Monday, December 19, 2016

Review of 'Four Futures' by Peter Frase

A really good piece of future thinking from a left perspective - something that doesn't seem to happen all that often. And a really good resource with lots of references to other material and further reading. I particularly like the way he's prepared to use science fiction references as a way of thinking about the present and the future.

I'm a little bit surprised that the chapter on 'Rentism' didn't include a reference to Guy Standing's new book "The Corruption of Capitalism: Why rentiers thrive and work does not pay", but maybe the timing didn't work.

It also made me think of William Gibson's quite new book 'The Peripheral', in which the near-future world describes something like rentism, in which the surplus population mainly engage in crime or law enforcement, or in producing off-patent ('funny') versions of legitimate goods in 3D print shops - and the distant-future world is a version of 'communism for the rich' with the poor mainly wiped out in the apocalyptic 'jackpot', and those who remain competing for status through recherche art forms.

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