Our Grandparents Had A Future


analemma-tower-clouds-architecture-office-conceptual-supertall-skyscrapers_dezeen_2364_col_3“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. … We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition”

Text: William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

Pics: “In a bid to get around terrestrial height restrictions, Clouds Architecture Office has proposed suspending the world’s tallest skyscraper from an asteroid, leaving residents to parachute to earth.New York-based Clouds Architecture Office drew up plans for Analemma Tower to “overturn the established skyscraper typology” by building not up from the ground but down from the sky by affixing the foundations to an orbiting asteroid.”Harnessing the power of planetary design thinking, it taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility,” said the architects, who have previously drawn up proposals for space transportation and a 3D-printed ice house on Mars.”If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction.”- Supertall skyscraper hangs from orbiting asteroid in Clouds Architecture Office concept, Dezeen.

To be protected from ignorance

“If one were to propose a Bill of Rights for the year 2000 it would defend human liberty, not civil liberty. Guaranteed rights would include health, truth, reality, sexual fulfillment, study, travel, peace, intimacy, leisure, the right to be unique. Man is not “civilized” until he is whole. He is not whole until he’s assured these rights. But I would add another: the right of every man to be protected from the consequences of his own ignorance. The computer provides this protection.

“The computer does not make man obsolete. It makes him fail-safe. The computer does not replace man. It liberates him from specialization. The transition from a culture that considers leisure a “problem” to a culture that demands leisure as a prerequisite of civilized behavior is a metamorphosis of the first magnitude. And it
has begun. The computer is the arbiter of radical evolution: it changes the meaning of life. It makes us children. We must learn how to live all over again.

“‘Recently, as in his natural symbiotic relations with plants and animals, man’s relation to cybernetic systems has been subtly changing toward a more closely-woven interdependency resembling his other ecological ties. This trend often is depicted as ‘intelligent’ machines dominating man; but the possibility is more clearly that of organic partnership…'”

Gene Youngblood, “The Technosphere: Man/Machine Symbiosis”, Expanded Cinema, New York: P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 1970. p 180.

Footage: Jordan Benson, Allures, 1961.