phase-&color-changing materials– w/ new kinds of fabrication & production techniques to learn both about materials & way they can be used in different kinds of fictional products.

Topics to be covered:

—Basic scifi writing skills to develop a short story or concept that will address a problem we may have in the near future.

—Experiment w/ new kinds of smart materials, design & interaction techniques to build an interactive book to illustrate the story.

—Discuss how writing fiction & building fictional objects can contribute to our thinking & allow us to bring into attention problems before they may even emerge."

[via: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/07/30/design-fiction-studio-for-young-minds/ ]
designfiction  education  future  learning  design  julianbleecker  mit  writing  classideas  nearfuture  brucesterling  scifi  sciencefiction  science  newmedia  multimedia  objects  fiction  designfictionstudio  nuvustudio  nuvu 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Viridian Design Movement
"The items that you use incessantly, the items you employ every day, the normal, boring goods that don't seem luxurious or romantic: these are the critical ones. They are truly central. The everyday object is the monarch of all objects. It's in your time most, it's in your space most. It is "where it is at," & it is "what is going on."

[I must have this bookmarked in some other way or with some other URL, but doing so again doesn't hurt. Update: Yup. Here it is: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/18/viridianisms-last-no.html ]
future  futurism  brucesterling  consumerism  culture  design  environment  simplicity  sustainability  happiness  life  lifestyle  technology  green  advice  2008  slow  stuff  qualityoverquantity  philosophy  things  viridian  viridiannote  viridianmovement 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) | Wet Asphalt [Gets right to the heart of (a) why I love Robin's brand of science fiction; and (b) how the content is also related to the process of its creation.]
"While Bruce Sterling & Cory Doctorow & Vernor Vinge fantasize about Singularity or augmented reality or 3D printers that can reproduce themselves (which, incidentally, all appeal heavily to juvenile power fantasies), Sloan is writing a fiction that speaks to a world in which we find ourselves not exactly emancipated by technology but simply hyper-connected by it, our identities as people redefined by the media we share, media which we embrace & deeply care about even when it leaves us bewildered, co-opted, & reduced in a thousand ways to algorithms. It isn't "hard" Science Fiction, not by a long shot, but most "hard" SF long ago stopped being able to figure out how to be relevant to most readers (as can be seen by their sales figures), with its greatest practitioners, William Gibson & Neal Stephenson, turning instead to the present day, on the one hand, & history & alternate history, on the other. Sloan, however, has found an entirely different & exciting avenue of attack."
robinsloan  sciencefiction  scifi  writing  publishing  social  socialmedia  kickstarter  via:robinsloan  future  present  quantumcomputing  corydoctorow  singularity  williamgibson  brucesterling  vernorvinge 
june 2010 by robertogreco
this is a456: Story of an Eye (and Another Eye, and Yet Another Eye)
"This post was a riff on Bruce Sterling's notion of atemporality. My purpose here was to elaborate his claim by demonstrating possible ways in which to articulate a history and a theory of atemporality. The point was not to claim that Sterling's view about history not being a science or that his desire to locate atemporality in contemporary network culture are evidence of ahistoricity. I would like to think that this post, though rooted in ideas about history and art history, to a certain extent aspires to be atemporal. Can we go ahead and claim that our current existence is one predicated on atemporality? Are we currently engaged in daily practices that amounts to "serene skepticism about ... historical narratives?" Whether or not you buy into the idea of atemporality, let me suggest that it is something that we do all the time."
atemporality  design  history  representation  vision  brucesterling  reynerbanham  herbertbayer  albrechtdürer  leonbattistaalberti 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Keynote: Bruce Sterling (us) on Atemporality | transmediale
"If progress is to go beyond the banal indulgences that give rise to a never-ending array of car shell designs then we need to analyse our present time with regard to its aesthetics and its media. The second conference session is being introduced with Bruce Sterling's Keynote on Atemporality."

