Gonzo futurism

Writing on Warren Ellis's site, Justin Pickard presents "Action and Decision-Making for the Professional Weirdo," part of a longer, inspiring "Gonzo Futurist manifesto (PDF)" that opens with my most-favorite Bruce Sterling quote -- the words that were in my heart when I dropped out of university to work on the Internet: "Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish."

The gonzo futurist is a super-empowered hopeful individual. She may have been a ‘graduate with no future’ (Mason, 2011), or the victim of public sector cuts, but has since grieved and moved on. She plays, tests, and play tests; making the best of the tools and technologies at her disposal. Comfortable calling on (and being called on by) her friends, peers, and tribe, her sense-making skills are social and connected. Her thinking may, occasionally, ‘be located inside the brains of other people.’ (Wheeler, 2011)

The gonzo futurist is a ‘deep generalist’ (Cascio, 2011) and ‘analytical polyglot’ (Smith, 2011). She has an ‘almost supernatural awareness of impacts and implications … [is] ready to adapt when necessary, building long-lasting systems when possible.’ (Cascio, 2011) Like Cayce Pollard, she is a ‘woman of affect, not of feeling (…) [an] empress of the amygdala.’ (Berlant)

The gonzo futurist is resilient. She works smart, not hard. She has one eye on the ‘adjacent possible’, switches codes, and contributes to the commons. She may be privileged, but has no time for competition, alpha male dick-waving, or beggar-thy-neighbour. Her success does not come at your expense.

Bombarded by stimuli, the gonzo futurist is an OODA cyborg. Observe, orient, decide, act.

ACTION AND DECISION-MAKING FOR THE PROFESSIONAL WEIRDO (via Beyond the Beyond)