Of Dialectical Futurism

A while back, lets say, in August or so [1], I redid the design of this site and added a new subtitle: "Dialectical Futurism." The dweeby, philosophy geek in me really enjoys this, just as an idea. As it's sat at the top of the page, I've also thought more and more that the subtitle is actually a pretty good summary of what I'm trying to accomplish here. This post is an attempt to do two things:

1. Concisely summarize my "blogging project" and thus explain what dialectical futurism means.

2. To do a bit of a status update on the blog, as a sort of "self report," of what I think seems to be working and what doesn't.


Part One: What "Dialectical Futurism" Meas In Practice.

It's always risky, I think for a self-claimed "Science Fiction" writer, to declare themselves a "Futurist" of any sort. Because of the genre's link to the future, I think there the danger that people might think that we're putting forth our stories as works of prediction.

While I think my interest in futurism comes from a similar place as the interests that drive my fiction, the practice of futurism (in the form of this blog) and the practice of fiction are very different. Ultimately, both are historical endeavors and futurism is tends to be much more tightly focused on the recent history. At least for me.

Dialectical futurism, is about a conversation between me, and the past, and me and the possible future, it's an attempt to synthesize a pragmatic view of what will happen, with an optimistic view of what I would like to happen. It's about putting all of the topics I blog about like Open Source, Free Software, Cooperative structure, Economics, and the "New Media" in conversation with each other and seeing what kind of cool innovative things happen.

Part Two: The Status of the Project

The project of being a writer is one of constant self improvement, I think. One thing that I didn't mention in that post is that no matter how awesome you are as a writer, you're always trying to get better at writing. There's always some improvement to make, some short-falling in your ability to communicate that you're working at improving.

I have the sense that I am getting better, if that's a meaningful judgment. One improves as a writer, I'm convinced, by writing, and writing a lot, and as I write a bunch for this site and a bunch for work, and a bunch for other projects, I think I'm starting to get better. Also, I get a lot of feedback from coworkers on my writing, which I think has been helpful. Editors are a good thing indeed.

I think I've gotten better at figuring out how to write good blog entries--it still takes time, but I get into the grove more quickly. I'm getting better feedback, and I'm reasonably happy with where the traffic is. I mean, there's always room for improvement, but things are headed in the right direction.

My short term goals are two fold:

  1. To focus my energies on reading and improving my background knowledge in a number of areas. I want to be more contextually grounded in existing conversations regarding economics, anthropology, and cyborg-related materials.
  2. To spend a lot more time on fiction writing. This means developing new habits, adjusting priorities, and spending some serious time making fiction projects work. So there.

We'll see how this goes, and thanks as always for reading and putting up with me.

[1]I'm just guessing here. I could go back and check, but August sounds right.
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