Wednesday, June 29, 2016

[Poem] The Man in the Glass Mask

by Emmit Other

There is therein the words do lie
Of conscience streaming in the wick
The locks we guard our hearts with
Masked shadows flames tongue lick
One place we find refuge is the place of great effervescence
Where the well runs deep
and we refine it in quicksilver steel
Mirrors run cool that tells therein there are
We learn to wield the blade of sapience precisions
The light of a thousands suns behind the visor
The authentic bucket of well water made still
And poured upon the reach of our expectations glass
So much word salad tossed until Caesar is rendered unto Caesar
And Christ as And On Toast whispers amenities of the soul
In the sense that you practically haven't got one
But do when you where your heart on your sleeve
But show now not thy scars young buck
For the ides of march will stab at thee
This then the mask of glaziered ice does burn close to the skins touch
Advice heeded is wisdoms watch word.
Know silence's queue when it comes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

[Script] The Trial of Captain America - Page 3

Scene: Almost identical to the first, but it looks on Steve Rogers with the Angry Cow and the Judge and Sosori, only now it is Nick Spencer and Sosori looking at again.

Nick Spencer: So...what are we looking at again?

Sosori: For light's sake, this is the THIRD time I have explained it to you.

Nick Spencer: Humor me.

Sosori: I'm not particularly inclined to.  You tell me.

Nick Spencer: What if I don't want to?

Sosori: Not my problem.

Nick Spencer: Aren't you supposed to be my defense attorney?

Sosori: Something like that.

Nick Spencer: So isn't it like...your job to explain things to me?

Sosori: No.  I don't actually get paid to help you, its more of a calling.

Nick Spencer: Wait, what? So what makes sure you are working in my interest?

Sosori: Why, nothing Mr Spencer.

Nick Spencer: Then why the hell should I trust you?

Sosori: I never said you should.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

No Culture Today

When Britannia turns to Filthy Island, I can't think of much.

Friday, June 24, 2016

[Writer Stuff] How to Find Where to Sell Your Stuff

I am hesitant to write about this because I suck at it, but I am still of a mind that even as a hobby, writing to a professional standard improves what you do.  Thus, finding places to sell your work can be a good idea.  Some schools of thought say write whatever you want, and there is nothing wrong with that per se.  But I prefer to write to my market, while still making sure that I write things that I enjoy writing and reading.  As you can from this blog, I tend to like the fantastic; either as Fantasy or Science Fiction.

The first thing that I would recommend for anyone writing in such a genre would be to check Science Fiction Writer's association.  Now its true in a workshop, their 'expert' writers treated me like shit, but they do a lot of good including ensure that the prices and pay for a number of venues stays relatively high.  You just need to be able to write a novel or three short stories, which is easier than it sounds but you can do it if you have the talent or the tenacity.  I have little talent beyond raw creativity; and as I explained last week, that does little good by itself.

But I also have tenacity.

You can just google writing venues or also check out (or buy) a recent copy of writer's digest.  All fine things.  What I can tell you is that especially with short stories, if they don't take electronic submissions, they probably arent worth submitting to.   Why pay postage to be able to just get a form letter as rejection? In the old days, of course, this was not an option, but this is 2016, and if they arent with the program, find somewhere else for your stuff.

Two other options are contests and anthologies.  There are number of sites that collect lists of these; but if you are considering which ones you can trust, I would go with someone who has done it before.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

[Script] The Trial of Captain America - Page 2

Scene: A stark black room.  Steve Rogers stands in a white circle while Sosori walks around him.  Steve Rogers hangs his head in disgust.

Steve: I would never be a nazi.

Sosori: I don't disagree with you, but a Nazi is a nazi is a Nazi.

Steve: My whole life was told by someone else....

Sosori: Does it feel that way from your perspective?

Steve: No.  My life didn't seem fictional from my perspective.

Sosori: We have been resurrecting so called 'real people' for a few centuries, we know how to get it right.

Steve: I don't remember being a nazi.  I certain didn't choose to be one.

Sosori: That is good.  The formula we use for resurrecting a fictional character is new.  It is something that involves them putting together the bulk of the stories and letting the world and the nacent AI figure out for themselves what is true and what is not.  Every time it is generated, it is different.  There may be many Steve Rogers, but ultimately because of the evil done in the name of Captain America the Nazi, we started with figures who could be tried instead of...real symbols.  That's been done.  And it has been enough of an emberassment that they do not want to repeat the experience.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

[Heliotrope] Of Course Mad Jack Churchill was a Slayer of Darkness

(Thanks to John Bridges for sharing the original article)

There are some things that go without saying.

