The Future is coming! I think, maybe! But if it doesn’t, here’s a sampling of the possible futures that could happen. Your monday reading list, (though I hope it doesn’t become a habit.)
First is when writer Charles Stross imagines the future in Accelerando, and Warren Ellis takes him up on it during a re-reading, years later. Hold up with the best of Ray Kurzweil’s stuff: “The Manfred Manx Media Diet”, which is essential reading for anyone even thinking about the term, “Media Diet”. I’m particularly set on people reading this one, because it’s what I wanted to write last week. Telekinesis, man. http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13972 … And then Mrs. Penny follows that up with a “the future is coming, obviously” post at the New Inquiry, talking about the role of #Occupy, Science Fiction, William Gibson, and prudent economic planning. Best part is when she asks why end-of-the-world scenarios are so easy to imagine, arguing that they are inherent in the broken borrowing-structure of capitalism, which focuses on now, not later. Penny for her thoughts at http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-future-probably/.
Which really reminds me of three universities really having their way with technology and society. First is the Singularity University, based on helping us actually get to singularity. Except, not really: Singularity U. is like Y-Incubator meets MIT Media Lab. Check the profile in this awesome Guardian profile: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/29/singularity-university-technology-future-thinkers. Then, there’s also the MIT Media Lab itself, which is less about media than it is about (awesomeness^billion-powers). Charles Stross has a good walkthrough of what you’ll find in the HQ. Advice: “If you expect to be surprised every corner, you won’t be disappointed.” Read at http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/rants/inside-the-mit-media-lab.html. And then, there’s Stanford U., which is so close to Silicon Valley that Y-Incumbator is tickling the professors’ balls the proximity may be compromising the educational mission of the institution. But with a title like Get-Rich U., the New Yorker Profile doesn’t exactly make a compromised education seem so disincentivized. Read & weep at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/30/120430fa_fact_auletta?currentPage=all … Those are the guys really trying to make the high-tech, cyberpunk & stainless-steel tomorrow meets next-year sort of future happen.
And then, there’s also the Institute for the Future of the Book, but that seems like somebody simply stuck the word “Institute” on a side project than a legitimate venture to keep your eyes out for. Though they did do some pretty cool projects, such as commentpress. Check them out at http://www.futureofthebook.org/ or don’t, not my worry. However, what you should read is about the problem which is holding back science, at http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/29/the-future-of-science/. The argument is, reform publishing in the sciences! Which is, fascinatingly enough, at its core a very parallel argument to reforming publishing in fiction/nonfiction, with the ebook vs. print vs. tablet and the amazon/apple vs. the world debate. Read it and think for yourself on the issue. definitely worth a think.
And then of course, to ground our futurism squarely in the present, here’s a profile of the guy who started today’s hacker wars when he made a video in 2007, saying “Here’s the world’s first unlocked iPhone. Criminal or creative, via the New Yorker at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/05/07/120507fa_fact_kushner. Then follow that up with the political economy of Google, via Mr. Brin himself: http://dwmw.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/open-data-and-open-internet-dogma-sergey-brins-guardian-interview-and-the-political-economy-of-google/. And follow that up with a debate about old farts in museums, as Wolff Olins asks, how do you introduce technology into a museum without the Sacred/Profane argument? You decide: http://blog.wolffolins.com/post/22131364793/sacred-or-profrane-technology-in-your-museum.
And that’s a wrap for today’s reading list! #Reads, guys!