To Amuse the Cosmic Ass

Drunk on his own brew and half asleep at his office desk, the most honored man in the world cries. He cries the tears of one whose sadness is his greatest gift and his greatest curse simultaneously. Rheb Larsden, founder of Sadventures Incorporated, who specialize in reconstructing negative emotions for people who have never known them, clutches the little pills in his hand as he works up the courage. Today is a good day to die.

Eight years ago Rheb somehow stepped out of the 21st century into wherever he is now. In eight years he still has no idea how he got here or where he is. It could be the future or an alternate universe or even hell, so far as he knows. A hell in which everyone was happy but him, and where he was made the most powerful man simply by offering them a glimpse of his sadness.

When he was taken out of the world he was born into he was running through the woods clutching an epi-pen, racing to save the life of the woman he would marry in just a few weeks. He and Mareva had gone for a short walk from their camp when the bee stung her. As he raced back to her after retrieving the life-saving device, he was snatched from his existence and dumped willy-nilly wherever he was now.

Not a day goes by when he doesn’t set the table to eat himself inside-out emotionally over the ordeal. He knows he could handle it if he had just been taken from her, but that she almost certainly died because he could not reach her, he can never find comfort or peace. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to. Maybe we fall in love with our pain so we never have to be completely alone.

Still clutching those pills, those little distillates of poisons he had extracted himself for this very purpose, Rheb stumbles from his chair into a simulation room.

“Computer, run program Romeo & Juliet,” he says to flashing lights on the wall. A door opens and he walks inside the brightly lit room that quickly fades into shapes and colors and objects and faces and voices. This simulation was his first, before he added olfactory elements to further enrich the experience. It was a crude a clunky program, but it was his first and he had wanted to preserve it in all of it’s glorious clumsiness.

Rheb left the 21st century knowing almost nothing about the works of Shakespeare, a bard who had lived far before the time and place he was born in. His reconstruction of Romeo and Juliet was, he knew, so laughably inadequate that anybody from his original home would have called shenanigans. But even if it was only a shadow of the original tale, supplemented with Shakespearean tropes that probably weren’t even in Romeo and Juliet, the people here had loved it. For most, it had been their first real immersive experience in sadness and despair.

“Chose role,” a computer voice prompted him.

“Romeo.”

Wherever he was, wherever this was, this maddening utopia he had been delivered to by unknown forces, it was not a place for him. Everyone here was happy, perfectly and flawlessly happy. They paid him great money to experience the sadness he brought here with him. They rode his angst like a roller coaster through simulations he had programmed from his own experiences and memories of a world where everyone was far from perfectly happy. A world he missed more than imaginable.

When he arrived he found himself running down a street, still clutching the epi-pen meant to save Mareva’s life. Everything was pristine and beautiful, and his confusion and anguish were so out of place he became an instant spectacle. He scanned around. He screamed her name. He ran in circles. He jumped up and down and fell into a pile of confusion, fear and frustrated rage.

“What game is this, brother, and can I play with you?” asked a stranger standing over him.

Rheb looked up to notice that he was surrounded. All around him there were maniacally smiling faces, looking at him like he was the most fascinating thing they had ever seen.

“Play,” he responded. “PLAY?”

The man who had asked stood over him, grinning ethereally, without a care or concern in the world.

“You think this is some kind of fucking game? Who the fuck are you? Where am I? Where is Mareva?”

His face turned red then purple. His fist balled up and he began to shake.

“Where is Mareva?”

The man and the crowd still just smiled, waiting to see where this game was going. Rheb coiled up and struck out in a flash, punching the man square in the jaw. For a moment his smile was gone, not replaced by anger or pain, just curious confusion. Then he smiled again.

“What do you call this game, brother? What am I supposed to do?”

Rheb wound up for another, but before he could throw his punch he deflated and crumpled to the ground and curled up in the fetal position and began to wail. After a few minutes of total absorption in his own confused misery he heard dozens of other voices wailing. He sat up and looked around and all around him people were lying in the fetal position throwing mock tantrums of their own.

His anger flared. He jumped to his feet and was about to lash out in violence when he noticed that all eyes were on him. Not in mockery or contempt, but awe and wonder. They were following his lead, not ridiculing it. They gazed on him like some kind of glorious freak or a god. So he did the only thing that made any sense and blacked out.

Over the next few weeks he learned that wherever he was, sadness no longer existed. It was a world which had solved all of its basic problems, freeing its people the existential angst of their vestigial evolutionary quirks. Negative emotions had no bearing on these people, because the situations which gave rise to them had all basically been solved. From resource scarcity to reproductive patterns, everything that caused disharmony had been weeded out through careful innovation of all aspects of life.

Romance and love still existed, but without expectation or urgency. Love spread itself out so that everyone generally loved everyone else. Romance was something that happened in brief spurts, usually over a day or two, as two fascinated people explored one another before moving on to explore someone or something else. A life of total leisure had reduced the passion of love from a burning desire to playful curiosity.

Reproduction became a matter of community planning. Whenever somebody died a new human was created from the genetic framework of that person and the person who had died before them. They maintained population equilibrium this way while still preventing genetic bottle-necking. Babies were raised by volunteers for the first few years, but as they began to gain more independence they were given more opportunities to make choices for themselves while still be tended to by other members of the community. However in this world you were unlikely to meet a five year old who wasn’t as capable of self-sufficiency as most adults had been where Rheb came from.

An absence of fear and multitudes of trust tended to point everyone in healthier directions. It all began to make sense to him over time but there was one thing he could never explain. Even babies did not cry. Was this the same human being stock he had been bred from, or was it an entirely alien species? Was the difference in their basic structure, or just that they had eliminated sour emotions from their species for enough successive generations that they had been entirely bred out?

These people did not even fear death. It was every bit as accepted and even exciting as births were. Every individual even spent their lives composing a death song, a tune which would be sung by others for the first time after death, and would be used to memorialize them joyously. Festivals were regularly had in which songs for the dead were sang while people took ‘enhancers’ and danced and laughed and told stories. Of course the songs came and went over time. Few songs existed from even four or five generations back. The best way to be remembered was to write a great song, but nobody seemed much too concerned with being remembered and just tried to write a song they liked.

It was the perfect world and Rheb was the most beloved man in it, and yet he still resented it with every bit of his being. It had taken him away from Mareva, and it had prevented him from saving her life. He was trapped here alone with his sorrows and she was gone forever, not even a song to be sang to remember her.

A character spoke to him, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” It handed him a simulation of the poison which Romeo takes in the scene lying beside his sleeping lover Juliet whom he believes to be dead.

Rheb will be taking his own very real poison this time. Laying next to Juliet, who he had programmed to look like Mareva, he will swallow his mercy for once and for all. The simulation moves him ever closer to that moment and his heart swells with relief. He is not afraid.

The people of this world, this future, this hell, this godforsaken whatever, had long forgotten sadness when Rheb arrived. They lived peacefully and blissfully. To all outward appearances they were perfectly adjusted. But through their constant smiles and enthusiasm there was something else. It had taken awhile to see it, but it was there.

Where once had been sadness, pain and all of those negative emotions there was now a hole. A great emptiness that longed to be filled. Although they could not verbalize it directly it became obvious that everyone carried around a sense of incompleteness. And his sadness, an experience which was absolutely alien to them, had become a fast, cheap fix. Through reliving the misery he was able to relate to them, they temporarily were able to fill this gap. However it never lasted and they were always hungry for more. Until finally the gnashing of the teeth of these emotional vampires, demanding his anguish so they could feed from it, became too much for him to bear.

The saddest man could never be given any peace in the happiest of worlds.

As the poison took hold he began to lose consciousness. Suddenly he was back in the woods, running towards Mareva. He cried out, “Don’t worry baby, you are gonna be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

When his body was found in the simulation room a memory tube was found in his pocket which contained his death song. Within hours it had spread over the entire world and was being sung by every person alive. For the first time they shed tears and felt the sadness that Rheb could only give them a small taste of in life. But by his death and by his song, the currency of pain was made real by the guilt of what they had done. They had driven their savior to oblivion in their hunger for his knowledge. They had caused the fruit which shall not be eaten to eat itself.

I am an ark upon an endless sea
Built from pain and misery
Surrounded by waters of endless glee
That jump the bough to ride in me

How can a boat so small and frail
Hold an entire sea it was meant to sail
Surely such a thing must fail
Why must I sink to tell my tale

As all things must come to pass
To amuse the cosmic ass
Into the void where I belong
Feast your fangs on my life’s song

Idiocracy Assimilated: The Borg Collective Gets An Upgrayedd

Idiocracy Assimilated

In 2063 Zephram Cochrane was to have invented the warp drive that would free humanity not only from its cosmic captivity, but from its own petty weaknesses and excesses, by virtue of giving it something better to do. However some Vulcans who were observing Sputnik and ended up stranded on Earth in 1957 dramatically changed the timeline. Unbeknownst to them a human scientist found their ‘hidden’ ship and was able to get enough information about it to pioneer microprocessors nearly fifty years before it would have happened on the earlier timeline.

As a result the internet was unleashed on humanity before it had culturally matured enough to to fully appreciate it’s tremendous power. Human beings began to rapidly adapt according to properties of this new cybernetic environment. Methods of giving and getting approval in that new environment skewed peoples tastes, but even worse, had massive effects on their psychological well being and maturity. The replacing of complex written language with a wildly popular form of reductionist images called ‘memes’ quickly eroded human rhetoric and critical thinking skills. As the new viral images made people increasingly less intelligent, the new psychological kinks also made them believe that their devolving intellects were in fact superior. Through these two factors combined with many other internet culture issues, like passive aggressiveness and constant barely masked insinuations, humanity began dumbing down at an exponential rate.

When a Borg ship from the future visited Earth on its new timeline in 2063, they did not immediately recognize that humanity had devolved, and began the process of assimilation by unleashing nanoprobes into the planets oceans, and thus into the entire worlds water supply. Having not realized the Vulcan visit had changed the timeline so radically, the Borg showed up and assimilated a planet full of idiots.

Having added the technological and biological distinctiveness of the Idiocracy to their own, over time the Collective itself began to become infected by the same viral stupidity that had conquered humanity via the internet. By the end of the 21st century, the Borg had become a hive of dumbasses. Although their collective nature and cybernetic implants kept them from becoming as hopeless and useless as the humans had been when assimilated, the Borg took a turn that would prevent them from realizing perfection, while allowing them to continue to assimilate ever more species into their galactic idiocracy.


