recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : warrenellis   49

Zuihitsu - Wikipedia
“Zuihitsu (随筆) is a genre of Japanese literature consisting of loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas that typically respond to the author’s surroundings. The name is derived from two Kanji meaning “at will” and “pen.” The provenance of the term is ultimately Chinese, zuihitsu being the Sino-Japanese reading (on’yomi) of 随筆 (Mandarin: suíbǐ), the native reading (kun’yomi) of which is fude ni shitagau (“follow the brush”).[1] Thus works of the genre should be considered not as traditionally planned literary pieces but rather as casual or randomly recorded thoughts by the authors.”

[via: https://warrenellis.ltd/isles/zuihitsu-or-follow-the-brush/

“I have long had the notion that zuihitsu is, in fact, the sort of writing that weblog software best enables. That these are not diaries but fragments. Zuihitsu and fragment writing has fascinated me for a long time. I created the jotter category here to try and give myself permission for “casual or randomly recorded thoughts.”

I tend to re-read HOJOKI and ESSAYS IN IDLENESS once every year or two. A previous writing location of mine, Morning Computer, was intended as a home for this kind of fragment writing, but I found myself constrained by a place that was just that. I may be Full Hermit Forever, but I still need to be able to send signals out into the world, and it gives me pleasure to be able to draw your attention, reader, to the things in the world that I like.

We in the Isles of Blogging should consider ourselves allowed to follow the brush more.”]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dj%C5%8Dki ]
zuihitsu  japan  literature  writing  howwewrite  essays  words  place  surroundings  japanese  hojoki  idleness  hermits  warrenellis  diaries  classideas  jottings 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
ORBITAL OPERATIONS: Alive And A King - OO 18 Feb 18
"2

Damien Williams on a book about animal tool-use [https://social-epistemology.com/2018/02/13/deleting-the-human-clause-damien-williams/ ] and the "human clause" -

Shew says that we consciously and unconsciously appended a “human clause” to all of our definitions of technology, tool use, and intelligence, and this clause’s presumption—that it doesn’t really “count” if humans aren’t the ones doing it—is precisely what has to change.

Tracking Elon Musk's car through space.

Eight reasons why Facebook has peaked.

Does anyone else find it odd that selfies still get more likes and engagement on Instagram than anything else?


3

Via Nabil, this interview with Jason Kottke [http://orbitaloperations.createsend1.com/t/d-l-ojdgtl-iroiiuht-i/ ], a survivor of the first wave of "professional bloggers," is interesting.
The way I’ve been thinking about it lately is that I am like a vaudevillian. I’m the last guy dancing on the stage, by myself, and everyone else has moved on to movies and television. The Awl and The Hairpin have folded. Gawker’s gone, though it would probably still be around if it hadn’t gotten sued out of existence.

On the other hand, blogging is kind of everywhere. Everyone who’s updating their Facebook pages and tweeting and posting on Instagram and Pinterest is performing a bloggish act.

The Republic Of Newsletters.

The Invisible College of Blogs.

Kottke notes that he gave up on RSS when Google Reader shut down. So did some websites. But not all of them, not by a long chalk. And RSS readers like Feedbin work just fine, even in tandem with phone apps like Reeder. (I know other people who swear by Feedly.)

In part of a long thread about the Mueller indictments, my old acquaintance Baratunde Thurston said:
We build a giant deception machine called marketing and advertising, and an adversary used it against us.

We build a giant influence machine called social media, and an adversary used it against us.

These two lines apply to pretty much everything on and about the internet in the 2010s, too.
When I was young, living down the road in Essex, where radio was born (in a Marconi hut outside Chelmsford), radio came out of wooden boxes. Switches and dials. I liked the way my old radios imposed architecture on a world of invisible waves. A red needle, numbers, a speedometer for signals. Physical switching between Medium Wave, FM and Long Wave. Ramps and streets and windows. To me, it gave radio a structure like the false topology of the Tube map.

That was me, from a few years ago. I bet, at some point, there were Tube maps made for certain blogging continuums.

Why am I going on about this again? Because you like reading. You wouldn't be here if you didn't like reading. The "pivot to video" narrative of last year turned out to be basically Facebook's way to kill publishers, and it was a great doomsday weapon. Get publishers to fire all their writers and get video makers in. Then kill publishers' ability to reach people on Facebook with video! It was genius, and you need to understand how insidious that was.

(Also ref. Chris Hardwick's recent Twitter rant about the terrible timeshifting Instagram is doing.)

Tumblr's so fucked up that you could probably take it over between you. And set up systems with IFTTT as simple as mailing your posts to yourself so you have an archive for when the ship goes down.

The Republic and the College are pro-reading, pro-thinking, pro- the independence of voices.

In 2015, I also wrote:
I’m an edge case. I want an untangled web. I want everything I do to copy back to a single place, so I have one searchable log for each day’s thoughts, images, notes and activities. This is apparently Weird and Hermetic if not Hermitic.

I am building my monastery walls in preparation for the Collapse and the Dark Ages, damnit. Stop enabling networked lightbulbs and give me the tools to survive your zombie planet.
"



"4

Back in 2012, I had the great honour of introducing reporter Greg Palast to an audience in London, and this is part of what I said:

I'm a writer of fiction. It's fair to wonder why I'm here. I'm the last person who should be standing here talking about a book about real tragedies and economics. I come from a world where even the signposts are fictional. Follow the white rabbit. Second star to the right and straight on til morning. And a more recent one, from forty years ago, the fictional direction given by a mysterious man to an eager journalist: follow the money.

Economics is an artform. It's the art of the invisible. Money is fictional.

The folding cash in your pocket isn't real. Look at it. It's a promissory note. "I promise to pay the bearer." It's a little story, a fiction that claims your cash can be redeemed for the equivalent in goods or gold. But it won't be, because there isn't enough gold to go around. So you're told that your cash is "legal tender," which means that everyone agrees to pretend it's like money. If everyone in this room went to The Bank Of England tomorrow and said "I would like you to redeem all my cash for gold, right here, in my hand" I guarantee you that you all would see some perfect expressions of stark fucking terror.

It's not real. Cash has never been real. It's a stand-in, a fiction, a symbol that denotes money. Money that you never see. There was a time when money was sea shells, cowries. That's how we counted money once. Then written notes, then printed notes. Then telegraphy, when money was dots and dashes, and then telephone calls. Teletypes and tickers. Into the age of the computer, money as datastreams that got faster and wider, leading to latency realty where financial houses sought to place their computers in physical positions that would allow them to shave nanoseconds off their exchanges of invisible money in some weird digital feng shui, until algorithmic trading began and not only did we not see the money any more, but we can barely even see what's moving the money, and now we have people talking about strange floating computer islands to beat latency issues and even, just a few weeks ago, people planning to build a neutrino cannon on the other side of the world that actually beams financial events through the centre of the planet itself at lightspeed. A money gun.

Neutrinos are subatomic units that are currently believed to be their own antiparticle. Or, to put it another way, they are both there and not there at the same time. Just like your cash. Just like fiction: a real thing that never happened. Money is an idea.

