Bruce Sterling's talk at LIFT06
Here are my notes from Bruce Sterling presentation at LIFT06: Spimes and the future of artifacts by Bruce Sterling. Some exceprts which are very insightful in terms of what would be a "world-with spime", the point of his next novel:
so... now the challenge for the year is to try to describe in a novel what its like to wake up in a world of spime, i try to get this cultural experience down on paper, i will have characters on paper that will be surrounded with spimes
what different does it make between the world i describe and the world with spimes: the primary advantage of a spime world is inside my head because i no longer inventory my positions in my head, i don't care about what i own, there are all inventoried to other magical inventory-voodoo, a spimming process for which searchin/sorting works with a hosted machine
so i no longer remenber where i put or find things or they cost... an so forth I just ask and then I am told, with instant real time accuracy... we have an internet of things with a search engine so i no longer search for my shoes in the morning, i just google them and as long as machines can crunch complexity, this interface makes my relationship to object much simpler and more convenient that today! in a way that it never was before and if it does not it will never be adopted, it is not stable not a universal system, everyone will have their own reaction to spime with extreme conditions, conditions of catastrophy, of extreme poverty... and complete material lost... evacuation camps, prisons... the ultimate versions: clean room, lifesupport systems in hospital, true bohemian madness, complete collamity between people and objects
where do i expect it to come from: from where it's like now, there won't be big decisions, but a natural evolution from the world of digital devices people already carry: laptop, mp3 players camera phones, wands and the wifi, broadband that are serving them in location and the global internet and this big social generated objects, social applications
and now I am trying to write a novel where somebody wake up in the moning unexcited about this, not excited, unexcited... new things saying hello, all things dying off, ghosts, shopware, possessions are waiting creation or their shipment to the junkyard
Some of the questions also address how it's going to be like:
- daniel k.schneider asks: "a preview question: in your novel what would your characters encounters as major problems, because a novel needs problems"
it may be dramatic to have a book without problems, it's not a utopian system, it will be in 30 years, will last liek 20 and then would be replaced by another society.., so my characters would have 2 types of problems: the legacy of the past they will try to reform with their spiming systems and the difficulty of this new protocracy, other things coming in that will make their system tearing apart... there will be new problems due to this technology... i expect them to have protocratic problems: objects will work and other not, state of the art means break down next month, cutting edge will mean borken down last week
- alexandra deschamps-sonsino: do you expect people to have different emotional responses compared to today's objects?
yes of course, i suspect people will have an emotional response which departs the object per se and kind of bleeds over into your records over the departed objects and your plans to have another objects. I have a very similar emotional response to anovel manuscript because I began my career on a manual typewriter so i can recall when a holographic manuscript with sweated blood over was like absolutely vital and valuable "i have got the original manuscript!": that's gone, there is no original manuscrit there is no even orignial file! you're lucky if you have a file that you can send to the publisher and everybody comes back "wow this "bruce sterling treasure dot pdf" BUT it does not mean that i care less about my book but rather that i care about where i got the book, where the book is moving... so my book becomes less physical and more relational, the more like a social process and you feel very differently.
imagine tableware or cars or appartments, things you bought at ikea... yes the construction of emotions change radically and may become more intense like the teddy bear you had when you 6 months never really leaves you, you can get another one, an absolute physical replica and if you could do that would you really want it? if you have the perfect record of the teddy bear and can make another one that is practically identical do you need the teddy bear ot is the teddy bear just a hardcopy of a teddy-bear supports system? and if thats' the case, isn't it the support system that you are nostalgic about? i remenber how ive got that bear on ebay and then i saw it on amazon and here is the record on the paypal transaction and not you! your child! it's as truggle and that's why I am paid to write novels!