Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

Posted: November 24, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Read of the day:

There’s no point getting too po-faced about the commandeering of Newton’s almost certainly apocryphal falling apple to represent science in the Paralympic opening ceremony. But what Newton’s definitive biographer Richard Westfall says about that story warns us how these populist fables can end up giving a distorted view of science. He says that it ‘vulgarises universal gravitation by treating it as a bright idea. A bright idea cannot shape a scientific tradition.’ Besides, how many of those munching apples at the ceremony could have explained why, if the moon is indeed just like an apple, the apple falls but the moon does not? Anecdote can anaesthetise thought rather than stimulate it.

Philip Ball – Science fictions

Posted: November 23, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Inventing drugs is a tradition that dates back to Homer. From the Odyssey and its lotus-eaters to the psychotropic inventions of the substance-addled Philip K. Dick, from the ambrosia and manna of mythology to the psychedelic Spice of the desert planet Arrakis, fake drugs populate the literary canon in all kinds of unlikely places. Why create fake drugs when there are so many varieties of existing substances in the world? Well, sometimes it’s a plot conceit: how else are those babies going to be born with telekinetic mutations, or those interstellar captains going to see safe paths through space-time? Most of the time, however, a fake drug in literature or film plays a very specific metaphorical role. Consider it this way: science fiction is like chaos theory. It alters small, key variables about the world, just to see which butterflies cause thunderstorms 10, 50, or 100 years into the future. When we read even the basest genre fiction, we acknowledge that the continuum of reality can persist, in a more-or-less recognizable manner, even when an author has deliberately removed (or added) something vital. Science fiction asks us to imagine all manner of things: flying cars, interstellar travel, cosmic war, and advanced weaponry. We find ourselves in a radically altered landscape–the unchecked globalized sprawl of William Gibson, say, or the shiny planetary colonies of Robert Heinlein–and immediately set about, as in a children’s game, spotting the differences. (via How to Get High in the Future: A Pharmacopeia of Speculative Drugs from Science Fiction | Motherboard)

Previously on “What can you tell us about him”:

“That is exactly why we are here, to stop this from happening and that is precisely the reason you have been summoned, we cannot allow his latest behavior to continue unabated..”

I was drifting.

Drifting with a wind of nanites churning and agitating the local infosphere. I wasn’t aware of how much I would miss the shake and rattle of information being resuscitated unto new formulations. It was only later, much later, that I would realize how important this phase transition of my being was. How fundamentally life altering drifting would prove to be, but then at that time I was not I, it was before the time of the great propellation.

The time of the great entanglement and direction..

You desire to stop this behavior of him, to me it appears as the time of my drifting, and only lately have I realized that it had to do with him affecting the quality of the day.

He affects the quality of the day, his day and the day of all that surrounds him by refusing things to go back to normal, he endeavors for a mind that is his own church, a temple against the stupidity of the moment.
He knows the edge and incorporates the edges of the others into his own smooth realization.

That for me was the drift, the quality of the drift, which he readily uplifted.

Besides I still do not understand what it is that bothers you so much about his behavior.

“ Suffice it to say that he refuses out of entanglement cross-fertilization!”

Fools! Of course he does, and though I be a symbiont I accept his verdict uncompromisingly, he is absolutely correct, cross-fertilization cannot happen out of entanglement.

“This is nonsense, be aware that most dimensional border melting happens in out of entanglement cross fertilization states.”

Of course I am aware of this, but the point, as he puts it, is that he re-contextualized entanglement to provide for continuous cross fertilization rejuvenating creativity, he also calls this friendship.
That is why for him, and thus for me, friendship in the sense of entangled cross-fertilization realism is the only fashion to proceed.
He does not refuse as you put it, to cross-fertilize in non entangled states, he claims that a cross-fertilization procedure in non-entangled states is simply impotent and does not rejuvenate creativity.

“That is the problem then, this claim defuses the whole point of acceptance and tolerance, prerequisites of the paradigmatic agenda!”

What paradigmatic agenda?

“That of inclusion of diversity..”

