inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #76 of 129: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 10 Jan 06 11:48
    
Always best to arrest the militants before they militate. Be careful who 
picks you up at the airport after you cross the pond... 
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #77 of 129: nape fest (zorca) Tue 10 Jan 06 13:48
    
i keep globalguerillas and worldchanging next to each other in my feed
reader, which sometimes causes my synapses to short out.

i can't imagine a future without pockets of angry terrorist types, which is
a little scary, but my biggest fear is that more and more governments will
use their spotty existence to stomp out privacy. how do you see the current
openness of Internet protocols faring as we move forward?
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #78 of 129: William F. Stockton (yesway) Tue 10 Jan 06 14:09
    
When I was working in Ireland in 2000 the term Cowboy was only used as
a pejorative. I come from a family of actual cowboys (I will be
helping mark and inoculate calves on 1/21). My family is fast running
out of people who want to live "the life" and Brokeback Mountain seems
poised to finish off the myth.

What will fill the cultural void? Private astronauts? Anti-terror
vigilantes?
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #79 of 129: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 10 Jan 06 15:34
    
I believe our guest is in transit today, so we might have a slight lag.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #80 of 129: Jamais Cascio, WorldChanger (cascio) Tue 10 Jan 06 15:53
    
Hey Bruce, do you use RSS? If so, what are some of your feeds?
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #81 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 10 Jan 06 17:46
    
I'm in the Chicago airport on Chicago airport pay-per-use wifi.

Boy, Daley Jr, or somebody, sure has jazzed up this joint since the
last time I blew through here.  It's gone all cleanlined and laminated
plywood and designery.  There's a new airport beer joint called
PRAIRIE BAR that's in full Frank Lloyd Wright style right down
to the glass and typography.

Furthermore, Austin has a six-month-old DESIGN WITHIN REACH
that sprang up in the River City while my back was turned.
It's almost as cool as the one that was down the street when
I lived in Pasadena.

Cowboy mythology givin' out on yuh?  It's all about *console cowboys*
now, dude.

Listen to this incredible bullshit out of Exxon-Mobil's pet version of
Kyoto, held in Australia, home of coal:

On Wednesday ministers from the six nations will meet some of the
world's top energy companies, including BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil, to
discuss public/private partnerships to develop and deliver
technologies such as clean coal and renewable energy.

"That's the target -- to get breakthroughs in technologies that are
absolutely a matter of life and death for the planet," Australian
Environment Minister Ian Campbell told Australian television on
Wednesday.

Hundreds of green activists are expected to stage protests outside the
meeting on Wednesday, which also includes business chiefs from United
States' Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy Corp and Japan's Nippon Steel Corp.

"You can't have a good environment with a damaged economy and the
green groups seem hell bent on trying to destroy the economy, trying to
destroy people's living standards and ultimately what happens is you
destroy the environment," Campbell said.


You know, that's almost the real answer to climate change, except it's
completely ass-backwards.  It's close, though.  We're about one
Category 5-through-downtown Washington away from a complete new way to
frame business.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #82 of 129: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 10 Jan 06 18:27
    
So we're in a hell where all paths lead to environmental destruction? I guess 
if it's going to happen anyway, I'd rather go down with a nice bottle of 
chianti and a Cuban cigar, sitting in an Eames chair from Design Within 
Reach....

But a whole different set of people who forgot to buy oil companies decades 
ago seem to think there may be economic opportunity in clean energy, so maybe 
we can mitigate without destroying the global economy, no?
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #83 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 10 Jan 06 18:35
    
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inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #84 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 10 Jan 06 18:43
    
Well, few rival me in my keen awareness of grim Greenhouse apocalyptic
scenarios, but you know what?  If it weren't for Hitler, Mao, Stalin
and Gandhi, the 20th century would have developed worldwide at a
cracking free-market pace, in peace and prosperity, and we ALL WOULD
HAVE FRIED HORRIBLY CHOKING ON OUR OWN SPEW sometime in the 1960s, way
before we had our chance to get our heads around the creepy nature of
environmental damage.

So, in a way, Communism, Indian socialism, and a couple of world wars
saved our bacon.
We've *already* been saved from catastrophe once, while not even
trying.

