Previously, Peter Hipwell at HCRC/Centre for Cognitive Science, University of

Edinburgh wrote:

 

--Alternative One--

 

We have a GREEDY WONDER at what MORE might be SNATCHED from the

future, a possesive wonder that says we can have EVEN MORE CAKE and

a MACHINE that will EAT THE SURPLUS for us. It seems to have

been working out so far: we've got us a constant stream of MIRACLE

DEVICES that soon become BACKGROUND FURNITURE, and a continual

scratching of the hominid curiosity itch for ETERNAL RELIEF. We're

still itchy, twitchy and thoroughly bitchy, but one day there might

even be a pretty capsular wrapped-up-with-a-bow present from the

TECHNOLOGICIANS who tell us that EVEN that can be CURED.

 

Humanity is a race with ELASTIC TEETH: it CAN'T bite off more than it

can chew!

 

--Alternative Two--

 

MONEY can't buy LOVE. Machines can't buy THOUGHTFUL CONTENTMENT. But

as they get bigger and better, the RAVAGES they inflict on the world

and on people become vaster, more unforgiving, more

inhuman. Eventually the point will come when we realize that our

gadgets have created Universal Trashcinerator Lives; useless,

hopeless, terminal people living in a MORONIC INFERNO of MISAPPLIED

MECHANIC SOPHISTICATION.

 

--Alternative Three--

 

We know how WRONG such FUTUROLOGICAL PREDICTION turns out to be.

 

The astronavigator WILL NOT be calculating TRANS-GALACTIC trajectory

with slide rule: but perhaps that's EXACTLY what's wrong with us.

 

We can see that it SHOULD have been just like we thought it should

have been going to be. Things SHOULD have turned out for the best, or

the worst -- not THIS BEWILDERING MESS -- it wasn't MEANT to BE like

this. We were meant to have ROBOTIC SERVANTS and SHINY SILVER ROBES

and SEXUAL PARADISE and IMMORTALITY and the LEISURE SOCIETY, or we

should have gone EXTINCT in

 

1) a MASSIVE NUCLEAR CONFLAGRATION that left a new ASTEROID BELT

2) a descent into SQUALID CONFLICT between MEANINGLESS conglomerations

of people feeling HOSTILE for any reasons you care to name.

3) zombiefied TUBE SUCKING passive zero blipformation world

 

We SHOULD HAVE BEEN either ULTIMATELY GOOD OR BAD.

 

But we never were before. And we aren't now. And we won't be in the

future. Because the future is EXACTLY the same as now: off-balance

people in a shower of changes.

 

--Avaunt Garde: A Lifepattern Manifesto--

 

The ! of the novelties that await, the FRUITS of the future, the

intent gaze of the world upon itself as it BECOMES ELSE: a myopic

saccade, a hiccup of consciousness, a shade of fascination, a focus of

FUTUROLOGY. Every mode of CREATION or ANTICIPATION is a FUTUROLOGICAL

ACT, a NOW-NEXT-THING and a pointless skewing of the "progressive

trajectory" -- a trajectory as convoluted as that of the Peano curve, a

mathematical abstraction, a ONE DIMENSIONAL line that can ENTIRELY

FILL a TWO DIMENSIONAL space.

 

The light of CATACHRONISTIC RETROINTERPRETATION has already dawned!

 

*IN*FUTURISTIC World...

 

Cheesy SCIENCE FICTION is the most glorious flowering of the

Futurological Art. It's mouth-wateringly quaint audacities, it's

enchanting, bewitching and thoroughly liberating elaboration of the

Absolute Futility of Extrapolation: it just couldn't be more WRONG.

These FROZEN ASPECTS of the present as reflected in the fictional

future provide a comforting NOSTALGIC GLOSS of which futurological

analysis of the moment is HARSHLY SHORN.

 

ARCANOSCOPIC ObFuturity:

 

HOPE for and FAMILIARITY with Life on Planet Earth -- a desperate

coping strategy that unifies all human time, past, present, future,

parallel, into one GLORIOUS FIZZING BALL of self-delusion

 

MARS *WAS* COLONIZED BY COMMUNISTS

 

Manifestos are outdated. Can we SERIOUSLY demand REVOLUTIONARY

OVERTHROW OF ACCEPTED PRECEPTS? Let's face it -- REVOLUTION is

outdated. We know that any AMPUTATION of a dictated style just leads

to REGROWTH: some other dictated style is dictacted. And we're sick to

death of STYLE. We're sick to death of FASHION too. Well, OUR "we"

DON'T CARE if it's outdated. We DON'T CARE if this is

unfashionable. We DON'T EVEN CARE if we're dictating a new STYLE,

however UNSTYLISH that might be. No, we may be bogged down in a

QUAGMIRE of paradox about what we/"we" LIKE and DISLIKE, but that

isn't going to STOP us PREACHING the NEW-OLD *AESTHETICAL PALETTE* of

the AVAUNT-GARDE, the OVERINTELLECTUAL SPEWING of "we" people who like

our threats to be FAMILIAR threats, who want the PAST to become the

FUTURE, who want nothing more than to wallow in CATACHRONISTIC

RETROINTERPRETATION -- this IS a MANIFESTO, but we don't propose

ANY creative activity whatsoever. No, there's TOO MUCH in existence

already. We're not saying LESS IS MORE: we're saying that ALREADY

ENOUGH IS NOW.

