Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Randoms, 2019-11-20

Frances Coppola laments the lack of need (and payment) for rational, middle-ground perspectives:

"There's another problem too. The chaos of the post-crisis period has given way to naked tribalism. To be successful as a writer and speaker in the new landscape, you have to join a political tribe. Political neutrality is for the birds. But today's political tribes look like cults to me, dangerously inward-looking and deeply divisive, promoting ideologies that have little basis in reality and are potentially extremely damaging - and yes, this applies to the left as much as the right. I don't want to join any of them."

I feel like that a lot. I think a lot of my gradual disengagement from politics is from this - that there is little room for discussion of practicalities, of problem-solving, of engineering. If you're not willing to debate what's possible, then I'm not very interested.

(Which is where the solarpunk 6suns stuff comes in, I guess. I haven't read any solarpunk fiction yet, but it would be good to maintain a realistic fiction and narrative if its hopes for a near-future psychospiritual shift are to be worthwhile.)


Warren Ellis citing Tom Spurgeon on his death:

"I want sloppy, beautiful, devastating art. I want experiences through art that are troubling and terrifying and joyful. I want to be desperate to catch up."

I love that - art should be dangerous, violent to our thoughts, and yet utterly inspiring.


On that, I keep coming back to storytelling - or rather, other people keep bringing me back to it. Not stories, but narratives as reminders of other ways to see the world. James has been doing some great writing recently, but I particularly liked his thoughts on story-writing as a way to connect the dots of ideas, that it can be a way of worldbuilding as a form of exploration just as much as producing something with a beginning and an ending:

"Jon's piece made me realise that the writing I've loved most over the past few years is not about telling a story as such. Indeed, while it is 'about' the pilgrimage, that's more in the sense of 'writing around' than telling its story. Reading this particular essay made me realise how much I love writing that builds networks of ideas. These sorts of symbolic connections seem to particularly emerge in writing informed by magic, manufacturing (revealing?) meaning in the connections."

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