Tagged with “history” (4)
Inventing the next twenty years, strategic foresight, fictional futurism and English rural magic: Warren Ellis attempts to convince you that they are all pretty much the same thing, and why it was very important that some people used to stalk around village hedgerows at night wearing iron goggles.
Warren Ellis is a writer. He is not the violinist in the Bad Seeds.
Some of the things he has written have pictures in them, like Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. Some of the things he has written are constructed entirely from words, like Crooked Little Vein and the best-selling Gun Machine.
Gun Machine is currently being developed for television. His book Red was adapted for the big screen in 2010. We shan’t hold it against him.
You can find him on Twitter, on Tumblr, on This Is My Jam, and you used to be able to find him in Second Life, but most importantly, he has his own website because he’s down with the Indie Web.
The London Underground today is one of the world’s largest and busiest urban metros. Exactly 150 years ago, on 9 January 1863, when the inaugural train left Paddington for Farringdon with invited guests, the Metropolitan Railway was hailed as an amazing pioneer. A public service began on the following day and the Daily News announced dramatically that ‘for the first time in the history of the world, men can ride in pleasant carriages, and with considerable comfort, lower down than gas pipes and water pipes…lower than the graveyards’.
The Victorian steam underground, less than four miles long with just six stations, has developed into a modern electric system covering more than 250 route miles and serving 270 stations. Last year there were over one billion passenger journeys on the Tube, more than the total for the entire UK national rail network, and the numbers keep growing. Londoners have always grumbled about it, but they could not do without it. The Underground keeps London going.
This talk looks at how this has happened and why the Underground is now the city’s greatest asset, underpinning everything else. Our Tube has shaped the capital and its development over 150 years, and rail transport will be the key to London’s future.
Between The Alexandrian War of 48 BCE and the Muslim conquest of 642 CE, the Library of Alexandria, containing a million scrolls and tens of thousands of individual works was completely destroyed, its contents scattered and lost. An appreciable percentage of all human knowledge to that point in history was erased. Yet in his novella “The Congress”, Jorge Luis Borges wrote that “every few centuries, it’s necessary to burn the Library of Alexandria”.
In his session James will ask if, as we build ourselves new structures of knowledge and certainty, as we design our future, should we be concerned with the value of our ruins?