Archive for July, 2019

OPINIONS & OBSERVATIONS

WHEN WILL THIS COUNTRY WAKE-UP?
Today I heard about a shooting in Gilroy, California. Three dead, so far, including a six-year old and a thirteen-year old. Lives robbed of a future by an asshole with a gun. Lives which could have made a difference to our world.
I have driven though Gilroy., California many times on the way to San Jose, the home of my former wife and current best friend. You could smell Gilroy before you reached it. As we approached the town we were greeted by a bucolic countryside, pleasant and peaceful. We approached the town along highway 152, a pleasant ride through the hills of brown which may change according to the weather. From my experience the weather never changed much, until now. The global weather change has stirred things up for California, and actually, all over the world. Of course, the existence of this phenomenon is a myth, fully apparent if you are a ‘stable genius’.
After an incident of tragic proportions, the news if full of sorrow, memorials, bicycles ridden for great distances so we remember the current tragedy. In my opinion none of these inspired acts make a difference in the mindset of our current society. There are too many mass shootings to remember. Even what happened in Los Vegas, 58 killed and more than 500 injured. That is not a mass shooting. That is a war we are not winning unless there is a change in the morality of this country. Where the right to own a weapon comes before the lives of the victims we hear about every day.
I do not want to take the rifle out of the hands of hunters. I do not want to take the weapons of those who want to protect their homes. I want to take weapons out the hands of the unstable, of those with a past history of violence. It will take a far greater brain to resolve all these problems, but I have one observation.
The answer is MONEY!
Unfortunately, our entire society’s values, mainly those who control our society’s goal is more and more money.
For decades and beyond the direction of this country has been bought by organizations and individuals with an agenda. How to make more money. That money buys politicians and who knows what other levels of our government. They always say your vote counts which is true. But money buys the individuals you can vote for.
The only way we can see to right this wrong is to fight money with money. Have the 1% with a conscious, and love this country for the opportunities it has provided them unite and bring back the values that have made this country great. Buy back our freedom which is rapidly changing. Use your wealth to make this country, which gave you the opportunity to make that wealth, a country we can all be proud of again,
The ball is in your court. Play it wisely for this country’s future.

July 30, 2019 at 4:16 am 1 comment

OBSERVATIONS & ONPIONS

POST WAR OF THE WORLDS

The other day I watched the movie War of the Worlds made in 1953 based on the famous novel by H. G. Wells written in 1898. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched this movie and consider it one of my favorite if not my favorite science fiction movie. I also enjoy watching the 2005 version of the movie by the same name.
In the latest version the machines are more in tune with those in the novel, supported by tripods. But I think there is a basic flaw. It is hinted in the movie that the machines were buried on the earth maybe a million years ago. Wouldn’t their technology change over that length of time? Would they know the machines were still functional? Why would they think they would one day invade earth? These are just thoughts on the movies and not the purpose of this piece.
I think it is interesting to speculate what happens after the movie ends. Do the Martians launch another attack on earth, this time wearing spacesuits so they won’t die? And the earth has been decimated. How would the rebuild go?
Think Tokyo after World War II. What about the machines? Would man gain great knowledge from these devices improving life. And then there is the possibility of manufacturing new weapons and means of cloaking making the weapons indestructible. Would man use these new weapons for possibly more threats from space. Or more likely, would they wind up using them on each other.

July 20, 2019 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS

FUTURE WRITERS AND AI
Just finished the latest book by Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me. I highly recommend it for it is a great read. If you wonder what the future is, you will enjoy this book.
That book is the inspiration for this article.
I recently posted a piece about the elderly writer coping with today’s technological advances and all the social platforms with which to communicate with the public. To summarize, I don’t know how most of today’s electronics work or what they can accomplish. I don’t have a clue how to use the ever-growing number of social platforms. I realize change will never cease, but the rapidity of the changes today is without equal. The purpose of this piece is to address the potential future of writing. The future of not tomorrow’s elderly writers but all writers.
The news today is addressing more and more the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). My local supermarket has the tall rectangular device roaming around the store. I asked the cashier what the thing does and he said it spots spills. That’s it. Then the human has to come to clean the mess. A meaningless purpose but this is only one step on the road to singularity. Singularity is the time when human and AI intelligence is equal. After that the machines leave us in the dust. What will the machines be then called, robo sapiens?
What I speculate in this piece would make a great premise for a short story. Use it if you want.
I wonder about the challenge to writers in the age of singularity and beyond. When machines are more intelligent than writers. When machines are able to produce more compelling plots and better character development. They may have access to a multitude of languages knowing the meaning of every word in those languages. There also go the translators of novels, and the thesaurus will be relegated to the category of ancient works.
This is just speculation, as it was not long ago, that the personal computer and cell phone were the property of dreams.

