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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Priestly Futurists

"Elias Altvall" commented elsewhere in the same Moot I mentioned in the last post, "I see futurologists like priests." To this observation I responded:
This analogy is definitely clearest in the guru-wannabe layer of the organizational archipelago of robocultic sects. But I tend to think the more apt analogy is the crass salesmanship of the middle-managers and PR-glad handlers, barking on cellphones and laser-pointing at PowerPoint slides the latest line in BS.
Consumer capitalist marketing is an endless peddling of stasis as novelty and crap as wish-fulfillment. And I think futurological discourse is just a slightly amplified variation of that dance of death. That most futurologists likely disdain or at any rate fail to grasp their kinship with their more prevalent middle-brow discursive cousins just goes to show that they aren't exactly very sensitive or bright, even as they congratulate themselves on their superior scientificity and visionary genius. No doubt there are plenty of banksters with the same delusions of grandeur.
Neither is it surprising on these terms to see that futurologists so readily fancy themselves parts of futurist "movements" -- eugenic transhumanism, history-shattering singularitarianism, greenwashing geo-engineering, the various techno-immortalisms, plastic/nuclear/nano/3Dprinter-cornucopisms, and so on -- after all, consumer fandoms around Apple gizmos fancy themselves movement no less. In No Logo, Naomi Klein described a company exec declaring Diesel Jeans "a movement."
Think of those self-esteem hucksters and the authors of management technique best-sellers, offering up their vapid but lucrative consolations in packed Vegas auditoriums -- they are the same sort of guru-wannabes some lucky TED-talking futurologists manage to become, spouting slogans and neologisms and offering up their desperately hyperbolized advertorial promises, sex and success, like every empty ad shouting its lies on every screen.
"The Future" -- that would-be heaven of certainty and satisfaction and youthful skin -- is the faith that suffuses our catastrophically stupid society, its deceptive, hyperbolic norms and forms distract and derange us on our way to death as we destroy the world and the weak for no good reason any one of us can say, corrupt priests and dumb postulants all the way down.


Elias Altvall said...

The more I read philosophical history the more I start to realise just how unimaginative futurology (and it's sub species) are.

What is the difference between the shamwow guy and a futurologist on a basiv level? I mean really. I want that explained to me because I maybe too dumb not to see a difference.

Anonymous said...

"This article is about the clothing brand. For the religious concept, see One true faith"

Seeing "True Religion" as a brand on clothing, always ties my brain in knots. Is the branding not religion at all because it's marketing? Or is the brand a bona fide religion because, well, that's all religion really is? If the latter is the case, does the hint of inauthenticity brought about by prepending the term "True" (as in "No true Scotsman") intended to suggest that religion isn't marketing, or that marketing isn't religion?

(Yep, I'm still reading. Sorry I missed this when it was first posted.)

Dale Carrico said...

Nato, my friend! Good to hear from you!