many bodies have borne the burden or paid the price / cli-fi as null category

Lindsay Lerman discusses What “Climate Fiction” Does. (They’re her air-quotes, by the way, although I’m in full agreement with her reasons for using them.)

… it is crucial that we recognize that, ultimately, there is no “cli-fi” and “not cli-fi.” All fiction has to grapple with place or setting in some way, and fiction often gives voice to concerns about place, setting, environment, etc. in ways that stretch our understanding, our imaginative capacity, and even the language we have at our disposal to describe unfolding phenomena. […] We must recognize that the ecological catastrophe increasingly featured in popular fiction is not new and that many bodies have borne the burden or paid the price of [this] catastrophe. Their stories have not often been told; indeed, they have not often been considered worth telling.

[…] we must keep in mind this capacity of ours to think into existence what does not yet (fully) exist. As broadly understood as possible, this capacity is what we call imagination—something that artists and thinkers with “political” interests and concerns have understood well. Imagination can never take the place of policy, but we must ask ourselves whether and how imagination can inform policy.

Very germane to our work in Climaginaries and elsewhere.

a cranky aspiration

Chairman Bruce on AI ethics at LARB:

In the hermetic world of AI ethics, it’s a given that self-driven cars will kill fewer people than we humans do. Why believe that? There’s no evidence for it. It’s merely a cranky aspiration. Life is cheap on traffic-choked American roads — that social bargain is already a hundred years old. If self-driven vehicles doubled the road-fatality rate, and yet cut shipping costs by 90 percent, of course those cars would be deployed.

Cassandra addresses the Trojans

Greta speaks:

… what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing a climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?

Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else.

My generation, we missed the boat – we were seduced away from any serious attempt to change things, momentarily convinced that dancing in abandoned warehouses might be enough to shift the social paradigm. We had fun, but we were wrong. Greta’s generation will not have the luxury of distraction.

And so my generation’s job is now to shovel the Boomershit out of the way and clear a path for the youth to come through.

No glory, no thanks, only effort. It’s what we owe them.

Albion reimagined, blogosphere rebooted

Paul Watson (ov thee Lazarus Corporation) has been reading vintage anarcho-utopias:

Despite the clumsiness of info-dumps and/or other literary faults, fiction — or any other artform — is far better at describing, and igniting the imagination aboutdifferent potential futures than any dry political tract (or indeed blogpost) filled with jargon, references, and footnotes. That’s why even frothing right-wing libertarians spend more time trying to get people to read Ayn Rand’s terrible novels rather than pushing people to read a formal socio-economic treatise on the subject.

Something wonderful appears to be happening: blogs long dormant are firing furtively into signs of new life in the dusty reaches of my RSS reader, making me very glad I didn’t hoover out all of the much-loved number stations that had seemingly stopped for good. (Joanne McNeil thinks it’s a (qualified) good idea, though Jeffrey Moro has some concerns.)

Sadly not all of them have comments fields (which I guess I can forgive, remembering how that all went down), and others are using third-party horrors like Discus (folks, if Farcebork is a log-in option, you’re spreading Zuckerbot’s cookie-cooties for him); hell knows who’s still got pingbacks running, or has any reliable way of clocking incoming links other than G**gle’s analytics package. But perhaps we can nonetheless find a way not to rebuild the old blogosphere, but build a new one — one wiser to its own weaknesses, more mindful of its strengths. Watson again:

The way to start to change society is to just do it, not to wait for an election (or revolution), nor to wait for someone else to do it. There’ll be no Big Event that signals your permission to start making the world better, and even if there was you wouldn’t be able to afford a ticket anyway, as most of them would have been given to VIPs via corporate hospitality before they went on general sale.

Be the change you want to see, innit?

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Science fiction, science fact, and all that's in between …