Dear Dairy…… (Dystopian Diaries)

I’m writing a dystopian novel, called “There Said There Was…….“. Actually, there’s more to the title, but I have to keep that top secret, so that Big Brother doesn’t find it, and haul me away, for suspicious lack of Groupthink cooperation, with his big plans to make the world a better place, his way. So I’ve hidden the rest of the title away somewhere he and his troops can’t find it, until it’s too late. They’ll try to burn it, when they discover it, of course, as being dangerously free in its use of language (even a title can be deemed A Dangerous Idea), and ideas that aren’t officially sanctioned. The frightened global villagers will probably help build the bonfire, and throw in a few more books, just to enjoy the blaze, in these times of deprivation, and they’ll want to keep on the right side of him, as he can get rather strict, and punish those who don’t obey. They love that about him, actually. It’s so paternally firm.

They’ll try to burn your books too, as the rumour is that’s the next step in the plan, and already implemented in some places, but if you want to keep your stories, for when they are to be read, perhaps you’ll have to find hiding places for them, away from Big Brother’s All Seeing Eye, that wants to censor everything that doesn’t fit in with the Brave New World‘s agenda, and keeps close watch over us all, for everyone’s benefit. Possibly not for yours, though. So, find a cubby hole, then, to squirrel away your thoughts, if you are one of those resisters who still like to think, without the approval or permission of the group, because your story will be important some day, very soon, as others have been that went before you. You might give someone else hope, that interesting thoughts are still allowed, outside the plan, or at least give them a backstage peep behind the scenes, in the big pageant that Big Brother has organised for the public, with great rolling fanfares for inducing excitement and fear, alternately, in the masses under his thumb, or enthralled by his masterly tactics, in the civic warfare that constitutes daily life now.

Your story is important. Whoever you are. You were here at a moment when His (Big Bro’s) great plan was blazing like a firebrand, scorching through all your lives, and the thumb screws were being tightened, the racks prepared for the ongoing pageant, the scapegoats being hunted down for the ceremonial events, while The Resistance were being whisked away, behind the scenes, for other nasty surprises, like punishments for thinking, and thinking you’ll get away with writing about it, secretly. Every detail of your diary is proof of how Big Brother’s plan is meant to play out, and what that means in individual peoples’ lives, and you must preserve these records, at all costs. Be sneaky, and find a way to hide your story, out of reach. Give them to a friend, if you must, or hide copies, for distribution, lest Big Brother find a way to whisk you out of sight, if he spots you are writing dangerous ideas of your own down, so that you do not infect others, with your notions of freedom, and your own ideas, and doing your own thing, and seeing things in your own way; all that dangerous nonsense that won’t be tolerated any more. You know already his inducements to go along with what he wills for you, and just how harsh they can be, from having the screw turned on your own hand, and you’ve felt those screws tightening painfully, ’till you wondered would he finish you off, with no mercy, after all?

……..A pandemic.

He enjoys all the pain and humiliation rituals, does Big Brother, our caring pater, as it keeps the sycophants and enablers on board. It brings him joy to offer scapegoats to point the finger at, to his faithful enablers, and see them blamed for all the woes. They cannot yet silence you, or stop you from writing it down. Not until they find the books, to burn them, to eliminate the idea of freedom, and they’ll come for your diary, then, too, so you must hide it, or encode it cleverly somehow, if it is easy to spot, for destruction by the troops. They will seek you out, to destroy you, and your stories. History needs your story, though, all the details of what Big Brother did, to you personally, and the people in your life. Don’t be afraid to write it down. We are The Resistance, and will always survive, even if and when they kill us. Keep that under your hat too, because Big Brother won’t find it there, if you refuse to take your thinking hat off, and bow and scrape before his image, daily, prostrating yourself for his pleasure, to get him salivating at the sight of your raw pain, stretched tight on his torture rack. He wants you to beg to do his bidding. Write instead. Keep writing, even if you think you can’t write. You have your story to tell. Keep notes, stick in pictures, or draw, keeping track of events, and what you think of them, especially if you fear you can’t capture it in words. Try. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It’s just important to you to have a voice, even in secret, until you can pass it along, and it’s important to the next wave of resistance, that will know that you spoke about it. If enough of you do it, you’ll be heard. Big Brother is sending troops out to remove the records, now, but we must create new ones, so write it, keep writing it, and then hide it, where someone will find it when they need to read it.

Write about the small things, as well as the big picture, or instead, because the small things are not small. You are not small. Not insignificant. It is your story. You are history, even if only a passing note, and the more of you that write it down, the better history will remember what Big Brother did, in your life, in your world. What he did to you, and how he put the boot in your face, daily, and you were supposed to shut up and follow his orders, and kiss the boot that kicked you. Write it all down. It may be the only chance you get, to tell the next wave of the Resistance (there are always others, so do not feel alone), before they eliminate you, as unnecessary to the implementation of the big plan for the Brave New World. Someone will read it, after you smuggle it out to The Resistance, and be glad you wrote it. If they aren’t, well, you still got to speak, and that counts for something, in the fight for freedom.

