We’re so used to the dominance of party politics and party alignment in the UK that it’s hard for us to notice that it’s disappearing, and increasingly quickly, in front of our eyes. In fact, at a national level in the UK, the single member constituency/ first past the post system is disguising the collapse of the main parties and the shifting landscape.
New Scientist gave the science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson some pages to edit on the theme of fiction, and he wrote an essay on the place of science fiction in creating meaning in the world of 2009, and commissioned eight British SF writers to contribute short pieces on life a hundred years from now. It works as a kind of snapshot of the literary “long imagination”. Without giving too much away, they don’t expect things to turn out well.
I mentioned a few posts back that I’d had a couple of articles published but didn’t get round to mentioning the second one. The second article, written with Wendy Schultz, called “Roads Less Travelled” was a small futures research project to find out whether using different scenarios methods to develop scenarios from the same set of initial scan data would produce different outcomes. The full paper is published in the May 2009 Journal of Futures Studies (and can also be found on my Selected Articles page); and the answer to the question is yes.
Having been in Ireland during some of August, as the government tried to set up its “bad bank”, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA), on what appeared to be extremely favourable terms to bank shareholders amid the collapse of one of the country’s biggest property developers, Liam Carroll’s Zoe Group, the joke looks alarmingly close to the truth.