a critical Field Guide

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This is your daily companion to hype — its uses and misuses. Become a skilled surveyor of the modern hype landscape and a masterful poker of holes in the narratives of technology.

This field guide includes the following topics:

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today hype is everywhere, oozing out of the news headlines, growing like mould all over my LinkedIn feed, and blinking at me whenever I open my inbox. It’s a curious thing. The next internets, revolutionary changes, disruptive gadgets—all right around the corner but never actually arriving.

Over the last years, I have been working hard on the disenchantment of tech’s big futures—either as part of a corporate innovation team or privately in newsletters and on stages. So, you could say I am a professional poker of holes into hype’s seductive claims.

This small field guide is the amalgamation of my thoughts on the topic. I tried my hand at a definition, catalogued some of hype’s rhetoric, and described some of the actors most benefiting from peddling hype.

While hype is not a bad thing per se, its use can result in bad thinking, bad decision making, and worse outcomes. Hype tends to obscure alternatives, robbing our agency to choose which future we’d like to create. Instead, it's created for us.

never trust the hype.

always poke holes.

let a thousand futures bloom.

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a special project zine by johannes klingebiel
written and printed in Munich, 2022

Fonts Calendas Plus, PP Right Grotesk
Printing Herr und Frau Rio


This zine was written, designed, and edited with the indispensable input and notes of kristoffer tjalve, meike winkler, dennis horn, rené schäfer, the staff of the grand hotel abyss, and the talk on progress discord server. Thank you!