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Campfire Voice - 13 Nov 2020
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We live in a profoundly different reality now

In a new article for GQ magazine, Brain Eno talks about how the world has changed since 1995. It marks the publication of a 25th anniversary edition of his original diaries 'A Year with Swollen Appendices'

Eno says "I started out by making a list of new words [below] – ideas that either didn’t exist or weren’t in the air when I wrote the diary. What astonished me is how many of them there are. Some of these words – and the ideas and activities they relate to – have become so normal that we forget they’re only a few years old.

A friend told me a story that captures how quickly things become taken for granted – indispensable parts of our lives. He was on a flight and, after take-off, the pilot announced that the airline had just introduced Wi-Fi to its fleet of jets, so everybody could now use their phones on the plane. There was delighted applause and many of the passengers immediately took out their devices and began doing all the things we do with them. After about 30 minutes the Wi-Fi stopped working, for some technical reason. Within seconds, people were complaining angrily about the “terrible service”: it had gone from miracle to expectation in half an hour.

Looking at this list of words makes me realise that we live in a profoundly different reality now than we did in 1995. I assume new language evolves when there are new things that need to be talked about – so the faster those new things are coming at us, the more new language we need for them. Perhaps we would expect there to be lots of new words to do with the internet and social media, but what’s noticeable about the list is that there are some areas of human activity that hardly figure in it at all: for example, art, religion and philosophy. Does this mean that we aren’t so interested in those things any more and have stopped talking about them? Could it mean that they just aren’t changing so quickly to need new language? Or does it mean that they’re changing so much that we no longer recognise them in their new forms? For example, is QAnon actually an emerging religion? Is CRISPR gene-editing technology possibly a new form of art? Is decluttering, à la Marie Kondo, a sort of spiritual discipline that operates in the space where religion operated? Is TikTok a new mass art form that we aren’t taking seriously? (Will we, in another 25 years, reverently scroll through old TikTok videos, recognising them as the beginnings of a truly universal, democratic art form?) Is binge-watching Netflix the future of art, as galleries and public spaces become more dangerous?"

 

3-D printer

4chan

9/11

AI (artificial intelligence) 

Airbnb

Alexa 

algorithm 

alt-right 

alternative facts 

Amazon 

Anonymous 

Anthropocene 

anti-natalism 

Antifa

apps

Arab Spring

ASMR

augmented reality

avatar

B2B (business-to-business) 

bank bailout

Bank of Mum and Dad 

barista

Belt and Road

bendy bus

bestie

big data

billionaires

binge-watch

biodiversity

biosphere

birtherism

bitcoin

black hat

Black Lives Matter

bling

blockchain

blog

Blu-ray

Bluetooth

body-shaming

boogaloo

boomer

Border Force (UK)

Botox

bots

box set

Brexit

BRICS, the

bromance

butt lift

buzzy

cancel culture

cannabis stores

carbon footprint

carbon-neutral

CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) 

CDO (collateralised debt obligations) 

CDS (credit default swap)

chatlines 

Chaturbate 

chav 

China

chip and PIN 

churnalism 

cisgender 

Citizens United 

cli-fi

clickbait

climate crisis

climate refugee

cloud, the

command and control 

conflict minerals 

contactless

content farm

Cookies

Creative Commons licence

Corbynista 

Covid

CRISPR

crowdfund 

crowdsource

cultural appropriation 

cyber attack

cyber crime 

cyber warfare 

daisy-cutter 

dark money 

dark web 

data-driven 

data harvesting 

data point

data set

Davos

day trader

declutter

deep state

deepfake

denialism

derivatives

digital audio

dirty bomb

disaster capitalism 

disinformation

distance learning

DM (direct message, Instagram) 

