Here be unicorns. И музика и филми, вдъхновени от човешките ни книги. И всичко, дето ви е на сърце, ама не може да се побере в ^такива^ тесни теми...

Re: Бъдещето

Postby Кал » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:15 pm

Наско тая вечер ме запозна с изобретенията на Анатолий Юницкий:


Толкова се сащисах, че не знам какво да кажа...
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Re: Бъдещето

Postby Кал » Sat Jun 18, 2022 4:03 pm

My review of Imagine 2020:

A varied anthology with a few hits and a few misses for me. Here're the hits:

~ Marissa Lingen's "A Worm to the Wise" regaled me with its pithy summary of cheap-o "investigative" journalism (as opposed to the proper kind):

In the early days, she hoped for a scandal. Hypocrisy would be best — environmentalists who used polluting technology for literally anything, that was always a popular way to make the public feel better about itself. If not that, a titillating exposé of latter-day hippie life would do. Orgies around bonfires, drug use, sordid abuse of petty power — that kind of story was easy to spread on social media. It would make a name for her.

After two weeks of crushing labor with never an orgy in sight, not even a bonfire, and considerably less drug use than she’d seen at Stanford, Augusta found that the kind of story she was planning shifted. Not to a puff piece, she assured herself. Not becoming the soil reclamation PR department. Just … not raking the same kind of muck.

She began to wonder whether the people who came up with the term “muckraking” had ever spent much time working soil with a rake. It sounded so easy until you did it.

All in all, a refreshing piece. :)

~ Renan Bernardo's "When It’s Time to Harvest" offers subdued humor and subtle ruminations that will only grow and ripen on a second reading. Just like any clever metaphor. ;)

~ I liked the long-distance perspective on our own times in Abigail Larkin's "A Séance in the Anthropocene." I know this rage against the past, this utalawuhska, all too well. And I was glad to see it join hands with nudahvundiyv, kindness toward the past.

~ An important notion from Lindsey Brodeck's "Afterglow":
“What pronoun would you use to describe what you see here?” Wyl points to a bee meandering lazily through the air. (...)

The man smiles in a self-conscious way, like he is afraid of being tricked. His flushed cheeks are almost as red as his shirt. “It’s on a flower?”

Wyl smiles, but shakes their head. “That is what I assumed you would say, but we’re here to show you a different way of seeing the world, and the inhabitants we share the world with. Our mission is more than beekeeping, gardening, and rewilding. We’re fighting for a semantic shift too. What do any of you know about 452b, the first planet the pods landed on all those years ago?”

I’m never one to speak up in crowds, but something compels me to answer.

“The plant people living there, they can hardly tell anything apart,” I say. “Not just from each other, but from anything that is alive. Everything is connected. That’s why their language is so hard to understand.”

Wyl nods, and I assume I’ve given the right answer.

“You’re close, but that isn’t quite it.”

I stay silent. My cheeks are now flushed too.

“You are correct about one thing. The Heliogen language is certainly difficult to translate into our own. English speakers inherited a language of imperialists, one that objectifies and capitalizes on virtually everything it comes into contact with. The language of the Heliogens is far different. Their language emphasizes the connections between us, not the arbitrary boundaries intended to separate us. Heliogens even have a pronoun for everyone, and everything. And that pronoun is ‘se.’ A Heliogen would never say, ‘It is flying through the air,’ because they recognize the similarities we share with other animate beings as being far more important than our differences. ‘Se’ is the ultimate form of respect, expressing the connection we — or should I say ‘se’ — share with all others. This bee, se pollinates our flowers; the flowers, se give us nourishment and beauty. Our words are just as important as our actions. They shape our mind, our way of seeing, our sense-making.”

It is beautiful, what Wyl is saying, but also difficult to grasp. As I try to think about the way the language I speak influences the way I understand the world, I feel my thoughts go fuzzy.