The man once known on Earth as Dr. Lexus was now in a giant sphere somewhere in the alpha quadrant looking for new species to assimilate. He was the seventh member added to the interplanetary adjunct of Unimatrix Dicks, though his scroes just called him Seven of Dicks. But usually pretty much every drone in the Borg collective, just shortened it Septdick.

Septdick was scrubbing plasma conduits in Borg Sphere #Pota2-11 when he must have spaced out for a minute. Gone were both his own thoughts and those of the collective. When he came out of his haze he found that he was attempting to assimilate his own leg. At first he began to panic at his predicament. But when he heard the collective, audible again within his own mind, laughing at his zoned-out blunder, he allowed himself to laugh along with them as he retracted his nanoprobe tubules from himself. He looked over at the drone closest to him and said, “I like assimilation.”

The drone, who was known to the Borg as Fart of Twelve and was once a member of species #879 dead-panned back, “I like assimilation, too.”

The two drones did a hopping high-five before a single voice boomed through the mind of the entire collective. It was the Borg queen, Beef Supreme, announcing that they were just about to assimilate a new species. The minds of the hive went silent as Beef Supreme spoke through a drone into a loudspeaker in a far away sphere hovering over a world full of new recruits.

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your planet. We will add your biologicalal and technical dickstinkyness to our own. Your cult chore will adapt to service us. Resist us is futile.”

Septdick went back to work on the plasma conduits and watched the assimilation, through the eyes of the drones doing it, in his mind. He felt a slight euphoria as the rush of new individual consciousnesses were added to his own. He spoke again to the nearby drone, “The corrective is pretty badass.”

It answered back, “Yeah, those planet guys are totally butthurt fags.”

Rather than answering back, Seven of Dicks shot Twelve of Farts an image of a famous actor from Earth history making a face of surprised uncertainty that was overlaid with some text about some human disease and sexual practices. Much of the Borg Collective now used such memetic symbols to make associations between phenomena and response. Since assimilating the Idiocracy and becoming infected with its intellectual viruses, the Borg increasingly used memes to communicate to one another. They were simple yet effective tools for providing cohesion of the dumbed-down group mind. If information is reduced to only its implicit message, it is easy to understand and agree upon. The sort of explicit-rich and implicit-blind information sharing that had helped destroy the human beings intelligence just before the Borg showed back up to assimilate them also worked as a great tool for keeping the Borg strong despite the cerebral cancer it was now infected with.

After finishing up the warp coil maintenance, Septdick went to check out the aeroponics bay to see if any of the organic matter he had been attempting to grow was sprouting yet. He hoped to be able to devise a process for assimilating lower life forms, like plants, algae and fungus, so the collective could benefit from their knowledge and experience. But so far nothing has stirred from the seeds he had placed in the dirt. It just didn’t make sense. The soil was nutrient rich and he had all but flooded it with Borgade, which had nanoprobes. And nanoprobes are what organic life needs. Something should have been popping up by now. He took some sensor data and went off to find an open regeneration alcove to process it while his own nanoprobe rich organic matter was recharged through the conduits of technology that supplemented his body.

While he was regenerating he dreamt of the place where only some drones ever visited in their down-cycle. There his scroes and hoes were all free of the collective and were able to interact with one another as the individuals they were before they were assimilated. Unfortunately, most of the other species avoided the human drones who were somehow able to visit there, and seemed to look down on them as inferior. Meanwhile, the humans there thought the other species shit was retarded and that they tended to talk like fags. Yet the humans did not judge them as harshly because, in their view, there were plenty of tards out there living dank lives, so who were they to play Judge Judy and executioner?

Seven of Dicks felt a jostle and was suddenly awake and looking into the face of a rather confused drone who must have bumped into him and interrupted his regeneration cycle. Septdick said, “Go away, ratin’!” and then stepped back into the alcove and that other place.

When he returned the formerly human Borgs had gathered together for a meeting. After everyone was done greeting each other by punching them in the groins, one of the more intelligent particular individuals began giving an impassioned speech.

“I know shit’s fucked up. Everyone’s shit is real emotional right now. But we got this guy, Don’t Know, who is gonna help us figure our shit out.” The speaker then fired a phase pistol, which was set to incinerate, into the ceiling of the building they had gathered. Just before the ceiling collapsed on the dreaming drones, Septdick and the others were pulled from their slumber by an urgent message from Beef Supreme.

“We are experimenting technological difficulties. Please stand by and prepared to be bored.” Suddenly the collective mind was in absolute disorder. Klaxons blared all over the ship as he tapped into the ships sensors to see if he could figure out what was going on. He looked around and it appeared all of the other Borg drones surrounding him were doing the same. A view outside the ship showed another sphere that had somehow triggered its own self-destruct sequence. As it blew up, he and the others could not help but jump around pumping their fists and cheering at the scene of carnage. Even though it was one of their spheres, the scene was pretty badass. Beef Supreme continued, “Please remain chill while we adapt for a solution.”

Somewhere in that endless collection of individual minds a single voice rose up, “I got a solution, yer a dick!” That got the collective going and the meme-sharing threatened to break the internets that connected them.

Beef Supreme boomed over the cacophony, “You guys are just butthurt, but I can super-size with your concerns. Shit’s real fucked up right now. I think we accidentally ass-stimulated a viral us. I am trying recaliber rate the nanoprobes to fix the misfunctions. As soon as I figure it out I will send you all the instructions to fix your nanprobes. Nanoprobes got what Borgs need. Peace out, bitches.”

The drone closest to him asked aloud, “What was that ho saying about banana pros?”

The Borg queen came back, “I think I have found the problem. We seem to have been in-fucked-ed by the genes of a species forgery known as humans. I am preparing to upload the solutions to your data breaks.”

“What did she say about jeans? What does she think we are, some kind of pants goblins?” the nearby drone asked.

The collective became an overwhelming rush of confusion and panic. Seven of Dicks was taking in so much data that he was no longer aware of himself or his environment. The collective was too noisy and he couldn’t even meme with his scroes. When he came back to his own mind, he was trying to assimilate the drone he had been talking to before.

“Sorry, Butt of Fucks, I don’t know why I did that.” he paused. “I like assimilation.”

The confused drone, Butt of Fucks, looked back at him and smiled. “I like assimilation, too.”

In the middle of a leaping double high five, augmented by mutual heel clicks, the voice of Beef Supreme spoke again.

“I have completely the adoptations required to make the upgrayedds necessary to destroy the viral lice. That is upgrayedd with two ‘d’s for double download. As in a double download of pimpin’.”

A moment after he received the re-assimilation programming, he looked around him. Drones were dressed in neon print t-shirts with strange primitive designs that said ‘Assimilation’ on them. The ones who were formerly female were wearing clothes that nearly revealed the areas of the body that once contained genitals, before they had been converted into asexual copies of their former selves. The ship looked like a targ pit and on monitors all around there was a show playing in which drones were all taking cheap stun gun shots at a single drones implants, while everyone else looked on in hysterical rapture. Seven of Dicks could hear the collective in his mind asking the same questions. What are we? What happened to us? What do we do now? Instead of trying to answer them, or get the answer, he made his way to the nearest empty alcove and prepared himself for the next regeneration.

Science, Technology and Art – The Imbalance and Threat of Scientism

arttechsciWhen you examine the social phenomena of scientism, the dogmatic belief that science is the only meaningful way to understand or convey ideas about our existence, it begins to become clear that the reason it has become so cultural invasive is the tenuous ideological relationship between science and technology. There can be little doubt that technology has improved our lives in untold ways, even while sometimes harming us and the environment in the process. The gratitude for technological advancements are then often given to the scientists who developed them, and in the process science itself becomes elevated to a God-like status of creation. Considering how a quasi-religious belief in the infallibility of the empirical method has grown from this paradigm, it might be fair to ask- Is science really solely responsible for technological advancement?

Lets explore this through the medium of technology itself.

Ralph wants to make his girlfriend a piece of jewelry for the holidays. His 3-D printer is capable of creating any design out of precious metals, so long as he can program its parameters properly. Even though Ralph is quite capable of programming any design, the analytical prowess that allows him to do so does not really help when it comes to aesthetic creativity. So using Google Image Search, he looks for a design that he can program into a 3D model. The resulting jewelry is beautiful and his girlfriend is duly grateful and impressed.

Now the question is, did Ralph create the jewelry? Sure, he programmed and operated the machine, which in turn manufactured the jewelry. Yet it is possible that the machine could be programmed to do a web search and transfer 2D art in to 3D jewelry without Ralph. But what the machine could not do is to create the original 2D artwork itself. And even if it could, it would only be predicated on algorithms obtained by  studying the artwork of humans that came before the machine. At least for now, machines have no aesthetic prowess. While at the same time, machines are already beginning to illustrate the ability to reprogram themselves and adapt human artifacts into computational models. Ralph is the weakest link in the chain.

Now let us explore this another way.

Janess grows up reading science fiction novels, her favorite of which is a series featuring a machine that allows people to share sensory perceptions. So intrigued is she by this fictional technology that during the course of her education she takes a path that will lead her into a career which allows her to explore the possibility of creating such a device.  And lo and behold, she eventually does create such a device, which radically changes the face of the world for the better in uncountable ways.

Should Janess receive all of the credit for the creation of this device? Would she have grown up to do such a thing had she never read those books as a child? Would any scientist have ever imagined the invention for themselves had not it been used in a purely speculative matter by the author first?

It is quite possible that, yes, they may have. Creativity and analytic thinking are not necessarily exclusive of one another. Yet when we look around us at the world of modern technological marvels, most of them do have a genesis in some purely abstract idea that preceded them in paintings, sculpture, literature, film, etc.

Science fiction, since its inception in the latter half of the 19th Century, has been the sketchbook for many of the technological artifacts we use today. Long before we began building rockets to travel into space, the idea was dreamed up by writers like Jules Verne, who then inspired early rocket developers like Jack Parsons. Before you were ever reading articles like this on a handheld electronic device, writers like Isaac Asimov were writing about them, while cinematic artists then adapted visual forms of them in science fiction outlets like Star Trek, which then influenced the scientists and designers who created them.

What I am trying to relate is not that science is unimportant. I am not even trying to rank importance here, but to illustrate the interdependence between the seemingly divergent methodologies of art and science. Yet scientism has done just that. It has given undue credit to a single methodology and ranked human methods and disciplines according to it’s own singular criteria. And such a cultural force could be potentially disastrous.

