Alex Steffen & Bruce Sterling Keynote Conversation: SXSW 2005

Mar 19th

Alex Steffen & Bruce Sterling held the final keynote speech at SXSW. Most of their speech was about ecology and creating a sustainable world.

I was about to write this review and noticed there is a good one on WorldChanging already.

The core of the speech is that we are depleting resources at a faster rate than the world can provide them. Things will need to change. Options going forward:

  • fold dumps into the production cycle

  • create long term stuff
  • label everything

They stated that the biggest problems in the world are closely releated to infistructure, not necissarily social, political, or religious ideolology.

Fabricators, computers, and other small fast production technologies will shorten pruduct creation time and thus enhance the efficiency of micropublishing or small scale creation of various items. Actual will become the new virtual.

To show how fast things change Bruce Sterling asked us to imagine describing our jobs to a time traveler from 30 years ago. Many of us who were in the room at the time worked on web related or industrial design type projects. Our jobs would have been a bit hard to explain.

He said the future will be somewhere between unmanagable or unthinkable. We should strive to make it as best as we can.

After his speech I bought an autographed copy of Bruce Sterling's Tomorrow Now, which looks at how the world may change over the next 50 years. On page 65 he explains the exact reason many people are doing well with SEO:

You're likely to thrive if you learn plenty about subjects where the tests and grading papers have yet to be invented. And if you find yourself learning about something unusual and there's no sense of drudgery to it - on the contrary, you find yourself spending long, smiling hours just painlessly soaking it up - take my advice and look for a job there. If there don't seem to be any jobs there, find a way to make one up.

[added: here are some of the videos from SXSW, including Alex Steffen & Bruce Sterling]

Published: March 19, 2005

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