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I told her, “You know how sometimes people say, Oh man, I’ve really lost it. Well, I was wondering, if they lost it, and you found it, could you just keep it as a spare? If so, where would you put it? If you added it to yours then you would have twice as much, right? Then if you yourself lost it, you would be okay. Of course, if someone loses it, and then finds out you found it, but then you re-lost it, you might have to give them yours, and then you really will have lost it. Then somebody might find out that you lost it, and want to sell it back to you, or maybe they give it to a friend. A lot of our friends lose it, so this act of charity is understandable.

“I lost it the other day, and I went to the lost and found at the Port Authority, and they seemed to understand as they just kept nodding their heads. They said they didn’t have it, but would make a phone call, then told me, “Sir, we have some people coming who can help you find it.” Such nice people, and I was super happy about this, because I had no idea where I might have put it, but thought they might bring dogs to help sniff it out. They didn’t. They took me to this place where they keep other people who have lost it. A kind of lost, but no-found center.

“Anyway, the first guy I meet is the one who lost it, and I found it, and then had to give him mine. So, I asked him, ‘What happened?’ He said he lost it again. I thought that was really irresponsible. I mean, it’s one thing for you to lose it, but then you take mine, and lose that too? Well, I was not very happy, and would have lost it right there had I had it to lose again in the first place.

“Frustrated, there was only one thing to do. I called my mom. I asked her if I could borrow hers to get me out of this place, and promised to give it right back. She said she lost it a long time ago, but nobody could tell the difference, but she understood, and would see if she knew anybody who could help. She did. She sent my cousin, who never ever lost it, and when he came down, he let me borrow his, and so, since I found it, they let me out, but put him in. As soon as I got out I gave it back to my cousin, and they made us switch places once more. Apparently you can’t share it, so you either have it, or you don’t.

“As a last resort, I went to the library they had there, and found an article by a team of researchers who were always looking for it. They had an experimental program that I applied for. They were looking for transplant volunteers, and there was a long list of the willing, but not a lot of donors. I guess those who have it want to keep it, and believe that no matter what, they can take it with them. The team though came up with an artificial it that they grew in a lab, and if I was willing to sign some papers, they would proceed with the, uhmm, procedure.

“I was, and did, but first I had a number of questions. Like, one, if I underwent the procedure would it look real, could people tell the difference, and most importantly, would girls know? They said, not as long as you kept it fully charged, and suggested that I carry fresh batteries. Also, they were working on a wifi model connected to a cloud storage system so no one could ever actually lose it again. Until then, they were going to attach a GPS tracking devise, just in case.

“Well, I underwent the procedure, and not only did they have it, and put it back in the exact place where I had lost it, but it was like they had super charged it, and I had more of it than ever. It felt great!

“In a practically ecstatic state, I ran out of that place, and really just had a need to share my joy with the world. You know how it is. I stood at the edge on top of the tallest building, and yelled out to the whole city proclaiming my excitement. The police came, there were fireman below spreading nets, and helicopters circling above. Newsmen and camera crews, and lots of spectators all around apparently all wanting to feed off my newfound love of, well, everything. Everybody except this one guy, this one who was trying to talk to me. I over heard him mumble to the other officials there, ‘This guy has really lost it.’

“I smiled brightly at the shiny badges all around me, and exclaimed, “No, just the opposite. I found it! I really found it! Want some?”

LD 2015

Captedsfure

Enjoy!

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Today is great, but the last two days, I haven’t slept well. It happens. For me, sleep deprivation can lead to some highly emotional states. I know it best on those types of days to not make a bigger decision than clean the bathroom, vacuum, or do laundry. I tend to miss a nights sleep once a week, so, though unorganized, my apartment is actually pretty spick and span, and though I’ve never actually used Spic and Span, I did look up the entomology. I’m just that perky today. Also, because of this, I never have to put on the same underwear twice.

