Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Sapientia Delecti, s01e11

Nomnomnom… food for the mind.


et tu CafeWorld?

And so with FarmVille, so too with CafeWorld. Read more


busy day

It was a relatively eventful day, with much ado about… eventually, nothing. Read more



Its that time of the year again. Read more


One man’s metaphysics…

It has now been bothering me for a few days about my two previous posts (Rhino and Watermelons…). How can I have the gall to post so self… confidently about philosophy or religion? Don’t I know that I’m just some guy? I’m no Kant, no pope, no Maslow. Don’t I realize that? Read more


Rhinos and Watermelons, pt.2

( continued from part 1 )


In order to carry this discussion further, I do need to define one more thing. The concept of an “entity”. Rhinos and Watermelons are not entities, they’ve been defined above, and don’t believe they require further detail. An “entity”, however, is, loosely, either the target or the source of a Rhino or Watermelon. This is nearly always a person. In the context of self, you are always an entity. Any person you come into contact potentially becomes a source for the generation of Rhinos or Watermelons. This is an important distinction to make in order to proceed on to the next topic…
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Rhinos and Watermelons, pt.1

I have had an epiphany. My first thought, as I travelled down this road, was that this thought was a method for describing Buddhist thought. After thinking a bit further, it occurred to me that this was actually very presumptuous of me. While I do consider myself a student of religion, and while I do consider Buddhism to be the school of thought that most closely resembles my own belief system … to say that this is a Buddhist thinking is to assign a level of understanding into Buddhist thought that I simply do not have. I will leave it to others to determine if this is so. Furthermore, any kind of writing that waxes philosophical is inherently presumptuous, and to some extent, self-aggrandizing. By the same token though, this is a blog, I suppose its somewhat expected that our own egos are the engine that drives them. So it goes…
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So … catching up

Its been a busy few months. Amazing how much turns up to do when you’re not working. Read more


Recent general stuff

Its been awhile since I posted. So I figured I’d throw out a few notes as to whats been going on. Read more



Nope. Try again. Read more


almost there

November is a busy month. In about 4 hours, work will begin (for many) on their nanowrimo work for the year. Am I ready? I have no idea, really. I suppose I don’t have to wait long to find out, though.

Elections in 2 days. It is my intent to hit the polls in the morning, and just get into work whenever that is done. It is worth taking the time to do it right. Especially this year.

Finally got the new drives installed in my computer, and avoided doing a complete reinstall through some fancy drive footwork. I still will do a reinstall at some point, but now is not that time. In the short number of hours before tomorrow, I think I’m going to redesign the color scheme for my desktop, and give myself something new and fresh to look at. I think I need to reinvigorate myself in order to maintain energy this month. That might help, if even a little bit.

Finally, if you ever see the movie ‘Samourais’ on the shelf in your local video store, leave it sitting there. It may be interesting to look at, but even by my own mercilessly loose standards for movie entertainment, this thing was a complete piece of shit. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.



I’ve decided to participate in this year’s Nanowrimo. Thats an exceptionally weird way to say ‘National Novel Writing Month’. Go check out their site if you’re not familiar. You can involve yourself with the site as much or as little as you like.

For me, the value is mostly in just the initial motivation. I’ve always felt like I had the ability to produce a written work of some quality. Publishable? No idea. But there’s one way to find out, and setting a goal like this is certainly one way to provide that initial incentive. If this is successful, and better yet, if the idea pans out into something worthy of actually putting to a publisher and letting loose on the world, so much the better. Its certainly something I would enjoy doing as a career if it was something that could support me.

Anyway … we’ll see what happens. I suspect that my failings in this, should they appear will not be in the ability to produce 50,000 words. I think that once I get started on a topic, I can just keep going. I think my main failings will be in consistency of style. I tend to write in a fairly freeform fashion, and that isn’t necessarily conducive to good readable material. This is definitely something worth exploring, despite that.


further thoughts on plague world

Post plague, and post Riot Years, some semblance of order begins to form. Ex-military types begin to form small communities and protect them from rioting, looters and other travelling bandits. Most power plants around the country aren’t functional anymore, or don’t last long, so people have gone back to other sources for power, water driven, wind driven, solar driven and in some cases, no power at all. Much of the remaining populace begins to return to a more agricultural existence, and in some cases (near natural huntable resources), they hunt for their food again. Medical care continues to exist, and the system that had begun to form before the collapse evolves and continues to do business. People exchange drugs, food, chemicals supplies, nearly anything the doctors will accept to get care. Doctors begin to form their own small communities in known central areas to provide this care, hire on their own military guards and maintain in the largest cases, whole hospitals. The largest of these become known as HC’s (hospital cities) or eventually, just Aitches, and exist in several places around the country (Denver, Atlanta, Austin, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Burlington (VT) and Raleigh(NC)).