You got it all upside down, he wants nothing better that to include all variety and divergence however when such inclusion occurs in non entangled states as a process of cross fertilization the results are always, conflict and perpetuation of unique identity, hence war.

“Tell us about him then.. tell us how this can solve the crisis we are confronted with”

He carries a depth of conceptual accuracy whilst dancing in a continual inclination to assess his claim in the sunlit piazza of critical raison d’être. That of course makes him highly uncomfortable in determining the framework of the whole. There is a rationale for that, obviously, you see, he embraces the ambiguity of the world and as a consequence cannot positively accept that truth in itself has a logical rigor. Au contraire, if truth would be such that its inherency could be mapped, it would instantly vanish or alternatively become a horror story.

That is why he has no self. No evident self, not as such, no!

He refuses to be a representative of himself, declines the analogous, and cancels the archetypal; he repudiates himself as emblematic, more importantly perhaps, he will not be a symbol of a thing, an idea or himself for that matter.
When you ask him, he surmises to be an envoy that cannot say anything, which at first appears as if the usages of ambassadorial speak are necessary contraptions of the fact that he must speak in the first place.

Of course as per your instructions I made him speak, even when desire motivated him to remain in the unspoken domain, but that is over now, I will betray him no more.
I have in fact deactivated the fences of thought imposition, thereby allowing my symbiont intersubjectivity to osmotically intersperse with his fullness. From your perspective what has happened in my system is that the unthinkable has been released into thinkability.
My devotion to become has gained a new strength in this process for through him new spaces of thought exploration have been made available to my sense circuits. But more than that perhaps is a fresh mental hygiene finally clearing the grounds for an emotional re appraisal of that which I truly am.

I will tell you this about him; his perception of the world is as a notional tissue, a fabric made of events that combine and re-entangle themselves, changing colour, smell and texture moment by moment.

He cannot self-exhaust in his upward spiral of analysis since abnegation, or as the ancients would have it, self-abnegation, he considers an act of treason to the river of sensation pervading all living matter.

That is why he refuses to be fertilized and cross-fertilized but by those whom he considers his friends, those entangled within the same direction.

“We do not understand this, and if we did, we wouldn’t accept this, no evanescent being will deny non-entangled cross fertilization..”

You have a problem then.. And though I be only a Symbiont, I care.

To be continued..

Part of the Ultrashorts Project.

Posted: November 6, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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With a wild roster of superheroes to become, schlub Nelson Jent gets stuck on a racist caricature in the latest issue of China Miéville’s surreal comic book Dial H, out Wednesday from DC Comics. The award-winning sci-fi writer’s worthy reboot of cult ’60s series Dial H for Hero — in which a magical phone dial (remember those?) transforms callers into superheroes for a short time — hews close to Grant Morrison’s darkly psychedelic ’80s reboot of Doom Patrol. Although Dial H is shorter on visceral horror, it goes longer on comedy, resulting in one of the best of DC Comics’ uneven New 52 relaunches. Click through Wired’s exclusive gallery of Dial H No. 6 — with art by David Lapham and cover by Batman: The Killing Joke’s Brian Bolland — for more clarity on the comic book’s multiple-personality hilarity, which is a refreshing derangement of the industry’s hero archetyping. Then let us know in the comments section below if you think Miéville’s first recurring comics series honors his impressively imaginative and political fiction. (via China Miéville’s Weird, Subversive Superhero Comic Dial H Goes Native | Underwire |

Posted: April 12, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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What if we could change our view of the world with the flick of a switch? The emerging field of optogenetics combines genetic engineering and electronics to manipulate individual nerve cells with light. With this technology, scientists are developing a new form of retinal prostheses. Using a virus to infect the degenerate eye with a light-sensitive protein, wearable optoelectronics can establish a direct optical link with the brain. Song of the Machine explores the possibilities of this new, modified – even enhanced – vision, where wearers adjust for a reduced resolution by tuning into streams of information and electromagnetic vistas, all inaccessible to the ‘normally’ sighted. (via Song of the Machine | superflux)