I wish I could tell you I had a cool master plan to avert
eco-collapses, but I don't.  That's not a counsel of doom, though.  
I'm inclined to think that we'll more or less patch it together through
objects and processes that we don't even have nouns and verbs for yet.
 I mean, imagine a Singularity right in the middle of an Eco-Collapse.
 They'd be radically "collapsing upwards,' right?  You couldn't beat
it as the setting for a novel.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #85 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 10 Jan 06 19:55
    

Das tweakfest Team wünscht Ihnen einen fulminanten Start ins neue
Jahr!


tweakfest 2005 Webcasts powered by XTENDX

Prof. Dr. Cyberpunk Bruce Sterling: «The Hacker Crackdown»
http://194.246.119.90/xbend/simplex/tweakfest/theHackerCrackdown/index.html
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #86 of 129: Infradibulated Gratility (ssol) Tue 10 Jan 06 19:57
    
www.concoursecommunications.com, was improbably founded in
Springfield, MA, the Silicon (metal machining) Valley of the 19th
Century. 

Interesting connection to 9/11. Their folks were on their way to a
first day of work unwiring the WTC when History happened.

Had they been there days or weeks or months earlier, a little tech in
the aether might have changed many lives.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #87 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 10 Jan 06 20:44
    <scribbled by bruces Tue 10 Jan 06 20:45>
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #88 of 129: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 10 Jan 06 21:26
    
I'm listening to the webcast and thinking how amazing it is how things have 
played out. What if the Internet had been a project, not of a bunch of 
idealistic DARPA engineers and unix hackers, but of Bill Gates and his ilk? 
What if hackers and Open Source geeks had been shut down, and after the 
collapse of the Internet bubble of the 90s, everybody'd shrugged and gone 
back to their typewriters and television sets? 
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #89 of 129: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Wed 11 Jan 06 06:00
    
Well, the dotcom boom had absolutely nothing to do with the
fundamental usefulness of personal computers or the internet.  It just
proved you can't run a business without a business model, which is
something no one had previously thought needed proving.

There were similar financial scandals and blow-ups in the infancy of
the electric business, but it wasn't like people were going to go back
to whale oil lamps.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #90 of 129: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 11 Jan 06 06:21
    
My point, though, is that if the Internet had been built differently, and 
especially if it had been structured to serve proprietary interests, it 
wouldn't have the same value or, as you say, "fundamental usefulness."
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #91 of 129: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Wed 11 Jan 06 06:33
    
Keeping in mind that what I know about the specifics of computer
networking would barely fill a 3*5 card, I think it's pretty hard to
imagine a scenario in which some sort of open, non-proprietary network
would not have become dominant.  There were just too many "volunteers"
around willing to create such things, and in the beginning there was no
particular money to be made in it, so the idea of Gates or anyone else
investing in a proprietary network seems unlikely.

I think the only way it could have played out that way is if multiple
governments essentially decided to ban the development of such
networks, or grant some sort of monopoly privilege to operate them a la
Ma Bell back in the day.  But there again, that sort of thing tends do
be done (at least in this country) mostly when there's obvious money
to be made.  I think the fact that for years and years the internet
seemed to be nothing more than a play space for scientists, hobbyists,
and cranks protected it from that sort of scenario until it was far too
late to do anything about it.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #92 of 129: Rick Brown (danwest) Wed 11 Jan 06 06:42
    
NSA can't spy on my typewriter.

What will the utter and complete lack of privacy mean to my son's
children? Every IM, drunken usenet post, email, pron download is part
of his (any my) perminent record. There is now, a perminent record.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #93 of 129: Ari Davidow (ari) Wed 11 Jan 06 07:24
    
You know what, some element of privacy was illusory and short-lived. A 
couple generations ago most of our grandparents lived in small towns in 
crowded housing (even when rural, relatively crowded by modern standards). 
There has been a great rush of anonymity that comes with times of great 
social change, but I don't think it's the norm for most people through 
most of human history. 

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be scared about people listening in on our 
conversations or the way the government can keep tabs on our physical 
location, but I'm not sure people were more secure 200 or 500 years ago 
from their government. Certainly, at the moment, we have a veneer of 
accountability that works for most people most of the time - it isn't as 
deep or as real as I'd like, but some perspective that we're not coming 
from some great free time in the past might be worth having.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #94 of 129: William F. Stockton (yesway) Wed 11 Jan 06 07:58
    
Nobody's eavesdropping on the Amish. If you live somewhere truly rural
or "disconnected" you develop a pretty deep attachment to privacy.
There are plenty of places on every continent where people have a very
19th century, "life is long and the emperor is far away" mindset. 
You don't feel above the law, but you do feel beyond it. I know
because it's how I live. I do see and feel the connected world
encroaching. Not just practically, but psychologically as well.
There are farmers and loggers and truckers and midwives all over the
world who are trying to figure out how to let in the world through cell
phones and the internet without losing their identity and privacy into
the great whirlwind of the info age. 

