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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hey, mister: I didn't just see you refill that plastic bottle, did I? Your type really makes me sick. Reusing products when there are perfectly good new ones to buy. And that looks a little too small for your frame. Let me see the sales receipt. You do have the proof-of-purchase, right? Because if I find out thats a hand-me-down, it's straight to the slammer, buddy! We have laws in this economy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

[Author's note]

NaNoWriMo starts in 5 minutes. My objective: 25 stories, appx 2000 words apiece, written over the next 30 days. I'll try to draw what I can from the topics posted thus far at TakeOneDaily -- and I invite any other authors who dare to join me!

So, please pardon my delinquency if very little gets posted over the month of November. TakeOneDaily will resume in full force following the storm which is National Novel Writing Month.

All the best,
Jon Peck

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today is my birthday, and as such, time for the usual annual cleanup; if I don't recognize you next time we meet, please accept my apologies, and ask me to re-upload our shared memories from external storage. Hopefully the cost of bioRAM will come down a bit next year, and I can finally afford to keep all of my memories inside my skull again.
The trouble with stupid people is that the Schrödinger gun doesn't work on them.

I mean, they're sentient, sure, but if they're thoroughly trained, and thoroughly stupid, what consciousness there is has no bearing on their behavior. So it's of no use whatever to disrupt it. They'll still shoot you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The telepath revolution had been a tough part of Earth's history, but now a new scourge threatened geopolitical stability: "ventriloquist" telepaths. Within a certain range, this new breed could project their own thoughts and feelings in such a way that they appeared to come from another individual.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jacob Northrop can quantitatively prove that human society has been turning away from its search for truth. He's got numbers. He's got graphs. And they clearly show that, after a peak somewhere in the late twentieth century, the tendency of human civilization to rigorously seek truth has faded. We have given up fighting the urge to lie to ourselves, to accept comforting half-truths, to listen to leaders who tell us what we want to hear, and all the other logical fallacies and epistemic vices. We gave up the courage to turn toward truth.

And Jacob believes there's Lethetropine in the water. He believes the government, or "them," or the Illuminati, or somebody, has been feeding something to humanity to make them believe what they're told. To make them more credulous. To make them stop questioning. And it is destroying the human race.

And he can't get anyone to believe him. And there are supporters. And there are deniers. And the powers that be try to shut him up (which gives his believers a shot in the arm). And of course the people supporting him are no less credulous than their opponents. He might as well be just another charlatan.

And he dies alone and mad.

And wrong.

Because there never was any Lethetropine. There was no grand conspiracy. Oh, there were conspiracies, sure, but not competent ones. And none that were responsible for the decline of human civilization.

It's just human nature to believe.
Hero has a superpower. But can't really use it. Can't really talk about it. And before he ever gets a chance to get any use out of it, any advantage out of being special, they invent a pill that does basically the same thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

There really is a fixed amount of happiness in the world. And fear. And pain. And every other feeling. If you step on a nail, someone else feels momentary relief from their chronic illness; but if you fall in love today, another person will feel the sharp stab of loss as a memory of their partner's untimely death resurfaces unbidden. What is an ethical being to do...?

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Thanks to improved AI, the computers can now predict with complete accuracy," explained the President of the Elections Committee, "the sociopolitical preferences of every man, woman, and child in this great country of ours. So there's no longer any need to waste public money conducting an actual election -- and the machines have already calculated that 83% of the voting populous supports automated predictive voting!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

After the clowns had all dispersed, twelve-year-old Jimmy Wiffle snuck in through the passenger-side door. "I knew it" he thought to himself, gazing at the pulsing wall of energy which covered the back seats. He had the secret to teleportation within his grasp. If only he knew how to drive.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Captain's log. I didn't give the physicists enough time to examine this solar system, and now we must pay the price -- either move the entire colony, abandoning years of terraforming work, or face the distinct possibility that we'll be swallowed by a black hole within the next century. Engineer Riddle has suggested another possibility: keep the antimatter generators running day and night; fed into the sun at steady intervals, they'll serve the dual purpose of adding energy and reducing the star's total mass. If we get the math right, we could nourish this dying star for eons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reincarnation works like this: you live the life of the person physically closest to you when you die (there are obvious temporal implications, and loops should be avoided).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Redundancy is key. Would you consider taking a road trip without a spare tire? Of course not. So you understand why I never leave the city without an extra heart or two, just in case one fails. Now, tell me again: what's your blood type?

