inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #176 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 13 Jan 19 01:45

Of course this was a futuristic “design fiction” effort.  I’ve been
writing science fiction about “posthumans” for most of my career,
but design fiction works best when it’s got some sharply defined
design constraints.  It’s that struggle with the grain of the
material that makes it into “design.”

So this “posthuman” design class was divided into three
posthuman-technology groups: the genetics group, the AI/robotics
group, and the neural-intelligence group, as in the famous Bill Joy
categories of contemporary technologies that might make humanity
obsolete.  (We left out “Nanotechnology” since nano has currently
gone out of style as a threat to human existence.)
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #177 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 13 Jan 19 01:46
The design-fiction venue was Berlin, fifteen years in the future,
the year 02033.  The scheme was to create imaginary Berlin start-up
companies who had latched on to some specific aspect of a
“posthuman” technology, and were trying to mainstream it in Europe. 

So these were small, newfangled European companies (or nonprofit
groups) of 02033, who clearly needed some design services.  Besides
their imaginary “posthuman” hardware and services, they needed
branding, a logo, a typeface, a market strategy, a killer app,  an
elevator pitch, a convincing promotional video to demo the most
attractive features of their businesses: the skills they want to
teach you in design school, in other words.

And, especially, those imaginary enterprises had to be in Berlin and
of Berlin: a specific neighborhood, a park, a real, existent street.
So the students (mostly Americans) had to leave the Google searches
and the Photoshop and mix it up in the cityscape — they had to
Berlin-ify their design-fiction portfolio, and then demonstrate that
to a live audience of actual, skeptical Germans.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #178 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 13 Jan 19 01:47

I think this constraint helped a lot.  To say “we are as gods and
have to get good at it,” is quite a cool, visionary thing to say,
but to say “We are as Berlin gods, and we have to make a go of that
right here in the goth-kid quarter of Charlottenberg,” well, that
wakes people up to some of the consequences of such a declaration.

I wouldn’t claim that the end-products of this class were great
design fictions.  Those students are apprentice designers who
travelled to Berlin to learn their craft, and design-fiction is
quite hard to do well; it’s rather rhetorically delicate, and we
can’t all be sophisticated global mavens of speculative design, like
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.  

However, some ideas emerged from this course that  might be of
general interest.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #179 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 13 Jan 19 01:48

First, we never asked the students to do “ethical design” — we just
asked them to mimic genuine European start-up people. But then we
debated which of the proposed programs was the most ethically
sinister.  Which had the most abuse potential?

  Everyone agreed that it was the most public-spirited one, which
was based in compassion and wanted to help people “be their best.” 
It was using Facebook-style biometric monitoring to “improve”
people’s emotional states, and, by the nature of their pitch, you
just knew these tender-hearted service providers were gonna make
Facebook tons of money.

   The best-designed one was done by a dark-side hacker group of
“grinders,” who were up to all kinds of DNA mischief with
implantable human flesh.  Everybody knows what gooey Black-Mirror
postcyberpunk stuff is supposed to look like nowadays, so even the
Germans nodded in knowing agreement: ja, that’s some dystopian
futurism, all right.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #180 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 13 Jan 19 01:48

    The most interesting one was an out-of-control neural net
implanted in a German urban gardening machine. The idea of the
“machine in the garden” is pretty standard, but the key idea here
was that this ultra-advanced robot had an Alpha-Zero style
“understanding” of ecology that no human being could ever match.  It
was half-mystical AI computer that was much “closer to nature” than
any human being could ever become.  And the humans who supported it
(who were stricken with German Green guilt because of environmental
crises) had sort of *given up;* they had deputized their love of
nature to this bizarre, all-knowing device; they kinda followed it
around worshipfully like it was the Great God Pan.

