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What will happen to the power grid in the US in the event of collapse?
Will Art have a role in post-collapse society?
Friday 22 July 2011 05:06:37 pm
There will be a lot of microgrids and smart grids and special zones where internet server farms will be kept humming for as long as possible. But these are all exercises in load shedding. Large swathes of the countryside and quite a few towns will go permanently dark, but nobody will know or care because nobody will go there. There will be some people stuck there, though, and their lives are sure to become quite... interesting, in a way. But we won't know much about them, because they will no longer be "on the net."
Friday 22 July 2011 08:53:20 pm
I think that pre-collapse society's major fault is that it insists on everything having a purpose. It is this relentless utilitarianism that destroys art, making it a mediocrity that is supposed to "appeal" to "the masses" as opposed to blowing apart their brains for no adequately understood reason. I hope that collapse blows away both the producers and the consumers of art. But the need for artistic expression and appreciation will remain and grow, because there will be few, if any, consumer items to act as artistic placebos. Luckily, aesthetics is cheap, often free. It's mostly a matter of arranging things. You can even do it with garbage, as my friend Konstantin Simoun has demonstrated. What do Americans have in abundance? Garbage. Let's make art with that.
Friday 22 July 2011 09:01:06 pm
"Art" is more than just visual art, as in painting and sculpture. There are also music and stories and dance, all of which are artistic forms, and frankly, in their various incarnations, all three have been around since the beginning of time.
But there are also some very utilitarian types of art, that have endured and will find a place in our homes and cultures - things like pottery, carved wooden bowls, and embroidered cloth, for instance, can be beautiful art pieces, but also have function.
Will there be art after collapse? Absolutely! Perhaps not something that we might expect to see in the Met, but definitely, "art." Aesthetics are cheap, but without them, life certainly gets very dull, very fast.
Saturday 23 July 2011 08:10:41 pm
The odd thing is that there was never a time that had less need for art to be useful or utilitarian: for never was surplus wealth so abundant, nor so horribly wasted. There is something fundamentally wrong with the art establishement in the modern world, philosophically and aesthetically. It actively hates beauty, and has produced an abundance of soulless cynical drek that will make future generations wonder what the hell we were thinking. Considering the extraordinary renaissance of creativity our now-dying epoch might have generated, it's a terrible, tragic waste.
Sunday 24 July 2011 08:32:57 pm
Can we hang any hope on development of technologies/devices for electricity such as Daniel Nocera's artificial photosynthesis leaf - with which every home could have its own small power station?
Are the MIT science people going to come up with something wonderful that will benefit everyone?
Saturday 06 August 2011 05:07:30 pm
Cheryl - not likely. Your best bet is to learn to live with as few of these "technologies" as possible.