The Web is a layer of veneer over 20th century industrialism. It's still a thin crispy layer, like landlord paint. It's a varnish on barbarism.
The heat is on. The varnish is cracking as the barbarism grows more obvious, harder to bear.
The 20th century's industrial infrastructure has run out of time. It can't go on ; it's antiquated, dangerous and not sustainable. It's based on a finite amount of ice in our ice caps, of air in our atmosphere, of free room for highways and transmission lines, of room in the dumps, and of combustible filth underground. This is a gathering crisis gloomily manifesting itself in the realm of bad weather and resource warfare. It is the legacy we received from world-shaping industrial titans such as Thomas Edison, and Henry Fordn abd John D. Rockfeller – basically, the three 20th century guys who got us into the Greenhouse Effect.
It's not use our starting from the top by ideologically re-educating the Consumer to become some bizare kind of rigid, hairshirt Green. This means returning to the benighted status of Farmers with Artifacts. End-Users will always legally and politically evade any effort to reduce them to the status of Consumers, and even Consumers will stoutly refuse to become Customers or Farmers ; they know that any such effort of repression is the path of the Khmer Rouge and the Taliban.
Bruce Sterling, Shaping things
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