A Seminar About Long-term Thinking featuring Bruce Sterling examining The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole.
He treated the subject of hyper-acceleration of technology as a genuine threat worth alleviating and as a fond fantasy worth cruel dismemberment.
One reason lots of people don't want to think long term these days is because technology keeps accelerating so rapidly, we assume the world will become unrecognizable in a few years and then move on to unimaginable. Long-term thinking must be either impossible or irrelevant.
The commonest shorthand term for the runaway acceleration of technology is "the Singularity" - a concept introduced by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge in 1984. The term has been enthusiastically embraced by technology historians, futurists, extropians, and various trans-humanists and post-humanists, who have generated variants such as "the techno-rapture," "the Spike," etc.- The Long Now Foundation
Michael Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which defined the cyberpunk genre.
In 2003 he was appointed Professor at the European Graduate School where he is teaching Summer Intensive Courses on media and design. In 2005, he became "visionary in residence" at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment. Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of power to make life easier or more pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is concerned with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things happen. Technology began to influence human endeavour as soon as people began using tools. It accelerated with the Industrial Revolution and the substitution of machines for animal and human labour. Accelerated technological development has also had costs, in terms of air and water pollution and other undesirable environmental effects.
While I find myself in agreement, Bruce is just being cynical for the sake of interesting. He is good at what he does, being profound and a great power point stand up comedian, but in the same talk he both dismisses the idea of revolutionary, paradigm shattering technological growth, as well as embrace and affirm it. He is an amazing human being in creating new expletives and derogatives and slogans and catchphrases, and stringing them into a pastiche (and he is certainly more charitable than the asshole Dale) but what exactly has he added that wasn't already clear before the talk? The only thing that just happened is that slapstick Bruce took home a check for telling the same story again, and a whole flock of 'hipsters' (oh how I hate that word) will be quoting his selection of catchphrases for 3d6 months.
Bruce you forgot about the OCE in your lineup !
This is the best talk I've ever seen on the internet. It's too bad that the question period, which was also brilliant, was not included in the video. It's available in the audio file in the link above.
Sound recorded incorrectly with just an open camera microphone is completely inadequate. I'm a sound engineer and so it's particularly annoying to hear so much bad sound on the net, not just in this lecture but everywhere. It is a real pity for I, too, was hoping to be able to learn from the excellent speaker.