A famous diarist’s diaries, free https://www.planetebook.com/1984/

They Said There Was……….. A new dystopian futuristic science fiction novel by Donna Emerald, will be released on Amazon, April 1st, 2022. It will also be made available, digitally, free, on the blog, for subscribers to read. This is my second novel (last one is in both places, too)

Start writing now. It’s completely free to self-publish on Amazon, and I’ll even help you get it to print, if you want to spread your ideas, before someone decides you can’t speak at all. Or just keep a journal, scrapbook, or diary, with your thoughts. Thoughts are still legal, even if you have to hide them, to be able to spread the word that freedom is not a defunct idea, even in a dystopian world.

Cryptic Pie in The Sky ~ is Cryptocoin Just a Big Scam?

There’s a lot of hype around bitcoin, but is it legit, or just a playground for crafty scams to unleash themselves on unsuspecting investors? It’s so hard to get to grips with, for those like myself whose grip on trends in technology (not to mention money!) is a bit tenuous to start with. Still, all the big celebs looooove it; some of the biggest social media influencers, famous for being famous, have taken to it like a duck lips drinking in an unexpected oasis in a desert of data about it.

How are these posers managing to get the time between important photo shoots on their speedboats, to get up to speed on the peer to peer cryptocurrency networks that create value out of things that most of us didn’t really value, like NFTs that showed you were terribly up on art, and could see the value of signing your investments with digital cartoon signatures? Some of these folk seemed like animated cartoon characters themselves, anti-heroes on the run, until their exploits caught up with them, like crypto stock on the rise, before taking a sudden tumble into the abyss, before investors not in the groove managed to pump n’ dump in time, with new stars rising, stocks heading to outer space, like a shiny car ad, that really got shot in a hanger, on a back lot. It’s pretty spaced out stuff, this cryptocurrency thing, but having a big bottom and a lot of fans following it seems to attract investors. You can promise them all kinds of pie in the sky, in a get-rich-quick scheme, every fan’s rags to riches dream.

One well known rapper, that of course, being an ol’ fogey myself, I’ve never heard of, got lucky with crypto, and landed a deal with the government of Senegal to build a crypto city. No, it’s not built in the sky, but apparently, the sky’s the limit, with what they’ll achieve, as crypto is a big deal in various parts of Africa now. No, really. Well, sort of. If you like comics you’ll find it terribly exciting, and want to join the crypto fun, like the layout of the city he’s been granted land to plan the city out, for this new and futuristic vision of a currency not reliant on fuddy duddy bankers, who don’t even keep their customers’ books straightened out. They’ve got their rows of comic trading cards nice n’ straight, with new ones appearing from some sleeve or other, and are in cahoots with the cartoon baddies in Gothom, the government tax inspectors, who, in the plot, are about as much fun as the irritating guy in The Matrix. He was such a big fan of Neo that he would keep following him about, asking him had he completed his tax forms yet?

No, none of that; for the bright new future, just fabulous cities, that are as funky as a Stan Lee drawing, with self driving cars shooting by at grand auto theft speed, in the moodily dystopian skies above. It’ll be great. Very techno, post-post-post modern, beyond your wildest dreams, and you’ll be eating oysters with pearls inside, if you jump on board the ride now.

Bonus: Previous Bitcoin Post: Solving the Bitcoin Puzzle

They Said There Was a Pandemic

After reading the Irish headlines this morning, I was angry. Restrictions extended, yet again, after promises that it would all go away, if we played along, did our part, lined up, took our medicine, followed instructions. The truth began to sink in, eventually, that it might be a little game that Big Brother’s quite enjoying playing, since he wants to keep it up, although most complied with all the guidelines, and got no reward for playing along.

When there’s no promised land at the end of the road, just miles and miles more to go, before you can take your muzzle off and sleep, with the phone stuck to your face, in case new, important regulations which might keep you safe from something you can’t see, are issued in the middle of the night, your dreams get rather dystopian, and perhaps a little nightmarish. When you wake, you check your screen. Is it real, or just a bad dream? The screen will tell you the truth, surely, and put your mind at ease. In the back of your mind, however, something else has woken up. The lurking dread that this is your life now; that they’ve made it a meaner, smaller thing, deliberately, and that you might have even helped them build the cell you’re now inhabiting, hoping you are let go free again, some day. At their discretion, of course.

You hear muffled laughter from somewhere, and turn to the screen on the wall. Can it hear your thoughts, or broadcast Big Brother’s thoughts, straight into your mind? No. That’s crazy thinkin’, right there, you tell yourself, and choose your muzzle for the day, matching it to your outfit. Something comfy, since you don’t go out much, anymore, except on food runs. Who in their right mind would want to be around people, after all, with this invisible plague-of-some-sort circulating constantly? If only one didn’t need to breathe at all, but the human body is so badly designed, that it comes with flaws. Add to that, the fact that some humans just don’t care enough, and forget to keep their muzzles on over their breathing apparatus properly, so that a sensible and cautious person has hold their breath like a deep sea diver of old (we don’t have those any more, I think, but I have seen them in freedom era reruns on the screen), and get the food transaction over quickly, in as minimal contact and brief a mode as is humanly possible.

