Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Current Events



Hello all you crazy Multiversians out there!

I know I said I wouldn’t be blogging much here this month but I ALSO said I just might. So there. Na na na na boo boo stick your head in doo doo.

Look, here in the Multiverse I don’t tackle all the crazy political and social issues that are out there these days because I don’t want this blog to veer off the cliff into the psycho-situations that always arise when someone puts out a political or social opinion on the inter-connected-web-device-thingy. And, first and foremost I am a writer and here on this blog I want to write about writerly stuff and such and H.R. Pufnstuf (Do you remember that show? Man, were THOSE guys stoned or what???).

Withcie scared the CRAP out of me as a kid...

And besides... you really don’t care about all that political and social stuff, do you?

Hmm... On one side of the aisle it’s crickets and quiet while on the other side of the aisle it’s a loud “rabble, rabble, rabble...” And if you have no idea what I mean by “rabble” talk see here...

BUT!

(yep... there’s my big but...)

As a writer, it is interesting, nay, it is ESSENTIAL that I stay up to speed on what in the world is going on out there in the world because I HAVE to, nay, I MUST be able to either 1) incorporate the “real world” scenarios intelligently into my writing, or B) adequately pretend I know enough about the “real world” to fool you readers into believing I care about what’s really going on in the world.

Now, this is not to say that I or you or any writer our there should use “real world” scenarios in your writing. Hell, I really don’t care if you create a 1970’s porn style movie setting in your description of the president’s Oval Orifice in the year 2121, or if you make Ding Dong’s and Zinger’s the leaders of your rebel alliance (I am REALLY gonna miss Hostess) on the distant planet that also doubles as an asphalt factory used to pave the Highway to Heaven.

But I digress.

What I am trying to say here is that while politics and social concerns are interesting and yes VERY important to stay abreast of ...( I couldn’t help it... I promised myself I would NOT use that word and yet there it is... giggitty)... it is not the intent of this blog to be used as a platform to discuss and dispense with opinions and bloviations about those topics.

My goal here with the blog is to write about my books and about things I find interesting without offending or repelling others from it. However, occasionally and from time to time and every so often and so on and so forth I WILL have to tackle topics related to politics and the social condition of America as we know it.

For example...

My upcoming, in development, soon to be completed for release sometime in the distant future novel with the main character Culver Bishop which is entitled “EVERY PURPOSE UNDER HEAVEN” is set in the future... BUT... (another big but)... it is a future that is a PROJECTION of our CURRENT world.

“What did he just say? I don’t know if I am comfortable with that...”

Ok, for you noobs let me explain.

To write the Culver Bishop story I have the HAPPY task of tackling projections of future world events, or, that is to say, putting on the hat of the “futurist”. A futurist is a person who attempts to systematically predict the future of life on earth (read more here).

And, as the CHIEF futurist for Culver Bishop’s story I have to study events that consist of three very distinct areas of interest:
Technology/Science
Spirituality
Politics

And what does that mean? Aha! You guessed it, right? That means I either have to be A) a very good student (a futurist) about current events and trends in these areas, or 2) be able to fudge it really really well so that I can fool all you smarty’s out there.

And so... not to bore you or anger you, but rather to show you how I am utilizing these three areas of conflict to bolster the setting and tension within Culver Bishop’s story, I will tell you EXACTLY how I am taking “real world” events from today’s headlines and making edu-ma-cated projections about these issues to make up a pretend world for Culver to live and work in...

Technology/Science
Let’s face it folks there’s more going on out there in the world of technology and science than you are willing to admit because it scares the Begeesus out of you. Am I right or am I right?

In recent weeks I have reported many a scary thing about science right here in this blog. Oh come on... don’t make me find the links. I’m too tired today. Scan down on the right hand side and look at the blog archive for Pete’s sake! There’s some good stuff there!

The point is that it is amazing how advanced things are out there these days. Sentient robots, synthetic skins, nano/bio tech... We are getting very close to the point of singularity.

That simple fact... that we are already more advanced in many areas than we ever dreamed we would be by now in our youth... makes it difficult for a budding futurist/projectionist like me to write a story based 30-40 years in our future and NOT have that story become irrelevant or “behind the times” before it even gets to print (electronically or otherwise).

