All posts by P

Predictions (2016)

I always wanted to finish a collection of stories in which I had plots set up for many years, with the motivation for me to dedicate time to finish them being fairly low. Space Junk is a good story which is an example. Even though I have several chapters basically done, I never gotten around to publish them or end up revising them several times over before I even get to them to the point I wanted to publish.
Even though I never bothered getting them out the door, I’ll spoil a part of a plot of that for this post.
I predicted in 2007 with one of the latter chapters of Space Junk the following:

  • Hilary Clinton would be President of the United States in the future.
  • A US President afterwards in the future would be some multi billionaire that would be self centered and drive the country further into the ground with the previous one. I think I named the guy Robert Docshea. (Think of his last name being synonymous with “douche”.)
  • There would be some mechanism that if you posted ideas counter to the established train of thought given by media organizations you will end up punished, either with social or civil penalties. This might be enforced by an AI or by people who think they have moral superiority, but in fact were brainwashed by powers in control.
  • The three main characters would end up having to use darknet (think I2P or TOR) to have conversations with likeminded people online.
  • Cell phones, cable boxes, and other internet connected devices will constantly blast advertisements to people based on their discussions.

I tried to design this with what I was seeing going on in 2007 with the advent of social media, economic issues and laws being proposed. This was before Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for President of the United States. After that occurred, I assumed Clinton would probably run again in the future. I apparently was correct on that as she is currently the Democratic Nominee for President in 2016. Not bad for a kid in college at the time.

I’ve been taken a bit by surprise by my second prediction coming to the front at the same time as the first one. I’m not sure what to say about Trump honestly at this point, I get the impression of a snake oil salesman, however at the same time the unfiltered personality of him does seem to bring a bit of fresh air into politics that I never have seen my whole life.

Looking at the media and how they’re painting him, it’s a total smearjob on him 24/7. I get the impression the media will end up regretting that somehow in the future as everyone I talk to on both sides alike assume that any publicity, even negative, is good publicity. Clinton on the other hand, actually scares me to an extent.  Certain things she says give me the impression that the US will yet again end up in another war in the Middle East, which I personally think is pointless.

I’ve been paying attention to the whole gamergate/anti-SJW (Social Justice Warrior, aka social media mobs) movements going on. I’ve always wanted to write something up on the whole issue the entire time it’s been going on, but have sat on the fence and couldn’t agree with them or the other side of the issue.  I do see a lot of social media outrage on Trump’s comments and I get the feeling a lot of people getting annoyed with the outrage mobs will side with Trump. The US election is in a few weeks and we will likely see what happens.

On another note, the outrage mobs are getting annoying enough I might do a parody of them on here for kicks eventually.

Changes coming up

I’ve decided that after having to reset this place a handful of times so far due to getting nailed by zero day exploits coming from Russia and China that I will be moving this platform off of WordPress to something else. I seem to do more janitorial work on the backend than I do actually writing anything because of this platform. I’ve yet to decide on what platform, I even debated returning to just a static layout that I had previously on older projects that this blog came from. Likely if push comes to shove, I’ll write my own platform, although my web design skills are over 10 years out of date now.

In the past 6 months, this site has gone two server migrations in the process. Currently we’re running on a machine running Devuan Linux.  I wasn’t a fan of the way Debian (or some of the other mainstream Linux distributions) was going and after toying with OpenBSD for a while I decided to try and stick to something I’m familiar with.  I will be rolling out SSL on this server and make it mandatory within the week likely.

Also looking back at some of the stuff I wrote myself, I think I might revisit a few topics, mainly since my views on a few things have changed since then.

Also, anyone have forms of motivation to finish a 12 year old book that’s had its entire plot designed out but not fully written?

An Example of Over-reactions

Something that gets noticed a lot is when people jump to conclusions right off the bat when it comes to breaking news. Even though not all of the information is out there or the situation hasn’t been fully evaluated yet, people always jump to a conclusion based off a few headlines. All humans are basically guilty of this, it’s part of human nature.

I’ve ran into a few different and odd situations where people’s conclusions put the people around them into rather dangerous situations. An example of this occurred with me several years ago when the auto industry in the US was bailed out.  Around that time, I and a few of my college classmates were about to celebrate our 21st birthdays. Just for kicks, we took a trip down to a local bar in a busy part of town that had quite a few places in terms of nightlife. Since most of us lived far enough away that it would require someone to drive, one of us who was yet to be 21 had to drive us there, and from that place after we were done, we were planning on going to my apartment to finish studying for a midterm that was going to happen at the end of the week. Seeing that it was a Monday, the four of us doubted that the area was going to be packed, excluding a lot of frat/sorority people who never went to class and just spent their entire college career drunk.

So we picked a random bar, it was a sports bar, and it was nearly 6pm that afternoon when we went in there. As we expected, the place was rather empty, except for a few guys, one of which looked like your stereotypical redneck you’d see if you do a images search for “redneck”.

This place had quite a few television sets all over the place. The barkeeper had one of them on a broadcast TV station, one of your big four stations that do their 6pm local news and then their 6:30pm national newscast. I think this was NBC, a channel I couldn’t stand due to their views on file sharing and tech. Now that I think about it, I still can’t stand them.

