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

“The Q Woo” at Café Emerald

Yipee. It’s that day I’ve been looking forward to. My new book is out, and I’m so excited, because I get to celebrate down at Café Emerald (leaps out of bed, and flings open the curtains). Well, the sun isn’t exactly shining, but that just makes it sparklier, down at the café, so it’s all good.

Didn’t know I had a little cafe, did ya? Well, I have a lot of things tucked away in my imagination, and “The Q Woo” is just one of them, that we’re celebrating today. It’s like a birthday party, for a book, what we’re doing today. This is Part 2 of “The Q Affaire”, of course, but I’m publishing it as a volume on its own, today, in the gift shop (points to an area you hadn’t noticed before, as I pour you a nice hot beverage, at the best table in the house, and they’re all great tables!). I make things. Books, art, craft, anything pretty or interesting, that I think will be fun to do, I’m sure to give it a go. I’ve even had a go at doing an ad for my book (titters).

I’ve arranged the shelves nicely so you don’t even have to get out of your comfy seat to see all the bits and bobs (returns from behind the shelves somewhere with a plate of fresh croissants and jam for you, smiling).

(The Gift Shop, over there- points vaguely towards the back, at shelves with all sorts of interesting knick-knacks, plus that book that you’ve been waiting eagerly on. You salivate with interest, then notice that Donna has obligingly brought a copy of it to the table for you): DonnaEmeraldArt

Here’s the blurb on the back cover of the latest one. I’ll read it for you, if you don’t want to let your croissants get cold before the butter and jam go on (adjusts reading glasses and reads):

What’s it about? Well, it’s a continuation of a comedy thriller I published recently, but I’ve brought in this new character, Q, that you didn’t get to meet personally, in the first book, and there’s romance, and comedy, and adventure, all rolled up in a big puzzle plot, and it’s all set on YouTube, and it’s terribly exciting, and funny, with lots of suspense, and thrills and spills. I put everything I like into it, just like I do with the other stuff in life, you know? Put in things you get a kick out of, and hope other people get a kick out of them as well, you get me? Of course it’s very deep too (puts on serious author face, not terribly convincingly). He he. It’s actually a pretty hard to follow plot, so I recommend the Backchannel Reading Room, over there, for those who are anywhere past, ooooh, Chapter 5. It’s nice and quiet in there, and very secret, so don’t tell anyone about it. You, dear reader, are a special customer, so you get the key (pulls out an ancient looking key from a devastatingly attractive but tastefully understated cleavage area, and displays its rusty elegance against a deliciously curved clavicle). There’s a fire in there, on chilly afternoons (you haul your eyes up to my face, thinking of fires and cleavages, for a moment, until comprehension dawns. I pretend to not notice I know what you were thinking, and look back at the book. as you blush. So, let’s read what the reviewers said about the ol’ bookie book, shall we? This is from the blurb at the back, as well:

I’ll leave you to enjoy your tea, coffee, cakey, musicy, bookie nice time, on your own for a while, and go look after the other customers. If you need a refill, just raise a hand absent-mindedly while reading, and I’ll be over without you missing a moment away from reading, or having to talk. Have fun, and get up and walk around whenever you want to think. WCs are in the Top Level Clearance Rooms, for Q clearance customers’ eyes only. Extra fluffy towels and fancy cologne for handies available there, dear reader. See you later. (Goes to say hello to other arrivals, seats them, and heads off to make more tea and coffee, and fiddle about with gift items people have been enthusing over while they get settled down with copies of the fabulously Fnordish looking new tome, hot off the always wonderful Ms. Emerald’s magical tablet.

Purchase link (Etsy) for books and other gift shop items, all digital formats available (instant download at checkout)

I didn’t write the whole thing at the café, as some writers do, you know, because the beeps and other weird noises can put you off, but then again, I’ve made sure nothing in my cafe beeps, and the customers, being the type that love books, are delightfully quiet and civilised. There’s even a noise cancelling button you can press, under the table, if the music distracts you, and you just want Raindrops playing. In fact, come sunset, if you are still tucked away in a corner, reading, you will mostly just hear seagulls and waves, as you drift away yourself, into your imagination, watching the sun set from our balcony, over a last cup. I do hope you had a wonderful time, and that you enjoyed the day. I hope you enjoy the novel as much as the novel time we spent together, too.

The Q Woo Book Excerpt , and a taste of the last book.

Well, that was a nice day. Think I’ll watch the stars come out before I wash those dishes, and clear up after the book launch guests. No hurry, after all. (smiles, and pulls up a seat, with a last cup of tea, to end the day).

Books and Plots – “The Q Woo”

Yeah. I’m at it again. Writing another book. To be more specific, the second part of “The Q Affaire”, which recently hit my little shop’s shelves over here. The second part can be read as a stand alone novel, or as a follower-upper, as we used to say, on de mean streets of Dublin libraries, when we were scoping out those shelves like secret spies, peering through books, pacing the aisles in anticipation of some new thrills to keep us off those same mean streets, our collars turned up, and hat brims dripping puddles as we stalked the tiled flooring, searching out a comfy spot to slump, with brims pulled low, to hide out from the rain for a while.

