what do you build at the end of the End of History?

“If we want to build a.. or live, enjoy… the fruits of a better world. If we want to make sure that the rights that we have encoded into our laws are actually reliable. That we live with them and pass them to our children. This will never be the work of politicians. This can only be the work of the people. Of the population. Because politicians do not simply do what they think is best. They do what they think people want to hear. They do what they think will gain them support. And ultimately if we want to see a change we must force it through ourselves. If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”

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Transmission #4 of the Cosmic Anthropology Broadcast System: The Team Machine Chat Prologue

SHOW NOTES RELATED EPISODES Transmission #1 of the Cosmic Anthropology Broadcast System – the Neanderthal Pride ep Mad Max trilogy posts: Mad Max: Fury Road and the pre Jackpot Years Mad Max : Fury Road – Review MAD MAX GROUND ZERO Fortitude Review [Daily Grail]   Dark Extropian Musings [Patreon]   WORKS MENTIONED: 12 Monkeys (tv show) […]

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A selection of my thoughts on Mad Max – Fury Road, based soley on the trailer

Mad Max: Fury Road will show us a glimpse into the full Collapse future. (Let’s be honest, we know exactly how this movie will play out, it’s highly unlikely that it will have a twist ending with it all occurring in a VR simulator as a generation of posthumans kill time in some fan-fic recreation of the past, on their way to seeding a new galaxy.) Again.

It’s worth pointing out that the original film was created in reaction to the early 1970s oil crisis, but that we’re now living in the days of Peak Oil proper. Where another energy catastrophe and subsequent societal collapse is being held off in large part by frakking the planet; a word that sounds bad enough, without it already being a pejorative from a fictional scifi timeline (BSG). That’s already triggering earthquakes. And the western democracies are doing it on their home turf too; though mostly in territory deemed politically expendable to their current administrations.Where land grabs on an unprecedented scale are being termed geoengineering.

We are a worldwide civilisation coasting with the fuel gauge nearing empty, thinking there must be another service station just over the horizon. So crank up the radio, let’s sing along to some tunes, it’ll be just fiiiiiiiine.

Thinking about this as “the pre Jackpot Years” helps us reframe the narrative. Something better can come out of all this. This doesn’t have to be the prelude to a future high-speed, nightmarish post-apocalypse, worse than the slow motion one we’re in now. We don’t have to wait for it to accelerate into an unavoidable crash and collapse. There is no techomagical Singularity that will save us. We must wake up behind the wheel and plot a new path on the map of the possible. Our civilisation survived the twentieth century and everyday Fear of the Bomb. We can make it through this too, and build something better. All the pieces are here already, waiting to be recombined. From advances in automated factories and 3D Printing to basic science and amazing speculations on the origins of life.

Read in full at the Daily Grail – Mad Max: Fury Road and the pre Jackpot Years

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Why would you not want to be Blue Ant? Being aware that others may read this, I don’t want to spoil the ending of William Gibson’s “Blue Ant” trilogy, as some now call it. But Bill gives the mysterious (or, perhaps, too shallow to be knowable, like screwing fog, therefore “mysterious”) Hubertus Bigend a very, very good reason for doing what he does. Which is knowing things, as completely as possible, before other people do. Again, fog:

he leaks into the leading edge of the civilisational substrate without being detected, and causes sample molecules to be scraped off the cutting blade of the future-facing plane.


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Cayce Pollard, the protagonist of Pattern Recognition (by William Gibson), after she’s had her hair cut in Japan. Hairstyle is, of course, modelled on Major Kusanagi.

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Inspired in part by the “ugly t-shirt,” a garment dreamed up by William Gibson that would provide invisibility to CCTV surveillance, Niquille thinks of her shirts as “facial recognition dazzle,” referring to a unique brand of camouflage employed by ships in World War I. Pioneered by artist Norman Wilksinson, dazzle camouflage involved covering warships in conflicting geometric patterns to throw off an enemy combatant’s ability to gauge their speed, range, size and heading. “The shirts attempt a similar strategy. They won’t keep your face from being recognized, but they will offer distraction,” he explains. Their real-world efficacy, Niquille says, depends on how baggy the shirt is on the wearer: the tighter the better for giving Facebook’s software something to zero-in on.

* for those playing at home, the idea of the magic sigil tee in Zero History was contributed by Bruce Sterling. It doesn’t get much more #cyberpunkfuturepresent than this ugly tee.

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The Verge: Where does science fiction publishing stand now? Bruce Sterling: I think it’s basically dissolving, really. It’s like asking what about journalism? There’s a lot of stuff going on right now that calls itself journalism but that doesn’t really fit into the old-school definition of journalism at all. It’s like advertising, it’s quite like […]

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