My new year’s resolution is to blog more. This is not likely to last long, based on previous experience. However…
I’ve started doing the housekeeping stuff expected of a new year – swapping over the keyboards from the two computers for example, and tidying up files – in my own little 5S. This is a holdover from when I used to work in a factory, the 5S being a management fad from Japan and standing for… well I forget. Sort, Store, Sustain, that kind of thing. Or as I used to think of it, Shovel Shit Sideways. Just a normal first day of a new year.
However this isn’t a normal new year1. Just look at that date! We’re now into the Cyberpunk 2020 decade, a roleplaying game I used to play from the 90s.
I once wrote in my diary that it felt like we’d just entered the future… when it turned into 1990. That’s an effect of reading Science Fiction from the 50s, 60s and 70s. 1990 was far enough away to be exotic and wonderful.
Over the last few years on Twitter I’ve noted anything and everything from the real world which feels… kinda Cyberpunk. As if we’re living in the dystopia we only used to play games about. New Year celebrations by drone swarm. My watch reminding me that I haven’t done enough exercise. Much of the planet literally on fire, including parts of the Arctic. A company wanting to use low orbit as an advertising space. A billionaire building an actual Mars rocket. And computing so ubiquitous and cheap that £35 buys more computing power in a credit card sized form factor than all the computers combined which I bought in the 90s.
Just to round off the feeling of living in a novel, Betelgeuse is widely expected to go supernova and alien megastructures around Tabby’s Star have only been ruled out last year.
All this without mentioning smartphones and social media. Because after all, the best science fiction is not really about the science but how it changes society.
From the vantage point of 1990, the future seems to have crept up on us.
Hogmanay as we say here. ↩
At Scotland's Secret Bunker, picture taken by my good friend Jo. No megalomania in evidence. (Not much, anyway.)
I use British English spelling and idioms, if you tend to worry about that sort of thing.
Additionally I'm Scottish, so 'outwith' is unquestionably a real word. As is 'drookit', 'puggled' and 'numpty'. I am occasionally all three of those.
I created this site using a combination of W3 CSS, Jekyll, Emacs and my inability to enjoy web development IDEs.
My name is in the very first paragraph of the first page of the first GTA design document*.
*Excluding cover and table of contents. I mean, right?