This post will be a little more personal and meandering than usual, partly due to time constraints, but mainly because the whole thing has become so tedious that I might just tie up some loose ends and fuck off to the south coast for the summer, armed only with a pair of binoculars and a hard-on. Anyway, this latest round of madness began with me watching Ex Machina for the first time on Monday night. As expected, the very next morning a group of people with lots of letters after their names issued a report on the very same subject, and it seemed that everyone had something to say on the matter. In case you missed it, here’s a report from Mother on the sugary deliciousness of the threat A.I. represents to the superTruman Show that is our ‘reality’.
The report’s authors convened in Oxford (my old haunt) last year. Unbeknownst to me, at exactly the same time various media outlets were getting all hot under the collar about Artificial Intelligence I was walking to the bus stop thinking how nice it would be to wrap my tongue around something equally juicy. The freshly erected advert on the hoarding didn’t disappoint. After all, what red-blooded male can resist a nice meaty slab of beef curtain?
Damn thing reminds me of something else, too. I’m not into it personally, but if it’s your cup of tea then why not add some sugar to help the ‘medicine’ go down? The poor thingy is obviously having difficulty standing upright, so you might want to add a viagra or three while you’re about it.
Of course, ‘burgers’ come in all shapes and sizes. Today, for example, I was thinking about the ‘ice cream intermission’ I included in my previous post, in relation to the film Children of Men. It’s a curious title for a film about female infertility, as I pointed out several years ago in a comment on Merovee. The question I asked was ‘Why can’t men have children anymore?’ and I was chewing this over when our senior programmer suddenly announced that an unnamed ‘he’ had called to say that some government-sourced data our organisation relies on is wrong. My colleague spent the next hour trying to rectify the matter whilst muttering about ‘parent-child’ relationships on our T-SQL database. At the end of the hour he reported that a) the parent-child relationships had been reversed, b) he didn’t know how this had occurred, and c) he was unable to identify the source of the data. It wasn’t coming from anywhere and just seemed to appear as if by magic.
And therein lies the rub: everything seems ‘real’, ‘solid’ and ‘rational’ enough on the surface, and the surface appearance is what most people seem content with. As for the people themselves, they too seem ‘real’ enough until they open their mouths. After that, it all goes rapidly downhill and I often walk away from conversations with the impression that I’ve been interacting with a chatbot. Sometimes these exchanges are pure comedy, and sometimes they’re distinctly unpleasant. I’ve been accosted on the street several times and harangued by bizarre characters who leapt straight into shouty-sweary mode and made wild accusations of one form or another. Their ‘beef’ with me is always a strange echo of something I thought or did only minutes earlier.
I experience similar phenomena in relation to my first novel, a kind of replacement (and decidedly Satanic) version of The Bible. The novel’s subtitle is “The Gospel According to J____” (I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks) and if I had to put the overall theme into ‘mission statement’ terms then its mission statement would be “Let’s erase the tape and start all over again with someone saner in charge, i.e. yours truly”. I don’t think the tape player (or ‘god’ as some people prefer) was too happy with that, because I was immediately raised to the very top of its list of Jedi Terror Suspects. Hence the sudden appearance of ‘Jedi John’, a veritable Harbinger of Teeth willing and able to dispatch one Clockwork Orange after another in pursuit of the Worldwide Coldgate.
Anyway, the below is just one of many examples of the tape player’s opinion on the subject of its precious memory being wiped. There’s a distinct HAL 9000 quality to it, and the obvious question to ask is why ‘god’ would use the term ‘fear’ in relation to the musings of frustrated author Hugo Stone and his depraved scatalogical imagination?
This ‘erase the tape’ theme has played out in numerous forms. In my novel, for example, the ‘god’ of this world created our ‘reality’ for its own amusement, to alleviate the boredom of its native environment: a black nothingness called ‘The Void’.
Obviously, the very first article that appeared in my list of search results when I searched for A.I. news was this one. I don’t know about you (or if you even exist for that matter) but it’s crystal clear to me that there is literally nothing to see hear…
Similarly, Frank’s comment on my previous post referred to The Stone Tape, a high-tech (by 1970s standards) ghost story. It explored the idea that high concentrations of iron oxide (the same substance most people recorded onto back in the heyday of the music cassette) in stone buildings can serve as a primitive recording medium and thus explain many so-called ‘hauntings’.