But that is my task! And I accept that whole-heartedly knowing full well of the travels and travails I must face in order to succeed in said task! (Can you imagine me doing that in my best Excalibur/King Arthur voice??!!)

In Culver Bishop’s story she is living in a time of technological enlightenment. Her world, her society, is governed by forces who believe that technology is the key, the answer to ALL the worlds’ ills. At first Culver thrives in this world... until she discovers that other philosophies and beliefs will not be quieted by those who believe only in technology.

That leads us on to...

Religion/Spirituality
Westboro. Enough said. You know what I mean.

I could take words like that and create a veritable SHIT storm of comments from folks on both sides of the issue. And there are probably THOUSANDS of other words out there like Westboro that would do that very same thing.

The fact is that spirituality/religion, like politics, has been and is right now a very divisive topic and likely will be forevermore.

Believe me... I DO have my opinions about this... this... Westboro church... but I will reserve comment.

My task in writing Culver Bishop’s story is to imagine and PROJECT what role religion will have in her world. What will become of organizations with beliefs like Westboro’s? What will become of “radical Islam”? What about the other supposedly spiritual and religious folks out there from the more mainstream religions who are feeling disenfranchised in numbers that are growing at alarming rates each year?

For Culver’s world, a very curious and scary thing has happened. These folks who are seemingly polar opposite in their religious beliefs find an umbrella under which they can all gather and share one very particular and very dangerous goal. They have banded together to counter the threat they perceive as more frightening than differing philosophical views on doctrine: the technocratic government.

And that leads us to...

Politics
In Culver’s time, the technocrats rule. Personal liberties are ignored. Technological advancement at the sake of all else is paramount. Physical maladies, mental irregularities, genetic anomalies can all be “fixed”.

But they can’t convince everyone that there way is the right way. So what do they do?

Create cordoned cities. Divide society.

After Detroit is destroyed in a nuclear blast by forces fighting against technocratic rule, the major cities of America become walled and armed fortresses. Only those who can contribute significantly to the advancement of approved government technologies are allowed to live inside. All others are left to scramble for a living outside the walls.

Is this really so difficult to imagine? In the U.S. military spending already accounts for well over 20% of total government expenditures. And if technocrats ruled, spending on technology would be at least double that, maybe more if social spending was deemed irrelevant. If our leaders could be convinced or replaced with others who believed that technology could eliminate the need for social spending then it’s just a stroke of the pen away from happening. Executive order #100 of the next administration.

So folks, there you have it. A little bit of “my view” of the world, but only as a catalyst for the creation of a story. No opinion, no conjecture, no conspiracy theories.

Or was there? Muwhahahaha!

These are the issues and topics I am using to help create the world of Culver Bishop. I like to write about things like this in my blog, along with topics that relate to Romy Malloy and of COURSE William Deane and the world of Cantaera.

And, just to rub a little bit more salt in the open wound that is your psyche, for the foreseeable future I will continue to write about these things here on this blog because I CAN and because it’s FUN for me and INTERESTING and I am an interesting person and people LIKE me damn it!

Some day’s I MAY tell you what I am doing (like today) so as not to offend your wussy sensibilities and to keep allowing you live in the fantasy world where you believe that all is well and everyone out there is a soft kitty/warm kitty and there is no one out there who will ever again challenge your vision of the world.

But some days I will just throw you to the wolves. I might just pull out a brain thumper of an idea or maybe an opinion and just throw it before you like eggs at my boss’s house because he wouldn’t let me keep that totally appropriate calendar of various Scarlett Johansson pics. I mean COME ON! She was mostly clothed! At least, in some of the pictures!



Later!

PPC




Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello and Happy Thanktivism!

Hello fellow Multiversians!

No updates lately as I have been enjoying a little holiday.

I pig out...

No posts. A little writing. A lot of relaxation and time with the family.

We ALL should be doing this.

For me it will probably be alittle slow here on the blog for the next month or so.

No promises... I might just hop on and blog it up. So you better keep checking back.

