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[FYI] Bruce Sterling: Hard Times: A Letter from 2035


                 Hard Times: A Letter from 2035

                 You had the Depression, irrational exuberance, and
Okies. It's
                 just the same in 2035, except now the Okies have cell

                 Bruce Sterling 

                 They sure gave us plenty of warning: "There's no
                 such thing as a New Economy. You can't repeal
                 the business cycle." 

                 Well, they were dead wrong about the New
                 Economy. Once we got used to it, the New
                 Economy made a lot more sense than the Old
                 Economy did. It was faster, cheaper, sleeker, and
                 smarter. The New Economy turned out to be quite
                 a realistic, practical thing. And unlike the Industrial
                 Revolution, the New Economy had an amazingly
                 low body count. There just wasn't any proper
                 word for it but "progress." 

                 Unfortunately, however, they were right all along
                 about the "business cycle." 

                 By your standards, today's society is extremely
                 businesslike. Basically, there's no place to be but
                 in business. Government is in the "administration
                 business." Artists are in the "culture industry."
                 Doctors and nurses are "biotech entrepreneurs."
                 Cops are "private security professionals."
                 Scientists work for "industrial R&D." Academics are
                 "career-training professionals." Helpfully, we tend
                 to shoot all our lawyers, unless they are
                 "intellectual-property lawyers," in which case they
                 basically behave like Mafia dons. 

                 In the old days, a businessman was some guy
                 with a suit, brown shoes, and an MBA who lived in
                 a mirror-glass building. Well, the New Economy did
                 all those people in. They're a dead profession
                 now, dead as buffalo skinners. Same goes for
                 their enterprises. Nowadays the typical life
                 expectancy of a corporation is about 18 months. A
                 company lasts about as long as a typical product

                 In 2035 we're all about equity; even the
                 newspaper boy and the grocer live like IPO
                 hustlers in Silicon Valley, circa 1995. I've
                 personally started, sold, or abandoned 37
                 companies, and as for the giant, three-initial
                 company downtown in its skyscraper--forget
                 about it. We knocked down all those old
                 mirror-glass buildings because, frankly, the 20th
                 century's idea of architecture was a bad joke. All
                 that old-fashioned brick and mortar was cluttering
                 up the highly valuable real estate in our very
                 crowded world. We turned it all into fabulous
                 enterprises that you never even imagined, like
                 Bio-Cognitive Reeducation Centers and our lavish,
                 highly spectacular Garbage Recycling Theme Parks.

Kristian Koehntopp, Knooper Weg 46, 24103 Kiel, +49 170 2231 811
"Once you find your center, you are sure to win." -- Mulan