William Gibson: Forget about corporate futurism

William Gibson: Forget about corporate futurism

Summary: Silicon.com has an interview the William Gibson, author of the cyberspace classic Neuromancer and of the just published Spook Country.

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TOPICS: Amazon
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Silicon.com has an interview the William Gibson, author of the cyberspace classic Neuromancer and of the just published Spook Country. In the interview, Gibson is asked why he doesn't write about the future in his latest books:

The trouble is there are enough crazy factors and wild cards on the table now that I can't convince myself of where a future might be in 10 to 15 years. I think we've been in a very long, century-long period of increasingly exponential technologically-driven change.

We hit a point somewhere in the mid-18th century where we started doing what we think of technology today and it started changing things for us, changing society. Since World War II it's going literally exponential and what we are experiencing now is the real vertigo of that - we have no idea at all now where we are going.

Will global warming catch up with us? Is that irreparable? Will technological civilisation collapse? There seems to be some possibility of that over the next 30 or 40 years or will we do some Verner Vinge singularity trick and suddenly become capable of everything and everything will be cool and the geek rapture will arrive? That's a possibility too.

You can see it in corporate futurism as easily as you can see it in science fiction. In corporate futurism they are really winging it - it must be increasingly difficult to come in and tell the board what you think is going to happen in 10 years because you've got to be bullshitting if you claiming to know. That wasn't true to the same extent even a decade ago.

Predicting the future and coming up with long-term plans isn't what it used to be...

Topic: Amazon

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