Note: I have emergency underwear should the laundry not maintain schedule. Want to hear more about my underwear? Read my book, ‘Where to Catch the Best Sales the Day Before the Apocalypse.’

So, no sleep for me means try and be quiet. Especially hard when at work, where I lecture mostly, but still just try and maintain my coolness. Speaking of work, ever notice that when you are sick, people just don’t get it, and still expect normal responses from you? They know, and still ask, ‘What’s the matter?’ And you wonder why they can’t empathize that you are hallucinating with a 101 fever? No, just me? Well, lack of sleep seems to be treated the same way. My quiet is taken for rudeness. Kind of like spaces of the introvert who gathers energy, taking it all in until ready to expel. Yes, I’m all kinds of mental self-awareness walking the tight rope of accepted social protocol, and all in clean underwear.

Why? Because I know myself, and am prepared. Otherwise I might have one of those meltdowns you see on the Internet where someone feels the need to start yelling with their fingers. Typing furiously away with self-pity at a world that until recently was maintained by four walls. In the past, if you were unfortunate, they may have left a window open, and some incoherent sound carried down the block singing the off key broken echoes of, ‘Nobody loves me, nobody cares,’ or, ‘I’m mad as hell’, or ‘Who put their red sox in the laundry with my underwear?’

All kinds of noisy traffic out there in this city, and I tend to turn it off. Gravitate toward the positive. And those who don’t, those who just tend to hear the constant whine of the drunk on horrible, truly must go insane screaming at flowers on a beautiful spring day.

What are your dreams worth trading for?

An ambitious engineer that owns a small company, Galactic Z, licenses the intellectual property rights of a game changing invention to the US Military, and their prime contractor, Global World Conglomerate in exchange for financing an interstellar spacecraft capable of reaching newly discovered earth-like planets.

It’s tomorrow, and we always knew this day would come. From a human perspective, it may be the end of the world, and so, it was either fate, brains, or just good timing, that some were already preparing to get off the planet. Meanwhile, there are survivors. Not many, probably not enough, but whether you are human, were human once, or something else that evolution got its paws on, it’s time to figure out what to do now.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t matter. You’re probably going to die. Probably, unless you have figured out a way to live forever.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HMY7G54

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Okay, so, I’m checking out Henry Miller who I never read, but had seen pictures of him with naked women and stuff, and I was fine with that, but would like to know how he wrote. I did see the movie, but never got around to reading the book Tropic of This or That, or if I did, I don’t remember cause I sometimes forget what I have read. The guy is a whirl wind of sentence making, by the way, getting down to the nitty gritty parts of every single sole or soulless cell on the planet that has ever had the nerve to breath the same air as he, and he’s not too pleased with himself either. Basically everything stinks and god too. I love it. Anyway, I’m checking out his second book ‘Black Spring’. In there- is a line-

‘… like Kurtz, you sail up the river and go mad…”

What??? What??? That’s Apocalypse Now. Everybody knows who Kurtz is. But that’s impossible. I’m missing some key aspect of fictional knowledge. I know it right away (not surprised). ‘Black Spring’ was written in the 1936’s, so, who the hell is Kurtz?

Kurtz (Heart of Darkness) 1899!!! By Joseph Conrad. Yes!- that’s the character and the name of the book. In it, well, “…over the course of his stay in Africa, Kurtz becomes corrupted. He induces the natives to worship him, setting up rituals and venerations worthy of a tyrant. By the time Marlow, the protagonist, sees Kurtz, he is ill with “jungle fever” and almost dead. Marlow seizes Kurtz and endeavors to take him back down the river in his steamboat. Kurtz dies on the boat with the last words, “The horror! The horror!””

Oooooohhhhh. I get it, and yes, Apocalypse Now was based on this book ‘Heart of Darkness’ from 1899. I thought it was just about Vietnam. Which it is, but you know what I mean.

Apparently a lot of people loved this book and it has made its way into the collective conscious of fictional knowledge or whatever it is really called.

