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