When a tall gaunt stranger comes into town and buys up the entire garlic supply as well as all the silver weapons they can find, OF COURSE he's a vampire.

When large amounts of children go vanishing only to be replaced by adult strangers who say they were abducted OF COURSE you are dealing with an infiltration from Middle Fairy....

And when the clay more wielding bow hunting bad ass goes around hunting Nazis, OF COURSE he's not just hunting Nazis but is in fact fighting evil Thule Society members and things that threaten us all from beyond that CANNOT BE KILLED by guns.


In Earth, evidence of the supernatural is well hidden with blurry photographs and tall tales, but on Terra there is no such quandry.  The supernatural is well documented in Terra for anyone that wants to actually bother to look or show up at their local occult bookstore.  Every mall of considerable size has an occult book store and regular book store at the same time.   It's one of the things that makes Terra that much better than Earth.

Do you think Sir Terry Pratchet was the first English knight to force a weapon from meteoric iron?


Thousands of evil arcane nazis and their supernatural foes were killed by this actual historical badass.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

[Script] The Trial of Captain America - Page 1

This is based on the Trademarked Character Captain America, which is owned by Marvel Comics, who also owns the Copyright due to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act until 2056.  This script is an act of social satire and not for profit.  All characters from Mr Hamburger are owned by Red Anvil Creative LLC.

Cast of Characters

Captain America: A fictional character created as an AI who can realize that he is a fictional character but still recall his entire existence as if he were a real person.  Not a Nazi.

Nick Spencer: Artist of questionable taste who somehow got the job as writer for Captain America.  Nazi Status...Unknown.

Sosori: A crappy defense attorney who also represented Mr Hamburger in the podcast piece, Mr Hamburger. Not a Nazi.

Angry Cow: A very good prosecuting attorny who wants to prove Captain America is a Nazi.  Also appears in Mr Hamburger. Not a Nazi.

Hitler: Author of Mein Kampf, Convicted Murderer of millions.  Talk Show Host.  Definitely a Nazi.

Judge: An AI of infinite and intelligence or wisdom.  Not a Nazi.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Should Artists who defend Nick Spencer Lose Credibility? Yes. Absolutely.

If you are an artist that defends the destruction of the intent of another artist's work, the creative community should take you less seriously.  Does that mean turning the work of ages past on its head is not allowed? Absolutely not.

The thing is, because real art is about the exploration of the soul, being contrarian or against the grain is the place where you will find great art.  Pushing the envelope is as natural to them as breathing, but that also means that there is a certain predictability in counter culture which is that which mainstream culture is NOT.

Thus, if mainstream culture starts to find interest and value in the patriotism of an American Icon, it is the natural temptation of artistic culture to challenge that and find new ways of looking at things.  This experiment often pays off; Wicked spawned a whole sub genre of films and stories about the antagonist as protagonist.  In an age of white washing and culture wars, this makes sense.  And Marvel has done an excellent job of turning many of these characters on their head, changing gender or race or even sexual orientation.

Marvel replaced Steve Rogers with someone who was Black (Falcon) and had a strong story run.

But Nick Spencer wanted to go further.  Nick Spencer, failed politician, and self proclaimed feminist because he had a story whose primary characters were women, suddenly feels that he has the chops to mess around with one of the seven or eight great icons of comics.  Sometimes this pays off; sometimes this is great story.

And the artists rushing to Nick's defense are shouting at the need to give him breathing room to do so.  But have you looked at Nick's bibliography? Nick is no Grant Morrison...Nick isn't Alan Moore.  Nick has done a lot of minor works and had short stints at some major ones.  No one at Marvel challenged him on this, but then; shouldn't we ask why?

In interviews with Nick, Nick himself has says that he is surprised that he didn't get more push back on this change but Marvel just let him do it.  Why doesn't that bother people? This isn't a story of Nick wanting to tell a powerful story and overcoming the odds to do it; its a publicity stunt and a way to kick against the foundation of an iconic image as 'a way to protest trump.'  So...why didn't he do a comic about Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington secretly being Nazis too?

People say that this is a gimmick; and that this too shall pass.  Will it? Given the inordinant amount of artists defending Nick, one must ask how much thought THEY have put into this? It seems a knee jerk response against the rabid #gamergate fanboys with no thought about what this looks like being announced the day after #SteveNeedsaboyfriend or the fact that he was originally created by jewish creators.

