My Whole Earth Existential Crisis

Could it be that those in power are so dead set against fighting climate change because they know it’s already too late, and the worst case scenario (far worse than most people can imagine) is inevitable?

Weird that I have come to this conclusion as I’m usually an optimist, but it makes sense.

If faced with an inevitable 90 to 97% population die-off, what do you do? Whip all the doomed people into a panic?

Hell no.

Placate them. Keep them distracted. Make sure they’re paying more attention to political correctness and social justice and minor temper-tantrum riots than the fact that most everyone will starve, die of disease, suffocate, or kill each other within the next 100 years.

Why?

So the upper 1% can very quietly plan and fortify their long term high-tech habitats away from prying eyes. Because they know.

They fucking know.

Some, particularly the high-tech Googly-eyed elite, may have already come to the conclusion that there will be NO survivors. None. Zip. Humanity vanished. And that’s the real reason they are working so hard on developing Artificial Intelligence and self-replicating machines, because they see sentient robots as our surviving children.

This is all just speculation, mind you. Maybe it’s best you don’t believe it. In fact, it is far better that you think it’s all bullshit. Because, really, there’s no point in believing it.

If it’s all true, there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. It’s already too far gone.

Have a beer. Play some Zelda. Kiss someone with all your passion. Enjoy things while you can.

Don’t worry about it.

 

Windows 10 Tablet Finally Useable

Last year, when I was in California for my eldest daughter‘s graduation, I gave her my older camera and my Microsoft Surface 3, then bought a cheap little Digiland Windows 10 tablet for testing.

The thing was pretty much useless, so I barely ever turned it on. I only did so to test a website on the Microsoft Edge browser.

Last Friday I was doing some testing and realized I hadn’t done any Windows updates on it since September 2016, so I brought it home to run updates.
It took it from Friday evening to Sunday morning to finally get all the updates installed.

But the improvements Microsoft has made in Windows 10 tablet mode has sped the little machine up and made it far more useful. I actually enjoyed playing with it this morning.

I only spent $99 on it, and it’s a full blown little Windows machine.

I’m happy to say that Windows 10 is usable now. Too bad it took them this long to finally get it working.

[I wrote and posted this via this little Windows tablet.]

Exploring the Virtually Infinite Universe of No Man’s Sky


This once highly anticipated game has become a something one either loves or hates. I love it, because there are over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique planets to explore. Also, you can play it like real life, as in … there’s no actual point to the game. It’s like actual exploration, you do it simply for the joy and wonder of discovery.

It’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for someone who’s always daydreamed of exploring other worlds.

Here’s my problem: video games like this (and more are coming out this year) completely sate my imagination for exploring other worlds, and thus, I end up not feeling compelled to write space-faring science fiction.

But, really, I’ve been struggling with motivation to continue writing ever since I finished the as-yet-unpublished “Forever and For Always.” All my creative energy is being directed to other things. Like … video. About video games.

The The Impotence of Proofreading

Missed The Boat

The two main characters in my new novel-in-progress are about to find out they missed the boat, literally. The Titanic sailed without them. Now their adventure is about to really begin.

Arriving at 1984 from the Opposite Side

Political correctness started out as a good idea, but went bad in a very big way. Leave it to John Cleese to express this perfectly.

Evidence that Life Began Before Earth: Good Fuel for Science Fiction

Now, before you get too excited, there are plenty of arguments that this is wrong — but for the sake of Science Fiction let’s suspend any disbelief and take this paper by Alexei Sharov and Richard Gordon at face value.

Here’s the idea: if you apply Moore’s Law to the demonstrated exponential rise in genetic complexity over time, it suggests that life as we know it formed roughly ten billion years ago. This is significant as the current estimated age of Earth is only 4.5 billion years.

Origin of Life(Graph borrowed from MIT Technology Review)

This suggests all sorts of intriguing possibilities. For one, in this scenario, Panspermia is a foregone conclusion. Life did not form on Earth.

Sure this is not a new idea, but now Science Fiction as a genre has some numbers to play with. One of them is the possibility that in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, we’re not the backwards baby intelligence in a galaxy teeming with far more advanced races. We could very well be the ipso facto advanced intelligent race.

How so?

Consider this: We’ve always assumed that it takes at least 4.5 billion years for an intelligent race to develop. Now there’s evidence it might take as long as 10 billion years. Sure, we are leaving out a lot of factors, such as asteroid strikes and other mass extinction events – that you’d think would throw off the time table – but we’re not looking at that kind of physical history. We’re looking at the uniform rise in complexity of genetic material. Information. The assumption is that it somehow endures through these disasters and continues progress. After all, it somehow migrated through interstellar space through untold and unimaginable disasters – possibly the destruction and reformation of solar systems – to take root on this pretty little blue orb of ours.

And so, this theory argues, thus explains the Fermi Paradox: We’re not hearing from any other intelligent species because they’re either close to, or behind, our own sophistication. That’s why we’re not being invaded by bug-eyed-monsters, or grey hive space aliens, or multi-trunked Pachyderms from Alpha Centari. If anything, we’d be the invaders, a la James Cameron’s Avatar.

But beyond that lies the really intriguing questions:

  • Where, exactly, did life begin roughly 10 billion years ago?
  • Was it localized, as in a star that existed, and then perished, and the material reformed to become our current star and set of planets?
  • Is it spread through our entire galaxy, which means it permeates space and seeds all other hospitable environments such as Earth?
  • Are there other, wholly other alien forms of DNA-like substances which formed in a different time and frame, and that seeds other sections of the galaxy?

The premise leads to endless conjecture – which is fuel for good Science Fiction – but more importantly it gives a more solid jumping off point, as – despite the inconclusive and tenuous evidence – it’s really the best we have right now. It’s something, other than nothing. Because before this paper came out, that what there was: nothing. Wide open nothing.

This gives us something to test. Now, if we do finally find conclusive samples of life beyond planet Earth, we can see if it fits this model.

That’s what science is about.

And that is the best fuel for good Science Fiction.

Sources:

Life Before Earth, Alexei A. Sharov & Richard Gordon

Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life, MIT Technology Review

XKCD Discussion Forum (lots of dissenting views)