Blog posts in Flight of the Vajra for December 2013:

Flight of the Vajra: On Whitewashing The Future Dept.

The best far-looking SF is always rooted in the conflicts of the moment -- especially the things we think we will someday outgrow.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013/12/29 10:00

Let the Future Be Whitewashed…Today! « The Hooded Utilitarian

... the reason that it is important to include diverse characters and diverse voices in speculative fiction would be because the assertion “we’re all in this together” is not, in fact, a pure, shining, unimpeachable truth, handed down by the gods of speculative fiction for our enlightenment. The statement “we’re all in this together” is, instead, an ideological presumption which is not supported by most of the extant facts.

I'd put it more this way: "we're all in this together" is a dormant truth, one which can emerge one of two ways: either as an evident fact of life, becuse we are all in fact in the same boat and pulling together; or as a grim specter, in which the connectivity of each to all is expressed despite this and not because of it.

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Tags: Flight of the Vajra Science Fiction Repair Shop futurism science fiction


Flight of the Vajra: Lead, Follow, Or Get A Life Dept.

On "I don't want to have to follow an artist that I have to lead."

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013/12/15 10:00

T Bone Burnett vs. Silicon Valley: 'We Should Go Up There With Pitchforks and Torches' (Q&A)

People tend to want artists to do the same thing, and it is incumbent upon artists to do something that the audience doesn't want -- yet. I'll tell you this. I won't follow an artist who will be led by his audience. Because I don't want to have to follow an artist that I have to lead.

The comments about Silicon Valley aside (I use and make a living off this technology, but I see more and more every day why many creative people are embittered about it, but that's another essay), it was this comment -- courtesy of Marc McKenzie, hat tip -- which caught my attention.

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Tags: creativity creators imagination


Flight of the Vajra: Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today! Dept.

E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the cruelty of really teaching computing science (EWD 1036) The usual way in which we plan today for tomorrow is in yesterday's vocabulary. We do so, because we try to get away with the concepts we...

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013/12/05 10:00

E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the cruelty of really teaching computing science (EWD 1036)

The usual way in which we plan today for tomorrow is in yesterday's vocabulary. We do so, because we try to get away with the concepts we are familiar with and that have acquired their meanings in our past experience.

This insight is a big part of why I'm convinced most any attempt to talk about "the future", especially in SF, is always going to be some form of talking about the here and now. When I wrote Flight of the Vajra I didn't really think the future I was imagining was the future we were going to have, or even a future we were likely to inhabit. It was a future, one I used more as a way to muse about where we're headed or even where we are right now. Such is the way of skiffy.

What I don't think we should ever do, though, is settle for only that. Today's tomorrow shouldn't look like yesterday's tomorrow if we can help it.

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Tags: Science Fiction Repair Shop futurism


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