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Comments for Futurismic

Presenting the fact and fiction of tomorrow since 2001

Last Build Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 22:16:39 +0000


Comment on NEW FICTION: WINDSOR EXECUTIVE SOLUTIONS by Chris Nakashima-Brown and Bruce Sterling by Johnson Polymath

Tue, 10 Feb 2015 22:16:39 +0000

Hrm. Obviously wicked fun, but really all these guys did was put a bunch of political words and phrases into a blender with a cup full of pop cultural and ethnic references. It was a bit mind numbing after a while, though some humorous turns of phrase: chainmail sarees. Mostly what I got though was that these two guys think they are so cutting edge and the smartest wittiest guys in the room. Maybe they are.

Comment on INTERVIEW: BRUCE STERLING on Caryatids, Viridian and the death of print by Benjamin Brandenburg

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:21:51 +0000

This man is the best comedian of the 1990's. Every time I hear him speak I am filled with jovial mirth and secret delight. He really is quite a clever old knob and his subtle wit is engaging.

Comment on Quantum computing for dummies by Gavin Kreuiter

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 12:47:39 +0000

On the contrary. One of the famous communications conundrums is co-ordinating an action over an unreliable link. (wiki/Two Generals' Problem). Extending your analogy, a leader General could use the die to choose a random hour; the entangled die would communicate specific information to the second General: the time of an attack. Surely this is FTL communication of information?

Comment on An introduction to infrastructure fiction — Improving Reality 2013 by Anittah Patrick

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:37:42 +0000

Mind blown: "Asking what an object or structure means is an intrinsic part of what designers, architects and artists do all the time. It’s not natural for engineers, though. Engineers are practical people; they build things to spec, they keep the lights on and the trains running. To be clear, this isn’t to claim that engineers have no imagination – far from it. Engineers have plenty of imagination, but it is directed very differently. Engineers solve problems; they imagine “how”. The artist, by contrast, imagines “why”; the engineer’s problem is the end product of the artistic process."

Comment on The role of utopian narratives in urban futurism by Ramez Naam

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:22:08 +0000

I'm also unconvinced that there's been an innovation slowdown. I'll have a followup piece on that topic at some point in the future. I wouldn't quite categorize Hieroglyph as utopian fiction. I've referred to it as aspirational. The stories are intended to depict achievement in human endeavors, particularly science and technology, but not perfection of human society. In that respect, I think pitting 'dystopian' fiction against 'aspirational' fiction may not really be pitting opposites against each other. It's certainly possible to have novels that that show great accomplishments in the face of dark political or social or economic circumstances, for instances. (I would say that was somewhat the direction I headed with Nexus and its sequels, whether I succeeded or not. Certainly I was surprised the first several times someone referred to Nexus as 'dystopian'. I think of it as politically dark but scientifically quite optimistic.) Cory Doctorow's novels are another example. I called Little Brother and Homeland dystopian novels in the article, and they're certainly warning tales, but they're also aspirational in their depiction of the power of relatively disenfranchised individuals and groups to use technology to positively impact society. Best, Ramez