Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Dear Mr. Kurzweil
Darn you! Darn you to heck! How dare you publish a book detailing an idea I've had kicking around in my head since well before I've ever heard of you! It doesn't take much to look at sociological, economic, and scientific graphs and notice they all have one thing in common: an exponential shape. This seems eminently obvious to me, but when I introduce the idea to others, they tend not to see my point. Humph. And imagine my annoyance when I saw your book sitting on a shelf at the library. A quick browse of the early part reveals that at least someone else has the idea. Though, I suppose this, too is inevitable, as the amount of ideas exponentially increases, the likelihood of them being truly original decreases at the same rate. The thing I wonder about this is whether or not any legitimately new technologies will be imagined up or if all future technology is going to be some sort of refinement or improvement of a current idea.
Or have they always been this way? Has every technology followed a clearly defined path, a sort of universal technological advancement causality? A real world "technology tree," to use a term from real-time strategy games? Is the computer really just the logical extension of the abacus? The gun, the spear? And what will happen in the future? Will we truly reach the singularity, or will we reach ever higher and ever wider, but never truly meet the asymptote? Does it matter? And lastly can we truly escape our base natures, instincts, and impulses in time to prevent our own destruction by passion? Would that make the world better or worse? Does that matter either? In true scientific fashion, the answer only raises (exponentially) more questions. I hope this finds you well, and have a(n) (exponentially) fantastic day!
Disillusioned college freshman
Monday, September 22, 2008
This crow was by all accounts a normal crow, excepting it’s relatively regal bearing, and a single blue feather on its left side. The crow had remained all morning, having settled some time during the night. It hopped around and did crow-like things, though it never wandered more than the nearest tree.
The stranger walked through suburbia. Being a weekday at midday, most folks were out and about, oblivious to the events of the previous day. Few people noticed the stranger, much less his odd habit of approaching houses and making strange gestures on the doors. A few people later noticed by the glint of their porch lights that a shimmering trail like that of a slug marking out the letter C on the doors. It was anyone’s guess as to what it meant, and those who noticed it simply dismissed it.
The stranger did only one more thing before leaving town. Like hundreds of past visitors, he visited a local market and purchased some fresh produce. Arugula, it was, at 8.99 a pound. He left otherwise unnoticed. One Jack Barrowton Swore to his wife that a guy at the market had been making a pass at him. He Stayed up all night that evening, worrying about his sexual orientation.
A few days passed, and after a tense town hall meeting with record attendance, the general consensus was to remove the body of farmer Joe for a proper Christian burial and not to speak of this occurrence to anyone outside of town. The blue crow had moved the previous night under inconspicuous circumstances. Volunteers were drafted for the job, and three local “good old boys” were chosen to perform the removal.
As they approached the lifeless body, a single caw was heard from an unseen crow. When they placed hands on the bloody mass, a second caw was heard. Like a gunshot, A third and final caw was heard as they placed the remains of the mayor into the tarp lined bed of a pickup truck.
The mortician’s autopsy was inconclusive.
“He’s just dead,” Said the mortician’s assistant in an interview for the McClintock Christian Weekly, “It’s not like he had a family history of exploding.”
The funeral service was quiet and poorly attended, only immediate family members were present, along with a smattering of offerings from local supporters (who cited myriad reasons for their nonattendance). A few days later, the first citizen fell ill.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
11 September 2008
Alas, young Albert J. Beveridge, that ye have so quickly forgotten history’s mores and so readily embraced a greedy and self serving policy destined to inevitable failure. Your speech proponing the eventual American conquering of the world under the subversive name of “March of the Flag” is naught more than a propaganda tool for the expansionary members of our nation. Empires are futile creations of greedy men who desire naught but power. So many have come and gone, they may well be blades of grass to the Lord’s reaper. Your vision of the American flag marching across the world is a best facetious and at worst downright tyrannical. This nation was founded upon the ideals of a democracy, a system of government under which every man has a vote in what their government will be. Will you truly deny the world that right and force them to live under American tyranny? The last time I went to congress I saw no Porto Rican senators, I saw no Filipino delegates, I saw no Cuban congressmen. What you advise is nothing more than a wholesale rape of nations, stealing their land not for any sufficient purpose, but simply to extract what value you can and leave the people to rot. What happens to our market when the people have no money? What happens to the market when American workers are fired in exchange for cheap foreign labor? What happens to your market when china discovers that it can do the same as you, only better?
These nations that you encourage America to devour, Porto Rico, the Philippines, and Cuba are in fact some of the poorest places in the world. Though they may be rich with natural materials, the people of these nations have very little personal wealth and would be entirely unable to afford American products, especially after additional costs like shipping are factored in. this is not solely limited to America’s prospects. Despite the natural wealth of India, few Indians have the money to purchase expensive British goods; despite the natural wealth of South China, the population has few members with the ability to afford French goods; despite the cultural wealth of Qingdao, few Chinese residents have the monetary influence necessary to purchase pricy German exports. Inevitably, the people of the “civilized” nations remain rich and influential, while the citizens of the nations they conquer remain in abject squalor.
Let me offer another example, still a fresh wound in the soul of America: slavery. As recent as a hundred years before your birth, huge shiploads of Blacks were transported to America for the sole purpose of providing cheap labor. Unfortunately, we’ve abolished such practices in the U.S. in exchange for a fair wage for services provided. The Porto Ricans, the Filipinos, and the Cubans have no such demands. Any wage at all is a joyous and rare bounty coveted by all in these destitute nations. When employers realize that they can more cheaply produce products in other countries and simply ship them to the United States, they will cease employing good, honest, hard-working Americans and begin employing primitive savages.
