Thursday, May 28, 2015

A nation of Billion/3

Also possibly titled: a billion/3 memes and something like a zeitgeist; how to look at history.

I had an odd but somewhat invigorating conversation on the internet a few months ago. That it still stuck with me is a testament to its strength. We were trying to talk about what happened in the 80s for a specific act concerning President Reagan; I forget what exactly and it’s not important. What was important was what the people then were thinking, as well as the major and minor political players of the moment. The other person lived through it, while I did not. I presumed to tell him what the polls more or less indicated about the time and the official statements from the major players. He pointed out that he was there and that things weren’t as clear cut as the simplistic sample I took would indicate. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Algo and the Tale of the King's Tattoos

There are plenty of rumors circulating about Algo and the possibility of him tattooing his own skin to write out his stories. These horrid attacks on his personality, and possibly his psychology, are baseless. As are the accompanying rumors that he’s doing so in a manner that would speak of his madness or his fractal/branching stories. Well, I took the time to ask Algo and he told me the following...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Concertina Wire

I never really knew barbed wire until my first deployment to Iraq. Then I grew quite intimate with it, came to know that it was not barbed wire, stupid, but concertina wire. This wire wasn’t your great great grandfather’s barbed wire with its weak barb and only two sharp ends—thorns, really—but a winged blade created to splice and stab anything in its vicinity.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Back from dealing with paperwork

Well, dear reader, once again I've been gone for too long. This time, it was the bureaucracy of my newly adopted state which kept me from updating. Thing is, to get any small matter accomplished these days results in facing off against a hundred different people who all seem caught in some algorithm designed for the insane. And no matter how well intentioned these people are, no matter how many times they smile, there's still the matter of them having to deal with the laws, some  of which contradict others. And there I am, hustling from one office to another, knowing I'm in the right (using a metric of right and wrong from my childhood—a mistake, I know), yet with the creeping sense that I will be punished for some mistake I'm not aware of. It's enough to want to throw up your hands and join the Tea Party [1]


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Just Writing Things









































The Library

I love libraries and I especially love public libraries. You probably can’t imagine my joy when, as a child, I entered a library and was told that I could check out as many books as I wanted. I was certain that they were fools and proceeded to check out more books than I could've ever read. This habit plagues me to the day, by the way; I've more books than I could possibly read in my remaining life (and books I want to read, at that), and yet I still buy more and more books. Why is this? Some sort of addiction? Consumerism gone wrong (or possibly a self-righteous kind)?

But I digress. My love affair with libraries continued on in college where I would wander those infinite stacks looking for some book which would highlight some long unknown fact (or still the disquiet inside). I did find a few good books to read, though I'd much less success with my secondary aim of finding a female student for the much touted “intimacy in the stacks": a tradition that apparently all other students were vigorously abiding by as a study break.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Something in the air

There’s something in the air these days. I’m not talking about the plethora of grassroots movements all aimed against the organized/age-old iniquities of the day; the result of which might be a more focused anger aimed at these halls of powers and their iniquities. This, of course, is a welcome change to the parade of hagiographies we see on the left and right of the mainstream media when they talk about the halls of power (except, apparently, when a sex scandal is involved).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tom Bensley; The Time I was Haunted by the Internet


The Time I Was Haunted by the Internet

Browsing the message boards on IMDB.com has been a longstanding addiction of mine. The people who post there are mostly a bunch of wannabe critics denouncing popular movies and trying to start a bit of online fisticuffs, but occasionally a topic will inspire people to tell stories. Posters write searing, honest accounts of childhood abuse or open up about their experiences in failed relationships. When I was haunted by the internet, it was 2007 and I was reading through a particular topic on the board for Paranormal Activity.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Artifical Intelligence as Foreign Policy

As all my readers know by now, my latest book—still in the stages of being chipped at, edited, if you will—deals with several aspects of rebellion, with its latter stages dealing with advanced artificial intelligence (AI). Now, unlike some other books, I don't deal with AI that's self aware or have consciousness, as this is too hard to define for humans, to say nothing of machines. Instead, I try to think of a slow creep of AI, automated, into the decision making arenas of the world, and from there the AI simply manipulates the material world in a malevolent way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Art as Life

Ah, spring in the NW, where the sunsets emit a warmth and subtly that hints at the better weather to come. As I stare at the sepia-toned dusk, rain falling instead of crystals, I think on an event that happened a long time ago, in the brittle air of winter. It was an odd event, and one I would rather forget, but light has a way of evoking certain moods, doesn't it?

