Bruce Sterling's kicked off his annual state-of-the-world, take-all-comers interview on the WELL's Inkwell conference, which is open to the public -- as usual, he's fizzing with outrageous brilliance:
I don't think today's rich and powerful "run the show" -- in the sense
that there used to be a coherent show and it used to be runnable.
Today's rich and powerful are meritocrats and plutocrats, rather than
some class-based old-school-tie phalanx Establishment. Any earlier
set of the rich-and-powerful would have regarded contemporary players
like Gates and Soros and Perot and Berlusconi and Murdoch and Bloomberg
and bin Laden to be strange, jumped-up, arriviste, nouveau-riche
types, crazily unstable pretenders who don't even bother to send their
daughters to the cotillion ball.
We really need some new class-term for these modern tycoons who've
been flung into the planetary stratosphere by today's amazingly unequal
wealth distributions. "Mogul" is a pretty good revived word. It
suggests that current Russian model of five or six guys who've divvied
up a national economy into privatized secretive satrapies that exist
outside the rule of law.
But to imagine that some mogul in exile in London, sweating bullets
over radioactive poison, is really "running the show..." I mean, yeah,
he's surely a player of some kind... but is he "running it?" By what
right? Through what clear and legitimized set of accountabilities and
responsibilities? There aren't any. He's obviously winging it
totally. They guy's not a conventional political or economic actor at
all. The guy's basically a conspirator.
Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out […]
Trump wants to roll back regulations that promote low-power light bulbs, even though at this point the industry has moved on and isn’t likely to do much in the way of modernizing incandescents. His interest is, as always, deeply personal: he thinks LED lights make him look orange. “The light bulb,” the president began. “People […]
The wonderful folks at Paleotronic (previously) have rounded up scans of articles from 1980s-era computer magazines that advised new computer users on navigating the burgeoning world of dial-up BBSes.
Breaking into the big leagues as a project manager isn’t done overnight, but there are principles that anyone can learn, and they’re applicable to nearly any business. No matter what your field, if there are multiple teams working toward a common goal, you’re going to need a roadmap. The Project Management Professional Certification Training Suite […]
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]