Soundbites at Cybersalvations

Live-blogging has lost it’s sheen for me lately. Especially when you know that whatever it is that you just saw is going to be filmed and available within 24 hours, then the written reports, the work of a typist almost, doesn’t seem that appealing. It’s like going to the theater to go to a conference these days. You go to say that you went, so that people appreciate the effort, understand what you fill the hours with. You go for yourself mostly, so that you do keep your nose to the screen, to say you’ve lived a moment, an experience. Like going to the movies instead of watching a download. Things like who you went with, how close you were to the stage, how good the pictures you took are, become interesting, shape your experience.

So I guess I’ll monologue about what caught ears about the very good talks from Peter Pels and Bruce Sterling this week.

1. Peter Pels soundbites:

Anthropologists and science-fiction deal with experiements about the future. The difference between them is that anthropologists deal with monologues and sad reflections on the present but are also interested in what science-fiction does for and with people.

The future has been a sort of religion. The future is another world, a different environment, close to the conception that we have of heaven?

Anthropology and geography made science fiction before engineers and scientists became the main protagonists.

The notion of the future positive is the ideological american-based notion that the future couldnt possibly be worse.

We are now in an era of design fiction. what does this meean for the way we imagine the future?
less outer space
less space, we forget about spaceshipts and time travel
relaxed about religion

isnt it all the time about the things we make, what does that mean for the way we imagine the future

2. Bruce Sterling soundbites

We are living in an obscurantist period.

Fiction has difficulties surviving because it believes in the power of the press and is very dependent on means of production which are very much under stress.

You can predict the future by finding the things most people are scared or nervous about.

Design is a method of action.

Science fiction is a culture, or a pop subculture, mostly inhabited by people who are bright, cranky and have poor social skills.

the terror is gone
the terror bubble broke
terror is bush1.0

We are now in an “internet bouillabaisse” (a great french fish based soup for those who were wondering) where people are using the same screens, search engines and means of cultural production. We’re in a communication glut.

So now we’re in a stew of internet hardware and software. Everything is melted down to creole media. He doesnt know what he’s about to do, and worries that he’ll be too vague to get anything done.

Having the choice of being stuck on a desert island between a writer and a designer, the writer will chew your thighbone off whereas the designer will build a boat out of the trees, instruments out of the coconuts.

—- end of transmission —-

PS: Linguistic “tee hee” moments:

niche was pronounced “nitch” and spime was pronouced “speem”

Writing 'Creating a Culture of Innovation' (Out in 2020, Apress)

Comments (2)

  1. Randall Newton

    Partially at my urging, an annual networking conference for executives in the engineering software business will host Bruce Sterling as the keynote speaker in two weeks. I’ll be curious if what he says to that audience is similar to what he said at the conference you attended.

  2. I’ve seen him speak twice now and I must say both were very different. I expect the experience to be unique and tailored to the audience. It’s a real treat though, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

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