DMT (drug)

dox

drone warfare

doomscrolling 

dot com bubble

drones

dubstep

e-bike

e-cigarettes

eBay

ecocide

egg donor

electric cars

embedded (journalists) 

emo

emoji

emoticon

end of days

end times

end-to-end 

encryption 

enhanced interrogation 

entitled

essential worker

ETF (exchange-traded fund) 

facial recognition

factoid

fake news

false flag (attack)

fat finger

fat studies

first responders

fit (attractive)

flash crash

flash mob

followers

flat-earther 

follow/unfollow

FOMO (fear of missing out) 

foodie

football mum 

friend/unfriend

garage (music) 

gaslighting

gated community 

gender-neutral 

gender studies 

Generation Z 

generative

ghost (as a verb) 

gig economy 

glamping

global warming 

globalization 

gluten-free

goji berries

goldilocks

GPS

graphene

Great Awakening 

grime

ground-source heating 

grunge

hacking

hands-free

hashtag

hive mind

hooking up

helicopter parenting

Homeland Security

hotdesking

hotspot

housing bubble

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, USA) 

iconic

identity theft 

ifpology

impostor syndrome 

inbox

incel

influencer

information warfare

Instagram

intersectionality

iPod

Islamophobia

isolation

Jägerbomb

‘jump on a call’

Jungle (refugee camp), the

Karen

ketamine

Kindle

lab meat

labradoodle

laptop

Leaver (cf Remainer)

LGBTQA+

libtard

localisation (cf globalisation) 

LinkedIn

location services

lockdown

LOL

machine learning 

malware 

mansplain 

Matrix, The 

MeToo

Melissa worm, the 

MERS 

microaggression 

microdosing

milk substitutes

millennial

mindfulness

Minecraft 

minger/minging

mission creep

mood music

MSM (mainstream media) 

muted

nanotechnology

Napster

Netflix

news threads

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) 

non-binary

nose to tail 

noughties

Occupy

oligarch

OMG

one-click shopping

one per cent, the 

online banking 

online shopping 

open-source 

opinion columnist 

optics

Oyster card 

page view 

palimony 

pandemics 

parkour 

PayPal 

paywall 

peng

Pepe the Frog 

Periscope 

phishing 

photobomb 

Photoshopped 

‘ping me’ 

Pizzagate 

platform 

pocket call 

podcast 

pop-up 

portrait mode 

post-Internet 

post-truth 

POV

PPE (personal protective equipment)

preprint

privately owned spacecraft

pronouns

QAnon

QR code

quantified self 

quantum computing 

quarantini

queen bee 

ransomware

rapture

reality TV

reboot

recycling

red-pilled

reddit

Remainer (cf Leaver) 

Remoaner 

renewables

retweet

rewilding

robotics

router

routine mass surveillance 

SARS

satnav 

screen time 

Second Life 

Segway 

self-isolate 

selfie

selfie stick 

server 

sexting

Shazam 

shielding 

shock jocks 

shrooms 

SIM card 

singular they 

Siri

SJW (social justice warrior) 

Skype

slacktivism

smartphones

SMS

snowflake

social capital

social distancing 

social media 

sockpuppet accounts 

Soundcloud

spam

spear phishing 

speed dating

spice

stan

Stans, the

starchitect 

staycation

streaming

Stuxnet

subprime mortgages 

sudoku

super PACs 

Superfoods

surrogate parenting 

sustainable

swipe left/right 

tablet

targeted killing 

teabagging 

teardown culture 

telemedicine 

Tesla

texting

Three Percenters, the

TikTok

Tinder

top-down/bottom-up

trans

trending

triggering

trillion-dollar companies

tripcode

Trojan horse

troll

truthiness

tweeting

twenty-four-hour rolling news

twerking

Twitter

Twitterati

Twittersphere

Uber

uncanny valley

two-factor identification

universal basic income

universal credit 

unplug

upcycling

upload (to the cloud) 

USB

vape/vaping

viral

vlog

vulture capitalism 

waterboarding 

wealth management 

web surfing 

WeChat

wellness

WFH (work from home) 

whole face transplants 

Wi-Fi

WikiLeaks

Wikipedia

woke

women’s studies 

workstation

Y2K

zero-hours contract 

zero-tolerance

Zooming

zoonotic

(Thanks to Kevin Kelly, Peter, Ben and Cathleen Schwartz, Karl Hyde, Dom Theobald, Leo Abrahams, Roger Eno, Mary Evers, Leon Sealey-Huggins, Rick Holland, Stewart Brand and Danny Hillis, who contributed to this list.)

Photo :  Shamil Tanna

A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno’s Diary (25th Anniversary Edition) by Brian Eno (Faber) is out on 19 November. His new album, Film Music 1976-2020, is released this week.

 

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