(against) a world that is hollowed out, closed off, sold off, “safe”

I hadn’t heard of freelance ed-tech thinker and avenging angel of firebrand rhetoric Audrey Watters before Sentiers linked to this transcription of a recent keynote of hers… but from now on, I’ll be keeping an ear out for her work. If you’d now please all stand for a rousing chorus of “Fuck the Hot Take Futures Factory”…

renewal always brings with it uncertainty, despite the predictions that the consultants and op-ed columnists want to sell us — predictions of a world that is hollowed out, closed off, sold off, “safe.” Remember: their predictions led us here in the first place, steering management towards institutional decay. I saw someone on Twitter ask the other day, “Why are schools better prepared for school shootings than they are to handle cancellation and closure?” I think we know why: because that’s the future schools were sold. One of surveillance and control. It’s the same future they’re going to repackage and rebrand for us at home. Let me repeat what I said earlier: the history of the future is a study of political imagination and political will. The future is a political problem.

We do not know what the future holds. Indeed it might seem almost impossible to imagine how, at this stage of the pandemic with catastrophic climate change also looming on the horizon, we can, as Arendt urges, renew a common world. And yet we must. It is our responsibility to do so. God knows the consultants are going to try to beat us to it.

Amen, sister.

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