Category Archives: Scifi

The Stork Episode 9

He’s back after a much needed year and a half long vacation.
This time he’s fallen from grace and into a sea of heartbreak.

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8-Bit Zardoz Full Game Coming to Gameduino2

I have been working with James Bowman of excamera.com on a 5 level open source fully playable video game version of 8-Bit Zardoz for the Gameduino2 platform. Here is a link to the kickstarter campaign for Gameduino2.

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Cult of Regenerative Personality

Doctor Who is a cult.  Not in a Rocky Horror Picture Show way.  Although yes, it is cult in a Rocky Horror Picture Show way too.  But in a more traditional sense of the word.  The general definition of a cult is a group of people “bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal(, etc)”.  It can, and often does, involve rituals (such as compulsively offering or eating jelly babies) and symbols (such as a blue box).  We typically imagine cults as a closed group with a strange mythos, and people are lured into the group by a charismatic leader.  Once a person is inside the guarded group different techniques are used to keep them there, including forms of mind control.  So how did this happen, right under our noses?  How did the Doctor manage to get so many helpless and beautiful young women to drink his wibbly-wobbly kool aid?

Let’s throw a link to Wikipedia in here that will help us illustrate just how he accomplished this dastardly feat.  Some of the mind control tactics used to ease victims into this exciting lifestyle of cult-dom are:   Continue reading

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The Doctor and a Dalek (Spoilers)

The first episode back in this season of Doctor Who introduced the woman who will play the next companion in the form a of Dalek who used to be human and who still thinks she IS. It seems likely that this is just a case of the show starting her off in a different role, to then be reintroduced later as someone else. They have done it before. But I really hope that is not the case. I want a Dalek as the next companion. Continue reading

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The Second Coming of Tesla

Life is complex.

We are constantly bombarded with sinful messages from all directions.  Influenced by advertisers and the incessant Joneses, we regretfully covet our neighbor’s new hot tub and jet skis.  No matter how much we try to stay pure, we can’t help but glance at the Maxim magazine in the grocery store checkout.  And as much as we’d like to avoid the all-you-can-eat buffet, not only for our waistlines but for the future of our souls, there are just so many darn birthdays to celebrate.  So what’s the modern Joe / Jane to do?

It’s easy to stay on the straight and narrow if we look to the saintly role model of Nikola Tesla.  When faced with troubles, just ask yourself : what would Tesla do? Continue reading

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The Stork The 8th

Peter Mack continues The Stork while I waist time at residencies. Check out his Etsy shop and awesome paintings.

The Second Self

What if you had a friend who knew you better than you know yourself, knew exactly what you need when or even before you need it, knew how to motivate and inspire you when you feel stuck? What if this friend was an App running inside your head, or at least the Silicene augmentation in your head? What if it recorded or even guided your dreams for better problem solving and continued your work after you went to sleep? What if you started to wonder where it ends and you begin? What if it grew up along side you as your somewhat imaginary friend, learned about you as you learned about yourself through shared experiences, and helped you along the way? What if you could set goals in your life and it would always be there to help you accomplish them and feel good about doing so. What if it helped you work and interact with other people by acting as a translator from app to app, person to person, preventing miscommunication? What if no one had to feel lonely or misunderstood ever again? What if the concept of the “self” evolved to include this Silicene construct, the way that we accept each hemisphere of the brain as being part of a singular “self”?

I know, enough of the what ifs. I want one now! Continue reading

Japanese VS American Hero Archetypes

No this isn’t about who would win in a fight between Superman and Goku. Specifically this is about a particular mainstream Japanese hero character I see over and over again in Shonen action based Anime / Manga and how it compares to mainstream American super heroes. Of course I don’t mean to say there aren’t characters on both sides that break the mold, only that the type I describe seems interestingly prevalent in modern mainstream media.

Growth Mindset
For me, the biggest difference is that Japanese super powers are based around a growth mindset. The hero must train hard to unlock his hidden potential. Even if he is the chosen one of some kind or come from another planet, it doesn’t come for free, it takes hard work. Most American super heroes were born with their powers or gained it all at once through some happenstance beyond their control. They will usually go through an awkward period of learning how their powers work, but it will be more about discovery than training.

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Do Androids Laugh at Synthetic Banana Peels?

Everyone loves robots. How can you not? With those large mechanical LED Bambi eyes and cuddly exterior, it’s difficult not to feel a deep rooted protective love of our cyber friends.

Robotics has come a long way baby. We live in a world where robots are a part of our everyday lives. They make the gadgets we use and entertain adults and children alike. What we hope for advancement in (or secretly fear) are androids, robots created to seem “human” in the looks or actions. The progress is almost startling when considering robots like Asimo, or even simple chat programs like Cleverbot, the disturbing lovechild of a programmer and a perfect example of robot learning, gathering information from thousands of individual human interactions.

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Post Humans Hate Scifi

By that I really mean, they will hate the science fiction of today. In all likelihood a passive experience like a movie or TV show will be of no interest to them at all. But lets just say it is still relevant, or at least it can be converted into a new entertaining format for super humans. In this case I think the new humans would only be able to, at best, muster some amount of historical appreciation. At worst, they may find it quite stupid and insulting, assuming post humans are capable of being insulted.

It seems to me that most science fiction stories are cautionary tales. They are so often about the failure of scientific advancements to account for the human spirit. I touched on this in an older post. Scifi today has to appeal to the emotions of people today. Continue reading

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