Nodding to the recent Thanksgiving holiday I thought it would be great to point you back to a piece I wrote almost a year ago titled "Thanktivism".

http://paulphilipcarter.blogspot.com/2012/03/thanktivism.html

Thanktivism is the ACT of being thankful.

So yea... do that.

And hey! Wouldn't you know it! I have something to be thankful for!

This blog (or reasonable facsimilies of this blog) are a YEAR OLD!

Cool huh?

Weird to think I have been at this for a year. And, the answer is yes... you know, the answer to the question I felt psychically as soon as you read that I have been at this for a year... the question of "Do you still LIKE it? Is it WORTH it"?

Yep. Awesome stuff.

 So ya, I guess I will just go ahead and keep on doing this. Blogging, writing, independent authorship... it's all good. I really do feel like I am running my own business of sorts.

Don't forget to check out all my books! And... Romy Malloy is COMING SOON!!!

THE PLOTTERS OF CANTAERA:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HR41F8

Stop Sucking/Start Writing series:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QDXHIG
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008OXK262


Later!
PPC


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Of Mind Control and Stray Planets



This old world just keeps on spinning and the crazy keeps on flipping the minds of those who won’t open their eyes.

If this were a Current World Events blog I would have grist for the blog post writing mill for thousands of years to come.

But... this is not that kind of blog.

I wonder what's OUT there?

What this blog is, and what it is meant to do is for me, Paul Philip Carter, writer of fantasy and sci-fi and even a couple of books about my own adventures in Writing Land, to discuss topics related to writing and the stories I write.

Today I have discovered three articles about new technology and sciency stuff, two related, one not so much, that allow my imagination to run about as freaking wild as it can possibly run. I would be able to write a lot of stuff just based on these articles if I were allowed to just sit all day and imagine and dream and create new worlds and new people to inhabit those worlds... (sigh)...

Alas... I do have a day job.

Damn it.

The first two articles, which are related to each other, are referring to an exciting new(ish) branch of science dealing with accessing, interpreting, defining, and possibly manipulation OF or manipulation BY the electrical impulses and command structure of the brain.

The first article (here) talks about how researchers in China have devised a way to translate brain waves into music.

This is incredible. As a musician myself, I have often wondered how incredible it would be if I could just TELL the instruments what to do without having to actually physically touch the instrument myself. That’d be a time-saver, right there I tell ‘ya. And, well, perhaps it would eliminate mistakes too... not that I make mistakes... no... not me...

Here’s a little history... I started playing the guitar many years ago when I was just a young pup of a boy at 13 years old. Not long after, in the heydays of the 1980 New Wave movement, I purchased a brand new Roland synthesizer.

Now back in the day as a long haired rocker playing guitar and trying to pick up chicks, I knew absolutely NOTHING, I mean Zero Kelvin about synths or computers and the word MIDI was to me about as alien as the unexplored planet in Jack Chalker ‘s RUN TO CHAOS KEEP.

Back then, as I tried to learn how to connect that synth to other machines (of the drum variety), I would have DIED to have a way to make what was IN MY HEAD transfer easily to the SYNTH. I remember reading in OMNI and other cool mags of the 80’s that some supposedly smart dudes were working on creating MIDI for your MIND. Would have been nice, but obviously it never happened.

Fast forward nearly 25 years and VOILA! Suddenly it not only seems possible to control electronics with your mind, the gosh-darned scientists are actually DOING IT!

As companion to the China article above, the BBC reports here that Canadian scientists have successfully found a way to communicate with a man who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade!!!

So, not only are they able to access and control external devices with the power of the mind, they are also going the OTHER way... communicating INWARDLY with someone thought to not be able to communicate at all!

WOW!

Folks, come on... you have to see just how incredible discoveries like these are. IMAGINE... if we can find a way to permanently engage with folks who are in what we typically believe as a “brain dead” or “vegetative” state then we have just virtually SAVED these people’s lives!

This is an INCREDIBLE advancement and should be shouted from the mountain tops!

Now, travel with me here... as I wrote about in a post back in August titled “TRANSHUMANISM”, if scientist are one day able to transfer your brain or your consciousness from your body into some other device, and if we are able to communicate this to someone who is in a vegetative state and they agree to the transfer... then that person would be able to leave their other broken body and awaken in a new body OR device of some sort and once again have a functioning external “body”.

