A conversation between Kalle Lasn and Adbusters
delightful to hear from you! I just surfaced from Adbusters #111 deadline . . .
our last many issues have been all about this Singularity/Nightfall dilemma humanity is now faced with . . . even after 25 years of trying, I must admit, I still don’t quite know how to deal with it. I don’t think you have the solution either with your strident anti-tech position . . . seems to me that we humans have never been able to collectively back away from our technological breakthroughs . . . (reminds me of this story I know so well from my young days: how the Japanese tried but were not able to back away from the gun and keep their beautiful samurai ethic flowing).
Ya, so I think you’re barking up the wrong tree . . . I think it’s a wonderful thing to aspire towards . . . like Jerry Mander’s four arguments for the elimination of television . . . and indeed, all the young people in my office were quite moved awhile ago by your deep green stance in a recent article.
But you know Doug, if we going to actually get beyond the debates and arguments and
So here’s my proposal . . . let’s get together one more time . . . let’s have another crack at the whip . . . if you can’t make it to Vancouver, then maybe I can make it to San Francisco . . . if you have the bucks then I have one more righteous burst of energy in me . . . let me know . . . love to cook up something truly transformative with you.
In the meantime for sure, please let me know your current snail address so I can send you our latest #111
for the wild, Kalle
Long time and many moons.
I got this a few weeks ago and have been away on a trip, still am actually heading home tonight and thought I would throw you just a quick line.
Over the years you have heard from me about what I have considered your rather unbridled enthusiasm for the technological. Here
Without taking lots of time, I see nothing but machine metaphors in your writing here. The trillion dollars of financial transactions around the world each day are the results of the mega-technologies that enable them. Your inference to the use of the mega-tech itself as a liberating device that will break the juggernaut and its grip
I really plead with you to rethink this and I do not hold hope at all for any kind of exit from the ‘crisis of culture’ that is underway until the
A critical discussion of mega-tech is entirely absent from the social or political discourse, it is a
You can not get to where you think the world should be by these means, it is a vicious circle you can not get out of. Worse, it is a vicious downward circle ending in collapse and crash. As a little quick test, you can just hold your cell phone in your hand for 30 seconds and stare at it and let your mind roll back through all the processes that got it to your hand to get a dimension of the problem, and think if that is the kind of civilization you wish to live in? … OR that if this kind of techno-
Could nature ever survive it? Cell phones are like guns, they can not be reformed. There is no way out, you either have them and all they come with, or you throw them into the dustbin of history. If you reflect on that, and on the theory of “autonomous technology” developed by Langdon Winner’s technology critique, you will understand the core of the problems we are confronting.
Until this deep systemic critique is made and understood, we are paralyzed to move forward and put in a kind of
Sorry but I have to run, but this gives you a little idea of where my own thinking is on all of the issues you outline in the article you sent.
All the best, and hopefully one day we will cross paths and carry on this conversation in more depth. Jerry has a lot to say about these issues as well, let us see what he says too.