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Warren Ellis
Mostly a science fiction writer

Screen shot 2011 02 27 at 16 18 08

No slides! Hooray!

Roadside Picnic is a Russian Sci-fi novel. Science fiction exists to cast a shadow over the present. We are haunted by what has not yet happened, especially so at this conference. The film based on the novel Roadside Picnic is called Stalker. What had not yet happened was Chernobyl.

The "Zone of Alienation" is what the Chernobyl area is called.
in 2003 there was a report that there are a couple cafes inside the zone. Bread and Vodka remain as currency for Chernobyl.

The Cafe in the Chernobyl Zone

The present is influenced by the future.

Ghost hunters are very technical people. They roam around with electromagnetic field readers.
20 years ago, William Burroughs was asserting that the human soul is an electromagnetic field. Science fiction haunting the future. (I bet you could find a Greek talking about the soul as an electromagnetic field.)

Archaeoacoustics is the study of old sounds (mmmmmmmm. Lovely idea. Looking on Wikipedia, it is an even more poetic discipline than it sounds at first. It's trying to read ancient clay objects as if they were vinyl records.)

UFOs are stress imagery.

Fault lines and electromagnetic fields create ghosts of the future. (lovely idea)

The future oozes up through cracks in the ground.
Mirages in time, reflections of the future.
Every city street is an electromagnetic cauldron.

RFID tags create huge electromagnetic fields. It's surprising.
(I guess that he is insinuating that we are unwittingly creating a conscious-altering environment for ourselves. Interesting idea, probably at least partly true.)
Experience-inducing fields.

AR to visualize the spirit track.

Ghost boxes are electromagnetic devices for communicating with ghosts through radio waves. Conversations with things that are not alive. We all do that regularly, with our sensors and devices and all.

Mostly, we are giving the gift of the digital city to our ruling classes (inviting fascism, as I was thinking earlier today)
We are depending on these incompetent people without vision to design our digital infrastructures. Sometimes the authorities are so incompetent that they are benign. Governments are not good at technology, which sometimes works to our advantage.

Don't give the keys to our digital infrastructure away.
People like the ones at this conference will create these concepts and these structures, but if we give them over to government and authority, they will turn around and guillotine us with them.

Don't get carried away.
Whose streets are these?
Our streets.

(I love how this closing keynote was in many ways a through-the-looking-glass version of the opening keynote. Well done.)


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