Can you even imagine this?

I know I know... this all seems really far-fetched and at best we are many many years from accomplishing this.

But, if you read me with any regularity you will note how I am CONSTANTLY dumbfounded by advancements that are already being made in fields thought to have been years from fruition.

Folks, this type of “brain” or “consciousness” transfer technology COULD happen within our life time!

But... before you get too excited...

I have a THIRD article that you might want to read.

Astronomers have discovered a rogue planet, an “orphan” from its solar system with no “parent” star just wandering around the galaxy sort of like BEAN in Orson Scott Card’s SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON.


See, the problem with finding an orphan planet like this is that it could easily be a candidate for another fabled PLANET X (read here).

If Planet X comes along, we may have MANY other things to be worried about. Like finding a way OFF this doomed dirt clod.

But for now this clod just keeps on spinning and the crazy just keeps on coming.

Oh well... here’s to dreaming!!


Later!

PPC



Monday, November 12, 2012

Real-world synthetic neural connectors



Hello fellow Multiversians!

You probably know by now that I write both Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels. My first fantasy book THE PLOTTERS OF CANTAERA BOOK ONE: Enemies is available here, and if you are interested you can read more about the story right here on my web page.

My first sci-fi book BRILLIANT DISGUISE - A Romy Malloy Novel is ALMOST ready for publication. You can read stuff to get you pumped up about the release here and here.

But... you didn’t really think I lured you here just to talk about my books released and near release did ya?

Ha! Well, not exactly, but close to it.

Today I read an article that ONCE again challenged my preconceptions about current advancements in the technologies I use/create/reference in my sci-fi books, specifically in my NEWEST sci-fi creation CULVER BISHOP and her novel currently in development called EVERY PURPOSE UNDER HEAVEN (read more here).

Here is the link to the MIT article.


AND... Here is my summary and exposition on the article.

In summary, the article above speaks to a new technology that uses ultra-thin electrodes that can connect and pick up signals from a SINGLE NEURON.

Come on, say it with me: WOW!

It just amazes me sometimes when I hear what the Pocket-Protector crowd is up to and what they are NOW able to do. Big time kudos to all you Dexter’s out there with your killer labs!

With this new ultra-thin electrode an entire NEURAL INTERFACE is certainly right around the corner. And this is where it gets even more interesting for a writer with a character/setting like Culver Bishop.

You see, Culver Bishop’s career is concerned with “...blending human cells and DNA with a new prototype of silicon nano-chip to create non-dying nerve cells... basically providing immortality for all humans.”

So, you can see how the MIT article above stoked my imagination.

Culver Bishop would LOVE to work with the scientists involved in the creation of this technology. But alas, Culver will not be born until about 2020 or so. But, this group of eggheads is DEFINITELY setting the stage for Culver to take over and work her wonders on her neural-network-implant.

Here’s some more on Culver:
Culver recently received approval to work on the el-Farm, the site of multiple elevated NEO (near earth orbit) research facilities. It is called "el-Farm" due to the method of transport to reach the facility: the space ribbon elevator. Culver's work could be accelerated by years if she can get access to work on the NEO el-Farm.

Hmm... does THAT stoke your interest? If not, it should.

But don’t get TOO excited just yet. I am only about 1/3rd through the first draft of the novel. I do have the entire outline completed (so I know pretty much what’s going on and where we’re headed and how it ends). But I am still fleshing out the remaining chapters with dialogue, setting, plotting, characterization, world-building etc etc and I MIGHT have the entire thing ready for early 2013.

See, the thing is, this is actually my first real HARD sci-fi novel. Romy Malloy is DEFINITELY sci-fi, but at the beginning I even had a hard time classifying Romy. In fact, at first I used the term URBAN SCI-FI in my own head before I realized that there was no such thing as URBAN sci-fi.

I mean, sci-fi is pretty much ALL urban, right?

So yea, ha ha. Had to amend that to just sci-fi.

But Culver?

Yea, she is ALL sci-fi. In the classic sense.