So much to read. Ever read ‘Heart of Darkness? Wanna trade for some dirty pictures of Miller? (Google)

 

Joseph Conrad was a widely influential writer. He is considered part of the modernist literary style. This was a movement driven by the desire to overturn traditional expression and bring it up to the present.

If you can’t picture this in literature, and it is understandable, as few of us read many novels from the 1800’s (maybe two or three books) then think of it in a graphic sense, and look at the painters of the time. Start with just before the Impressionists and work your way forward. Big change. Right?

Anyway, Joseph Conrad’s narrative style and anti-heroic characters supposedly influenced such writers D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Italo Calvino, Hunter S. Thompson, and Salman Rushdie. Many more, but I only listed the ones I’ve read.

So, L- What else you got?

I’m glad you asked.

After talking about this, someone pointed me to ‘The Time of the Assassins: A Study of Rimbaud’ by Miller. My friend said, “I’ve always admired its opening sharp-eyed description of what a prickly, unstable son of a bitch poor Artie (Rimbaud) could be. That was a smooth move to scrape off the devotees.”

Now it’s time to read and learn about this kid, Rimbaud, how he overturned the world at 17, and of course, more Miller and Conrad.

I always read what smart people suggest. The list keeps getting longer.

 

Note: Heart of Darkness-1899, is available for free as an ebook.

 

LD-NYC-2014

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L and the Invisible Poet debate the term ‘fictional knowledge’ and its use in a blog- (which, L may or may not write, but let’s hope he gets distracted).

The Invisible Poet begins-

“Why, L? Why? Why not say trope or literary elements or rhetoric or any other term that narrows the definition of what is really going on?”

“Good question, and my answer is, because.”

“Because? What kind of argument is that? You are going to throw out thousands of years of analysis, studies going back to the writings of Aristotle discussing logos, pathos, and ethos, the five canons, the three ancient arts of discourse, and just answer, ‘because’?”

“Yeah, uhmmm, I don’t really know what that means.”

“It means, L, that you have a lot of work to do and aren’t taking the time or respecting the groundwork of the institutions that have laid the road before us in which we should deliberate.”

“Yes, I know, I’m a bad person.”

“A bad person? A BAD PERSON?!?”

L took pause for a moment, then says, “Let me ask you something. Haaavvvve yooouuu read-my-book, ‘The Report On Dr. Chiharu Matsui and The Robot Army?”

“Seriously, L? Why would you ask me such a thing? Literature is a serious subject and at its core is a struggle that humans have tried, some dying for the very words that they dared lay down, just to define our existence of what it is to be.”

“Yes, a lot of people die in my short story.”

“I don’t think you get it, L.”

“Maybe you don’t get it. What you are really upset about is the precipice upon which we are standing. You know, ‘precipice’, a word that has been beaten to death as a metaphor. But it means, a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one. Ya see, there have been times in history that some people actually witness the change of the decline of what has been known, and have front row seats. It may have been the last ice age 10,000 years ago, or the droughts that turned ancient Egypt’s fertile lands to deserts, or one of the many wars that plummeted lands where generations of young were raised with nothing but peace. Through it all though, there have been people like you who produce art. Art, good art, it may be, in the end, the only thing that ever had any real value. It is certainly the only thing that we can be remembered by as a whole people, if we are to be remembered as more than just warriors. Museums and great libraries, are in a way, shrines to those few who could do what is possible. Showing us at our best. You do that. Not me.”

“Yes, what is the point, L?”

“I’m leading us over the cliff. Someone has to.”

“What? Think of the children?”

“Yes, well, I told you. I’m a bad person.”

“You are doing the work of the devil.”

“No, the devil brought us knowledge. I wish I were smart enough to do the work of the devil. More likely, I’m doing the work of god and spreading ignorance. Honestly though, it is neither. And besides, it is also the work of these institutions of which you speak that have partially obscured the lines of good and evil, the devil and god, and the argument within. Now if you all can’t get together on that, why should I respect the rest? Besides, I just like to write and share, not only my creativity, but also what I discovered, so I’m going with the term, ‘fictional knowledge’.”

