Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All that shit they sold you about ceramic space rockets and albedo suits was just memetic heroin...

Part of the reason why I seem a bit more optimistic than a lot of people who now see our current society as a dead end... is that I never saw it as a living end to begin with. It would be kind of horrific to me to think of what currently exists being made to "work".
I never thought of modern postwar technoptimism as a progression over the long run, just a spasm of relief maybe. Like after you pee. You haven't gotten any better, you've just relieved something particularly troubling. (i.e the first 4 decades of the 20th century, basically a descent into total horror)

Only now, once we shrug off corporatism and WWII-based thinking, are we in a position to make any real historical progress from the mean. And if it is temporarily painful, it will be the pain of withdrawal from the most horrible drug ever devised.

The future looks very bright indeed, once you dismiss the 20th century as a sick aberration. We are not meant to live like this, and we'll be better off, even if we have to amputate some of the more pleasant aspects of the last 100 years...

I'm not talking about going back, I'm talking about going forward in the direction we should have in the first place, if only we hadn't made that left turn at Albequerqe.

1 comment:

PlanetaryJim said...

Excellent points. I think you can see that the WW2 way of thinking and doing stuff peaked about 1969 or so. They went to the Moon, but they don't go back. They built supersonic passenger aircraft but they stopped flying them (2003). Their are a bunch of other metrics that suggest their civilisation has stopped advancing and is clearly decaying.

But, look, our civilisation got started just about then, too. ARPAnet was built in 1969 and TCP/IP was written down. That's the Internet. (You can't stop the signal, Mal. It's just a protocol. The Internet can exist using that protocol even if the transport layer is built on carrier pigeons.)

Open source, especially open source cryptography, made a huge difference. And those flying cars? They've arrived, but the FAA refuses to license them. lol Too many vested interests would have their oxen gored.