Re: Invitation to contribute essay

Sounds like a great place.  Where can I sign up!

IMHO the concept of utopias is actually a future (or other) society that
is different from the one people find themselves in.  It is an
extrapolation of good things, but also a critique of the present.  Folks
who are changing the world are visionaries, but they may not have
articulated their visions in full-up stories about what that good future
society might look like.  Most of our society believes in progress,
probably most strongly where you work, but I don't think they really
have a vision of the society that will emerge.

Thanks for responding to my ideas...

Bernadette Buck wrote:
> The discussion on utopias was very interesting, thank you, Peter Bishop.
> I see elements of utopian thinking in the startup culture in Silicon Valley,
> where I live and work.  It's a world where a group of people get together
> with a common vision and work hard to make it a reality.  People might
> commit their lives, at least for a short period of time, and they love it.
> It was common to hear talk about how they are going to change the world.
> In this world, intelligence trumps everything and if you're sufficiently
> technical you have enormous personal power.  Interpersonal conflicts are
> ignored or settled in terms of who is the smarter programmer, removing
> ambiguity.
> People play with nerf guns in the aisles at work.  There is plenty of
> company-provided food; dinner served every night is common and the
> refrigerator and cabinets are stocked with frozen pizza, burritos, milk,
> cereal, oatmeal.
> Computers in themselves offer plenty of instant gratification: if your
> program runs, you have just made this machine do your will.  If it doesn't,
> it is just like an intricate puzzle which takes some time to solve.
> "Elegant" solutions have their own particular beauty and command respect
> from your peers.
> Of course there are huge caveats to this, a lot of it is just greed and the
> hope that stock options will pan out, and the recent stock market changes
> have changed the scene quite a bit.  However, there is a definite utopian
> tone heard.
> ***bernadette
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Peter C. Bishop		"Change is hard, but stagnation is fatal!"
Studies of the Future			281/433-4160 (voice)
University of Houston-Clear Lake	713/661-2390 (fax)

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