“Straw man argument, L.”

“I know. I’m a bad person.”

LD- 2014- NYC

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What is fictional knowledge? It is the silver bullet that we all know kills the werewolf. It is the cross that wards off the vampire, the coffin that it sleeps in, the sun and the stake that will end its existence. It is the vast wealth of the made up world, and the made up world has rules. It is what has been said before. It is the building blocks which great novels climb and break through.

Fictional knowledge is the past. The collective conscious of all that has been portrayed, right after you read that little clause at the top where the writer starts off with denial. That all characters, events, and places are of the imagination, and any association with those living or dead is but pure coincidence. Perhaps even further, the writer might state, that the opinions expressed are not necessarily the views of the author.

I always loved it when people take the time to embellish this little clause. I read every one of them just to see if they do.

Why is it important, this thing I’m calling fictional knowledge?

It is important to the writer, because no one wants to say what has already been said. That could be embarrassing, or worse, mundane.

It is important to the reader because a fresh perspective is always enlightening, exciting. To take what has been written, knowing the reader has certain expectations in the fictional world that has been built upon, and surprising them with a new twist on an old dance.

It is important to the art because art always needs to grow. That is its very nature. To grow, we need a solid understanding of the base. A solid base can also lead to, what I loosely associate, and hesitantly call, eeekkk, – ‘Good Taste’.

Other reasons will be discussed in future pieces. The reason it is of interest to me, it is part of the path of discovery.

There is a road that many have traveled in reading books, and much of what I say will be obvious, as that signpost has already been past. Good for you, and please, share. It happens every generation. Here, I hope to tap into your vast wealth of knowledge and perhaps you can guide the way. To be humble about what one knows, and what one doesn’t, is truly a gift. I believe I am humble and only want to learn, so I easily admit, I know far from anything (note: not everything, anything). If it gives you a feeling of superiority that you know something that another does not, then you have received the wrong message from life. Knowledge should never be confused with intelligence. And superiority’s ugly brother is low self-esteem.

Now, If you feel glad that someone has just entered the path of discovery, and are overjoyed, jumping up and down, saying, ‘YES! YES! I KNOW! Isn’t that great?!?’- then, I am your friend forever.

Last, if you should learn something, please don’t blame me. I am only the messenger.

So much to read. So little time.

Then there is the writing, of course. We all do it. And the writing, mine, as well as others, I hope to share, too.

LD- NYC- 2014

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Accepted Fictional Knowledge

Some writers are just a bunch of deceitful, lying, manipulative tricksters who enjoy toying with our minds. I love that. Please teach me how to do that well.

I was reading one of Steve’s books. ‘On Writing’. Since then we’ve become good friends, so he lets me call him Steve now, so I figured I should probably read one of his novels. I have a copy of The Stand sitting on my shelf. Been there for years. I like having a bookshelf with a lot of books I haven’t read. Many I have, but there is always an opportunity to grab something new, or in this case, old. Anyway, I’m reading The Stand. Don’t know if you read that, everybody else has, but anyway, it’s about some virus apparently wiping everybody out. By page 35, I started getting a sore throat and sneezed. Coincidence? I think not. It is a dusty old paperback, so I’m not panicking quite yet. At 1,100 pages though, I may never live long enough to find out. Kill your darlings? Perhaps that means something else to him than me.

Sorry, but my point is that around page 59 or 80, not sure, there is this man in a government protective facility and he doesn’t have the virus, so the doctors really want to know why? Everybody else has the virus, what’s wrong with this guy? No virus? How come?

They keep him locked in one of those vacuum chambers where no virus can penetrate. A guinea pig breathes the same air he does. A nurse wants to take his blood pressure, but he won’t let her cause he’s a bastard, and pissed, and no one will tell him what’s up, and all his friends are dead. The nurse puts on one of those HAZMAT suits and gets sprayed with what ever they spray you with. I mean, we all know how it works. That’s what the government does when a devastating man made killer viral outbreak happens. They have the room, and the suit, and the spray. Right? Well the nurse in the sprayed HAZMAT vacuumed guinea pig room sneezes. WHAT? Every reader knows exactly what that sneeze means. One frickin sneeze. Nice, Steve.