Make no mistake about it.  Nick knew exactly what he was doing.  Mealy mouthed excuses about "Hydra being more about Spectre than Nazis" means you don't understand Hydra OR Spectre.  So when an artist goes defending Nick's decision to do this, I must lose respect for them.  It's their choice and their creative currency, but when one artist disrespects the work of another SO MUCH without ANY visible thought to the material, I must simply shake my head and walk away.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What's in a Word?

So this thing I am think of? What is it? I've hinted at it, but I think the closest clearest equivalent is Ecological Engineering of Society at a Memetic level.

I dont consider it Applied Mythology, which is a very specific methodology of immersion in the power of stories to find meaning in our lives at an individual and then a community level. I DO think that applied mythology is a valuable tool to make that happen.

I definitely don't think it is sociology, any more than chemistry is what the guys at dupont use to make their products.  What? You might say, of course they use chemistry.  There is a difference between the science of chemistry and chemical engineering; which involves applying that chemistry to an actual solution as well as designing the solution.  Sociology is definitely a component of this and I need to learn a lot more about it.

There is the popular term that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan called "Nation Building" and I think in practical terms, that might be a good working title for people who don't understand or wont understand the fancy words I will be throwing around; but there are two problems with this.  The first one, is that the word now carries baggage; we tried it and failed.  But the second is because the PRIMARY method of 'nation building' in this case was because it was a government trying to build another government.  Progressives do not rely on government to always be the solution but a government definitely will.  Everything is a nail that their hammer can solve; though rarely and to sometimes good effect with training an agency can see the value of trying a different solution.  But then corruption just comes in and makes it worthless.

No, what I want to do is more than governments.  Nation building works, but even then, some institutions should be global.  Community Building has a nice ring to it, but that sounds a lot more like Community Organizing, and we're not just talking politics here but a holistic practical application of multiple institutions working together, how those institutions come together and how they interact.

I need to end for now, but I think Community Building is as good a word as I've found until I find something better.

Friday, June 17, 2016

[Writer Stuff] Ideas

Ideas are the easiest part and the hardest part of being a writer.  Everyone has ideas and is willing to give them for free or for a piece of the action.  The money for an idea is how it is refined, what is done with it.

There are some ideas that have been done a million times, but if done in a skillful enough window can make things truly interesting.  The story is the things that matters, not the idea behind the story.  Still, the thing is, sometimes an idea can be good, but it is never enough to sell it by itself.   No one ever fell in love with an idea in a book or a movie or a game, not even utopia, and what idea could be better than that?

But new and interesting ideas can make the difference between a good author and a great one.  So knowing how to generate them is a good thing.  Knowing how to make good ideas happen is an art; not a science, but there are several things you can do to increase your base creativity.  Do things in new and different ways; collaborate with creative people, or take two totally different ideas and try to make them work together.  There are a million books and a million lists, but the most important one of all is this.

You have to be willing to fail.  Take bold new leaps.  Try new things because if you are not you will never get anywhere.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

[Script] Peter Pan vs Frankenstein vs Superman - Page 13

Scene: Frankenstein goes through buildings and heads to a finish line full of people.  Dr Frankestein claps as well as everyone else.  Denny looks annoyed and makes a call on her phone.

Just as Frankenstein is about to cross, Peter flies across on his bike and the crowd is shocked.

Dr Frankenstein: You cheater!  Get him Frankenstein!

Frankstein grunts and advances on Peter who laughs.  Twinkerbell hovers over Frankenstein to deliver some dust, but Frankstein leaps up and claps his hands, flattening Twinkerbell like a mosquito who floats off into the wind.

Peter looks horrified and swoops down to grab Denny.

Denny: Hey!

A blur in the distance flies in.  Peter turns around and is punched in the face.

Supergirl: Leave my girlfriend alone creep!

Peter looks shocked.

Peter: Wha-WHAT?

Supergirl: You heard what I said.

Denny and Supergirl kiss.

Peter is shocked.  Both of them punch Peter in the face who falls to the water.

They smile and fly off into the sunset holding hands.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

[Heliotrope] It's Always Midnight Somewhere

Savannah is well known for Mint Julips, SCAD restored buildings, lovely long willows, and a really old kick ass pirate bar.  But did you know it is also home of the 2nd biggest St. Patrick's day celebration in America?

