Visions of the future are often framed by the technologies that shape them. This is readily apparent in popular culture’s treatment of the future over the past 50 years. Several recurring themes of these fictional projections have become contemporary concerns in 2017: the specter of artificial intelligence, the rise of robots, virtual worlds, and the existential question of self in an increasingly distributed and fragmented reality. All of which points to an increasingly technological mediation of both reality and identity, raising the larger question of how we are managing these changes culturally.
The Twenty Days of Turin is uncanny both in terms of its subject matter and in the way it prefigures the emotional reality of our own period. This is a book written in 1975 and featuring no technology more advanced than high-end analog audio recordings, yet it grasps the implications of social media in ways cyberpunk never did. It’s a book steeped in the idiosyncratic culture of Turin that speaks to psychic elements of crises now gripping much of the world. The Twenty Days of Turin depicts how the past overflows the feeble efforts of the present to make its own future; in that, it may be the novel that foreshadows our moment more accurately than any number of speculative fictions.
Sometimes people just want a little bit of WordPress. Before hanging a left with the anth101.com site, we pruned it waaaaay down and tried to make it as simple as possible. This is a pretty solid example that WordPress can be just about anything you want if you’re willing to put in a bit of time and effort. I figure having all these things in one place will help someone else (me most likely) at some point.
I had the chance to work more on the ANTH 101 site with Ryan and Mike over winter break. It’s a pretty significant change. It’s almost entirely gutted in terms of the WordPress side of things with a different theme, some new plugins etc. but also some significant changes on how student see and interact with the work they make.
Damn, Caulfield made short work of bringing this gem of a resource to light. Great, timely frame for his remarkable work on topic recently.