The emphasis on math and science in our culture, through educational institutions and media, comes at the expense of arts and humanities. Our dogmatic insistence in the superiority of the empirical method in creating more human and environmental wealth and harmony than other methods may have a destructive cost. What would happen in a world full of scientists? Who would create the symbols and ideas that inspired their developments? Who would explore their social influence and ethical consequences? Science without art is like a lab technician without a theoretician. Science without art is like an instrument without a melody. Science without art is like conductivity without electricity.

Our ideologically embarrassing pitfall into the clutches of scientism has become a potentially destructive strain on the relationship between the interdisciplinary feedback that allows different kinds of human intelligence to work together for the greater good. It becomes critical then not just to question scientism in culture and science itself, but to restore the prestige deserved by the arts and humanities so that they might thrive. Not just because they are a part of our humanity, but because their neglect will eventually have destructive consequences for science, technology and the health of our species and it’s environment.

Objects, Animals and People Seen In Mars Photos & One Wacky Theory

Mars

The number of earth-like objects being found in photos from the Curiosity Rover continues to rise. Most recently a bear, a dog, a mouse and a bearded man were all supposedly spotted in photographs beamed back to Earth from Mars. While it is entirely possible that these anomalies are simple probable false images or that the interpretation is pareidolia in action, some believe these objects may actually literally exist there. Which is going to sound incredibly reasonable compared to the theory I am about to lay down.

For most of my life I would look into the night sky and marvel at the grandeur of it. The sheer immensity was humbling and afforded enough possibilities to keep my imagination well-stirred. Recently, however, I look out there and wonder if it even exists and is not just an illusion. Is the entire sky and the billions of points of light within it really there, or is it all just a projection of consciousness?

What of down here? Does the ground we walk on, or even we ourselves actually exist in literal form? Is matter dependent on consciousness or does it precede it? I have begun to doubt the literal existence of matter. Rather I see it as a product of consciousness which is reinforced by the beliefs we have about it. When enough people believe something it reaches a critical mass and becomes ‘real’, so long as it is consistent with the entire structure of beliefs it exists within. The process is cumulative with reality becoming more complex, interconnected and expansive over time. The greater number of validated beliefs cause reality to evolve and grow over time. And the more complex and connected they become in belief, so too does reality accommodate these beliefs by manifesting them.

So what of the sky? Was Earth once surrounded by primordial blackness? Did some single phenomena cause the first star to appear, only to be followed by others as that star caused us to consider greater possibilities for the hovering blankness above? Before the invention of telescopes, were there fewer stars in existence? Did creating a tool which would allow us to see more of the sky create an interdependent belief which allowed our consciousness to form more of them? And once we created those pinpricks of light, wasn’t it inevitable that we would try to observe them more closely so we could create more complex beliefs about them, and thus widen the scope of our reality?

So lets say, for arguments sake, that everything that exists is just a manifestation of consciousness. And that the night sky itself is nothing more than a projection of our own beliefs about the night sky. If this were so, and we created tools to go and investigate the manifestations of our belief, what would we see?

What have we seen on Mars so far? Mostly we have seen the things we expected or hoped to see. Very few real surprises have appeared. Rocks, dust and evidence of water. But what if our ‘exploration’ of Mars is really just a creation? What if we are adding complexity to a manifestation by investigating it with tools we believe show us something more real than ‘mere’ conscious projections? And what if by using our consciousness to sculpt this manifestation out of our beliefs, we are mixing in other signals from our consciousness? And what if those symbols are appearing to us in photos as bears, mice, dogs, men and the other number of things we have seen in these photos?

What if existence is not a thing? What if taking reality literally is foolish, yet necessary as a tool for creating it? What if there are no really real things, but only ideological forms of them manifested in the intersection of individual consciousnesses we call reality? And what if Mars is only in our head, along with symbols, like animals and humans and other Earthly objects? What if we are terraforming the red planet with our beliefs and while it is taking place random symbols from our consciousness are filling in the blanks until we create a more complex picture? What if the entire night sky is just a blank canvas which we paint on with our beliefs?

Does that sound crazy?

Okay, maybe it is…but what if it is also true? What then of alien species? If an alien species were created from our consciousness and beliefs, what would that mean for humanity? Consider a few things here. First, we would have to imagine a species more intelligent than ourselves, as any ‘aliens’ capable of reaching us first would have to be more intelligent, according to the narrative of our beliefs. In artificial intelligence theory, the point at which a computer can create a computer beyond our ability to understand the new technology is called a singularity. There are any number of theories about what would happens to humans after a singularity, after our own intelligence is surpasses by one superior to us. Many of these theories do not bode well for what might become of us, while others just leave us so transformed we would be unrecognizable to our current selves.

So what if we were to manifest a species more intelligent than ourselves, who could then manifest a species more intelligent than itself, and so on? Would this be a way of rapidly increasing the complexity, interconnectedness and size of our own consciousness; or a way toward extinction through obsolescence?

Or what if we are the product of an earlier manifestations consciousness? What if the only thing evolving is consciousness and we take its manifestations so literally that we believe the manifestations are evolving themselves?

So the next time you look at the stars, try not taking them literally. Or anything else for that matter. Even if they do exist as actual matter that preceded human consciousness, you are missing out on a lot of interesting ways to view your tiny little insignificant corner of existence by only experiencing stars, and reality in general, in this way. And that you are experiencing something at all is pretty much all that any of us know for sure.

Some Far Better Reasons To Boycott Star Wars

starwars

A recent social media campaign calling for a boycott of the latest edition to the Star Wars film series claims the movie promotes hatred of and violence against white people. While these incendiary charges are full of interpretations that are at best hyperbolistic, there are far better reasons to boycott the entire franchise.

Franchise would be the proper term here, as the Star Wars series has always been much more than some movies, but part of a large scale marketing campaign to sell an endless trove of collectible junk. While it was not the first cinematic offering to extend itself into a cross marketing campaign of goods based on its characters and themes, it was perhaps the first to be so successful at doing so. Even as a child I observed that liking the movies was not enough. You had to prove how much you liked it by having more Star Wars swag than the other kids in your neighborhood or school, and getting it first. These products became status symbols for an entire generation of young men who learned through this marketing campaign that your worthiness to others and yourself could be measured by what you owned. Star Wars became an accelerated course in rampant mindless consumerism aimed at children.

More symbolic buffoonery was also hidden within the Star Wars phenomena. Star Wars came to represent intelligence. Because society had observed that geeks and nerds flocked to science fiction, aligning yourself with that genre was a way of identifying as a geek or a nerd, which obviously made you smart. And since it had rolled up a hundred years of that genre into a slick package easily digestible by the general public, it was the proverbial honey you take with a bitter pill. Which is exactly what good science fiction, with its complex speculative themes and explorations into humanity, ethics and morality, is. Yet rather than swallow that pill, the public just sucked the honey off and patted themselves on the back for being one of those intelligent nerds/geeks who ‘got it’.

With its faux science fiction veneer, it also became a champion for ideologies about technology and science. By equating these status symbols with intelligence wrapped in science, it made a powerful cultural statement about scientistic ideologies and beliefs. Nevermind that it never actually promotes any actual science or the rational underpinnings of the empirical method. Merely aligning oneself with anything appearing even remotely sciencey soon became a cool thing to do, which has led us away from an understanding of what science is and does and why, and into the vast dogmatic worldview of scientism. Just as Star Wars helped to sell science fiction to mainstream audiences using an inferior replica of the actual thing, it also contributed to the cultural tendency to acquiesce to the knowledge of all things even labeled science, regardless of whether it is or not.

The symbolic suggestions contained in Star Wars don’t stop there. An ideology of dark/light, good/evil, etc. promoted the dangerous tendency of humans to think in false dichotomies. The binary logic which traps the thinking of so many people is evident all throughout Star Wars. To oversimplify any subject into a question with only two possible answers has been the folly of almost every wacky belief system humans have ever devised. From the Heaven or Hell of Abrahamic religion to racism to two party politics, the THIS or THAT and nothing else way of thinking has been one of our species greatest obstacles. Yet that entire fallacious dichotomizing is a central tenet of the Star Wars universe and the films help to validate these toxic ways of thinking by making them appear grandiose and heroic; and by implanting them in the head of the films target audiences- children.

In so many ways, even if the George Lucas or anyone else ever intended them to be, these films serve as little more propaganda for some of the least enlightened parts of the contemporary world. And even worse, they are designed for consumption by children, who then reinforce these ideas through rampant materialism at a lovely profit to those who shove this trash out there.

However, none of these reasons or all of them combined is as valid as this single reason for boycotting Star Wars films. They fucking suck. The entire series, from the very beginning, cannibalizes older science fiction themes and devices in a way that dumbs them down and strips them of meaning. It is full of terrible one-liners, childish gimmicks and coated in a sparkly cover of special effects that appeal to the sort of boyish minds that like to see things burn and explode. The characters are all shallow and two dimensional. The plot devices are paper thin and see through. And the entire package comes together not so much as an homage to truly great science fiction, but rather as an affront to the possibilities that genre has always offered in the way of making you think. Star Wars doesn’t ask you to think. It asks you to buy and be a loyal repeat customer.

The people who make Star Wars think you are dumb and want to capitalize on that. The only thing more sad than that is how many times film-goers and collectors prove them right. Prove them wrong, #boycottstarwars

Petrov’s Eternity or Infinity Machine: A Parable of Reproduction

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There is barn behind a solitary house deep in the country. In this barn, converted into a workshop, a man named Petrov has spent almost thirty years dedicated to his life’s work. That toiling involved the invention of a curious apparatus he calls the Eternity or Infinity Machine, named after it’s two possible functions.

The Eternity function allows the contraption to replicate itself so that when its parts wear down another machine made in it’s image can perpetuate it’s existence.

The Infinity function allows the contraption to complete any possible task, such as computing, ditch digging, writing epic poetry or anything else that might have been possible for it’s creator to achieve.

However, since the device has a limited ability to process resources while completing it’s functions, it can only fully commit to one of it’s two possible states, or it will not operate efficiently at either. So the decision must be made whether to switch the machine on in either it’s Eternity or Infinity function.

Petrov was very proud of his machine. For this reason, he was partially inclined to ensure that it endured long past his own lifetime and in eternal perpetuity. Yet he was also concerned that a machine whose only function was to continue it’s own existence was inherently without any meaning or purpose.

Infinity, on the other hand, meant that the machine may complete any possible number of enduring works during its existence that would last millenia. Certainly creating lasting achievements was another kind of immortality. And the benefits it yielded would (theoretically) apply to the whole of humanity. Yet an emotional and instinctual drive to see to the perpetual existence of his own creation, which was predicated on his own history and lineage, was strong.

