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Disclaimer: This article was originally published on TAB UOL, in Portuguese.

Remember when 2020 started with Trump sending bombs to Iran and we were sharing memes about a Third World War? Nobody imagined 2020 would be what it happened to be and, now that it’s gone, we try to believe that nothing can’t get worse. But, hold on, January already began with the US capitol being invaded by pro-Trump rioters who didn’t accept the defeat of the current president. …


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Disclaimer: This essay was originally published on Tab UOL, in Portuguese.

In 2010, researchers Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker published the essay Notes on metamodernism, later translated to Portuguese and published in 2017 on the magazine Arte & Ensaios published by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. At that time, the researchers aimed to put in words this feeling that we were experiencing as a society in the turn of a new century. …


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Disclaimer: This text was originally published on Tab UOL, in Portuguese. It contains spoilers from the TV series Dark.

There were other times when I thought that I was only addressing a same subject here, which is rather the theme of my thesis. But it seems that I’m still able to distinguish (or at least some people say so). In any case, what I bring today is an essay about a TV series that became very popular in the past months, especially due to its finale.

Now that the German series Dark is over, we know that its main topic is time travel. This is already enough information for us to conclude that the series has only two possible outcomes: either it is full of clichés or it is refreshing and insightful. …


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Still from the movie Transcendence.

Disclaimer: This text was originally published on Tab UOL, in Portuguese.

A friend published on Facebook a couple of days ago the news that a whale spent 17 days of grief before leaving its child’s corpse behind. As a psychology student, she tried to go beyond reporting and argued that this was an example that illustrated the way that we, as human beings, deal with death, especially in Western cultures. Her position was one of criticism against the way we deny death and don’t respect our personal timing as funerals are performed in a hurry, with no real time to process the fact and experience the ritual. …


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Disclaimer: This article was originally published on Tab UOL, in Portuguese.

In 1998, science fiction writer Bruce Sterling published the article “Cyberpunk in the Nineties” in the magazine INTERZONE. The essay pondered cyberpunk and its authors, arguing that the “visionary intensity” that was once center to the genre was forgotten as time went by and authors aged — back in the day, they were already 40 years old in average. After all, it’s been some time since “any cyberpunk wrote a truly mind-blowing story, something that writhed, heaved, howled, hallucinated and shattered the furniture.”

This was all concluded eight years after Lewis Shiner, one of the member of The Movement, the group which created cyberpunk as a genre, had already wrote “Confessions of an Ex-Cyberpunk” for The New York Times. In the essay, Shiner argued that cyberpunk made no sense any more, but, in any case, in 2020, several adaptations and new titles kept the subgenre alive (or at least parts of it). This is the case of series such as Black Mirror, Altered Carbon and the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077. …


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Disclaimer: This essay was originally published at Tab UOL, in Portuguese.

Two week ago, a new controversy stroke on Twitter, this time it was a feud between singers Zola Jesus and Grimes. It all started with a statement that Grimes gave during an episode of the podcast Mindscape, in which she addressed the topics of the future of music and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry. For Grimes, who is alternatively working on her own artificially intelligent avatar to replace her on social media, human art will soon become “obsolete.” …


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Wikipedia The Third of May 1808, by Francisco Goya

Disclaimer: This article was originally published at O Futuro das Coisas, in Portuguese.

Only this week, at least two friends sent me the link to this article about the French army hiring writers to think about the future of war, and that even Brazilian authors have been contacted for that. I had shared a bit of my own personal view on my Twitter, but here I want to focus on the fact that a military institution is hiring artists to think the future not in a broader sense, but specifically the future of war.

Curiously (or not), the same day when this article was published, the website Popular Mechanics also released this news that France approved a project of cyborg, bionic soldiers. While some Brazilian writers interviewed didn’t believe in the possibility of a physical war, but rather informational (as we already see on a level of fake news, the case of Cambridge Analytica and Brazilian ‘hate cabinet’), what we see, in any case, is that war is war, and when the “boys” are allowed to play with their G.I. …


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Disclaimer: This article was originally published at TAB UOL, in Portuguese.

This week we watched for the first time in 400 years the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. On Monday (21), the astronomic event was all that social media talked about, though the reason wasn’t only its historic rarity, but the fact that the solstice also supposedly greeted a new Age of Aquarius. But, as Alexey Dodsworth already explained in this article, we haven’t entered in any new age, less so in the age of Aquarius.

More than explaining why this misunderstood happened, what I want to address here is the euphoria caused by a supposed astrologic event. Classic musicals such as “Hair” and the symbolic meaning of the Age of Aquarius for hippies have been important references for the collective imagination of the 20th century. That’s because the Age of Aquarius supposedly announces a time of technological innovation, rebellion, humanitarianism, idealism, freedom, and democracy. But what’s the meaning of this nowadays and why so many people paid attention to that? …


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Beyond aesthetics, dystopias are rather cautionary tales

Disclaimer: Article originally published in Portuguese on TAB UOL

During several talks and events that I joined to discuss the theme of futurology or futurism, I heard some colleagues saying that we are facing a dystopia overload, that we need to imagine better, more optimist futures. It was inspired by this feeling that Solarpunk was also developed as a new science fiction subgenre, one that could feature sustainable, green technologies and a future that is different from the dark visions of cyberpunk.

As a subgenre, cyberpunk was first an attempt to make science fiction “dirtier”, immoral, critical, pessimistic and, therefore, contemplating its suffix punk allied to cybernetic technologies. On the fanzine “Cheap Truth”, Bruce Sterling already declared that cyberpunks didn’t want to read or write stories that “your parents would read.” They wanted to read and write about drugs, sex, dystopian futures that ultimately were simply extrapolations of the signals already flagged by these authors in the 1980s. If Sterling wrote more political and critical fiction, Gibson proposed a more aesthetic version of cyberpunk that was immortalized through his book “Neuromancer”. From then on, cyberpunk addressed topics such as the late capitalism, drug abuse and technology as a means to escape reality, hyperconsumerism, and the political commentary was rather overshadowed by the neon lights reflecting on the puddles of acid rain in the pavement. …


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Photo by Katerina Jerabkova. Source: Unsplash

Disclaimer: This article was originally published at TAB UOL in Portuguese.

It’s no newsflash that messages of positivity, self-help, or how to make your dream — being it a job, a thinner body, a relationship — are spreading through social networks. The coaching phenomena is recent in Brazil; it arrived here between the decades of 1990 and 2000, but only recently it grew stronger.

Although the practice is already banalized, there is always some new course or professional selling miracles, especially during the pandemic. …

About

Lidia Zuin

Brazilian journalist, MA in Semiotics and PhD candidate in Visual Arts. Head of innovation and futurism at UP Lab. Cyberpunk enthusiast and researcher.

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