Posts tagged with ‘postfuturist’
February 2012 will see the debut of Arc, a bold new digital publication from the makers of New Scientist.
Arc will explore the future through cutting-edge science fiction and forward-looking essays by some of the world’s most celebrated authors – backed up with columns by thinkers and practitioners from the worlds of books, design, gaming, film and more.
Arc 1.1 is edited by Simon Ings, author of acclaimed genre-spanning novels The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water. Simon, who made his name with a trio of ground-breaking cyberpunk novels, is a frequent commentator on science, science fiction and all points in between.
“Arc is an experiment in how we talk about the future,” Simon explains. “We wanted to get past sterile ‘visions’ and dream up futures that evoke textures and flavours and passions.” The response, he says, has been amazing. “I feel like the dog that caught the car,” he says. “The appetite to be part of this project has been huge. Writers have seized the opportunity to showcase their thoughts, their dreams, their anxieties and their opinions about our future.”
For New Scientist editor Sumit Paul-Choudhury, Arc is an opportunity to explore new territory. “We’ve known for many years that our readers are fascinated by the future and all the possibilities it raises. But as a magazine of science fact, we can’t indulge that fascination very often,” he explains. “Arc will explore the endless vistas opened up by today’s science and technology. While it’s a very different venture from New Scientist, it will share its unique combination of intelligence, wit and charm.”
John MacFarlane, Online Publisher of New Scientist, says “I am thrilled to be involved in the launch of this new title. The combination of superb content and an innovative digital publishing model make for a very exciting project and I am sure a broad range of readers will love Arc.”
Arc 1.1 will be available from mid-February 2012 on iPad, Kindle and as a limited print edition.
This sounds interesting. Although science fiction authors might not be the best sources for actually predicting the future, they certain can write about it well.
- Tim De Chent, If the world’s population lived in one city… via Per Square Mile
So, if we can move past the haphazard historical, cultural, and biological reasons that people live where they currently are, we could pick a few hundred places in the world where there are good reasons to live, and move all the people to those places. Places with reliable water, equitable climates, available farmland. And then we can rewild the rest of the world.
The advanced industrial nations will not be re-jiggered onto any “growth” runway. Rather, we’re entering the rutted wagon-road of de-industrializing and un-advancing. What awaits us in a “time-out” from hyperbolic technological progress. Forget about Ray Kurzweil’s nanobot nirvana. That is not in the cards. Instead, wrap your mind around life in an economy organized around farming, with a much sparser distribution of big urban centers, and far fewer people overall. Don’t imagine for a moment that your grandchildren will be zinging across the landscape in electric cars sampling one theme park after another while “networking” with “friends” on cyborg social networks implanted in their brain jellies. Think of them grooming their mules in the summer twilight. Anyway, you get the picture: everything that the finance ministries and treasuries and central banks are affecting to do is mere shadow theater performed in support of wishful thinking.
The question, then, is what kind of hardship and disorder will attend our journey out of the industrial era into post-technological age we are entering. Will we just turn the world into a Michael Bay movie and blow everything up? Or will we make some graceful descent and retain what is really best about the human spirit?
- James Howard Kunsler, 2012 Forecast: Bang and Whimper via Clusterfuck Nation
Kunsler goes on to make prescient comments about likely conflagration in West Asia (aka the Middle East) with growing tension between Iran and Turkey, the two toughest kids in the school yard; North Africa; and between India and Pakistan. The water wars are coming, although Kunsler doesn’t use the term.