Friday, October 17, 2008

John Mullervy wrote:

Some investors buy most of the Intrade Contracts and then try to fix the election to make sure that their bets pay off.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Micro-LEDs wired into muscle tissue: when I lift my right arm, the bicep lights up. Applications include sports analysis and nude kinetic modeling. [this post inspired by toribash]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You are what you eat: personality/behavior is carried in meat, like any other nutrient. Consequently, cannibalism runs rampant (and we tend to kill the people we most respect). Argument for...or against vegetarianism?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tangential lives: everybody gets one. At any point in your life, you can chose to make the "other" choice, and live your life along that dimensional line until death, at which point, you return to your current life, at the point where you created the tangent, memories fully intact.

Side-effects may include feeling old before your time and dissatisfaction with your "real" life.

Note that the earlier you make the choice to tangentalize, the longer your alternate life will be (unless your alternate decision causes you to get his by a car), but waiting until later in life may yield better informed choices. Also, when you find that your parachute has a hole in it, you'll regret having already used up your tangent.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The first-world economy crashes, but Second Life's economy remains stable.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sentient clothing (parasitic or symbiotic?)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"I've turned up the gain on your datafeed as far as it will go" said Doctor Lee. "Your neuroreceptors are nearly burnt out, and I can't administer any higher dosages of signal enhancer without damaging the rest of your nervous system. My best recommendation at this point is to take at least a full month off the 'net. Here, I'll fill out a prescription for a temporary disability interface. It should only take a few days to get used to using the tool: it's called a 'keyboard'..."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Tennak are emotionally and physically "compatible" with humans, but have half the average lifespan. Given Tennaki females' infatuation with older men, the Tennaki males are often left out in the cold.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

As the ship approached the speed of light, our biggest problem was that the old two-color 3D goggles didn't work anymore.

Monday, October 6, 2008

When a teleporter fails to remove the original copy, the result is two instances of the same individual...forced into lockstep via quantum entanglement (note that this is [very] scientifically implausible given our current understanding of quantum entanglement).

Friday, October 3, 2008

In EvilEvilFunWorld, it is commonplace to throw a poison cream pie at a clown, and cut the breaks on the clown car (no seatbelts, of course). Trap a mime in an airtight box. Fill the juggler's flaming torches with gunpowder. This is why entertainers exist, after all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My first mistake was administering the tetanus shot with a rusty needle. After that, the oxidizing vermin became unstoppable.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Today on BBC Sport, we turn to the disqualification of Didrik Armstrong from the Tour de France, when it was discovered that the other eight members of his team were Simacrulogues. There has long been suspicion in the global community that such tactics were in play, as Didrik's teammates often wear themselves to the point of exhaustion in order to support his win, while they themselves attain no glory.

"The deception was discovered this afternoon when the teammate riding just ahead of Armstrong collapsed on the track; Didrik blacked out at the same instant, prompting doctors to hook up a portable MRI to both individuals. When their brainwave readings appeared nearly identical, other team members were scanned as well.

"Mindsynch Inc., the worlds largest producer of Simacrulogues, said it holds no responsibility for any owner's use of their secondary bodies."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The apparatus she referred to as the Schrodinger Gun didn't look like a gun.  It wasn't long and narrow around a particular axis.  It didn't have a grip or a trigger.  It looked more like a coffee table.  When I tried to find out how it works, she struggled with the words.  All I caught was something about waveforms and a cryptic assertion that it "opens the box."  
Tattoos that hurt when you touch them.  On purpose.