Tag Archives: capitalism

The Right to ‘Opt Out’

I’ve just come across this talk that I gave at a festival back in 2015 just after Fluence had been published. I reckon it still has some pertinent post-pandemic points, especially in the Q&A.

The premise of the talk is that society has accepted capitalism and consumerism and we’re not able to opt out even if we want to.

The question posed is: “If the state created the opportunity for you to opt out, would you take it? And what if everyone did? ”

In the talk I touch on UBI, an idea that is better known now than it was back then. I also talk about guaranteed sabbaticals and a more extreme version of devolution.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


photo credit: Richard Ricciardi The Joy of Dancing via photopin (license)

Is it a collection for commuters?

I’m told that we have a shorter attention span than we used to. That we are at a moment in history when we want everything in bite-sized chunks. We make these micro-transactions in all sorts of ways. From the instantly ‘liked’ and instantly forgotten interactions to the chopping and changing between watching a film while flicking through our feeds.

Do we want bite-sized fiction too?

Well, I’m told we do. Actually, I’m told people enjoy reading tightly formed flash stories, such as those in my Nudge the Future collections – did I mention there’s a new one out? It’s called Biohacked & Begging. 

In this new collection I play around with the notion of micro-transactions. I touch on such things as micro-voting, renting your home by the hour, and the zero-hours contracts of the future.  It’s not all bleak (honest).

Short fiction is certainly not at all a new thing and I don’t think flash fiction will ever replace the full immersion of reading a novel, it’s a totally different experience.

Hopefully, these Nudge the Future collections fill a gap – they’re perfect for the commute to and from work, or for reading with your morning coffee.

Why not use them to create a small oasis of entertainment? Why not flit off to another place for a precious few minutes each day with a self-contained story?

And if they also prompt some pondering that’s great because don’t forget, The future is ours and it’s up for grabs…


“The more we surround ourselves with technology, the more uncanny our lives become. Enter Stephen Oram: with Bradbury’s clear-sightedness and Pangborn’s wit, he pulls ways to live out from under modernity’s “cacophony of crap.”” Simon Ings, Arts Editor, New Scientist.

Find out more about Biohacked and Begging

 


photo credit: SHAN DUTTA _DSC1241 via photopin (license)

Strange Brains, Alien Minds

It’s been a very busy few months, you just need to look at my events page to see what I mean. Guess what? Every time I’ve set aside some time to sit down and write a few words about my experiences something else crops up and the chance slip by.

Although it’s a bit late, here’s a very short reflection on my ongoing collaboration with King’s College London and the Human Brain Project. It’s called ‘Transforming Future Science through Science Fiction.’ Continue reading