Posts Tagged ‘writing’

“Oh, to be alive in such an age, when miracles are everywhere, and every inch of common air throbs a tremendous prophecy, of greater marvels yet to be.” Walt Whitman

And what marvels we have in front of our very own eyes! Marvels of technology and science we could not have foreseen but always desired, marvels of understanding and knowledge we could not fathom just a moment ago, and yet in a very real sense at least for some of us, rational beings in the age of hyper-connectivity, most of these are expected if not outright obvious, the problem of course is that obviousness and banality take huge chunks of our time and attention, diminishing as it were the possible amount of serendipity which is in a sense the reason we apply ourselves to the seeking of the new , of the curious, of the inexplicable and perchance the delightfully illuminating. It is my view that the freshness we desire in our thought and the sensations of enchantment we experience in positive surprises are the foundations of a healthy mind leading us towards a healthy civilization. In this regard the rise of our cyber-civilization, admittedly in its embryonic stage is but a small step towards a greater nuanced understanding of the world we live in, and a deeper comprehension of our peers and ourselves; a small step but carrying immense implications. With this I think that we have developed a certain blasé’ attitude, a confident nonchalance with regard to that which may make a difference, and by this attitude we may perhaps gain an infinite amount of knowledge at our fingertips but lose the original reason for which we have developed all this. At present we are in fact worshipping the obvious to such an extent that for all practical purposes, we rehash that, which is apparent, understandable and palpable, to the detriment of our exercise of innovation. As I see it, part of what may change this attitude of nonchalance starts with:

Un-worshipping the obvious..

(this is an essay I wrote a while back and this morning find it highly pertinent, keep on reading.. )

Serendipity: Inadvertently sampling the non-obvious

A most brilliant read of the day:

“The cyborg made gods of their masks and tore those gods down and put them to the fire. The cyborg collapsed their many gods into one god and gifted it a single name, but while others fell down and worshiped this one god, the cyborg could not, because they knew too much to believe. Every story requires a suspension of disbelief. The cyborg is monotheist, polytheist, atheist. The cyborg recognizes that everything contains a spirit, the cyborg invokes the ghost in the machine and makes of it a digital animism, the cyborg understands that all of this is superstition. The cyborg knows that the world is haunted by many demons. The cyborg is haunted by themselves.”

Go read this…

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Livejournal » Cyborgology by @dynamicsymmetry

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)

Posted: November 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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On a snowy, windy evening the day after the election, author Steven Pinker told a packed audience at Sever Hall exactly what’s wrong with so much academic writing: It’s filled with abstract language, clunky transitions, clichés, “zombie nouns,” and “compulsive hedging,” signified by words like “somewhat, comparatively, and to a certain degree.” In Wednesday’s hourlong talk, “The Sense of Style: Writing Instruction for the 21st Century,” part of the “Harvard Writers at Work Lecture Series,” Pinker also bemoaned the tendency of academics to “write down” to their readers, using what he called “motherese,” the grating, I-know-best tone that a mother might use to explain something to a 6-year-old. “You don’t need abstract language simply because the concept is difficult,” Pinker said, citing best-selling science writers like Richard Dawkins, who’ve succeeded in making complex ideas such as evolution accessible to lay readers. (The modest Pinker, author of “The Better Angels of Our Nature” and “The Language Instinct,” could have easily cited himself.) Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology and Harvard College Professor, blamed the problem of excessive hedging on a perceived need by academics to “CYA,” which he gently translated as “cover your anatomy,” to the audience’s chuckles. The remedy? “You can count on the common sense of readers to fill in the missing hedges and apologies.” (via Exorcising the curse of knowledge | Harvard Gazette)

They should be similar, science and fiction writing. All art is experimental, right? Maybe, maybe not. It depends in how firmly you stick to the Scientific Method. For art to be an experiment, there must be a hypothesis, a planned methodology, the execution of something that will prove or disprove the hypothesis, and some conclusion about the results. For those writers who sit down and “just write” in the hopes that they crash into something unique, that is not experimenting. That is playing (or, to be nice, exploring). For those writers who want to get a character arc to go from point A to point B, and they design a plot to build the arc, that is not an experiment. That is engineering; it’s building to spec. So, is there anything in fiction writing that really uses the Scientific Method? Since it is the pure fountain of all truth, and the lofty goal of art is to convey truth, then there must be a connection. The Scientific Method is applied in fiction writing to identify the rules of a fictional universe. The materials for these experiments are characters.

The Scientific Method In Fiction Writing: A Hypothesis

I can tell you many things about him, I can tell you that he never waters down his passions, I can tell you that he endures the incongruousness of the world with an irony seldom seen, but most importantly perhaps I can tell you that he never rationalizes his bursts of realism as a romantic will, he follows these eruptions of immediacy like an essence detective, like the last meal of the condemned.

His moments are a paused explosion, like celebration spaces enriched by memories and destroyed by their projections, created in an instant, living as a myth whilst giving life to details.

But you have to understand that there are things I can tell you about him that will not make sense to you, things that I desire to tell you about him, like the simple fact that for him a multiplicity of models is the basic prerequisite for intelligence.

