trenchant.org

by adam mathes
archive · subscribe

Afternet

Fox Woods tweeted:

I would like you to expand on this http://trenchant.org/daily/2011/12/23/

I can, but it doesn’t really make any sense.

“A coherent picture of where your future is heading.” Okay, fine. Let’s imagine you’re three years old again. You want to give your Dad, back in 1974, a coherent picture of what 2010 looks like. You know, something very actionable, lucid and practical, where he can just slap the cash on the counter and everything works out great for the family. Okay: given what you know now about the present, tell me what you oughta tell him about 2010, back in 1974. Use words of one syllable, so he doesn’t have a stroke.

Bruce Sterling, State of the World 2010

· · ·

(Adapted from an IM conversation, 12/23/2011)

“What is beyond the internet. I read your SOPA thing.”

“Real physical things. Manufactured instantly on demand down the street or in your home. Or growing organs in your basement for when your heart fails. I don’t know! We can barely even imagine. We have instantaneous worldwide communication now. CHECK. Where’s the rest of the future? That part seems almost trivial.

Fast communications in the end is a sort of escapism that temporarily removes us from our geographical limitations, but we live in geographical limitations.

We don’t need more virtual real estate to sell ads on, we need real real estate to live on.

Imagine construction to be 100x cheaper with prefab technologies we don’t even have yet and imagine building your dream house in virtual legos and then like, buying it, and it’s there in a week.

Don’t like it? Knock it down and build a new one next year.”

Why are we re-urbanizing and bidding up the costs of tiny houses cramped into expensive areas when telecommunications should make that seem quaint? Are we going to have to wait until self-driving cars until we spread out and property values tank and cause another crisis because we refuse to interact over Skype for business?

“A free internet just hasn’t made much of a difference in most people’s lives. First, because they don’t even have it, and even if you believe it’s leading to a more democratic world or something revolutions happened long before the internet and long before communications were easily monitored on chokepoints like Facebook.

It feels like the PC coming along in the 1980’s mattered more. Spreadsheets, accounting systems, CAD… things that would take weeks of human time or giant rooms of expensive computers could be done in hours for a fraction of the cost.

Tweeting? Who cares.”

Tweeting is just reality television which is just gameshows which is just finding a way to make money on other people’s supposed real reactions to real life that is fake but it doesn’t matter because even if it’s fake it’s real but that doesn’t mean it’s important.

“Are internet companies technology companies creating the future and improving productivity or media companies trying to create flashy diversions so they can sell ads?”

I don’t think they even know anymore.

· · ·

To expand, what I mean is: if we just concede the Internet to the RIAA and Chinese fascists it’s not the end of the world because we should probably be working on something more important anyway.

(It would be pretty bad though.)

· · ·

If you enjoyed this post, please join my mailing list