ASAP 2
-
English
Talk
Everyone
Future Shock - Against the Tyranny of the Present

Short thesis

No matter how much we fight it, we still think of the future as what is to come instead of what we might bring about. But what if the real tyrant is the present? What if, by thinking of the future as a not yet determined field, we can use it to challenge the conditions of our present? During this talk, we will try and do just that by using several scenarios to show how thinking about the future can challenge our present paradigms, assumptions, and ways of thinking about the world.

Description

No matter how much we fight it, we still think of the future as what is to come instead of what we might bring about. In our eyes, the future tends to be inherently deterministic; in culture, it is still depicted as the train barreling down at us from the other side of the tunnel. But what if the real tyrant is the present? Our present conditions, limitations, and context govern what we can imagine and limit our options to the solutions we are willing to consider as "realistic".

I would like to suggest that not only is the future not set in stone but that it can be "the great liberator". By thinking of the future as a fluid, becoming, not yet determined field we can radicalize, destabilize, and challenge the conditions of our present. This kind of "radical imagination" should become an important tool in our fight against power, capitalism, and imperialism as those forces increasingly present a "realist" view of the way things are, a narrow list of solutions with precludes any real change. "This is it" they say, "and this is how it will always be".

During my talk, I will use several future scenarios, some "science fiction" and some more "realistic", to show how thinking about the future can and should challenge our present paradigms, assumptions, and ways of thinking about the world. What is a human in the far future? What responsibility do we have towards the far future? What will society look like when millions of years have passed? Will we even exist? Is our future in-existence of any worth or concern to us in the present? We will ask all these questions and more, attempting to draw lines "back from the future" and into our present condition.

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Speakers