Posts by Alex Blanes

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The Metabolism of Novelty

The Metabolism of Novelty

'Autos' to 'Oikos'

For a living idea to take root, a paradox is needed. Seeds require insularity, while soil requires complexity. At first glance, these are mutually incompatible states; insularity is characterized by autarky—the state of being economically "closed"—whereas complexity is characterized by ecology, the state of being economically open.

Note the etymology of these words; 'autarky' comes from the Greek autos (self) and arkein (sufficient; also, "to ward off"), whereas 'ecology' comes from the Greek oikos (habitation, home). The first concerns itself with particularity; the latter, with multiplicity.

So how does a

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Solarpunk, meet Lunapunk

Solarpunk, meet Lunapunk

I recently introduced the concept of solarpunk to a colleague of mine at Schumacher College, and his interest was immediately piqued. I knew he was a fan of steampunk, and I illustrated the differences between the two by making reference to steampunk’s primarily nostalgic, mechanical aesthetic/ethos, contrasted with solarpunk’s primarily optimistic, organic aesthetic/ethos.

Previously, I had suggested in my research that:

… whereas steampunk asks, "hey, what if the Industrial Revolution never happened, thereby not disrupting Victorian society / culture in the midst of Enlightenment-era ideological politics", solarpunk asks "hey, what if a whole bunch

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The Adept

The Adept

A work in progress.

Dawn arrived with the hesitant kiss of rain.

The storm had passed but an hour ago, leaving in its wake the bedraggled and weary crew of the Lady Rhia. Rudder affixed, and crew abed, a lone deckhand remained awake on watch in the early unlit morning. The boy shivered in place just fore of the bowsprit, barely covered by a tattered quilt. He blinked uncertainly at the wall of fog ahead, and yawned.

“I should wake the skipper,” he mumbled drowsily. “Shouldn’t be long now.” Slipping in and out of sleep, he almost didn't

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