What is “PROTOPIA”?

Protopia is a term first attributed to as Kevin Kelly, former executive editor of Wired Magazine: "Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much harder to visualize. Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits, this complex interaction of working and broken is very hard to predict."

Almost a year and a half ago, I began contributing articles to a futurist publication. I’m going to admit up front, I’m not sure my heart was in it. There were a few personal life issues that caused a lack of enthusiasm on my end, but ultimately I delivered the content that was requested from me. Beyond that, after submitting my third piece, I began really looking forward to future contributions.

That is, until earlier this week.

For whatever reason, the editor informed me that my contributions would no longer be needed (maybe because I asked if we could discuss potential/eventual compensation).

Once I crawled myself out of the lows of rejection, I began some soul-searching. Here’s what I found:

In regards to futurism, I’ve developed a lot of mixed feelings over the last few years. After the release of BladeRunner2049, and subsequent ‘cyberpunk’ films/shows/books/games/etc, I’ve been less and less interested in that flavor of futurism.

Dystopic visions of the future have rung a bit too close to home in the current political climate we live in. We’re constantly bombarded by neo-fascism, inevitable climate collapse, and a pop-culture narrative that we should expect everything to fall apart and get much, much worst before it gets any better. I refuse to accept this particular brand of futurism without a fight.

So, bridging my hunger to share my opinion and perspective about the future, and with a drive to do so in an optimistic, constructive way, I’ve begun developing a project called Protopia.

Whether or not it becomes something real is something I’m not certain of yet, but I’m willing to try. Additionally, I’m looking for (paid) collaborators who also want to share perspectives from their experiences, and how people around them are working to make the world a less shitty place to live in.

I hope to share more on this project in the coming months.

Thank you for your interest.

Amber Skies

Waking up to unexpected colors of light during fire season is almost otherworldly, and not something that’s easy to get used to. 

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The Mendocino Complex fire a few hundred miles north has officially become the largest fire in California history. Apparently, they can see the plumes of smoke from the International Space station. 

Tangental note: what a time to be alive, where wildfires are raging out of control over much of the western half of the continent, humans are able to spectate from orbit, and we can watch live feeds in stunning 4K HDR.

Stranger than fiction, indeed.  

Montgomery Bartholo-mew Montgomery (March 5, 2007-May 17, 2018)

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We are sad to announce the passing of Montgomery Bartholo-mew Montgomery this evening after a short, but severe illness. He is survived by his cat-parents, Alexis and William, as well as his adopted brother, Ithilion. The family asks that rather than condolences, please make a small donation to the SF SPCA.


Honestly, I have never been so sad in my life. I have never loved anything with as much intensity or ferocity as Montgomery. He became so integral to my life and identity, that I know he will always be with me. If you ever consider acquiring a pet, I implore you to adopt. Especially little black kittens, they give so much love in return.

I don’t often question core aspects of my identity, and about my own perception of my life experiences, but today... wow, what a doozy. 

Many years ago, I unintentionally hurt someone, and was ashamed of it then, and am now more so after finding out they’ve held onto a perspective of my actions that I didn’t comprehend at the time. Being young and stupid, I assumed everything was ok. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And now I understand so many things unsaid throughout the years, or at least think I do.

No words or actions could ever repair the resentment held against me. And until this moment, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt regret of this magnitude. I am so terribly sorry. 

Do You Trust This Computer?

Watching this new documentary produced by Jonathan Nolan, staring Elon, and just... it makes me ask myself, are we worth saving? Looking at all of the pain and suffering we have continuously inflicted on each other, do we deserve to survive a better equipped sentience? I’m not convinced either way. 

 

But let’s be clear: we’re not yet taking about sentience yet. That’s a different thing than all of this basic AI. Sentience would be truly astounding and frightening. May our future overloads be benevolent. 

Going Old School

Hi there. I spent a good chunk of my day today scrubbing my FB account, and planning to reduce my overall Twitter usage. I figure, if someone wants to get know me, or stalk me online, you might as well come to my website, provide me your IP address, etc. and hey, I get to post whatever I want, no character limit, no censorship.

So, welcome whoever you are. Feel free to comment. Let’s get old school with this stuff.