“State of the World and Things Various and Sundry”

Every year the Well (one of the early, pre-web, online communities) invites Bruce Sterling to chat about the state of the world. This year, he paints a grim picture of where the “present” is heading:

“Various entities and institutions have scrambled together safety pins and gobs of glue to rig the global economy so that it appears to be ambling along, but isn’t it a great conceptual Jenga, ready to fall if you move the wrong block? What kind of shuffling and reshuffling can we expect, if there’s a global economic meltdown? And has the collapse already happened – are we like the coyote, run far beyond the edge of the cliff, waiting for gravity’s effect?”

On Google News and Twitter:

“I’m looking over my Twitter stream here, because it seems a more useful barometer to me now than Google News. Google News definitely has that rickety Jenga feeling that JonL is talking about. Whenever you see something on Google News nowadays, you have to wonder: “who owns this so-called news organization now? What’s left of them financially? Is there even a shred of objective fact in this?”