I’ve been thinking about disposable life and the meaning that might have in societies today. And I decided that the kind of disposable life that most concerns me is the kind that we either resolutely don’t see, ignore, or neglect. Or the kind that we do see but can’t seem to deal with.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that many of us here today like to see our work as a continuation of say the Tech Model Railroad Club or the Homebrew Computer Club, and certainly the terminology and the values of this conference, like open source for example, have their roots in that era. As a consequence it’s easy to interpret any criticism of the hacker ethic—which is what I’m about to do—as a kind of assault.
I’m going to propose to us that the Cthulucene might be a way to collect up the questions for naming the epoch, for naming what is happening in the airs, waters, and places, in the rocks, and oceans, and atmospheres. Perhaps needing both the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene, but perhaps offering something else, something just maybe more livable.
My goal […] was to live in that tension, to empower makers, musicians, coders, and artists to continue to make wide-eyed and yet still open-hearted— One of my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin calls this “the Grand Inquisitor’s Choice,” where you choose freedom without happiness, or happiness without freedom.