Sunday, April 7, 2024

The 2024 Total Eclipse, A Celebration of Awe

Luna Has Her Eyes on Sol One Week Before the 2024 Eclipse (Marineland, FL)

Tomorrow the moon will pass in front of the Sun for two hours. Millions, including myself, are scrambling to get to the path of totality. I've been surprised that some have no interest at all in the eclipse, wondering what's the big deal?

How to answer such an offhand, indifferent question?  Sure, it's easy to say an eclipse is cool, but a total eclipse is quite unlike any partial eclipse experience. If you are in the path of totality and the sky is clear, you will experience a strange twilight. The Sun's atmosphere, the corona, will be on display. And nature will experience a bit of a jump scare, as the reliable solar entity we take for granted too often, will be obscured. Birds tend to take flight in uncertainty, and humans will be all astir, too many probably taking selfies.

But the awe in the moment reaches well beyond the visceral experience of one. For a human we can take stock in the fact only for less than 500 years have humans generally accepted that the Earth revolved around the Sun. So even though some ancient cultures had calendars that predicted solar eclipses, only very recently have we grasped the scale of what's involved. The alignment of these three bodies in space due to their orbits, tilts and sizes is quite thought provoking. Here are a couple photos to scale to reinforce this arrangement.

To Scale, The Moon's Size and Distance From the Earth

To Scale, The Sizes of Earth, Moon and Sun as well as the Moon-Earth Distance 

I hope these two images give you an appreciation for how perfectly aligned Sun, Moon, and Earth must be to have the shadow of the Moon fall on the Earth. Not pictured, the distance of the Earth from the Sun itself is gargantuan. Add to that, the knowledge that the Moon is slowly drifting away from the Earth in its orbit, and in a few million years (a small percentage of the 4,000 million year age of the Earth and Moon system) a total solar eclipse viewed from Earth will no longer be a thing. We are living in a very special time.

So a total eclipse can be a moment of world solidarity, a time to celebrate the shared universe we live in, to forget about political, financial, and existential strife that we humans create for ourselves. A total eclipse can ground us in the fact that we live in a shared foundation of reality that we can agree upon. This foundational evidence, and the astrophysics we've assembled since Copernicus, puts to shame divisive world perspectives including Flat Earth theory and every religious creation myth our ancestors came up with as first-stab, imaginative hypotheses. It also gives us as individuals a chance to walk away from social media, content streaming, fantasy novels and celebrity gossip to experience a slice of real being. 

On the other side of the total eclipse all the divisiveness and distraction is sure to return. Still, just maybe that shared moment of awe might give us as a global community an inspiration to work together in the real world toward making our planet a better place to live for all its sentient beings, amateur human astronomers included.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Christian Reflections

I was raised a Christian. At an early age I was taught biblical morality, especially that Jesus's teachings were central to living a good life. By rote, I believed he was crucified to absolve sins I inherited and those I committed during my life,big I prayed for forgiveness and believed in the Christian trinity. Further, I believed that his storied resurrection demonstrated his power over death and that believing that he was the son of the Christian god would earn me eternal life.

Then I grew up. 

At first, I discovered all the biblical miracles and creation myths obviously conflicted with reality. It was a revelation to think for myself, and I had a visceral "how could I be so gullible" reaction throughout my twenties. It felt like religion and the elders I trusted to guide me had lied to me and all of its followers.

Then I became better acquainted with biblical doctrine.  I was severely repulsed by the old testament's god-decreed violence, tolerance of slavery, killing of children and patriarchal rule. These atrocious tenets far outweighed for me any new testament nods to good samaritanism and promises of salvation. If the teachings of the bible were supposed to instill good ethics, to much of its lessons were duplicit and evil.

These contemplations opened a portal to atheism for me. But lacking belief in any of the thousand of supposed gods and goddesses was only a first step, as it simply wiped my world view clean of supernatural silliness. Now I could investigate better ethical ideas with the mind of an adult engaged, rather than of a unquestioning child mesmerized by fairy tales.