[transcript here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/02/atemporality-for-the-creative-artist/ ]
atemporality  brucesterling  future  history  culture  art  technology  design  philosophy  time  creativity  theory  research  2010  media  community  sciencefiction  scifi  roleplaying  favelachic  informationvisualization  williamgibson  humanities  databases  literature  collaboration  multitemporal  analog  digital  gothichightech  futuritynow  collectiveintelligence  networks  networkculture  postmodernism  failedstates  collapse  narrative  resilience  decay  failure 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Drive a car, pay with life expectancy | Beyond The Beyond
"Somebody recently said that cars are the new cigarettes. There’s probably a statistical treatment somewhere that explains how many elderly die in heat waves because of your new car."
brucesterling  cars  transportation  lifeexpectancy  life  health 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Arduino in the Atlantic | Beyond The Beyond
"*Gosh, the time-honored Atlantic is an interesting venue for a discussion of the Arduino.
brucesterling  arduino  microcontrollers 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Hurry Up and Wait - The Slow Issue - GOOD
"“The slow movement imagines itself to belong by rights to the cultural layer”—a slow-moving layer of society—“but it’s still in the layer of fashionable activism,” he says. “An earthquake is rapid and shocking, it seems, but the underlying forces are geologically slow. So it’s actually our perception of pacing that’s odd, not pacing itself.”"
design  futurism  brucesterling  goodmagazine  slowness  culture  slow  estherdyson  johnmaeda  julianbleecker  jamaiscascio  alexanderrose  creativity  environment  trends  ideas  2010  future 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The WELL: Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2010
"you've treated your future as an "unpredictable lurching thing" & now you're all morose about that...your generation CREATED that situation! Ever heard of "disruptive innovation," "disintermediation," "offshoring," "small pieces loosely joined," "de-monetization," "plug & play," "the network as a platform"?...Guys w/ stacks of gold bars & working oil wells don't have stability! Much less guys like you...want some security? Demand government housing subsidies & guaranteed minimum income! They bailed out every broke mogul...might as well bail out civil population...You're Canadian always in Cali married to Briton always in Japan...you're not gonna "end up" anywhere. Forget about that...you have made your mobile bed...lie in it."..."coherent picture of your future."...imagine you're 3yo. You want to give your Dad, back in 1974, a coherent picture of 2010...something very actionable, lucid & practical...tell me what you oughta tell him about 2010, back in 1974. Use words of 1 syllable"
brucesterling  corydoctorow  2010  futurology  futurism  future  politics  business  media  environment  predictions  china  brasil  nomads  neo-nomads  technology  society  culture  commentary  google  world  life  intelligence  fear  pessimism  optimism  jonlebkowsky  jamaiscascio  brazil 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling: The Hypersurface of this Decade | ICON MAGAZINE ONLINE
"Henceforth I shall dwell in the densest cluster of interaction-design talent in Europe. My new abode is rugged, bracing, confrontational: the seductiveness of masculine red brick walls, the bull’s-blood hue of rivet-stained Edwardian girders! I take courage in the brisk removal of my building’s entire second floor. Even the structure’s splinters and splashes of Blitz shrapnel have a surprising delicacy and charm.
... As yet, I possess no stove, no toilet, no bathtub and and no bed. In fact, there are no physical objects in my flat whatsoever, except for my two roll-aboard suitcases, this Taiwanese netbook, and one metric tonne of natural ABS plastic on a giant wooden cable reel. The cable reel doubles as the coffee table on which I write this informative blogpost.