July 20, 2019 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 7/15/19: Greg Bear’s Hegira (1979)

Science fiction fans, this is a site worth exploring.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Today’s installment of Monday Maps and Diagrams returns to a recent acquisition of mine—a signed copy of Greg Bear’s first published novel Hegira (1979), which seems to be a Riverworld and Ringworld inspired read involving the discovery of the nature of an unusual world…

I’m impressed with the simple effectiveness of Greg Bear’s map—created by his own hand (citation bottom right corner). The ocean is nicely indicated as are the rivers and regions (and of course, the unusual wall in the far north–one of the story’s many mysteries).

Enjoy! And, as always, comments are welcome and appreciated!

For my recent acquisition post which included novel’s plot blurb and discussion in comment section about the Greg Bear’s early works, click here.

Citation: Greg Bear’s own map for the Dell 1st edition of Hegira (1979), Greg Bear.

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July 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

as seen on city streets…

My friend nailed it again.

Read Between the Minds

as i entered
the
post office
i saw
the
brown bag prophet
mailing
a business envelope
he
said
i’m gonna
propose
a new show
for
the black
entertainment network
i want them
to
seriously
think about
my
humble
proposal
for
a program
called
wait
wait
don’t
shoot me

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July 8, 2019 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS

THE ELDERLY WRITER AND TODAY’S WORLD

I don’t consider myself elderly, okay I am elderly. But the appreciation of this fact at the age of 71 comes with difficulty. At times, honestly, I don’t know what to feel or think. I feel a change will come, but when my mind wonders to reality, that is the residence of dreams. For my ‘mature’ followers am I alone in this thinking or is it a common transition of life?
Getting back to the purpose of this piece, how are my fellow writers dealing with this ever-changing world of technology?
I remember typing submissions along with carbon paper to make a copy, and sending every submission by snail mail. There was no other choice. Now I am overwhelmed by social media platforms. I consistently hear of social sites and have no idea what they do. As a writer, I should take advantage of the exposure these sites provide, but I don’t know how. I don’t know if they are necessary for my work or worth the effort. What is the value worth where every one has access to publish every work they produce? I’m making a leap here, much of which is below readability?
My form of technology in college was a slide rule. I once talked to a millennial about a slide rule. She had no idea what idea what a slide rule was. Never heard of the computation device ‘early man’ used.
I read the Sunday supplements and see ads for electronic devices. Not do I not know what they are, but I have no idea what they do. Bluetooth is still a mystery to me, and what is its advantage. This is the same thought I have of the latest ‘advances’ of the fascinating world of technology and I appreciate the benefits they provide mankind, but they still remain a mystery to me.

July 5, 2019 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS

WE ARE TO BLAME

I know, I know this blog is meant to address writing. Well, I think this piece does exactly that. There is so much happening in this country that is a fountain of material for both fiction and non-fiction writers.
Our country has reached a new low in the environment, the lost trust of allies, the growing relationship with cruel dictators who think nothing of their people, yet telling the average citizen everything is fine. And some of us, luckily a minority, believe what they are told without searching for the facts. Because they are told the facts are not true because of the ‘fake news’. Then there is also the creation of ‘alternative facts’. And yet our administration is supposed to be believed, yet unfortunately, some do.
We have become a society of corruption at the top levels of government and industry. And they both feed off one another with no care for the damage they create for the citizens of this country. I think the reason many accept what is happening is because we have become lazy in seeking out the truth, and also, believing what we are told no matter what is right in front of us.
Without our knowledge, the seeds of failure for this country are sown every day. Soon they will sprout and deliver us into a future no one could imagine.
The rich grow beyond rich, while the poor, whose numbers constantly are increasing. We are told they are lazy and don’t deserve the benefits they receive. Some work two or three jobs and still can not support their family. There are many things wrong with this country. They can be solved but we need politicians and an administration with a conscience.
I am an old man and look back when problems I’m sure were hidden. But hidden or not I felt the future would improve life for all of us, all of us. But now we are involved in a culture of greed and loss of values. Is there any hope?

July 3, 2019 at 4:13 am 2 comments


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