Monday, March 22, 2010

Good Quote from Charles Stross on Firedoglake

It’s hard to forecast the future because it’s so fluid, and there’s so much more of it than there used to be!

We aren’t a monoculture any more. Nor do we consume common mass entertainment media. We’re appallingly diverse. And there are nearly seven billion of us, with more than a billion in the developed world and another 2-3 billion in countries that will be developed within a couple of decades (unless things go horribly wrong).

Consider recreational media. In the 19th century you had theatre, opera, music (mostly home-played), newspapers, novels, and maybe cock-fighting or bear-baiting or something. And sports.

Today you’ve got all of the above, plus: cinema. TV (fifty-plus channels of it.) Radio (ditto). Computer games, be they casuals played on a phone or console or mind-numbingly complex MMOs played on a computer. We’ve got the internet which explodes into blogs like this, chat, news sites, video via YouTube, and so on. And sports nobody had heard of a century ago — synchronized swimming, anyone?

In general, the dynamic of progress is to add complexity, to stick new items on the buffet rather than deleting old ones.

So the future we’re trying to predict is constantly getting denser and more gnarly.

1 comment:

ryan v said...

Stross speaks truth.