Posts tagged future

Futures? a short interview with Warren Ellis

future, futures, present moment, nowhere, now, nowism, futurism, warren ellis, nicolas nova, near fu

I think it’s important to look at the present moment with clear eyes and understand the wonder of a contemporary context where we can see the glass lakes of Titan and satellites orbiting the sun can report to our phones. Or even that several thousand years of developing communication technology means that I can type this right now and you’ll see it in seconds. We tend not to see it. We’re conditioned to see the present moment as “normal,” with all the banality that implies. This is not a banal moment. It’s the sort of intense, chaotic moment, full of strange things, that we previously only found in science fiction. “Right now” feels like all of science fiction happening at once, and needs to be considered in that context – that we’re living in that promised world of miracles and wonder, and that we’ve been trained by the culture not to see it.

Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?

dystopia, future, cyberpunk, surveilllance, freedom, technology, 1984, brave new world

On the horizon is more technology that will make it even easier for governments to monitor and track everything that citizens do. Yet I’m convinced that, if we’re sufficiently motivated and sufficiently clever, the future can be one of more freedom rather than less. I saw this tweet not so long ago: unless you’re over 60, you weren’t promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.

The Decisive Moment is Dead. Long Live the Constant Moment

photography, history, future, network, panopticon, HCB, decisive moment, continous moment, always on

What if a future decentralized social networking platform allowed everyone to connect their capture node, for the use of any other artist, or just a chosen circle of friends? We already use Google Street View for location scouting. What if it enabled us to change to any angle and scrub back and forth in time as well, and from any “open” node near it, side to side, and from drones above, not just from a single Google car that passed by once? This is the Constant Moment. This is as close to a time machine as we’re likely to get. Great technological leaps will be required to fulfill the furthest reaches of the Constant Moment. Massive gains in the quality of search and organization, not to mention cost of storage, and resolution. Perhaps even some form of a neural interface. But it’s clear to me this is a “when,” not an “if,” and artists need to begin anticipating this future, to inspire and guide the technologists, and to keep up with the military dreamers (it’s been said that in childhood development the destructive urge precedes the creative one by months, as blocks get knocked down long before they get stacked.) To the photographer that still thinks photography mostly means being physically present, crouched behind their Leica, finger poised to capture the classic vision of the Decisive Moment, this coming Constant Moment might be terrifyingly sacrilegious, or perhaps just terrifying, like an insect eye dispassionately staring.

The Quantum Mechanics of Fate

retrocausality, time, past, presetn, future, QM, physics, spacetime, arrow of time

As with so much else in quantum mechanics, this concept of retrocausality is limited in scope. Only in certain circumstances can we see the future influence the past. Although individual particle processes can move backward or forward in time, the universe as a whole is skewed in the forward direction, because its past endpoint was highly ordered, and its future endpoint is highly disordered. Our mortality is this asymmetry in microcosm.

We come from the future

Le Monde, Sci Fi, Africa, afrofuturism, crisis, future

To paraphrase the Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne: on a continent where attempts to improve humanity’s lot are in crisis, meaning comes from the future. A group of young African artists, black and white grandchildren of the independence generation, have started a cultural revolution by moving into science fiction, until recently the preserve of western imaginations. The “invisible men” of the 3D Fiction collective, linked online and through pan-African magazines, are exploring “the possibilities of shared writing on the future”, and say “the future described in a [sci-fi] story engenders a new present, which challenges our own”

Opinions are non-contemporary

conjecture, culture, fiction, quotes, future present, future, James Bridle

It was essentially a quotedump of what’s in my head at the moment, but several people asked for the links mentioned, so here goes. The collective false memory syndrome that the UK is being implanted with, in regard of the Jubilee in particular, but everything from the Festival of Britain to “austerity”, is really weird and a little bit frightening; but imagine if we could invert it. Instead of falsifying the past to transform and rationalise the present, we could engineer the future in order to finally reach it. This is a pretty standard design fiction conjecture except I don’t care about design and people might actually get the idea if you explained in in terms of the Jubilee: the dark nostalgia mirror of empire that is eating the real. Eject! Eject!

Welcome to the Future Nauseous

Venkatesh Rao, present, experience, futurism, future

There is an unexplained cognitive dissonance between changing-reality-as-experienced and change as imagined, and I don’t mean specifics of failed and successful predictions. My new explanation is this: we live in a continuous state of manufactured normalcy. There are mechanisms that operate — a mix of natural, emergent and designed — that work to prevent us from realizing that the future is actually happening as we speak.  To really understand the world and how it is evolving, you need to break through this manufactured normalcy field. Unfortunately, that leads, as we will see, to a kind of existential nausea.

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy

ecology, art science, art, DIY Bio, genomics, future, food

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy is an independent research institute engaged in exploring, examining and understanding the genomes and biotechnologies that make up the human food systems of planet earth. We are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge at the intersection of food, culture, ecology and technology. The Center presents its research through public lectures, research publications, meals and exhibitions.