Newsletter No.149 — Nov 08, 2020

Living Through Sci Fi in Lebanon ⊗ Experiments in Feral Futuring ⊗ The DOOM! Report

This week → Teaching science fiction while living it in Lebanon ⊗ Experiments in feral futuring ⊗ The DOOM! report ⊗ Humanity is stuck in short-term thinking. Here’s how we escape. ⊗ How Discord (somewhat accidentally) invented the future of the internet

A year ago → The most clicked link in issue No.104 was Cyberpunk is Dead by John Semley.

Some of you might have noticed that the Sentiers homepage is simpler than it used to be, reducing the number of named topics and putting more emphasis on futures. I’ll be writing about pretty much all the same things, I’m just putting more focus on this axis and sometimes using it as a simple test in selecting articles, beyond “is it interesting to me?” The first and second pieces below make it even clearer for me why I’ve felt the need to surface that axis; “narrative”, telling stories, has been coming up again and again in recent years, as a tool to communicate, to make sense of lives and societies, to bring people together, to interpret others’ realities, to reclaim peoples’ history, to find a voice, to gain agency, etc.

Fiction, especially sci-fi (and its various intersections with foresight) seems like a significant lens through which we can analyse our species’ current challenges, as well as a tool to interpret, invent, and reify what comes next. The signals from an eclectic mix of topics, used to inform or select interpretations presented as fiction, designs, forecasts, and various manners of futuring represents something we need, and pretty much what this newsletter is about.

A final note: last week I ran out of time and simply included a new offer just above the Asides but didn’t mention it elsewhere. In the same place this week, you can find some personalized links to share Sentiers with friends and colleagues. If people sign-up with your link, you get thank yous as you go. The first is when you reach three referrals and can download my new booklet, The Learning Collection, I’m also planning a The Alpine Review based collection of still relevant articles, and a yet to be finalized rebate on becoming a paid member (probably at eight or ten referrals). Speaking of members, the booklets are also available free to members.