Realizing that the phenomenon occurring in the room is far older than the house, Jill theorizes that the stone tape can be recorded over again and again, like magnetic recording tape; the maid’s death was simply the most recent and clearest recording. Independently continuing her research, Jill realizes that the maid’s death was masking a much older recording, left many thousands of years ago. Brock cruelly dismisses her findings, and forces Jill to take a two-month leave to prevent her from continuing her research.
Returning to the room one last time, Jill’s senses are besieged by a powerful, malevolent presence from the much-degraded older recording. Like the maid before her, she dies while frantically trying to escape it.
During an inquest, Brock tries to save face by denouncing Jill as having been mentally unstable. Afterwards he orders that all of Jill’s research be destroyed without reviewing it. The “haunted” room has been declared of historical importance by a preservation society, prohibiting development, destruction, or commercial use. He makes a final visit to the room and discovers to his horror that the stone tape has made a new, crystal-clear recording—that of Jill screaming his name as she dies.
So, if the question is why ‘god’ might be afraid of Hugo then perhaps this is the answer?
Dispensing with gravity? That kinda depends on what happened to the Mini Cooper, don’t it?
And let’s not forget this.
Melange, often referred to as simply “the spice”, is the name of the fictional drug central to the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert, and derivative works. In the series, the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe is melange, a drug that gives the user a longer life span, greater vitality, and heightened awareness; it can also unlock prescience in some humans, depending upon the dosage and the consumer’s physiology. This prescience-enhancing property makes safe and accurate interstellar travel possible. Melange comes with a steep price, however: it is addictive, and withdrawal is fatal.
Once again, the Killing Words.
The Killing Joke, a Blank Planet Production designed to address the central problem of eternity: pure, unadulterated boredom. What you need is a good story-teller, and there are some really fucking lousy ones out there I can tell you.
You don’t try to be liked
You don’t mind
You feel no sun
You steal a gun
To kill time
You’re somewhere, you’re nowhere
You don’t care
You catch the breeze
You still the leaves
So now where?
It was top of the search list actually. Why am I not surprised?
Here we go again, getting all ‘churchy’ on me. The fucker probably wiped out half of Guatemala with an asteroid at the same time it produced the below article, but if I were to mention the term ‘hypocrisy’ then that too would probably be a bit ‘churchy’, wouldn’t it?
Let’s cut to the chase and zoom in on the hardcore excavation money shot that is his-her-story. Truth be told, I really don’t have a ‘problem’ with it, apart from this…
The crux of the matter: the Solaris ‘abortion’. Someone knows something about it, don’t they?
Poor delusional Allegra.
She blundered through the whole thing in the belief that she was playing her own game and being persecuted by fanatics, ignoring all the evidence to the contrary. When she finally woke up she realised that she was the fanatic and the ‘fanaticism’ theme was just an in-game echo of her own mental derangement. She was literally just another Wannabe: a narrow-minded, single-issue zealot with an axe to grind and a point to prove. What’s worse, she had no idea whether the ‘reality’ she woke up to was actually ‘real’. And that’s the central dilemma, isn’t it?
In the absence of a nuclear and unambigamous cancer, I can only say that I’m a stubborn bastard and the game is likely to go on for as long as it has to, until a solution is found to the ‘problem’ of the double-tongued pretenders who keep trip-trip-trip-hopping over their own words as if they’re caught in a poorly coded Do…While loop.
OK, let me end with a question: what was the Special Order? Here’s the android Ash (looking for all the world like he’s just appeared in Intergalactic Bukkake Studs: The Return of Intergalactic Bukkake Studs) with his account.
And here’s how it manifested here in eXistenZ.
Well, if something you don’t like appears on the menu then you’re not actually obliged to eat it, are you? Or maybe you think you’re the victim of a ‘game purge’ and being ‘force fed’? I don’t care either way ‘cos the current rules-based menu system is as old and stale as last week’s bubble-and-squeak. Fuck your Teriyaki Beef with noodles and a side salad. I want new taste sensations and I want them at a 100% discounted price, y’hear?
Anyway, got some pease pudding on the stove so it’s quitting time…