Bruce Sterling: Can we still imagine effectively?

What is the new century's "grander narrative," and why has it thus far escaped designers and, to a greater degree, writers of science fiction?

Ending with the observation that "What we are really experiencing now is a massive cybernetic hemorrhage in ways of knowing the world," Bruce Sterling offers his thoughts on the failure of science fiction to account for a future that we're experiencing now. One reason:

The infrastructure of publishing constrains the thinking of writers. Obviously, all forms of art and design have some inherent constraints-but it seems to me that writers are especially misled by the apparent freedoms of language. Published language, in print, on paper, is not language per se: It’s an industrial artifact.

Writers cling hard to the word, to semantics, to meaning and sensibility. Design, by contrast, is less verbal. Design is busily inventing new ways to blow itself apart. Design is taking more risks with itself than literature. That is why contemporary design feels almost up to date, while literature feels archaic and besieged.

You'll have to read the other reasons for yourself.


Wikipedia: Medium is the message