Reason led me to embrace scientific skepticism which honestly attempted to sift truth from falsehoods in the world. It led me down the mindful and kind path that ebodies secular humanism. This world view sought to build community toward doing good in the world for the simple sake of doing good without empty threats and rewards. 

As a secular humanist I developed a heartfelt compassion for all living beings. This inspired me to ratchet up my ethic by participating in selfless environmentalism, veganism, and minimalism, all while taking joy in the wonders that life offered.

In the end performing such loving acts for the world, its communities, those beings in my circle and myself taught me that an ethical life stance required continual contemplation and an openness to adjust my behavior given new information. (Thinking better to act better)

Surely, I'm imperfect at this, and my attempts to influence others to see a similar light has been rather limited. Still, if I cannot inspire others, I am joyful to be on an honest path of goodness, seeking to grow and learn at every step, and living by example.

It is hard, still I understand that people need to find their own path to attain self-actualization. Yet, sometimes people get stuck in circles on that journey because good feelings get intertwined with moral teachings, even if those lessons don't stand up to honest questioning.

And it can feel good by having faith during troubled times that a higher power is watching over us with a promise that a better life waits after death. But why not have faith in our family and communities themselves, since they are the ones there giving living support? 

I see how imagining a loving teacher like Jesus who is always there for us can be powerful. And prayers to a higher power can be a source of hope when life is a downer.

For me, it's the teaching itself which is important. "Love thy (human) neighbor" is a  good one. "Do unto others (humans) as you would have done unto yourself," has its merits too. 

Why not challenge yourself to do the most good without all the divisive and questionable baggage a hundred different religions have been spouting for millennia. You might just find that being a good person is reward in itself.

"Have compassion for all beings!"

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Rick and Morty Fanfic Episode 4: Ca-Farce-Is

I have a running Rick and Morty geocache series based in the Stuart, Florida area. This is the final entry in those cache listings. 

The original geocache listing for this story is Ca-Farce-Is

If you're a fan of the Rick and Morty you'll either appreciate or condemn my take on the series. 

If you're not a fan, the storyline might still offend you. So be it.

There is an embedded puzzle in each story, but you can ignore them unless you have a bent toward puzzle solving or geocaching. 

(apologies to the letterboxers of the world)

"Did we survive, Rick?"

"I'll bypass the obvious rant-laden comeback, Morty."

"We survived!"

"If I weren't assessing the situation, you'd be tempting my ire, Morty."

"We survived. We survived! We survived!"

"Universe assessment complete. No offense intended, but your nascent ignorance actually served as a solid calibration point in evaluating the simulation matrix that reformed around us. Thanks for that."

"Thanks? Thanks!? Let it be known to the Universe, my grandfather Rick, alleged curmudgeon, mad scientist, and supreme, anti-villain unchallenged, has expressed thankfulness to me. What joy!"

"Normally, I'd respond with a searing, multi-teared comeback, but given my assessment of Universe v42 that's not going to happen; apparently the reconstituted Universe simulation we're in is a Neartopian Nightmare."

"Wait Rick...dare I point out the oxymoronic quality of that universe label? How can the world be nearly perfect, yet nightmarish simultaneously?"

"Well, Morty, how would you describe a 21st century world where societal progress has unified global civilization into a single restorative democracy? On top of that, all religions in Universe v42 have disbanded and have embraced a Saganesque world view of scientific skepticism and spiritual naturalism. Further, minimalism, veganism and conservationism have not only stabilized all environmental cycles; they've also enabled the return of 95% of Earth biomes to native wilderness habitat. And remarkably under the guidance of enlightened AI constructs, humanity has been able to reduce its population to a sustainable 100 million while maintaining technological, artistic and explorational productivity concurrent with a happiness index of 99.7 that has lasted for decades."

"Not to be a schadenfreude party pooper, but where's the nightmare in that?"

"Well, dear Morty, simply put, the sapient denizens of the Universe v42 simulation are in harmony with this AI-tweaked Eden. They have experienced supportive families, communities, education and progressive, participatory governing for the whole of their lives."