In China the government doesn't much care what they think or feel
about such matters, but in India, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil,
Pakistan, Mexico and the US these folks do inform the politics and the
markets. George Bush and Evo Morales and Cargill and Monsanto and Rural
folks lives are all intertwined. Backlashes occur when the "simple
folk" feel overly coerced into rapid changes.   
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #95 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 11 Jan 06 09:18
    
I'm in London.

Hot*Spot

Welcome to the Internet

You are now online with high-speed access. ?The session counter to the
right will tell you how much time you have left

Secure connections
If you want to use a secure connection, please start your VPN-Client
now. A secure webpage always starts with https:// and a padlock symbol
appears in your browser.

You can end your session in a number of ways:
        •       Shut your VPN session down, if you are using one.

        •       Click the 'log-out' button below the session counter (We recommend
you bookmark this page.)

        •       Type "logout." into your browser's URL field and press enter

        •       After 15 minutes of inactivity you will be logged out automatically
Now online
Time remaining
0:00:59:33
days:hours:min:sec

Download Receipt
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #96 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 11 Jan 06 09:25
    
Actually you *can* spy on typewriters.

http://www.hungarian-history.hu/lib/genoci/genoci07.htm

Typewriters Declared "Deadly Weapons"


July, 1983
The Transylvanian Quarterly

In the first week of April, Dictator Ceausescu declared a new law,
which stands unique in the history of mankind. Every typewriter in the
country in the possession of private individuals had to be taken to the
local police station, where it was recorded and "fingerprinted".
"Loyal citizens" received permits for the possession and use of their
typewriters, while to those who are regarded by the police as "enemies
of the regime", permit was denied and their typewriters confiscated
without any recompense. As the Orlando Sentinel expressed it in its
April 15, 1983 issue, "Rumania is banning possession or use of
typewriters by citizens...who pose a "danger to public order or state
security". 
The first known "victim" of this new law in the city of Kolozsvar
(Cluj Napoca) was an 84 year old widow, Mrs. Ilona Bartha, whose
husband, once a free lance journalist, left behind a big, old fashioned
typewriter stored in the attic of the old Bartha home, now shared by
six families. Mrs. Bartha, who has only one room left to her use in her
old home, walked over to the police station and reported her husband's
old typewriter, collecting dust in the attic. "You must bring it in",
the SECURITATE officer in charge told her. "I can't," she replied, "it
is much too heavy. Send somebody to get it. You can have it for good." 
One week later the police came to the house on the Monostori Street,
took the typewriter and arrested Mrs. Bartha as the "illegal owner of
an unregistered typewriter". She was sentenced to three months in jail.


(((Of course, I'm not too sure of the credibility of this Internet
source, as
I haven't bothered to spy on him much yet.)))


(((Awesome case here of journalists spying on hapless politicians; I
just
blogged it.)))

http://www.cobrapost.com/documents/one.htm 
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #97 of 129: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 11 Jan 06 09:26
    
Also, the Amish are under telephoto surveillance by anybody who cares
to pay for a satellite shot or who bothers to use Google Earth.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #98 of 129: Irham Checho (bumbaugh) Wed 11 Jan 06 11:31
    
Irham Checho writes, from off-Well:


Hello!

I am a former SF fan and a former journalist from former Yugoslavia. What
I would like to know right away, no frills, is hopefully a simple
question about past: has the Mirrorshades anthology ever been published
in Serbo-Croatian, Serbian or Croatian edition, to the best of your
knowledge?

This is sort of backlash: I lost my interest in SF because the war made
reality as badass as any apocaliptic scenario gets, around here. But I
never renounced this emotion that makes me stroll through SF shelves of
any Western bookshop that I visit every now and then.
 Now, everyone and their aunts talk puffed up about cyberpunk and
virtuality - same fucks who bullied me for reading "stupid imaginary
stuff" back when I was a kid, now choke in a mouthfull of cyber, and yet
still they know shit about SF, they care shit about SF.

Well, today, as I realize re-reading it for umpteenth time, Mirrorshades
are hotter than ever. And I'd be delighted to make a translation in
Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian (screw politics, we're mutually readable
whatever we call the lingo). The catch is, I have a war-induced and
prolonged gap in the knowledge of local, post-yugoslav SF fandom scenery.
So perhaps someone did it already.

Be kind to reply me to the best of your knowledge, and keep up!

Irham ?e?o,
PR Manager, Open Broadcast Network TV
Bosnia


["?e?o" is almost certainly a failure of character mapping from Irham's
alphabet to the one in my mail client -- bumbaugh]
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #99 of 129: nape fest (zorca) Wed 11 Jan 06 11:32
    
and i moved AWAY from rural america because there was no privacy there.
  
inkwell.vue.262 : Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2006
permalink #100 of 129: nape fest (zorca) Wed 11 Jan 06 11:44
    
slip
  

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