Speculation, probably not a science

I have been reading old copies of the Guardian. Some I never found time for , now the paper really has to go. I am chopping up the good bits and need to have another look at these as well.

Margaret Atwood wrote about "Ustopia" in 2011. Just found it through Google. (Guardian search will work eventually but you usually have to scroll down past the ads to find a result) http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/oct/14/margaret-atwood-road-to-ustopia

Ustopia is a word she made up by combining utopia and dystopia because "each contains a latent version of the other". "Ustopia is also a state of mind, as in every place in literature of whatever kind."

I think this will help me over the next few weeks when blogging about the Phonicon and TEDx Exeter. The Phonicon is an event for science fiction, maybe fantasy, at the Phoenix in Exeter next Sunday. I think it will take up most of the ground floor except for the gallery space where News From The Sun continues. This is based on a short story by J.G. Ballard.  The images refer to "the physical structures of communication technology such as satellite dishes, pylons and antennae."

From the Phoenix description-

In a variety of ways, each of the artists display an interest in subverted or obsolete modernity, referencing technology, architecture and design that offers optimistic promises of a utopian future. These points of reference contrast with an intensive level of handcrafted process utilised by each in the creation of their work.

Perhaps these means that some artists don't like technology and prefer analog. There definitely are some academics who are always looking for the dark side. But the Ustopia scope may offer a way to discuss this sort of thing. I will have a look in more detail and maybe ask for some comments during the Phonicon.

The week after there is a localised version of TED for Exeter. This will have a more positive take on technology I guess. And it is about entertainment, not art , so the limitations of digital media may not matter too much. News From The Sun continues so may offer some balance. ( I am getting more into radio and JD tells me a radio show should offer no strong opinions except through guests)

I am still a bit confused about what Margaret Atwood includes as "science fiction". She seems to prefer to work with "speculative fiction" such as Jules Verne on balloon travel - "things that really could happen but just hadn't completely happened when the authors wrote the books". So I am going to borrow this for blog speculation. For example I think the Guardian will cease print publication Monday to Friday. Will this happen soon? I don't know. IPEX 2014 will be very different to IPEX 2010. There has been recent news about companies that will not be at ExCeL so there is an online version now, including Apple and Adobe. They were hardly there in 2010. Print culture depends on trade shows and daily newspapers. To be continued.