I will be posting something with more substance in 30 mins. :]
At least, that was the email I got from them. Turns out I haven't updated my website in 6 weeks! Meh.
I will be posting something with more substance in 30 mins. :]
I have a longer essay to post, but it's w/ the editors. I was going to post a long rant about commercials; then I reminded myself that "social" media suffers from oversharing, not the opposite.
This Las Vegas Wedding Commercial is my favorite commercial ever. Of all time, of all the commercials and advertisements that I've ever seen, evAr. To find a legal, attributable link for it, I stumbled upon the full version, which seems less like an advertisement and more of a short film.
Usually, the only commercials I like are movie trailers. Even if I have no intention to see the film, I like to be informed. Make a note, commercialists. "Commerceurs"? "Commerciales"? Advertisers. But on very rare occasions--within the United States--commercials transcend, jumping in a discrete fashion from informative to artistic.
I love the LV Wedding film. It makes me tear up almost every time I see it. Well done, Visit Las Vegas. Well done.
Honorable mention: The Hello Humankindness campaign from Dignity Health. As I wrote in the Dedication to Infiniti Eternia, I knew that there was some tiny iota of human kindness somewhere around here.
This is not a paid promotion or advertisement for either of the entities mentioned above.
Anct 180405 : MAC Essays Delayed, Progress on projects returning!
I would have posted this on Sunday, but I do not like April Fools’ Day, and do not want to increase its exposure or observance.
“Jessi: you’re such a curmudgeon!”
That’s a great word, dear reader. I’m proud of you. :]
* The MAC essays will be delayed until November or January 2019. Last month was great for making progress on MM05, on a couple of other projects, but devoting writing time to social posts or the essays has seemed too much a diversion.
* MM05 will have its first draft finished by the end of May. It takes my editors 4-6 weeks to edit, and me two weeks after them, so we can expect MM05 at the end of July, or beginning of August. I’m changing its release date to August 2018, but if it’s finished in July, it’ll be published early. :]
* The MM01 Audiobook will take me about a month to read and edit, so I’m pushing it from April 2018 to May.
* It's a bit optimistic, but I’m setting PR02 to be published before the end of 2018.
* I had not planned to release another collection of YMM stories in 2018, but I might begin working on YMM03 during the editing phase of PR02 in Dec 2018. You can expect either MM06 or YMM03 in Q2 2019.
* Other as-yet-unnamed projects—“Those Who Shall Not Be Named!”—will be delayed; thus far, my novels take priority.
* Cori thinks that I have a mental block for working on DMCD books, and I must admit it, as there exists no evidence to the contrary. It is my hope that, given I have to build my sound studio to record MM01A, that getting away from the writing table will give me more energy to complete DMCD01.
MACs 01: An Introduction to Mildly Advanced Civilizations
From the prologue of Infiniti Eternia: Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject whose researchers are, to one extent or another, focused on life not of Terran origin. Geologists look for structures that might harbor life; biochemists study how chemicals become critical to microorganisms; physicists watch the skies for fossil evidence that advanced civilizations might inevitably leave behind; and engineers design projects that space-faring species may require for (inter-)stellar travel.
In graduate school I fell into the latter; just before moving to California, I was working on a new philosophical focus for the field. My purpose was to bridge the academic distance between the biochemists and geologists looking for microbial (or smaller!) organisms, and the physicists, engineers, and socioanthropologists focused on very advanced alien life and technology. I dubbed said bridge the “mildly advanced civilization”, or MAC.
I still hate that acronym.
MACs are not an original concept, nor one unstudied by academia or fiction; yet, there exists little mainstream familiarity of my recognition of Terranity’s current stage of technological advancement.
(While humans are obviously Terran, I use this term to encompass all life on Terra, including any near-sentient species of our geologic past, and those of our future once humanity destroys itself.)
Of critical importance is the fact that Terranity is currently a MAC. However, studying Terranity as a MAC is not the deep structure of the MAC construct; instead, I propose study of MACs to improve our ability to detect alien MACs (“aMACs”). Much of astrobiology is constructed upon this foundation—not to be alien life, but to detect alien life. Therefore, by understanding Terranity as a terran MAC (“tMAC”), we can predict ways in which aMACs’ archaeological traces can be found.