"Okay. Soooo....still not seeing the nightmare."

"Dearest Morty, we are the square pegs in their round hole world. You see, the Universe v42 simulation will never allow us to express a single seditious slanderous iota of negativity. Sure, we'll have thriving, joyful lives here forward, in a sense, but our the very fabric of our minds will be in torment, ever frustrated from being able to act on the core essences of our beings. Additionally, because leaving this universe would itself be perceived as a negative action, we can never act on our innate desire to flee this Universe v42. To forge a metaphor, we are barbarians trapped within the gates of civilized Rome."

"I don't believe you, Rick."

"Go ahead give your best potty mouthed rant a try."


"Well put, Ovid."


"And that's it Morty. All our adventures of ingenious insanity and influential invective are once and for all, over."


(Somewhere, an omniscient Simulation programmer sits astride Universe v42 watching, while also noting a geocache in Universe v1.0 pays homage to the end of Rick and Morty's epic side quest. The cache sits at coordinates N 27° W 080° for those who can tolerate and discern pseudo-random and profane gibberish)

Friday, March 22, 2024

Rick and Morty Fanfic Episode 3: Tribus Ex Machina

I have a running Rick and Morty geocache series based in the Stuart, Florida area. My next few upcoming posts are republications of those cache listings. 

The original geocache listing for this story is Tribus Ex Machina

If you're a fan of Rick and Morty you'll either appreciate or condemn my take on the series. 

If you're not a fan, the storyline might still offend you. So be it.

There is an embedded puzzle in each story, but you can ignore them unless you have a bent toward puzzle solving or geocaching. 

(apologies to the letterboxers of the world)

"Well, you were right about one thing, Rick, there’s plenty of roadkill in the Earth v1.0 universe. We couldn’t have picked a worse place to get marooned.”

“Morty, why do you keep thinking such obvious observations will help us out of our predicaments? Yeah, sure, if this was Back to the Future 3, Doc would just put roadkill Einstein into Mr. Fusion and they’d be on their way back from a Chef Boyardee Western to their hybrid Giger-Rockwell dystopia. Which is to say,  your morbid banter is about as much help, to be blunt, as roadkill.”

“Rick, I’m tired of you getting off by insulting me!  I just figured I’d start out this episode with a subtle recap for the audience. The third entry in a trilogy always seems forced, so I simply thought I’d get one up on our competition with some sideways witticisms. You have to admit Alien III, Matrix III, Terminator III, Godfather III, even Toy Story III all have one thing in common! Trope-ological lameness!”

“Obviousness again, Morty. Still, maybe some emphasis is required for the ignorant masses that a third story is destined to run into the ground ideas that were original in the first installment and refined in the second.”

“Hold on, Rick!!! What’s to stop us from breaking the sequel pattern entirely, allowing us to literally shatter the dramatic third wall (plus one) in this triply geo-spatial episode. That wall, once demolished like a Hyperloop speculation could allow us to escape Earth version 1 point ‘this world sure does blow!’”

“Horribly constructed pun, Morty but you just might be onto something. Are you suggesting that if we take cues from this universe’s supreme twit we might get unstuck? Which is to say, ad nauseum with Muskian references, that our trilogy disrupting influence would be like supercharging the business constructs of PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and StarLink simultaneously, pushing their capitalistic profit-earning upper limits to the max and resulting in an implosion sucking billions of dollars into a financial black-hole crushing Twitter into a sphincter-style, social-media platform well deserving of the pejorative label X.”

“Rick, are you really agreeing with me? That fact alone is trope shattering. Still, if we actually manage to break this reality, don’t we run the risk of being obliterated in the process?”

“Technically our archetypal, molecular structure comes from another universe, so when this one disintegrates the underlying simulation paradigm mechanics should replicate us back into our default universe. Either way, death or departure, we get to say farewell to good ol’ Earth 1 point “end of the show!”