But I don't want to make it sound small. Because it's really not. Money is one of those few ideas that pervades the matter of the planet. One of those few bits of fiction that, if it turns its back on you, can kill you stone dead."
warrenellis  2018  damienwilliams  multispecies  morethanhuman  blogging  economics  communities  community  newsletters  googlereader  rss  feedly  feedbin  radio  reading  chrishardwick  instagram  timelines  socialmedia  facebook  selfies  aggregator  monasteries  networks  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  gregpalast  fiction  money  capitialism  cash  tumblr  ifttt  internet  web  online  reeder 
february 2018 by robertogreco
No one’s coming. It’s up to us. – Dan Hon – Medium
"Getting from here to there

This is all very well and good. But what can we do? And more precisely, what “we”? There’s increasing acceptance of the reality that the world we live in is intersectional and we all play different and simultaneous roles in our lives. The society of “we” includes technologists who have a chance of affecting the products and services, it includes customers and users, it includes residents and citizens.

I’ve made this case above, but I feel it’s important enough to make again: at a high level, I believe that we need to:

1. Clearly decide what kind of society we want; and then

2. Design and deliver the technologies that forever get us closer to achieving that desired society.

This work is hard and, arguably, will never be completed. It necessarily involves compromise. Attitudes, beliefs and what’s considered just changes over time.

That said, the above are two high level goals, but what can people do right now? What can we do tactically?

What we can do now

I have two questions that I think can be helpful in guiding our present actions, in whatever capacity we might find ourselves.

For all of us: What would it look like, and how might our societies be different, if technology were better aligned to society’s interests?

At the most general level, we are all members of a society, embedded in existing governing structures. It certainly feels like in the recent past, those governing structures are coming under increasing strain, and part of the blame is being laid at the feet of technology.

One of the most important things we can do collectively is to produce clarity and prioritization where we can. Only by being clearer and more intentional about the kind of society we want and accepting what that means, can our societies and their institutions provide guidance and leadership to technology.

These are questions that cannot and should not be left to technologists alone. Advances in technology mean that encryption is a societal issue. Content moderation and censorship are a societal issue. Ultimately, it should be for governments (of the people, by the people) to set expectations and standards at the societal level, not organizations accountable only to a board of directors and shareholders.

But to do this, our governing institutions will need to evolve and improve. It is easier, and faster, for platforms now to react to changing social mores. For example, platforms are responding in reaction to society’s reaction to “AI-generated fake porn” faster than governing and enforcing institutions.

Prioritizations may necessarily involve compromise, too: the world is not so simple, and we are not so lucky, that it can be easily and always divided into A or B, or good or not-good.

Some of my perspective in this area is reflective of the schism American politics is currently experiencing. In a very real way, America, my adoptive country of residence, is having to grapple with revisiting the idea of what America is for. The same is happening in my country of birth with the decision to leave the European Union.

These are fundamental issues. Technologists, as members of society, have a point of view on them. But in the way that post-enlightenment governing institutions were set up to protect against asymmetric distribution of power, technology leaders must recognize that their platforms are now an undeniable, powerful influence on society.

As a society, we must do the work to have a point of view. What does responsible technology look like?

For technologists: How can we be humane and advance the goals of our society?

As technologists, we can be excited about re-inventing approaches from first principles. We must resist that impulse here, because there are things that we can do now, that we can learn now, from other professions, industries and areas to apply to our own. For example:

* We are better and stronger when we are together than when we are apart. If you’re a technologist, consider this question: what are the pros and cons of unionizing? As the product of a linked network, consider the question: what is gained and who gains from preventing humans from linking up in this way?

* Just as we create design patterns that are best practices, there are also those that represent undesired patterns from our society’s point of view known as dark patterns. We should familiarise ourselves with them and each work to understand why and when they’re used and why their usage is contrary to the ideals of our society.

* We can do a better job of advocating for and doing research to better understand the problems we seek to solve, the context in which those problems exist and the impact of those problems. Only through disciplines like research can we discover in the design phase — instead of in production, when our work can affect millions — negative externalities or unintended consequences that we genuinely and unintentionally may have missed.

* We must compassionately accept the reality that our work has real effects, good and bad. We can wish that bad outcomes don’t happen, but bad outcomes will always happen because life is unpredictable. The question is what we do when bad things happen, and whether and how we take responsibility for those results. For example, Twitter’s leadership must make clear what behaviour it considers acceptable, and do the work to be clear and consistent without dodging the issue.

* In America especially, technologists must face the issue of free speech head-on without avoiding its necessary implications. I suggest that one of the problems culturally American technology companies (i.e., companies that seek to emulate American culture) face can be explained in software terms. To use agile user story terminology, the problem may be due to focusing on a specific requirement (“free speech”) rather than the full user story (“As a user, I need freedom of speech, so that I can pursue life, liberty and happiness”). Free speech is a means to an end, not an end, and accepting that free speech is a means involves the hard work of considering and taking a clear, understandable position as to what ends.

* We have been warned. Academics — in particular, sociologists, philosophers, historians, psychologists and anthropologists — have been warning of issues such as large-scale societal effects for years. Those warnings have, bluntly, been ignored. In the worst cases, those same academics have been accused of not helping to solve the problem. Moving on from the past, is there not something that we technologists can learn? My intuition is that post the 2016 American election, middle-class technologists are now afraid. We’re all in this together. Academics are reaching out, have been reaching out. We have nothing to lose but our own shame.

* Repeat to ourselves: some problems don’t have fully technological solutions. Some problems can’t just be solved by changing infrastructure. Who else might help with a problem? What other approaches might be needed as well?

There’s no one coming. It’s up to us.

My final point is this: no one will tell us or give us permission to do these things. There is no higher organizing power working to put systemic changes in place. There is no top-down way of nudging the arc of technology toward one better aligned with humanity.

It starts with all of us.

Afterword

I’ve been working on the bigger themes behind this talk since …, and an invitation to 2017’s Foo Camp was a good opportunity to try to clarify and improve my thinking so that it could fit into a five minute lightning talk. It also helped that Foo Camp has the kind of (small, hand-picked — again, for good and ill) influential audience who would be a good litmus test for the quality of my argument, and would be instrumental in taking on and spreading the ideas.

In the end, though, I nearly didn’t do this talk at all.

Around 6:15pm on Saturday night, just over an hour before the lightning talks were due to start, after the unconference’s sessions had finished and just before dinner, I burst into tears talking to a friend.

While I won’t break the societal convention of confidentiality that helps an event like Foo Camp be productive, I’ll share this: the world felt too broken.

Specifically, the world felt broken like this: I had the benefit of growing up as a middle-class educated individual (albeit, not white) who believed he could trust that institutions were a) capable and b) would do the right thing. I now live in a country where a) the capability of those institutions has consistently eroded over time, and b) those institutions are now being systematically dismantled, to add insult to injury.

In other words, I was left with the feeling that there’s nothing left but ourselves.

Do you want the poisonous lead removed from your water supply? Your best bet is to try to do it yourself.

Do you want a better school for your children? Your best bet is to start it.

Do you want a policing policy that genuinely rehabilitates rather than punishes? Your best bet is to…

And it’s just. Too. Much.

