Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Fight "The Future"

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot, a pseudonymous reader ruefully remarks of the stale male pale parade of futurological gizmo-fetishes wearing Google Glass:
The "future" is still a white penis. I wonder what the future of places like Africa or Haiti will look like? The future is always so shiny, so bright, so white. The "future" irks me and sickens me.
I replied:

Of course, "The Future" is still a white penis! But open futurity is still a scrum, a classroom, a street party, a town hall, a planetary polyculture.

Whatever they say or hope to the contrary "The Future" of "The Futurists" for Haiti and most of the overexploited (you know, what "The Futurists" would call "underdeveloped") places of the world, depending on just how catastrophic climate change plays out where they happen to be standing, will be refugee camps or slums with sweatshops, just like now. The stasis of "The Future's" accelerating change, what has always been the dread and debt and violence of precarization, but as these are experienced by the minute minority of winners and those marks who foolishly identify with/as the winners even though they are not.

Needless to say, this doesn't have to be the story. The open futurity of the present, in the presence of diversity peer to peer is as palpable and promising as ever. Steeply progressive income and property taxes funding a scene of legible consent to the terms of everyday intercourse and enabling the nonviolent adjudication of disputes and the sustainable administration of public and common goods in democracies equitably accountable to the diversity of their stakeholders are always available here and now if we want them.

"The Future" is indeed irksome and sickening, it is the foreclosure of open futurity through the projection of the parochial fears and fantasies of minute minorities, usually incumbent elites.

But do not despair, do not give in: futurity is here, it is open and opening, it can be embraced and enabled and enlarged through expression, education, agitation, organization, legislation in the democratizing spirit of equity-in-diversity.

1 comment:

Black guy from the future past said...

Had to look up the word scrum. Hope the world becomes scrummy, rather than more crummy. Cause right now, this world is looking crummy from where I'm sitting. (And no I do not despair Dale, I just live. Despair has long since reached it's expiration date for me.)