News from the Box Fox

Posted by DesertFox on Aug. 17, 2015, 4:52 p.m.

I have been busy here in my box. Work has increased in pace because we're nearing some milestones - good stuff though. I've been very happy with my new job these last three months, and although I've not had time to work on my game (too much programming at work leaves little brains to program at home), I've instead started working on one of my other life goals. A bit ago, I decided that to de-stress, I'd start writing again. My last few blogs were a bit of random untargeted writing, but I've since started on something more… tangible. I wouldn't call it a book, but I'd not call it something else either.

I've long wanted to write something, but for a long time I wanted to write some sort of fiction. Five years ago would have been a different story, but I've not been feeling like fiction - right now I'm more interested in the real world and how it is changing around us. I've always been a futurist, interested in transhumanism and technology, so I figured I'd start writing about that. A month later and I've progressed steadily towards my goal. I've got a definite intent with what I am writing, and I have almost twenty thousand words of rough content (content which is much more compact and not nearly as in-depth as I desire). I've always liked looking at the big picture, and there are some pretty seismic shifts that are either oncoming, or are occurring as we speak. Of those, I've tried to focus on a specific subset of coming technologies and events, and am trying to explore the natural repercussions.

Part of it is that I want to subvert the whole 'Popular Mechanics 1940's Life-in-the-year-2000' sort of thing, where we look back at past predictions and snort because of how silly it is in retrospect. A lot of futuretech is depicted in a highly naive fashion, and ignores some basic fundamentals. A lot of the trouble with this depiction is an ignorance of ergonomics, or is at best a partially complete understanding (Asimov's spaceships where people had to plot their course using slide rules). We essentially imagine one part of one technology, but fail to consider the natural progress of other parts, and how they can be combined. Recognizing miniaturization and combination of technologies in particular is something we are particularly bad at - your cell phone now takes care of all the things that used to take dozens of devices collectively weighing over a hundred kilograms! Some depictions are potential technology that we fail to recognize will be quickly surpassed by better vectors - for example, why the hell would you want a HUD overlay cluttering up your vision, when you can instead integrate that data directly as another sense?

Things like that are what I've been writing about. I've read far too much science and science fiction to not have a decent knowledge base and strong understanding on some of these potential things - I talk Ben's ears off at times, and a friend/coworker has been telling me forever that I should consolidate some of our conversations.

Hopefully I've chosen an interesting enough target - as I said, I'm nearly 20k words in (39 PDF pages in the current 12pt font size), and I'm still trying to figure out what all exactly I want to cover - there is quite a lot I want to say. Keeping it short enough to be readable is likely to be the more difficult aspect.

Anyway, that's what I've been up too.

Fun fact, I've been trying to figure out how to write about a specific aspect, and have been thinking about it for several days. This morning I woke up with Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence stuck in my head, and realized the lyrics were strongly suited for discussing the aspect I was trying to write about, although Simon and Garfunkel almost certainly had another meaning in mind.


DesertFox 8 years, 9 months ago

Basically a universe where magic exists but the government covers it up.

Not exactly relevant, but made me think of 'The Accidental Sorcerer' - a rather silly novel set in a more contemporary world with industrialized magic instead of science. There's a bit of Pratchett influence in it, I'd say.