Over the course of the next few days, I managed to turn my outlook around.

The answer, of course, is that it is too much for one person.

But it isn’t too much for all of us."
danhon  technology  2018  2017  johnperrybarlow  ethics  society  calltoaction  politics  policy  purpose  economics  inequality  internet  web  online  computers  computing  future  design  debchachra  ingridburrington  fredscharmen  maciejceglowski  timcarmody  rachelcoldicutt  stacy-marieishmael  sarahjeong  alexismadrigal  ericmeyer  timmaughan  mimionuoha  jayowens  jayspringett  stacktivism  georginavoss  damienwilliams  rickwebb  sarawachter-boettcher  jamebridle  adamgreenfield  foocamp  timoreilly  kaitlyntiffany  fredturner  tomcarden  blainecook  warrenellis  danhill  cydharrell  jenpahljka  robinray  noraryan  mattwebb  mattjones  danachisnell  heathercamp  farrahbostic  negativeexternalities  collectivism  zeyneptufekci  maciejcegłowski 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Folklore Situationism – MORNING, COMPUTER
"NORTHERN EARTH gives me joy.  The September issue has a big, rich piece on psychogeography, phenomenology, landscape writing, history and, most tellingly for me, folklore.  For me, it tied right in to the mechanic of myth in STAR SHIPS – the transmission of lore through story. I’m still thinking about this talk I have to do next month, Myth And The River Of Time.

Moving through America, I always find myself noticing and thinking that American roads and bridges are named after Americans. I live in a country where roads and bridges are named for ghost stories.  Screaming Boy Lane and Boggart’s Bridge.

Dramatising the landscape, which we’ve done since megalithic times and before.

Landscape writing seems to eventually take a turn into nationalism.  I never quite got that. Myth is a commonwealth.  And you know that, somewhere, sometime, someone drives on one of those roads or bridges in America and leans back and tells a myth of the person it’s named for, a truth grown in time, a thing they did or saw that becomes story in the telling.

They have a website where you can buy a year’s subscription for ten pounds British."
warrenellis  2017  folklore  situationist  landscape  writing  us  naming  lore  myth  psychogeography  phenomenology 
september 2017 by robertogreco
ORBITAL OPERATIONS: Weird Shit International - OO 14 May 17
"More recently, I learned of Black Mountain College, from one of Iain Sinclair's better latter-day books, AMERICAN SMOKE (UK) (US).  Black Mountain College interests me because it seems mostly metaphorical: it's the idea of a strange cross-contamination zone of a college. Even the name! More interesting to me than, say, the idea of a Hartlib Circle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartlib_Circle ]
or Invisible College -- even though I'm a member of one or two of those, and run a private newsletter speaking to, in the immortal words of Charlie Stross, "the people, corporates, collectives, and bots I currently favor."  I like the invisible-college networks - information gets moved around, work gets done, contacts are maintained. But they are, by definition, not open. And all things good should (eventually) flow into the boulevard.

That's what this newsletter is, for me."

My friend Kyoko Kitamura sent me this recent quote from musician/composer Anthony Braxton:
"Each of you need to write about your music. "What are you doing?" "What do you think you are doing?" If you don't write about it, whatever you think you are doing, you might forget it. Maybe you need to sit down and ask the question "What am I doing?" and write it out...Me, I'm always taking notes on my system...Each of you, in my opinion, would do a very good thing by sitting down and asking yourself "What the f- am I doing? I say I like music, I'm not even sure if I like music, but maybe I do like music. What am I doing? Where am I going with it? Is it just about a gig?"...Each of us has to take that responsibility. That's a RESPONSIBILITY. If you're going to be broke and crazy, at least do your best. And part of doing your best is defining things in a way where it's possible to EVOLVE. If there's no clarity, if everything is murky, then you might not be using all of your forces in the best possible way depending on what you are looking at and depending on what you want for yourself...I would say, "Hey, don't be such a nice a person." You need to get angry about something... You need to remember that we don't live in heaven. THIS IS NOT HEAVEN. THIS IS COMPOSITE REALITY. It's much better than the concept of heaven. With composite reality, everything is happening. This is why you have to navigate through form. Part of navigation is including yourself and your life..."

The Weird Shit International. Black Mountain College. Everything is happening. Navigating from the Thames Delta."
warrenellis  blackmountaincollege  2017  iainsinclair  networks  invisiblecollege  hartlibcircle  newsletters  bmc  charliestross  collectives  howwelearn  howwmake  anthonybraxton  kyokokitamura  compositereality  responsibility 
may 2017 by robertogreco
WARREN ELLIS chronofile-minimal
"You’re spending too much time thinking about what other people might think and too much time second-guessing yourself. Go where your energy is, and when you come to a point where you need to make a story choice, go with the less comfortable one.  It’s only time and paper. Ride the wrong way for a while and see what happens."
warrenellis  writing  life  living  2017  exploration  howwewrite 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Ditch Priest | MORNING, COMPUTER
"“Kinyo no Nii had an elder brother called Abbot Ryōgaku who was very hot-tempered. A large hackberry tree grew alongside his hut, so people called him ‘the Hackberry Priest’. Offended by this, he cut the tree down. The stump was left, so he was then called ‘the Stump Priest’. This made him angrier still, and he dug the stump out, leaving a large hole that filled with water. So then everyone called him ‘the Ditch Priest’.”

This is from ESSAYS IN IDLENESS (UK) (US) [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0141192100/ ]. It is, essentially, the cousin of the joke that ends with “…but you fuck one pig…”

I like this story from IDLENESS because it illustrates that thing where continually acting out of anger and offendedness doesn’t ever seem to really get you anywhere that you want to be. Also, that Ryogaku would have been much happier to be known as The Priest Who Made An Example Of One Guy By Coldly And Calmly Shoving A Hackberry Bush Right Down That One Guy’s Fucking Throat."
warrenellis  anger  offendedness  fables  kamonochōmei  yoshidakenkō  spite  2016 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Greetings from a Ghost Town | Technoccult
"My friends who write newsletters tend to start them off by noting where they are. A coffee shop or a train or park bench. I don’t usually do that because I’m pretty much always writing from my desk in my home office since the only coffee shop within a mile of my house is a Starbucks in a shopping center. And because writing with my laptop in my lap, instead of on a table or desk, gives me shoulder pain for days afterword, which limits the amount of writing I can do on the go.

Warren Ellis, on the other hand, has taken to introducing his writings with variations on the phrase “Greetings from out here on the Thames Delta” when he’s writing from home.

“‘Out here on the Thames Delta” is starting to sound like my ‘Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, my hometown,'” he wrote in one newsletter. More recently he’s noted that the term is sort of a joke. But I like the idea of a personal codename for the place I live. I’m putting down roots here, and since I work from home and don’t get out much, I spend the vast majority of my time here.

But where is “here,” exactly? The obvious answer would my neighborhood: Park Rose Heights. But not only does that sound like a retirement community, but it also seems a bit too narrow. Parkrose Heights is just a few square miles of houses, apartment buildings, and, yes, retirement communities. What makes it a unique place are the areas that surround it, the context the neighborhood exists within.

