In the apocalypse, ditch the survival guides and grab your Sci-Fi Novels!

Below is a very interesting post from BBC.com about what to eat after an asteroid impact. (click on image below).

Artist concept of an asteroid impact. Credit: Shuttertstock / solarsevenPhoto: Shuttertstock / solarseven

When you think about it, Do you recall ever coming across a scenario of an asteroid in any survival guide? So the next best thing would be to grab your SciFi novels that do. Some of these I have read, others look intriguing for survival. If you have a favorite, let me know so I can update this list.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Martian by Andy Weir

Shipwreck by Charles Logan

The Moon Is Hell by John W. Campbell

The Eutrophication of LinkedIn

Images from : http://www.aquaclearwatermanagement.com/gallery_before_and_after.php

Eutrophication is a natural and biological process in which a healthy body of water becomes so saturated by nutrients and organic matter, the byproducts of that process rain down in the form of sediment, layering the bottom and eventually leading to the anaerobic death of that body of water.  It is a slow and natural process but can be accelerated by human-injected pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus from over fertilization as well as sewage leaking into that body of water.

I have witnessed the same effect on social media throughout my career as both a Marine Biologist and Information Technologist.   In the early 80’s, prior to the public Internet, there was something called ‘news’, which was the predecessor to Twitter: a limited space in which to post/receive content via dial-up connections–– and those corporate and educational connections cost $10K/month.  Due to the high costs, there was no waste and content was rich with information–– a body of clean, sparkling water.  When the public Internet came into being (mid-to-late-90’s), the advent of social media was explosive.  Humanity was on track to establishing a neural network of shared knowledge.  But this was not going to be a natural form of eutrophication.   Soon after, images of cats started appearing by the masses (i.e. nitrogen and phosphorus).  Funny at first, those images eventually paved the way for idiocracy (sewage) and all the good was being buried beneath the sediment of that idiocracy.

LinkedIn, which first started as a digital Rolodex, has slowly evolved into an intellectual knowledge-base, possibly by the aiding of Google shutting down G+, which at the time was a fairly healthy body of water, and that body of water has spilled into LinkedIn. LinkedIn seems to be, for the most part, still a healthy body of water, unlike: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, TikTok, SnapChat and others which are nearing 90-100% Eutrophication.  But it might only be a matter of time for LinkedIn, because there are signs of seepage (selfies, pets, etc.). If you are not learning something from the post, it just might not belong there.

A.I. – The Price Of Immortality

Excellent collection of thoughts by Elon Musk.  My favorite concept of this video is that humanity is merely the boot-loader for AI. As a former coder, I can visualize this process and why I felt Elon’s concern here, because once that boot-leader sets the stage for the OS and the OS takes over, the boot loader is cast aside. However, there is a silver side to this dark cloud. If AI frees us from our ‘container ships ‘ [The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins] and we swap out our DNA for a faster coding engine, then AI is indeed an evolution of humanity, allowing humanity to travel to the stars at the speed of light–– without flesh or body. But, evolution is nothing more than a series of mutations and not all mutations are beneficial.; AI is the price one might pay for immortality.

Regardless of the outcome, it does make for excellent writing material and why I believe Science Fiction waits for fact to catch up to it.

When paper catches fire: 451 F

You need to read the plaques, study the artists of the statues they created. Go to the memorials and place yourself in their shoes, of their time and read the accounts, in books, of history— the good and the bad— not go all out Fahrenheit 451 on them. Everything is cyclic and you will repeat the mistakes of all those who created history so you would not. Pick your head up from the glass and stop the great brainwash.

Do you get nightmares from your writing?

As I’m writing several novels at once (probably not a good idea), there is one in particular (HUM) giving me nightmares. I think I can speak for most writers in that we become so immersed in the writing it feels as though we are there. In my case, dreamtime is an opportunity to play out the plot, sometimes shocked to awakenedness if there was such a word. I have been long imprinted by the movie Alien (original), knowing it took some unbelievable writing to make something so terrifyingly beautiful. The art of Alien can be attributed to less graphic violence–– very Hitchcockian–– and preying upon a person’s inner fears, not to mention the protagonists you thought were protagonists die off one-by-one leaving Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) a rising star. But the real star of Alien is the alien itself: No backstory, no speaking parts and a relentless pursuit without pause or remorse. Think about the plots of most Hollywood movies where the antagonist gets the protagonist tied up in a chair at gunpoint and pauses to tell the protagonist their entire remorseful story giving the protagonist time to untie the knots and turn the table.

