Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
Entering the Era of Data-driven Divination
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 | Mary King
There is an old Greek legend that tells us about Croseus, the King of Lydia, and his visit to the Delphic Oracle. He sent gifts to the oracle in advance of his visit, and when he visited her, asked if he should wage war against the Persians. The oracle of Delphi told him that if he went to war, a great empire would fall. Encouraged by her words, he invaded. It was his own empire that was destroyed in the process. Some years end with a semicolon, some with a mysterious ellipses … 2020 was like this, when we sat alone in our homes, in our COVID bubbles. What comes next? We asked each other/the internet. Other years can only be punctuated by a brute period. 2023 was this kind of year, drawing to a close amidst the crushing reality of war crimes committed by, with, and through imperial powers, at their deadliest in Sudan, Congo, Yemen, and Palestine. 
Becoming Equipped for (Better) Invention
Monday, October 16, 2023 | Mary King
The stories we uplift about the future and the ways we think about them secure the frameworks that brought them up in the first place. But what of the inventions we are not yet able to write about or create because we have not gained a more adequate idea of the world—a more plural, more diverse, radical embracing of alternative methods of relating? What of the inventions that we cannot yet conceive of because we do not have an ethics or mode of relation that embraces, and affirms life? We aren’t moving freely along a progressive line, discovering brand new ideas about the world on our own. We’re limited by our capacities, and the structures that dominate us. The hard work task of changing our relations and working with others to see “what might be involved in the task of developing a counter-force to dissolve and break up an oppressive network of ideas”13 is what is required for equipping ourselves to think of new inventions that affirm life.