Parkrose Heights is part of, or adjacent to, an area of town known as Gateway. “The Gateway area” is actually where I tell people I live, because no one has heard of Parkrose Heights. But that feels like it’s missing some context too. The gateway to what, exactly?

Well, it’s the gateway to East Portland, but this requires some explanation since when many people hear the term “East Porltand” they think it means all of Portland east of the Willamette River. And indeed, there was once a township on the east side called “East Portland,” back before it and the town of Albina merged with the City of Portland.

But today the name East Portland is used to refer to the parts of Portland east of 82nd Ave., which was the border of the city until the East Portland neighborhoods were annexed in the mid-80s.

But the name “East Portland” isn’t just confusing. Inner Portland actually feels like a port town. The name of the city is descriptive. Out here in East Portland, which looks nothing like the city you see in Portlandia, it feels like a misnomer.

So what about a more geographic name, like “Thames Delta” that describes the physical landscape? I live on the Columbia Ridge. Just south of the Columbia River, just east of Rocky Butte, a couple hours by car west of Celilo Falls, the site of what was, until 1957, the longest continually inhabited settlement in North America. Ah, now that’s a place.

And “Columbia Ridge” has a double meaning. It was the name of a proposed city that would have been composed of the then unincorporated neighborhoods east of 82nd Ave., as well as the closer-in Cully neighborhood, before they were all subsumed by Portland.

Columbia Ridge is a ghost town. Not in the sense of being an abandoned city inhabited by ghosts. Rather, the city itself is a ghost, a specter haunting the minds of the people living within its hypothetical borders even today.

Hello there from the Columbia Ridge."
names  naming  place  warrenellis  klintfinley  location  2015  context 
june 2015 by robertogreco
6, 55: Dilution of precision
"Some things are hard to understand until you’ve stood in them. Anthropologist Genevieve Bell (at 1:09, in the third video down) told executives at Intel how small living spaces in China could be, but when they went and stood in the places that she had described clearly, they were still surprised. “I can touch all the walls!”

Travel is a way of accumulating this embodied knowledge. Gazing up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Climbing up the passageway in the Great Pyramid at Giza. Standing in the shadow of redwoods. When we decided to take a weekend roadtrip in California, we really didn’t have to discuss what we’d go see: both of us have been thinking a lot about infrastructure and about the California drought, so we drew up a tentative plan, woke up early, and headed east from Santa Cruz towards Interstate Highway 5, to visit one of the most significant pieces of water infrastructure in California."



"Infrastructure is the set of systems that enable you to do what you do that you never think about. Power, water, heating, communications – all the things that (if you’re lucky enough) is just piped to your house – are never noticed until something goes wrong. As Warren Ellis put it this morning, “The victory condition [of utilities] is silence.” Then there’s the larger-scale infrastructure, like the highway system. We spent a lot of time on I-5, an economic backbone of the West Coast, running from Tijuana, Mexico to Blaine, Canada. But because it’s not in crisis, we don’t think about it much. We don’t take a weekend to stand on hills overlooking it. Likewise GPS, and stable currency, and mobile phone coverage."

[Also available here: http://tinyletter.com/metafoundry/letters/metafoundry-35-dilution-of-precision ]
perspective  infrastructure  2015charlieloyd  debchachra  2015  californiaaqueduct  california  water  californiastatewaterproject  agriculture  centralvalley  sanjoaquinvalley  sanluisreservoir  perception  scale  warrenellis  landscape  genevievebell  china  housing  i5  interstate5  i-5  food  farming 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Littoral Space — Matter — Medium
"The littoral zone is defined as the intertidal segment of a beach, from the splash region above the high-water mark to full submergence of the shore. It’s the part that is constantly shifting and changing. You can certainly measure the high-water mark with a strong degree of accuracy over years, but you can’t predict how the spray will land when the tide is high, and the waves will do as they wish. The ocean has its own agency, and the sand is always shifting under your feet.

I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for something approaching 25 years, now. For most writers, me included, that is a littoral space to live in.

The sand is always shifting under my feet. The tides are broadly predictable on an ordinary day, but there aren’t many ordinary days. There have been days out here where a storm system has been bouncing around the estuary, travelling out of sight towards the far tip of the Kent coast, and then ricocheting off and dragging the river with it to unexpectedly smash up against our walls. Sometimes a weather system will get stuck and wheel over the town for days. Every now and then, some nightmare storm will brew up in a dark and unseen region of the North Sea and then hammer up the river like the Mongol Horde in full stampede."



"You discover, later, that you’re not good enough, or not lucky enough, or not present enough, and you made too many important decisions on the fly because you were too busy or too scattered or too tired, and that you’re never going to be that person who writes one of those inspirational blog posts about success. You’re in your 40s and you’re still standing on the shore, keeping a wary eye on the riptide, because you know that all the small things you’ve built could be swept away overnight."
littoralzone  warrenellis  writing  freelancing  2015  life  economics  impermanence  change  jacobmagraw  liminalspaces  liminality 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Internet Of Things And Things. | MORNING, COMPUTER
"The term “Internet Of Things” is a desperate attempt to make a pointer for a field that barely exists yet.  We do this a lot these days.  We use the word “television” to point at a field of industry that doesn’t particularly use television sets anymore.  We use the word “telephone” for a class of mobile devices that we very rarely use telephonically anymore.  And we act like the term “Internet Of Things” makes sense for the field we’re trying to define.  And, unless the modern internet was originally biological in nature, it was always an internet of things.  I always got my internet out of boxes of various kinds.  Didn’t you?  If you think Internet of Things is a good name, did you previously obtain your connection through whalesong or echolocation?  Did you pour Soylent on your Internet Lobe to get online?  Did you send your packets by raven? It’s always been an internet of things, and those people have never been any good at naming stuff, and that’s how we ended up with “tweets.”"
warrenellis  internetofthings  iot  2015  television  telephones  internet  language  naming  classification 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis Esquire Essay - Warren Ellis Technology Column
"Regardless of what you think of Uber and its corporate behavior, the lesson should not go unlearned: If you build your business on top of someone else's system, eventually they're going to notice. Just last week, the livestreaming app Meerkat, which uses Twitter to transmit, felt a cold breeze pass through the room when Twitter bought the competing system Periscope, which will doubtless be baked into Twitter as soon as possible. Digital businesses can murder and haunt their own parasites.

In the midst of all this? Rich, crazy Elon Musk, who intends to put large and efficient electric batteries into people's homes. Which may not be one of his weird side projects, like Hyperloop, especially since Apple is hiring his car-makers away, and their car sales and shipments are under the projected numbers. And because it fits right in with the "disruption" thing. You know Musk has a solar panel company, right? This seems quite clever: SolarCity will let you lease their panels, or you can take out a 30-year loan with them. SolarCity doesn't charge you for installing or maintaining the system, and you pay SolarCity for the power the system generates, thereby paying off the loan. Electricity as a mortgage. Now, combine that with a rechargeable fuel cell in your home that could probably power your house for at least a week all on its own. Welcome to Basic Utilities Disruption.