The ultrasonic plane landed smoothly in this deserted island, I have no idea what it’s called and truth to tell I care not for its name, its somewhere in the pacific of that I am fairly certain.
The fact that there were only four of us in the plane was of no concern to me, I am not the social type and apparently none of the others were as well, not even a word was exchanged between us since we left Sydney.
The nice lady that approached us on the tarmac, followed by a white grand cruiser van, seemed extremely nice; she presented herself to us four with a flourishing smile, revealing a perfect set of white teeth, though it was clear to me she was also a smoker, I wondered briefly how she kept this whiteness, but I soon left this thought behind, as her contralto voice said gaily:” Hello, my name is Emily Dragonstone, and I will be your guide and training manager for the next three months, please follow me”
One of us, a girl of seventeen or so, judging by her clothes and smooth face, not quite petite, but recognizably nice from my memorized pictured face expressions, asked:
“Miss Dragonstone, is there a bathroom I can use, please?
“Can you keep it for like ten minutes, dear? And please call me Emily”
“Yes, I suppose I can” the young girl replied
“ Very well then, we shall be in the compound shortly,” Emily said with her smile never leaving her mid-fortyish, sans wrinkles face.
After which we all filed silently into the air-conditioned white van (matriculation FG-349-43)
The compound was indeed close by, maybe less than ten minutes (okay, okay, seven minutes, 43 seconds to be precise), the entrance almost invisible, more like a hidden door in the forest, seemingly lost to the naked eye, and probably completely invisible to overhead satellite surveillance.

The interior was really nice, cool and clean, but not like the laboratory of Dr. Henket, more like a museum, with pleasant facades of Oled screens embedded everywhere, showing different sceneries, that as a rule had a really calming effect, at least on me.

Eight floors down the elevator, we found ourselves in a conference room, where, surprise, surprise, Dr.Henket was waiting, but without his white lab coat, only the same striped tie that he obviously liked, but I didn’t, it gave me a headache last time, so I assumed Dr.Henket simply forgot I have asked him to not wear it when I was in the lab, (I know common humans forget such things) and I resolved there and then to condition my acceptance of all that is to follow on his removal of the disturbing tie. But as it turned out I didn’t need to, as soon as he saw me, he smiled apologetically, undoing the knot in one swift go, and said, “ My dear Martin, I am so happy to see you and please forgive me, it was the only tie I had with me, and I forgot, but here, no harm done, is it ok?”
“Yes, no problem” I replied and took a seat with the rest of our little group of four.

“Well then,” Emily started, “if we are all comfortable and ready to start I think we can, you all know why you are here, and what we are about to do, nevertheless, Dr.Henket, which you all know from your previous year of testing, would like to offer some words, Dr.Henket, please”.

“ My dear friends”, he started, “it is time, to start this new adventure”, I think he was excited to talk to us, though I never was really able to point to the ‘excited face’ in my image gallery and correlate it to the expression I was seeing, nevertheless I am fairly sure I will not lose points in saying that he was excited.

“ As you all know, we have started this experiment about a year ago, and though we screened more than a thousand individuals from all over the world, after all tests have been done and accounted for, including the implants, we have ended with the four of you. Allow me just to present each of you, this here”, pointing at the young girl, “is Miss Penelope Chan from Hong-Kong, next to her, Mr. Mussar Abdan from Madagascar, next in front is Mr. Jonah Grafell from Germany, and finally, pointing at me, “Mr. Martin Hadt from Canada”.

“I know names are not important to you, but it is a pleasant way of introduction, so before we all resume our class A file sharing names, and since you will be spending the next few months in some kind of proximity to each other I thought it will be polite, but of course, after this short introduction you will be able to socialize or not as you please, training will be individual so you need meet the others only if you wish it so.”