My point is, my buddy Steve took a reader’s accepted fictional knowledge and knew so. In truth, none of us really know, but we have this built upon knowledge that writers seem to feed off one and other. Sci-Fi is a great example. The fact that Steve could just build up casually, without me suspecting I was falling into a fictional knowledge trap, only to flick his writing pinky, and thus make me write an absurdly long piece about it, just shows how subtle and fantastic a trickster he is.

We all read Ender’s Game. That guy, what’s his name, I forget? Anyway, great book, but what a liar he is. First he tells you that the first hero of the Bug Wars is dead. That would be Mazur Rothman, I believe. Something like that. I have to work, so I can’t look stuff up. Mazur is dead. Everybody knows he’s dead cause that was like 100 years ago. Then on page 165, Ender asks his new, old man mentor, what his name is? Oh, “Mazur Rothman,” he says. No way! Mind blown. You’re supposed to be dead.

Now, I have a complaint here because the writer, Card, now I remember, Card uses made up physics, falsely claiming that Mazur traveled at light speed and didn’t really age. That’s not how it works, but you still buy into the fictionally accepted knowledge. Then Card lies to us a second time, and so convincingly. What? Ender wasn’t playing a game? But the book is called Ender’s Game? Now you are saying it wasn’t training, it was real? As a reader you know you are getting to the end, but still expect him to leave the planet and go fight bugs. Maybe since you are so wrapped up with feeling, like Ender, you buy into the game. In the end though, Card was just a convincing manipulative liar.

I love that.

Enjoy your life.

LD-NYC

I’m trying to figure out the whole transferring the human mind into a computer thing. Yes, that’s right, that’s what I’m interested in right now. Mostly because the approach I see researchers taking just seems inherently flawed.

Basically, they are taking a brain, preserving it, then identifying, tracking and recording the neurosynaptic pathways. That’s a very simple explanation.

Here’s the thing though. Say you can isolate every memory and personality trait of a person. You can even build a neurosynthetic three dimensional chip to contain such information. What about pleasure?

So much of what we do and don’t do, is the result of positive chemical reactions reinforcing behavior. Yes again, that’s simple, but hear me out.

Example. You design a project. You finish, and it gives you pleasure. You learn something new and it gives you pleasure. The dopamine or endorphin  rush of positive reinforcement. Yes, you liked it, though the work was hard, you want that feeling again. You go on designing and building and learning. You are chemically rewarded.

If your mind is in a machine, where is the dopamine rush going to come from? Electronic dopamine? OK, well, if you are the machine, I assume you are in control of your processing, so you could just sit and electronically dopamine yourself all day. No accomplishment needed. What’s your motivation?

I see a bunch of human minds stuck in neurosynthetic processors, transferred to robotic bodies, sitting around doing nothing but being electric junkies-forever.

I worry about this stuff.

So you say, well they could put in controls so the neurosynthetic mind controlled robot has to accomplish something to get the electronic dopamine satisfaction. Well, that’s just great. Now we have a bunch of machines running around with endless energy and motivation doing who knows what to achieve such a reward.

Again, I worry about this stuff.

Visit the Brain Preservation Foundation for more. Just don’t tell them I sent you. These people have no sense of humor.

http://www.brainpreservation.org/

Any discussion on this very important and pressing matter would be appreciated and possibly chemically rewarded. Natural chemically induced dopamine, the way nature intended.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

Enjoy your Life

L.D.

This is an excellent App for viewing all that NASA is doing in our Solar System and more. You can navigate around and play with spacial relation of probes, planets asteroids and all kinds of great things.  Try it and have fun flying.

http://eyes.nasa.gov/index.html