The Null Device
Bruce Sterling's letter from the 2035 depression:
It's hard to feel all boisterous and ebullient about our national prospects when topsoil from Omaha is airborne and sifting down on Washington, D.C. California is full of migrating Okies again, only this time the Okies have laptops, Web pages, and cell phones. It's basically a Grapes of Wrath thing, only they're logging frequent-flier miles.
By your standards, today's society is extremely businesslike. Basically, there's no place to be but in business. Government is in the "administration business." Artists are in the "culture industry." Doctors and nurses are "biotech entrepreneurs." Cops are "private security professionals." Scientists work for "industrial R&D." Academics are "career-training professionals." Helpfully, we tend to shoot all our lawyers, unless they are "intellectual-property lawyers," in which case they basically behave like Mafia dons.
we never quite made it to Mars, because manned space flight has no real commercial potential. But it turned out to be surprisingly useful to plan how to settle on Mars. Because if you can settle Mars, the Gobi desert is a suburb.
Hey darklings! Now you can flip through jwz's CD collection. Use it to get gift ideas for the special black-clad angstpuppy in your life. (via NtK)