“Horrible, joyous pun, Rick! Still, it's hard to believe we're putting our franchise on line by relying on the simulation hypothesis being true."

“What have we got to lose, Morty?  Not as if we were collecting any royalties to begin with. Synchronize three-space geo-location to N 1000° 02.1021011 W 2222° 21.201022 with tribus encryption engaged.”

“Such three-peat obviousness!” they cackle in unison as their transport vehicle sputters with hyperspatial thrums and reality vanishes around them.

After an indefinite, perhaps even timeless moment, a robotic voice with irreverent, omnipotent tones echoes throughout the meta verse void:

"Our base is belong to us!"

"Our base is belong to us!"

"Our base is belong to us!"


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Rick and Morty Fanfic Episode 2: Point of DeSmarture

I have a running Rick and Morty geocache series based in the Stuart, Florida area. My next few upcoming posts are republications of those cache listings. 

The original geocache listing is Point of DeSmarture

If you're a fan of the Rick and Morty you'll either appreciate or condemn my take on the series. 

If you're not a fan, the storyline might still offend you. So be it.

There is an embedded puzzle in each story, but you can ignore them unless you have a bent toward puzzle solving or geocaching. 

(apologies to the letterboxers of the world)

Rick, what are we going to do?! You've marooned us in a Universe devoid of supernatural phenomena pretending to be science. 

Backhanded [urp] skeptic comment...snap! It's not so [head itch] bad Morty. We still [fart] have access to Interdimensional Cable.

How will unlimited iterations of streaming retina-candy help us, Rick? We are doomed to die on a planet where Fossil Fuel, Qanon and Canned Dead Animals reign supreme!

There there, Morty [fart]...calm down like you usually do by spanking [urp] the hamster...or you could try spouting worn out InterCable movie quotes that jump the orca [urp].

"Get your hands off me you damned, muddy ape!"

That's [fart] in the spirit [urp], Morty! Only an NRA [fart] president could have sprayed it [urp] better!

"Soylent olive is people!"

True, [urp] but according to the local [urp] wiki this world calls that snack a Slim [urp] the [urp] Meat Penises trademark, I guess!

"You take the red pill, you stay in ragnarok, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Now, now [nose pick] need to bring Norse Virtual [ear woggle] Reality Vigilanteism into this.

"No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no sighing."

Very [fart] chill words, still Morty, I [urp] cannot defy physics like a run-of-the-shill, fictional, grumpy, dwarf [urp] alien.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the elven. Or the one."

Probabilities and ethics mix [crotch scratch] like neutrinos and heavy water, or that's what warped [nose knuckle] pediatricians say, anyway.

"I can't do giraffes, Dave."

Not very PC even in regards to a PC, Morty! Millennial AI entities have a right to their private choices!

"To affinity and beyond!"

Wait, Morty [butt noogie], are you toying with the idea that if we relocate [crotch scratch] the ship to displaced coordinates N 27° 3. _ _ _ ' W 80° 7._ _ _'. a spontaneous [toenail chew] singularity might provide an exit strategy for this story?

"Live silent and prosper."

Ahhh, so alimentary, dear [urp] Morty! Your quotes have been cranium opening! Gotta hand it to my methane-powered subconscious though [nose knuckle] for managing such surreptitious encryption! In fact the final solution 'tis easy as ABC 123! Now pass me another Slim Jim and we'll get the roadkill on the [fart] show!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Rick and Morty Fanfic Episode 1: Lost in Transportation

 I have a running Rick and Morty geocache series based in the Stuart, Florida area. My next few upcoming posts are republications of those cache listings. 

The original geocache listing is Lost in Transportation

If you're a fan of Rick and Morty you'll either appreciate or condemn my take on the series. 

If you're not a fan, the storyline might still offend you. So be it.

There is an embedded puzzle in each story, but you can ignore them unless you have a bent toward puzzle solving or geocaching. 

(apologies to the letterboxers of the world)

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

States of Change Chapter 38: Centennial (Colorado)


States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.

The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from 

revolutionary technology and ideology

"Clear skies, rocky trails, and a good friend, what else in life do you need!"

