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Towards A Solarpunk Future

We sleepwalked into a Cyberpunk dystopia. But a Solarpunk future is waiting for all of us, we just need to wake up and build it.

Substack asked me about the future of tech subcultures in a recent interview. Don’t take my noodling too seriously though. If anything 2020 has taught me the future will be far weirder than anything we expected.

I remain convinced COVID will impact subcultures as it’s affected everything else. One subculture I believe will be particularly affected is Solarpunk. How this plays out is down to all of us. In this issue I’ll introduce the world of Solarpunk, what it is, why it matters and what we can do to build it.

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Art comes from Alfons Mucha, an anonymous source and Alex Le Guillou. Alex’s art makes data beautiful. Check out On The Track and Woods Walk on his site. This issue’s music is comes from modern composer Max Richter, press play and read on.

Fear The Working Dead

Almost every modern media vision of the future is one of catastrophe. Climate collapse, zombie hordes, out of control AI hell-bent on our destruction. We now know everything in virus pandemic fiction was comically off the mark. That bubble has burst. Nobody will watch Contagion 2: Apocalypse Boogaloo.

The stories we tell aren’t accurate doosmday scenario predictions. They’re cartoon reflections of our current hopes and fears. In Shaun of the Dead the real zombies are the people working bullshit jobs for no damned reason. In the real world the natural disasters are almost all man-made. The Zombies are us. The AI was copied from stackoverflow by the lowest cost bidder.

We live in a world defined by the paradox of finite resources and the illusion of infinite economic growth. We’re bombarded by messages working against us. We’re told to keep buying, keep spending, keep scrolling and keep sharing. Snap a selfie, keep telling people you barely know your life is great. Don’t let the existential dread set in. Don’t let the existential dread set in. Don’t let the…

Steve Lord

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