My first novella, NOVEMBER SEED, was an experiment to try out this Alien-like genre, but with a twist. It was very successful and gave me the courage to try and surpass Alien in Alienees, but with a comedic twist, in my current work in progress, HUM. So far so good, but the nightmares (moaning and leg twitching) are keeping my wife awake while I dream on, editing the plot. LOL.

HUM (synopsis)

Saul Sicola had been a successful nuclear physicist at the Los Alamos Labs in New Mexico, up until he was caught stealing some nuclear fuel for a DYI project to stop scorpions from entering his home.  

Jobless, ghosted, and landing on Homeland Security’s federal watch list, most days Saul is playing bad golf or sitting at his assigned stool in his favorite bar.  His life is uncomplicated, every day the same as the day before, until a bar fly convinces Saul to follow him to a nearby cave where he thinks he has discovered a new species of bat.  The horror of what the barfly had discovered was not of this world and the super-organism amassed on the cave wall is without pause or conscience.  When Saul discovers how the organism arrived on Earth, he also discovers they are a beacon for more to follow. 

With no one taking him seriously, he sets out to save the world… but only after trying to save his name.  To carry out his crazy plan, one that will surely attract the attention of Homeland Security, Saul will  require the help of an unlikely duo:  an alluring and peculiar girl on a watchlist of her own and his therapist, who just happens to be his Ex.

That said, I stumbled across a 2022 trailer of a movie I have not heard nor have I seen, It looks promising, but do I need more nightmares: (Crimes Of The Future). Disturbing enough that you need to be redirected to Youtube due to it’s graphic nature and age-related rating. My feeling of movies like this is that the graphic nature is a distraction for a weak plot.

Long Live the Nautilus

Specialization leads to extinction; it is the governing law behind evolution and why some last longer than others. Applied to social media, idiocracy is the accelerant for which sites like TikTok, Facebook/Meta, Instagram and Twitter will submerge. Long live the Nautilus.

Manuae, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LUCY, I’m home!

We interrupt this program to bring you breaking news:

The LUCY mission is named after the fossilized skeleton of pre-human ancestry, which gave us a breakthrough understanding of our own human origin. The LUCY mission will do the same, giving us a much greater understanding of the formation of planets in our own solar system. When you see what this mission entails, it is truly magnificent that humans can think through the complications of this flight plan and execute it. Everything else in the news is a distraction to lower us to the least common denominator— to become complacent and ignorant. If every citizen would watch and understand this endeavor, converse with others, become curious and work together to question our surroundings and question our own existence…. well …. our government and its media arm do not want you to think this way.

Now back to our regular programming: Depp-Amber Trial……

The Department of Homeland Security’s creation of a Disinformation Governance Board?

I find it ironic that George Orwell–– a self proclaimed Democratic Socialist–– warned us about this. In his dystopian Sci-Fi novel, 1984 (written in 1949). He warns us about totalitarianism, mass surveillance, perpetual war, suppression of free speech, historical negotiation (also known as denialism, which is the falsification of facts and distortion of historical record! If that does not ring a bell with you then I’m afraid 2 + 2 =5

Why Am I Here?

Have you ever asked anyone: “At what point did you recognize yourself as an adult?” I think the answer to that question, at least for me, was when I asked myself, “Am I really here? In the universe, on this tiny fragile little spec, sitting at a table, eating cereal?” I mean, in that moment my mind expanded tenfold. That I could contemplate the existence of myself—but why was I here, why?”

For decades I tried to figure this out on my own, focusing on science in school, understanding the ecology of life and the mechanics of space time, holding a career in information technologies. But it wasn’t until I started writing science fiction that I figured it out. Like anything, if you want to get good at something you need to practice it, over and over. Writing science fiction is that practice— it forced me to think in the future tense— leaning into that part of the brain of extrapolation. Something that separates humanity from every other living object on this planet. It is the reason we invent tools because we see a need to invent something to get something greater in return.

Back to my answer to a lifetime question. Why was I here?

We— human beings— are tools for the universe asking the same question, we give consciousness to the universe, for the universe to understand why it is here.