"The future always fails, weighed down and overdetermined by the expectations of the present. At some point, we'll no longer understand nostalgia as a sentimental longing for a past that’s as much simulation as it is pastiche."
"To say that the 60s ended with the Moon Landing is to say that there's still nowhere to go but up for Western civilization. But to say that the 60s ended with the Manson Family killings is to say that society had taken a wrong turn, that history, culture, and civilization had set upon a dark path."
"The surveillance offered by Amazon's Ring smartphone security system convinces us that we can take control of our own security, when in fact we’re giving it away to those who claim to protect us but are really harvesting us for our data."
We're slowly but steadily becoming aware of how user fees, interest, rents, ride-sharing, personal data as the price of using digital goods, and the right to repair debate are signals that the next phase of capitalism will be defined by shifts from owner to user-based economics.
"If modern libertarianism is just a fever dream of turning America into New Mexico, then just what is "wealth taxation is theft" really about? What message are radical free-marketers conveying without stating it specifically? What would be “free from theft” if the dreams of radical free-marketers came true? Well, if taxation is theft, who’s the thief? Who’s the victim? Who benefits?"
"There's some uber-liberal snow-flakiness here, as well as the now perpetually residual shock that one of the worst people actually became the worst president ever. However, in conversations with people who've expressed the sorts of feelings documented in this article, I've detected three distinct "Trump traumas.""
"Is climate change on prestige television dramas really the issue? Over the last three days, heat indexes along the mid-Atlantic and northeast United States reached the 110s. These are Mad Max temperatures, yet not a single meteorologist I watched on tv over the last three days mentioned climate change."
"There are issues on the horizon (energy, climate change, migrant flows, technological shifts, sluggish productivity) that will make realists of us all. Whereas neoconservatism and liberal internationalism have been aspirational, realism might have a chance of preserving a (big “L”) Liberal international order simply by injecting it with some good old fashioned rationality."
"As workers are replaced, the future will (almost literally) be owned by owners. Then even the owners will be disrupted. I foresee a great battle among tech barons looming as those who own machines and robots and are heavily taxed to keep the entitlements spigot flowing declare war on those who own software and algorithms and are hardly taxed at all."
"Human engineering is absolutely critical to the future of humanity," the argument will begin. "The problems of the future will be more complex than today's to such an extent that cultivating the brainpower needed to solve them can no longer be left solely to the genetic crapshoot known as procreation." Very much within the realm of techno-optimism, proponents will hype the possibility of editing out certain diseases as one of gene engineering’s great benefits. However, the true scope of gene editing won’t be truly understood until posthumanists (quite rightly) advise us that “we need more Einsteins.”