I wish they’d hurry up and transplant the human mind into something with a better design. Surely, it would be cleaner, and greener, to do so, and we’re nearly at the singularity, according to my screens, so I’m looking forward to the Brave New World. It’s gotta be better than this, right? Right?

You Can’t Kill Freedom

The words appeared on my screen. Does not compute, was my first thought. What’s this? Doesn’t look like a health edict, or guideline about how far away from someone you should stand for the next while, until the next edict’s issued, by experts. Not that I worry about that guideline, when I wouldn’t dream of standing near to anyone, outside of having to interact with the cashless machine where the till used to be situated (always swab your card after use; power user tip there, from someone who’s never been on the Suspicious Contacts list, yet). What’s it mean, though? Are there further instructions, that make more sense of the first statement? I must find out, because I don’t know what actions to take next, until I know. How can I know, if they don’t tell me, in words I can understand (scans phone, swiping screen anxiously, looking for directions)?

Oh, I see. It’s a book. Must be someone working for the Ministry, writing a manual, finally, of how to navigate our way in safety through the matrix of restrictions, without getting arrested for something or other, under the ever changing guidelines that might or might not be laws. Thank goodness. It should alleviate some of the strain, not helped much by the further restrictions placed on my breathing, by the terribly selfish post-person who delivers my mail, and will keep leaving the mail slot device in the Open position, allowing outside air to circulate within my personal boundary, with who-knows-what-else circulating with it, necessitating the wearing of my muzzle indoors, just to have that extra layer of safety on my person.

You Can’t Kill Freedom

(continues scrolling, on sanitised phone)

What (scrolls down more frantically now, with a rising feeling of discomfort, increasing respiration, and precipitation on muzzle)

You Can’t Kill Freedom

They said there was a pandemic“.

What in the actual………? (stops self from cursing, as the new guidelines might include being arrested in one’s own home for that, and it’s now not clear to what extent the devices are listening in).

Them? Tyranny? Freedom? This is not A Ministry person. This is clearly a mad person. I hope they are not outside their home, running amok, with these statements, or they will surely be arrested. I hope they are. You just can’t say things like that, and get away with it. It’s not the kind thing, and we have to care about others. It’s why we follow all instructions, and do what we’re told. It’s because we care.

Who’s this “we”? I don’t think she means Big Brother, since it’s not an official publication, this book. Hopefully she won’t be allowed publish it. It sounds very wrong, in its whole conception. Very dangerous, in its thinking. Perhaps they’ll have new guidelines introduced soon, where they’ll arrest people like this in advance of them expressing dangerous thoughts. Then the rest of us can have peace of mind, which contributes greatly to our safety, because I believe even stress can contribute to stuff in the air getting inside you, and killing you in the most horrible way, stopping you from breathing properly, and so on and so forth (beads of sweat break out at the thought, and heartrate and breathing rate shoot up, saturating muzzle and resulting in unpleasant tingling which may or may not presage a fainting fit is on the way).

No. No, I’m sure Big Brother won’t stand for this. Take these peoples’ money away, whoever they are. Don’t even let them do voluntary work, around sensible people, to earn their credits. They deserve to be not only shunned, with these dangerous book ideas, which look waaaaay outside the recommended guidelines, but to be locked out of decent society forever. Hopefully, they’ll starve quickly, without the state’s help, and without the rest of us having to look at them do it, and we won’t have the stress of seeing them, or hearing them, any more. It’s too much, to have to put up with these selfish types, rabbiting on about freedom, when we have to pull together, and follow the rules and regulations, all as one, all together (except alone).

You won’t make it ’till March, my little dears, if I get my way. I’m a dab hand, when it comes to writing Emails, picking up phones, and sending comms out to the masses of allies I don’t know personally, but who I’m sure are on my side (the right and only reasonable one) on Twitter and Metaverse virtual app. etc etc. We’ll meme you out of your book plan, shame and name you, then get you chucked out of life as you would wish to know it, before you get to the end of Chapter 1!!!!

Ha! You won’t have a lamp to light, at all, when me and Big Brother, plus all the ground troops for sanity and wholesome healthiness, promoting the bright future, dependent on the miserable present, get started on our “corrections” to educate you as to the error of your ways. You think you’re gonna write that book. We think we’ll need to stop you, and we’ll stop at nothing, to get what we want. We’ll make sure that not even your first sentence survives our cull! He he. The perfect way to take that anger out, without even going out.

At The Edge of Chaos

It’s critical to understand processes, in any science, as we need both definitions of terms and ways of measuring processes in nature’s systems. These turn out to be pretty amenable to theorising about, and modeling how they’re constructed, with new information getting added to scientific schemas we devise, and model in mathematical and imaginative ways. I took the creative path myself, when studying material about how the universe works, since the universe is a very arty affaire, from the human point of view.

In my last post, I took a trip to the Galapagos, to explore how we managed to get this far, and survive, in the balancing act between order and chaos, that is an ongoing game played out over generations, with different species that inhabit our planet.