So I am going to be VERY particular about the way I write this book. The setting and the technology is PARAMOUNT. If I cannot NAIL the environment, the world-building EXACTLY how it should be, then it will be BACK to re-drafting and researching and re-doing and all those other RE words you can think of until I get the puppy RIGHT! (but hey... that's how I write ALL my books!!!)

I think I have said it here on the blog at some point before, so I don’t think I am revealing any SPOLIERS here, but Culver Bishop’s world will be SOMEWHAT like Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD (read here if you’ve never heard of that book... and if you haven’t then SHAME on you!)

Now it will not be EXACTLY like BNW, but... there will be some similarities. I think I’ll stop there... don’t want to reveal too much!

Anyway, you can see now how an article like the MIT article above would spark my imagination and make me feel rather proud that I am on the right path, at least in the technological sense, with my new book.

Now... I just have to figure out how I can access the existing Neural-Net that’s out there right now in order to make millions of unsuspecting people buy all my books.

You know the Neural-Net I am talking about... don’t you?

You know.

Yes, you know.



Later!!

PPC


Thursday, November 8, 2012

The hunt for Alien Life is nearly over... better prepare!




This is one of those articles that make you stop and realize that the search for extraterrestrial life is much closer to success than you can possibly imagine.

Think I’m lying?

Stop and think for a minute... if the BBC has regulations to manage the dispensation of information in the event that alien life is discovered then we have GOT to assume that there have been numerous conversations and planning sessions held in boardrooms and quarantined conference rooms to discuss this in order to write up those regulations.

And you know what THAT means...

Maybe the BBC Execs ARE the aliens!!

If there are folks in policy positions at the BBC discussing this then there MUST be thousands of other folks in other news organizations just like the BBC who have also sat around and had planning sessions about how they would handle the discovery of alien life and how they would dispense that information to the unwitting public.

And it does not stop there.

The venerable institution of the Vatican is in the ET Discovery Planning game too: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0905002.htm

Here’s the money quote from the article, supplied by one of the many scientists the Vatican invited to speak at this conference: If finding extraterrestrial life is like a detective chase, a crime to be solved, we're getting very close to the answer," said Chris Impey, head of the Steward Observatory and the University of Arizona's department of astronomy in Tucson, Ariz.”

Folks if you could see my face right now you would be viewing my best “Oh-my-God” face.

Folks, hear me now and listen to me later.

If this isn’t the best fresh alarm that we need to start preparing NOW for the coming Alien Invasion then there is nothing more I can do for you! What the hell folks! Do you need Paul Revere running around on a Fat Boy Harley with a megaphone shouting out “Put on your zipper locked protective undies folks cuz the anal probing aliens are coming!”

Sheez! Come on folks! Get with the TIMES!

I for one am going to finish up the stocking of my Underground Doomsday Prepper triple-wide trailer (seen here ... what, do you REALLY think I would show you what my bugout base looks like??? Damn you is STOOPID!)... I have water, a three year supply of Mountain House Just-In-Case buckets, toilet paper, meds, first aid, booze (for those cold and lonely nights), and PROTECTION. Yea, if I won’t tell you the location of my bugout base do you REALLY think I will tell you about my protection?? Noob.

Folks, this is just ANOTHER brick in the nearly built wall of Crazy Shit that’s about to Hit the Fan (SHTF). What with the coming Fiscal Cliff triggering the Financial Armageddon, or the EMP that’s right now hovering over the skies of America, or the Super Bug Flu that I guaran-damn-tee you is being brewed up right now and bottled for quick dispersion into the waiting gullible public’s wide-open gullets, this COMING ALIEN Apocalypse fits right in to all the plans that the Powers That Be (PTB) have in store for us! And you can BET that I will NOT be waiting around like some morbidly obese fried mayo-balls eating NASCAR watching hick who’s just primed for probing and ripe as a FATTED calf for cooking!

No freaking way!

I’ll be safe and snug in my Doomsday Bunker eating like a king and waiting out the standard year it will take for the world to recover from any one or more of the above doomsday scenarios.

And don’t come knocking if you find yourself left out in the cold alone and weaponless and foodless when the darkness falls upon us.

You have been warned.

Get your own damned bunker you NOOB!