 

TIME MUST STOP.

 

Only IGNORANCE may regard this as the bellowing of a confused

minority, a group of NOSTALGIC LUDDITES who tell you that we can

ONLY take a step forwards by taking two steps back. IGNORANCE will

continue to CREATE: concommitant APATHY will construct its VOID, a

HOLLOW SYMPTOMATIC CHASM indicative of the background assumption that

there WILL BE progress. BIG BUT: the process of creation-progress is a

deeply destructive one, a SKELETONIC DECAY FUNCTION that traces a

trajectory into the "UNKNOWN". PILES OF OBSOLETE "TRASH" SURROUND THE

HOLLOW SHELLS THAT *WE* HAVE BECOME.

 

"TRASH" is the TRUE "UNKNOWN": an ASTROLOGICAL CRYPTOGRAM assemblage

of FAUX-DINOSAUR SKELETONS.

 

The malaise of INDUSTRIDOLATRY strikes and we begin to dream of some

new DEVICES that will affect us some years hence. Slobbering panting

futurology. TOMORROW is a combination theme-park ride of whirligig

frantic optimism and queued-up doom-mongering: we have mounds of

extrapolation piled upon extrapolation, we have appreciative

prose-hymns to DEVICES that are based upon theories that DON'T EVEN

EXIST, but MIGHT one day. HOW PERFECT we WOULD BE if we ONLY had 15

more gizmoids... if we didn't age, if we learnt to think in new

patterns, if, if, if we could compute with cells, with light, with

QUANTUUM JIGGERY-POKERY, with tiny machines, with GIANT MACHINES, with

reproducing machines, with thinking machines, with SERVANT machines,

with a race of newts found in the South Seas by a druken old captain

who trains them to go pearl fishing and eventually makes the whole

financial structure of the world dependent on their slave

labour... sorry, must have been thinking of SOMETHING ELSE.

 

THE FUTURE IS ALREADY DEAD -- AND WE KILLED IT!

 

We are surrounded by the bewildering outcomes of Technological

Growth, but NO ONE understands more than a mere fraction of the

mathematical/scientific material that generates this PROGRESS. There

just isn't enough time. Much science overturns COMMON SENSE, creating

a new CRYSTALLINE SURREALISTIC VIEWPOINT, a mode of FROZEN GLANCING

that bogglingly slashes at our perceptions of the world we live

in. How many people understand any significant fraction of what we

have done in this one field alone? NO, call a HALT, DELVE BACKWARDS

and let THIS be the WAY FORWARD.

 

There is a VAST, WILD BEAUTY contained in the "everythingness" of the

"then", a beauty that is not apparent to those who DON'T BELIEVE THIS,

to those who have never stopped to THINK that they can't even read

every book that is published NOW, let alone adding those of the PAST.

 

TIME MUST STOP.

 

Everything snatched from the "PAST" is an archival trace of the

FAMILIARLY TRULY ALIEN, a complex indicator of the way things

WILL BE, it is the traces of EVERYTHING WE ARE, hopes and fears and

REAL ALIENS. The INCREASING REPLICABILITY of these complex "PAST"

structures is generating a casual contempt for MEANING: Bill Gates

wants to ENCODE all the "GREAT ART" into a DIGITAL PHANTASMS. Our

fantastic ability to produce TRANSLOCALITY of the INHERENTLY SINGULAR

has sounded a DEATH KNELL, a new view of the world that equates

POSSESSION of information with COMPREHENSION of that information, a

view that the NEWEST BIG GIMMICK, the INTERNET, encourages more than

any pervious GADGET.

 

It began with PRINTING PRESSES. Yet, still, there is an AUTHORITY to

the printed word, an authority based on the fact that the words have

been WEIGHED and found ADEQUATE to GENERATE INCOME by GREAT

JUDGES... while meanwhile, rivers of EVERYHTING pour between the

cracks. We only latch on to a few isolated fragments of consensus

history.

 

The AVAUNT-GARDE must BREAK the "eyes front" position, must not

indulge in the transformational gimmickry of Neo-Romanticism or its

Counter-Twin, Post-Modernism. AVAUT-GARDE is a MODE of EXISTENCE, a

mode that notes there is ALREADY TOO MUCH STUFF for an individual to

understand; that therefore there is already -- effectively -- an

INFINITELY LARGE BODY of HISTORICAL CREATIONS to explore, as UNKNOWN

as the FUTURE and as UNPREDICTABLE and ALIEN.

 

STOP POSTING TO THIS NEWSGROUP NOW.

 

--

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**** WEB SITE PLUG: http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~petehip/ZPKIntro.html ****

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