    I’d never heard of such a notion.  It felt a bit
nextnature-dot-org — they’re very Dutch, at “Next Nature” — but it
was a truly original and strange idea. It’s the kind of speculative
idea that you can’t cook up alone in a room, with screens, and books
— instead, you simply must go out and look around at the state of
the world. 
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #181 of 231: Tiffany Lee Brown (T) (magdalen) Sun 13 Jan 19 09:18

the great garden machine Pan sounds interesting indeed. i like how it
acknowledges the despair of many environmentalists. 

i just realized that a previous post didn't, somehow, get posted. so this
is an email fron a friend of mine in the trenches of AI, who used to work 
at The Well with me (and in fact coded my first web page for me, because
overuse of computers destroyed my tendons and i was forced off the job and
onto workers' comp). 

it's <pighed>, a.k.a. Mark Meadows. 

1) AI. While it will displace jobs (47% in the US before 2023), it will
undermine our ability to manage our decisions, and it is an emerging form
of government, people - the general public - are not paying attention to
the impacts it will have. China aside, we can look to the US for weak
signals of what is to come.  We are being led, ignorantly, by the largest
systems on the planet (Facebook and Google's AI systems such as Targeted
advertising (“Torch”) Textual analysis (“DeepText”) Facial analysis
(“DeepFace”) - systems that know how we feel, can change the way we feel,
and are motivated by selling our data to advertisers and others. 

for example, which has multiple class-action lawsuits for invasion of
privacy has now distributed a device that is always listening (research the
Sue Creek processor, made by Intel), is always measuring our affect, or
emotions, and is there to simultaneously monitor and steer our core family
decisions. As over 100M Americans buy Alexa for $30 they seemingly don't
question why someone would basically give them a multi-million dollar AI
system to put in their home. Someone that is one of the largest retailers
on the planet.

for question #2, i asked, " What is tugging most strongly at your own
private *heart* right now?" here's his answer:

2) Large financial markets disturb me. Having children, I'm raising them to
live a life entirely off-the-grid, with a hackers' and makers' ethos. This
independence of off-the-grid is a sad choice for me because, in opposition
to my American upbringing, independance is not a desirable trait. 

In my
travels over the last 3 decades, spanning over a hundred countries, I've
learned that independance generates traffic jams, competition, waste, and
ignorance. I prefer Marxist ideals of earning and socialist ideals of
contribution and, ultimately, the more we can depend on one another the
better off we are as a species. But I am raising my children with a strong
eye towards independance as I am unclear if it is even possible to trust
governments, companies, and collections of people with financial ties.

Climate change is only one of a number of indicators that public cost is
funding private profit and I don't want my children to be a part of systems
that work like that. These inequalities indicate that capitalism a racket
and now, as a global citizen I question my family's role in financial
markets. Having companies in multiple countries, I'm lucky to have the
flexibility to align my family with a more global view.  But it is
unquieting and I hope for a better future, globally, for all of us.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #182 of 231: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sun 13 Jan 19 17:09
art + climate change: center for study of force majeure, uc-santa
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #183 of 231: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 14 Jan 19 06:15
T, it's great to hear from our mutual friend <pighed>, thanks for
posting that. I don't share Mark's concern about Alexa. I have an
Amazon Echo sitting close by, and if Alexa is a multi-million dollar
AI system, she's proof that, even with piles of money, you can't buy
or build a smart robot. Alexa is as dumb as a post. She certainly
can't hold an intelligent conversation. She can't answer - and
usually can't understand - fairly basic inquiries. She can
occasionally find a web reference, on the rare occasions where she
understands the question. If Amazon is listening in on our
conversations, I'm not seeing the evidence. I can see past activity:
we asked about Mike Pence and the Mueller investigation, and she
responded with Wikipedia info on Michael Flynn. She couldn't respond
on the average duration of the Nutcracker ballet. She says she can
play podcasts, but she can't understand our podcast requests, so
that doesn't really work. When she makes a dumb response and we tell
her "that's funny," she can respond "Funny in a good way, I hope."
She doesn't know potential causes of hives. She does know the
temperature outside, but you don't need Alexa to tell which way the
wind blows.

Question: Who inducted the music group U2 into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame? Answer: "English guitarist, singer, and songwriter
Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame."