Have you been reading this and thinking, Hmm, I'm not very interested in technology and disruption and ghosts and whatever else the hell you're talking about? Well, I bet you're interested in a future where it remains cost-effective for your local electricity substations to be maintained even after a critical number of homes in your area have gone off the grid, or, in the extreme open-market scenario, if it remains cost-effective to even supply electricity to your town at all. And what unforeseeable haunting might happen in the chilly aftermath...

We only sleep at night because Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Elon Musk don't want our businesses. Yet.

Facebook and Google fighting with balloons and drones to bring internet to Africa. Apple making Big Phones. Android NFC wallets versus Apple Pay. iCloud and Amazon Storage. You know what'll happen once these self-driving consumer-facing services go online? They'll be doing same-day purchase deliveries, going head-to-head with Amazon in cities, a fuller and faster version of Google's piloted Shopping Express. Jeff Bezos owns a rocket development firm, by the way, so maybe go carefully with that. Oh, and Apple apparently want into enterprise support business, which will put them against Amazon, where all the enterprise data is stored, and, of course, sleepy, old Microsoft.

Keep breathing. Stay warm. Things are going to get weirder yet."
warrenellis  2015  elonmusk  tesla  energy  publicutilities  utilities  solar  apple  google  microsoft  amazon  facebook  uber  technology  capitalism  competition  electricity  batteries  cars  self-drivingcars  solarcity 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Online Memory | MORNING, COMPUTER
"According to WordPress trackbacks, I have quite rightly been pulled up by a few people for not making it clear in this post that, aside from Flurb, I was talking about print sf magazines. There were a few other infelicities in that post due to, ha ha, writing them first thing in the morning, which is what happens here. It’s called Morning Computer for a reason. I went back and added a couple of words to clear up some of my drool.

The thing about writing online is that, unless you have the time and inclination to go back and find and link all the posts you’ve made on a subject in the past, the reader’s assumption is often that you’re coming to it for the first time. So all the times I posted on warrenellis.com about the likes of online sf magazines such as Clarkesworld or Apex, for instance, don’t actually “count,” as it were. Which is fair enough, because we don’t expect readers to be aware of every single thing we’ve said on every topic in the past, too. It does, however, give interested parties a rhetorical club to work you over with. But you can’t blame anyone for that.

This fracturing of context is, I suspect, peculiar to these early decades of online writing. It’s possible that, in the future, webmentions and the like may heal that up to some extent. But everything from the 90s to today is going to remain mostly broken in that respect. Most of what we said and did had ephemerality long before apps started selling us ephemeral nature as a positive advertising point. Possibly no other generation threw so many words at such velocity into a deep dark well of ghosts.

To tie this back, I’m reminded of a quote Michael Moorcock once cited, from an author whose name ironically escapes me: that the majority of writers should be issued fountain pens with condoms slipped over their nibs, so that they can scribble away to their heart’s content without bothering anybody."
2014  warrenellis  memory  outboardmemory  digital  online  internet  web  writing  search  ephemerality  ephemeral 
november 2014 by robertogreco
I Had A Scheme | MORNING, COMPUTER
"Last night I dreamed of being able to curate a hub on Medium that was nothing but the confluence between the apocalyptic, the technological, the numinous, the archaic and the future. A Black Mountain College of the next new normal. Which is basically the space I’m thinking within all the time right now. I’m feeling very apocalyptic. I’m feeling like I want to explore it. In 1968, the year I was born, NEW WORLDS magazine ran a cover that contained a black-on-near-black graphic and the white text WHAT IS THE EXACT NATURE OF THE CATASTROPHE? The answer is both ahead and behind. Half of my brain is in deep time at present. I have a book on my shelf entitled APOCALYPTIC WITCHCRAFT.

“The Wild Hunt as living experience” is a phrase on the back cover.

(God, what if it’s just The New Hauntology? “We are as ghosts and might as well get good at it.”)

I’m a little worried about turning into the ghost of Terence McKenna and rattling on about The Archaic Revival for the rest of my days.

Anyway. I woke up and I was still poor, so I know it was a dream."

[Post referenced here too: http://morning.computer/2014/10/the-university-of-disaster/

"“Science itself is on the verge of a systemic crash, a philosophical coma. In the face of this crash, I suggested creating a “university of disaster”…”

That’s from THE ADMINISTRATION OF FEAR by Paul Virilio. Connects to “a Black Mountain College of the next new normal.” Imagine if the Health Goth look became, in response to First World Ebola, the street-level iteration of the medieval “plague doctor” look, jumping right past cheap hazmat suits. Extinction Symbol connects to Health Goth by its stark black-on-white nature. The symbol leaps out at you on streets, but may not look so out of place in hospitals. Rewilding becomes a reaction, not an active response, to First World Ebola because the African hot zone where this latest outbreak originates is so wild and unmanaged that WHO has to state that its infection stats should be speculatively multiplied by three, due to the simple fact that they can’t get reportage out of a significant chunk of the region. You may indeed want to go back to the woods when our cities become viral incubators, but that really just means that nobody will know who you’re spreading diseases to. The cities are where the medical care is. Unfortunately, people fly into them from all over the place, and so Bruce Sterling’s notion that cities will be filled with old people who are afraid of the sky takes on a whole new meaning. And suddenly we’re living in the old BBC tv series SURVIVORS from 1975, a prime year in classical British hauntology.

Someone just prototyped a litmus paper test for Ebola over the weekend. Virilio contends that “speed” is the defining element of the present-day condition. Speed as agency of fear.

Still just thinking out loud here."]
warrenellis  2014  bmc  blackmountaincollege  1968  witchcraft  hauntology  magic  petergrey  terenecemckenna  paulvirilio  extinction  speed  fear  ebola  rewilding 
november 2014 by robertogreco
She’s Leaving Home | MORNING, COMPUTER
"Ever since she’s been old enough to take herself to bed, her last stop of the night has been to come into the office for a cuddle and a little talk and to say goodnight.  We’re ten days from lift-off and now she feels like every little household routine and tradition is happening for close to the last time.  She’s eighteen now — she started toddling into this room at less than my seated shoulder height — and she’s holding on a little longer at night, taking things slower, making them last a little bit longer.  The woman I helped raise is leaving home.  Off to university in ten days.  She’s ready for it.  She’s excited.  But every now and then I see her feel the chill of sudden altitude in the pit of her stomach.  Off to live alone for the first time in a place she’s barely visited and doesn’t know anyone in.  Working without a net and hanging between handholds.

Never let them think you don’t feel the chill too.  Never let them think they’re alone.  Never hold them back.  Never let them think for a second that a handhold is out of reach."
warrenellis  parenting  2014  children  life  handholding  love  support  safety  independence 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » spektrmodule
"If you don’t know what you’re looking at: SPEKTRMODULE is a podcast of haunted, ambient and sleepy music I compile for my own amusement."