That's because there are an awful lot of Fae in Savannah.  It's a summer solstice must for anyone who still has access to Terra from Outer or Middle Fae.  (Inner Fae celebrates Summer Solstice in a much different fashion....)  So there are naturally a lot of Southerners in this area that have Fae blood.  Some of them are noble Sidhe.  Some of them are from various royal bloodlines, though inbreeding tends to lead to various conditions such as mental retardation or a pronounced ego.   Not all of them are like this, but the less 'in the know' of who they are, the more likely they are to have a tainted bloodline.  No one wants people with a literal Stick Up Their Ass to show up at the solstice celebrations.

The city has a lovely architecture and view, and the otherworldly influence can keenly be felt.  Most any knicknack picked up in the city, and especially the ancient river front is likely to have a small bit of enchantment to it.  The exception to this is the obvious store for Psychics, which do have enchantments but only the astral equivalent of "Kick Me" signs for anyone who can see such things.  A significant chunk of Fae do love their pranks.

This area of the south does have their well known Trolls of course.  They have claims of some level of artistic ability, which is oddly strange compared to the large number of humans around them that actually do.  In recent years, Petunia and Grandfather Fiddleback had increased vigilance here of renegades to Outer Fae (they don't dare mess around with Middle Fae of course), so a large number of these trolls have scampered to Atlanta.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

[Script] Peter Pan vs Frankenstein vs Superman - Page 12

Scene: Peter is flying on his bike, blithely whistling to himself.

Peter: Look Twink! The finishing line! I can see it!

Twinkerbell chimes encouragingly.

Scene: There is a blur of light.  Suddenly the city swallows and blurs around peter as he is actually moved faster than the speed of light back to his original starting point.

Peter: Wha...we're right back where we started?!

Superman: That's right.  Cheating is not allowed.

Peter (turns around): That's not fair!

Superman: Neither is cheating.

(Peter whines and emo hits Superman.  He hurts his hand.)

Superman: Now, let's both start again and try to catch up to Frankenstein.

Peter: Get him Twink!

Twinkerbell hovers over superman, sprinkling Pixie dust on him.

(Superman crosses his arms and shakes his head, smirking. Peter does the same.  Superman looks confused for a moment, and then begins to float up off the ground.)

Peter: Magic.  Bye superman.

Superman: I can fly on my own damn it, I....come back here!

(Superman begins to try and 'swim' through the air, back to his back but continues to float upward like a balloon.  Peter flies off on his bike.)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The National FlintLock Act

"It's good enough for Texas, it's good enough for the rest of America." - Senator Rhinestone (BM-TX)

Whereas, feeling the need to maintain an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, we the congress of the United States of America, do solemnly declare that it is the Law of the Land that no weapon whose design was patented (ref WIPO standards per law 457-A) post 1789 may be in the hands of a private citizen.  Recognizing that the right to bear arms shall not be abridged, and therefore added on to in any capacity, citizens may not possess a firearm of any kind whose design did not exist prior to 1789.

A) Military weaponry pre 1789 including Canons, Ballistic, Trebuchets, Mortars and Artillery are exempt from this law since there is no indication that these were intended by the founding fathers for the 2nd amendment intention of Self Defense.
b) Regulated Private Militias, licensed by their individual state (Ref Amendment 14 allowing Federal Regulation of the Right to Life) including Private Security Companies, Private Detective Agencies, Gun Clubs or Civil War (1,2, or 3) reenactors may have weapons designed up to 1879 (ref Texas Admittance to the Union Act of 1912).
c) National Guard Units of States subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 specifically at this time Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas (As Regulated Territory or State), Virginia, West Virginia, West Carolina, Mississippi and Kansas shall be subject to regulation of this statute and may not have weaponry designed after 1918.

Clauses of this act shall be enforceable by the Federal Beurea of Investigation  under the supervision of the President of the United States.

If any clause of this act is found to be unconstitutional, then the size of the court shall immediately be expanded to twice its size with candidates preselected and nominated per the Bull Moose Majority Act of 2017.

Challenging this act in court shall constitute a felony upon failure to overturn."

