John Michael Greer discusses his book The Retro Future – Looking to the Past to Reinvent the Future.
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
To most people paying attention to the collision between industrial society and the hard limits of a finite planet, it’s clear that things are going very, very wrong. We no longer have unlimited time and resources to deal with the economic and environmental crises that define our future, and the options are limited to the tools we have on hand right now. The Retro Future is about one very powerful idea: deliberate technological regression.
Technological regression isn’t about ‘going back’ – it’s about using the past as a resource to meet the needs of the present, and maybe the future too. It starts from the recognition that older technologies generally use fewer resources and cost less than modern equivalents, and it embraces the heresy of technological choice – our ability to choose or refuse the technologies pushed by corporate interests. People are already ditching smartphones and going back to so-called ‘dumb phones’ and land lines, and e-book sales are declining while printed books rebound. Clear signs among many that blind faith in progress is faltering and opening up the possibility that the best way forward may well involve looking back.
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