[via: https://twitter.com/debcha/status/430470298203590657 ]
sound  ambient  warrenellis  spektmodule  podcasts  buddhamachine  music 
february 2014 by robertogreco
UNDER TOMORROWS SKY
"UNDER TOMORROWS SKY IS A FICTIONAL, FUTURE CITY. SPECULATIVE ARCHITECT LIAM YOUNG OF THE LONDON BASED TOMORROWS THOUGHTS TODAY HAS ASSEMBLED A THINK TANK OF SCIENTISTS, TECHNOLOGISTS, FUTURISTS, ILLUSTRATORS, SCIENCE FICTION AUTHORS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS ARTISTS TO COLLECTIVELY DEVELOP THIS IMAGINARY PLACE, THE LANDSCAPES THAT SURROUND IT AND THE STORIES IT CONTAINS. ACROSS THE COURSE OF THE EXHIBITION INVITED GUESTS WILL WORK WITH THE CITY AS A STAGE SET TO DEVELOP A COLLECTION OF NARRATIVES, FILMS AND ILLUSTRATIONS. WANDER THROUGH THIS NEAR FUTURE WORLD AND EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES AND CONSEQUENCES OF TODAY’S EMERGING BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH. THE EXHIBITION OPENS FOR DUTCH DESIGN WEEK ON OCTOBER 20TH. THE UNDER TOMORROWS SKY PUBLIC THINK TANK WITH LIAM YOUNG, BRUCE STERLING, WARREN ELLIS, RACHEL ARMSTRONG, PAUL DUFFIELD, BLDGBLOG, EDIBLE GEOGRAPHY, NEXT NATURE, THE CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND IMAGINATION AND NEW SCIENTIST WAS HELD AT MU ON JUNE 16/17. YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEOS OF THE EVENT HERE. IN COLLABORATION WITH MU ART SPACE, EINDHOVEN AND THE 2013 LISBON ARCHITECTURE TRIENNALE. GET IN CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION"
liamyound  architecture  art  designfiction  scifi  urbanism  sciencefiction  warrenellis  brucesterling  rachelarmstrong  paulduffield  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  nicolatwilley  ediblegeography  cities  2013  future  urban  technology  futurism  illustration  writing  thinking  thinktank  landscapes 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Venture Ethnography 1: a bi(bli)ography « Justin Pickard
"Project Cascadia is the test-case for a cluster of ideas I’ve been playing with for the best part of five years. A chance to break out my signature obsessions …

Hauntings, world expos, gonzo journalism, science fiction, systems, geopolitics, utopianism, virtuality, globalisation, the sublime, resilience, collapsonomics, aesthetics, architecture, environmentalism, infrastructure, design, futures studies, sovereignty, atemporality, risk, the nation-state, the uncanny, Americana, technoscience, cyberpunk, multispecies ethnography, fiction, capitalism, the human senses, counterfactual history, media and cyborgs (and media cyborgs)

… and nail them to the mast of a weird and interstitial sort of boat; a soupy, hybrid writing practice that would combine the best of ethnography, journalism and science fiction.

In lieu of a biography, then, I’m offering a bibliography. Five years of my brain, in books, articles, essays, and blog posts…"
urbanism  jgballard  richardbarbrook  marcaugé  warrenellis  jenniferegan  bradleygarrett  donnaharaway  naomiklein  brunolatour  ursulaleguin  ianmacdonald  suketumehta  chinamieville  jimrossignol  michaeltaussig  huntersthompson  adamgreenfield  brucesterling  thomaspynchon  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  cityofsound  danhill  davidgraeber  matthewgandy  williamgibson  corydoctorow  douglascoupland  michaelchabon  jamaiscascio  laurenbeukes  journalism  mediacyborgs  cyborgs  geopolitics  aesthetics  utopianism  risk  atemporality  sovereignty  sciencefiction  cyberpunk  technoscience  ethnography  capitalism  globalization  collapsonomics  resilience  writing  projectcascadia  bibliographies  2011  justinpickard  bibliography 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis on futurism, the New Aesthetic, and why social media isn't killing our children | The Verge
"Futurism's gotten harder to write, because the future arrives so quickly — even a few years ago, I was having to rewrite comics on the fly because the future had caught up to their speculation before the damn book had been drawn — but it's too much fun to drop for long."

"The New Aesthetic is an act of noticing, as much as anything: we are already in a machine-vision world, we are already in a world where the digital is erupting into the physical, and we just didn't really notice it, in the entire breadth of its creeping wave, until now."

"It could become an artistic movement. But, to me, the New Aesthetic is about the sighting of the New Normal."

"I think blogging is a muscle that most people wear out. Also, Twitter's taken over the curational role in large part, so that the interesting weird stuff comes to me rather than me having to seek it out and paste it on my blog so I don't lose it. Tumblr's my visual notebook, these days."
curation  curating  thenewnormal  blogging  twitter  socialmedia  howwework  workflow  tumblr  future  society  technology  sciencefictioncon  sciencefictioncondition  noticing  newaesthetic  2012  warrenellis 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Improving Reality 2012 : Joanne Mcneil
[Try this link instead: http://www.joannemcneil.com/improving-reality/ ]

"Google privileges the relevant over the new — and our search habits on the web work the same. Why might I have guessed that after sitting there abandoned for thirty years, it would be gone just as I had the chance to see it? I made the mistake the people using that Haiti image had done — confused the past for the present.

I went out anyway, to see for myself, see the place in context, see if there was anything left. I stood there looking at my iPhone with Google Earth satellites telling me I should be in the middle of this fantastic place. But I was only standing in the pieces of what used to be.

The web has changed the way we think of time. We see examples of contemporary culture remixing the past, present, and future in celebrity holograms, instagram filters, WW2 in real time tweets."
improvingreality  leilajohnston  warrenellis  anajain  taiwan  taipei  sanzhr  images  ursualeguin  memory  conversation  community  accessibility  lifespan  mutability  timecapsules  timelines  friendster  reality  twitter  instagram  atemporality  newness  relevance  culture  web  google  search  perception  time  joannemcneil  2012  via:litherland 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » How To See The Future [What? Not yet bookmarked?] [Purposely tagged 'boredome'.]
"Can you even consider being part of a culture that could go to space and then stopped?

If the future is dead, then today we must summon it and learn how to see it properly.

[more examples]

We live in the future. We live in the Science Fiction Condition, where we can see under atoms and across the world and across the methane lakes of Titan. …

Understand that our present time is the furthest thing from banality. Reality as we know it is exploding with novelty every day.

To be a futurist, in pursuit of improving reality, is not to have your face continually turned upstream, waiting for the future to come. To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better.

Act like you live in the Science Fiction Condition. Act like you can do magic and hold séances for the future and build a brightness control for the sky.

Act like you live in a place where you could walk into space if you wanted. Think big. And then make it better."

[Video now here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLTs4RXM3vE ]
boredom  boredome  spacetravel  jgballard  philipkdick  takealookaroundyou  appreciation  science  sciencefictioncondition  rearviewmirror  space  nasa  voyager  voyager1  vintage  vintagespace  magic  weliveinamazingtimes  perspective  atemporality  iphone  googlegloves  googleglass  manufacturednormalcy  venkateshrao  reality  marshallmcluhan  noticing  hereandnow  now  lookaround  futurism  sciencefiction  2012  scifi  technology  future  warrenellis 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Booklist 1sep12: McLuhan’s Massage
"The other night, iTunes DJ threw up an old Terence McKenna talk about Marshall McLuhan, called RIDING THE RANGE WITH MARSHALL McLUHAN – hey, here’s an mp3 of that talk – and I found myself thinking about him for the first time in years.

