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Bug spray. Don't forget the bug spray.

Welcome to Utopia. On a remote island, a former airline executive and his wife are preparing for the world to end. Others are starting to join them. By Trent Dalton.
posted by valkane on Jul 14, 2014 - 52 comments

Clark Nova & pinkphone not included in starter kit

Take a stroll through French artist Vincent Fournier‘s [previously] gallery of animal photographs, and you’re likely to come across some creatures you’ve never seen before. Like, for instance, a jellyfish that is capable of electronically transmitting data across the Abyssal depths of the ocean. Or, perhaps, a scorpion that can perform semi-automated surgery on humans. “These creatures come from the future—an imagined future, based loosely on current research on synthetic biology and genetic engineering,” says Fournier, of his project Post-Natural History, a series of digitally-altered photos of animals that do not yet exist. “The idea is that these are living species, reprogrammed by mankind to better fit our environment as well as to adapt to new human desires.”
posted by byanyothername on Jan 8, 2014 - 2 comments

a giant machine designed to give people what they want

"Twenty years after people began using the web en masse, it’s time, Williams said, to accept that the internet isn’t a magical universe with boundless potential. It’s just another engine for improving quality of life." Twitter, Blogger and Medium founder Evan Williams on the triumphs and dangers of convenience.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 1, 2013 - 29 comments

The Silence of Animals

The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. Simon Critchley gives both an overview of philosopher John Gray's thought and reviews Gray's new book.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks on Jun 13, 2013 - 36 comments

"It's a Sugar song."

Orson Scott Card's Unaccompanied Sonata [Google Books], which he has called one of his favorite short stories, is an darkly enchanting tale about a boy who, at a young age, is taken from his family and brought to a house deep in the forest...
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 4, 2013 - 40 comments

a permanent representation of a different time and a different ideology

Paolo Soleri Is The True Legend Of The Arizona Architecture Scene. print version. Soleri passed away last month at the age of 93. He is best known for the arcology, Arcosanti, in the Arizona desert. Remembering Life in Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s Futuristic Desert Utopia [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 31, 2013 - 11 comments

sea & sky

seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 18, 2013 - 14 comments

Usà puyew usu wapiw!

It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth. All I’m trying to do is figure out how to put a pig on the tracks. — Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be"
posted by theodolite on Mar 15, 2013 - 13 comments

It's about a scientist who makes a deal with the devil.

Utopia is a new British TV show about members of an online comic book forum who are in search of a cult graphic novel that can predict the future. It draws from 90s underground culture and the conspiracy theories around Grant Morrison's Invisibles. Den Of Geek spoiler-free review and links to the rest of their reviews. Spoileriffic Guardian review. Guardian reviews blog. [more inside]
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 6, 2013 - 73 comments

15 hour working week, where art thou?

The Golden Age, an essay by prominent Australian economist John Quiggin, reflecting on the current relevance and future possibilities of Keynes 1930 essay, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren.
posted by wilful on Sep 27, 2012 - 16 comments

Time for Teletubbies: Resistance is Futile

Time for Teletubbies: Radical Utopian Fiction - how the BBC children's show reveals our posthuman future.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2012 - 27 comments

Thrive

The heir to the Proctor and Gamble fortune has dropped a load of cash on a movie: Thrive: What on Earth will it take? The premise: We are killing the world because an invisible elite is withholding the secret of free energy, to prevent us from thriving. Transition Culture thinks it's dangerous tosh. Huffington Post thinks it's a reactionary, libertarian agenda that stands in jarring contrast with the soothing tone of the presentation. An Archdruid thinks it's what a narrative of progress must produce when the narrative no longer describes observable reality. But it's bound to be popular with the Consumer class. (Warning: evidence of toroidal energy devices that some viewers may find disconcerting).
posted by falcon on Jan 12, 2012 - 80 comments

In Soviet Russia, Mars travels to you

The utopian Mars fiction of Soviet Russia
posted by Artw on Jan 11, 2012 - 8 comments

Deus Est Machina

In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2011 - 39 comments

sorry we torched the world and now you have to live like saints and suffer

Now the future is a kind of attenuating peninsula; as we move out on it, one side drops off to catastrophe; the other side, nowhere near as steep, moves down into various kinds of utopian futures. In other words, we have come to a moment of utopia or catastrophe; there is no middle ground, mediocrity will no longer succeed. So utopia is no longer a nice idea, but a survival necessity. "Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change," from Kim Stanley Robinson. Previously.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 22, 2011 - 15 comments

John Calhoun's Mouse Utopia

How do you build a mouse Utopia? In 1972, John B. Calhoun detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. . . . To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.
posted by saladin on Aug 18, 2011 - 27 comments

