Monday, April 13, 2009

Future Shock

The suicide of Oleg Kireev, software activist and creator of security theater street performances long before 9/11, is being mourned by many this month at the Institute of Network Cultures.

Kireev's online history of the future, "Russia, 2005 - 2015: Where Do We Go Now From Nowhere?," can certainly be read as an extension of the more present-day commentaries on his country that he produced, such as "Age of Uncertainty." Like Derrida, it could be argued that Kireev distinguishes the usual notion of a predictable, stable future from that of "l'avenir."

I would argue that such histories of the future provide important counternarratives to the mainstream's emphasis on lists of disjointed predictions aimed at corporate spin and product launches.

There are even virtues to be found in the manic discourses of open courseware advocate David Wiley in "2005-2012: The OpenCourse Wars," which spins hyperbolic tales about the years to come in which he and Larry Lessig must battle Chinese Communists and members of a cyber-terror group called the "Libre License League," and in which he and Lessig face personal humiliation and intense scrutiny from a media that has somehow become fascinated by the legalistic minutiae of distance learning software protocols. More about Wiley's document of the future is here.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home