How else does the game play out? If the same processes are at work, universally, and physically, are they also played out socially, and individually? Yes, according to Game Theory, which we explored in relation to biology and evolutionary theory, in that post; but what about politically? Of course, Game Theory has all kinds of applications, and explores political developments as well, within the parameters of the rules of the Game. The next video isn’t one of mine, but it’s a good leadup to the article linked to under it, if you want to understand the rule book that the best players, and game designers who know how to play the Game at an expert level, wrote. See, they know already how the Game of Life is played, and how to move the players around the board, with chaotic but perhaps somewhat predictable results. If you don’t wish to be a pawn that’s swept from the board, or just want to up your game a little, you’d do well to understand it, too, since you’re one of the pieces on the board, in play. You’d better get used to the idea, and study the rulebook, to avoid a disastrous outcome. Watch out for cheats, while you play, as they designed the game, and they have their own rulebooks squirreled away up their sleeves. If you’re not enjoying the game, just hang in there. Remind yourself it’s only a phase. Hey, maybe you’ll adapt.

Are We on the Edge of Chaos? Complexity Science and phase changes in complex systems

Nature’s Tipping Point ~ Red Queen, Tooth and Claw

Games are attractive, aren’t they? While not everyone is drawn magnetically to their charms, no matter how lovingly the little figures on the board are carved, or how gay the plumage of the various pieces, studying the rulebook can yield a lot of information about how the thing works.

Even Those who prefer ornithology might find the notion of note-taking on their observations delightful, and nature not only parades its varied plumage, but plays by some rules, too, as species evolve, to win the game of life. The feathers may fly, sometimes, in the fight for survival, but that’s how the game is played, and the rules, it turns out, are very simple to grasp.

Let’s have a look at how Game Theory comes into play in evolutionary strategy, with an example from the game played on the Galapagos Islands. The pieces on the board in this case are finches, so even the ornithologists who don’t like to be stuck indoors, when they could be out in the field, bird watching, might like this game.

Ask the ornithologist to read the Rulebook, to know how the Game’s played

It starts with two pieces (finches), and you win more as you go along (takes a while, ‘cos you have to wait for them to mate, and observe the proceeding generations as they evolve). What fun the game is then, as you notice the new pieces begin to change the game, as they develop new characteristics over time, and the game plays out, with the best players dominating the board. All the time, things edge towards chaos, but gravitate towards stability, in order for the species to live to fight another day, and play the game that goes on and on, until someone upsets the board, and all the pieces are thrown into chaos.

Mashup vid with a reading of John Gribbin’s book, “Deep Simplicity” chapter 6, “The Facts of Life” (turn the sound up a smidge at 2:17, and down a bit again, at 4:29, as the Red Queen was interfering slightly, as she loves to do)

Darn Red Queen is always getting her flippity flappity sleeves caught in the edges of chaos, so sometimes it’s just sensible to move the board out of her reach. Quite a nice island, this. Lots of birds about, beaches to swim on, and sandpiles galore, for the progeny to roll down. Splendid view, too, from the top, if you’re King of the Hill.

Video Sources:

Fish footage was from the BBC Earth YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/vewtmQ5xrtU

I also loved the sea birds chase, again from BBC Earth: https://youtu.be/zKzeMovBwL0

The Mourning doves fighting were from Ostdrossel’s video, here: https://youtu.be/D_06PqxJ4Ws

Then there were Greg Dill’s fighting cranes: https://youtu.be/XA_U9Siej08

There was nice footage of finches to be seen on Mogan Hallas’s Galapagos channel: https://youtu.be/9uZGSuOxFVM

…and from Latest Sightings channel, from which the fighting hawk bit came: https://youtu.be/XFR0wtyZCNk

The sand footage was from Manuel Meier’s channel: https://youtu.be/a7bX7T8lltI

…while the Bak Sandpile explanation was on Art Scott’s channel: https://youtu.be/NuSXOb0q8q0

(Per Bak wasn’t in my vid, but he’s so interesting I’m including this short clip of him speaking about Self Organised Criticality, so there)! https://youtu.be/ydt99BXi3YU

If, like me, you like a nice Trilobite, you’ll enjoy Ben G Thomas’s video: https://youtu.be/95RzyaNgiPM

Primer does lots of informative and fun animations, including the one on hawk/dove game theory: https://youtu.be/YNMkADpvO4w

Best of Science had nice stuff on evolution as well: https://youtu.be/G0UGpcea8Zg

You might have recognised the elderly guy enjoying his chess game as coming from Pixar Productions. That’s Geri: https://youtu.be/9IYRC7g2ICg

The Red Queen footage was straight from the Queen’s mouth, so to say, as it’s on Helena Bonholm Carter’s YouTube channel (or maybe just a fan chan). I bet she enjoyed playing that character: https://youtu.be/i_zhBLF1Fu0

A Physic(al) Journey

I love a good adventure, and lately I’ve been on a journey of exploration into the fascinating world of physics. I didn’t get to do physics at school, probably being deemed not bright enough to be let pack my bags, to set off on that trip with some of the students who set off on that adventure; in fact, I was once told by a rather sour-faced and lightly mustachioed member of the penguin tribe we know as “The Nuns” that I was a mathematical illiterate, so that’s probably why I stayed behind to watch sunbeams slant, and dream of traveling on the dust motes that spun in lazy patterns, as I dropped out, and tuned in, to different dimensions, traveling happily on my own secret adventures of the mind, for years.

