Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Steampunk

I apologize for not posting much. I’ve been busy shipping the next version of the PCTV software that I work on and, in my free time, either spending time with the missus, reading for my thesis, or following my meditative practice. I haven’t felt too inspired by my recent schedule to post much as I’m usually pretty mentally exhausted at the end of the day.

I did find one bit of fun today and that is Steampunk Magazine. They want to put the “punk” back in “Steampunk.” As a geek, these people are after my heart. They have a pdf available of their first issue (or you can purchase a print copy) up at http://www.steampunkmagazine.com/downloads.html.

From their introduction, “What then, is Steampunk?”:

First and foremost, steampunk is a non-luddite critique of technology. It rejects the ultra-hip dystopia of the cyberpunks—black rain and nihilistic posturing—while simultaneously forfeiting the “noble savage” fantasy of the pre-technological era. It revels in the concrete reality of technology instead of the over-analytical abstractness of cybernetics. Steam technology is the difference between the nerd and the mad scientist; steampunk machines are real, breathing, coughing, struggling and rumbling parts of the world. They are not the airy intellectual fairies of algorithmic mathematics but the hulking manifestations of muscle and mind, the progeny of sweat, blood, tears and delusions. The technology of steampunk is natural; it moves, lives, ages and even dies. Steampunk, that mad scientist, refuses to be fenced in by the ever-growing cages of specialization. Leonardo DaVinci is the steampunker touchstone; a blurring of lines between engineering and art, rendering fashion and function mutually dependent. Authentic steampunk seeks to take the levers of technology from those technocrats who drain it of both its artistic and real qualities, who turn the living monsters of technology into the simpering servants of meaningless commodity [...] We seek inspiration in the smog-choked alleys of Victoria’s duskless Empire. We find solidarity and inspiration in the mad bombers with ink stained cuffs, in whip-wielding women that yield to none, in coughing chimney sweeps who have escaped the rooftops and joined the circus, and in mutineers who have gone native and have handed the tools of the masters to those most ready to use them. We are inflamed by the dockworkers of the Doglands as they set Prince Albert’s Hall ablaze and impassioned by the dark rituals of the Ordo Templi Orientis. We stand with the traitors of the past as we hatch impossible treasons against our present...

It is an interesting read.