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Life Lessons from the Next Decade

I'm still coming out of the combo too-much-travel/need-some-downtime period, so in the meantime, watch this:

Bruce Sterling at Reboot last month. Starts out casual, but ends up extraordinarily powerful. It's the kind of talk that reminds me why I wish I had half of Bruce's public presentation talent.


Interesting ending... I loved the 'you can't be more green than your dead grandfather' rebuttal to the hairshirters. And as someone who has had 10 addresses in 10 years, I'm intimately familiar with the debarnacle process.

But it sounds like Bruce has given up on bright green and is bracing for the gothic green future... If Bruce has given up, I'm trading in my platform boots for combat boots.

He makes you question the basics from a new angle. You can't wish for more than that.

Though my wife (and daughter) and I would likely disagree on what fell into each category.

I can't help thinking I have 4 dead grandparents, though the current generation outnumber them significantly and have vastly more "power" by any measure.

I also cant help wondering where Bruce is in the Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression-Acceptance (DABDA) cycle - though I suspect Acceptance.

And with Jason I think the coming change (and depression) will not be painless.

I loved the bit about Western European tech-geeks working from the retrofitted architectural corpses or their own industrial history - a striking image.

I'm seeing some curious echoes of Thoreau here in regards to value placed on objects, as well as on what is actually needed to maintain your quality of life. I'm also seeing some echoes of William McDonough in regards to green living =/= subsistence. I think that's where the dissonance is coming from - it's not that Sterling is asking us to give up on environmentalism, but rather to do things smarter.

I get the sense that Sterling is taking an orthogonal, ground-level approach to strategies. This is what it looks like in your life, right now.

But I could be wrong. There's a bunch of half-submerged threads here that are never explicitly related. I'd be curious to see what you make of this, Jamais.

I'm curious, if you could take the right pill to improve your presentation skills would you take it?

I dunno, he is slick, but he also strikes be as cynical, debonnaire, blase to the point of aloofness. He makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable listening - I don't have that with your presentations. Maybe you should make your speeches pretending in your head to make voice-overs for discovery channel short items.

Thanks for the link. Bruce Sterling never fails to delight, intrigue, and annoy.

I think your public presentation skills compare quite favorably with Mr. Sterling's; he is a great phrase-turner, but I find his sniffy blasé tone off-putting.

To use a well-turned phrase of yours, There is a bit of an "Sister Eco-Souljah" moment here; who are these 'hairshirt greens'? I have been active in local environmental politics for years, and found Mr. Sterling's admonition to pay close attention to the quality of what goes into or next to one's body, and to use good tools, is quite universal among urban environmentalists – much more so than among my big-box-shopping suburban relatives. I suspect they sleep in comfortable beds too – perhaps that could bear a bit more research. Maybe he feels as though mocking stereotyped hippie environmentalists buys hipster cred for himself and his environmental messages; I dunno.

Bruce has been smacking the "hairshirt greens" for quite some time (look through the archives at viridiandesign.org), so I don't think there's any cred-support underway there. It's more a deep aversion to a philosophy that says the only right way to live is to be less happy than you were before. Not because it's wrong, necessarily, but because it will never get any support (and will drive marginal supporters away).

very nice this article... thanks very much...

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