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.

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, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Mosquitos biting through my genes

With guidance and permission from the EPA, The Biotech firm, Oxitec, has released a mosquito into the Florida Keys carrying genetically modified genes. Now the state of CA has given approval to do the same. 

There is no doubt that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are carriers to diseases such as: Fellow Fever, Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, to name a few. So putting an end to those diseases would be good for humankind, right?

On paper is works like this: The modified genes are loaded into the male species, which carry the lethal cargo that kills female progeny in early larval stages. As more females die, the Aedes aegypti population should dwindle. That’s the deal and it worked well in a lab.

But released into the wild, Barry Commoner’s first law of Ecology comes into play: Everything is connected to everything else. A set of laws that guide my life and what made me such a good diagnostician in the field of Informational Technologies–– knowing that if I mucked with something, its effect would be felt somewhere else.

So what’s the worse that can happen?


Chapter One:

I was scratching away at a mosquito bite, leaning against the dock railing looking down into the turquoise waters at the confused tarpon swimming upside down, tricked by the submerged floodlights shining up from below. A friend had invited me to this swanky party along the mangroves, one of her clients, and we were deep into a conversation about the state of idiocracy in this country, when she noticed I was bleeding and lifted my palm to see the tips of my fingers wet with blood and my forearm bearing tiny rivulets of the same.  

“My God! You’re bleeding,” she said straightening up.

“I must have scratched a mosquito bite a little too hard,” I replied. Offering me her cocktail napkin, embarrassed, I said I would be fine and placed my thumb at the bite. She gave me a sideways look and dabbed away as I tried to pick up where we left off, but I could tell she wasn’t listening, her eyes darting towards my arm.  Removing my thumb she placed the napkin over the bite but it soaked through relatively quickly.

A nearby server offering an appetizer of wasabi glazed Tuna, was startled to see my forearm tattooed with blood as he nervously handed us a wad of napkins, asking if he needed to call for help. I too quickly thanked him and said it was just a mosquito bite that I had scratched a little too hard and laughed it off.  Skeptical but satisfied he moved on. We placed several napkins over the bite but I could feel the adrenaline pumping beneath and the warming of blood seeping up through the tissues.   My friend insisted we head towards the house to ask the host for some bandages and a bathroom to dress this properly.  Her advice sounded like a good idea at this point, so I held my palm firmly against the bite; not believing it got this far this quickly.  As we walked, I could feel the blood slipping around the gasket of my hold— this is crazy— blood now dripping onto my designer jeans and powder blue sneakers, leaving a trail of dark red beads in the shaved Bermuda grass. We heard a scream behind us, followed by a shout that someone needs to call 911.  Glancing over our shoulders, we could see a body slumped onto the dock with several guests gathered around, some backing away and holding their hands to their mouth.  We looked down to my arm then back at each other–– fear in her eyes and panic in my own (TBC).

A War of 1’s and 0’s

The war Russia has brought to the Ukraine is everything horrific about war–– that one person’s life lost is one too many. War is sorrow and fear, the roar of jet-craft overhead, the sound of explosions from artillery and missiles heard everywhere.

But as wars evolve they seem to be more contained, with fewer deaths–– a side-effect of technology.

Hardly mentioned is what is going on, silently over the internet. Here is an article that begins to reveal what is happening at the 1’s and 0’s. Take out communications and you stop a modern war in it’s tracks.

With Anonymous declaring war on Russia, this is becoming very real that future wars just might be silent. How will victory be claimed? It reminds me of the Star Trek episode (#023), “A Taste Of Armageddon;” A war between two planets that on one hand removes the horrors and destruction of war but those victims of computer simulation are required to report to their nearest disintegration chambers, of which they obediently do.

We are an aggressive species, seemingly comfortable walking that fine line of both survival and extinction.

The novel I have been working on (Silversides) is based upon the fact that we, as humans, seen to depict extraterrestrial contact as an invasion; a nightmare for us all. I truly believe it is because we are in denial–– that we can’t help ourselves, that to look in the mirror we see who we are as a species–– we are those extraterrestrials–– someone else’s nightmare.

I have little doubt the UFO sightings we are seeing are real, but they are just monitoring agents, making sure we don’t leave home.

“Science Fiction is fact that just hasn’t happened, yet.”

I’m Living In Fiction

if I had told myself, back when I was in my early teens (pre everything) that I would one day be able to step outside my back door and look up to see a space launch on a weekly basis–– yeah… I would believe it, because I was such a SciFi geek then and now–– but I would not know how much of a thrill I would feel each and every launch. The cool thing is hearing the rumble almost 10 minutes later. I never get tired of this

I’m looking forward to next week’s, Atlas V 541 Launch on March 1st @ 4:32 PM.

#elonmusk SpaceX #scifi #NASA

This morning’s SpaceX Launch (02.21.22 @ 9:42 AM)

The Metaverse is my little oyster?

And so it begins… again. After reading Neal Stephenson’s, “Snow Crash“, (pre internet), the 1992 Sci-Fi that coined the Metaverse–– I had such hope for virtual online tech. I was thrilled when arrived and the creators (Linden Labs) stated using Snow Crash as their blueprint. In the beginning it was very much like the novel: mind-bendingly awesome, explosive, brilliant, and inventive. But as I observed its stages of Eutrophication over the years, it eventually became Hypereutrophic and a cesspool for porn.

With Playboy wanting to build a virtual mansion on Meta, and seeing the current level of sophistication of what Facebook allows today, it is easy to extrapolate that what became of SecondLife will be the same for Meta. But heck… Porn is the oldest industry and was the first industry to profit on the world wide web.

However, I do not see this happening to Eve Online, an MMO–– the likes of which you have never seen.

#meta #eveonline #future

I don’t see this happening to Eve Online, an MMO the likes you have never seen.

#meta #eveonline #future

The Pandemic is child’s play compared to this….

Q: Solar flare is to CME:

A: As dog is to cat.

B. As muzzle flash is to cannonball.

C. As bow is to arrow.

ANSWER: B – Muzzle flash is to cannonball.

I don’t ever recall seeing this question on my SAT, but, like it or not, we, and I mean our brother and sister planets, have been playing a game of galactic roulette for billions of years. The sun, our keeper, our destroyer, fires off FLARES & CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS (CME) constantly, but we (Earth) are not the easiest target to hit. The farther away the planet is to the sun, the harder the target is to hit. Of the two, the CME is the one to worry about. These CMEs can shoot off from the sun’s surface in any direction, but hitting us directly s like shooting at clay pigeons with a blindfold on.

Maybe not knowing what is heading our way is bliss, but if you have an inquiring mind, here are some tools to get you informed.

First, sign up on a good space weather app to get alerts. I chose to use NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. A typical alert looks like this: (see below: This was from Nov. 4th, 2021… now, as of this writing). This is a G3, K-index of 7….. considered strong and likely to disrupt HF radio and some navigation. The lucky ones might be able to see an Aurora

Aurora may be seen as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.


To aid you in what the K-index, NOAA Scale and horizontal Geomagnetic latitude are: use these charts:

Was Mars an unlucky clay pigeon? Maybe one day we will find out.