In recent years, though, I’ve tuned in again to read about the wonderful world of physics. You don’t need to be able to do maths, you see, to appreciate the beauty of physics. All you really need is a sense of awe, and a curious mind (which I’ve often been told I have, ahem) to really dig physics, and start getting dug in. Bring your spade, ‘cos you’re invited, and we’ll dig down into the dirt of matter, but make it a fun exploration, perfect for dreamers, hopefully not getting stuck in the holes. How about some music while we learn? We can have our adventures go our own way, and there won’t even be an exam at the end. Sounds fun? Off we go, then, singing merrily along the way.

What’s that you say? Not quite what you were expecting? Good. Physics is full of delightful surprises, for something that proceeds in such a logical way. The little video I made, was a classic (Newtonian) timeline visual of ideas I’d been reading about in the always easy to understand Brian Gribbin’s book “Deep Simplicity”, but, wouldn’t you know, the journey took many twists and turns along the way, as I explored some of the ideas further, enjoying the side-streets and alleys of a new town I visited.

There were so many really great explainer videos on YouTube, that helped bring the ideas home effectively, and were stunning visually as well. Philip Glass’s “Einstein on the Beach” is a favourite musical piece of mine, and I couldn’t resist gathering up some of the best videos I found, during my reading explorations of the topic of how complex systems emerge from chaos, and how chaos is, in fact, intrinsic to order. I thought, why not, then, organise the nicest bits into a kind of visual diary of my reading, and have a bit of dreamer-style fun with it. It’s OK to dream, while studying physics, I discovered. I reckon it helps you learn, as you need to be able to imagine concepts, and play around with them, in your mind, to really get the WOW factor. I took plenty of time to dream, and still haven’t come to the last chapter of the journey, because I keep putting down the book, looking out the window, as I did in my school days, and saying “WOW”. Whatta trip.

Wanna see some of the videos I used for my mashup video? These talented creators put most of the effort in, in their wonderfully explanatory and visually beautiful videos, after all. First up, let’s have a look at the main video I used for the background, and overlaid other videos on, to create the mashup vid in OpenShot (free) video software. This was a brilliant video by Stephanie Yeoh, for the music track “Knee Play 5”. I know, it was a bit cheeky of me to even think of covering up parts of this perfect video, with other graphic elements overlaid, but the nuns always said I was a cheeky little rip, as well as mathematically illiterate, so…

Next up, let’s get outta the bus, and wade right in to the river, and hoist our sails, ‘cos there are so many more lovely places to see along the way, in our journey into physics. Here are some of the other videos I enjoyed, and made use of, in my imaginative journey, with my little guide book in hand.

What? Hotel’s full, even with infinite rooms? How can that be? Never mind, let’s skip the chaos and camp out for the night. Don’t get the matches wet, ‘cos we’ll need them to get a fire going, and get the party started, under the stars.

Erm, not sure we’re going in the right direction, and not terribly certain about how we got here, but I’m sure we’ll end up somewhere, with a fixed point to refer to (pulls out compass and taps it, playing for thinking time).

(Wakes at sunrise, under a semi-chaotic collapsing tent). Wow, my back hurts. I’m in bits, but I’m sure I’ll be OK for the homeward leg of the journey. Probably. Should be pleasant to finish my adventure in an armchair, with the rest of my book. Hope you had fun as well. Parting is such sweet sorrow, and all that. I see you’re in bits too. He he. Many of the best adventures are like that. Bye bye. May the road rise with you. It does, a bit, apparently (waves at tiny dot on the horizon).

Other videos used:

Crab Canon on Mobius Strip: https://youtu.be/xUHQ2ybTejU

Ant on Mobius Strip: https://youtu.be/kMgwaeLHUTU

Starlings, Murmuration: https://youtu.be/uV54oa0SyMc

Pendulum Waves: https://youtu.be/o3Q7JYBkOHU

Chaos Pendulum: https://youtu.be/QXf95_EKS6E

Freehand Circle: https://youtu.be/oDcr0yXpkk8

Ten Dimensions in Two Minutes: https://youtu.be/hf2CxZPl7KI

N-body Orbits: https://youtu.be/_3uQqrrBcrQ

Fractal Curves, Growing the Snowflake Sweep: https://youtu.be/vZ9Oi4LV_5w

nicogetz’ “Vibrations on Singing Strings”: https://youtu.be/ttgLyWFINJI

(Other clips include Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing, and an animation from a CGI movie, which I don’t know the name of, and this “Niagara” software tutorial, for particle animations https://youtu.be/31GXFW-MgQk?t=87)

ps. Had a lovely trip. Glad you were here.

