Note: see About the Project for an explanation
regarding the updated, non-meta-Web-novel context for this site.
Confuturism (con-FU-turism) takes as its starting point classical Hegelian dialecticism,
traditionally posited as Thesis => Antithesis => Synthesis.
Remarkably, the 18th-century philosopher-comedian
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel only
used this tripartite construction once, and attributed it to his buddy Immanuel Kant. "[The term
'Hegelian dialectic'] was spread by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus in a popular account of Hegelian philosophy, and since then the misfit terms have stuck,"
according to Wikipedia. Once again, popular will triumphed over harsh reality, which is classic Hegelian humor.
Hegel's riffs on "absolute idealism," "ethical life," and the "importance of history" are required reading for
understanding the nature of comedy, not unlike
Steve Martin's early work.
The iconic example of Hegelian dialecticism is that the
French Revolution [thesis] led to its antithesis (the Reign of Terror),
which ineluctably led to their synthesis: Constitutional France.
If you don't see the humor in the Reign of Terror, read on.
Confuturism applies the dialectical methodology of
using pessimistic human imagination as thesis, and humor as
antithesis, to find a synthesis that may include optimism.
By positing a spectacularly bleak future [thesis], and applying a
light heart [antithesis], Confuturism frames possibilities for
splitting the difference [synthesis].
At the Institute for PostApocology, we try to manifest this model
of analysis via the seven potential catastrophic
scenarios, via our intended curriculum, and via
the PASAT™ test. The envisioned global catastrophes as
posited can be quibbled with, but are on the main plausible,
especially a few of them (notably, Climate Warming, Species Collapse,
Peak Resources, and
Plague/Virus). Modern society is poorly equipped to adjust to
any of these catastrophes with equanimity, so we have used
imagination to frame the likely societal realities of the seven
Similarly, comedic methodologies are subjective,
and doubtless further
study is needed in this arena as well. We are currently experimenting
with textual modalities, i.e., PostApocHaiku, but consider that not a
comedic methodology, but rather a framing device for a humor vector.
For the purposes of the
PASAT™ test, we will confine ourselves to only seven humor
vectors: Irony, Sarcasm, Metonymy, Pun, Satire, Metaphor, and
Deadpan. Some would argue that Sarcasm must be subsumed by
Satire, or Metonymy by Metaphor, but that's not dissimilar to
asserting that Climate Change must ineluctably drive Species Collapse. That
is, it's a likely consequence, but not necessarily the primary
causal agent: metonymy leans on
metaphor, but metaphor can stand on its own two feet.
For the purposes
of full analysis, we are positing that these Seven Humor Vectors,
applied to the Seven Scenarios, may lead to a synthesis of some
At least that's our hypothesis.