The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Perspectives

You wait ages for an issue of Perspectives then - like buses and currency Plan Bs - two come along at once. More precisely: issue No 39 of this consistently interesting and wide-ranging Scottish magazine was delayed several months, and No 40 came out a few weeks later and on time.

That current issue, dated Autumn 2014, aptly enough leads with the Scottish independence referendum, in a long and thoughtful editorial that seeks possibilities for progress in either of the possible outcomes. Other articles survey the Great War, feminism, Piketty, the arts and independence, and more, all in some depth and from contributors who know what they're about: Shonagh McEwan, Meaghan Delahunt, David Purdy ... You get a lot of reading for your £3.

Likewise in No 39, which as well as featuring Jim Swire and James Robertson on Lockerbie, Ken Currie and Sandy Moffat on art, and Allan Massie on national identity, has an article by a less distinguished contributor (me) on SF and the future. This piece originated in a lecture last year at The Academy on 'Man's Future Nature', and is mainly a critique of the idea of the Singularity, both as a practical possibility in the near term and as an ideological construct which, I argue, limits our imagination of the future.

Again, a lot of reading for £3. Get it (and read recent back issues free) here.


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