Saturday at the Movies – Classic Reruns

You know I love the classics, particularly cult movies. I’m very keen on the 70’s too, you’ll know, and some old favourites never really die. Unlike pulp fiction, you don’t have to do much, to take an exciting trip. Let’s get away from YouTube’s Fake Fight Club, cheap budget casts and recycled scripts for a while, and watch something better, then. ‘Cos I know my readers have class and style, unlike the trolls I have to put up with, whose cheap dramas, and sordid smear campaigns I occasionally respond to, in passing, with retorts like these, when they beg to have their scripts considered, giving it the full treatment. I try not to laugh, or yawn, but turn it into fun. This guy does it so much better than I could, keeping it short, and sweet, like a Haiku, rather than making a whole production of it. I liked him so much, I hired him to do the dirty work.

Once in a while, ‘tho, I’ll dash a quick response myself, on the back of a StickyNote, if they beg (I know; I’m all heart).

Look, I tell them. I just don’t have the budget for that kind of thing (although shooting in black n’ white isn’t cheap these days), and I don’t wish to be associated with your cheap productions! But still, they insist, after squeezing themselves in the office window, you simply must be in this movie, so I send the doorman to escort them out again, so I won’t be bothered. It would make a terrific series, they tell him, and all we need from you is your cooperation, in being amenable to whatever we want to put in the script. They keep sending little plot hints, slipping them under the door at night, to try get me hooked on their cheap scripts, and lame plotlines, and insist that everyone’s just dying to be in it, all the biggest trolls on the seedy end of YouTube. Look, they insist, here’s the showreel preview, fresh off the producer’s studio. But that’s borrowed, and stale, and smells of socks; not even your own work, I think, then figure, don’t respond. Just keep the doorman out there. He’s good with the stare, and withering comments. I’ll stay comfy, and work my way through better content, I can go out for air later, while they spin their wheels in tiny circles in the parking lot.

Mind you, the ideas they pass off as their own stories might have some merit, insofar as having a basic grasp of the elements of drama that we get hooked on, no matter how poorly they execute them, and not having much in the way of real action. That’s the problem with low budgets, and poor scripts. We like our hearts racing, when the cars come chasin’, and a car chase plot device is far more entertaining than a gang of trolls chasing you down with pathetic plotlines, like their “Fake Fight Club Part 2”, where they try to smear you in mud, and pull you into a wresting pit, to wrestle with, well, pigs.

Part 1 never made it out of the gates, but they keep trying, and are, very. These classic 70’s movies aren’t a trial to watch at all, though. I don’t even drive, but they are fantastic front seat passenger seat gripping fun. Not that many bothered wearing seat belts in the 70s. Wrecked the ol’ image, didn’t it, when you were a beat up banger pretending to be a Jag? Oh, I did like that green Jag. Not Emerald, like meself; more a racing green. And those clean lines. Nearly as good as the script, and cleaner content than YouTube’s cess pits. You get what the budget allows, sometimes, and these are glossy, fully waxed vintage classics. Plus, you have a choice of models to choose from, for your adventure (rolls up the garage gates, with the click of a button).

Now, fancy heading for a Vanishing Point, like a troll’s karma at the end of a spent LARP? Only in a far more sophisticated fantasy production? OK then (waves while glancing in rear view mirror, and zooms ahead, with cheeky grin, adjusting sunglasses, before leaning an elbow out the window for that one-arm tan, plus leather gloved brown circle, that is the envy of pedestrians, with plain ol’ two arm tans.

Bye trolls. Eat my dust. Watch Vanishing Point here (and close pop up ad windows as usual)

(adjusts car radio, for incoming news) What? You’re not a simple script action seeking troll, like the ones that never made it big time? More cerebral type. Ah. I see. We have a second choice for you, that’s still action packed, but great script, and plot heavy, too, with Gene Hackman in the lead, and more heavy guns than the trolls could ever dream of, with their limited mental resources, to entertain you with. Enjoy.

Watch “The French Connection” here. Same deal, with the ad trolls. Close the window, then you can ignore them.

The Saturday Matinee ~ “The Lost Horizon” (1937)

Frank Capra’s “The Lost Horizon” is a great adventure movie, but the idea that captured Western imaginations in many surprising and mysterious ways, was a book first. Before that, it was a quest for a secret place, lost in the mists of time. The significance of the book and movie was as far reaching as the idea of the mystic region of Shangi-la (Shambala) that made for some legendary myths around it, for centuries to come. I usually show trailers for my movie favourites I share, but I liked this documentary so much, I thought this would provide a context for telling you about the impact that this idea of the place on the hill, somewhere, would have, in all sorts of other times and places. So, let’s travel back in time, before we see where the quest leads us, before we settle back in the moment, to enjoy the movie.

Ready to rest after your mental exertions? Grand, so. Snuggle in cosily for an armchair adventure, and a flight of fantasy Holywood style, which sees the myth and spiritual legend turned into a romantic adventure, by the wonderful Frank Capra, in glorious black n’ white (perfect for all that snow, which is often blue and purple, but we add the colour in our own imaginations anyhow, so who needs the technicolour treatment?). It’s great fun, beautifully shot, and really magical. We are so lucky to be able to glimpse this lost horizon, because there was also quite a quest to be able to recover the footage, which disappeared in the mists for a while.