Some communities use this model to get themselves back on their own feet as well, and form ‘Free Cities’, usually quite near the Aitches, and begin to try to restore some of the public services that were present before the collapse. Some are able to bring mainstram power back online, or setup enough solar/wind based power to provide themselves with electricity and basic amenities. All of these maintain their own police/military forces, and protect themselves fiercely from outsiders.

Travel between cities is very dangerous. Bandit groups in the large stretches of country between Free Cities and Aitches and prevalent and in some case, organized as well. The Free Cities often send out caravans to attempt to find essential resources from abandoned areas, looting from whatever is available. Canned goods, gas, appliances (where applicable), in some cases technological artifacts (computers, etc), chemicals and medical supplies, etc. These caravans are constantly plagued by bandit attacks, and are always accompanied by heavy military escort.

At some point, someone (need a name here … Phoenix comes to mind … Blackbauch also) realizes that one of the resources that is being largely ignored is the knowledge and communication networks that used to exist, and begins trying to extend control over the old Internet networks and data centers. Focused heavily on high technology areas, probably based out of Texas. Their rading parties also target old technology companies and anyone producing or using large bodies of computing resources. Hard drives and storage arrays become very highly prized by these Techs. They slowly secure and resurrect bodies of data and research and teams of them focus on the cataloging of the knowledge they find and bring back online. They are largely ignored by the remainder of the Free Cities. Aitches, however, recognize the value of having access to the old research and contract with the Techs to gain access to that again. A loose alliance is formed, and health care for the Techs is secured in exchange for access to the data pools.

The networks begin to come back online, focusing on buried lines that were using railroad rights of way for their tracks. These railroads are also slowly brought back into service, and resources and communication begin to flow around the country again, completely controlled by the techs. As soon as communication between sites is restored, they quickly implement a badge identification system, and security and access to Tech resources is based on that. Aitches and Aitch staff are also pulled back into the slowly growing ‘identified’ populace, and are also allowed access to Tech resources based on ID. Eventually, fingerprint, retina-print and dna/blood-printing identification methods are brought back into standard practice.

Other Tech targets: military installations with advanced tech and satellite capabilities. Limited satellite data and connectivity is restored. International communication is (in very limited circles) restored. Weather and other military satellite data is restored (Monterey Bay). Eventually, production plants for hard drives, and research facilities into efficient storage methods are restored. International travel is slowly brought back online, primarily through shipping. Planes aren’t used yet since transponder networks aren’t online, but that eventually returns as well.

Eventually, the world is brought under one control, managed by the people who manage knowledge and technology and information. Haven’t thought too far ahead yet because I think the meat of the writing will happen during the turmoil following the collapse and during the rebuilding stages.



things to research:

diseases, bioweapons and distribution vectors
virus effects, incubation, inception of symptoms, manifestation and durations of these stages before death
where during those periods are the various virii considered infectious, and if the vectors vary by stage, how

locations for various bioweapons facilities in the world, and where various
toxics are stored and/or researched

areas where heavy pollution effects occur. projections of global warming effects, including rising sea levels, temperature increases (or decreases due to to ocean current degradation), increasingly severe weather (hurricanes, tornados, general patterns of weather formation and densities of these types of severe weather). Include trending over the past 30 years. Make sure to include on an international level, not just US centric. Earthquake and fault data. See if there are maps of faults throughout the US. Can large scale nuclear deployment on US soil trigger faults? If so, which ones and what effects might these have on our current shorelines/land masses. Volcano activity (probably limited to west coast and alaska). Pacific Ring of Fire.

I need to come up with a new world map that include blast zones, radiated zones, waste islands, and areas that are severely affected by tidal, global warming or other weather effects. Whats left?

Try and project the path technology might have taken in terms of computing and communications in the years up to the collapse. That is the ‘ground zero’ point where all research would be stopped. Keep in mind that the years preceeding the collapse were pushing Internet communications industry down, and not as much innovation would have occurred. Mass storage would also have been slowed, while high speed computing and processing would have continued.

Anything technology wise that would have benefitted military applications would have continued in force.

Need maps form the major network providers one their backbones, US and international. What lines would be affected by nuclear/weather worsening and what would be left largely intact.

Need maps of railroad routes that are actively used (Groot?) and what they principally carry anymore. Shipping lanes, major ports of entry for shipping. What would be left after ocean levels rise?

Current nuclear power facilities, both here and overseas. What would the effect of cutting off their electricity be? Assume some safeguarding systems about removing rods from reactors when cooling/electricity is removed, but assume also that some of the older ones would have accidents, also contributing to the world’s “dead zones”.

Assume that research into alternative power means would have continued, but underfunded and not much better than today. That should include wind/solar/water (offshore turbines, etc).


beginnings of world

Ok, so some advanced ideas from a world in which to stage books.

