Monday, October 26, 2015

Jurassic Browser History

Memocord, Juan Mendez

"Karl Marx once expressed the belief that the end of the capitalist era and the advent of communism would signal the end of human prehistory and the beginning of history proper. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurists, for their part, wanted to destroy museums and libraries in order to usher in a progress contemptuous of tradition and all forms of previous knowledge. It’s hard to think of a way of thinking more alien to the present juncture: that of a long future so assuredly within our reach as to have little or no need for the past.

"Five or six generations after Marx’s declaration, we measure the future in decades, running down an array of doomsday clocks. We speculate that the planet might become largely uninhabitable within the present century. We set symbolic deadlines for action. But the ninety-nine months that Prince Charles said were left in 2010 to take decisive action on climate change are down to a mere thirty; in the meantime we’ve done nothing but burn ever greater quantities of carbon.

"This isn’t paranoia or an existential malaise: we have solid reasons for fearing that humanity may be headed towards catastrophe. Yet it’s a strange, incongruous spectacle, resembling a crude allegorical fable. We have never lived longer or enjoyed a greater capacity for technical progress. In fact, our single greatest achievement may just be that we can measure the exact speed at which the end is approaching, and with it the shortening of our collective future.

"If Marx was right, and if the catastrophe does come to pass, humanity will have ceased to exist before history has even begun. Yet there is arguably no task that we approach with as much urgency as documenting, cataloguing and storing that soon-to-be-meaningless past and the unfolding present"

-Giovanni Tiso, On Measuring Our Future, Bat Bean Beam

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