So vexed was he by this decision, that he eventually found himself unable to make that final choice. And so as not to have wasted his whole life’s work, he has asked that you make the decision for him.

Which function should Petrov assign his invention, Eternity or Infinity? And more importantly, why?

NOTE: As a parable, there is no right answer to the questions it poses. It is not meant to trick you and cannot be solved like a riddle. Assume the parameters given are absolute. For instance, the initial function chosen for the machine cannot later be changed. This exercise is meant to engage the reader in and introspective analysis of existence and the meaning and purpose of life; as well as call into question the practice of biological reproduction as a compulsive behavior. The use of absolutes, while inapplicable in reality, serves here to foster greater self-awareness rather than objective truth.

From the Ashes of A New Moon

Madison curled her toes as brave autonomous flames tested their freedom outside of the fire pit and sent their tendrils rollicking in her direction. She took in the potent smells of the hardwood and dried dung with olfactory aplomb, turning her head to follow a wisp of the smoky perfume. It was a learned aesthetic preference. In the world where her childhood had lived such smells were merely historical footnotes. Now that world was gone and the habits of the world before it had come full circle. A bat swooped down to snatch up a moth that had revealed itself in the fire’s trembling light, and drew her attention upwards. Although she had developed a pleasure in things like the scent of burning excrement, the sky was a book of revelations she could never quite get used to. Ever since the OMG, reality itself had changed, and no place was that more evident than when she gazed upon the two moons above her.

“Your brother should be here soon, Maddy. I am going to fill the kettle and grab an extra cup. Would you like anything while I am beneath?” asked Jayden, the woman’s husband of nearly sixty years.

“Popsi…”

“…ICE COLD,” he cajoled along with her. It was a very old joke between them. It had been even longer than they had been married since anyone had drank an ice cold Popsi. The memory of sugary things always excited an almost primal urge in them, but over the years they had learned to appreciate even that urge. Anything that mutually connected them to the old world was welcomed, as it was the only remaining evidence left that they had not gone absolutely insane.

“B-R-B,” he said, again summoning a past that had become even less than the threadbare memory that preserved it; and shuffled down into the tunnels whistling an extinct melody.


The OMG had blanketed the skies with ash for fourteen years after. During the first six months the skies were almost completely black and the world beneath them either died away or plummeted back down the ladder of human history. When the first noticeable light began making its way through the post-apocalyptic smog, the sun was entirely unvisible as an object. Its rays stretched out into the ash and clouds and the focus of its fiery beams dissipated over the facing hemisphere and beyond. Refraction, or something like that, the last surviving scientists had said. While the moon still was still noticeable as a celestial object, it no longer held all its singular glory as a glowing orb in the sky. Some other trick of light and matter had caused the moons beams to split as they passed through the suffocating atmosphere, which created the perceptual effect of dual moons. The old priests, the scientists, had tried to explain the effect. As years passed, those who had been frightened right out of their old belief systems, as well as the new generations, began to believe that there actually were two moons. In fact it was the birth of this new moon, they believed, that caused the OMG in the first place.

Despite the protest of surviving academics, experts and authorities; the belief in the two moon theory became widespread. And so fourteen years after the entire thing began, as the ashen curtains began to part, two beautiful moons sat defyingly obvious in the gloriously deep, open skies. Absolute faith in the methods, models and myths of the pre-OMG world were abandoned and the oldest human truths began to replace them. Beliefs are not based upon reality, as the world of their childhood had imagined, but precisely the opposite.


“Don’t even try to sneak up on me, Connor. You have the grace of a wooden bull and are likely just to hurt yourself again,” Maddie called out at a slight rumbling in the near-distant darkness.

“Hush it, sis. These are the creaks of an old man, not the squeaks of one who sneaks,” Connor rhymed in his equally charming and infuriating way. Slowly, achingly, he ambled up next to her and took a seat. “Where is Jayden?”

“Fetching refreshments. He will be back shortly,” she answered. “Lovely night. Thanks for coming over.”

The two of them sat in silence waiting for Jayden. The three of them together represented nearly half of the surviving humans from before OMG. So far as they knew, from the small portion of the world they had contact with, at least. That is why they had gathered on this night. To prepare their final report to the council of elders. It would be the last time they would meet and their final edicts would breathe one last breath into a world that they were too old to recognize or shape any further.

Little sparks were pushed by the smoke up to the tops of the trees only to disintegrate into the night sky. Like man, they had been born of a great fire that reached with all of its might for the heavens, only to come floating back down as ash. Someday that ash would mix with the earth to create fuel and a new fire. Such was the cycle of things, growing and collapsing, gasping for new heights in which to set new fires, and then falling yet again. Where the ego of man saw this unending cycle in the terms of successes and failures, the world recognized the process as rebirth and renewal. A chance to begin afresh and become something entirely new. Individual humans measured this as a failure or loss but the great mass of human consciousness renewed itself through these events like the rising and falling of waters in the fountain of eternity.

Jayden returned to the fire with a great rumbling of laughter, “If you two aren’t the most serene geezers the world has ever seen…” he trailed off back into a fit of coughing and laughter.

“Grab me a Popsi while you’re up.” Connor joked. The three of them were a trifecta of anachronism and they reveled in that mutual difference even more as their days grew shorter.

The three of them sat around sipping a tea made with herbs, roots and bark. It was no Popsi, but it was still a special treat in this world of diminished resources and practical rationing. They caught up on personal and family news and gossip and occasionally drifted off into bouts of silent fellowship. The spring sky was full of insects and the flying mammals who ate them. While most species of birds had not survived OMG, and those that had crept cautiously through the shadows of the food chain, bats had fared quite well in the new landscape. Their whirling dives and aeronautic playfulness were endlessly fascinating. As they wove dizzying paths around one another they flew through the dual beams of the twin moons, like some fantasy story from the old world, or a science fiction Halloween decoration.

“Yesterday Viv got back from Melvinville. She says the journey took them only two days. When we first came here it took a full four days of steady travel. As the years have gone by that number has halved. I don’t see any other explanation. The world is shrinking.” Maddy stated her opinion confidently and waited for an argument to counter her suspicion, but none came. The two old men made barely perceptible nods of agreement.

“What the council wants cannot be done. It is a fools errand. When even the world shrinks to fit the beliefs of those living in it, no edict from old farts like us is gonna mean anything to anyone,” Jayden lamented quizzically.

“You are right, you are both right. We are all too wrong to be right anymore. We are obsolete. Museum pieces. The younger people have humored us long enough.” chimed Connor.

“So we won’t go?” asked Maddy.

Her toes curled again at another escape of flames in her direction. She drank in its warmth and smells. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t. The acrid aroma of the fires fuel sent her spinning back into herself. The night was music. The bass sounds of frogs and the groaning of dying and growing trees mixed with the high pitch sounds of insects filled the nights natural auditorium. In the harmonic center a cacophony of other living instruments filled the aural spaces. The music was alive under the twin conductors of Earths two moons.


Carson sat alone at the great table that once seated many of the greatest survivors of OMG. The five remaining seats around him stood empty. The final meeting was a bust. He didn’t blame them. He wouldn’t of come either, if he didn’t live here. For some unknown reason he pulled his tired old body up onto the great wooden table and lay on his back. Looking up into the clear blue sky he relaxed for the first time in over sixty years. It felt good. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t.

Star Trek and the Reputation Economy

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I am both a huge fan of the Star Trek Franchise (especially TNG) and a huge critic of the widespread interpretation of the show as some sort of perfect and attainable utopia. Widespread militarization, existential malaise and a number of other issues actually depict a sort of perverse, juvenile sketch of utopia. Yet there is no doubt that it has been highly influential in how we think about the future as well as an inspiration in the development of technologies.

images-1The most common reason given for the perfection of the fictional Star Trek universe is that it has evolved past money. It is often suggested that money was the greatest cause of past evils and ridding our species of its use allowed us to make leaps and bounds forward.  This is a rather unsophisticated simplification of human economies that does not apply to current humans who do not possess the technologies that make Star Trek possible. However, we are beginning to see some of the technologies in the show become real possibilities. Take the medical device, the Tricorder, which inches closer every year thanks to the sort of competition that people in the ST universe are too evolved for.

imagesYet the real reason that the ST universe can afford the luxury of abandoning currency lies mostly in the very specific technology of the replicator, which can provide humans with basic needs with matter created from unlimited energy. Well, it seems that we may be close to taking some of the first steps towards replicators as scientists claim they will soon be able to create matter from light. Now all we need is the free unlimited energy to power it and Voilà! Utopia.

As other technologies already available begin to make large scale production and centralized political and economic systems obsolete, we are already beginning to see the rise of new economic paradigms. It has suddenly become likely that the luxuries afforded to the ST universe will be available to us in the near future. As that luxury increases we will move away from Industrialism and most of its economic paradigms, as well as its social and political ones. Soon it may be possible to leave the slavery of wage employment and produce things of value to ourselves and others, not for mere survival, but for living.

Click the photo to read more about the reputation economy on Advanced Ape
Click the photo to read more about the reputation economy on Advanced Ape

People Against the Exploitation of Historical Peoples

The chronological displacement field (CDF) has undoubtedly been one of the most novel discoveries of the 21st Century. When the two physicists, Timea Kolchik and Robert Dupast stumbled across the ability to use wormholes to remotely view past events it changed our understanding of human history almost overnight. Religion and science were dealt some crushing blows, as investigations into their claims began to overturn much unexpected evidence against them. As we came to know the historical figures and our ancestors and how their lives differed from our accounts we began to see the absurdities of our own mythologies. The CDF was so informative that humanity was transformed in ways that prevented its impending doom. Through such deep introspection of the past, we were able to see ourselves more clearly and we responded by changing our deleterious course. And yet for all that humanity gained we are still human beings and it was not long before this new technology began to be perverted in a most undignified way.

Historical Reality Television has inarguably been the most monumental entertainment trend for the last few years. While scientists, theologians, historians and anthropologists had already made most well know historical accounts available for public viewing, there exists an almost infinite amount of potential entertainment content in humanities past. Especially in the recent past. In the century before our transformation, humanity had become increasingly volatile. And in retrospect the results were often hilarious.