To give you a flavour of McLuhan – a Canadian media theorist and James Joyce scholar manque, here’s a snip from an interview he did with Playboy (yes, once upon a time people really did buy it for the articles) in 1969, talking about television:

By requiring us to constantly fill in the spaces of the mosaic mesh, the iconoscope is tattooing its message directly on our skins. Each viewer is thus an unconscious pointillist painter like Seurat, limning new shapes and images as the iconoscope washes over his entire body.

The iconoscope is tattooing its message directly on our skins."



"Why on EARTH are McLuhan’s works not in ebook form? That’s a sick gag to pull on the man’s legacy."
iconoscope  ebooks  themediumisthemassage  interviews  marshallmcluhan  2012  warrenellis 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Tomorrow’s World: The Near Future Of Pop
"Not that my sixteen year old daughter knows anything about that. The thing about an early-stage networked culture where everything is available on demand means that you have to know about it to demand it. It’s why companies like last.fm, and most social networks, have always put “music discovery” towards the top of their priorities. They know that common culture has been fractured by the internet and the remains bought and paid for by scum. But my daughter has a t-shirt that reads OF COURSE I’M NOT ON FUCKING FACEBOOK. She uses YouTube playlists, and her friends’ tastes, and even music magazines, and plots her own course through pop.

And she doesn’t know, or care to be told, what her favourite pop bands owe to the Pixies or Bowie or Velvet Underground. Atemporality means nothing to her. This is hers, and that’s how it should be. And pop, in relation to the wreckage of mainstream media, has gone underground, and perhaps that’s how it should be too. Underground and everywhere, at the speed of light."
warrenellis  music  spacetime  whosonfirst  popculture  atemporality  nearfuture  adolescence  film  youtube  facebook  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  via:straup  2011  last.fm  discovery  lastfm 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » GUEST INFORMANT: Jan Chipchase
"The trick on the ground is to be able to read both the persons and the context and to create a situation where interaction with the stranger in their midst is the natural next step. It’s like picking someone up in a bar but without the sexual intent. Show respect before, during and after the conversation, leverage non-verbal cues and pay attention to the details. It’s not just about reading the street – you need to let the street read you.

One informal research method that you won’t find written up in any manual is called the Meanest Motherfucker – seek out the meanest, most unlikely candidate for an interview (whether or not they have an oedipus complex) and open them up to a meaningful conversation. Child’s play, if only because mean is subjective, and bound by the limits of our experience of the human condition…

Everyone has a story to tell, most people don’t have someone to listen.

Never ask the question if you’re not willing to listen to, and act upon the answer."

[See also: http://janchipchase.com/2011/09/the-meanest-mofo/ ]
janchipchase  listening  warrenellis  designethnography  ethnography  fieldwork  interviews  nigeria  lagos  2011 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis [on Google+, but with some unrelated notes about BERG/SVK]
"On July 9, I made my sole public post on Google+.  It reads:<br />
<br />
Dear 1000 people who have added me to their circles apparently overnight: very kind of you to think of me, but the system is just not fine-grained enough yet to let me sort through you effectively. So I have to declare Google+ bankruptcy. Sorry.<br />
<br />
Also none of you invoked me in the approved manner, which requires a bottle of whisky, ritual drumming, fire, two chickens, a bucket of eels and a nurse."
warrenellis  via:preoccupations  google+  2011  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  svk  berg  berglondon 
july 2011 by robertogreco
SVK
Website for the BERG London + Warren Ellis publication experiment.
berg  berglondon  warrenellis  comics  publishing  experimentalpublication 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis: On real versus digital experiences (Wired UK)
"What we've discovered is that the physical experience still has meaning and, in fact, has become sharpened. Gigs are still attended not just because of the music, nor even for being in proximity to the human beings actually playing the music, but because they come with an atmosphere and shared sense of being there together. Even live albums or professional TV coverage won't give you that. I can't help feeling that watching a live stream of some distant gig you really want to be at would be somewhat saddening, if not deadening."
music  digital  online  warrenellis  experience  physical  physicality  live  performance  atmosphere  meaning  life  proximity  human  sharing  sharedexperience  camaraderie 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Announcing SVK: an experimental publication by Warren Ellis, D’Israeli & BERG – Blog – BERG
"What is SVK?
It’s going to be a very beautifully-printed object – a graphic novella, drawn by one of our very favourite artists – Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker – who Warren collaborated with on “Lazarus Churchyard” back in 1991. I think I’m right in saying it’s their first major collaboration since then…

We can’t tell you too much more just yet, as they are both currently hard at work on it, but Warren describes SVK as “Franz Kafka’s Bourne Identity”.<

Brilliant.

It’s also a story about looking, and it’s an investigation into perception, storytelling and optical experimentation that inherits some of the curiosities behind previous work of the studio such as our Here & There maps of Manhattan.

For us – it’s also an investigation into new ways to get things out in the world, and as a result we’re talking about SVK now because we’re looking for people, brands and companies who would like to be in the SVK project… "
berg  warrenellis  design  comics  graphicnovels  berglondon  mattjones  hereandthere  kafka  bourne  bourneidentity  looking  observation  towatch  storytelling  perception  noticing  communication  publishing  svk 
december 2010 by robertogreco
FreakAngels
"FREAKANGELS is a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield"
warrenellis  freakangels  comics  free  online  scifi  steampunk  daily  webcomics  apocalypse  toread 
october 2010 by robertogreco
The City Is A Battlesuit For Surviving The Future - Future metro - io9
"If you'll excuse the spoiler, the zenith of Hawksmoor's adventures with cities come when he finds the purpose behind the modifications - he was not altered by aliens but by future humans in order to defend the early 21st century against a time-travelling 73rd century Cleveland gone berserk. Hawksmoor defeats the giant, monstrous sentient city by wrapping himself in Tokyo to form a massive concrete battlesuit.

Cities are the best battlesuits we have.

