The Eastside Island Utopia Project

Dave Bell writes, “At the end of 2010 I worked as the writer in residence for ‘The Bookmobile Project’, a mobile arts/theory library which formed part of Sideshow Festival in Nottingham, UK. I began the project hoping to write a ‘future-history’ of a utopian community which emerged on a (real life) tract of abandoned land near the city centre of Nottingham, but quickly decided I wanted to make the project collaborative.

“I’ve just set up a website to explain the ideas behind the project and- more importantly- to host the text itself. It also details how you can contribute to the utopian text if you so wish. The website can be found at

“I’d be delighted if people did add stuff, or even if they had any thoughts/comments on the text, the project or anything else (critical comments welcome). Please feel free to engage in any way you see fit, and to disseminate it as far and wide as possible!”

Here again is that link:

Dystopia: What is to be Done?

Here’s a link to a website that is hosting a film by Dr. Garry Potter of Wilfird Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  It came down from the H-Net Utopia listserv, H-Utopia (thanks, Pete).  Are you subscribed to the H-Utopia?  Maybe you should be.  Click here to take care of that.  The picture below is the link to Dr. Potter’s website/film.

Dystopia:  What is to be done?

Alaskan Dreams 11.04.10

With the darkness surrounding me and wet snow falling, it’s hard to imagine too much utopian about Alaska. Or is it? Once again the democratic process proved that it can get it right every once in a while. It looks likely (as I predicted—you can imagine me giving myself a pat on the back right now even as I type) that Lisa Murkowski (as a write-in candidate) will beat Jim Miller in the election despite having lost to him in the Republican primary. Now, of course, if this were really a eutopian world, then the Democrat contender, Scott McAdams would have won. But as usual the Dems screwed things up by running a no-name in the belief that Murkowski would win the Primary. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. On the other hand, Sarah Palin showed up with her tea party elite to support Miller and that didn’t impress Alaskans at all. We sort of remember that she ducked out as governor when some work had to be done.

I assume that most of you don’t pay that much attention to politics in the 49th State, so here’s a very brief primer from a utopian pov. Miller is truly scary. Truly, truly scary. One of the scariest politicians to come along in my life time. He’s guilty of numerous ethical lapses (aka lies); he surrounds himself with bodyguards (“get over yourself” comes to mind as a refrain); he would essentially dissolve large parts of the federal government on the grounds that individuals always know what’s right.

Now, I really don’t like Murkowski at all. She got where she got because of nepotism (she was appointed to the Senate by her father, Frank “the Bank”). She has all the spine of a contortionist. She pretends to be centrist when she’s pretty right wing. However, she’s a known quantity and won’t make Alaska look dumb as shit (can I say that word in a blog?).

Back to climatic utopia, not the political sort. Dawn’s breaking; the slush isn’t frozen anymore; and the mountains are bleeding spectacular. Perhaps there’s a utopia hidden somewhere just behind Flattop. I shall go and take a look.

—Toby Widdicombe

Utopia—Where the Future is Amazing.

Another little something from miscellaneotopia here.

As an electric guitar player in a jamband, I’m always shopping for the next effects pedal to make noise with on stage.  I recently stumbled across the Rocktron Utopia series of floor processors, which are essentially computers that sit on the floor and generate different sound filters for whatever instrument you plug into them.  When you touch a button with your foot, you’ll apply any number of effects to your sound.  As guitar players are always looking for that perfect sound, Utopia is an apt marketing device.  They also make effects units for bass guitar, and that is where I found the line “Play in Utopia where the future is amazing.”  Reading that, well, I immediately thought, “it’s time for a new post on Utopus,” so here ya go.

Check out the full line of Rocktron Utopia effects here.

Ultimate Utopia?

The social networking beast that is Facebook usually allows a couple of sponsored ads off to the right of whatever the interface looks like this month, and this one caught my eye because of the attention grabbing headline: “Ultimate Utopia.”  Go figure.  I’m wondering if there’s some utopian online gamer out there who knows anything about SocialCity?  There’s not much information about the game available, but here’s what I was able to find out:

  • SocialCity was developed by the social gaming developers Playdom—the same guys who brought you Mobsters.
  • According to AppData, who provide, according to their website, “Independent, Accurate Facebook Application Metrics and Trends from Inside Facebook,” the object of the game is to “Build and run your own virtual city. Create the perfect place for the people that call it home, and you’ll become the most loved and revered mayor of all time!”

I, for one, get really annoyed by all the gaming apps on facebook, and so don’t play them (though I did have a brief foray into Mobsters).  Nevertheless, there is some utopian energy going on here, and I thought I should bring it to Utopus readers’ attention.