Maybe we need to look at fighting viruses and cancer in a different way. I am neither a virologist or oncologist—heck, I didn’t even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but it appears to me the strategy in fighting these aliens seems to focus on blocking the payloads from entering and infecting healthy cells.  That makes sense.

The image is what is called a Necker Cube– an optical illusion, devised by Swiss crystallographer Lewis Albert Necker (10 April 1786 – 20 November 1861). If you stare at this cube, it may appear in one instant as having a front surface pointing toward the upper right and in a flash may appear that the front surface is pointing to the lower left– both images absolutely correct.

When I first came upon this concept back in the late ‘70s, I drafted it into a personal directive; that every problem has at least two correct solutions. This simple directive led to my ability as a problem solver.  My expertise was in enterprise monitoring of networks, routers, switches, servers and applications.  The motto most adopted was to be proactive.  The Necker cube approach led me to realize there is no such a thing as being proactive (prediction based). For example: I could never predict that ConEd might dig up the sidewalk outside our data center and accidentally cut through some fiber, severing the path between resource and use.  My approach was to hope to react faster than the effects of that cut fiber being felt by those using the resources now off-line. Without getting into the minutiae of lots of coding to interpret SNMP remote monitoring agents and what was going on in the OSI protocol stack, the model I adopted was much more scalable than trying to predict every possible disaster and then drafting into place a disaster recovery plan for each disaster–– which is like chasing lighting and becomes dated the minute it is put into place.

So applying the Necker Cube approach for treating viruses and cancers, think about what the purpose is of viruses and cancers for a minute.  One view might be that their purpose is to replicate; to pass on the genetic code of their blueprint, uncaring of the detrimental effects to the host; the pure selfishness of replication and being perfect at doing so. 

So applying the Necker Cube approach, a novel one indeed, one might be to give the virus or cancer what it needs: a healthy medium in which to replicate.  Feed it instead of trying to starve it.  How this might be done is surely not my expertise, but maybe some free floating magnetic nano cells that hold up a welcome sign and when there remains no more vacancy in these nano-cells, they are herded out of the host and a fresh set of nano-cells are introduced.

  • It’s why I write Sci-Fi and so far from what I have seen, Science Fiction is waiting for fact to catch up to it…. “And fact waits for regulation,” as someone (@EduGonzalezL) on my twitter stream once cleverly replied.

Panopticon? It’s greek to me…..

When Apple’s new corporate HQ was proposed, a slight smirk had spread across my face. While some saw this as a design enhancing hippodrome of collaboration within nature–– I mean, Steve Jobs! Who wouldn’t want to work in this environment–– all I could muster was a slight shaking of my head the way a parent does when their child is trying something they think is new but they are not prepared for the consequences of its failure

The idea of a circular, donut shaped, building is not cutting edge and has its cons (literally).

Build yourself a Panopticon, get yourself a flute and they will follow you like the children of Hamelin. The word ‘penopticon is derived from the Greek word, ALL SEEING. But the story gets much more interesting. In 1785, Jeremy Bentham (founder of utilatarianism) traveled to Russia to visit his brother and stayed for a couple of years, sketching out the ideas of a panopticon, based upon his brother’s observations that applying constant observation to workers in prison, might bring those workers in line with the rules (better behavior). Returning to London, Bentham, along with his brother, began to apply their theories of a panopticon and put forth proposals for a new building design (donut shaped) as well as drafting out a complete penal code.

The fundamental design of a Panopticon is the idea of a circular building with a central tower offering very small windows with 360º views of each cell (office). This would have the affect of the prisoners not sure who might be watching them at any given time and therefore, would fall into line with the rules of the prison. Bentham also felt that his design could be applied to asylums, factories, hospitals, and schools.

Returning to the new Apple HQ design, since every office window can now be seen by every other window, workers will never be sure just who might be watching them.

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……