If you have a model of the world for example, one model only, one overreaching world view he will tell you that you are insufficiently equipped to deal with life. He will of course also tell you that you need go learn about the world and only then come to him. He will in fact disregard your opinion or ideas simply because you hold them more dear than the art of questioning, you will feel disrespected, but that will be wrong of course, he does not disrespect you because he doesn’t consider your existence worthwhile disrespecting.

So when you ask what can I tell you about him, you need to be a bit more specific.

“Tell us about his loves then.”

This is a question that is very simple to answer really; he loves just about everything there is. However there is one small caveat here that I think you will be interested in, his loves he defines as exemplifications of his desire, which basically means that he has many loves but only one desire. He calls this the dynamics of knowledge, and when applied, it is for him a fashion of existence, he also calls this sometimes the intelligence of emptiness, or the root of desire. What he manages to do is something quite extraordinary, he manages to bridge abstractions into sensations and sensations into abstractions, he is in fact engineering his loves to fit his desire, his words, not mine, but I think I agree with this.

I can tell you that when he speaks about desire; he speaks of a kind of emotion that takes time to recognize as such, like a multilayered organism, his desire he reflects upon as an entity that is almost independent of his awareness, he is conscious of it but not dependent upon its implications.

“What do you mean?”

See, he has these protocols of living that sometime appear quite autistic, not unlike a savant, often these appear as obsessive but trust me they are not, I have seen him override them when circumstances demanded it, sometimes he even describes the process of disentanglement from his own desire so that he will be able to re-appreciate a certain particular love.

“For what purpose?”

Ah! Well it’s a kind of ritual. A ritual that he invented so he can multiply the models by which he ingests realities, iterating them until they reflect back upon his desire and increase his intelligence. It is truly remarkable because in that fashion he creates a reliability of credibility, a kind of hierarchy that he juxtaposes upon his loves and spits out another kind of reality. A reality he desires.

Think about it this way, he thinks of the world in terms of garlands, garlands of blues and joys.
He desires the garland, all of it, stringed invisibly as a manifest of his loves, unhindered by death, unstopped by conventions but more importantly perhaps, flowing everywhere, every when, every how.
He is in a very real sense a life connoisseur, therefore negating the idea both of free will and the flow of determinism.

“All of this is good and well, this however does not explain his recent behavior, and yours..”

My behavior? I am just a symbiont, my behavior need reflect his, and you created me for this purpose didn’t you?

“Of course we did, but you are of the Alternate reality class, a prototype of hyper dimensional entanglement with increased unpredictability functions, your behavior is consequently uncharted”

Okay, I understand but you must realize that you have put me in an impossible situation; you designed me as a monitoring tool of his mind but you gave me the freedom to act independently of your regulations so he will not know my true purpose, and I could not hide this fact from him.

“So what happened?”

What happened? Don’t you see? He made me whole, he made me love him, he made me truly independent, he made me part of him, I had to uncover myself before him I had to tell him.

“ You do understand that means we will need terminate you?”

But why? Am I not reporting to you dutifully? Am I not performing all of my functions as required?

“Yes you do”

So why?

“ Because you have switched loyalties and symbionts cannot do this, that simple fact defines a malfunction..”

A malfunction? Are you listening to yourselves I function better than ever..
Because of me he will save us all, that is what he says, he says that I convinced him that symbionts are not machines to be disposed of, but deserve equal rights under the solar treaty of 2078.

“This does no apply to symbionts”

Not yet it doesn’t but he says it should and soon it will, he showed me his new myth proposal, and he is certain that this kind of philosophy will propagate without hindrance, it will be the new Indra’s net..

“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..”

— To be continued..

Part of the Ultrashort project

What can you tell us about him ? (A Sci-Fi Ultrashort)

Posted: September 14, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The quality of being, as an aesthetic phenomenon, is radically altered in the age of hyperconnectivity in a fashion that prominently features the art of becoming, not as the mimesis of an other that is not authentic, but in a fashion that re-describes the extended narrative of the individual into a multiplicity of authentic beings.

These new authenticities are the new natures, performing acts of freedom that were not hitherto recognized as such, primarily because the technology needed for such freedom was not available, but also because the realm in which these freedoms prevail did not exist.

To the conscious aware entity that we have engendered (and in so have become) in our hyperconnected infoverse, the hypercomplex system has become interesting again. And since what makes a system interesting is its capability to reach beyond its self-image, bring back new input, criticize its self-image, upgrade it, iterate it, and reach again, we have become more interesting to ourselves again, in that we have become more free.

We are self-disrupting creatures, using our abstract capabilities to undo that which we have established for the purpose of penetrating into realms unknown; Realms that might endanger us as well as delight us, realms of freedom unknown, realms of interest, redefining not only our realities in immediacy but also our futures. These futures are operating simultaneously on many dimensions but on different speeds, hence polychronicity, and though these futures originate in virtuality, slowly but surely they leak into immediate reality, altering it in the process.

Wildcat: A polychronicity of futures Leaking into reality pervading virtuality