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      Interesting project, I like the idea and the philosophy behind it.

      I could not get past the sense of cognitive jarring I had in the article due to the use of the term ‘solarpunk’ though. Every time I see this I get so annoyed by the buzzword I can’t focus on the actual content. When did everyone decide that the word ‘punk’ means ‘artistic style’? Did we vote on it? I feel like I never got a chance to point out that that is not what it means. Every time someone explains the term to me (including the one linked in the article) they compare it to cyberpunk and say ‘hey dystopias are bad, lets do solarpunk’. But the word punk means dystopian. Punk is a movement against authoritarianism and hypercapitalism and was always about members of the downtrodden rejecting the system and refusing to participate. Cyberpunk captured this perfectly and applied it to a mechanised and computerised future. Given that the world has become more authoritarian and more hypercapitalist since the height of cyberpunk literature I feel like the idea was spot on and very perceptive. Solarpunk can either be utopian or punk, but not both. Although I am strongly in favour of the general ideals behind the movement, I can’t help feeling that there is something naive and out of touch about the people pushing it, due to this choice of terminology. This is only strengthened by the amount of doublethink currently floating around in the entire green energy movement and a general inability to face the economic and political realities of our time.

      Sorry for the rant but I can’t get over this.

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        As someone nearly old enough to have been a punk, and who was certainly in at the tail-end of the New Romantics, sorry, but your understanding of “punk” is completely off-base.

        Punk means a rejection of authority, as you correctly say, but there’s no requirement that it be dystopian. It means accessibility, it means do it yourself-ability. Not waiting for the man to do it for you. Solarpunk, hopepunk and cyberpunk are all on a spectrum of things which are punk.

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          Also compare Cypherpunk

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        “Cyberpunk” was called that because it was an SF trend that broke with the late 70s/early 80s “polished SF”, which was tired retreads of space opera, galactic empires, FTL fantasies etc, just like punk broke with the increasingly baroque “concept” music a few years earlier. Neuromancer was a literal shock, it depicted a future that felt just around the corner, and it focused on the hardscrabble losers who were trying to make it in that future. And it was written by an unknown newcomer[1] As someone who read it around the time it was published, it’s hard to overstate the impact it had on me and others.

        {Solar,cypher,steam,diesel}punk is, in my mind, just a marketing shorthand for a specific kind of work or attitude. I don’t really mind it, words evolve.

        [1] yes I know Gibson had been published before. But he was no Heinlein or Asimov.

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        The word punk means dystopian

        Does it? Wikipedia says that punk subculture is “characterized by anti-establishment views, the promotion of individual freedom, DIY ethics”. All of these things are compatible with a kind of offline-first, low-tech, less-connected vision of computing. In a world where large corporations are pushing us toward hyperconnectivity that some people find to be psychologically dystopian, can’t pushback against that be all of anti-establishment, DIY, and utopian?

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        Punk is a movement against authoritarianism and hypercapitalism and was always about members of the downtrodden rejecting the system and refusing to participate.

        That’s one interpretation, the one that brought us Crass and Minor Threat and such. But “punk” started out as a purely musical/artistic style that celebrated scuzziness and rough edges, viz. the MC5, the Stooges, and of course the Ramones. And the whole UK wing started out in Malcolm McLaren’s head as an extension of Situationism and Dada that very much engaged with the system while simultaneously trolling the fuck out of it. There have also always been fringes of punk that were authoritarian in themselves (parts of Oi! and all the Nazi punks the DKs were telling to fuck off.)

        On the whole, “punk” refers to a street-level DIY approach that doesn’t so much refuse to participate in the System as forms parallel, smaller and more amenable systems of its own — just look at the number of record labels, zines and clubs that have always been a part of it.

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