Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky have just begun their 13th annual "State of the World" conversation on The Well. (2011's State of the World here.)
inkwell.vue.430 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2012
permalink #6 of 13: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 4 Jan 12 18:06
SOME FRINGE BELIEFS ABOUT FUTURE CHANGES
It's surprising how little vitality these have nowadays. Instead of fanaticallly dedicating themselves to narrow, all-explanatory cults, people just sort of eyeblink at 'em and move on to the next similiar topic. In a true Network Society, all fringe beliefs about the future seem to be more or less equivalent, like Visa, American Express and Mastercard. "Conservatism" conserves nothing; there is no "progression" in which to progress.
Peak Oil. Oil probably "peaked" quite some time ago, but the "peak" itself doesn't seem to bother markets much. The imaginary Armageddon got old-fashioned fast. Peak Oil has peaked.
Islamic Caliphate... With the collapse of so many Arab regimes, these guys are in the condition of dogs that caught a taxi. "Sharia Law" is practically useless for any contemporary purpose, and Arabs never agree about anything except forcing non-Arabs to believe.
Chemtrails. These guys are pitiable loons, but they're interesting harbingers of a future when even scientific illiterates are deathly afraid of the sky. It's interesting that we have cults of people who walk outside and read the sky like a teacup. I've got a soft spot for chemtrail people, they're really just sort of cool, and much more interesting than UFO cultists, who are all basically Christians. Jesus is always the number one Saucer Brother in UFO contactee cults. It's incredible how little imagination the saucer people have.
BitCoin. An ultimate Internet hacker fad. You'd think ...