The Dim-Post

October 13, 2016

I love this Paris Review interview with William Gibson

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 10:20 am

Sample:

INTERVIEWER

For someone who so often writes about the future of technology, you seem to have a real romance for artifacts of earlier eras.

GIBSON

It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone.

One of the books that’s really stuck with me in the last few years was Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty, which functions almost like a science fiction novel set in the recent past.

7 Comments »

  1. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online.

    Oh, you can probably find ways: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_It_Sleep or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Lonelyhearts.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 13, 2016 @ 10:28 am

  2. It’s a very good interview

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — October 13, 2016 @ 11:41 am

  3. Could be you have an instinctive liking for mythistory, Danyl. I tried to submit a page on it to Wikipedia a few years back when I discovered (to my surprise) that there wasn’t one onsite. One of their editors rejected it due to the fact that it had original content: the objection, in essence, was that it wasn’t merely a report of already-published thoughts of others. I was bemused that Wikipedia was operating a policy of covert discrimination against original contributors.

    So I put it on my own website in the hope that someone else would eventually do the necessary Wiki and include my exposition on the interior dimensions of the topic, which, if you google it comes in at #3, one ahead of the Oxford dictionary definition. Gee, does that mean people around the world are actually reading it? Not necessarily, as google operates on a local-bias design nowadays.

    This reviewer http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/red-plenty-by-francis-spufford-2063018.html is spooked by the real/imaginal blend, but not enough to be unable to cope with the task – just enough to be unable to appreciate the theme you have been developing.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 13, 2016 @ 11:44 am

  4. “I was bemused that Wikipedia was operating a policy of covert discrimination against original contributors.”

    Is something really covert if it’s one of the three founding principles of a project? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:NOR

    Comment by Gilbert — October 13, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

  5. t’Hooft has a few interesting things to say about the past, future, information and holograms.

    Comment by NeilM — October 13, 2016 @ 2:56 pm

  6. Dennis is angry because Wikipedia didn’t want to be his personal blog.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — October 13, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

  7. Don’t be silly Ortvin. Gilbert, you make a valid point – it’s partly-covert, party-explicit then. That rejection of “original research” and ideas is being used to stop us informing the public of significant dimensions of a powerful concept relevant to group psychodynamics, mass motivations, etc, with major political & cultural consequences. That’s the essence of my criticism of Wikipedia’s editorial policy. Otherwise I think it’s an excellent crowd-sourcing concept & often find it extremely useful.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 13, 2016 @ 7:07 pm


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