Viridian Note 00201: Viridian ToC/FAQ

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts:
table of contents, frequently asked questions

Attention Conservation Notice:
Rather dull but intensely necessary list housekeeping.
Of primary interest to people who have recently joined the list.

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Table of Contents 1-200
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Viridian Notes 1-200 (complete with titles, some retroactively bestowed):

00001: Viridian Design Speech

00002: Viridian List Mechanics

00003: Viridian Design Principles

00004: Historical Awareness

00005: Viridian Aesthetics

00006: Floods 1

00007: Floods 2

00008: The Science Press on Global Warming

00009: The Science Press on Global Warming, Rewritten

00010: Comments from Viridians

00011: Viridian Mascot Contest

00012: Web Links

00013: Link Criticism

00014: Remembrance Agents

00015: Weather Violence

00016: Bio-Refineries

00017: Viridian Aphorisms

00018: The Viridian Model Family

00019: Viridian Domains of Interest

00020: Energy Reform, the Swedish "Solution"

00021: The World Is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 1

00022: The World Is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 2

00023: The World is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 3

00024: Kelly's Koan

00025: German Greens

00026: Viridian Aphorisms

00027: Viridian Graphics

00028: Viridian Gardening

00029: The Interfund

00030: The View From Ecotopia

00031: Self-destructive Jungles

00032: The Viridian Refueling Project

00033: Viridian Aesthetics: Andy Goldsworthy

00034: Researching Andy Goldsworthy

00035: Viridian Aesthetics: Landscape Transformation

00036: Offshore Wind Power

00037: Viridian Commentary

00038: Viridian Aphorisms

00039: Starck's New Catalog

00040: German Politics

00041: The Viridian Alcohol Cellphone

00043: The Viridian Electrical Meter

00044: The Viridian Service Station

00045: Twentieth-century Thinking

00046: German Bankers Love German Greens

00047: Viridian Imaginary Products Exhibition

00048: Viridian Aphorisms

00049: Submerging Carbon

00050: Wired Urban Forests

00051: Viridian Commentary

00052: Human-Assisted Wildlife Migration

OOO53: The Ecosystem Game

OOO54: The Festo Stingray

OOO55: Biodiversity Maps

OOO56: Viridian Commentary

00057: Extinct Megafauna

00058: Grass Gas

00059: Viridian Aphorisms

00060: Viridian Strategy

00061: Web-site Power Banner Contest

00062: What I Did for Earth Day

00063: Real-World Projects

00064: Viridian Finances

00065: Burning Man Festival

00066: Freeplay's Wind-Up Power

00067: Eco-Disaster Tourism

00068: Household Localizers

00069: Viridian Aphorisms

00070: The Coal-Burning Net

00071: Greening the US Govt.

00072: Viridian Couture Contest

00073: Viridian Commentary

00074: Browning the US Govt.

