Henry Jenkins, my favorite pop-culture scholar, has just posted the first part of a long essay dealing with the theoretical origins of steampunk. Jenkins connects steampunk to the eBay retro-collectibles urge and dead media -- themselves products of inhabiting a high-speed world where the things we love go obsolete fall to rot in the blink of an eye.
We might take two big ideas from Jameson's account of retrofuturism- that past imaginings of the future need to be understood as historical artifacts of older ideologies about human progress and that their remobilization in the present can be used as a means of reflecting on the failures of those dreams to become realities. While Jameson's work on postmodernism suggests that the redeployment of these older images of the future might amount to little more than an empty nostalgia, he seems to be hinting here that these images might function as vehicles of historical consciousness and thus as the basis for critique. Jameson's contemporaries were quick to explore the idea that "yesterday's tomorrows" might provide important clues into earlier moments in the history of the 20th century, a project reflected not only by the contributors to Corn's collection but also by essays like Andrew Ross's "Breaking Out of the Gernsback Continuum." But far less time has been spent exploring the contemporary deployment of earlier science fiction iconography as a way of working through the gap between an anticipated future and the lived reality of the late 20th century.
• Amazon’s new Chinese thermal spycam vendor was blacklisted by U.S. over allegations it helped China detain and monitor Uighurs and other Muslim minorities
Mark Di Stefano of the Financial Times is accused by The Independent of accessing private Zoom meetings held by The Independent and The Evening Standard as journalists were learning how coronavirus restrictions would affect them.
Hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Reuters reports. Security experts blame an advanced cyber-espionage hacker group known as DarkHotel. A senior agency official says the WHO has been facing a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Hunting around for an outlet or a power battery when you’re trying to charge your phone or tablet is always an annoyance. But when you’re out in the world hiking or camping or traveling, finding an outlet might be more than a minor inconvenience…it might be downright impossible. Running low on battery power isn’t an […]
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi Of all the skills you feel like you should probably know, yet likely don’t, coding might be one of the most intimidating. From the varied programming languages to the range of platforms to the sheer discomfort […]
Even though it feels like Amazon is a singular retail juggernaut crushing everybody else, you might be surprised to learn that half of Amazon’s $280 billion in revenue last year came from third-party sellers. According to numbers compiled by JungleScout, 86 percent of Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers were profitable last year, more than […]