In White Fungus, an "architecture fiction" published in the first issue of Beyond magazine, Bruce Sterlng marries the sardonic and the hopeful in a gripping, hilarious story about how every aspect of civic life from schools to tomato-farming will be reformed after ecotastrophe and econopocalypse destroy our present way of life.
Logically, industrial farmers should move into places like White Fungus and industrially farm the lawns. Derelict buildings should be gutted and trans formed into
hydroponic racks. White Fungus was, in fact, an old agricultural region: it was
ancient farmland with tarmac on top of it. So: rip up the parking lots. Plant them.
Naturally, no one in White Fungus wanted this logical solution. Farming was
harsh, dull, boring, patient work, and no one was going to pay the locals to
farm. So, by the standards of the past, our survival was impossible.
The solution was making the defeat of our hunger look like fun. People gardened in five-minute intervals, by meshing webcams with handsets. A tomato vine ready to pick sent someone an SMS. Game-playing gardeners cashed
in their points at local market stalls and restaurants. This scheme was an
'architecture of participation'. Since the local restaurants were devoid of
health and employee regulations, they were easy to start and maintain.Every
thing was visible on the Net. We used ingenious rating systems.
White Fungus (PDF)
I’d call it a spoiler, but you already know what’s coming: “As Seen On TV” garden gadgets are not much good, however ingenious they seem to be. Household Hacker picked up a few items and subjected them to tests. None were terrible or dangerous, but the gimmicks don’t really work — a trimmer that uses […]
The Inverter is a kickstarted, sub-$500, 34mm automatic mechanical watch built around Citizen's Miyota Calibre 9000 movement, augmented with a custom module that makes the watch run backwards, so that it can be mounted so that the movement is exposed (beneath a sapphire crystal), with the back of the watch becoming its "face."
Damon Beres notes that the situation with folding displays is quickly going to hell. Enter Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, a kind of metal and glass taco that could define a new category of personal device — provided the company can get the thing to work. Several tech writers accidentally broke the gadget’s foldable display shortly after receiving review […]
Heads up: The clock is winding down on a free-entry contest to win not only one of the best smartphones on the market but a handy pair of earbuds. A simple sign-up is all you need to be eligible to win a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, along with AirPods. And while “free” is tough […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]
Looking for a career in IT, gaming or software development? In the ever-changing world of the internet, versatility is your biggest asset. In other words, mastering Java might not cut it in an interview if you don’t know C#. However, there’s a bundle that covers the essentials in most any language. The Legendary Learn to […]