China has an amazingly large population, the majority of which is rural. However thanks to the piecemeal sequestering by western powers, China is rapidly industrializing with a workforce greater than any other nation in the world. Chinese trade barons are unscrupulous in their practices, perfectly willing to pay workers the equivalent of twenty cents an hour for brutal work in factories. This allows them to undercut prices in other, more humane nations despite shipping costs. China has effectively captured a worldwide market for its goods, and is rapidly emerging as a global superpower. America cannot contend with this. Were America to invade, to expand it’s territories to include south America and all of Latin America, It would still be outnumbered and outmatched by the industrious Chinese. Simply the act of expanding beyond our borders would likely provoke China into a similar expansion, intended to reclaim the sovereign nations of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan, Tibet, and many others. It’s a disastrous policy, one that will lead to the eradication of many cultures.
Why do you feel so forthright as to suggest that America and America alone has the right to rule the world? What odd twinge of the ambition produced such grandiose visions? I posit that you, in fact, are a megalomaniacal madman hell-bent on ruling the entire world. Why, Albert? Why do you feel so? Was it child abuse? A bad relationship? Did you suffer through the death of a favorite pet? Or are you simply insane?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I already posted this, but I did so as an awkward link to last.fm. This iMeem(sp) thing let's me embed the songs right here, which is what I was looking for originally. I have made a ton more songs in the last month or two, but they still need to be put though quality testing (getting my friend's opinion) before I'll feel comfortable posting them.
When the first rib finally thrust itself out into the world, nearly every audience member of this grisly display shouted in fear. This only encouraged the remaining ribs, enticing them to burst forth as their brethren had. What they revealed, their foul secret, was a throbbing, gigantic mass of bloody tissue, slowly inflating like a macabre water balloon filled with blood. The mass, approaching three feet in diameter, was expanding in size with every throb. Joe’s legs finally gave out under him, stopping and then buckling beneath the gruesome mass. For a time, Joe lay still, the mass ever expanding. Some of the more unfortunate onlookers had just opened their doors, eager to help this respected and admired member of the community. The mass suddenly swelled, reaching double it’s size in mere seconds, immediately before exploding, spattering everything within half a mile with gallons of blood.
The day following Joe’s horrific death, a stranger came into town. McClintock was a popular tourist destination, so locals thought little of it, even during the aftermath of Joe’s gory demise. The stranger was nondescript, wearing jeans and a faded t-shirt appropriate to his appearance as a young, slim man, presumably in his early twenties.
Joe’s body remained in it’s final resting place. The storeowners and customers had exited through their back doors that day, avoiding the grim reality outside their front stoops. Most of the blood had seeped away, either into the drains or into the parched soil in the planters of the small decorative trees that lined that ill-fated road. A few crows had wandered near the body, but most flew away before taking a sample. Except for one.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I wrote this because I was bored. I've filled maybe 8 or so pages, but only transcribed two before I got bored. So, you'll see more of this when I feel up to copying it down. I realize it's a terrible story. That's pretty much intentional, yep. I was REALLY bored. J
Fantastical revue, deathly ends
The town of McClintock was unusually quiet today. The town was a shining example of modern Midwestern design (despite it's south eastern location): a central downtown followed by a layer of faux suburbia followed by extensive farmland. The weekly farmers market was the town's pride and joy, as well as its sole source of income. As is the current style, young urban professionals would drive in from nearby Atlanta to purchase fresh produce, which they promptly forgot and discarded upon discovery of their hasty rot.
Still, the money, unlike the fruit, stayed fresh and even in a time of decline for small town life, McClintock flourished. Except today. Where normally the streets would be abuzz with excitement and chatter, today being a Market Day, there was only a cold pallor, enhanced by the darkly overcast sky. Occasionally a car or two would speed down the street, the occupants clearly anxious to meet their destination. A dove cooed, adding a haunting melody to the cacophony of despair that serenaded the town.
The sickly shroud had lasted for almost two months now, seemingly in suspended motion. No one was really quite clear on what kept it alive, what fed it, but one thing was certain: it had started with the mayor's sudden and shocking death. The mayor of McClintock, Joseph Brackdon, was an energetic, jovial man who had lived his entire life in the fields surrounding McClintock. Indeed, his entire election campaign revolved around labeling himself as "Farmer Joe," a man of the people, in direct contrast to Jeffery Frankson who supported the progressive modernization of McClintock. Naturally, Jeffery lost in a landslide.
Farmer Joe's last morning was spent on his usual daily round of visits to the downtown store owners. He had finished his last stop at a local boot repair and gun shop (the owner and Joe had been schoolboy chums and never grew out of their friendship. Joe purposely made it his last stop so he could spend the most time shooting the shit with him.) when he began feeling a violent pain in his chest.
Panic –stricken, Joe desperately attempted to open the door of his '76 Chevy to reach the aspirin in his glove compartment; his hands had other plans. As the pain worsened, Joe felt his legs moving of their own volition, urging him back towards main street. Joe soon found himself running flat out, the pain ever greater. As a blurry red began to cloud Joe's vision, a sickening creak could be heard from within his chest. His shirt grew tighter, pulling apart at the seams. The creaking gave way to a loud cracking, audible even within the closed doors of the nearby shops. Joe fainted. Despite his lack of consciousness, Joe continued to run, run as quickly as he could. Faces were lining up at the storefront windows and passersby ceased their vagaries in response to the increasingly loud snapping emanating from Joe's chest.