Somewhere in the near future. I’d estimate the range at +50 years at least, if not more, and there’s nothing stopping me from writing books from the different ‘stages’ of this, happening during the course of events.

A series of presidents in the US become increasingly more powerful. All part of the same family. The name ‘Trim’ struck me as amusing (bush/trim). After several presidencies of this family, they become powerful enough to rewrite some of the more fundamental laws of the manner in which the country is governed. Presidents can serve more than 2 terms. More power to the president with less checks and balances. Things become increasingly corrupt in the various houses until the party system deteriorates and devolves into just the people who supported the Trim family. Lobbying becomes the main mechanism by which laws are passed. The initial ‘cover’ of conservativism and family values eventually recedes to expose the core: greed. Anything for money. If you have enough of it, you can buy the gov’t and its laws. Education budgets continue to wane, military spending continues to increase. Natural resources continue to be plundered. Global warming accelerates. Oil is simply taken. Countries that oppose the US in getting what they want are simply squashed under the military might.

The UN eventually becomes a complete figurehead/pawn of the US gov’t. European Union governments are quietly brought under control and managed through new foreign policy committees. International trade organizations are eventually subsumed as well. Terrorism increases, despite best efforts, and become rampant in all parts of the world, regardless of ideology. They seem to all center on US interests, and no longer on religious backed efforts (although the core religions still play a part and some endorse these tactics).

Industrialized interests in the US are released from their confines from ECO-groups, and no longer worry about waste disposal and pollution. Smog is prevalent in all large cities, and even in smaller ones. Disposal services become to form, and end up dumping wastes in oceans and on remote islands that become ‘radiated zones’. After a final dispute with the US over shipping lanes and other interests, Cuba eventually becomes such an island, and is no longer populated except by the robotics running the waste disposal.

Crime rates rise, many cities institute a diluted form of martial law, and the local law enforcement turns to National Guard out of necessity, giving the high level gov’t even more control over the population at large. The DHS (Department for Homeland Security) eventually becomes responsible for all internal security in the country, ‘hiring’ private security companies all over the country to assist with monitoring the population. Information privacy and personal privacy becomes things of a clouded and vague past. Routine investigations into seemingly innocent people turn up arrests for very vague crimes, and very often disappear without any other information becoming available. All in the name of national security.

The Internet and information flow inside the US becomes heavily monitored, and (as a result), very slow. Liesure usage of that resource trickles down to a standstill. The trend of having every household connected eventually reverses, and personal internet connections are reserved to only the wealthiest citizens. The core backbone network providers eventually cave in to political pressures and are managed resources open almost exclusively to big business and military projects.

The health care system in the country continues to deteriorate. Eventually, only the wealthiest citizens are able to afford health care, and the large HMO and Pharma companies go under due to a lack of customers who can pay what they mandate. Doctors stop participating in national programs, and practice only locally, since they couldn’t pay the insurance premiums anyway. They begin implementing a bartering system for medical care, taking payment in money, food, goods, medical supplies, etc. This will eventually be the system used by everyone after the collapse.

The only pharmacological research that continues is in bio-weapons divisions of military projects. Ethical practices in testing are abandoned, and human trials (on criminals and otherwise terminal patients of other diseases) become commonplace.

These same trends are also mirrored (to a lesser degree, perhaps, and maybe lagged behind by years or so) by all first world countries, throughout the european union, and even into second world countries as well (whose laws were already lax enough to allow much of this type of activity).

At some point, at a time I still need to pick, one of the bio-research facilities has a problem (this might be one of the books?). Due to some disaster or other accident, the contents of one particularly potent virus or bioweapon is released into the general populace, and spreads by many vectors (airborne, water, animal and human carriers) to the entire population of the globe. Although some geographical areas are not touched (lack of exposure … maybe another book or two on these areas?), nearly 100% of the world population is exposed and infected. The disease manifests in a 2 week incubation period (where carriers are spreading the disease), 1 week of increasingly severe symptoms (talk to Ella on this. Get something particularly bad and trump it up some), and then eventually death. No known cures at all.

While all of the world is affected, there is a segment of the population of the world that is immune to its effects. Everyone is still a carrier, but roughly 20% of the world’s population doesn’t die (have this vary slightly by ethnicity).

During the final stages of the panic that surrounds the outbreak and spreading of this disease, the final president, Jeremiah Trim, makes his last decision. He decides by executive decision to turn our own nukes on several US cities to halt the spread of the disease. Several other nuclear capable countries do the same. Although not everyone called on to do so actually fires their nukes, several US cities are completely annihilated (New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle). Rioting and mayhem in the remaining populace ensues, the military forces also end up with mass desertion and the current political regime is removed. Very few of the current political players survive (if any). The country (and in fact, most of the world) loses coherency, and things devolve into a particularly brutal few years of almost no order at all.

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