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On Confuturism
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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 subjective human imagination to frame the likely societal realities of the seven PostApoc Scenarios.

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 kind.

At least that's our hypothesis.

Just Curious?
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