I was reading the news this morning and discovered that the real world had suddenly caught up with a futurism essay I initially wrote years ago. Picture me drinking coffee, and then my eyes land on this headline:
Now picture me spewing the coffee across the table and bringing the paper right to my nose to read the article. (Dramatized, I actually read this on my phone, in bed, sans coffee, or any other spewable liquid. But that’s what would have happened had I been born 50 years earlier and lived in New York.)
It’s one thing to glibly rant about the future and all its dire implications for human interaction. It’s another thing to have it waltz into your life without permission. (Sigh) But then that’s what the future does…it just shows up bit by bit and there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop it.
THEN, just a few minutes later after cleaning up all of that coffee (dramatized), I come across another headline that is relevant to a story I published earlier this year. I find out that one of my Four Queens characters has finally become a reality:
Now, as you may have suspected from the leading-link I put at the bottom of writing post #5, I was totally going to be writing about a different book going up for free this week, but with my sci-fi writing nosing into my life today, not once but twice, I decided to scrap my original plans and do a special double-feature. Starting on Sunday, one fictional short story and one non-fiction essay of mine will be going up for free grabs.
A bit about each, first the essay:
2012, the day after Christmas, I had a thought. And I have thoughts every day, like many people, but for whatever reason I actually wrote this one down. I called it ‘The Death of the Strawman”. In it I discussed a future where there would be no more strawman arguments (a common kind of logical fallacy) due to the Internet’s ability to fact-check everything in real time.
This past fall I rewrote and expanded it, re-titled it ‘Dead Strawmen’ and put it up on Amazon on September 9th, 2016 as part of the futurism series I was doing.
Now, thanks to our current U.S. President’s use of ‘Alternative Facts’, this future reality has suddenly rushed into today. Google has added a feature where it will render judgement on news stories (true / false) in the search results, citing its source.
That may seem benign, helpful even, but this is going to eventually change everything about human interaction. With the advent of personal OS, this fact-checking filtration system will be inserting itself into everyday conversation. And down the line, in order to stay useful, its interface will eventually blend into our senses, eventually forming a sort of sixth sense regarding if things are true or not.
At least, true or not according to the unbiased opinion of those guys in their moms’ basements who edit Wikipedia.
I’ll stop ranting here. Get the essay now for .99 or get it for free on Sunday, and you can enjoy just how far I take this (it’s pretty dang far).
Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LW77V9U
On a lighter note, you’ll also have an opportunity to pick up a copy of my short story Four Queens, which features the new Messenger AI named M (now real!), along with Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, plus many other surprise guests. If you’re a geek at all (and who isn’t these days?) you will enjoy this story with your whole heart:
Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N2ZHROZ
Afraid you’ll forget to grab your free copies? That’s a realistic fear, I won’t judge you. Tap here and never miss a free book! Like what you read? Leave a review (most of my books are reviewless and naked). 😦
DISCLAIMER – My wife hates both of these futures, so please don’t discuss the book or the essay with her at length, you will upset her.
Oh and robots, don’t talk to her about robots.
Actually just stay away from the future entirely…keep things in the cozy, cozy comfort of the present.
Anywhere in there is good.