“What did we really lose in the past decade? The Future. Our narratives failed because network culture does not tolerate the orderly linearity of “narratives.” The end of the Future doesn’t mean The End. It means an anarchist’s dream of liberated territory, waiting to be explored, spelunked, and recreated in the image of the emerging world. It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be interesting, and it should be fun. And you can bet that it won’t have a lot to do with Ben Bernanke.”—No Fear of the Future: The Day the Narrative Died
…the world is currently run by a generation whose upbringing has left them intellectually unable to be deal with modernity.
This isn’t their fault. For someone to be in charge today, they’re more than likely to be in their 50s or 60s. Which means that when the Berlin Wall fell they were most likely already steeped in an intellectual tradition that had bedded in quite far.
But what happened after 1989 was, as we all know, devastating to that tradition. The end of the bipolar world – the end of history as Fukuyama had it – and the end of the relevance of 50 years of political and military planning.
Instead, things got weird. Germany was reunited in 1990, and a few weeks later, on Christmas Day, the first web server was turned on. Nearly 21 years later, and the internet has destroyed and rebuilt everything it has touched. Hierarchies have been under attack from networks for 20 years now. History certainly didn’t end, much to everyone’s disappointment.
A private consulting firm in Washington D.C. is developing a “test city”—one “with no permanent population”—in the New Mexico desert, according to the Albuquerque Journal. It will be “a privately financed, small city on 20 square miles in New Mexico for testing and evaluation of new and emerging technologies,” run from afar by Pegasus Global Holdings. This as yet unnamed location will be devoted to the “‘real world’ testing of smart grids, renewable energy integration, next-gen wireless, smart grid cyber security and terrorism vulnerability,” making it a life-size trial for private sector urban management—Cisco’s city-in-a-box and IBM urbanism wrapped in one.