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April 24, 2008

Grim Meathook Future

I now have a name for what we must try to avoid: the Grim Meathook Future (via Warren Ellis).

The Grim Meathook Future ('GMF') is a concept of the future first elucidated by Las Vegas-based media writer Joshua Ellis. It is a dark future, characterized by religious wars spreading from the third world across the globe, and the consequent breakdown of first world society. Irremediable disaster areas such as post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans (The 'K-Hole') become the norm.

It is often dialectically placed in dichotomy to a so-called 'Bright Spime-world future', also known as The Noosphere, in which information-technology prevails. As Ellis puts it "The Grim Meathook Future is what happens when irrationalism and tribalism win over techno-utopianism and consumer capitalism."

The full text of Ellis' original post is here. Mandatory trite equivalence of the jihadis and American "rednecks" aside, the term not only encapsulates the Morlock horizon but does so in useful contrast with happy-clappy network society thinking. And here:

As a species, we could be on the verge of the utopian vision of the "Singularity"...but we might just as easily be on the verge of a Spenglerian return to a global Dark Ages; a scenario that resembles less the utopian science fictions of Hugo Gernsback and more a nightmare of feral cities and warlordism...

Related study material: The problem of "civilization" from Oswald Spengler. The Decline of the West.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 24, 2008 06:54 AM


There is no time to tell you all that you should hear. Behold! you are come into a peril greater even than the wit of Wormtongue could weave into your dreams. But see! you dream no longer. You live. Gondor and Rohan do not stand alone. The enemy is strong beyond our reckoning, yet we have a hope at which he has not guessed.

Verily, that way lies our hope, where sits our greatest fear. Doom hangs still on a thread. Yet hope there is still, if we can but stand unconquered for a little while.

Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2008 07:52 AM