What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism.
Tagged with “sf” (13)
Bruce Sterling at The Interval: The future is a kind of history that hasn’t happened yet. The past is a kind of future that has already happened.
The present moment vanishes before it can be described. Language, a human invention, lacks the power to fully adhere to reality.
We live in a very short now and here, since the flow of events in spacetime is mostly closed to human comprehension. But we have to say something about the future, since we have to live there. So what can we say? Being “futuristic” is a problem in metaphysics; it’s about getting language to adhere to an unknowable reality. But the futuristic quickly becomes old-fashioned, so how can the news stay news?
Bruce Sterling is a futurist, journalist, science-fiction author, and culture critic. He is the author of more than 20 books including ground-breaking science ficiton and non-fiction about hackers, design and the future. He was the editor in 01986 of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (1986) which brought the cyberpunk science fiction sub-genre to a much wider audience. He previous spoke for Long Now about "The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole" in 02004. His Beyond the Beyond blog on Wired.com is now in its 15th year. His most recent book is Pirate Utopia.
Abby Smith Rumsey at The Interval: Memory is not about the past, it is about the future. Historian and media expert Abby Smith Rumsey explores how digital memory, which cannot be preserved, will shape the future of knowledge and affect our survival. From March 02016.
Abby Smith Rumsey is a historian who writes about how ideas and information technologies shape perceptions of history, of time, and of personal and cultural identity. She served as director of the Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia, and worked for more than a decade at the Library of Congress. Her book When We Are No More, How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future (02016) looks at how human memory from pre-history to the present has shed light on the grand challenge facing our world—the abundance of information and scarcity of human attention.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" writer-director Rian Johnson stops by Variety’s "Playback" podcast to discuss the latest Lucasfilm installment.
A podcast interview with Jina Anne about creating and managing digital design systems. Recorded in June 2017.
"Proof: The Science of Booze": Wired Magazine editor and author of "Proof: The Science of Booze", Adam Rogers leads us on a tour of the 10,000 year story of alcohol. With deep historical research, expert testimony, and solid science he discusses the accidental discovery of fermentation, an alternative American whiskey history, and his own role in the pre-history of Long Now’s Interval bar. This talk was the first ever in The Interval’s salon talk series; it took place in May of 02014, 2 weeks before The Interval officially opened. From May 02014.
Jina Anne speaking at Patterns Day in Brighton on June 30, 2017.
A one-day event for web designers and developers on design systems, pattern libraries, style guides, and components.
Patterns Day is brought to you by Clearleft.
The Lucasfilm president was handpicked by George Lucas to take over his company and the franchise. She’s aware that all her film mentors have been men; "I need to bring other women along," she says.
British novelist China Miéville is a three-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given annually to the best science-fiction novel published in the U.K. His books include The City & The City, Iron Council, and, most recently, Embassytown, and he has drawn comparison to such writers as Franz Kafka, George Orwell, and Phillip K. Dick. Miéville is also active in left-wing politics, has stood for the House of Commons for the Socialist Alliance, and published Between Equal Rights, a book on Marxism and international law.
On this recording from the final day of the 2012 seminar, Miéville sets out to explore genre, “the elephant in the room,” in a lecture which he says could be titled “in defense of pigeonholes.” The human mind is “a neurotically clucking connection maker,” says Miéville, “a taxonomic engine” that cannot help but divide art and literature into subdivisions. He argues that such separation into genre and sub-genre needn’t be seen as reductive, but rather ought to be embraced as a taxonomy that allows us to determine the ways in which one book stands in relation to another. Furthermore, says Miéville, quoting hip-hop artists Jay-Z and M.I.A., the distinction between genre fiction and so-called literary fiction can be reduced to a difference in “swagger,” or the way in which one presents oneself, one’s ideas, and one’s work. In a five-minute question-and-answer session at the end of the recording, Miéville talks about The City and the City and its indebtedness to crime and fantasy genres, his willingness to transgress the terms of genre, and the role of critics in creating genre distinctions.
Thinking about the future is so hard and so important that any trick to get some traction is a boon.
Adrian Hon’s trick is to particularize.
What thing would manifest a whole future trend the way museum objects manifest important past trends?
Building on the pattern set by the British Museum’s great book, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Hon imagines 100 future objects that would illuminate transformative events in technology, politics, sports, justice, war, science, entertainment, religion, and exploration over the course of this century.
The javelin that won victory for the last baseline human to compete successfully in the Paralympic Games for prosthetically enhanced athletes.
The “Contrapuntal Hack” of 02031 that massively and consequentially altered computerized records so subtly that the changes were undetected.
The empathy drug and targeted virus treatment that set off the Christian Consummation Movement.
Adrian Hon is author of the new book, A History of the Future in 100 Objects, and CEO and founder of Six to Start, creators of the hugely successful smartphone fitness game “Zombies, Run!”
His background is in neuroscience at Oxford and Cambridge.
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