My thesis proposes two postulates core to the initial development of the MAC on the spectrum of astrobiological study:
(1) A mildly advanced civilization is one “newly capable” of space travel, exploration, and/or colonization.
(2) Terranity is currently a mildly advanced civilization.
“Newly capable” refers to the time in which a MAC could initiate space travel, terminating in an as-yet undefined end-level of technology—presumably, some collection of academic and technological development that would signal a species’ next astrobiological era. I leave the discipline’s practitioners to reach consensus upon this, but I postulate that such a transition would necessarily require advanced and/or manned activities outside a solar system.
Technological progress for aMACs need not mirror our own; e.g. finally perfecting a refinement method for aluminum had little to do with the development of computers. However, as other astrobiological philosophers have suggested, it is logical to assume a certain set of “coincidental” technologies would be developed to facilitate space travel. For example: rocket boosters require the calculus of rocket momentum; tracking the many functions of a space ship requires some level of computing; communication must be at a distance, requiring radio technology. Classifying Terranity as a MAC, therefore, provides a schema for the evolution of a space-faring civilization.
Astrobiology also attracts philosophers, socioecologists, and psychologists. What collection of ideas permits space travel? What psychological traits of sentience are required, what sociological entities must exist to facilitate space travel? What anthropological accomplishments lead to space flight? How do the technological developments of a MAC affect the ecology of a planet, or of a solar system?
“Of a solar system” is key to studying MACs: what has Terranity done to achieve space flight, what must we accomplish to maintain or expand our space presence, and what might we do that can be detected from other star systems?
“Astroengineering projects”, or AEPs, are (usually large-scale) objects that a society develops to facilitate space exploitation. Examples could include space- or moon-bases or stations, satellite networks, exo-colonies, and discovery probes or signals. Yet, there are other phenomena which we could detect in other solar systems, including the presence of pollutants which derive from AEPs, solar wind patterns altered by large structures or satellites, or changing radiation patterns created by the presence of space bases or ships. Much like archaeologists use impression/cast fossils to study structures which have since dissolved or eroded, astrobiologists can use traces, echoes, and other clues in absentia to study the evolution of a MAC into its next phase…and the remnants this evolution leaves behind.
This has been a brief monograph on the concept of a Mildly Advanced Civilization, or MAC. I intend to write about 25 monographs—roughly one every two weeks—in 2018 to catalogue my own work on the subject. Perhaps it will inspire others to study MACs.
MACs 02 (will link when posted)
Let me begin with 2017’s resolutions:
(2017-1) Put out a f#$%ing DMCD book!
Oof: straight failure on this one. Perhaps I didn’t stratify the sub-goals properly; i.e. my sub-goals—practice visual art, dedicate time to taking and editing pictures—weren’t specific, nor did they give me a series of delineated steps to get from A to Published.
(17-2) Publish game by July 2017.
Double failure. Eeesh.
(17-3) Commit to at least one social media post per week.
I almost got this one! Oct and Nov were bad months for me, in terms of general well-being and activity.
What lessons did I learn from 2017’s resolutions? One cannot simply make a statement and expect it to occur. I’ll make my 2018 resolutions granular, make each step incremental.
(2018-1) Write 500 words a day. A picture counts its traditional thousand, and I’ll say that editing 1000 words counts for the daily 500 too.
(2018-2) Weekly social posts. Some weeks they’ll be straightforward ancts/updates. Other weeks, they’ll be parts of a new academic-ish series of essays. Stay tuned next week (7 Jan 2018) for more on that!
(2018-3) Once a month, contact podcasts, book clubs, bookstores, or any other place at which I could stage a reading or Q&A session. Gotta network.
What’re you doing for your 2018 resolutions?
I'll open up our 2018 Resolutions discussion soon! Goodbye 2017, you strange, fucked up year!
Winter is rough, isn’t it? The cold, the darkness—things upon which Mercy thrives, but I do not.
Where are we? About two months behind on everything. My sincere apologies. As I make progress over the next while, I’ll update my publishing schedule.
And I’ve got to write some sort of year-end list-thing. Suggestions are welcome, even if there’re only three days left in 2017. Maybe I’ll do a list of things which should change, a la Colbert’s furry hat.
