ye old pyrotechincs, dystopias do not happen over night

Pyrotechnia

Pyrotechnia

Pyrotechnia

All three images from, Pyrotechnia, 1635.

Pyrotechnia or, A discourse of artificiall fire-works: in which the true grounds of that art are plainly and perspicuously laid downe: together with sundry such motions, both straight and circular, performed by the helpe of fire, as are not to be found in any other discourse of this kind, extant in any language. VVhereunto is annexed a short treatise of geometrie, contayning certaine definitions and problemes, for the mensuration of superficies and sollids, with tables for the square root to 25000, and the cubick root to 10000 latus, wherein all roots under those numbers are extracted onely by ocular inspection. VVritten by Iohn Babington gunner, and student in the mathematicks.

There have been a fair number of fairly good contemporary movies that describe a dystopian future – Blade Runner, Book of Eli, Dreed, The Hunger Games, Total Recall, Looper and In Time come to mind. One in which there is not a difference between the working class and the wealthy, but a future where the classes are as far apart as humans can be without living on different planets. Those dystopias do not happen over night. They happened one public policy change at a time. Sometimes aided with economic or national security disasters. I wonder if Hollywood is so good at presenting these dark futures in such a slick, almost beautiful and easily digested way, that people do not take the possibility seriously. Especially in light of the 2007 Great Recession in which conservatives fought financial reform and are still trying to repeal the modest reform we did achieve: More Evidence That US Middle Class is Sliding Toward the Third World and Texans Perry, Cruz Vie for Tax Plan That Gives Away The Most To the Wealthiest.

 

 

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