But consider this: a searing, transformative Hertzian wave of broadband permeates everything around me!"
brucesterling  futurism  fiction  scifi  location  futurology  fabbing  history  future  culture  design  technology  2010  urban 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Dead Media Beat: all traditional media | Beyond The Beyond
"Google did the revolutionary work of ADBUSTERS, & we now exist in a post-advertising, post-consumer society. How will people indulge in conspicuous consumption when the means of valorizing products as status objects no longer exists? Does anybody nowadays ever buy a car because a magazine ad says that it’s cool?...That was a great idea when everybody agreed, through mainstream media, that this behavior made you look sensible & respectable. But w/out this kind of manufactured social consensus — through a huge colossus of advertising & mainstream media — one has to wonder if consumer culture can possibly survive. If SUVS are toxic assets & suburban homes are toxic assets, what’s left that ISN’T? None of those things were “toxic” as long as we were energetically persuaded that they were worth something & that was the role of NY mainstream publishing & promotion. Even if we decide to live that way again, there’s nobody left to do it for us & no paying infrastructure that can support it."
brucesterling  deadmediabeat  media  adbusters  google  change  newyork  publishing  advertising 
december 2009 by robertogreco
iconminds video talks
"Now you can view all the videos from the first icon minds. Watch Farshid Moussavi, Charles Jencks and Marjan Colletti discuss the return of ornament; Dunne & Raby and Bruce Sterling talk about design fiction; Joseph Grima and Julien de Smedt on the pressures of running a young and successful architecture practice; and Ronan Bouroullec in conversation with icon's editor Justin McGuirk. All the talks are available in short or long versions."
via:javierarbona  design  architecture  video  critical  charlesjencks  dunne&raby  brucesterling  josephgrima  fionaraby  anthonydunne 
november 2009 by robertogreco
6 Involuntary Parks | Quiet Babylon
When he was still running the Viridian Movement, Bruce Sterling introduced the idea of involuntary parks. Spaces in the world that have become so polluted or otherwise unusable by humans, that they’ve been left to nature (or, at least, savagery).
korea  brucesterling  detroit  centralia  chernobyl  brittany  ecology  landscape  nature  urbanism  environment  bldgblog  parks  ruins  collapse  urbanprairie  urbanreclamation 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The City is A Battlesuit For Surviving the Future | Beyond The Beyond
"look at this amazing artifact out of BERG...I’d like to call this “the greatest design-fiction writing I’ve ever seen,” but (a) it’s not about design, (b) it’s not fictional & (c) it’s not even writing. This is new. The web has broken a lot of silos btwn the disciplines in past 10 years, but this is a new thing that is visibly rising out of that rubble. It’s contemporary creative work which pops on the screen like a web page, but feels like it wants to be art history, a comic book, an embedded video, a special FX anime movie…It even wants to plan a utopian city...BERG has become a new Archigram...same size...in the same place...think the same way. That’s some really good news...This piece is doing the same futuristic thing that Archigram did decades ago...in our idiom, w/ our techniques. It’s far-out, edgy, visionary...truly violative of the given norm & yet there’s nothing merely cheap & sensational here...Io9 calls itself a scifi blog & they’re glowing like a little furnace today."
berg  mattjones  architecture  archigram  brucesterling  berglondon  technology  futurism  scifi  cities  future  space  trends  urbanism  arg  sciencefiction  futurists  designfiction 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Favela Chic education | Beyond The Beyond
"*...I don’t understand why these online educationaly enterprises even need to *pretend* to be a “college.” If we’re really looking at Clayton Christensen style “disruption,” we ought to be abandoning the whole idea of “education,” of degrees, schooling, grades, papers, publishing, theses, doctorates, any of that. *You just get on line and you start messing with stuff. At some point, the other practitioners notice you and start linking to you. And they buy stuff from you, or they praise you for what you are doing. And then you know that you know it. And that’s an end to it. *Maybe somebody could invent some formal tests for you, if they were all worried about it. Otherwise, what the heck: bring on the rocket-science and the brain surgery! Got all the instructables you can eat! *...we’re not “formally educated,” but...who cares about that? You can’t *make us* care. You are Main Stream Education and you are so over."

[in reference to: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/feature/college_for_99_a_month.php ]
brucesterling  futurism  highered  education  learning  disruption  disruptive  online  unschooling  deschooling  credentials  degrees  schooling  gamechanging  publishing  colleges  universities  mainstream  future  web  internet  autodidacts  autodidactism  testing  autodidacticism 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Emily Davidow » Reboot and reset with Bruce Sterling
"I did a big reset one year ago moving from New York to New Zealand, and was surprised by the euphoria of liberation from so much stuff I thought I loved. Below are a few tools and resources that were awesome for virtualizing, storing data and getting rid of my stuff – perhaps they may help when it’s your turn."

