Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Prevail Scenario and some cool ideas

About a dozen good SF ideas are at this site:

"Many of the flaws Lanier sees in using technology as a measure of
progress begin with his experience as a software scientist. Lanier seriously
questions whether information technology will work well enough anytime
soon to produce either Heaven or Hell. He completely believes that
the moment nanobots are poised to eat humanity, for example, they will
be felled by a Windows crash. “I’m serious about that—no joke,” he says.
“Legacy code and bugs all get worse when code gets giant. If code is at all
similar in the coming century to what it is now, super-smart nanobots
will run for nanoseconds between crashes. The fact that software doesn’t
follow Moore’s Law is the most important factor in the future of technology.” "


• The key measure of Prevail’s success is an increasing intensity of
links between humans, not transistors. If some sort of transcendence
is achieved beyond today’s understanding of human nature, it will
not be through some individual becoming superman. In Lanier’s
Prevail Scenario, transcendence is social, not solitary. The measure is
the extent to which many transform together.

This exactly replicates Leary's injunction about taking LSD in groups. Very cool.

• Even if technology is advancing along an exponential curve, that
doesn’t mean humans cannot creatively shape the impact on human
nature and society in largely unpredictable ways.

Thus, Prevail is an odd combination of the marvelously ordinary and
the utterly unprecedented. It is so common and so rare—so old and so
new—that the history of The Prevail Scenario is less well defined than
that of the Heaven or Hell Scenario.

I call this the "boy and his fox story", after a call by Ursula le Guin for simpler, more ordinary heroism. "The Little Prince" follows this format beautifully!

• Humans have an uncanny history of muddling through—of forging
unlikely paths to improbable futures in defiance of historical
forces that seem certain and inevitable.

• The wellspring of this muddling through, of this prevailing, is the
ability of ordinary people facing overwhelming odds to rise to the
occasion because it is the right thing—for example, the British
“nation of shopkeepers” that defied the Third Reich.

'The Legacy of Heorot' comes to mind here!

Story idea: terrorist attack on space elevator

Suppose a bunch of terrorists attacked a space elevator in Central Asia? How could I make this an excellent story?



Sabotage is a relatively unquantifiable problem. Elevators are probably less susceptible than suspension bridges carrying mass vehicular traffic, of which there are many worldwide. Nonetheless there are few more spectacular possible targets: no terrorist act in history has approached the potential destruction caused by the carefully-targeted sabotage of a space elevator. Concern over sabotage may have an effect on location, since what would be required would be not only an equatorial site but also one outside the range of unstable territories.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Taking a month off blogging

I'm taking a month off blogging, so that I can focus on important achievements in other aspects of my life. I'll be back online in July.

Warm regards,


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