A Trips Festival for the Digital Age


2 minutes

Back in July (2019) I went to Barcelona to speak on a panel with Marta Peirano,  Xenia Ermoshina, and Ash Sarkar at Sonar+D.
We were asked to speculate on future of the web; and a future that it is open, free and sustainable. I talked a lot about trees.

The Long Now Foundation just published a lengthly article on Sonar Festival. Calling it a “Trips Festival for the Digital Age”. I am honoured to have a lengthly quote from my presentation on the panel included.

β€œThere is a deficiency of long-term thinking in western culture,” Jay Springett, a London based theorist, said at a panel on the future of the internet at this year’s SΓ³nar+D. β€œIt will be vital that we think at multigenerational time depths about everything from internet technologies to tree planting, given the challenges that humanity faces. Our modern world seeks to focus us towards the short-term, and praises quarterly growth. But in the real world, away from high frequency ledger entries and global capital flows, it takes 100–120 years for an oak tree to grow from seed to full canopy height. It takes three human generations to grow a tree. This is real growth. And I’d like to propose that everything that occurs in the duration between the decision to plant an acorn to the tree’s full grown crown is short-term thinking.”

Source: A Trips Festival for the Digital Age

It really is wonderful to have such a long pull quote featured in an article by Long Now Foundation. They have been such a huge influence on my life since I first had my horizons broadened by full fat internet at university in the early Noughty’s.

The video of our panel is supposed to go online at some point. I will post about it once it comes out and link to it from the talks list on the homepage.

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