End of the Viridian era

Added Bruce Sterling’s “Last Viridian Note” to the Viridian Design web site and to Worldchanging. It’s kind of like simple living/voluntary simplicity, but that’s not what he’s thinking:

Do not “economize.” Please. That is not the point. The economy is clearly insane. Even its champions are terrified by it now. It’s melting the North Pole. So “economization” is not your friend. Cheapness can be value-less. Voluntary simplicity is, furthermore, boring. Less can become too much work.

It’s not so much about how to live in the new economy as how to live despite the economy, which is a wonky abstraction tethered to an unstable and unsustainable conceptual base, a manifestation of a centuries-long bubble that’s exploding slime on every main street parade. Despite that, we find energy and volition and keep on keeping on. As we move from a linear supply model to a network supply model, from resource extraction from knowledge extraction, we transform and are transformed, and move on.

And get good tools. In fact,

…get excellent tools and appliances. Not a hundred bad, cheap, easy ones. Get the genuinely good ones. Work at it. Pay some attention here, do not neglect the issue by imagining yourself to be serenely “non-materialistic.” There is nothing more “materialistic” than doing the same household job five times because your tools suck. Do not allow yourself to be trapped in time-sucking black holes of mechanical dysfunction. That is not civilized.

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.