So they go on about talking about the auto bailout, and how GM was going to be getting a ton of money to stay afloat. We were already sitting a few seats away from two of the redneck guys who looked like they were slightly buzzed or drunk already. I think they were construction workers or something. One of the redneck guys turned to us, and starts saying:
“Whoever disagrees with that bailout is supporting communism.”

Now, a rough definition of Communism is as follows: An economic system where the state controls the means of production. The United States doesn’t technically fit that definition, the opposite system is a Lessie-faire (free-market) system in which the state doesn’t manage any means of economic function, except for levying taxes. The United States isn’t a total free-market system but isn’t a communist system either as regulations and restrictions on certain functions exist. One of my friends at this bar had this going on in his head and decided to rebuke the redneck guy.

If I recall, his comment was something like: “Um, that’s not communism. The government owning shares in a company and having a controlling stake is more communism than isn’t.”

This redneck guy immediately flips his lid and gets angry. Next thing that happened is the guy is pointing a handgun at us, starting to yell at us about how we were communists and kids don’t know anything about how the world works. At that point, I think all of us were nervous we’d get shot by this drunk guy and that would be the end. The guy behind the bar though had a different reaction. Before anyone could react, he jumped the bar and ripped the gun away from the guy and pointed it back at the redneck’s head. Later we’d learn the guy was an ex-navy seal or something like that who also taught MMA fighting on the side besides his bartending job. While the drunk was stuck in that chokehold with his own gun pointing to his head, the bartender decided to give him an lecture on economics. The police arrived about twenty minutes later and arrested the guy.

So what does this story have to do with overreactions?

It seems that lately, there’s always a social media outrage with people having a mob mentality jumping to conclusions before all facts are known. A good example is that one dentist who traveled to Africa to go hunting, following all laws even with a guide and killed a lion. Even though it seems that is acceptable on that side of the world on what he did, the rest of society in the west decided to grab pitchforks and do everything they can to destroy that guys reputation with comments like “how dare you kill that animal”. This has been happening more and more it seems and it seems only a matter of time before some people get so numb to the outrage that they will cycle outrage mobs as much as they can to cause even more issues. This can even possibly start causing loss of life the way it’s going.

This is something I kind of want to follow more going into the future as this has gotten more and more common with the growing presence of social media. Maybe it’ll be story worthy.

I’m in the mood to make fun of myself

So while I was moving into my new place, I came across several notebooks from elementary school all the way up through high school. Looking at them now, I have to laugh at my inability to spell and some of the random drawings I came across. I decided I’d show off some of the ones I found since they seem… quite strange.

Hithler

Apparently as a kid, I couldn’t spell “Hitler” correctly. Why I selected that as a word for that hangman picture, I have no clue. So supposedly Nazi Germany used to say “Hail Hithler” instead of “Hail Hitler” . Also, “donut” planet? I didn’t know there was a planet of doughnuts.

Speaking of Hitler, I watched the cartoon Dilbert on Netflix and got these as suggestions:

hitlernetflix

old spacejunk character list

Old  Space Junk character list. Only three of those characters remain from the original list I created over 10 years ago, and they’ve changed compared to that. Also reminds me to get off my butt and complete my book. It’s now three years past its due date. I didn’t realize I came up with the idea that early though, apparently two years earlier than my first word document.

space junk ch1 03

The old Intro from Space Junk in 2003-04. Only thing that still remains is the first sentence, minus the character name. I enjoy seeing all those spelling errors. I think I wrote that while being bored in my high school English class.

old space junk species list

Old species list from 2003-04. None of those are used. Hell, even the later part of my plot was tossed not too long after this picture.

Going even older (the 90’s)…

Boyan Attack plane

This was in a book that was dated from 2nd grade if my years are correct. 999mph is kinda slow for a spacecraft or airplane. Also the amount of fire coming out of the engines is concerning. I had a habit of labeling who was the pilot/copilot, me and a childhood friend flying Swat Kats style (big cartoon when I was a kid). Also, why is it bombing an empty platform? Waste of ammo (or energy).

I actually drew a comic book series around the same time as the picture above that when I saw years later cleaning out trash in high school. That comic book series is actually what Space Junk came out of, although the original story and meaning has long been trashed and replaced with stuff that makes more sense. Who knew that random drawings from my childhood would give me an idea for a book 7 years later (well now 17 years later)? Maybe I’ll scan that eventually, I still have it with the other stuff.

Not forgotten…

It’s been almost a year since I posted any updates on here. Between moving and setting up for a new job, I haven’t had the time to sit down and come up with original content like I planned on. Hopefully that will change soon. I have a bit of a priority to spend some time working on my book in the next few months so I’ll finally be getting around to doing an update to that.

I have a good guideline I want to follow that’s 90% done, however the hardest part I’m struggling with is out of all things, the beginning.  I have a few other things I might post about here soon that aren’t really rants and not stupid things like me going off on license plate frames.

On a side note… Arguing with environmentalists is just like arguing with someone who doesn’t think evolution exists, it seems like their brains are wired exactly the same.  (More on this later)