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

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Remembering The Future

h/t Andrew Gibson.

Pleased with the palpable skepticism and criticism of futurological credulity, techno-utopian hype, unsustainable progress showing up all over the place. This Jonathan Meades piece is nearly twenty years ago (not that you can tell, despite all the, know know, acceleration of accelerating change 'n stuff) and makes a host of enormously good points, if a bit quickly and glibly, that are becoming common currency at last. If I have a spot criticism to make, it's that I think there is an emancipatory potential in assuming possibilities of friendship among earthlings, human and non-human, which Meades seems to disdain but doesn't exactly elaborate. Also, I think the critique of wind turbines as Big Tech is complicated by their treatment as distributed like rooftop solar, in distinction from concentrated pharaonic nuclear and hydroelectric plants, rather than of a piece with them. Nevertheless, there is much more to praise than to prickle at here. Definitely the artifactuality of the natural is a point that can't be made enough given the still ongoing work of naturalization in the service of elite-incumbent plutocracy, very much including the paradoxical naturalization of futurological trendspotting and techno-triumphalism.

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