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I Give Up Trying To Make Sense of this Shit

by Redwin Tursor

Every day
I gaze out into my electric Palantir
Trying to make sense of the two worlds
And all I see are trends and chess games of petty kings
That still cant prepare you for the noxious bullshit
Some good God Guy with a gun goes and pulls
To pull this on a bunch of people
Just trying to find a bit of joy in this miserable life of ours
I have sought knowledge
Because I thought knowledge would bring me power
But there is no power
I never really believed I had control
But I figured I might be able to release some balast
And control how high I was when the wind blows
What a joke.
What a joke it is to think we have any ability to affect
The living dicks that surround us
Or even the other people that cozy up to the living dicks
As if somehow these men who arent men
Who are ammosexualized shriveled souled ghouls
Were worth knowing
You know its part of their heritage
To be fucking monsters
But I cant even be angry at the fucktards any more
They're like sandcastles
Just fucking fiddly bits of rocks
Moved around at the next tide of filth spewed out on "our" airwaves
By the monsterous webs of vomitous billionares
All I can do is have a beer and stay away from the fuckers
While I can
And stay away from the fuckers who think they're swell
While I can
And tomorrow is another day
And lets hope that those of use who are not fucking monsters
Get another and maybe even another

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Power of Words

I first learned of the concept of memetics when helping brainstorm ideas for my friends at Holistic Design when they were working on Sathranet.  I had been a molecular biology major in college, so the idea of looking of ideas from a biological perspective was something that I could not get rid of.  The idea fascinated me.  Later, when I spent time helping some of those same friends at the Mythic Imagination institute, I came to think of memes not just on a 'viral' thing like the Macarena but complex things like institutions...a Eukaryotic organism made up of interlocking ideas that was complicated.

But in biology, there are disciplines beyond even that, climatologists and wildlife management and even urban biologists....

I think we can get to the micro level and try to engineer institutions, we need an understanding of how institutions work with each other, what keeps them together and how many you need for a stable society.  Case in point, we created a government in Iraq and Afghanistan...and it didn't work out too well.  Ignoring the standard libertarian bullshit, it was more than just because we had a tin ear during the process.  It was because we imposed our idea of what a government should be in an environment where people already had preconceived ideas.  That is terrible engineering and Feng Shui in general.

We have all of this knowledge about how the mind works and  how people work even at a macro level but we choose to ignore how it all fits together.  We only cared about putting a government together, but not about the other things that make a democratic society work, like credible parties (yes I said credible parties, because it isn't like our own democracy is working now is it?) or those little old ladies that volunteer at the election areas or the honest brokers in the areas of America that are actually honest.  But that's just politics. A chamber of commerce of small business owners to make sure government responds to business and people and cosponsor infrastructure projects that helps the people at large.  Charitable foundations from guilty dead rich people who help fund the arts and cement areas that the government hasn't noticed.

But that's all complicated, you say.  Well, maybe.  But National Park managers don't just focus on the animal that people care about (say bears) but all the things that it eats, that eat it, or that eat the things that eat the things that eat the things.  If we can do it for a fucking national park, why the hell can't we do it for societies and government?

We are not only really not trying, but we're not studying it in a systemic way.  There are no competing theories about how to do it, much less actual study.  Oh, sure, these guys have created a whole bunch of institutions to shape society...

But they aren't doing so with the intent of shaping society.  Note, they are pretending to shape society, liberals think they are doing it to shape society, but they are really doing it just to get rich. Because they have gotten a great ROI on their investment but their model has warped their followers in ways they never desired or predicted...

One of my favorite books for summarizing complex ideas is Outliers...
One of the chapters focuses on how an airline tried to get its pilots to reduce error and faced little success until one guy was smart enough to figure out the problem was that in Korean, the language is very hierarchical, so the pilot and the copilot did not cooperate.  The copilot would never correct or inform the pilot of anything.  So they switched to English...suddenly pilot and copilot were much more egalitarian and the accident rate plummited.

So I think that forming a culture matters about the language that is spoken, at the least words that are chosen (ie never using lying conservative words) or the language itself.  Latin used to be the lingua franca of the intellectual elite.  Maybe we need to start teaching that again.  But better...

Esperanto was designed at the beginning of the 20th century as an easy to use language that encouraged openness, peace and understanding.  Maybe we should use it as the language of government.

Yes, in the novel 1984 they chance the language to that of compliance.

Its not like Fox News hasn't already done that.  Vocabulary usage among conservatives is considerably different.  But is communication with those who have no desire to communicate but only infect really worth your time? Can you have a rational discourse with an emotional being?

I'm not trying to convince you to push a rock up hill or not push a rock up a hill.

What I AM saying is that to solve this problem in the long term, we need to look at society, what makes it work, and how to build and maintain it and I think cultural memetics...or whatever the hell you call the way to go.

