Thursday, February 28, 2013
Futurists have a dismal track record. The long list of shattered expectations is enough to fill a server farm in eastern Oregon. The fallback mode is to seize on some technical innovation and project current enthusiasms for it out to rediculous degrees. What's more useful to extrapolate from, I think is the interplay between novelties like tech gizmos like the internet and what appear to be constants, like powerlust. It's recognized that the first application of technology is usually geared toward killing other people in large numbers, extending domination of the mass of humanity by oligarchic cabals and the relentless extrication of natural resources from a worn out earth. I had the displeasure to grind through "Empire" by Negri and Hardt some years ago. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_%28book%29) Despite the abstruse and turgid prose, they made their point well enough and I think they succeed in outlining the framework of the post WW2 settlement era. Just as the work of Metternich and Napoleon started to come unglued after 1848, so did the work of Churchill and Acheson become to fray badly after the reuniting of Europe after 1990.