A new story, a new speech

Hello, everyone, two quick updates.

First, I have a new story out. “Jaunt” is part of Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future, edited by Gideon Lichfield for MIT Press. Authors in the collection include Cory Doctorow, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, Hannu Rajaniemi, and others.

The print version isn’t going to come out until May, but you can grab the electronic version right now.

This past year has been extremely difficult for me. It’s impossible to imagine the future when the present feels so apocalyptic, all-consuming. “Jaunt” represents one of my only successful attempts to write new fiction about the future during this time, and it’s a crystallization of much of my thinking about the wrong direction(s) modernity has taken. The core concepts are telepresence and leaderless mass movements, two trends that the pandemic highlighted and which I think have the potential to alter our world for the better. Like much of my work, I can’t help but be optimistic about the potential of technology, hoping against hope at the end that we can overcome the forces of hatred, colonialism, and perpetual war.

Second, I’ll be a speaker at Orchid Labs’ virtual digital privacy summit, Priv8, March 23-25, 2021. Speakers at the summit include Edward Snowden, Audrey Tang, Zooko Wilcox, and others.

My talk is not directly about privacy, but about how we articulate and reify fundamental human values through stories, and to get something as abstract as “privacy” right, we have to be more thoughtful about the stories we tell to make sense of privacy. Registration at the summit is free, so I hope some of you will join me in discussing and thinking about this most important aspect of being human.

As always, thank you for supporting my work, and may you always get to tell the stories you want to tell.

Ken