It seem to me that as we better learn how to design, use and live in cities - we all have a future."
design  mattjones  technology  urbanplanning  architecture  urbanism  scifi  postarchitectural  psychology  cities  archigram  comics  urban  future  danhill  adamgreenfield  janejacobs  warrenellis  christopherwren  psychogeography  kevinslavin  detroit  nyc  dubai  mumbai  masdrcity  fiction  film  spacesuits  battlesuits 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Wired UK magazine columnist Warren Ellis has swine flu. No, really...
"We spend a lot of time looking for our spaceships and jet-packs, but – and consider this bit, it gets bigger and weirder the more you think about it – in a matter of days we can genetically sequence a mutant virus that’s jumped the species gap. People try to make an ordinary thing of that. There’s a strong tendency to cast the present day, whenever that may be, as essentially banal and not what was promised. Stop looking for the loud giant stuff. The small marvels surround us."
warrenellis  perspective  futurism  health  science  future  culture  technology  cyberpunk  biotech  observation  modernity 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » BERG
"I sort of accidentally named BERG. Because when Matt Jones laughingly asked me for company name suggestions, I said BRITISH EXPERIMENTAL ROCKET GROUP. And I guess it kind of stuck. Upon the announcement of the new company name, and the activation of the COMPLIMENTARY RE-ADJUSTMENT SEMINAR video projection, all principals of BERG donned blue lab coats with the BERG logo and their surname embroidered underneath. I like BERG because, if nothing else, they understand Mythic Resonance on their long Science-Factory Floor walk to the Future with mugs of tea in their hands."
names  naming  berg  berglondon  schulzeandwebb  jackschulze  mattwebb  warrenellis  mattjones  future 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The British Experimental Rocket Group « Matthew Sheret Online
"Last night I had the pleasure of attending Schulze & Webb’s ‘complimentary re-branding seminar’, as the design firm entered a new phase and blossomed into BERG: the British Experimental Rocket Group. Decked out in customised lab-coats, the team looked and sounded excited, terrified, enthusiastic, and nostalgic. To a man they also wound up being inspirational. ... To place a distance, a logo, an idea between the conception, execution and reception of a product means, for the first time in five years, that he [Matt webb] no longer lives or dies on his name alone. What an incredible thing. He and The British Experimental Rocket Group have become ideas – vague, powerful concepts that have all the potential to change the world or dissipate trying. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"
berg  mattwebb  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  warrenellis  tomarmitage  mattjones  jackschulze  design  future  identity  indeas  gamechanging  worldchanging  tcsnmy  glvo  branding 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » A Sony Walkman, By God
"Clay Shirky’s line about how anything that ships without a mouse is broken — that’s her generation. (I still think he was just one foot behind the time...should have used is "touchscreen.") I found Lili crosslegged on her bed earlier, her guitar in her hands, earbuds in, watching something on her open laptop. I suspect it was either a guitar lesson, some tabs she’s been looking for, or listening to Theory Of A Dead Man and trying to detune her guitar to C-sharp to capture their tone. That’s how she treats the laptop — what else does it do? And the very conjuring of all those elements in the first line illustrates that her generation do not live with their heads in a laptop or a DS Lite or whatever. Less so, even, than the previous generation. It’s a fully integrated part of their lives, a Swiss army knife for the world. What else does it do?

If I tell her I have a YouTube app on the Sony Walkman I’ll never get the bloody thing back."

[related: http://www.openthefuture.com/2009/07/human_interfaces.html ]
society  future  warrenellis  netgen  swissarmyknife  technology  youtube  ui  touchscreen  walkman  generations  seamlessness  whatelsedoesitdo  integration  invisibletechnology  music  bbc  gadgets  audio  online  via:preoccupations  seams 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Dubplates, Battle Weapons, Unbooks And Ebooks
"The thing that caught my eye about the Unbook was the idea of accepting a book as a version: an evolving beast that spits out periodic iterations of itself before crawling away to mutate some more. And it occurred to me today that that actually ties into the idea of the Battle Weapon — the 12-inch released to test new experiments in music (more commonly known as dubplates these days).

(See also "short fiction as the club scene," short/flash fiction as the dubplate)
Paid-PDF as a Battle Weapon? A v0.9 release of a book or collection of ideas? Not quite the "electronic Advance Reading Copy" that people like Baen release in digital formats, maybe — but it could be. It could also be much more beta than that. Novelettes and bags-of-notes. Who knows? Let it mutate."

[See also: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=7029 AND http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2009/03/hack-the-book.html ]
warrenellis  unbook  writing  publishing  ebooks  papernet  future  books  ideas 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » The Guts Of Dr Horrible
"I was crapping away here the other day about the ratio of linkblogs to people actually producing original content...And then [Dr Horrible]...lessons to be taken from it that apply broadly. Not least of which are, Be Short, Be Bold, and Get It Done."
warrenellis  drhorrible  josswhedon  creativity  internet  gettingitdone 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » The Patchwork Years
"Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stand up now and say, okay, these are the post-curation years? The world does not need another linkblog. What is required, frankly, is what we’re supposed to call “content” these days."
via:preoccupations  warrenellis  content  creation  blogging  blogs  curation  web  internet 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Everything Is Happening - "What’s changed is the speed of communication and the speed at which new music can be experienced...
"..So today we no longer wait for the breakers to hit every 11 years (roughly: rock, 55. Psychedelia, 66. Punk, 77. Acid, 1988). Instead, micro-movements pop up every month...Everything is happening, all the time, very fast. I like that"
music  internet  culture  future  speed  viral  communication  warrenellis  learning  change 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Every Single Day - "Turn this one around in your head tonight: what if a universe is a thing that builds more universes? ...
"...Or a postbiological animal that reproduces more universes in n-dimensional space? We learn stuff like this every single day. Every single goddamned day a new idea just falls out of the sky. Who’d want to live anywhere else?"
warrenellis  time  learning  cosmology  physics  space  universe  reality  science  ideas 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Bending Mars
"I believe that exploration is necessary to the human spirit. But even if you don’t share that particular delusion, I think most people would agree that any kind of extinction is bad."
warrenellis  mars  exploration  future  scifi  sciencefiction  terraforming  survival  science  life  extinction  space  gamechanging  via:blackbeltjones 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Blackbeltjones/Work: » “Faster than the speed of anyone”
“It’s 2:10 in the morning, & I’m completely wired, caught up in the new thing, shivering & laughing & glowing in the dark. Just as well it’s the middle of the night. No-one would be safe from me right now. I could read their minds and take over their heartbeats with a glare. Faster than the speed of anyone. That’s how it works." from: http://www.freakangels.com/?p=42&page=4 OR http://www.warrenellis.com/index.php?p=328

[Now at: http://magicalnihilism.com/2003/04/22/faster-than-the-speed-of-anyone/ ]
warrenellis  creativity  imagination  howwework  cv  infovores  sleep  mattjones 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » A Useful Quote: “Science fiction is a way of thinking about things.” – Frederik Pohl
"Which may seem like a small notion. But it’s possibly the best working definition of sf I’ve yet come across, insofar as it does the crucial business of inviting the body in front of you to consider sf as a tool with which to understand the contempo
future  futurism  scifi  thinking  sciencefiction  warrenellis  definitions  quotations  frederikpohl  via:preoccupations 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » DESOLATION JONES #1: Author’s Commentary
"This is intended as something like a commentary track on a DVD, not a story guide. You’ll need to own a copy of DESOLATION JONES #1 to make sense of it."
comics  drawing  jackschulze  warrenellis  writing  desolationjones  storytelling 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: Burtin vs. Ellis/Williams
"Burtin and Williams both use letters and images, in a sequence, on the page, and expect them to be read in two different ways: First in overview and then in detail. They deal with arrangement, pace and rhythm with the same sensitivity and same language."
comics  design  drawing  warrenellis  infodesign  infographics  illustration  graphics  jackschulze  maps  mapping  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » The Imprint Of Another Universe
"In Aug, radio astronomers announced...found enormous hole in universe...claim...unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond edge of our own...if right, giant void is first experimental evidence for another universe...would also vindicate string theor
science  universe  cosmology  warrenellis  gamechanging  via:blackbeltjones  space 
november 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read