You can listen to Bruce Sterling’s SXSW Keynote here. As usual Bruce gives the audience a number of interesting bits about emerging technologies but mostly he speaks about the future we are creating and what we ought to do about it. He goes on to say that the real challenge to the future is that the worst people in the world are running things and that the United States government is for all intents and purposes a new Soviet Union (inflexible and corrupt, generally looked at as illegitimate by the rest of the world, not mention a lot of many Americans as well.) And in much of the world things are very bad indeed.
“When you actually ignore reality for years on end, the payback is a bitch brother! … We’re seeing just frantic collisions of fundamentalist delusion with objective reality… We’re on a kind of slider bar between the unthinkable and the unimaginable now, between the grim meathook future and the bright green future. There are ways out of this situation; there are actual ways to move the slider bar from one side to the other, except that we haven’t invented the words for them yet.”
He goes on to say that if you look honestly at the world, you will see a new story emerging. One with smart and dedicated people locked in a great struggle to guide us towards a better future using every tool in their power. “That’s a big story!” And then he reminds those who are part of that story of the motto of the old Soviet-era Eastern European dissidents: “Make no decision out of fear.”