She can play Spotify if I carefully articulate the name of the
artist I want to hear. She can connect you to a dumb conversation
with one of the Alexa prize socialbots. If I ask her to tell me a
story, she tells me that's a book by Lisa Suhay

I haven't seen a single instance where Amazon has offered products
based on something overheard on Echo, though I might have missed it.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #184 of 231: Jake Dunagan (jdunagan) Mon 14 Jan 19 09:29
The Great God Panarchy
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #185 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Mon 14 Jan 19 10:39
This is the reaction of Jean-Paul Sartre when he visits an artist's
studio in 1947 and there's a weird network of things moving around
in there.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #186 of 231: Via email from gmoke (jonl) Mon 14 Jan 19 14:00
There’s more that one state of the world.  There are many states of
the world and, if I heard Bruce Sterling right, there are also many
futures and no future at all because the only time we really have is
now.  We make the future right now.

With that in mind, I’d like to say that about two or three days of
the amount we spend on the military globally would buy the billion
poorest people in the world a solar light and phone charger at the
current retail cost of $10 per unit.  Of course, it would probably
be better to put together some kind of local business system such as
Grameen Energy in Bangladesh that serves as an economic platform
rather than noblesse oblige charity but it’s technically and
economically feasible right now to eliminate deep energy poverty
completely all around the world.  A solar light and charger is also
a solar civil defense and, perhaps, a way to a solar swadeshi for a
renewably powered nonviolent or Gandhian economy.

But that’s another story probably for the time when eco-restoration
villages and towns become more prevalent.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #187 of 231: Via email from Shebar Windstone (jonl) Mon 14 Jan 19 14:01
12 years left (if we're lucky) to pull the planet away from the
frying pan -- i.e., to prevent global warming from going above
We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN

Global Warming of 1.5 ºC (IPCC)

The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save
us (George Monbiot)
more by Monbiot:

Global warming of oceans equivalent to an atomic bomb per second
Could participants (& lurkers) in this year's discussion share your
thoughts about what we might do -- & inspire, organize or pressure
others to do -- to give priority to long-term survival & well-being
for all living beings rather than short-term profits & expediency
for a minority of profligate humans? (or however you might define
trying to avert climate cataclysm)

Trump's shutdown might be a preliminary solution, if it could be
expanded to the whole country & our military forces around the
world, since the US military is the world's largest single energy
consumer & the USA (vying with China) is the largest national
consumer of goods & producer of waste. But might there be more
rational & humane methods to end the international ransacking,
pillaging & plundering of Earth & its inhabitants?

Here's a song that comes to mind (sorry, Bruce, it's not techno):
Ferron:  It Won't Take Long
(from Shadows on a Dime, 1984)
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #188 of 231: Via email from Steve Levinson (jonl) Mon 14 Jan 19 14:03
Re: James' comment

31 of 182 Bridle:
"..If we acknowledge it as deliberate, we also empower ourselves to
counter it in meaningful and progressive ways - not going back to
the cave, and certainly not to Vipassana retreats in Myanmar, but by
reconstructing technologies that support rather than degrade
attention and thinking. "

Why do you dismiss out of hand the ancient technology of Vipassana
as something useful that can support attention and thinking?  For me
it would be a great prescription for all who are strongly feeling
the chaotic whirlpool the world has become.

And yes I understand and strongly appreciate your point that it is
not just chaos at work but real malevolent powers doing the

Yet the idea of seeking out some deep quiet of the mind
(however you want to do it, I don't keep up with Vipassana but have
other practice) is a wonderful way to reduce worldly anxiety by
practicing the de-energizing of the minds' loops of fear and
One good thing about those structured retreats that is interestingly
opposite to this conversation (that constant need to communicate
when in the same room, here the infinite digital room, so infinite
need) is the practice of being with people in an actual room in
silence.  More challenging and rewarding perhaps than being with
oneself in silence.  How hard it is to not talk!

Isn't some  practice of silence something desperately needed right
now in this New Dark Age?

