Wiki Contributions


Why progress needs futurism

I think there's an interesting sociocultural counterpoint to be made here by studying the Italian Futurists 

The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality... and gloried in science.

I think the glorification of ["humanity over nature", "young over old", "brash over wise", "strong over weak", "future over present", "men over women"] (all touted beliefs of the Italian Futurists) is unwise and harmful.

Your definition of futurism ("the systematic study of technological advancement for the purpose of understanding how people will live in the future") isn't harmful. It's more a field of study than an ideology, but I wonder how quickly "pure academics" can turn ideological, especially when sharing the name of an old ideology.

I agree with you totally about the need to study and understand how people will live in the future, I just have also been thinking about how I see some of the traits of the old Futurism in the water. I see young men worshipping the new, the fast, the human, the strong... and I see some of those young men drawn to movements like Effective Altruism and Progress Studies, and the tech industry more broadly.

I wonder how movements like Progress Studies can be clear about what we are willing to sacrifice for "Futurism", and what we are not. How do we avoid repeating the cultural mistakes of past technologists & futurists? Do we even agree about what those mistakes are?

Interesting and important piece, thanks for sharing!