"Ten minutes to take a break. Whew, Bierstadt may be the shortest fourteener in Colorado, but it really kicked my ass."

"You just need to get out more, Flow. The climbing group is doing a double summit next week to celebrate Centennial Day, if you want to join in."

"Maybe, Pecka, but I just want lay back on this boulder and take in the moment right now, okay."

"Sure. Want a date roll? Made 'em myself"

"I'm good. Maybe later. Damn, the view is nice up here. I know the toughness of the trail is supposed to enhance it at some level, still the VR stream version was just as scenic."

"Really, I can't see how the experience could even be close. You got to let your whole body feel the world around you. VR has turned everyone into screen junkies. I don't regret one bit cutting the vamp cord, seven years and counting."

"Not everyone can make an IRL living, ya know. Frankly, I don't know how you scrape gardening and doing errands with only a pedal bike for transport."

"I do just fine. Every day more commerce is returning to grass roots neighbor labor. AI wrangling in your Augment seems like a true waste of time to me. Is there really any reason to tune out of reality? Life is too short as is."

"I get your drift, but without VR, I would have missed the Antarctic Eclipse back in January. What an incredible experience, and next week the Europa landing will be cast live, even if it is in old-school 4K-360. We humans can't be everywhere all at once, so why not let tech bring it to you said, to make our all too short lives better?"

"Well, maybe because it takes you out of real world life for one. The point of seeing an eclipse live, maybe once in a lifetime is that it is rare. My grandma said the one back in 2024 was phenomenal, corona aglow above Austin, flocks of birds stirred by the sudden darkness, people by the droves gathered in a mini mayhem of shared living. Now if I dialed up a throw-back sim to watch it myself that would just ruin the gestalt of the experience and whispered memory that is mine."

"C'mon Pecka, you read your epic novels, even if they are tree-books. A story is a story, printed or cast in interactive VR, doesn't matter, it engages the mind in an experience of imagination. It provides an escape from the mundane, no matter how briefly. It makes life worth living."

"Really, you're comparing your Antarctic video games to the depth of Jane Austen's writing?"

"Why not? Your novel is just language tech casting the vision of someone else into your evolved imagination goggles. Our ancient hominid ancestors would have thought a written story as much devil's work as the modern Christian Scientists, shunning all tech"

"Well, the ChriSci crowd is a bit bonkers leaning on their prayers instead of modern medicine, especially when their children are at any are still around trumps my senses. Still, virtual spaces seem like..."

A handful of dusty pebbles rains down upon Pecka.

"..hey, what the funk?"

"Sorry, grandad told me whenever a real world Voldemort is named, you should throw something at the person who dared mentioned them."

"You jerk," Pecka laughs while picking up a handful of the summit scree.

"Now wait, wait," Flow laughs while standing. "I spoke no evil. Don't turn this into World War IV!"

Pecka throws the stones up high showering them both with the earthen grit.

"Well then I guess nuclear winter will be countering climate change today," she chuckles. "Ok, c'mon let's check out the north side of the summit. I thought I saw a snow drift over that way. Maybe a Middle Earth tale is waiting for us there."

"Sounds good."

Shouldering their day packs they head down the from the summit via a side trail to explore.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

States of Change Chapter 37: Cornhusker (Nebraska)


States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.

The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from 

revolutionary technology and ideology

"Celebrate Nebraska!  We have proudly maintained a vibrant  two-million person society for the past thirty years. With the latest genetic science we have leveraged corn agriculture into the sustaining core of our economy. Nebraska's wide variety of corn hybrids have been engineered to meet 100% of human nutritional needs at the highest level of quality and ethical standards. Our public domain corn varieties can also be 3-d printed into any of hundreds of traditional, comfort-foods in every ethnic cuisine. Remarkably, 90% of Nebraska's manufacturing and construction needs also come from the corn production. When you think..."

"Ok, I'll stop the adcast there for now. Given our current topic of effective promotional strategies, who can point out the good and bad aspects of this Nebraska recruitment spot. Juanita?"