“The Lost Horizon” movie link. https://m4uhd.tv/watch-movie-lost-horizon-1937-227466.html

Solving the B$tcoin Puzzle

You know, Bitcoin has been something of a puzzle to me, for a few years now. Lots of content creators on YouTube, where I liked to while the evenings away watching videos, were pushing it like crazy, as being the big breakthrough that was going to change the world’s economy, and put money in control of people, not governments, and banks. I just didn’t understand why we should all invest in this next big thing, as they advised us to, not that I’m ever in the black enough to be in the investment market. I like a good puzzle, though, and set out recently to find out a bit more about cryptocurrency, and hopefully solve some of its mysteries, in my own mind, about how it works.

I picked up the first puzzle piece, which was a Tweet thread a puzzle guy called Richard Miller, aka “Z”, had put out, that got me more curious. He had designed a “scratch card” lottery style thing (yeah, that’s the state of my knowledge, on the cryptic topic, even after 5 study sessions I embarked on, in my puzzling journey to understand more, which left me still referring to a lot of “stuff” about crypto “things”, at the end of it). Anyhoo, this crypto lottery had to do with the new and terribly trendy NFTs, which apparently, are digital assets, e.g. digital artworks, which get attached to cryptographic currency transactions, as proof for your ledger that the transaction has occurred. I’m sure I made plenty of research mistakes, coming from a place of not knowing anything about the topic, but I did have a really interesting journey, as it involved puzzles I was already somewhat interested in solving, around the Cicada3301 puzzle, and other related ones, like the a858 Stonehenge Reddit puzzle.

Session one, a leisurely study session over morning coffee, started here, with exploring the topics mentioned in the Cicada puzzler’s puzzling Tweets, which were Dark Marketing, NFTs and Cryptocurrencies (links I explored on screen are available in chat area beside video, if you view on YouTube, and you can see the Cicada puzzler, Richard’s Tweets in this video as well, to see what puzzle I was trying to solve):

I emerged from my first session having a slightly better idea of some of the terms used, and of how cryptocurrencies are organised on a P2P “blockchain” structure, eliminating the need for using a middleman like a bank, for your transactions. There was a lot more to find out, to get a grasp of the topic, and I decided it wasn’t all that interesting to me, since I’m not the investing in anything type, including my time, unless it’s something in my area of interest. Now, if you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I’ve been trying to solve the puzzles around the identity of Q, and its origins etc., like a lot of folks on the internet, including those who think it’s an ARG, like Cicada was, and those who think the lone deep state “Q Clearance” operative, or Q team, is legit. I had been on a related line of research, about how Q posts were related to IAM cult “stuff” (such a handy, yet vague word, when you don’t want to get diverted off track of what your current topic is). In the middle of exploring the Q topic, looking at an early post’s links to Douglas Gabriel, of AIM4truth (American Intelligence Media), I got curious about the bitcoin logo prominently displayed on the webpage, and ended up in some truly puzzling places, involving online gambling. I wondered why was a site that had “insider” type knowledge about Qdrops, very early on, only a month after the first Qposts in 2017, was also devoting a whole section of the site to Bitcoin, with apparently specialist knowledge of cryptocurrencies, on the same site. The site’s forum linked to a Thai gambling site, and that’s who had registered the site, and that’s where the “breadcrumbs”, as the Qbakers would say, led me. For those who enjoy puzzles, my links this time, are in comments under the video.

(The above video received a strike from YouTube, for Bullying/Harassment, on Sept.20th. Since you can’t harass a fictitious person, I’m thinking maybe a few others mentioned in the video struck it, but YouTube comes down hard on anything with the letter Q in it, these days, so your guess is as good as mine, as to why it happened. Here’s the archived website I discussed, and investigated connections with gambling and bitcoin sites in, in the video removed by YT, maybe just for calling it “AIMing for Qproof” https://web.archive.org/web/20180320171656/https://www.opdeepstate.com/2017/11/15/q-clearance-patriot-analysis-of-breadcrumbs-in-a-nutshell-report/)

Now I was finding the puzzle intriguing again, and I found out more about Bitcoin, and got a bit of Bitcoin enthusiastic spamming, under this video, all raving about their favourite crypto-currencies. I waded on, through the chaos and confusion, however, hacking away at the topic, to see what, if anything else, would be revealed in the undergrowth, as I proceeded through the confusion and chaos in my mind, to try to make headway with my study topic. Often, I find, I have to make little study diversions, before I find my way again, on these expeditions into unknown territory. If the going gets particularly dense (and I am at times quite dense), one finds oneself having to mine one’s way underground, and I had a look at the cryptocurrency topic of Crypto Mining, as the followup to this livestream (no longer called “Followup to AIMing for Truth”; who needs another strike, right?):

Do ARG puzzles have anything to do with Crypto mining, I wondered, as soon as I saw what cryptocurrency hashing codes like SHA-2 looked like, and thought about how communities of solvers might be pooling their resources to solve “puzzles” using apps to crunch the codes down to what resolves to a code that can be used for transactions, or “mining” cryptocurrency? I had no idea whether this was a silly question to be asking, but I’m sure I heard somewhere that there’s no such thing as a silly question, so I indulged myself, and did more exploration of this puzzling territory, in relation to the puzzle the guy known to Cicada3301 fans as “Z” had worked on, as a cryptographer.