Monday, March 16, 2015

MFA programs. And what they create. (non-fiction)

So the internet is abuzz with the latest literary controversy. As per the controversy, the people attacking it are hardly adding to the debate. Rather it's about personal screes (and oh aren't those addicting?) and people staking their tribal flags. What I've mainly seen—besides the reactions from those directly affected—are people who think it horrendous that he's teaching his MFA students in such a crass manner, and people who think that he's spot on. These views either hold contempt for those who take the MFA route or reject most of the doubt thrown at the students taking the MFA route.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Internet Narratives (part 3); 3 ways to limit Comment decay

Note: nNot really part 3 but rather part four or five. I have a guest post by English and more versions of what is possible, to include a video game, the creation of fractal/branching never-ending stories (check out my own ongoing project to create something infinite) and the possible death of life for writers like myself: the creation of programs that will write more (quality and quantity-wise) than us.

I've talked about the nature of narratives today in a reply to what Franzen said about the lack of potential in the internet. Indeed, for anyone with a grain of imagination, there is much hope in what one can achieve with the internet (or the possibility of the connections within the internet's structures). I will say that, given what I've seen, there is little good coming out of its narrative-engines—contrary to what I said before... This is not to say that the potential isn't there, simply that it hasn't been realized yet. Also, the internet provides much in terms of valuable information [1], but I'll focus on narratives or comments for now.
 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Familial Madness 2

And now we see the end or perhaps the beginning of the end that we never saw before. 


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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Familial Madness

I'm sorry to have to do this, but with the creation of a fractal story of my own, with Familial madness now destined to be a never ending story, I will have to create story after story that will be able to encompass this entire world. What else does one do then? Well, I need these posts about me to one day become part of that story. You will be seeing more of these.

To all my readers: I am still editing with and dealing with the latest novel. I will be working on When Gods Fail IV to that end and will hopefully wrap up that series as soon as I can. All the best. 




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Thursday, March 5, 2015

(non-fiction) Barbaric vs civilized

All record of civilization is also a  record of barbarianism.

In the horizon of a dusty land there is a new barbarian appearing. And people are scared. The cruelty of ISIS has been revealed to the world and the human beings of civilized nations need to come forth or else be crushed underfoot. The use of the word barbaric recently seems to have gotten out of hand. So I'm tackling this so called confrontation of civilized vs barbaric with one of my own. I find the everyday definitions to be too self-serving. Let's see what google has to say about it:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Future Narratives. Guest post by Ausar English

I recently returned to New York City and met up with a friend in a cafe on the penumbra of Union Square. It was after New Years, and the air felt brittle and tired. The friend, Ausar, joined me to discuss our fiction works in progress and the conversation moved to the current state of the narrative. It seems something of a cliche to think that the state of the prose is under attack, or that it is (will?) undergoing some great changes due to technology (people still read, it's what they're reading that's changing). Nevertheless we discussed this, discussed the myriad of ways that technology today would take narratives as we know them and turn them into something else, something that perhaps hasn't even been done yet.

Now, when it came to this subject, I sensed that Ausar had a little more insight into the matter given his ability to partake in multiple storytelling forms (whereas I merely focus on one). So I asked if he would be able to write something up for my blog. Luckily, he did. So without any more delays, I present his thoughts below. Enjoy:

Friday, February 13, 2015

On the existence of ghosts

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Once upon a time I stopped smiling, dear readers. A time when my innocence was robbed. Let me tell you what happened. It’s a horrible thing when a human loses his/her previous underpinnings for their belief-system. Me? I never believed in ghosts before. Sure, I heard the stories, but I didn’t trust what others said about what they saw. I placed them in the same category as those who were abducted by UFOs, or those who believe in conspiracy theories of the kind that had no evidence and had assumed some rich cabal was behind every act of violence in the world. Whenever I’d meet such people they seemed to have the same stupefied look in their eyes. So you can only imagine my surprise when I found out that there were in fact ghosts in the world. I was 33 when this revelation happened, and I hated myself for finding them—but it’s also hard to truly come to terms with the life lived blind.