alternative futures project update16 Feb 2017
so it’s been close to a week since launching the alternative futures project. the launch post pushed on saturday, feb 11 and the first story (mine) went out on tuesday. some interesting things have happened, but nothing crazy.
first, my dad found the launch piece. i guess he googles our name (lawrence barriner) from at some frequency and he found the post there. that makes me curious about how high it shows up on google, but i’ll figure that out later.
the next two things are about framing. when talking to my dad last night about the piece, he mentioned that he or someone else said that it seemed like we were trying to play on the “alternative facts” framing that the administration has put out. and last week in conversation with john kidenda and chelsea barabas (new speculative design/writing friends), john mentioned that alternative futures could be a play on alt-right, becoming alt-future(s) or something.
grant and i didn’t see these things coming but it feels pretty awesome to watch it happen. this, imo, is why done is better than perfect. putting stuff out into the world and watching it ripple is just the way to go. it’ll never be perfect anyways so waiting for perfection is just a good way to not put anything out. this where voltaire’s (often misattributed to jim collins) “perfect is the enemy of the good” comes in.
the last thing is actually just a personal reflection on the alt-futures meme. watching a kelly conway talk about alternative facts on national mainstream media without getting completely and totally shutdown (though the shutdown was decent) was absurd enough. then, yesterday seeing people waffle over which types of untruths are acceptable and which aren’t was terrifying. i don’t know how far down this road we can go before we’re in complete chaos, but i’m worried.
the flipside of my worry though, is that alt-futures are totally acceptable. things that have happened in the past are done. they cannot and should not be modified or tampered with. if you lied in the past, you lied. if you broke a promise, that’s done and over with. there is no such thing as an alternative fact. but there is and can be as many alternative futures as we want. if we’re going to spend time talking about alternative anything, it would actually be productive to be building out alternative futures. i’m also thinking people on all different sides of the political and social spectrum could build out alternative futures and it would still be productive. maybe it would be even more productive if people who were different from each other built out alternative futures together…
ps - trump is legitimately trying to make sure his base ONLY watches news media that supports him. this is, in fact, the scariest thing, imo, that’s happening right now. if he can continue to, without impediment, make people believe that a media company that he has in his pocket is the only source of credible information… well… we’re in trouble.
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