Yes, you guessed it. Book two’s a little moodier in atmosphere than the first novel, with the first part a comedy thriller with some psychological twists guaranteed to melt your head with madness, as well as keeping you in a sub-hysterical state of mild giggles throughout. I think you’ll find the second part sucks you into the heart of the maze pretty quickly though, and presents many interesting puzzles, and you’ll be sorry when you finally find your way out again, at the end of the book, after being amazed and dazed, for at least some of the rest of it, I would think.

No more Q for you, though, after that. Two books are quite enough, and although Q tries to lead you through an endless maze of confusing twists and turns, and keep you lost, and puzzled, my job is to help you escape it, and give you a map of the territory. Take my tiny paw in yours, then, and we’ll claw our way in, before taking the journey to finding the keys that let us solve the puzzle, and get out in one piece again, but let’s start with an insight into how the book’s being constructed. I’m just hammering it out now, you see, and you might like to see how the thing’s being constructed. Big bits of paper are terribly important, you know. Very. Highlighters, fun, but not essential. Good ideas a must. Well, you probably know what a plan is already, but might glean something of the plot from the themes and metaphors I explain, while trying not to give away too much of the workings of the plotline, when discussing my creative process for writing the book, here.

Q pushers are starting to notice that there are big bits of paper everywhere, as they stalk the thriller section of the library aisles, while I take up the round table with my square papers.

I think you’ll find “The Q Woo” a lot hotter a read, a less stale bake, and certainly less hackneyed affaire than what Q has evolved into, in his second part, somehow. He’s got a oddly dragging gait these days, is distictly wooly smelling from being out in the rain, and generally looking a bit down on his luck. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though, as he’s still got some company, even if the birds don’t fancy him any more, a few coins in his pockets from last payday, and he still can parley vous oh la la the lads and ladies over on other platforms, admittedly in less salubrious surroundings. His rag tag band of patriots soldier on in their fantasy world, between snoozes, and manage to forget how wet their socks are, until the librarian moves them on, come closing time, with the rest of us. Where we go one, we go all, huh? Breathe in, on the way out, ‘cos you don’t want the smell of Q pressin’ up on you.

The first part of the book, which came out at the end of Nov., 2020, can be purchased here, in digital formats, with instant download. The next part I’m crowdsourcing funding for, to publish as one big blockbuster, comprised of the two volumes together, in paperback Kindle format, after part 2 is released as a digital version, for those who read part 1, over on Etsy. You can read about what the funding goes on, not just getting it to paperback, but getting that all important ISBN number, and other important bits and bobs, on the main post, over there. So, hopefully, there’s something to appeal to everyone, format wise, without having to go to the library in the rain, although, who knows, it may hit the shelves there, some time, too. “The Q Woo” will hopefully have reached the completion stage, anyway, with all editing done, by April, 2021, and I’ll be sure to let you know, here, too, when part 2 is available to read on Etsy. A big adventure for 2021. The next part of the adventure started here, and you’re in on it, like a secret library spy! Shush!!!!

The Data Collectors’ Book (The Face That Drove You Mad)

Mark Zuckerberg is a guy that puts a lot of work into how the company he founded is perceived. His version and other people’s versions tend to diverge on some rather relevant issues, and now at least some of the horrible truth is becoming more obvious to the general user of the Facebook, and Facebook are having to scramble to re-invent the services they offer, as well as alter the demographic they target for their attentions, in an effort to keep the sinking ship afloat. Social media giants like Facebook have all sorts of dirty tricks up their sleeves to keep users on board, and the psychology of marketing isn’t the only source of their power, as they hold such huge sway over our behaviour, so it stands to reason that they have many friends in high places too. How can we ever truly be free, if we don’t really take a hard look at what these platforms’ purposes are (and like all my posts, I must point out that I don’t endorse uncritically everything that’s proposed in the following video, as I’m an individual, with my own views, and not a demographic, but I do think the video frames the discussion points, which could be explored further by users of social media)?

Remember the official story of how Facebook started? It all sounded so cosy and friendly, didn’t it? People coming together, and sharing, with Mark the bright spark helping us all to shine.

Sorry Zucky, but your lies suck, and you blow. This isn’t real life, as we know it, and you ain’t the captain of our ship. More and more long time users of Facebook have jumped ship, and are swimming for shore.

We hoping you sink with the ship, and all the rats below deck drown with you. We see you, trying to bail the ship out with buckets, and we hope your true toxic face becomes more obvious to the new users you are trying to drive mad, by pretending to be their bestest friend ever, arranging to meet them in other places at a convenient time, a helpful app, providing a hug in the form of a thumbs up. Well, it’s a Thumbs Down to you, with no hug, from us. We’re so sorry Mark. Honest.