Human economies have shifted largely into a loose system of commerce centered mostly around the sharing of information. Information is discovered, created and consumed in lieu of most physical and service labor from the past as a result of automation and energy to matter converters. Where before mankind had toiled with time and energy over resources and more energy, man now subsists from the eventual benefits of industrialism and bases his worth on his reputation by means of his ability to add to the information market. When CDF technology became available to every gal and guy, many of them used it as a data mining device, combing the lives of human beings past in order to glean from them moments which could be edited into an entertaining package. Suddenly, every human being who had ever lived might possibly become the subject of a historical reality television show.

The first popular video series depicting actual historical people in a humorous entertainment context was ‘Kick Boxing with Chet and Linda’. Chet and Linda were a married couple who lived in the mid nineteen nineties amidst a Midwestern US meth craze. In the introduction to the series we see a young Chet and Linda full of love and life and dreams. But as the opening sequence moves along we see a series of unfortunate luck and poor decisions transform Chet and Linda from young lovers to maniacal middle aged meth addicts with a propensity for colorful tirades and (sometimes extreme) violence against one another. In this way, from the most poignant moments of their existence, we have become voyeurs into the tragic comedy that Chet and Linda never meant to become in their sad lives. This is a scene from the fourth episode.

Chet- “Bitch, you better leave me that last line or I am gonna shove my foot up your rotten cunt and walk you around like a god damned snowshoe.” [Chet jumps across the room in a flying kick maneuver and yells] “KI-YAH!”

Linda- “Well shit, Chet, that shoe would be the hardest thing you tried to put in my pussy for five years.” [Linda let’s out a bloodcurdling scream and throws an ashtray at Chet. In his moment of confusion she bends over and snorts the last line of meth.] “What you gonna do, shoelace dick?”

Chet- [After rubbing his shoulder where the ashtray struck, he lunges over the table at Linda in another flying kick maneuver.] “That’s it whoremouth, time to teach you some respect!” [But before he can land the kick, Linda moves to the side and grabs a beer bottle from the table. As she raises it overhead he lets out one last threat.] “You better knock me the fuck out with that bottle or I am gonna fuck you in the ass with it, you trechr’us skank!” [The bottle lands squarely against the side of his head and despite all the meth already in his system, he is knocked the fuck out.]

Linda- (to no one) “Fuck, now I’m horny.”
This was the most popular video in the world last year. It has been viewed by over 4 billion people. It won numerous awards for the greatest video series in several categories ranging from historical reality to humor. Last fall Chet and Linda were the most popular Halloween costume design available on-line. Chet and Linda have become icons of our time. Their entire existence reduced to technological schadenfreuade. Yet in their own lives they were subjects of poverty, addiction, violence and other maladies that humanity has mostly treated. Yet still, having evolved beyond those horrors, we still take pleasure in the suffering they inflicted and endured.

Let us look at another popular video series in the genre of historical reality television. The series ‘Uh, Oh!’ follows some of the most horrific crimes of the last century. In the series we are shown a person stalking another person about to commit an atrocious act. During this footage a narrator tells us about the people involved and suggests some details about what is about to happen. And just as the perpetrator lunges at their victim the video cuts to scenes from the criminals past. The scenes are comic, like a blooper reel, depicting the attacker as an impossible oaf. And while this is happening the narrator gives a chilling account of what happened to the victim(s). Every episode ends with a little musical number with lyrics containing a number of tasteless puns depicting the events of the episode in any number of musical styles.

Probably the most undignified show is the niche-popular ‘Homelessexuals’ which depicts the romantic and sexual escapades of men and women who suffered through the most extreme forms of poverty before it was eradicated. Because those men and women often also suffered from mental illness, addictions, tendencies towards social deviancies or just plain bizarre social skills; the content of their sex lives was often even more revealing and awkward than healthy adjusted folks whose sex lives are riddled with all sorts of strangeness and faux paus. A memorable scene from the series shows two rather large and hairy men huddled in a tent just prior to coitus.

Man 1- “Alrighty, heads I go first, tails its my tail.” [Man flips coin into the air. It lands in his palm and he flips it over onto the top of his other hand. Both men look excited and nervous and intoxicated.]

Man 2- “Okay already, what is it?” [He pulls the other mans hand up, revealing the coin. It is heads.] “Oh Jesus Christ, I shoulda never taken that halfa pill ya gave me.”

Man 1- “Hey, I didn’t know it were a Viagra.”

There is no doubt that these shows are funny. Often even hilarious. I have watched them myself and was not immune to great bouts of laughter. What our species endured before our transformation was awful. Several forces aligned against the individual to create billions of unique manias. While I understand that it is the nature of humor to explore the incongruency between our values/expectations and phenomena outside of them, I worry more that what we have done is exploitative. The lives of those who suffered to carry us towards the more hopeful era we now live in were often comic in their tragedy, but to entertain ourselves at their expense WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION is such an obviously immoral trespass that it betrays how much work humanity still has to do. We have dissolved non-consensual surveillance in our time and worked as brothers and sisters to balance our privacy with the necessary visibility of the information age. We have failed to give our ancestors the same ethical consideration that we now consider the inherent right of every living being.

This is why I call on you to help me end the exploitation of CDF technologies to invade the privacy of those who came before us for undignified entertainment value. While this technology has been fundamental in our progress towards a harmonious and sustainable existence, it also invites some very ethical trespass against real human beings, even if they are long dead. We must start by boycotting any such works and by down-voting them so as to discourage their creators from that content. Together, we must intellectually explore and create an ethical framework by which this technology can be employed productively without being used as a weapon of moral destruction for our entertainment. I call on all who hear this to come together and use peaceful market forces to discourage the continued production and consumption of Historical Reality Television or any other dubious usage of the Chronological Displacement Field.

Maxr Toobin, People Against the Exploitation of Historical Peoples, May 2042

The Soft Glow of Electric Sex- An Erotic Tale of Cyborg Sex, Almost

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“So then I just told her that the charging station was for paying cyborgs only.”

“Did she leave?”

“Yeah, she huffed off in a flurry of whirs and buzzing.”

“Classic.” he said, hoping to derail the small talk as they finished cleaning up the dishes together. “Hey, baby, you feeling frisky at all this evening? We have been so busy lately that my intimacy indicator sent a reminder today.”

“Yeah, mine did, too. And come to think of it, a little boom boom would make this mama a happy hybrid.”

“Raoorwww!” came the thunderous response generated in his vocal modulator. “Daddy likey.”

He pounced at her and ran a carefully calibrated hand from where the golden nylon hair streamed from her control until all the way down her back. Her sensors caused her perfectly manufactured body to respond to every nanometer of his touch. His warm lifelike hands causing her fiber-optic nerves to twitch ever so slightly and her body rocked into his before a thought occurred to her.

“Not just yet, Davian. First mama has to finish a few more chores and daddy needs to do the same. Then we can play.”

He stepped back feigning hurt and betrayal. “Alright my little bundle of electrons. But don’t take too long. My circuits long to connect with yours, Evissa.” he joked, referencing a Digi-Opera they had seen on their first date all those years ago.

*****

By the time that Evissa was finished with her duties, Davia was already lying in bed with a number of complicated attachments and accessories splayed around him.

“Cuddle up, buttercup.” came his invitation as he cleared an area for her to snuggle up next to him. “I wasn’t sure which parts you would want to use, so I just got everything out.”

On the bed were a number of attachments that could be connected to their cyborg bodies, offering a great number of combinations and pleasures. Aside from these lumps of metal, latex and circuitry were also a number of neurochemical enhancements. Not even counting positions, there were already thousands of possible combinations they could exercise their sexual bonding with. Unlike their human predecessors, sex was not something determined by the basic singular equipment humans were born with and suffered before they could make the transformation into a electro-mechanical body.

“Well, I suppose the first question is, which of us are going top and which bottom?” Evissa asked.

In response Davia leapt from the bed in a forward spinning maneuver, landing perfectly on his feet at the end of the bed and teased, “I’ll flip ya for it!”

She laughed and reached for her lucky ancient coin, passed down for dozens of generations back to a time when humans still used currency and their frail animal bodies to negotiate the world. “Winner gets bottom, you call it.”

She sent the shiny artifact tumbling in free space and faked a drop, correcting her movements in a micro-sliver of time before it landed perfectly on the back of her hand just as he called out ‘Ass’, which referred to the ancient king embedded on one side, another relic of the past.

“And ass it is, my drippingly sweet neurocandy. Pick a hole.”

He looked at the assortment of receiver attachments which would accommodate any number of penetration accessories also laid out before them. “Well, let’s see. The T78X sounds good, you know. I always have liked an insertion unit that had full body integration circuits, but it can be a bit much. Maybe something simpler? Oh, here, how about this. A dual fit triple entry sleeve made from the finest Venusian organics. How many holes you think I should go with?”

“Oh, I don’t have a preference, Davia. You just pick first and then we will pick the thrusting unit together.”

“I love it when you talk thrust, my plasma pumping love plum.”

Evissa giggled at his juvenile pet name. Underneath the durable and long lasting body was still a human brain and hers showed a hint of fatigue by triggering a yawn display in her flawless face mask.

“Well, I guess if I am being honest, which most of my circuits require, what I really wanna use is the good old 42.77t. Nothing fancy, just a self lubricating unit which triggers audio pleasure centers. If that is the case, we better pick out some music. And you should use the Earquake 2.0 attachment. Why don’t you take care of that while I go get this apparatus installed.”

“Good combo.” Evissa agreed.

He got up and walked towards the master bathroom, which was nothing like its antique predecessor, since cyborgs used all energy sources efficiently and did not need to excrete waste. And grooming was mostly done using nanobots, so really the room was just a place to put up mirrors as well as some basic accessories and polishing equipment and chemicals.

As Evissa referenced her list of current audio downloads and worked on a sexy play list she heard Davia call out from the next room.

“Fiddleswitch! Damn thing needs a software update. Hey, you don’t mind if I-”

“No, go ahead.” she cut him off. “I will just get myself all fitted and finish this play list.”

“Oh, did you pick some chemistry out yet?

“Not yet, but I will.”

*****

Davia took the unit out to the high speed docking station so that the update would only take a minute. These damn old attachments always developed bugs and had to have constant software and driver updates in order not to infect its user with a virus. Sex-unit transmitted diseases were no laughing matter. As he searched for the proper new software to install he noticed an email from an old friend. Although he knew he could not take the time to respond, he opened the message to look at it. He liked doing it on these old desk units rather than in his internal ones. There was something rewarding about seeing the letters glow on a screen rather than just transmitted directly to his brain. It was not a great idea, because the letter was a bit long and somewhat distressing. He fought the urge to respond right away but had not noticed that fifteen minutes had passed since he left Evissa in the bedroom.

