Bruce Sterling returns again to the WELL's public "Inkwell" conference for his annual state-of-the-year public interview, in which anyone can join in. It's off to a rollicking start, with plenty of chewy, sometimes gnomic Sterlingian pronouncements:
Some people still think that there's an "Islamo-fascist tyranny"
somewhere that hates our freedoms and can organize Islam-dom into a
coherent fascist state... There's just no way. Al Qaeda and the
Taliban aren't true "fascists." Fascists can at least make trains run
on time. Even Communists were better-organized. The mujihadeen have
no organized army and no industrial policy and they don't know where to
find any. Because God was supposed to handle all that for them.
You're supposed to die nobly in a crowd of unwitting strangers, and
then God's supposed to make that all better. That's the big plan.
But when you blow up the china shop, God doesn't reassemble the plates
for you. Being faith-based doesn't trump reality.
It's pretty good news that Al Qaeda is getting tired and losing its
charisma. They've held center stage more than long enough.
I think "we" in the largest sense, planetary civilization, world
culture or whatever, we're closer to a consensus idea of futurity than
it's been since, say, 1997. It's a green futurity. People don't like
it much, but they know it's coming anyway.
Ten years ago, there was a little Belle Epoque era of good feeling
there when the "Washington Consensus" held its sway... and the thought
among opinion-makers of the time was, you know, let the dot-com Long
Boomers run that show. Everybody knew that what they were saying and
doing didn't make much sense -- but at least there was plenty of pie
there for the Formerly Free World.
Now the Americans have clearly lost the thread... the Americans are
really just horribly out of it, they're like some giant fundie Brazil,
nobody takes their pronunciamentos seriously or believes a word they
say... Whereas the world is much more seriously global now. China and
India are real players, they're part of the show and they matter.
Serious-minded people everywhere do know they have to deal with the
resource crisis and the climate crisis. Because the world-machine's
backfiring and puffing smoke. Joe and Jane Sixpack are looking at
four-dollar milk and five-dollar gas. It's hurting and it's scary and
there's no way out of it but through it.
Mark Marino writes, “Boingers might be interested in this new free 3-week course I’m co-teaching with UnderAcademy College founder Talan Memmott: How to Write and Read Fake News: Journalism in the Age of Trump. It starts Jan. 20, of course.”
dj BC writes, “My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year’s Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our ‘Menorah Mashups’ Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It’s all free.”
I first started writing about the remarkable Joi Ito in 2002, and over the decade and a half since, I’ve marvelled at his polymath abilities — running international Creative Commons, starting and investing in remarkable tech businesses, getting Timothy Leary’s ashes shot into space, backing Mondo 2000, using a sprawling Warcraft raiding guild to experiment with leadership and team structures, and now, running MIT’s storied Media Lab — and I’ve watched with excitement as he’s distilled his seemingly impossible-to-characterize approach to life in a set of 9 compact principles, which he and Jeff Howe have turned into Whiplash, a voraciously readable, extremely exciting, and eminently sensible book.
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]