More popular news from the edge of collapse:
Per our last post on the popularisation of collapse and systemic crisis terms in mainstream dialogue, several readers wrote in to add additional links.
Richard Florida has a long and well argued piece in the Atlantic this month, entitled “How the Crash will Reshape America”. An excerpt:
No place in the United States is likely to escape a long and deep recession. Nonetheless, as the crisis continues to spread outward from New York, through industrial centers like Detroit, and into the Sun Belt, it will undoubtedly settle much more heavily on some places than on others. Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life.
Cory Doctrow over at BoingBoing also reflects on how cities like Detroit may represent the cutting edge of America’s future. In “Detroit and the Future of America” he writes,
Detroit may be the most science fictional city in the world — if sf is about the way that technology changes society (and vice-versa), then Detroit, the first New World, world-class city built around a high-tech industry that collapsed, is about as science fictional as it gets.
Science fiction or science fact, it’s clear “collapsitarian” thinking and terminology has begun to influence the global dialogue. The question, vis-a-vis the Humanitarian Futures Programme, is will this new kind of dialogue make it easier or more difficult to help aid organisations plan and prepare for a more complex future?
We’re about to send our next HFP mission to work with the UN Country Team in the Comoros Islands; our first futures planning session since the credit crisis unfolded. It will be very interesting to compare this experience with past futures missions in conducted before the global credit crunch tipped conversation towards our direction.