Bruce Sterling, a prolific sci-fi author who I’ve had the honor to know since the birth of Wired, has a great riff on being a teenager in a rather dim future in the current print edition of New Scientist. It’s online, but only for a while, as the magazine seems hell bent on a subscription model. (Memo to New Scientist: Join the Point to Economy). From it:
It’s not that we can’t do it: it’s that all our social relations have been reified with a clunky intensity. They’re digitized! And the networking hardware and software that pervasively surround us are built and owned by evil, old, rich corporate people! Social-networking systems aren’t teenagers! These machines are METHODICALLY KILLING OUR SOULS! If you don’t count wall-graffiti (good old spray paint), we have no means to spontaneously express ourselves. We can’t “find ourselves” – the market’s already found us and filled us with map pins.
At our local mall, events-management sub-engines emit floods of locative data. So if Debbie and me sneak in there, looking for some private place to get horizontal, all the vidcams swivel our way. Then a rent-a-cop shows up. What next?