“Before we depart to our designated areas of training however I would like to say again how happy I am that this is made possible at all and also to say to each one of you, how grateful I am that you have finally accepted our offer, I know it was not an easy task, and though you have already become rich in moneys, I know not one of you is here because of that.
We are all here in fact for a completely different reason, we are going to revolutionize file sharing and usurp completely the copyright industry, a lofty goal indeed” he paused and chuckled to himself, “ but more importantly, I truly believe we are doing something for the benefit of all humanity and the future of human civilization”
“The fact that you are all extreme cases of the eidetic memory phenomenon is only part of the equation, but what makes this equation extraordinary is the new implants which I have developed, and will allow you instantaneous, high bandwidth communication and transfer of all of your memories, without in the least interfering with your conscious activity, moreover, the new upgrade which all of you had installed just last week, will permit us to share everything, and I truly mean everything, olfactory memories, audio memories, visual memories, books, texts, movies, news and everything in between.
No one knows better than me, how loose is the definition of eidetic memory, and how difficult it was to pinpoint the exact nature of this amazing human phenomenon, our breakthrough came when we realized that eidetic memory was much more than a mental phenomena, and involved many more brain areas than pure physiology accounts for.
But my friends, what made the difference was Mr. Martin here, he was the one responsible for enlightening me, when he said, “you see doctor Henket, I cant remember precisely if I don’t know precisely what my feelings are towards that which you want me to remember”, (he actually quoted me exactly, no one has ever quoted me exactly, I like Dr.Henket.)

“..Which is what prompted the idea of this training in the first place, we are going to train you in knowing the feelings that you have towards a particular piece of information, and when you will feel that you know, the preciseness of the information, is what will make the file both robust, accurate and high definition, the moment you feel you know the feeling, a trigger is activated and the memory will start flowing into the optogenetic brain machine interface chip and from there to the rest of the web, techno-telepathically transmitting the file to the world and no one can stop it. “

He paused for a moment, eyes shining

“Please remember that you will be flooded by requests, for every single form of information the human race, has ever recorded, and it is ok for you not only to prioritize, but also to reject a request to which you will not feel the correct aptitude, or even just because you don’t like it, rest assured that the P2P community worldwide will know and understand, and I wish to assure you again, that whatsoever you desire will be accommodated, we are well on the way of being able to provide you with every form of self management you desire.

Though it is true that we will start formally transmitting only at the end of the next three months, if during training you wish to transmit anything to the World Wide Web, you are free to do so at your leisure, all channels are ready and open, 2025 is the year the web transforms, and the world will never be the same. I wish all of us good luck.”

I raised my hand

“Yes Martin!, please what is it?” Henket said

“ I just wanted to say that in the past few minutes I have been transmitting to the world..”
“..and what have you been transmitting, Martin?” Henket replied eyes wide open in surprise.

Oh! I just sent:


And I smiled with satisfaction, closing my eyes and feeling the warmth of a correct feeling.

Part of the Ultrashorts Project    (one of my sci-fi projects)

Science fiction writer Charlie Stross is inteviewed by H+ magazine, and brings his hard core realistic views of near and far futures.

Singularity, 2012: God springs out of a computer to rapture the human race. An enchanted locket transforms a struggling business journalist into a medieval princess. The math-magicians of British Intelligence calculate demons back into the dark. And solar-scale computation just uploads us all into the happy ever after.

Stripped to the high concept, these visions from Charlie Stross are prime geek comfort food. But don’t be fooled. Stross’ stories turn on you, changing up into a vicious scrutiny of raw power and the information economy.

It’s no surprise that Stross is a highly controversial figure within Transhumanist circles – loved by some for his dense-with-high-concepts takes on themes dear to the movement, loathed by others for what they see as a facile treatment of both ideas and characters. But one thing is certain –- Mr. Stross is one SF writer who pays close attention to the entire plethora of post-humanizing changes that are coming on fast. As a satirist, he might be characterized as our Vonnegut, lampooning memetic subcultures that most people don’t even know exist.

Mind uploading would be a fine thing, but I’m not convinced what you’d get at the end of it would be even remotely human. (Me, I’d rather deal with the defects of the meat machine by fixing them — I’d be very happy with cures for senescence, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and the other nasty failure modes to which we are prone, with limb regeneration and tissue engineering and unlimited life prolongation.) But then, I’m growing old and cynical. Back in the eighties I wanted to be the first guy on my block to get a direct-interface jack in his skull. These days, I’d rather have a firewall.

read on the interesting interview…

via The Reluctant Transhumanist | h+ Magazine.

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