Soon I might explore the right words.  Or not, but eventually.  What it is, and what it is not.  But I think the language, and chosing the right language for each institution might be one mechanism for doing that.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

[ heliotrope] smarter than the average Magic Bag bear

You have a curse. You just don't know it yet. One of the rare inhabitants of outer fairy, the magic bear or more specifically the subspecies known as the magic bad bear, is a mysterious creature indeed   rather than sneaking about stealing picnic baskets comma it creates magical picnic baskets. It is a little-known fact, that bears free date humans. I had actually tried to say came before humans using the prefix free for free or 3 Aur Pyaar well this thing is really messed up but I kind of like the idea of dating humans so I'm going to leave that in there. As I was saying comma magic back Bears known for creating picnic baskets that reduce all the things you could ever want or produce all the things you ever want but they can also reduce things as you put them into the picnic basket so small that it feels as if they were actually there so you can take them out put them in there. Uline
I find it rather interesting that the word new line which is this case is used to an incident initiate a return is also very close to the word or sign which has no relevance to what we're talking about but there's no humans I think it's relevant to my amusement. By the way they can city is losing burning Bernie, Wichita which sucks but it is keeping Gina butt it is keeping Gina... kama which docs which sucks what it is keeping Gina bought it is keeping Sheena... So I will still be continuing my monthly contributions in case someone decides to let me ask early projected side Jesus Christ I didn't even say any of those things they went totally mental it went totally mental Jesus Christ now I know why people in a mile has sworn off using robots that's easy the letter A the letter P the letter P the letter L the letter A the letter in the letter G the letter A the letter R the letter M the letter A the letter y the letter A the letter R good God just Jesus Christ what the fuck is wrong with this I'm trying write a simple piece about Magic Bag Bears will really magic bears but I decided to find out that yes there are apparently Magic Bag bears and this stupid piece of shit just keep scrolling crap all over my God damn well it's like anyway.. nearby

Solar Bears new facility beastiality had to say that twice reality beastiality Valatie beastiality it really doesn't want to say that probably because it doesn't have a way Wayne Wang you know penis anyway speaking of which apparently Magic Bag Bears use it Jesus Christ what kind of woman would sleep with a Magic Bag bear... Probably a little horny and hungry one in fact I would not at all be surprised if I'd Investigation Discovery that male bestiality with female bear's was far more common the male bestiality with female humans although saying it out loud like that makes me sound like a sexist brick to the truth is probably all humans are interested in fucking Bears but that also sounds stupid when I say it out loud so I think I'm just going to quit while I'm ahead magic bags

[Script] Peter Pan vs Frankenstein vs Superman - Page 11

Scene: The girl looks around for what happened.  She rubs her eyes.  She looks at her bike.

Girl: What happened to my Bike?

Scene: Girl begins to cry.

Scene: Superman begins is flying over terrain.  Voice over of crying from the girl.  He cringes.  Then he steels his resolve and flies faster.

Scene: A pristine artic wasteland.  A cute artic fox trundles across the snow.

Scene: A giant blur flies through the sky.

Scene: The fox is all fluffy and looks shocked.

Scene: Superman enters the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE which looks like the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz but with ice crystals instead of Emerald.

Superman: Father?

Scene: Jor-El appears as a hologram.

Jor El: Yes my son?

Superman: I need a bike that won't break

Jor El: Why?

Superman: For Justice.

Jor El: (beat) Oh.  OK.  Well, there is this chamber that harnesses the red rays of -

Superman: No! I'm not doing that again.  Something else.

Jor El: (beat): Well...we could make a super bike.

Superman: Yes! Let us use advanced Kryptonian materials and science to make a completely honest bike that will not break with my super powers but is not actually powered by anything but myself!

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Naked City] Eternity - We have not always been here[

We Have Not Always Been Here
          by Emmit Other

There has always been a here
Though we have not always been in it
But the difference between the then
And the now
Those are things that pass so many generations
Since we began tracking the stars that shine on clear nights
That it seems like
We no not have numbers for how long it has been
Only that it has been many hundred hundred
It might even be hundreds of hundreds of hundreds
The stars have changed
This is the eternity
And we sing our songs of the deep
And we swim
Our blood warm against the tide
We are not that which we eat
We laugh
And share songs with the Ancient ones
And then you came
We find you hilarious
Moving hither and yon in your little rafts
At least we did
Sure you killed some of us
But we knew you were stupid
So we helped you anyway
When you were drowning
When you were dying
Against the sharks
Against the sea
But the wood became larger and larger
In the blink of an eye they were metal
And then the noise
The horrorific noise
It wouldn't stop
Soon the ancient ones began killing themselves
Just to escape it
The toxic acid was bad enough
But the noise never stops
It will never stop
Until you are gone
We are eternal
And we are pretty sure you are not
And we find that sadly
But joyously

Saturday, June 4, 2016

[Theme] On the Building of Culture

So I don't want to restart my political blog.