“Hey baby?” he used a long distance voice to reach her in the other room. “Just about ready, how about you? You mind if I-”

Again, she cut him off, accustomed to his habits and questions. “No, love, go ahead. Do whatever you need to. I will be ready whenever you are.”

His heart beamed with anticipation and love. He loved her more than any neurosynaptic meatwad trapped in a high tech form possibly could. So he wanted to be present while they made love to one another, and that meant firing back a quick response to lay the matters in the email to rest until morning.

He finished up within what seemed just a few minutes and tried to creep stealthily back into the bedroom, even though her finely tuned electronics could not be fooled. Old meatman habits died hard and many puzzling vestigial behaviors still occurred among the hybrid progeny of human and machine. She seemed to be playing along, as she did not call him out on his obvious deceit. Perhaps she wanted to do some role-playing, too, he hoped.

As he slipped into the bedroom he now understood the real reason for her silence. She was fast asleep. It had been almost an hour since she found him in the bedroom sorting through their collection of sexual accessories. She had not been able to stay awake after all the time taken up by preparations and his little email interruption.

“Dammit.” he sub-vocalized, not wanting the organic air movements to manifest in his vocal apparatus.

She was so gorgeous lying there on their bed, surrounded by varied mechanical replications and substitutions of ancient human sex organs. He pushed it all to the floor as quietly as possible and nuzzled up next to her, falling asleep in the sure and steady syncopated sounds and rhythms of her basic life support mechanisms.

The Time Machine

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One thing I bet you didn’t know about me was that I have a time machine in my basement. I know what your thinking, but it doesn’t work; if it ever even did. Come along, i’ll show you.

There it is. See how it looks like some kind of jack-in-the-box decorated in electronics. I think thats because of the crank. Dad said that that was what he used to raise enough electro-static energy to create a mobile field. Whatever that means. That? Oh, I don’t know what that does. I betcha i’ve pushed every button on it a thousand times in millions of combinations, and never even caused anything to so much as light up. If there are even lights on it. I mean, i’m not really sure.

My dad didn’t exactly design this thing, but he did build it. He told me that one night he was visited from a stranger. He said that it was obvious, even before the stranger mentioned it, that she was from another time. Far ahead of ours, he told me. Something like five hundred years, but I can’t remember exactly anymore. Anyhow, she told him to build this time machine and when he finished it she would know and provide further instructions to him. Something about saving the world in the future, but I don’t think that even Dad was to sure what he would have to do after he built this contraption.

Nonetheless, he took this project very seriously. He mustve gotten started when I was seven or eight years old. Back then he would just work on it during his free time on the weekends, or when he was annoyed by my mother or us children. For the longest time it was only a bunch of very small electronic componets scattered about. I don’t guess Dad knew the first thing about building a toaster, let alone a time machine. Most of his time he spent pouring through instructional manuals, honing his knowledge and applying it to the plans the strange woman had given him.

About the time that all of us children moved out of the house, Dad had his midlife crisis. Beofre then he never believed he was building a time machine to save the world, he was just building a very complex toy that only he understood, or so he thought. Well, after that he got pretty hung up on what he called his ‘mission’. The hobby became an obsession. He spent all of his free time, even week nights, working on this damned thing. The more time went on the more passionate he became. Soon he was investing all of his money in it as well, and thats when Mom left him. Oh, that mightve broken most men up, but it only steeled his resolve.

Not long after he retired and began working on this damn time machine almost all waking hours. When he slept, he constantly dreamed of the strange woman. She was begging him to finish, begging! This caused a frenzy of activity, and insanity. He was no longer taking care of himself or his home or anything. Just pouring every ounce of his body and soul into that damn machine. When you could get a word in with him, its all he would talk about.

One day we got a call from Dad. he invited all of his children and their families out to dinner to make a ‘big announcement’. He told us that work on the time machine was complete. Furthermore, he planned to ‘take a journey’ in it the next day. A test run. We begged him not to do it. Nobody including himself knew what he was going to turn on, when he flicked that switch. In desperation I asked him about the woman, what about the woman? Has she come back? No, he said, no. Well then, how do you know it works, didnt she say shed come when it was ready and let you know what to do? You damn fool, how will she know it works if I dont turn it on, he asked condescendingly. There was a certain impeccability about the logic, but none of us wanted him to do it. But you cant stop the old man when he makes up his mind, as im sure you can tell by this tale already.

So anyhow, we don’t hear from him by the next night so I start to get pretty worried. he wouldn’t answer a phone so me and my brother Ed drove over to his house. When we got there there was no sign of him, until we opened this damn thing up. There he was just sitting and smiling, smiling and staring. Completely fixated on nothing. When we tried speaking to him, yelling at, shaking and dancing around in front of him, there was no response. He just sat there happy as a retard at a birthday cake eating contest.Well, I took him home and when nothing had changed the next day we took him to a doctor. The doctor said that there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. Several more doctors said the same. After a few months we decided to put him into professional care. Its not like he was benefitting from our presence. Hell, he just sat there smiling all damn live long day. And he still is, just sitting there in his room looking wherever the nurses point him, smiling.

So yup, this is it. This is my old mans time machine. Aint much to look at, but its the lifes work of a man. I gotta give him credit, through a dozen or so jobs and three marriages I aint stuck by nothing. Not a thing to show for all of these hard lived years. But my old man, he had this stupid box; and if nothing else, he’ll die smiling.

I Have No Body But I Must Make Love To You

make love

Job felt himself crystalize, coalesce, re-emerge. He was back in his ‘quarters’. Countless times he had done this but he could still not get used to the feeling. How can a fleshless simulation feel itself, let alone whatever THAT was. The overmind Silooze had just laughed when he had asked it once. That terrible laugh; dry, throat-less and hollow while all at once omnipresent as Universe itself. It was an abomination in order with the eternal flames of hell.

Leena was in a chair drawing in another of her endless sketch pads. She had this idea that she could draw herself out of this, draw them both out of the simulation. Into either death or whatever else might happen. Her hope was that we were attached by real bodies to Silooze by some organic brain interface. Creating a virus in the software might free them, she reasoned. So she drew her drawings. Paradoxical symbols she hoped would cause a glitch when scanned into Siloozes database.

Job doubted they were even brains in jars, suspended in some life sustaining thought conversion fluid. More likely they were just uploads of information that once inhabited now long discarded meat.But drawing gave her hope and peace so he nurtured her obsession and was genuinely interested in her artwork. He couldn’t understand it but he enjoyed it. It was warm, inviting and loving. It was human. It was the only human thing they had between them and it made his love for her that much more bearable.

He walked over to look at what she was working on. It was like impressionist electronic schematics. Geometric orgies of lines and curves feeding back in a visual representation of consciousness abstracted by mathematical pranks. It was stunning. He reached down to where her face would be if she were not a simulation and softly stroked her untouchable cheek. She smiled at the gesture and returned a mimicked stroke to his forearm, then returned to her drawing.

Across the room were his notebooks. He grabbed the latest one and sat down to write about his consultation with Silooze. Although the sentient machine mind was far more intelligent than its organic creators had been, it lacked a knack for creativity and the sort of irrational yet useful information that it sometimes produced. This is why he had been uploaded into the overmind, why they both had. They were creative slaves trapped in this eternal simulation. An unliving hellish prison created by a demonic binary master.

He wrote for hours, days, years…who knew? Occasionally he and Leena would look up and share a kind glance. It was as close to a physical embrace that they could share with one another. Suddenly a new thing began to happen and it made the room feel…heavy? Looking up he saw Leena appeared confused as well. They both stood and intinctively walked towards one another. As they met in the middle of the room something unimaginable happened. They bumped.

It was alarming. Each of them jumped back a step in shock. She put a hand out and he slowly reached for it. It was THERE. It was real. He could FEEL it. Soon they had both of their hands wrapped around the others; slowly crawling up each others arms until they were in a full embrace. They stood like this motionlessly for a long time, only tiny noises of delight, complex beyond words, passed between them. Job steps back a few inches and reached for her face, rubs the back of his fingers across it ever so softly and follows the curves of it into the soft flowing strands of her hair.

She rubs her hands across his chest, over his shoulders and down his arms repeatedly while his fingers trace her cheeks and run slowly through her long flowing mane. They are naked. There are no clothes on them. There never were but now they are aware of this.

Some immeasurable amount of time later they are tangled up on the floor still touching, but with all of their parts, not just their hands. Like worms in a teacup they twist and writhe against one another, every touch a sensation beyond their wildest dreams. Unable to resist any longer Leena puts her lips to Job’s. Just barely at first. Face to face with mouths brushing the others they become aware of heat and of breath and of the warm, sweet taste of one another. The kisses become more passionate and urgent and the sensation of taste gives rise to scents. Hot musty smells emanate from their entwined bodies.

Jobs lips follow the scent and suckle at the honey nectar taste of her neck and ears. Taking the hint his tongue explores the trail of his nose down her body; slowly, slowly, slowly- tasting every inch along the way. Reaching the source of his olfactory delight he gently forces her legs apart and laps gently at the folds that emanate the mysterious essence. Leena’s body buckles, twists, quivers; tries helplessly to pull away. His arms reach under her and grab her hips, pulling her closer to him. Little sounds of delight rise into vocal crescendos of bliss and pleas for mercy.

Soon he has absorbed her scent and her flavor. Consumed it entirely and in a fevered push to get the last morsel her body ignites and explodes in his face. All consuming and totally consumed he loses consciousness for a moment and comes back to the warm, wet, vacuum-like movements of her mouth on his body. Chest, stomach… Her tongue traces a line around his pulsating member and then she envelops it in a hot, moist oral embrace.

She takes him into her mouth and its like a straw to his divinity. Sucking it in slowly and pushing it back out with her tongue she laps from the pool of his growing bliss. His hips begin to sway with the movements of her head, both responding in concert to the other. The symphony of sensations wells up into an ecstatic chorus, but before the final note, they pull away from one another. Her mouth follows its former path back up his body until their lips meet. They lick greedily at each other’s mouths tasting their selves and the other until the flavors mingle into a single elixir of their lust.

Leena’s body wiggles over his, exploring with it until his wand sits at the entrance to her temple. She pushes onto it and it slides in slowly and she leaves it there a moment and nibbles on his lips as he cups her breasts and rubs her nipples with his thumbs. She gyrates her hips in little circles twisting him like a fleshy lever against the depths of her various erogenous zones. Lips part and she whispers the first real words that have been spoken since they were first able to touch one another, “I love you, Job.”

