Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2013 Highlights

Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2013 Highlights

December 28, 2012 12:32 pm 0 comments

The conversation is slow moving again this year, but that’s actually pretty nice. A few highlights:

  • Jon Lebkowsky: “There’s a real crisis of authority, a question whether we know what we know.”
  • Bruce Sterling: “2012 was all about K-pop and Samsung. Who can’t admire these two mushrooming efflorescences of Korean soft power and Korean hard manufacturing? They’re the New 1980s Japan.”
  • Sterling: “If the War on Terror had a winner, it’s the Qataris. Nobody ever dares to say anything mean about them. Even Israel and the USA are afraid of them, because the USA and Israel both instinctively kowtow to rich guys with TV stations.”
  • Jeff Kramer: “Our parents generation would have bought bigger houses, put down roots and settled in for the long haul, but my lizard brain keeps whispering to stay light and keep the options open.”
  • Sterling: “Americans don’t have state-supported censorship, but they do have a civil cold war, and the factions don’t talk to one another at all. There’s no open debate, there’s no discourse. There’s a little bit of room for debate within the factions but between them, there’s nothing.”
  • Lebkowsky: “I think it was easier for one artist to make a difference when there were fewer people, and fewer of them making art. And, for that matter, fewer rudders to nudge.”
  • Roland Legrand: “Therapists tell me about the increasing damage they see every day, caused by this increasing pressure to perform. The middle class is falling apart under the pressure of globalisation, technology and extreme competition.”
  • Sterling: “I find it disquieting when people want art to make a whole lot of difference. When Vaclav Havel went into politics he stopped being an artist.”

And here’s a longer excerpt from Lebkowsky, on “present shock”:

I find myself taking more breaks from the streams of information by and about my friends, reading more books and fewer activity streams. When I’m surfing online in hyperdrive mode, I feel an anxiety about all that’s happening and how to track it. Every day I get notices about so many events that are happening at once, and for every event I make, I feel I’m missing a dozen others. Is it better not to know?

I suppose I’ve been information-greedy, and greed is destructive.

Full Story: The Well: State of the World 2013: Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky

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