Log 1/2016

Stacks in the field and unexpected sequels

Busy few months since the last time I wrote one of these. Attended the chaos communication congress again, did a little bit of travelling and a lot of physics. Luckily, I found some time for reading as well, so here are some things I found interesting.

The future of the book is once again under discussion. Craig Mod, as usual, has some thoughts. Here’s an interesting discussion on new storytelling modes emerging.

Speaking of Craig, there’s also his field report from Myanmar, where smartphones are most people’s first and only computers and Facebook reigns supreme. I had not quite realised the implication of one billion Facebook users. It really puts all of our navel-gazing about platform lock-in, privacy and emerging social networks into perspective. The Stacks are here, and they’re here to stay.

That field report is an off-shoot from a research project run by Studio Radio Durans (annual report/obsessively designed duffle), a consultancy which would be quite at home in the pages of a William Gibson book. I found myself re-reading his Bridge trilogy recently, which still manages to be surprisingly relevant.

Reading science fiction to understand the present seems more appropriate than ever. Vice’s Terraform is definitely on the right track, publishing stories exploring that boundary. I particularly liked The End of Big Data and Headcold recently.

To my great delight, I found out (via this short story) that a sequel to Blindsight (previously) exists. It’s great, dark and thoroughly depressing. Not a particularly pleasant future. But what a ride!

Personally, I hope we manage to reverse the trend toward a cyberpunk dystopia, and end up in a solarpunk situation instead.

Completely unrelated, but very pleasant: A beautifully illustrated sci-fi piece about Tokyo.

You’re probably working too much. Particularly if you’re in academia.

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Hi, I'm Marcel. This is where I put stuff on the internet. You can follow me on Twitter, or read the about page (if you're into that sort of thing).