Reboot #Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling at RebootEn gigant för många av oss – Bruce Sterling – tillsammans med William Gibson cyberpunkens fixstjärna avslutade Reboot11. En skön kontrast mot den lätt väckelseaktiga känsla som ibland kommit över Reboot innan. Sterling satte ett annat perspektiv på framtiden och även om många var lite besvikna över den lite lama avslutningen med en sorts gore-version av Feng Shui så kan jag tycka att första delen var riktigt bra. Och självklart blev jag glad att höra att Gibson håller på att skriva en ny bok.

Nedan är anteckningarna från sessionen. Sterling pratar fort och det är fyllt av metaforer, smarta oneliners och anekdoter så tyvärr känns det lite rumphugget men håll till godo. Väljer att göra kommentarer på svenska inom parenteser.

Check out Bruce Sterlings Flickr-set on Atemporality.

What’s so great with Reboot? Eleven reboots? When are you gonna have a stabile system?

(stora skratt i lokalen men när man kom längre in i hans session insåg man att han inte bara var rolig)

What will next decade look like?

What is progress today? Progress have always been that you get better tools, better security and more knowledge. Everything have been upwards.

What we see in the next decade is about: No money, collapse on state and economy, climate crisis – that’s the platform for the future. Generation Xers in power and into a depression where people are afraid of the sky.

The word future is an old paradigm – it would go out of use as an idea. The belief in the future wont be the same. We will have a future, it’s of course timely fixed but the concept is changing when thinking of it in terms of progress and emerging.

A temporality is an eternal now.

(här får vi reda på att Bruce Sterling skriver om tanken på att framtiden bygger på en förgänglig tanke om att allt är temporärt och att William Gibson skriver en bok som går under namnet History 0)

Strategic forecasting quadrant:

  1. Crisis capitalism for babyboomers. Wont get out of the way but get less coherent done.
  2. BRICs. Emerging to nowhere. Globalizing without emerging.
  3. Reboot power. Dark euforia twenty-teens feeling. Leap into the unknown, falling down and suddenly you discover that there is no earth you will land on.
  4. Top-end/low-end. Gothic hi-tech vs Favela Chic

Gothic hi-tech (Steve Jobs) you done fantastic things but have to sneak away to fix a new liver to cure a mysterious sickness. Sarkozy gothic hi-tech: the right demography but no ideology.

All is about you – not about politics.

Barack Obama is a gothic hi-tech: he’s not Vaclav Havel, his a political machine and fundraiser.

The Gothic hi-tech are people who position themselves in narrative instead of building any permanent infrastructure. They are cheerleaders not leaders.

Favela Chic: persons that lost everything but are still wired to the hot and coolness places and people. Myspace is a favela. Every slogan from reboot fits into the favela: action is cheaper, always in beta. Squalettes: see-through building and squaded. Problem is that in the favela there is no future – no way to raise a kid, to do business and to stay secure. That’s the future for some people.

We live in a sort of stuffed animals: extinct things being repurposed but the somehow always out of it’s own context.

The unsustainable is the future – it’s the old new.

So – some practial advises: Fixing the climate won’t really do. Changing the systems isn’t that easy. But this is how to be bright geek green:

– stop acting dead – a test: I’m going to do something good. But is your dead greatgreat grandfather doing it better? One can’t do better than a dead guy – he’s much greener than you. You can’t beat a dead man in anything you come up with: saving water? No. Saving electricity? No.


.geekfriendly-approach – objects are printouts, basically frozen social relationships. Think of these objects think of them as time and space. Possessions embodied social relationships happen to have a particular form. Economizing isn’t social. If you don’t buy things people won’t get money.

Space and time: common everyday objects – you need the best of these.

  1. A bed. You live in the bed. Get rid of the things you never use.
  2. A chair. Get rid of the other chairs.
  3. Get real cosmetics.

You make lists – flowcharting it. Beautiful, usefulness, emotional meaningful, everything else. Beautiful are important – will you share it? If not – it’s not beautiful. Emotional important: is it enslaving you? Will you tell anybody else about it? Have it a narrative? Or is it emotional blackmailing you. Get rid of it. Take a picture, archive it. Get it out of your vicinity. Tools: imposed on you. Be very demanding of your tools. Do not make do with broken stuff. Reward best practices. And no beta time-sucking crap. “It might be useful” – are you using it? Are you publishing the results? If not – you’re not experimenting with it. If you’re not telling people – you’re enslaved by it. Everything else: virualize it, store the data – get rid of it.

This is what you do in times where your life changes. But catalogue things you got, get prepared for when it happens.

After you will be different – you will become more of what you are.

Other posts about the session:

David Weinberger blogs about the session.

Videos of Bruce Sterling from Reboot11.

Ps. Sterling lyssnade bland annat på Rick Falkvinge. Ds.