Also perhaps the idea of focusing on releasing thoughts rather than
gathering them seems inimical to cultivating reasoned thinking, but
in practice it opens pathways to clearer and creative thinking.  
Of course I wouldn't really want to go all the way the Myanmar to do
this, too much baggage to deal with being steeped into a traditional
culture, and perhaps that was the thrust of your comment.
So to sum up: mindfulness good, fatalism bad.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #189 of 231: Via email from Giorgos Georgiadis (jonl) Mon 14 Jan 19 14:05
Before this SOTW wraps up, something that keeps bugging me, while
otherwise thoroughly enjoying this excellent discussion/pinball
game: can we find a better name for 'climate crisis'?

I noted 'climate disruption' and 'climate change' as suggested
alternatives in previous posts, but are they really? Both disruption
and crisis imply a transition but focus on the transition itself,
not the day after. Change implies a future steady state of sorts,
but it's way too benign to my taste. Can we not start calling it
'New Climate' or something?

As a member of the greek neo-diaspora, I have a special beef with
the word 'crisis': speaking of Greece as a future lab/paradigm, I
see a lot of people today seemingly confused whether the crisis
actually finished and when. Somehow they kept thinking that
afterwards they will end up in the world as they left it before
entering the 'crisis'. Or worse, they keep thinking they are still
inside it, refusing to see this as the new normal.

I know the discussion moved on to things like art, AI and so on, but
spare a thought on the people trapped in the transition.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #190 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 15 Jan 19 01:30
    <scribbled by bruces Tue 15 Jan 19 01:35>
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #191 of 231: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 15 Jan 19 01:38
Well, if you’ve got a “crisis” that goes on for centuries, then
“dark age” is a pretty good coinage.  I mean, it’s an age, and
things are dark.  Where’s the problem?

It’s mid-January, and I’m getting writing assignments and people
asking me to travel.  It looks like 2019 is turning into another
year of my lifetime.  Maybe rather standard, and not so shatteringly
diistinct from the many other ones.  

I can remember certain energy-crisis and impeachment episodes in the
“No Future” 1970s, when it felt like the wheels were coming right
off civilization.  They didn’t, though.   It felt like they oughta,
for any number of good reasons, but if you caught those cues and
scrammed for your fallout-shelter in the hills during the 1970s, to
raise goats and grow your own cabbages, it didn’t take all that long
to come sheepishly tip-toeing back.

Imagine if The Donald had taken office and then immediately declared
a Climate Crisis State of Emergency.  He would have had all the
facts at his back, but I can only imagine the weird political and
economic mayhem that guy would have wreaked. He might still do that
— just, tear up everything he said before, and launch a whole new
set of lies.  All it would take would be a hurricane through some of
his favorite properties.

Would his fans get all upset about his intellectual inconsistency,
or would they just applaud him and say they'd been all-for-it all
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #192 of 231: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 15 Jan 19 06:40
Sorry folks for being MIA - felled by a bug.

You have a point Bruce - awareness of how this is an "age" is
important.  Besides "Dark Age," we have in that direction also
"Anthropocene."  "Force majeure," as <loris> points to in <182> is
pretty interesting and provocative too.

I would take issue though with your logic that because the world
didn't end in the 1970's, it won't end this time either.  It's very
true that the world doesn't end.  Michael Meade even has a book
called "Why the World Doesn't End" - the reason is that stories of
endings are ways to seed, gestate and germinate stories of
beginnings.  That's a very important point in itself, that there is
legitimate reason for catastrophe stories in times when change is
called for.


But tipping points.  The links at the top of Shebar Windstone's
<187> have to do with systems perturbed to the point of irreversible
state changes.  It's not endless speculation about an
ever-retreating singularity, it's fairly precise awareness of a
unique physical moment - it's frogs sitting in the pot who've not
only figured out they are on their way to boiling, but also how
they're stoking their own fire and pretty likely when the roiling
bubbles start.  Maybe the best candidate in the field for a better
name for "climate change" or "climate crisis" is ""
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #193 of 231: Jon Lebkowsky, acknowledging the Bizarro-world elephant in the room... (jonl) Tue 15 Jan 19 07:06
Mad King Donald's Bizarro world reign may finally be imperiled, and
it's about time. 