[more on Sterling's talk here: http://www.zylstra.org/blog/archives/2009/07/reboot_11_the_n.html ]

[transcript of the talk here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2011/02/transcript-of-reboot-11-speech-by-bruce-sterling-25-6-2009/ ]
brucesterling  darkeuphoria  objects  possessions  materialism  simplicity  books  craigslist  freecycle  yearoff  citymove  deliciouslibrary  downsizing  neo-nomads  nomads  moving  virtualization  sustainability  reboot11 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Joho the Blog » [reboot] Bruce Sterling
"Reboot in power. Gen Xers running things. Cultural sentiment: “Dark euphoria.” Things are falling apart, everything is possible, but you never realized you would have to dread it so much...a) Top end: Gothic high-tech...b) low-end: Favela chic...practical advice on bright green geek environmentalism...“Stop acting dead.” You’ve been trained that way; it’s the default for your generation...How do you know...test: Would your dead great grandfather do a better job of what you’re intending to do...Think of objects in terms of hours of time & volumes of space. It’s a good design approach...possessions are really embodied social relationships: made, designed, sold by people...Relationships that happen to have material form...monarch among objects are everyday objects...you’re eager to tell someone about its beauty or meaning. Tools: Don’t make do with broken stuff. You’re not experimenting with it if you’re not publishing the results in a falsifiable form."

[video: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2009/07/video-from-reboot-11/ AND http://video.reboot.dk/video/486788/bruce-sterling-reboot-11 AND interview: http://video.reboot.dk/video/485250/bruce-sterling ]

[transcript: http://wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2011/02/transcript-of-reboot-11-speech-by-bruce-sterling-25-6-2009/ ]

"Now let me explain how you can go about doing this, and it really is a different material way of life than any in the twentieth century. It’s a geek-friendly approach to consumption.…

What you need to do is re-assess the objects in your space and time. And I’m going to explain to you how to do this. 00:32:30-6

The king of objects, the monarch among objects are not fancy objects. They’re not high-tech objects, they’re not organic objects, they’re not biological objects, they’re everyday objects. Things that you’re with every day…

Common everyday objects. You need to have the best possible common everyday objects. 00:33:11-4…

Get rid of it. Get rid of it, if you don’t use it! If you haven’t touched it in a year, get rid of it immediately. Sell it, buy real things you really use. 00:35:08-7

Now, you’re going to have a lot fewer things, but the actual quality of your life will skyrocket!…

I’m going to explain to you how you do this…

First you need to make lists. Hackers love lists. A chart. You can make a flowchart. Flowchart it if it makes you any happier.

Four variety of items: Beautiful things; emotionally important things; tools, devices and appliances that efficiently perform some useful function; and category four, everything else…

It’s not that beautiful? It’s not beautiful! Gotta go!…

And everything else. Category four, everything else. Virtualize it, store the data, get rid of it…

It’s not going to hurt you to lose all these things. You don’t need them. After you go through this particular discipline, you will look different, you will act differently. You will become much more what you already are."
gamechanging  future  genx  generationx  favelachic  brucesterling  design  objects  change  longevity  quality  reboot11  postconsumerism  postmaterialism  stuff  possessions  things  travellight 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Ruins of the Present | Beyond The Beyond
"*We’ve long had a term of art for old buildings that are ruined...“ruins.” *However, we lack a term of art for “ruins” that are actually buildings never completed. Sometimes they’re completed buildings that are never sold...start falling over before they were ever inhabited...*Another version is the abandoned, incomplete high-rise...In Brazil a skeleton framework of this kind is called a “squelette.” *Occasionally squatters move into “squelettes” & bring in some breeze-block, corrugated tin and plastic hoses, transforming squelettes into high-rise favelas. This doesn’t work very well because it’s tough to manage the utilities, especially the water...*It bothers me to use clumsy circumlocutions like “unfinished ruins” or “partially built, yet abandoned structures” or “stillborn highrises” for a phenomenon that is so common and so obvious to billions of urban people, so henceforth I am going to call them “squelettes.” They don’t have to be Brazilian, French, or 80 stories tall, either."
brucesterling  neologisms  language  ruins  squellettes  culture  architecture  crisis  abandoned  abandonment  decay  squatting  unfinished  cutshort  structures  buildings  wabi-sabi 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Dead Media Beat: MySpace | Beyond The Beyond
"I’m thinking we need a different model here, a social-good model. If we really want to spend all our time socializing on networks, and we don’t want to spend any money doing that, and it isn’t a profit center for anybody, and it only lasts five years tops, no matter how big it gets and how popular it gets… Then, really, these oughta be public services of some kind. And probably not American services. because the Americans are methodically destroying more wealth than most of the planet has ever seen, and American public services are lousy and tend to kill off the consumers."
deadmedia  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  brucesterling  myspace  twitter  facebook  socialmedia 
june 2009 by robertogreco
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