The Aspirational Zombie.

Category: ink on art, neuro, sentience/cognition

Long-time readers of the ‘crawl might remember that I’ve never had much patience for the AI’s Just Wanna Live trope. I put my bootprint on it in my very first novel— “Expert defense witnesses, including a smart gel online from Rutgers, testified that neuron cultures lack the primitive midbrain structures necessary to experience pain, fear, […]

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Parts of People.

Category: ink on art, neuro

“My life has been 107 hours long,” says Ms. Casey, Wellness Counselor at Lumon Industries, moments after learning she won’t be making it to 108. “Of all that time, my favorite was the eight hours I spent in Macrodata Refinement. You could say those were my Good Old Days.” Of course, Ms. Casey—or whatever her […]

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Inadvertent Virtue

Category: politics

I’d been negotiating intermittently with my Russian publisher for months: backlist titles up for renewal, a new collection of short stories. We’d been poking back and forth since November. Everything was in coming together. Then Putin went ballistic. The wall came down. The paperwork was done but no money had changed hands—so, the contracts remain […]

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Nukes or Keys

Category: politics

Kateryna from Odessa builds art out of bits of polished sea glass: everything from beetles to jewelry cases to horned human skulls. I don’t know her, exactly. We’ve never met. But she’s a fan, and when I visited Ukraine a few years back she sent me one of her creations—a little stained-glass egg—via a friend […]

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A Plethora of Pictures

Category: art on ink

Yeah, I’ve been delinquent for a while now. It’s partly because things that pay generally get higher priority than things that don’t. It’s partly because writing my preferred sort of post (crunchy science or science-related politics) takes longer to research and write than the easier fiblets or tub-thumpery. It’s partly because the story I most […]

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Defective.

Category: fiblet

Ancient. Capricious. Vengeful. They lived among the stars and they hurled firebolts that would destroy any world they touched. We could see their tracks, once we knew how to look: faint wisps of ionized hydrogen out in the Oort, barely detectable after cooling for a dozen years; warmer footprints smoldering in the Kuiper and inside […]

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COP/out

Category: In praise of biocide, rant, scilitics

“Governments should be afraid of their people”—Alan Moore It was our “last chance to act”, according to Sheldon Whitehouse of the Democratic Party. The “last best hope for the world”, according to John Kerry. Boris Johnson invoked James Bond doomsday machines, declared it “one minute to midnight”, and warned that “If we don’t act now […]

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The Guts of God (or, Why I Haven’t Been Blogging Lately)

Category: fiblet

Someone is waiting for me outside my building. He calls me by name; I have never seen him before. He begs me to share my wisdom, and does not believe me when I tell him I have none to offer. I am part of the overmind, he insists. I am connected to the Divine, I’ve […]

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Pimpage: Me and Neill on The Bridge.

Category: public interface

Turns out I’ve made a fair number of podcast/interview appearances over the past year or so, across a bunch of jurisdictions all the way from Russia to the Free Republic of Guelph. Never really pimped them because A) I was raised by Baptists, B) I generally cringe when people thump their own tubs too loud, […]

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John Carpenter’s “Planaria”: or, The New Individualism

Category: biology, evolution, just putting it out there...

Sometimes you run into a concept that completely rewires your outlook. It happened for me back in the eighties, when I encountered the definition of “Life” in Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker: “Information, shaped by natural selection”. That concise distillation—an actual description of what life is, as opposed to all those tired and exception-prone checklists that […]

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