That term "Bizarro world" has a specific meaning - see "a situation or setting
which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations." That's the
best characterization of the world Trump's created: he's rejected
all established political wisdom and common sense, asserting his
fevered will as absolute authority... asserting that the world is
broken and "only I can fix it."  With the help of Mitch McConnell,
Saruman to Trump's Sauron, the regime has brought the US government
to its knees, rejected US allies and embraced enemies, launched
attacks on the most respected institutions, sown chaos far and wide.

His kind of crazy can only persist so long before reality catches up
- but it's impressive and a bit disconcerting how long he's got away
with his wild bull in the china shop routine. Is he a Russian agent?
If you'd written a "president as Manchurian candidate" science
fiction novel describing such a thing, how different would it be
from our political reality of the last two years? However in a
novel, would any author have expected such a figure to get this far
with a blatant and persistent attack on "truth, justice, and the
American way"?
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #194 of 231: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 15 Jan 19 07:34
I wasn't at all part of the camp that felt throwing a wrench in the
machinery might be a good thing before the election, but now things
are very interesting.  The purpose of satire is to make one aware of
previously invisible assumptions, and boy has Trump succeeded at
that.  We are a nation of the rule of law.  Who knew?!  And on and

If not for Trump, would we have Ocasio-Cortez?  Would we have an
activated citizenry?  If not for the Access Hollywood tape, would we
have had the largest single day of action in human history - the
first Women's March?
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #195 of 231: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 15 Jan 19 07:36
<jonl> slipped, so moved what else I was about to say to a separate

Thanks Steve Levinson for your appeal for the merits of quiet.  I
know this isn't all you're saying, but I personally believe that how
you listen, when and how you choose to be quiet, what tools you use
to cultivate calm are crucially important.  Between stimulus and
response always lies the power to choose.  My personal
corrolary/response to the "We are as gods..." perspective is "we are
as humans and have to get deep at it."

And if I'm not mistaken, isn't it the case that the Dark Mountain
folks started out with the premise to stop talking and start
listening - to the voices in the powerful uncivilized forces around
them.  They weren't "back to the land"; they were: 

>Our art will begin with the attempt to step outside the human
bubble. By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human

Dark Mountain Manifesto <>
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #196 of 231: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 15 Jan 19 10:38
>I know the discussion moved on to things like art, AI and so on,
but spare a thought on the people trapped in the transition.

Risking multiple posts again, there is one other thing that has been
bothering me for days.  Somebody up there made the claim, "the best
parties happen in squats."  I don't doubt that's true.  But here's a
story from 2018.

I was at the Whole Earth 50 after reception in October talking to a
young journalist and Carolyn Garcia (Mountain Girl).  We were
talking about a story MG had told earlier in the evening about how a
Kesey prank gone wrong (police came to the party!) had figured in
the origin story of the Whole Earth Catalog.  Now, to the two of us,
she talked about a completely different side of the experience - not
the fun side but the hard side.  That event triggered Kesey's flight
to Mexico, and a cascade of hard times.

The conversation moved on to other things, and MG began talking
about something she is working on now - a writers' residency program
at the Kesey family farm (<>)

As I was standing there listening to this calm, composed, practical
woman in her 70s, partner to both Ken Kesey and Jerry Garcia, who
are famously both no longer with us, I was thinking about what
support the blazing stars always find and need and take for granted.

And I think that's relevant here, because when the whole world is
filled with blazing stars lighting the transition, decades on, it
will be the trapped piece-picker-uppers who are still here tending
to the next generation.

Even when we call ourselves candle-tenders in the new dark, this
will still be true.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #197 of 231: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Tue 15 Jan 19 11:08
For your point above about the language we use to refer to the
current situation, I would like to understand more the objection to
the word 'crisis.' 

I use "climate crisis" at times, but tend to say most often "the
crisis of the biosphere," which feels apt to me, given the numbers
of vanishing species and amount of vanishing habitat in the past 40
years, as well as the way that the stratospheric readings of
increased CO2 in air are playing out in the planet's living beings.