00075: Kyoto Politics

00076: American Power Brokers

00077: IDSA Speech

00078: Greening Earth Society

00079: Virtuous Corporations

00080: Viridian Aphorisms

00081: Summer Health Warning Contest

00082: Viridian Commentary

00083: The Viridian Botanisphere

00084: Viridian Disasters

00085: Viridian Individual Projects

00086: Kingpins of Carbon

00087: The Coal-Burning Net

00088: Viridian Disasters

00089: The Viridian Military

00090: Design Principles for Virtual Worlds

00091: Viridian T-Shirt

00092: First Things First Manifesto

00093: The Deep Hot Biosphere

00094: Texas Energy Law

00095: Biotech Legal Liability

00096: 2000 Objects Exhibition

00097: Austin Software Speech

00098: The Net and the Weather

00099: Viridian Time and Light

00100: What Is To Be Done

00101: Design Undersides

00102: Viridian Solar Switchplate Contest

00103: Religious Objections to Carbon Dioxide

00104: Viridian Wine-Tasting

00105: Viridian Disasters

00106: Massively Distributed Climate Modelling

00107: Viridian Disasters

00108: More Distributed Climate Computing

00109: More Solar-Powered Booze

00110: Computers and Trees

00111: The Orissa Super-Cyclone

00112: The Organic Novel

00113: Pervasive Computing

00114: Viridian Disasters

00115: Internet Energy 1

00116: Internet Energy 2

00117: Internet Energy 3

00118: Viridian Commentary

00119: BP Amoco's Glasnost

00120: Viridian Disasters

00121: Les Tempetes 1999

00122: Viridian Commentary

00123: Viridian Aphorisms

00124: Viridian Movement Officially Begins

00125: Viridian FAQ

00126: The GCC Crumbles

00127: Austin's Green Choice

00128: Viridian Commentary

00129: Portable Fuel Cells

00130: Portable Chips

00131: Fuel Made From Carbon Dioxide

00132: Treated Algae Spews Pure Hydrogen

00133: Greenhouse Credibility

00134: Energy From Ocean Slime

00135: Viridian Meter Competition

00136: GreenChoice Editorial

00137: Papal Schedule 2000

00138: Viridian Disaster

00139: Mudslide Landmines

00140: The GCC Crumbles Further

00141: Other People's Contests

00142: Global Climate Coalition in Purge Frenzy

00143: Vanishing Glaciers

00144: Greening Earth Prexy Publicly Despairs

00145: Space Weather

00146: Viridian Web Log

00147: Greenhouse Disaster Symbol Contest

00148: Anti-Viridian Web Log

00149: A Visit to the Makrolab

00150: Table of Contents

00151: Viridian Aphorisms

00152: Martin Johnson Heade

00153: Micro Fuel Cells

00154: Robot Bugs

00155: PlaNetwork Speech

00156: Viridian Energy Meter

00157: Atomic Greenhouse Fires

00158: Biodiversity Part 1

00159: Biodiversity Part 2

00160: Los Alamos Flood Threat

00161: Toyota's Green Power

00162: Piezoelectric Shoes

00163: Dire FEMA Predictions

00164: Disaster Catalog

00165: Mad Cows as Fuel

00166: Chernobyl Wildlife Park

00167: Doors of Perception Conference

00168: Energy Kleptocracy

00169: Multimedia Gulch Brownouts

00170: Snowballs in Summer Webcast

00171: Engine Evolution

00172: 10-K Clock

00173: Fossil Fuel Shoes

00174: Viridian Commentary

00175: Viridian Magazine Cover Contest

00176: Viridian Aphorisms

00177: Carnivorous Robot

00178: Texas Renewable Roundup

00179: Viridian Plant Genetics

00180: Infrared House Paint

00181: Infotech and Creativity

00182: Military Green

00183: North Pole Melts

00184: Viridian Commentary

00185: Disgorging Glaciers

00186: Wildfires of 2000

00187: Solar in LA

00188: Texas Wind Power

00189: Urban Heritage and Weather Violence

00190: Austin Heatwave

00191: Euro Fuel Shock

00192: Viridian Commentary

00193: Corporate Green Feud

00194: Balanced Power Org

00195: Greening Earth on US Elections

00196: Fredericksburg Speech

00197: What's Nuon Green Mountain?

00198: Viridian Neologue Contest

00199: Meter Contest Winner

00200: Neologue Contest Entries


"Why don't you have the domain"

We're not a commercial organization. Besides, for two years now, we have shied away from running a website because it is so much work.

However, our archive in Australia has shut down and our Danish one is closing. Plus, we have just gotten legal possession of With over two meg of material now (and that's text only), it's time for us to stop depending on the kindness of strangers and put our own house in order.

Stay tuned to hear the Pope-Emperor kvetch and moan for design help.

"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: (The Bruce Sterling home page)

And feel free to archive everything yourself! Having just put those 200 notes in order, I am now in a position to email the lot of them to anybody who wants them. Why not decorate your own website with a free ton of Viridian propaganda?

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.

*Do you guys ever make anything, or do you just make up imaginary stuff?"

We are not a manufacturing or retail enterprise. However, we did recently inspire a design contest that may lead up to a commercial product.

We don't plan to start making meters, chairs, shoes, blimps, domes, fuel cells, ubicomp chips, smart houses, spongephones, or any of the other standard Viridian obsessions. It's like asking a Broadway critic when he plans to build a theater.

"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.

"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.

"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.

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