For decades, the WELL has rung in the new year with a weeks-long public discussion led by Jon Lebkowsky and Bruce Sterling (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2005, etc).
This year's contributors include Tiffany Lee Brown and James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously).
As you might expect from such an august panel, they're off to quite a start. Sterling has continued his tradition of declaring different countries to epitomize the year: this year, it's Ukraine, in "the EU-Russia shatterbelt where the elderly village grannies, the last ones too poor to flee, are harvesting their turnips while getting randomly pounded by mortar fire" ... it's "typical of our times. It's the patient zero for the actual trouble. The prospects for real peace there are very slim. The prospects of that kind of offshored Violence Lite appearing elsewhere, those are high."
Bridle, meanwhile, thinks the boasts of an upcoming "dark enlightenment" (or any other kind of enlightenment) are overblown, briefing instead for an upcoming entanglement: "weird, niche communities - antisocial media, distributed and federated services, truly decentralised ones as well as real urban anarchists - and they feel like different places to
talk about power and agency, and formulate strategy."
I do have one self-set task for the SoTW this year. What is
the forthcoming shape of the 2020s> Moore's Law is dead, there's
no Singularity, the fix is in tech oligarchs of (take a breath)
Google Apple Facebook Amazon Microsoft Baidu Alibaba Tencent Netflix
Samsung. They're in charge, but they're sitting on heaps of cash
with nothing much to do with it.
So what does post-disruption, post-Moore's Law,
tech-industry consolidation look and feel like? What kind of world
is that, what matters to people who live then? What happens when
there's no Next Big Thing, and you live in a New-Dark Hot-Peace?
What do people do with their time, their ambitions -- just tremble
at the Greenhouse thunderstorms? They're bound to be up to
State of the World 2019 [The WELL/Inkvue]
(Images: Andreas Dantz, CC-BY; Bruce Sterling)
There’s still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy’s-eye view of Children’s Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California. You might remember that when I’m not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL… months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at […]
We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
Knowledge is power. And a company that knows who its customers are is far more likely to see those customers return. On the web, information gathering often comes in the shape of an online form. Whether it’s a registration, a contest, an order, or just a simple contact, those opportunities to engage with users and […]
It’s impossible for anyone to truly escape the effects our COVID-19 lifestyle changes have made, but if you’re a web developer, there’s a decent chance your work life might be virtually unchanged. Even before the quarantines and work-from-home orders, over 16 percent of web developers were already self-employed. And with a growing number of tech […]
Even though life is emerging following our COVID-19 lockdown, it’s not exactly time to celebrate defeating the insidious virus just yet. CDC officials warn that once a resurgence of the virus hits this winter, it could prove even more disastrous for the U.S. healthcare system than the opening salvo. That would follow the pattern suffered […]