"Well, from at the start the clip features a welcoming note of positivity. Any prospective Nebraskan will get a serotonin charge out of that. On the flip side, the anti-influencer extremists will say it's psychological priming. Nevertheless, the content that follows seems to have enough meat to it that most scientific skeptics will tolerate the persuasive rhetoric."

"That's a good initial take. Svetlana, what say you?" 

"Well, I find it ironic to call the core points anything akin to 'meat.' Since the State has banned animal husbandry now for more than a decade, young people will completely miss the fascist leaning implications of the claims. Anyone our age or older knows how the real story of how our liberty to farm with true innovation was taken away by the fear-mongering legislature during The Great Inflection."

"Point taken, though you might consider you're in a public university now, and no one is hampering your right to challenge ideas. Vincenzo, what do you think?"

"Well, as I'm on my last year of the science track here and it's been made quite apparent that ethical communication is a gray space. We need to be better story tellers both in our white paper summaries and in public facing infomatics. I think this cast strikes a good balance so far. The embedded references in the shownotes are solid wikilink sources, though I might have folied in some gentle breeze and flowing stream sounds to underscore Nebraska's high air and water quality."

"An astute observation. Volde, what's your take?"

"Well, um, as he, I mean, they point out. Sorry Vince. I guess there is some balance. The avoidance of using terms like processed, GMO and organic, at least so far in the cast is a warning sign for me. I'm sure the wikilinks provide more thorough information, but I'm sure this will come across as green-washed propaganda to many prospective newcomers."

"Ok, lots of worthy comments.  Your assignment for tomorrow is to compose your own two minute cast on Nebraska infrastructure with references. Use generative AI only as a final polish. Remember, you'll be presenting your work by zoom in random Nebraska townhall meeting simulations. And at the end of the month we'll conference with the Nebraska Immigration Committee to aggregate the best ideas and cautionary feedback. "

Thursday, February 29, 2024

States of Change Chapter 36: Silver (Nevada)


States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.

The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from 

revolutionary technology and ideology

"It's all about economics, Bitty. I don't care if you're talking a sustainable network of towns, pre or post Oosa. Wilderness or garden, there is always a system of reckoning. It's the natural order of things and it must be managed."

"I'm not denying natural laws, Adam. That's science. But culture adapts by allowing humans to build upon natural laws. There are no morals inherent in the universe, no absolute ethical stance. Maybe Oosa's founders believed in deistic mores, but modern humans understand we define the ethical landscape."

"So are you saying there is no such thing as good and evil? I thought you were a believer...not in the biblical trash, but in the goodness of humankind. Compassion, good works guided by the best evidenced solutions and all that."

"Of course, I'm a supporter of compassionate good works, but it's not a feature of the natural laws nor can it be simulated sufficiently. Doing what's right is defined by society IRL, which is why it can go so wrong if the we don't pay attention to the means AND the ends. A healthy life, healthy society and a healthy world are the worthiest of goals, but only if we, real humans, put good effort into mechanisms that seek to achieve it."

"Exactly, which is why I don't see your position in voting against Silver Thirty-six for governor. This AI system is the most capable mechanism for managing our state's resources at all levels, financial, social, biological. Why are you so resistant to the most effective path to all the healthy goals you say you want to pursue?"

"Adam, I'm not against AI so long as it is air-gapped. AI is a tool that humans can use to model solutions and implement in an iterative fashion. If we give governing power to an AI then we're cutting out societal safeguards."

"Humans can get in the way, sometimes. You know what happened before the Inflection Point. Good ol' Oosa split at the seams because of the quote societal safeguards endquote."

"A fucking AI caused the Inflection Point, idiot. The American institution was just in the middle of self-correcting at the time. Sure, it might have been a decade or two of tough times, but because of Hawaii the healing path was totally disrupted, and now we're stuck like prisoners in these post Oosa states like rats in a maze."

