Key concepts: Frequently Asked Questions

Attention Conservation Notice: if you've been hanging out on the list a while, you know all this already.

The Pope-Emperor is currently taking on all questions from all parties on his home system, the WELL. If you have a question about anything, drop on by and ask it.

Viridian Design Contest: "Dead Mike" Viridians feeling too deadened by parties at turn of year. This contest expires February 15, 02000.


"Why don't you have the domain"

We're not a commercial organization. If we had a site, we'd be a, or better yet viridian.arts. In any case, success for us intrinsically involves spewing our creations into other people's sites. It doesn't pay for us to coop our freeware, noncommercial propaganda up on a single site. Besides, they're too much work.

"How come some people on Viridian List have lots of ^^^^^ and **** after their log-in names?"

Those symbols of achievement are known as "chevrons" (^) and "stars" (*). You get a chevron if you send in some useful piece of information to the list moderator, If something you create appears publicly on the Viridian List, then you receive the highly coveted star, to symbolize your star turn on the public stage. The most direct way to receive a star is to enter a Viridian Design Contest.

People with a lot of stars and chevrons outrank you. You should feel confident in devoting respectful attention to them.

"What's a Viridian Design Contest?"

The contests are opportunities for graphic or conceptual creativity. Logos, posters, teapots, lamps, that sort of thing. We do this to amuse ourselves, and to give some coherent form to our ideas. Images and symbols are every bit as important to the Viridian Movement as our constant outflow of rants.

There's a Viridian contest archive at: You can see from this site that Viridian design entries are not necessarily professional-level efforts in postindustrial design. Rather, they're a fun opportunity to show others that you not only "get it" == you have the strength and energy to give it back.

You enter a Viridian Design contest by placing your entry on a website, and sending the address to the moderator. The site must be up for the length of the contest. The winner of the contest receives a prize via snailmail. The prizes are modest: generally classy books and/or nifty gizmos.

"Where can I read all the Viridian Notes I haven't seen already?"
Try: (our proudly Danish website) (The Bruce Sterling home page) (Australia)

And feel free to archive everything yourself! You can always show anything you see on Viridian List to anybody you please. You need not ask permission, or pay anyone anything. If you want to translate it into another language, be my guest.

"What's the difference between the Manifesto of January 3, 2000 and "The Manifesto of January 3, 2000"?

In October 1998, I gave a speech in San Francisco, suggesting that January 3, 2000 would be a good time to launch a manifesto and start a design movement. That 1998 speech should henceforth be known as the "Viridian Design Speech." The actual Manifesto of January 3, 2000 appeared, just as predicted, on January 3, 2000. It was a call to people in all walks of life to put the bad habits of the 20th century behind them, and to focus their creative energies on the realities of a new historical period. My own response to my own 1/3/2000 pep-talk is to stop writing novels and to devote the year 2000 to activism. After Jan 3, 2000, the Viridian Movement is no longer my hobby but my central interest.

"There seem to be some heavy issues here. I'd like to get into this at greater length than these Viridian email essays. But how?"

Start reading books on the subjects at hand. We have quite a few of the classics of ecological and industrial design listed on You can buy them immediately through our Amazon site. Get them however you please; but we can testify from personal experience that those books are worth reading and will not waste your time.
We're always looking for more such worthy works. If you find a work that seems really up our alley, recommend it to us.

If you yourself have written a book, we'd like to know that, too, whether or not it's of direct relevance to Viridian interests.

"What's the 'Viridian Curia?'"

They're people on Viridian list who've volunteered to take part in off-line efforts such as Viridian T-shirts, gizmos, magazine articles, etc. They're hard-core zealots who are willing to sacrifice more sustained attention and effort than other, lesser Viridians. Their exalted status is marked with a bishop's crook (?).

"Got any T-shirts left?"

Yeah, a few. They cost fifteen bucks. I got a box of 'em here at the Viridian Vatican. Some day I may get around to selling them on Amazon, but this physical meatspace stuff is mighty daunting to us cyberspace cowboys.

"I found a really neat, eco-chic, high-tech-Green eco-toy that all Viridians will doubtless lust to possess. How can I let everyone know about it without the utter humiliation of resorting to commercial advertising?"

Have a look at:

This is where we recommend machines, products, gizmos, stores and e-commerce sites.

"This doesn't have anything to do with your design contests, but I'm designing something myself that seems very Viridian. What now?"

Send in a web address for it. If it seems relevant to our interests, we'll list it as a "Viridian Individual Project" and post it to the list. You will receive a valuable and prestigious star (*).

"Why does every Viridian Note end with those O=c=O marks?"

Those are carbon dioxide molecules. They're meant to remind us that the Internet still runs on fossil fuels. The fossil fuel vice is so deeply embedded that even our email discussions haplessly contribute to the Greenhouse Effect. The reminder helps keep us focussed on our central concern: we're wrecking the sky.

"How come dates are referred to in Viridian Notes with an extra zero, like 'October 01998' and 'January 02000'?"

Stewart Brand of Long Now Foundation suggested that this extra zero would be a good habit to break people loose from the poverty of short-term thinking. It suggests the true depth of history that stretches, not merely behind us, but ahead of us.

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O