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robertogreco : gothichightech   5

On the Political Dimensions of Solarpunk — Medium
[via: http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/131978924858/dont-ask-permission-from-a-state-beholden-to]

"Don’t ask permission from a state beholden to oligarchs, and definitely don’t expect those oligarchs to do any of this for you. Guerilla gardening is the model, but look further. Guerilla solar panel installation. Guerilla water treatment facility restoration. Guerilla magnificent temple to the human spirit construction. Guerilla carbon sequestration megastructure creation.

Figure out what a community needs to be prosperous, peaceful and sustainable in as long a term as you can wrap your head around, and start building whatever piece is most in reach before the absent state notices. Doing so just might create pockets of more effective, horizontal politics. As the state wanes, these pockets can grow in size and influence, creating a better world even if some government claims the authority of law and holds a monopoly on violence.

Now, political choices got us into this mess, and political choices could get us out. I for one argue for a comprehensive set of reforms that were inspired by the discussions held around the world during Occupy: a global debt jubilee to free both countries and individuals from debts that impoverish and enslave them; a tax on extreme wealth to control inequality and rein in the power of oligarchs; a guaranteed basic income to provide for the poor, the infirm and those more useful as caregivers, artists and thinkers than employees of businesses; a dramatic reduction in the workweek to slow down unsustainable levels of economic expansion and to eliminate the countless “bullshit jobs” that serve no function but to bore those who hold them; the regulation or even abolition of usury (once considered as great a sin as slavery), so that investments in sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in cathedral time are not hampered by interest payments that will eventually exceed principal."



"As I argued in my discussion of cities, solarpunk should be careful not to idealize either the gothic high tech or the favela chic. No matter how many High Line-style parks or vertical farms they build, Manhattan will be useless if it is only filled with the luxury condos of absentee financiers. And favelas may be full of jugaad-innovation and dense with diverse entrepreneurialism, but they feature a fatal flaw: no fire codes. Slums are fascinating from a design perspective right up until they burn down or wash away. In a world of more extreme weather, disasters will strike down favelas before their recycling-centric, low-carbon lifestyles can save the climate.

Instead, I like the idea of focusing on large-scale infrastructure projects that will provide value for communities into the long term. A seed bank; a hyper-dense vertical permaculture farm engineered for carbon fixing; a massive, low-maintenance desalination system; a space elevator. These projects could themselves be the organizing principle around which unique solarpunk communities are organized."



"I’ve seen many people describe solarpunk as optimistic. My last suggestion is this: don’t be optimistic, be hopeful. As Vaclav Havel explained: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Havel, an artist turned activist turned statesman who led his nation out of a time of crisis, in many ways embodies the transformational power of ideas and aesthetics — and thus the potential of a movement like solarpunk to do real good in the world.

This essay has been long, and it has discussed many troubling situations and possibilities. I wrote these things because I think it is important for any cohesive body of political thought to contrast what it wants with what it opposes: for transparency and privacy, against surveillance and deception; for conservation and abundance, against hoarding and exploitation; for neighborhoods and collaboratives, against gangs and police.

I also wrote this because I believe the enormity of our problems doesn’t have to paralyze us. Quite the opposite: seeing the world as it is is vital if you are going to figure out how it could be. Now is the moment to be galvanized, to know that we are on to something, and to make acting on these ideas a real part of our lives."
solarpunk  2015  andrewdanahudson  politics  favelachic  gothichightech  recycling  diy  optimism  hopefulness  scale  activism  jugaad  infrastructure  organization  horizontality  sustainability  solar  water  climatechange  gardening  hope  refugees  longnow  longnowfoundation  williamgibson  madmax  paolobacigalupi  bladerunner  overconsumption  overpopulation  thecomingrevolution  cities  urban  urbanism  brucesterling  drought  blackswans 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Network Society as ‘high decadence’ | Beyond The Beyond
"*Now that we’ve actually got a network society, we’re gonna see a lot of harrowing-critical-reassessment material of this kind. Mostly because we’re not happier for it and the general situation stinks.

*Nicholas Carr, Jaron Lanier, Andrew Keen, these guys were like the first robins in spring. Note that this kind of criticism is NOT the same as those who opposed digitalization in the first place; this isn’t Luddism, it’s retrospective in tone. “Look what has been lost. We don’t think the same, our capacity to act is diminished, we are reduced to components and gadgets, those in power over us lack accountability,” etc etc. In Gothic High-Tech, awe at the sublime power of Moore’s Law machinery is replaced by a perception that public life is febrile, rotten, fraudulent and decadent."
networksociety  web  brucesterling  internet  adamcurtis  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  documentary  jaronlanier  nicholascarr  andrewkeen  luddism  gothichightech  society  technology  culture  politics  hierarchy  networks  networkculture  well-being  machineslavery  machines  ideology  systems  systemsthinking  social 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Keen On… Bruce Sterling: What Comes After the Future? (TCTV)
"So what comes after the future? I asked Bruce Sterling at SXSW.

But, for Bruce, the future is really the past. “I like narratives,” he told me, while explaining why the most “effective” futurists are good historians. So perhaps, using this logic, what comes after the future is history.

And Bruce is certainly an effective futurist as well as a good historian. Which is why when I asked him about today’s Internet obsession with “the social,” he riffed with dark euphoria about the history of socialism as well as what it’s like to be a 15-year-old kid with no knowledge of the past.

Check out yesterday’s interview with Bruce when he explains why hactivism isn’t compatible with democracy and what the difference is between gothic high tech and favela chic."
brucesterling  future  favelachic  gothichightech  2011  hactivism  sxsw  sciencefiction  futurism 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Al Jazeera's Egypt coverage embarrasses U.S. cable news channels - War Room - Salon.com
"The English-language version of the Arab network is making the failures of cheap American cable "news" obvious"
aljazeera  egypt  news  cablenews  politics  gothichightech  media  2011  us 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Keynote: Bruce Sterling (us) on Atemporality | transmediale
"If progress is to go beyond the banal indulgences that give rise to a never-ending array of car shell designs then we need to analyse our present time with regard to its aesthetics and its media. The second conference session is being introduced with Bruce Sterling's Keynote on Atemporality."

[transcript here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/02/atemporality-for-the-creative-artist/ ]
atemporality  brucesterling  future  history  culture  art  technology  design  philosophy  time  creativity  theory  research  2010  media  community  sciencefiction  scifi  roleplaying  favelachic  informationvisualization  williamgibson  humanities  databases  literature  collaboration  multitemporal  analog  digital  gothichightech  futuritynow  collectiveintelligence  networks  networkculture  postmodernism  failedstates  collapse  narrative  resilience  decay  failure 
february 2010 by robertogreco

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