Wow: 2017 turned out to be another shit year. I’ve heard some online people use this phrase: “Pain in the dick.” This sums up 2017 quite nicely. At the end of 2016, Oliver blew it up. Too bad he spent his pyrotechnics budget, because I’d love to blow up this year as well.
I wonder if there’s any more room in Sam Bee’s bunker….
Just a quick announcement to let people know that the first half of my NaNoWriMo 2017 project is complete: the revised 3rd edition for MM01: “Kids These Days”, which will be the script for the audiobook! Recording begins in Dec, because I mentioned the long travel plan this Nov.
What to do for the rest of Nov? Maybe work on a few ancillary projects. Maybe I indulge myself to write some sci fi. Or…how about I get back to work on MM05, which will supposedly be released in March 2018? ;P
November is Na(tional) No(vel) Wri(ting) Mo(nth)! “Nah-no-ree-mo”. In short, it is a movement for authors—of any variety; it’s grown from its indie roots—to support each other during the month of November, which tends to be difficult for everybody, what with SAD, T-Giving, winter holiday assaults on the senses, ad nauseum.
It’s also an opportunity to practice Author Skillz, e.g. writing every day, maintaining focus, approaching one project at a time, setting time/deadlines (even if arbitrary).
I’ll be traveling for just over a week for T-Giving, making my November shorter than usual. I’ve never truly accomplished #NaNoWriMo projects in the past, but I often get pretty close. And this year’s project is quite different from those previous:
I will be narrating my first audiobook!
It will be MM01: Kids These Days! For the past month, I’ve been working on transforming the novel into a script, so I can insert sound effects and background music/noise.
I’ll let you know more as it progresses!
Today (Halloween) marks the end of #PoweredByIndie month. It was less successful for me than last year’s, partially because I was sick for so long in early October.
However, tomorrow marks the beginning of #NaNoWriMo! I’m taking a long week for T-Giving so we can visit the families; not the easiest environment for NaNoWriMo, but I’ll announce tomorrow (1 Nov 2017) my goal for the month!
And if you send me spam-/chain-email, I might do this:
* If you attempt to rob a bank you won't have any trouble with rent/food bills for the next 10 years, whether or not you are successful.
…Which is hardly the point. Join the military; you still have to avoid being raped and killed, but there it’s called “patriotism”.
* Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?
…Not in the 21st Century. My spouse and I are planning for twins. It’s a not-so-twisted path from planning twins to a remodernization of eugenics, but that’s a discussion for a near-future announcement.
* What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
…The result is the same: you both want a joyful experience with your loved one. And you need the exercise.
* If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
…This degradation is a chemical reaction; the new substance is not “more or less” poisonous, because the new substance isn’t the original substance.
* Which letter is silent in the word "Scent," the S or the C?
…I knew this was Latin—we get the same “sc” in “science” and “conscious”—but I looked up the origin of the term: “…from Old French sentir…from Latin sentire…perhaps [changed similarly to] ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. This [morpheme shift] was a tendency in early Modern English, cf. scythe….” The “c” is silent; in Latin circa 0000 ACE, the “s” is pronounced “ssss” and the “c” gets the hard-k sound, cf. “calendar”, “carry”, or “coffin”. The Greek and Scandinavian influence on English gave us the letter “k” and the soft-c sound.
* Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn't it be called double V?
…Again, the result of Latin’s influence on Indoeuropean languages. Originally, the Latin alphabet had no “u”; the “v” was pronounced as consonant “va” or vowel “oo” as appropriate for the word; in a manner similar to how English pronounces “ough” four different ways. (“uff” in “rough”; “aww” in “bought”; “ooo” in “through; and “ohhh” in “although”)
* Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
…Ironically, the oxygenation of Terra’s atmosphere did herald a world-wide extinction-level event, possibly killing off all but one bacterial species, the cyanobacteria. While remnants of those lost species persist in archeobacteria, nearly every other lifeform on modern Terra evolved from those oxygenating, “poisonous” cyanobacteria. When they had sufficiently oxygenated the world, oxygen-consuming species—“animals”—began to evolve, able to take advantage of the Electron Transport Chain, a biochemical process 16-17 times more effective in producing energy than the anaerobic (lit. ‘absence of oxygen’) glycolysis or Citric Acid cycles.
* Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty
…Again, this is a matter of perspective. Presumably, the things that become dirty are being used for that purpose; without dirty things, there would be no need for things that clean other things. “Clean” is also context-dependent; a “clean room” requires a different standard than “go clean your room”.
* The word "swims" upside-down is still "swims".
…Only if you play fast and loose with those “v”s and “u”s, from above.
* Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.
…Yes it is, and it’s fascinating! Chinese texts date a version of RoShamBo (aka Rochambeau, alternately named after some French admiral, possibly given that “roche” is French for “rock”) back to 0000 ACE +/- 200 years. Rochambeau is also a fundamental system in Game Theory—a natural extension of any “flip a coin” system. One could (and should’ve), therefore, have posed this as: “Intentionally losing a game of flip a coin is just as hard as trying to win.”
* 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.
…No shit. 200 years ago most people couldn’t write; 20 years ago, all schoolchildren were taught handwriting from preschool through middle school; and today, many high school students have difficulty printing, neveryoumind writing cursive. “Hey: have you noticed that technological changes to our society also affect skill adaptation and estate composition?”
Incidentally, not everyone owned horses. Car ownership (among Americans) is more common than horse-ownership was in 1917.
* Your future self is watching you right now through memories.
…False; your memory of this “right now” won’t be made until the immediate time interval following. It won’t be recorded in your memory until your next rest. Your future self will never see your present self if said memory isn’t hard-coded into your hippocampus and temporal lobes; memory encoding failure can result from any number of circumstances, including substance-altered states of consciousness.
I’m actually writing a book that uses this concept loosely. I have always maintained that time is not the fourth dimension, because one can travel only forward in it, but can measure only backward. (Feynman-iacs: please don’t comment; I’m aware of Feynman’s time-reversal.)
* The doctors that told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live in 1953 are probably dead.
…I can’t tell you for how many years I afforded physicians more respect than auto mechanics or computer engineers. It should be noted, however, that Hawking’s condition was a “slow-progressing”, if early-onset version of ALS; he was already in his last year of his undergraduate degree (1962) before anyone noticed his decaying physical acumen; only needed a wheelchair when he became a Ph.D. (1966); could actually “wildly” pilot his wheelchair until ~1980; and the costs of his round-the-clock care were paid by others from 1985 on. Hawking is an exceptional academic who found himself in exceptional circumstances, and benefitted from cutting-edge technology because of his fame.
P.S. …Aaagh, I want to write this P.S., but I’ll save it for later, perhaps when I’m famous.
* If you replace "W" with "T" in "What, Where and When", you get the answer to each of them.
…What a fun coincidence unique to English that only works on half of the question words—no “tow, tho, or thy”?
* Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.
…Possibly, especially among domesticated animal species. But even just three centuries ago, near-sightedness would have decreased a human’s survival potential, and therefore, the passage of near-sightedness genes. Additionally, the rate of near-sightedness has increased with the amount of time we spend, on average, inside, or focusing on things in the near field (one to ten feet). Near-/Far-sightedness is part genetic, part muscular definition; today’s youths are more near-sighted because they spend less time surveying mountain ranges or receiving lobbed projectiles. Said youths are also less muscularly-defined, more or less for the same reasons, unaided by the prevalence of unhealthy foods in our pantries.
* If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before.
…Either a terrible comment on the nature of operational definitions (cf. “hole”), or an interesting conclusion of tessellation.
* If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, we'll just call it "2's Day". (It does fall on a Tuesday.)
…Yet another ‘brilliant’ linguistic coincidence. In Japan, are Sundays for philosophical enlightenment and Saturdays for mocking fools? (Nichi “Nietzsche” yoobi and Do “D’oh!” yoobi, respectively)
I appreciate that people love to find little coincidences in history or language, but I encourage you to stop consuming random facts. “Trivia” is exactly that: trivial, unimportant, useless; surface structure stuff. Engage the world's deep structure with a rigorous, academic fervor. Study fundamental theorems that drive technical development within your chosen discipline, and use them to enlighten your study of others. Logical thinking is hard, but truth derives from logical processes, not from grazing one or two ‘facts’ from the surface-level of a subject.
Jessica White writes several book series based to various degrees on Mercedes Mace, a noir-style private detective in a dystopian, alt-history San Francisco in the 2020's.