“We can even use ‘se’ to describe ourselves, for it is incorrect to think of ‘you’ or ‘me’ as composed of only human-ness. In fact, se are working together with trillions of prokaryotic cells. So this makes us amalgamations, holobionts, chimeras, constantly changing, yet one.”

The story then addresses other ways in which our languages shape our perceptions; I think we already saw some of them in Braiding Sweetgrass.

~ Rich Larson's "Tidings" won me over with both its ideas and their presentation. Here're a choice two:
Three or four minutes later, they’re at Kat’s apartment. The make-out starts in the cramped lift and continues into the cramped flat. She clears off the couch and then helps Jan peel his shirt off, both of them fumbly and excited, and when it clears his tousled head Kat is face-to-face with a hollow cheeked woman in a boat.

Kat blinks. The woman blinks back. The crisp image, rendered in nano ink, is a livestream.

“Uh, Jan? Who’s on your stomach?”

Jan glances down. “Oh. I forgot.”

He prods his slightly beer-wobbly gut. A name appears in the nano ink: Tharanga Mendis.

“It is hard for me to read upside down,” Jan says. “But that. She is a refugee from Negombo. The wet bulb temperature is 38 now. People cannot sweat, so they leave or they die.”

Kat loses her booze buzz to the old cycle: guilt, annoyance at having to feel guilt on a night where all she wanted to do was hook up, guilt for the annoyance.

“You shouldn’t be skincasting people’s suffering,” she says sharply. “Or sharing their faces. It’s gross.”

Jan’s slate-gray eyes turn solemn. “It’s only sort of gross,” he says. “Her face is already known. This is a feed from border surveillance. I’m watching them watching her, and everybody else in the boat.”

Kat frowns. “Accountability?”

Jan shakes his head and grins his lopsided grin. “Better,” he says. “Catalonia is only letting in migrants with proof of employment.”

The smart tattoo shifts, showing a child now. They pull faces at whatever border drone is circling their vessel.

“With enough people streaming them, they can be classified as performers,” Jan says. “We had a legal AI do up the contracts.” He holds up his phone, and Kat sees the same feed. “I have it going everywhere,” he says. “Not just the tattoo.”

“If that works, it’s only going to work once,” Kat says, slumping down onto the couch. “You know that, right?”

“That’s OK,” Jan says. “We have lots of ideas. We just have to keep, you know, implementing. One little thing at a time.” His forehead creases. “Did you still want to have sex?”

Kat rubs at her face. “I don’t know. Kind of.” She glares. “How do you forget you have that playing on your stomach? How can you keep things — partitioned, like that?”

“Because it’s not my responsibility,” Jan says. “It’s everybody’s responsibility. And not everybody is doing their part, but a lot of people are, and I trust those people a lot.” He shrugs. “So do what you can, let go of the rest.”

Kat shuts her eyes. The last thing she wanted to think about tonight was climate refugees battling draconian border security, but the world is too small, too hot, too claustrophobic, to avoid thoughts like that anymore — even for a night.

“Shirt stays on,” she says, pushing it back into his chest. “But, uh, send me the stream first.”

This is just how things are now. Kat does what she can, and lets go of the rest.

“Hello,” Suma says, voice shaking a bit from excitement. “My name is Suma.”

The moose swings his big head left, then right. Snorts.

“Can you stop wrecking the fence?” Suma asks. “We could give you a bucket of apples to eat, if you like. And some spare rhubarb to step on.”

The babeltech kicks in, and the synthesized representation of the moose’s non-human person neural processes comes blaring through Suma’s tablet.


Suma blinks in surprise. “Cade?” she says, in a low voice. “Why’s he saying that?”

Cade tries to keep the laugh down, and it nearly bursts their belly. “Uh, I think it’s rutting reason,” they say. “Maybe he’ll be more conversational in a couple weeks.”

Suma purses her lips. “If the moose is allowed to say it, can I say it, too?”

“Just once,” Cade says. “Since you got babeltech to work with a cervine. You earned it, kiddo.”

Suma grins. “Even if he only cusses at us, this is still so fucking cool.”

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