Meanwhile, candle-tenders is a lovely phrase, keta. We aren't the
candles, we are their tenders of something fragile, flickering, and
light-bringing, of which we are only in part the makers.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #198 of 231: Paulina Borsook (loris) Tue 15 Jan 19 11:15
reminds me of hanging out with my lefty utopian friends, brimming
with great schemes back in the 60s and 70s --- and my always
thinking 'oh yeah? who tends to the garbage?"
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #199 of 231: Via email from gmoke (jonl) Tue 15 Jan 19 14:35
Pan is the only Greek god known to have died:  
"According to the Greek historian Plutarch (in De defectu
oraculorum, 'The Obsolescence of Oracles'), Pan is the only Greek
god (other than Asclepius) who actually dies. During the reign of
Tiberius (14–37 CE), the news of Pan's death came to one Thamus, a
sailor on his way to Italy by way of the island of Paxi."

Asclepius was a mortal before he became a god, if I remember

For what it’s worth —

My approach to climate change is
100% renewables ASAP
zero emissions economy ASAP
carbon drawdown ASAP
geotherapy (not geoengineering) ASAP


At least as a thought experiment.

Geotherapy is the use of existing ecological systems to repair the
damage homo sap sap (the sap) had done.  It is the next step in
biomimicry and Gaian ethics (or aesthetics, which sometime I think
is the same thing).

I start from Solar IS Civil Defense, which is necessary NOW
in case of weather or other natural disaster, whatever you believe
about Climate Change or Sanity Clause.

10 bucks buys a solar light and charger today, just go Internet
shopping. That's a personal electric solar civil defense, the basics
of light, communications, and extra batteries. 10 bucks is also the
price of a hand-crank light and charger. Add a bicycle charger (or
electric bike) and you have "free" electricity for as long as the
batteries hold a charge and the chargers work.

More at

Simple solar and energy efficiency can be taught, to those who want
to know, fairly easily and can be quite effective
A South-Facing Window Is Already a Solar Collector
Solar windowbox air heater
Insulating Roller Shade

Six pack of solar
Recycled solar

I used to do workshops on simple solar and broke one down into a
series of short videos:
Part 1 at
the others are available at

Simple solar can become an economic lever and non-violent economic
practice, a technological adaptation of Gandhi's concept of
swadeshi, local production, what he called the heart of satyagraha.
I imagine a solar swadeshi
) that becomes a solar walkaway or an electrical grid boycott to add a little impetus to the growing tide of Extinction Rebellion (anybody else see a resemblance to the Trainites of John Brunner's Sheep Look Up?) and the Sunrise Movement.

5.  Since scientists tell us that we have about a decade to do
something to reduce climate calamity, somebody should be scheduling
out the next 10 years, 3,650 days, for climate action, month by
month, week by week, day by day to do what is ecologically necessary
to restore the atmosphere to preindustrial levels of CO2 (270 parts
per million) ASAP.
inkwell.vue.506 : State of the World 2019
permalink #200 of 231: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 15 Jan 19 14:52
Today is the last day of the "official" two week slot for the State
of the World conversation, though WELL members who want to continue
hanging out and posting here are welcome. Meanwhile our thanks to
all participants, especially the ringleaders (Bruce and I, Tiffany
Lee Brown, James Bridle, and Jake Dunagan).

Re gmoke's post - which uses the label "climate calamity" - I wonder
if we really have ten years. I've been saying it's too late to fix
the problem, and I'm usually considered an optimist. 

Here's new thinking about the dark:

Hopepunk is "the opposite of grimdark" ... "as much a mood and a
spirit as a definable literary movement, a narrative message of
'keep fighting, no matter what.'"

I can get behind this movement.

"The aesthetic of hopepunk can be seen as part of a broader cultural
embrace of 'softness,' wholesomeness, and gentleness. We see this in
a growing emphasis on what might be thought of as an extreme, even
aggressive form of self-care and wellness in response to stress
created by bleak sociopolitical times. Embedded into this idea are
trends like the high-end sleep industry; the popular home and
lifestyle trend hygge, which emphasizes comfort and coziness; the
rom-com resurgence; the ever-growing popularity of kawaii, or 'cute'
culture; 'JOMO,' a.k.a. the joy of missing out; and the online shift
away from cynicism to wholesome memes."


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