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November 22, 2008

<< Screenealogies | When Big Systems Change >>


Speaking of Kevin Kelly, I had basically taken for granted that one of us had already posted his call for more visions of the near future, given our recent spate of near-futurism. It appears no one had. Well, that’s fixed.

Posted November 22, 2008 at 7:29 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, EPIC, Technosnark


Two phrases from Kelly's post that deserve to become common lingo:

1) the alien present (from KK)
2) the McLuhan ramp (from Jaron Lanier, linked in the comments)

In fact, I think we should start a band called The McLuhan Ramp.

Our first album will be called The Alien Present.

Matt sings; Tim, you're on drums.

Robin plays cello.

I'd never heard of this McLuhan Ramp before so I went looking for an explanation; the best one I've found is here. Jaron Lanier is putting my "never trust a white guy with dreads" axiom to the test.

Hey, good find! It's funny how a "secondary source" -- a smart summary or synthesis -- can so often be better than the original. Especially when it comes to actually understanding the argument.

At the Long Now talks here in SF, they have a debate format that's one of my favorite things ever: Two people. They take turns presenting their case. But after I'm done with my part, you, as my "opponent", have to summarize it back to me -- to my satisfaction! Only then are you free to do your part -- which I then summarize back to you, to your satisfaction.

It's a kind of forced empathy, a gap-bridging... it's strange & marvelous to imagine the same format being applied to, say, the presidential debates.

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