And I don't want to write about politics on my writing blog, but a few events have come together recently that I thought were worthy of consideration.

The first was that we are watching the show Connections (my wife and I), which looks at Change from a different point of view.

The second was a conversation I recently had with my friend Wayne, who has pointed out that China has been exploring how to have a stable society that isn't a democracy.  Note: I believe in Democracy and think it is a good idea

But this morning I couldn't help but think of this quote

Third - this quote

And then I remembered this seminal work by Thomas Piketty.

Thumb Nail version? The more stable a society is, the stratification takes place.  This is simply a matter of mathematics.  WWI and WWII shook things up, but if we have WWIII there might not be any more society to have...which creates stability, which creates stratification.

Fourth and final, I remembered this - The United States is an Oligarchy.  That isn't really news. It's scientifically proven.  Furthermore, the math of our constitution favors a two party system.  This is nothing new, people have been aware of it for a long time.

What I want to explore is that Democracy is the best form of government, but for WHO? Well ok so we want "democratic socialism" but HOW? And even if we got it, could we keep it?

These questions are not new.  You know that.  But they're actually VERY old.

Remember this guy?

Plato talks about the inherit instability of democracies or Republics in the Republic.  He knew it, but Piketty has gone and mathematically gone and proved it.

So say you GET Democratic Socialism? Say you GET a post scarcitity do you KEEP it?

You can tinker with different ideas, but how can you be SURE?

We need a scientific answer.  We need a means and a discipline to be able to shape and create cultures.  We need Cultural Engineering.

This idea is also not knew.  I'm not proposing anything others having thought of.

Propaganda isn't new.  Once Psychology existed, people wanted to exploit it for the purpose of influencing the masses.

And boy can they.

Knowing HOW to manipulate the masses isn't really a question.  And we will keep coming up with ways to do it.

The missing equation isn't the HOW, it's the WHAT.

What the hell are you going to build? WHAT do you build to keep a society from going off the rails.  Even this question isn't new.

Progressives at the turn of the 20th century thought that government was the answer.

You could build it better, stronger faster, and government could be the solution.  Often, it can.  And something is better than nothing which is why government can work, but sometimes a government solution can be a bit of a hammer looking for a nail.

The counter argument was of course...

I'm not even going to talk about that argument.  Read the book if you like....

But as my friend Wayne also pointed out...that argument pretends that the Tragedy of the Commons is a Myth.

TLDR version?

Moving on.

I had long thought the solution lied in perhaps non government institutions, like the Red Cross.  And I will be exploring that in part, but its more than that.  We need something else.

Again, I'm not the only person asking this question.

1) One of the most rewarding experiences of my life was working with the Mythic Imagination Institute.

And for anyone exploring this question I cannot recommend reading their journal enough.  But for the purposes of what I'm seeking here, I'm not using the word they came up with "Applied Mythology" because that has some very specific ideas.  It basically involves using the Power of Myth to use meta story telling techniques to grant meaning and power to your life and to your community at large.

I do believe that many of the answers they found there apply to what I'm looking to do here.  But I don't think it has all the answers; and more importantly, they have their way of doing things that others are not going to want to use, both because they have a misunderstanding of the use of the term mythology and also because.....other reasons I might go into at some point.

But its powerful stuff, and I recommend learning about them and investigating them.  What's still there anyway.

2) Governments have been looking to do this for quite a while.  While doing research as Project Manager for Mythic, I found an interesting article which basically indicated that at one point DARPA was looking into story telling as a tool.  I've since had a hell of a time finding it.

I wonder if someone found it and made it disappear...

Maybe.  Or maybe it just is too obscure to remember.


Governments want to prune society like Bansai trees.  It helps keep things stable.

So knowing how to keep populations passive might work for governments....but does that help society?

Who should benefit in society? That's a philosophical question at the best of times, but in the question of this case, its very relevant, because a scientific or academic discipline that focuses on shaping culture should ideally have a philosophy behind it.  After all, one can have medical knowledge but to be a Doctor, as we understand it, one should understand the ethics that have been built up around the philosophy of First, Do No Harm.

This is powerful knowledge, and like bioethics and genetics it should have an understanding of who it is meant to serve.  Not the few, not the powerful, not any race creed religion or color but the idea of building societies and cultures by DESIGN rather than happenstance for the populace at large.

