Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cyber Games

Source: Drone photographed in Pakistan

After the media and government declared the third world war, commonly known as The Drone War, an immense success in the early 21st century, the military and the newly militarized police, applauding the advances in modern technology, took themselves out of harms way for good. Public policing now takes place behind locked doors with officers in front of computer screens flipping switches and maneuvering joy sticks. They are all players in a never ending game of crime. In fact, much of the new recruits come from the top winners of the annual and immensely popular World Cyber Games. Needless to say many of these advancements in crime fighting have come at the expense of citizens. With pilot-less surveillance aircraft silently watching overhead and robotic policemen patrolling the streets, the daily public realm feels more like a constant war zone. Crime levels have definitely dropped, but there have been a growing number of innocent deaths caught in the crossfire of artificial officers high on the thrill of the win.

As officers become increasingly out-of-touch with the reality of their computer keystrokes, these accidents are expected to increase. Maybe soon they won't be accidents at all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Car City

It was the fear of leaving the familiar grounds of one's comfort zone that transformed the detached single family home. A few hundred years after the car first made it's debut in American culture, people spent so much time in their automobiles, they literally began to live out of them. The suburban McMansion transformed its formal living rooms, finished basements, and rooms within rooms, into a dizzying series of garages, driveways, and automatically opening and closing overhead doors. The house became the mother ship and the automobiles became plug-in, portable bedrooms on wheels complete with wardrobes and mini fridges. In the morning each family member would unplug and pull out of their garage to go about their daily business and at night would pull in again, the garage door closing out the uncomfortable world behind them.

The automobile was a portable personal hospice. And as long as one went everywhere they needed to go in their car, they would never be far from comfort and security.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Wouldn't Be Difficult to Believe in a God

There was once such a thing as the dark side of the Earth, when light was sacred and each new day was a blazing resurrection.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Worldwide Public Space Act

(Part 2 of 2?)

via ABC7 San Francisco

Those wealthy shrines of empty space stood there with pride, the city looking back with indignation. Having nothing was the new standard for public displays of private wealth.

The common man became increasingly poor, and the rich man increasingly rich. Revolution became imminent.

Sit-ins were organized across the country to take back the space that the people claimed was rightfully theirs. For an entire year as the protest unfolded, one could make out tiny shanty towns a mile high in the sky inhabiting every last rooftop park. On the ground protest favellas emerged within the private empty spaces. When the police, resources stretched incredibly thin due to the massive scale of the movement, attempted to evict these protesters they simply reset their camps the next day. Unable to control the situation and responding to the widespread unrest the government passed the historic Public Space Act. This resolution concluded that every new construction must create an equal amount of open and accessible green space as the building took, effectively producing cities with 100% topographical open public space.

The world, forced to become less dense, slowly leeched out into the never ending suburbs where buildings could melt into the landscape producing fabricated mountains across the earth's surface. A ramp of greenery tucking the building functions inconspicuously underneath took over as the typical building form and the world became an endless sea of open and accessible green hills. Natural vegetation soon took over and these days old growth forests create a natural sun canopy over much of the developed world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


(Part 1 of 2?)

There came a point when the exponential growth of the world's population exploded. The need to provide shelter overtook the planning of cities and out of necessity they grew into unprecedentedly dense megacities. As mile high towers quickly replaced parks and public plazas, leaving the street as the only remaining public space, the city became increasingly introverted, uncouth, and hostile. The street became an urban canyon, and was referred to as such. In the distant past, expensive cars, jewelry, and other material possessions were the symbols of wealth. That changed as open space became the most valuable commodity, and people protected it proudly. Balconies, roofs, and the extremely rare backyard were akin to gold and eventually even became legal tender.

Developers and large corporations that could afford the investment built privately owned public parks on the roofs of their sky scraping structures, a government sponsored incentive to improve quality of life (essentially the government was giving it's wealth to corporations for the right to provide space). Yet as this practice became commonplace and lobbyists over time managed to deregulate the system, it became apparent that corporations could increase their wealth by bulldozing buildings to build in their place nothing at all.

The empty lots stood there boasting their wealth in the city, surrounded by tall barbed-wire fences, the mile high buildings, and KEEP OUT - PRIVATE PROPERTY signs. Constantly illuminated and surveillanced, the shrines to abundance were prisons of nothing.