The Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford University, kindly invited me to deliver the 2019 Taylor Lecture on 12th February 2019. I chose the topic of Realistic Utopias versus Dystopic Realities – my aim being to highlight the manner in which really-existing capitalism is marketed as a utopian science fiction that has nothing to do with… really-existing capitalism. Behind this elegant utopian mathematical the powers-that-be hide a dismal dystopia that is failing humanity in a variety of ways. Plato, King Lear, Coriolanus and the Borg Queen make cameo appearances…
Tagged with “utopia” (6)
Jeremy chats to Matt Novak about past visions of the future, the Jetsons, the Apollo programme, and how great dConstruct 2015 is going to be.
Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo’s Paleofuture blog, which looks at past visions of the future. He explores the history of our most optimistic dreams and our most pessimistic fears by looking at everything from flying cars and utopian communities to overpopulation and complete societal collapse. His work is inspired by his private collection of retro-futuristic artifacts, including hundreds of vintage tech magazines, space age lunchboxes, 1980s videophones, among hundreds of other pieces. Matt started the Paleofuture blog independently in 2007 and it was later acquired by Smithsonian magazine in 2011 and then by Gawker Media in 2013. He currently lives in Los Angeles, a city which has about four years until it’s set to achieve the utopia depicted in the 1982 documentary Blade Runner.
Will our future be happy? Will we control our technology or will it control us? Writers Nick Harkaway and Simon Ings warn that we should not accept everything on offer. Ben Marcus’s new dystopian novel imagines what might happen if it all goes wrong.
We’re in an age when technological fact is stranger than fiction – so why are so many novelists devoting themselves to exploring the frontiers of thought? Nick Harkaway explains why it’s the novelist’s job to imagine the future, and how "an act of taking the brakes off the imagination" could even help the world to make the right choices as we hurtle into the future. Simon Ings, editor of Arc, a new magazine devoted to imagining the future, explains the importance of speculative thinking and the sadness of the modern world.
And Ben Marcus talks about the worst case scenario of his new novel, The Flame Alphabet, which imagines a dystopian future where adults are poisoned by the speech of their children, and in which words and writing, and even making signs, also become fatal.
We have always allowed our imaginations to create other worlds as expressions of our wildest dreams, hopes and fears. The story and present state of our speculations are explored by Erik Davis, China Miéville, Adam Roberts and Tricia Sullivan. Chair, Sam Leith.
Will the future be better or worse? - and does the story we are telling ourselves help or hinder us? With economist Diane Coyle, writers Cory Doctorow and William Gibson, and futurologists Mark Stevenson and Jon Turney.
Part of the Out of this World: Science and The Future event series.
David Pearce gives Ray Kurzweil a run for his money with this ambitious utopian undertaking: "how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life." That’s quite a tall order.
The full text is here: http://hedweb.com/abolitionist-project/index.html