List of emerging technologies

Science fiction always uses it in varying degrees. Some believe it will bring about a perfect Technological Utopia:Heaven on Earth. Some believe it will herald a dark and dystopian future. Perhaps it will elevate man to a being that is more than human; Human+ and permanently and irrevocably transform the human condition, and still others believe that too much involvement in it will void your existence. Some religions totally depend on it and others find it harder to deal with: The list of emerging technologies.
posted by Cogentesque on Aug 16, 2011 - 49 comments

Austin Tappan Wright's "Islandia"

Cult books come and cult books go - that's part of what it means to be a cult book. A few keep reappearing, however. They get discovered over and over by successive waves of admirers. After the third or fourth reappearance, the suspicion begins to arise that this isn't a cult book, after all. It's a masterpiece with problems. Islandia is such a book. - Noel Perrin, "The Best of All Imaginary Islands" [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 18, 2011 - 15 comments

or would people start to ask why the wealth of knowledge and culture was being enclosed within restrictive laws, when “another world is possible” beyond the regime of artificial scarcity?

Given the material abundance made possible by the replicator, how would it be possible to maintain a system based on money, profit, and class power? Towards an Anti-Star Trek. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 15, 2011 - 147 comments

Atlantropa: Dam in the Straits of Gibraltar and Flood Africa

The Canal des Deux Mers connected the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Zuiderzee Works reclaimed part of shallow inlet of the North Sea to expand the Netherlands, so why not try taming the Mediterranean and irrigating Africa? Part ocean reclamation, part power generation (the "white coal" of falling water), Atlantropa wasn't simply the stuff of science fiction. First called Panropa, it was the long-term goal of a German architect and engineer named Herman Sörgel, a dream that lasted until his death in 1952, and the Atlantropa Institute continued on another 8 years. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 22, 2011 - 17 comments

Slow Action

Slow Action is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film that brings together a series of four 16mm works which exist somewhere between documentary, ethnographic study and fiction. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2011 - 4 comments

more of the same

Life after Capitalism - Beyond capitalism, it seems, stretches a vista of... capitalism: [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 25, 2011 - 33 comments

bolo'bolo

bolo`bolo is a book about an anarchist utopia, the name of the utopia itself and the plural of that utopia's organizational unit - the bolo. ... Bolo`bolo is also a plan for a transformation from our current state, the planetary work-machine, to another social organization mode based on local organization and a microclimate of cultures that form the unit of social cohesion.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 15, 2010 - 100 comments

King Camp Gillette: The Razor King with dreams of a Corporate Socialist Utopia

King Camp Gillette is remembered for an empire built on giving away one half of his product to increase sales for the other half, but the year prior to moment of inspiration that lead to disposable razors, Gillette published a book with a larger scope: The Human Drift. The work of Utopian social planning was focused on a nation-city called Metropolis, to be powered by Niagara Falls. Gillette followed the first book with a second in 1910, World Corporation, which was a revised vision for a better world, now focused as a corporation formed in the Arizona Territory that would grow to encompass the world, with former President Theodore Roosevelt to head up as corporation president. Roosevelt declined the position, and Gillette's Utopian dreams faded. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 22, 2010 - 9 comments

After the revolution, life goes on... and so do the bugs.

The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Utopian Communes in the British Isles

Utopia Britannica is a collection of stories and a gazetter about utopian communes in the British Isles from the 14th Century up until the end of World War II. There are some incredible tales in here, such as 'Free Love' in 19th Century Somerset, St. Kilda, Death of an Island Republic, Percy Bysshe Shelley's attempted communes, Augustus John, the King of Bohemia and many more.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 25, 2009 - 10 comments

A spectre is haunting Western academia

Slavoj Žižek recently gave five talks under the title Masterclass - Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture. It sez 'ere, "The master class analyses phenomena of modern thought and culture with the intention to discern elements of possible Communist culture. It moves at two levels: first, it interprets some cultural phenomena (from today’s architecture to classic literary works like Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Heloise) as failures to imagine or enact a Communist culture; second, it explores attempts at imagining how a Communist culture could look, from Wagner’s Ring to Kafka’s and Beckett’s short stories and contemporary science fiction novels." Audio of Zizek's talks and subsequent discussion is now online: Part I Utopias; Part II Architecture as Ideology; Part III Wagner’s Ring as a Communist narrative; Part IV Populism and Democracy; Part V Environment, Identity and Multiculturalism. Those who like to watch the beard in motion will find links to video of some of the talks posted here.
posted by Abiezer on Jun 22, 2009 - 29 comments

The end of womyn's lands?