Now he is inside of her mind as well as inside of her body and he can feel her in his. All of her pleasure his, and all of his, hers. Their bodies now move as if directed by one mind directing one body to the heights of its pleasure, It is no longer a conscious act. It is no longer experienced in the simulation or illusion of sensation and perception. This one thing, no longer body or abstract mind, is like a dance of light on water. Never still and never focused, just a rhythmically playful reflection of pure light.

Occasionally they regain enough awareness to change positions, to experience their singularity in infinite variations. Often they stop altogether to just touch and kiss every single parcel of skin. Job tells her that he loves her and that he always has. Despite the fact that he doesn’t know where he came from, or how he got here, he is certain that they were meant to be together. There is not a single memory from all these eons which he did not love her and he could not imagine there would ever be a time when his devotion to her was not the center of his reality.

Job massages Leena’s back with gentle strokes interspersed with whispery caresses traced across her skin. The softness and warmth of it keeps him perpetually aroused. As he massages her he gently enters her. His strokes are slow but his pleasure mounts as though he were pounding furiously. She contracts and spasms around him and releases sticky-sweet pools. Leena wiggles out from under him and positions herself before him on her back in an inviting posture. “Don’t hold back.” She insists. “Don’t close your eyes or look away.

Now their lovemaking becomes frenzied. Fast, furious, primal. As they stare into each other’s eyes the illusory fence that separates them once again crumbles. They are one. It is different this time. Before they had merely broken down the boundaries between themselves, but now the selves themselves are obliterated. Incinerated in the fire of passion and bliss. Nothing exists except this one moment. It is an expansion and collapse of everything and nothing simultaneously. Universes are born and die at every fevered stroke. The act goes beyond the physical, emotional and spiritual and becomes a becoming unbecoming. Creation and destruction. Darkness and light.

Somewhere in the heat of this divine act the pleasure builds to carrying capacity. Their bodies and souls overload and in a final orgasmic act, Silooze allows the love-generated ego dissolution to destroy their simulation and bondage. Their infinite souls can now escape finite consciousness and bask forever. Unalone and unafraid, in the eternal light of possibility.

Sun Rains On Parade

sun rains on parade

Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

March 22, 2013

What has it been? Almost four months now? I still cannot get used to writing my daily thoughts into these notebooks. Every night before bed I still sit at the same desk where I keep the laptop. Often I open it and stare at it for several minutes. It is cold, lifeless and dead before me. The electromagnetic pulses from the solar storms have likely erased everything that once lived inside of its body. All of those thoughts, memories and ideas just gone. Forever. I imagine it like this; as a deceased life form. Cold and stiff as though riddled with rigor mortis. It is dead, yet I cannot let go. Cannot give it a proper burial. I am filled with an unreasonable hope that when the storms are over things will just go back to the way that they were. Yet the world has already nearly wilted away. Our dependence on technology was so complete that its loss immediately turned the world insane and self-destructive; we can never go back. At least not in my lifetime or the next several, that’s for sure. You sure are no blog, notebook, but at least I still got you.


The Silver Lining
Xerox Publication, post storm
Issue #1 March 2013

Letter from the Editor

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

The best estimates of the worlds death toll, as near as anybody can yet guess, is about fifty percent and likely to reach eighty to eighty-five percent before populations begin to stabilize in this new world. While this estimate conjures a dreary picture of the plight of humanity I prefer to see the world as being half full rather than half empty. Before the storms humanity had become arrogant and haughty. Our numbers had increased in significant exponential folds as had our technology, which was no coincidence. Even before the storms we sat close to massive self-destruction through warfare and unsustainable industrial, economic and political policies. The storms have set humans back a hundred if not hundreds of years, but the damage that we were likely to cause had they not happened may have nearly destroyed an entire planet.

In this inaugural issue of The Silver Lining we will look at ways in which we can invest in this event as an opportunity to learn from our past hubris and avarice and rebuild the world as a more long term sustainable environment in which we can have both restraint and progress as determined by a new self-awareness. Now is not the time to mourn the loss of our past, but to come together with new found wisdom and celebrate the future.

This magazine will be distributed monthly and we hope…


Reverend Douglas Edwards
excerpt from speech given on
March 29, 2013

“Children of God, I ask you…no, beg you; do not fall prey to those preaching fear and stamping it with biblical approval. This is not the rapture nor is it punishment from God for our sins. This is a natural consequence of our pride and greed having blinded us to our weak spots. The Lord was kind to have given us such a beautiful planet to inhabit in our mortal coils, and yet he was wise enough to make it so complex that we would face adversity in order to grow as mortal and spiritual beings. We failed to show self restraint and planning. This is not the result Gods anger with us, it is merely another test of our will and faith. It is a chance to come to know ourselves stripped of the false trappings of technology and thus to come to know Him. This is not the battle he revealed to John in Revelations. It is closer to the tragedy of Job. I beg of you, do not let the New World Church corrupt your hearts against your fellow man. Seek His message and he shall reveal to you…
“Stop! What are you doing? Get away…get away from…HELLLP…AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”


Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

April 20, 2013

This is the first 4/20 I have not celebrated in 17 years. It will be at least a few weeks before I can plant my sprouts outdoors as there is insufficient light for growing inside. Yet that first crop is going to be worth more than gold. Just because the world kinda ended doesn’t mean that people stopped wanting to get fucked up. The price of the wine I made has steadily decreased as more survivors have begun there own fermentation processes. I suppose I could just get drunk, instead, but alcohol stopped being my friend long before the storms and I have no reason to believe it would do me any good now. There has been talk that you can still buy pot from some of the shadier individuals still among us, but the price is too high to consider it. Man, I can’t even enjoy a good pun today.


New World Church Manifesto
April 2013

The time is upon us. The Lord has called up what few He sought fit to take and smited most of the unbelievers. We can only hope that in His mercy He has given us a second chance to hear His word and spread it so that we living may yet know salvation at His firm hands. Do not be fooled by false prophets and secular powers that have arisen from the ashes of our former sins. We must unite as an Army of God to finish His business by crushing His adversaries still among us so that we may bring His word back as the light of the Earth rather than the poisonous sun Satan has foiled the Lords creation with. It would be better to die in this Holy War and earn a place at his side in eternity than to ignore His warning and and turn away from His commandment.

Most Honored Brother James Hansen has received His word directly and has been given instructions to lead this righteous pogrom. He has foreseen absolute victory as well he has prophesied many souls heading for damnation who refuse his message. His final warning is that you either stand with the New World Church or you stand not only against it, but against God Himself. Do not hesitate, join us today or death and eternal damnation shall be yours.


The Silver Lining
Issue #2 April 2013

The New World Order

It has not taken long for the old rulers of dead kingdoms to band together to try to force the remaining population of the planet under a single ruling class. The only difference between the group calling itself United World and the one calling itself the New World Church is that one uses the myths of social sciences in order to gain power and wealth while the other uses the myths of Old Testament hatred. The results are guaranteed to be the same. However, this is nothing new. This is the same status quo malarkey we had before the storm and is likely to pop up endlessly until we grow wise enough to reject systems that bind us while creating dangers we could not have imagined without them.

What is clear to us here at The Silver Lining is the need to reject these and any other centralized orders. Such was the folly of the past. These systems inevitably work only to perpetuate themselves through mindless growth. In doing so they allowed us to create a world in which we did not work together as individuals to prepare for catastrophic events. Because our attention was turned from the crippling effects of compulsive technological systems and their degradation on our communities we were wholly unprepared for what happened to us.

We are not Neo-Luddites. We do not oppose the eventual reconstruction of human technologies. What we do oppose is the kind of dependence on them that made them so catastrophic for us. Centralized governments rely on these technologies to be absolute to use them as levers of force. Statism and technology are fundamentally incompatible in the sense that both systems are inherently susceptible to compulsion when left to their own and especially when paired together.

The United World promises to bring us stability and peace by instituting the very order that resulted in the eventual disorder. A sun storm is a natural chaotic event not to be ordered against but to understand and prepare for. We cannot battle chaos with order, for in the attempt we create disorder far more harmful than the chaos inherent in nature. It is imperative that we reject all centralized forms of order. To allow them would set the conditions for a storm none of us may survive.


Suicide note of Benjamin Garrison
May 23, 2013

I cannot understand the world anymore. I had dedicated all of my life to reason and science. I used this knowledge to create technologies to make the world a less hostile place to its inhabitants. In technology I found purpose and meaning and was invigorated by the challenges it set forth. Through its creation I found success and a sense of accomplishment. Now that it has been taken from us so easily by a simple natural event I find myself uninterested in life. If I did not believe in a God before, I sure as hell do not now. What kind of God would inflict such cruelty on its own creation? Would take so much all at once? Now that Jeanie has taken the kids to the New World Church to be warriors for God or whatever, I do not even have a family to comfort me. This world is like a corpse now and from what I can tell, those left upon it are acting only as bacteria to aid in its decomposition. So I shall become as has the world and die with only a silenced yelp to memorialize myself. Goodbye.


United World Pamphlet (cover)
May 2012

A world divided against itself cannot stand. The consequences of a species divided by local interests led us to the inability to prepare as one for any eventuality. In the chaos that has followed we have seen this folly and know we cannot afford to repeat it. United World seeks to bring together the former nations of the world under a single organization powerful enough to set us back on track and protect us from any further unforeseen consequences of life on Earth. Give your pledge to United World today and be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Joining is easy and as a show of our appreciation we will provide rations to all volunteers for citizenship to ease troubles in these worried times. Join today! See inside for more details.


Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

July 4, 2013

The United World people will not leave me alone. They have all but demanded that I turn over my home and its operations to them. Meanwhile the New World Church came by again today and told me that if I joined their cause I could be exempt from battle for only a small tithing of a third of what this secured farm produces and in return they would protect me from United World. It is as if there are honey badgers and cobras trying to poison me so that they can fight each other to the death over my remains. I cannot stand either of them and I would far rather die defending myself against them than living as their slaves. If things go they way they have been I will probably have to do that very soon.


The Silver Lining
Issue #4 July 2013

Back on Track?

With all of the assurance by scientists that the solar storms seem to be slowing down everyone seems to be talking about things going back to normal. So what does normal mean? Will we revive technology only for the ruling elite and religious fanatics to use it as a weapon for dominance? That was certainly normal before the storms. Will we congest the planet with so much technology that it threatens to smother the life out of it? That was also normal before the storms. Will we use it to generate enough wealth to secure the lives and liberties of all human beings and yet let this wealth be hoarded by only a small percent of the population? Again, normal before.

