Posts tagged Warren Ellis

The Future Is A Confidence Trick

prediction, futures, social fabric, telegrams, communication, Warren Ellis

Prediction is an industry, and its product is a persuasive set of hopes and fears that we’re trained or convinced to agree upon. It’s a confidence trick. And its product comes so thick and fast that, like a plothole in an action movie, we’re carried on past the obvious failures and the things that didn’t even make sense if we had more than five seconds to think about them.

http://morning.computer/2015/05/the-future-is-a-confidence-trick/

The Rabbits Have Fallen To Pieces

Warren Ellis, technology, magic, illusion, delusion, democracy, internet, intent, IoT, enchantment

We were sold magic as the affordance of technology, from the term “automagic” on down, and we were sold this magic as the provision of personal agency – fifteen years ago I couldn’t move on the web for people talking about the internet as channel for emergent democracy, five years ago everyone couldn’t shut up about smartphones as the new computing paradigm that put the world in our hands.  And now we’re at the end of the current cycle and the five dark towers of big digital technology are reduced to bullshit squabbles.  I mean, sure, large ones, rolling across the world and throwing their shadows over us all.  But the sleight of hand is all over.  There’s a bit at the end of the tv series THE THICK OF IT, where spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, frequently self-described as “a practitioner of the dark arts,” says, in his final extremity, “Look at me.  I’m not pulling anything out of my magic hat.  The rabbits have fallen to pieces.  Their fucking heads are coming off and frightening the kids.”

http://morning.computer/2015/03/the-rabbits-have-fallen-to-pieces/

Malign Velocities

Warren Ellis, Accelerationism, Capitalism, Science Fiction Condition, capital, insanity, benthic rea

Accelerationism is, for me, worth studying briefly, as it seems to me to be a response to pervasive capitalism brought on by the mental illnesses that capitalism has induced in people. (Schizophrenia is talked about, a lot, e.g. “in Nietzsche’s ‘schizo’ delirium he announced ‘I am all the names of history’”) Noys himself calls them “the fetishists of capital” at one point, but I have a feeling, and Noys often implies, that it’s a deeper malaise. Capitalism is lately cast as that Lovecraftian force that some people should not look directly at for fear of going completely mad and being banged up in the Arkham Sanitarium. Maybe meditating upon it as some Dark God From Beyond Space that is crushing the world into new shapes just leads some people to rub their mouths on it and plead for it to go faster. And never stop. (Also: accelerationism, like speculative realism and its surrounding notions, kind of strikes me as Science Fiction Condition philosophical enterprise. its roots may indeed go back to the 19th Century, but the modern conception is something else.)

http://morning.computer/2015/01/malign-velocities/