“In 20 to 25 years, we could be extinct": lesbian separatist communes grapple with aging, irrelevance to younger lesbians, and survival in the twenty-first century. [more inside]
posted by Forktine on Jan 31, 2009 - 354 comments

Warning Light Flashes ...

Rundgren/Utopia Filter: Two Obscure Gems. Emergency Splashdown. Umbrella Man. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Jan 20, 2009 - 8 comments

Meet you at the Circl-Serv!

"The plans for Victory City have evolved over a period of 38 years, nurtured by the vision and dedication of Victory City's inventor, Orville Simpson II [no relation]. Mr. Simpson conceived of the general idea of Victory City in 1936, when he was only 13 years old. Afraid of being ridiculed, Mr. Simpson kept his ideas about designing and building the City of the Future to himself … a secret vision he held in his mind... It wasn't until 1960 — after he had embarked on a lucrative career in real estate investing and apartment building management — that Mr. Simpson decided to make his ideas about Victory City known to the general public."
posted by Miko on Dec 7, 2008 - 35 comments

Zeitgeist: Addendum

We already talked (self-link, sorta) about Zeitgeist: The Movie. Its author, Peter Joseph, recently released Zeitgeist: Addendum. (beware: last two links are two hour movies) This time, it’s about money and debt, scarcity and resources. The first, financial part may look like an extended Ron Paul ad, but then there’s a sudden turn towards resource-based utopian techno-communalism, and an endorsement for The Venus project. It seems to me like "Kropotkinian anarchism meets The Matrix". In these rough times, is it time for a big leap? [Also announced: The Zeitgeist Movement, still not active]
posted by Baldons on Oct 7, 2008 - 21 comments

S.H.A.D.O. supreme headquarters

Just Like Steppin' In Another World :: E.L.E.C.T.R.O. UFO :: KIMBA the white lion [more inside]
posted by vronsky on Feb 5, 2008 - 18 comments

What year is this?

On December 8th, pretend to be a time traveller.
posted by divabat on Sep 27, 2007 - 49 comments

Pirate myths...they're drivin' me nuts.

Pirate myths debunked. Slate's Explainer attacks your favorite pirate stereotypes: walking the plank, saying "arrr." Not a myth: pirate republics. Pirates formed egalitarian mini-states based upon utopian values, a prime reason for their brutal suppression by European authorities.
posted by nasreddin on Jun 5, 2007 - 126 comments

No Perfect Place

The Ten Stupidest Utopias. The Ten Best Dystopias. The Most Appealing Utopias and the Most Unpleasant Dystopias.
posted by Falconetti on Sep 2, 2006 - 82 comments

Utopia Today

Screw "serenity now." I want Utopia Today!
posted by *burp* on May 18, 2005 - 19 comments

The Secret History of the Muppets

42. I had always wondered why Jim Henson did The Muppet Show in England, after years of successful collaboration with The Children's Television Network in NYC. As a then 9-year old, I felt a kind of betrayal that I couldn't exactly put my finger on. As some little punk kid, what did I know about the financing of entertainment?

This analysis of The Jim Henson Co. as a globe-trotting band of gypsies goes a long way to explain the oddness of The Muppet Show and the change in tone that resulted when the puppets moved from Sesame Street to Lew Grade's London soundstages.
posted by vhsiv on May 6, 2005 - 26 comments

Pirate Utopias! Ar-Harr!

Avast there, me hearties, and listen to some tales of Pirate Utopias! Ar-Harr!!!
posted by carter on Sep 19, 2003 - 2 comments

Utopian Architecture

Ever wonder what Utopia might look like? So have 300 years of Russian architects.
posted by kablam on Aug 23, 2003 - 2 comments

Orkney and Other Scottish Islands

Orkneyjar. The history, folklore and traditions of the Orkney Islands - ghost stories, megaliths, and more on this extensive site.
Related interest :- St. Kilda: Death of an Island Republic. A matriarchal society? Via Utopia Britannica: British Utopian Experiments 1325-1945.
More :- the National Trust's St. Kilda website; the Iona community, an ecumenical community founded in 1938 (more about the founding of the monastery on Iona by St. Columba in 563); independent Eigg; life in Westray, one of Orkney's north isles; the Shetland Museum.
posted by plep on Apr 26, 2003 - 7 comments

"Utopian Architecture"

"Utopian Architecture" is where it's at. Unfortunately, despite how many people seem to be interested in it, there's very little documentation concerning the subject. The only books I can think of are Yesterday's Tomorrow (1984, MIT Press), Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugo Ferriss and Impossible Worlds by Stephen Coates, and I don't know of any website on the subject.
posted by Kevs on Nov 19, 2000 - 20 comments

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