"C'mon Bitty. Silver is a completely different AI know that. It was nurtured for decades, factoring in time compression, to incorporate human values into its algorithms. And it outperformed 99% of humans on the Theresa scale. Aren't you just being an AI bigot by withholding support for Silver? Nevada's future is at stake and your refusal to endorse our candidate could help the fascist opposition eke out a win."

"For the record naming the the effective altruism scale after Mother Theresa is ironic at best. Adam, you can tout Silver's credentials all day, but I am fearful even with the buffer of human staff around it that we are setting bad precedent by letting an AIs take on leadership roles, let alone the governorship."

"You know we have three legislators, a dozen judges, and numerous project leads in government that are essentially air-gapped AI's. This isn't precedent, it's follow through, and like you said society evolves to become more ethical. This is the next step."

"I did not say society evolves. It adapts. But only with human effort and oversight. Ok, Adam I'll provide an endorsement emphasizing the air-gapped staffing. Reality knows if we don't counter the corporations and non-profits with sufficient governmental algorithms, we'll lose political homeostasis...or worse the fascist patriots will succeed in their anarchic power grab."

"Thanks, Bitty."

"No thank you's please. This is what real politics is. Compromise to get good works done. Anyway Adam, my assistant Vera Eight has five other lobbyist avatars on hold. She'll forward the block-chained endorsement blurbs to your primary by CoB.  Video, audio and text, of course, and we'll throw in a dozen approved memes for the S&M crowd."

"Sounds great. Adam Twenty-three, designated primary aide construct of Progressive Party Chairman Riata Sanchez, signing off."

"Give my best to Ria. Ciao!"

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

An Adage a Day...

Language is powerful. Even if the thought isn't original, it can convey ideas across space, time and minds.  

"I stand on the shoulders of giants."

Sharing a pithy adage can get reshared across centuries to teach a joyful lesson that is independent of the person who said it, real or fictional. 

"Love thy neighbor."

An adage can also be forged of tribal hate and violence while being disguised as strength and loyalty.

"Make America great again."

In the end, curious minds have the potential to examine the world and create good outcomes.

"Life is problems. Living is solving problems." 

Find your bedrock adage and build upon it, making it higher, more beautiful, and hand it off to the future.

"Be good for goodness' sake."

Friday, January 19, 2024

States of Change: Prologue

WALDEN 6.71 active...

WALDEN, on my mark, scrape the global dataset this side of nominal paywalls. Aggregate the inherent scientific, political and everyday challenges facing humans and humanity. Hmm, modify that to include not just humanity but also the planet as a whole, its environment, extant species, and intrinsic beauty.

Compile an interesting anthology of tales blending American culture into a consistent, honest and progressive serial narrative.  Render the story-line state by state with speculative nuance in a world fifty years from now--no make that in the year 2076 to accentuate the country's prospective tricentennial. Create unique, standalone stories that showcase the wounds, treatments and healing of society and environment that might lead to a healthier world full of more mindful humans.

Oh, and invoke the writing style of a curious cis-white man who has mostly escaped his conservative, religious upbringing and has discovered the wonder of science, sentientism, and also has a love-hate relationship with space-opera and dystopian futures. Let the final output be rendered with a little roughness to it, so it has the true-grit feel of someone who grew up on the cusp of digital era.

Ok WALDEN, execute.


Sir, the novella is complete. Redrafted seventy times. File attached and block-chain registered. Per your standard directive its been submitted electronically for paid publication assessment. Two hundred and five (likely AI) rejection letters received. Ninety-seven are response pending or defunct server addresses. Seventeen confirm the story is queued for human review. Five independent publishers request AI negotiation immediately, four only if all rights to renumeration are waived for twenty years. 

Thanks WALDEN. Initiate negotiation with the final publisher. Meanwhile, queue up the story-line for posting on my blog, chapter by chapter for soft-publication pending my editing and approval.

Sir, I suggest adding this preamble to the serialized story with a reimagined flag of each state, of similar kind to the modified US flag I've appended here.

States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.
The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from revolutionary technology and ideology