Super-futurist Bruce Sterling gives the State of the World address today. A half-hour in, he's talking about "spimes" — super-data-rich objects that report their origins, ingredients, support info, and anything else that sounds cool to predict. I'll be liveblogging it for the next half hour.
5:31: "I no longer keep an inventory of my possessions inside my own head...I don't hunt for my shoes in the morning, I just Google them."
5:33: Every word isn't just a word, it's a "theory object."
Sterling is halfway between a political commentator and drunk.
"I'm dropping lit matches into the wet bog of language."
5:37: "If there's one thing I've learned from hanging out with the European dissident crowd, it's this: Make no decision out of fear." One schlub claps and a smattering of mercy applause spreads. Like most of Sterling's lines, it's either brilliant or inane or both.
5:41: He's talking about Serbian nationalist resentment. Somehow, SOMEHOW, that's related to ubiquitous digitization.
5:43: "When you can comprehend poetry, it means your heart is not broken." Bruce! Bruce! Are you still with us on this plane of consciousness, Bruce?
5:44: Serbia isn't Europe because it doesn't "deserve to be Europe." But it's improving. "Even the pirates are in retreat." Whoa — Bruce just slammed media piracy at a conference full of netheads. Starting to hear nervous coughing in some corners.
5:46: Bruce breaks down while reading a historical manifesto. "The people yes! The people will live on."
5:48: "The people march. Where to? What next?" A moving conclusion to a timely speech, perfect for this age of 1999. I mean 2004. I mean 1937. I mean...damn, Bruce has used one speech since he was five, right?