After getting some kind of idea about how Bitcoin mining works, I went ahead and asked the question straight out, whether Cicada3301 was as much about the currency of cryptocurrency transactions or mining, as it was about solving a coded puzzle, and I shared some links with viewers under the video as well? One of these was about the a858 “Stonehenge Reddit” puzzle, which I’d had some interest in, having communicated with a moderator from that puzzle’s Reddit board, with some truly bizarrely puzzling results, beyond anything I encountered in my head-scratching enquiries into how cryptocurrencies work, and whether the ARG puzzles involve them.

Well, it seems I was coming around in a circle, slightly, because I’d started out with Q and here he was again, since the Stonehenge Redditor had claimed to be the secret intelligence agent, Q, himself, and he’d written these funny little cryptically puzzling posts, starting in 2011, that intrigued and frustrated solvers on the Reddit thread, to the extent that they eventually asked the guy himself, what’s the point of the puzzle? Was cryptocurrency the point I wondered? I thought it could well be, and said why I thought so, in this livestream, the last in the study series I did. I felt it was as good a solution to the puzzle as any, since nobody else had managed to find the solution.

What I had thought of, initially, as perhaps a rather dry topic of study, turned out to be extremely interesting, and when I later saw this video about John McAfee, it confirmed for me that I hadn’t asked such stupid questions, since a lot of money can be made in cryptocurrencies, if you know when to push the price up, and when to sell quickly. It seems like a bit of a gamble, but perhaps if you have insider knowledge you have the advantage. I’ve no idea what the laws are on insider trading, as it would be called in banking stock market trading, in relation to getting the hot scoops that help you scoop up virtual currencies while they’re hot, and drop them when they’re not, but I know the Q-crew looooved this guy, who lived fast, dangerous, and deadly, and used to dispense trading tips on Twitter like a fulltime Qfarm bot, while he was alive. According to this, he was Tweeting from the grave, and it seems like a Qfan that was using his account, right after he died. Weird, and puzzling, huh? (I’ve started the video at the relevant section, but the rest of it’s pretty hair-raising, if you like to see how an anti-hero hedonistic multi-millionaire muck-up managed to live in luxury and squalor simultaneously).

Bonus Material: Video exploring how social media influencers have exploited their popularity to engage in “pump-and-dump” schemes, sometimes creating their own crypto currencies to do so.

Friday Night Movie ~ Deliverance (1972)

Man, the 70s were wild. Friday’s were the night to really let your hair down, at the disco, if the bouncer thought you were trendy enough to get in. If the disco wasn’t your scene, or you just didn’t have a date for the movie, or didn’t fancy standing in line in the rain, you could stay in, and watch some of the best movies ever made, on the magic box in the corner, which brought some of the most exciting adventures straight to your living room, as you relaxed with the Mrs. Her heart was sure to be beating rapidly over Burt, too, as you enjoyed your armchair adventures; he was one of the cutest men on the screen at the time, all ripped up and muscled, ready for action, but with that impish charm all women adore (next clip isn’t a trailer, it’s just Burt being adorable – guys can skip this bit).

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah. The movie. Directed by John Boorman, it’s a wild work of art, and the actors featuring in it helped create the magic, with large input into the scripts by them. It’s a movie about the relationships between men that are friends, in a fight for survival. Will they be delivered, as the title suggests, or will things get hairier than Burt’s chest, along the way? What wonderful suspense, thrills and spills, and amazing magical moments we are treated to in this survival adventure, as we shoot down the rapids, in the fight for life!

Now, I don’t want to give you a trailer for this movie, as I usually would, because I don’t want to spoil the surprises, but I can tell you that it involves some guys, played by Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox, bonding over a manly wilderness trip. The interplay of the characters, and the subtleties of interpersonal relationships explored, within the context of an amazing fast-paced adventure of a lifetime, is superbly delivered by these actors, who brought so much to the story themselves. OK, I love Burt, but I loved all the actors in this movie. And the music, which blew everyone’s minds, is one of the most famous scenes in cinema.

Are you ready for action? Got your supplies and tackle in order? Off we go then. You know the drill. Click the link below the movie title, to go on the adventure with the guys, and just aim your crossbow (or your finger) at the annoying ad window that pops up, to get back to the movie page, and we’re ready to embark. This movie isn’t for children, or the faint hearted. Off we go.

https://ww5.0123movie.net/movie/deliverance-8545.html?play=1

Bonus Material: Interview with Burt Reynolds, years later.

Next one’s for the ladies. If you’re married, don’t let the hubby catch you drooling. Poor Burt had so many ladies drooling over him, trying to reduce him to just a beautiful thing, that he ended up having to deal with it, and got humorous with it as well. Cosmopolitan magazine readers, like meself, took a while to stop our hearts racing, when we flipped to this page, which was very funny , as well as sweet, just the way we like our fellas. Clever man, Burt managed to stay married to his also very funny, clever and cute Mrs. for six years, and like lots of couples the divorce was a bit of an adventure in hell, like Deliverance, but I don’t think they’d mind if we took just a teeny peek inside that magazine cover. Ooo la la. Burt, ya divil! (laughs).