Retro Future: Magic Highway USA

Van Mensvoort
December 20th 2007

Magic Highway nextnature retrofuture

Nothing makes a person more modest about future speculations than Retro Future. Want proof? Here is a 1958 video entitled "Magic Highway USA". No, they didn't anticipate traffic jams or feminism (can you find all the male chauvinist details?), the sheer optimism is just overwhelming: "It will be our magic carpet to new hopes, new dreams and a better way of life, for the future" (Yes, they're talking about highways here).

This video brings a good context to clear up some of our own misunderstandings: I've noticed many people think on our Next Nature project is about the 'future'. I have to disappoint them: It is not (at least, not really). The aim of our project is to re-investigate our relation with Nature. Culturally emerged nature is not something that exists in the future only; it exists today and -although we did not perceive it as such- it already existed in the past. I believe the best way to anticipate the future is to understand the present. But first things first: Enjoy the Retro Future.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!

4 comments

Koert.com
Posted 20/12/2007 – 23:43

I am sensing some post-historic awareness here. Remember Jos the Mul's contribution tothe nextnature pocket?:
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"For someone whose main instrument is a computer, the world becomes a gigantic database.
We see this database ontology at work, for example, when information technology is deployed in the field of genetic manipulation. The gene pool of life on earth is then no longer primarily conceived as a contingent and factual evolutionary constellation, but rather as a database of an infinite number of virtual life forms that can be actualized at will. Although not yet as spectacularly as in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, or in science fiction films such as Robocop, our world is increasingly populated with life forms created with the aid of informationistic bio-technologies.
The emergence of post-history will not completely put an end to historical experiences in our individual and collective lives. However, in the light of the developments, we may expect the post-historic dimension to increasingly become the fundamental dimension of human experience."

inlogic
Posted 20/12/2007 – 18:56

In the past is the future

=A=
Posted 20/12/2007 – 16:03

The future lies in the past :)

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What is your view on the coronavirus?


Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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