The common belief that SF is in some sense “about” the future isn’t wholly wrongheaded. One feature of 19th and 20th century science fiction is that it is fascinated with time in a deep way. Time only opens up, as a wholly new dimension to be imaginatively explored, at the very end of the 18th century. It’s a puzzle, actually, why this should be. [The critic] Darko Suvin thinks it has something to do with the French Revolution. But before about 1800 people almost never wrote stories set in the future, and then after 1800 lots of people did just that. SF as a mode of projecting oneself into the to-come connects powerfully with human concerns in the way that specific prophesy – pedantic, fiddly, bound to be wrong – doesn’t.
Writing Machines — Tom McCarthy on technology in The Guardian:
I must belong to the only generation of writers who’ve written with all three of inkpen, typewriter and computer. It definitely matters: the technology colours not only the rhythm but the whole logic of what you write. Think of Kafka’s obsession with writing machines: the harrow that inscribes the law onto the skin in In the Penal Colony or the mysterious writing desk in Amerika: writing technologies themselves are imbued with terrifying and sacred dimensions, and become the subject, not just the medium, of the story. I used to have a beautiful old German typewriter, that you had to throw your fingers at and the keys would smash into the roller. It felt like a machine-gun or something.
Brian Appleyard on Andy Warhol for Intelligent Life magazine:
Warhol now endorses a way of life. One simple technology—silk-screen printing—dominated his career. But it was enough to show today’s technology-laden, hyper-connected youth that they could do it too. With the instant publication of digital pictures and videos, anybody can become a cyber-Warhol, swimming in the great ocean that pop imagery has become. Apple’s Photo Booth software reduces the whole thing to a single click—just by selecting “pop art” under “effects” you can change your face into a very credible Warhol multiple self-portrait. Andy, in death, is a generation’s mentor.