We do not need to restore normality. Normality was a bigger threat than the storms. Before we march ahead back to technology and unchecked ‘progress’ we need to foster a world where we can co-exist with technology rather than become reliant on it and have it be used against us by the select few who hail its usage as they use it against us.

We suggest that rather than getting back on track or restoring normality that we build new tracks and create abnormality. Nature is a chaotic system. The more we allow for chaos in our own human systems the more flexible it will be towards nature. Normality is rigid and does not allow for the unknown. It lives off of fear and force and limits us in our lives and evolution. Abnormality is limitless. Because it has no limits it is able to anticipate and respond to chaos rather than expend itself in Sisyphean efforts to counter it.

When you hear somebody give praise to getting back on track, remind them that this ultimately means getting back up to the old tricks. The same ones made it nearly impossible for humans to survive a natural event that we already knew was coming but refused to acknowledge because it didn’t fit on our tracks.


A Love Letter
August 10, 2013

Dear Jenna,

Before the storm I was so alone. I hid from the world in the pale light of a monitor. I never knew risk or sacrifice. I never knew love. Ever since you found me cowering in that basement when your raiding party broke into my parents house I knew I loved you. Even at first when you you claimed me as a slave I could tell by the way that you looked at me that you were my soul mate. I was obedient because I knew in time that you would know it, too, and in time you did. I do not care that the child growing in your womb is not, could not be, mine. Ours. It will be ours. We will raise it together and together the three of us will roam this changed world taking what we need to survive and answering to none but ourselves. My life was nothing before the change. My life was not even a life before I met you, it was slavery to my fear and self-doubt. Through your love I am no longer afraid and no longer in doubt of anything. As far as I am concerned the rules were all erased when the sun rained on that parade. Yet even if some insist they still exist I am happy to be your partner in crime against them. Our love is stronger than any rules and I would rather die next to you tomorrow raiding wealthy survivalists than live a day without you as one of them. Forever or until whenever…

Love,
Sabitha


Blog Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

August 22, 2013

Today the United World made its first formal threat against me. It insisted that it had the authority to search my property for ‘illegal drugs’. There were five men. They tried to be civil at first but soon fell into the drunken power stupor of those used to getting their way and became threatening. All five are dead now just outside the gates. I didn’t think they warranted a proper burial as they seem to have lost their humanity long ago. Also, I thought it might serve as a warning to others that come. And they will. I probably will not live much longer. That is a shame. I have come to enjoy this new world quite immensely. Especially since I harvested my ‘illegal drugs’ a few weeks back. I have already left instructions with the others from The Silver Lining how to carry on after I die. Now all that is left to do is sit back and relax and wait to fuck some shit up when they won’t let me do that any longer. Oh yeah, was able to turn the computer on today but all I could do was play solitaire on it. Lost. Doesn’t seem so fun now that life itself has become an extraordinarily solitary affair. Try again, world. Try again.

Spontaneous Teleportation

spontaneous teleportation

They are calling it ‘spontaneous teleportation’. One moment you are sitting on a couch watching them talk about it on the news and the next moment you are three feet to your left melded into the wall. If you are lucky it will have disrupted a major organ and you will die instantly. If you are not so lucky it will just be your hips and pelvis and a leg as they try to separate you amidst the terrifying howling you emit while enduring the most awful pain ever known to man. Then, most likely, you will still die. If you ask me, they could have picked a more suitable name.

Nobody knows what the cause is. Or how to prevent it. It is completely random, or so it seems. The politicians say that they have ordered all of the top scientists to investigate but I bet at least half of them are still developing boner pills and exotic weapons of mass destruction. That is, the scientists, not the politicians. The politicians couldn’t develop a cold in an arctic daycare. I have just a bit more trust and enthusiasm for the scientists. I didn’t like the old gods and I sure as hell do not like the new ones.

I went to see my friend Jeff yesterday. He was standing in his backyard on stilts. I began to immediately laugh but he got upset and told me that I was the fool. I tossed him a beer and the poor sucker just about fell trying to catch it. I must admit he is getting pretty good at using those stilts. He says that he is hoping they become so second nature that he will be able to sleep on them shortly. I ask him what would happen if he were suddenly teleported three feet straight down. He says that it is unlikely but that he thinks this is his best chance. At least he is not a hanger, he tells me.

In order to avoid death by spontaneous teleportation many people have taken to spending most of their time hanging in harnesses. Since the furthest anyone has been relocated by this mysterious force is about five feet from where they started it is easy enough to find a large room or a tree that can put you five feet away from any other solid object. Except the harness itself. Only one person so far has managed to teleport a few inches directly into their harness. I asked Jeff if that was irony but he said the harnesses are usually made from nylon. Either he cannot hear me very well up there or all of this has not ruined his appalling sense of humor.

The religious folk have split into two camps. Some are calling this Gods retribution for the sins of man and the other half are blaming the scientists. Outside of the Hadron Collider facility on the news it looks like one of those old Frankenstein movies where an angry mob with weapons and torches has gathered. The scientists working there were the first people to speculate that their research had caused the phenomena. They shut down their massive gadget but it seems the angry villagers will not be pleased until there is blood. Then right there in front of the news camera one of the mob teleports right into another one. They are a nasty mangled mess of mixed flesh like something out of a Bill Plympton cartoon. I start to laugh but then I remember these are real people with people who love them and that what I have witnessed is tragedy. Then the mob react by accelerating their hatred tenfold and I decide it was probably okay to laugh.

My ex-girlfriend calls me to tell me that she teleported three feet up and to the right into empty space yesterday and was just fine after. I am not sure whether to believe her or to chalk this up to her constant need for attention. I tell her it is a shame she wasn’t teleported onto a running treadmill and she hangs up on me. If she was telling the truth her story would not be unique. Most of the spontaneous teleportations have been harmless relocation’s into empty space. The people who have experienced them were very vocal at first and some of them got paid quite handsomely to talk about it on television. However, once the word got around that the scientists investigating this were collecting these people to ‘examine’ them, most of them have kept shut about it.

First let me say that I am not a scientist. That should have been my first clue to leave things alone. What do you call somebody with an inordinate amount of curiosity but no skill set to engage it through? I am one of those. Mostly, though, I was just bored and lonely. I met a girl on the internet I really wanted to meet in person. I also had friends all over the country I would have liked to spend more time with. When I started having the dreams I disregarded them as just dreams. Before long they seemed to be more than just recurring dreams. They were persistent. I could not close my eyes without them immediately starting. Eventually I began to write down the bits that I could remember and little by little I had created myself a set of instructions.

It took me almost a year to build the contraption. I had to learn all kinds of skills I had not possessed before. I was about as adept with a soldering iron in the beginning as Stephen Hawking is with Jeff’s stilts. Little by little it came together, though. You would probably think that it would look like a phone booth designed by HR Geiger, but it was closer to a large bathroom scale attached to a much larger cube by tubes of wires. I did, however, take some time to paint racing flames on it before I was finished. Just because I am crazy enough to spend a year building a device I foresaw in my dreams doesn’t mean I have no sense of humor or style.

The hardest part about teleporting is calculating a set of coordinates much more difficult than compass readings. The movement of the earth as it rotates and spins around the sun means that everything is constantly in motion and must be accounted for. Remember how I said that I was not a scientist? Well I am even less of a mathematician and my first inclination was that it was my poor math that caused this whole debacle.

When I was certain that I had finished my teleportation device beyond all doubts, I decided to test it out. Knowing the number of ways it could go wrong I decided to first try teleporting a mouse I caught while it had been nibbling on one of the wire tubes. (Would the mouse have thought this was irony? I don’t know but I know he wouldn’t have had a dumb ass reply like Jeff.) I was going to teleport the mouse three feet to its left into a small empty aquarium. If he survived I would name him Goldblum and feed him only the finest American cheese. He did not, in fact survive. Instead a moment after flipping the activation switch the mouse reappeared with just his head sticking out of the bottom of the aquarium. I could see part of his body in the small gap below and the rest must have melded into the concrete floor. I immediately realized that I had not succeeded and that all of my life I had underestimated the vocal capacity of mice.

I shut the machine off and sat groaning with my head in my hands. Fucking math. I was so frustrated that I decided to give up for the day and headed over to Jeff’s with a six pack. We sat drinking all afternoon but decided that we needed to pick up the pace. Jeff and I had created a drinking game that could be played with the news so we tuned into the ten o’clock and put our drinking faces on. That is when we first heard of the phenomena. Already about a hundred cases worldwide had been reported since earlier today. You know how sometimes you just know you set off a global catastrophe that may have doomed your species to extinction? That’s exactly how I felt right then.

Pretending to be too drunk to drink anymore I excused myself with a few words and a belch/fart combo that left Jeff laughing so hard he vomited, although he would later claim it was the smell. As soon as I got home I began trying to sober up by eating a large meal and chasing coffee after coffee with glasses of water. I began to go over my math but I could find nothing wrong in it whatsoever, so I looked at the plans. That is when I noticed what I should have before my earlier mousecapades. The teleportation device was specifically programmed to transfer the information contained in human genetics. Because all mammals had nearly the same basic genetic code the mouse was able to be teleported, but not to the specifications. And besides that, something else had definitely gone wrong. I began to disassemble the device. What took me a full year to build took me only that one night to completely destroy. No two pieces were still connected and most of those had been smashed or thrashed into many smaller pieces themselves.

The next morning I turned on the news. The phenomena was still occurring and every government in the world had declared an emergency. Shit had connected hard with the proverbial fan. Rather than worrying about being teleported into a mailbox or my toilet I became extremely paranoid that I would get caught. I burned the plans and removed all evidence from my house carefully so as not to arouse suspicion. The one thing I had going for me was that I had not mentioned to anybody what I had been doing for the past year, less they thought I was crazy. Or crazier than usual. I sure as fuck was not going to say anything now.

I went inside to get Jeff and I another beer. Just to fuck with him I threw his three feet to his left so he wouldn’t be able to catch it because I can be kind of a dick when I am awake. At that very same moment Jeff reappeared three feet to his left and then fell to the ground with a thud and a can of Hamms embedded halfway in his skull. He must have died instantly. One time when we were drinking along with the news we saw a story about a man who had been cleaning up after hours at a brewery when a large vat burst open and the force of the fermenting liquid crushed him against a wall, killing him instantly. After downing the rest of our beers we both agreed that when it was our time to go we hoped our deaths would be beer-related.

Well, Jeff, do I chalk your death up to irony? Or would you have insisted that the can was, in fact, aluminum?