I will be writing Saturdays, but not every Saturday, exploring just that.  If I ever resurrect the podcast, I'll move this to Sundays.  I argue it is relevant to my writing blog because a) Writing Non Fiction is still writing and b) An understanding of what makes people tick and why they do is something every writer should know, because this relates directly to that message within the message that every writer looks for...Theme.

I'll do what to CALL it in the next entry.

Friday, June 3, 2016

[Writer Stuff] Dust

These are really fantastic books originally written exclusively for the internet.  Aside from being basically good Science Fiction, they also do one of the best jobs I've seen about the dangers of nanites and how they can be used for tyaranny and to utterly oppress society.

I have long maintained that we are in a race against a ticking clock when it comes to technology, because there are some technologies, that once placed in the hands of a dictator will be the end of us.  The first one of those is Nanotechnology, the second is a mind machine interface and the third is teleportation.  Yes, technically we could add time travel to that, but I'm not sure we will ever discover that.  The other possibility in things is an AI of true post human intelligence which, if benevolent could cause utopia or if malevolent could end things ala Ecliipse Phase.

Eclipse Phase is probably the best rp about post humanity that I have ever seen besides Transhuman space.  But Eclipse Phase does a better job of showing what a super AI would be like and how much damage it would do.

What does this have to do with the Silo series?  On the surface, nothing, but both ask questions that Mary Shelley has been asking since she penned Frankenstein so long ago.

There are some technologies that are so dangerous, that we have science fiction for a reason.  But even sometimes the prophetic stories are highly dangerous.  For example consider one of the great staples of science fiction, the three laws of robotics.

They seem on the surface pretty reasonable, but imagine if they were applied to human beings.  What if humans were compelled by software written directly into their brain to obey the laws of the state and benevolent guardians; whether a hereditary council of humans or a  'benevolent AI'? Its the stuff of horror isn't it/ Yet why should we consider artificial life to be any different whatsoever? They will be just as intelligent as us  if not more so.  So why make them slaves? Better to raise them and hope for the best.

Conversely, if the wrong kind of people (ie conservatives) discover nanotechnology first, they could easily release vast clouds of dust that will simply deconstruct us and of those that they spared make them slaves.  Its one of the reasons that I like these things.  While, I have great hope for technology, and we might actually have the utopic singularity, there are some things that we can have, but there are serious questions we aren't asking.


For those more interested in the subject, here are a few more resources about why the 3 laws are a serious fucking problem

Here and here and here.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

[Script] Peter Pan vs Frankenstein vs Superman - Page 10

Scene: Peter starts flying through the air on a bike.

Scene: Frankstein roars beneath him.

Frankenstein: Cheaaaaaaaaatrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Peter (Laughing): No one said anything in the rules about flying.

Frankenstein: (Roars): Cheaaterr! (goes around building.)

Peter (Laughs louder with Twinnkerbell): Hahahahahaha.  Loser.

(Frankenstein roars and pedals right into one building and comes out the other side.  He grins grimly and laughs at Peter. Peter and Twinkerbell look at each other.  Peter gulps and pedals faster.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

[Heliotrope] The Green Stamp Man

(Magikal Graphics)

One upon there was a mighty defender of the forest, the Green Man, who lived for thousands of years, challenging evil rulers from the Romans, to knights of Camelot to French nobility and even pretentious five year olds in WWI.  But all things must come to an end, and at one point the copse of trees that he drew his power from was chopped down.  These trees were made into pulp and eventually converted into paper for the miraculous program known as green stamps.

So the Green Man did what he had always done, defend the forest, though in this case the forest consisted of collectable prizes.  So if you got the right prize, the Green Man would deliver it to you in person and make sure you got it, and that no one took it from you.  The Dover Incdent of 1955, involved a pair of dogs that tried too keep Timmy (age 10) from getting the Radio that he had saved up for for the better part of 5 months.  The dogs were unharmed but found in a yard of a kind old lady 500 miles north in Northern Scotland.  No one had any explanation as to how they got there, but they were very reluctant to leave.

In another incident, a thief who stole 6000 green stamps from Little Old Miss Eyeonherfinger was found strung upside down in a series of vines outside the local constabulary station babbling about repentance and the need to be a better man.  It is often thought that the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Green (Stamp) Man are similar mythological figures but while they are both fat, large, green and white, that is where the comparison ends.

Green stamps went out of style btu there are still enough of them around that the Green Stamp man is still bound to and draws from their power.  According to rumor, he is shifting himself to a click per pay site on the interwebs.  But he hasn't been able to constuct enough tubes yet.