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Messages - Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Literate Chaotic / Re: Five word horror
« on: January 08, 2017, 02:46:12 am »
This thread is becoming memebombs.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: December 26, 2016, 02:32:38 pm »
A mad scientist steals Lord Byron's collection of pubic hair clippings (which he took from each of his lovers, and filed) and secretly clones all of Lord Byron's lovers, out of a twisted kind of napoleon complex. After being busted, these clones are put up for adoption. Twenty years later, they coincidentally run into each other, and (not knowing their shared origin) they end up starting an influential art movement.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: December 26, 2016, 12:04:57 pm »
We make contact with an alien species who never had a spoken language -- they skipped directly from smell to writing. As a result, their writing system is abstract splotches of color on a 2d plane -- it's very spacial but not very temporal. The story is a mockumentary about the high burn-out rate of the human diplomatic translation team, composed of expert linguists who are also expert impressionist painters, who often undergo a novel kind of psychosis as a result of translating between english and this very inhuman language 40 hours a week.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: December 24, 2016, 02:16:38 pm »
A ten year old boy is kidnapped by the mob and his hands and feed cut off, as incentive for his massively indebted parents to pay off a loan shark. His parents, unable to pay, end up dying in an altercation with the mob in front of him, but a policeman barges in and saves him; shortly afterward, the building explodes, killing everyone inside. After he gets out of the hospital, the policeman (who is single, and old) adopts him, but he's killed in the line of duty a month later, pushing the child into the foster system. The child grows up with an obsessive idolization of policework & an obsessive distaste for organized crime. Early into his adulthood, he attempts to join the police force, but he is rejected on the grounds that he has no hands or legs; already extremely neurotic, this blow sends him into a persistent delusional state. With the help of a brilliant engineering student who has been obsessively stalking him (and in exchange for dating her), he is equipped with hooks on all his limbs, attached to a strength-amplifying hydraulic exoskeleton; he puts a halloween costume of a police officer on top of this, and becomes the vigilante Police Captain Hook. He travels by hanging by his hooks off whatever surfaces are available, fully believes himself to be a police officer with special dispensation to hunt down the mob due to his exemplary record, and hunts down and kills figures from organized crime, placing their severed heads on the police commisioner's front steps. (When he is in trouble, the engineer tends to blow up his enemies using remote control bombs, so he has a track record not befitting his actual experience or grasp on reality.)

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: December 22, 2016, 09:28:28 pm »
An analysis of the remains left behind by an apparent suicide bomber indicates that it was, in actuality, a remote-controlled mannequin on wheels under a burqua. The military responds by jamming all wireless within a half mile radius of any high-profile target, and switching over to only wired communications. Our story follows military tech contractors working in such a site, attempting to figure out what's going on when an attack occurs.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: December 21, 2016, 02:51:49 pm »
So, Hardboiled Anxiety is unbearably dull (I am not a hardboiled-author-biography nerd, and I suspect the only people who would enjoy this book are the kind of folks who would write fanfiction about Hammett and Chandler running into each other in a shrink's office & discovering their forbidden love).

I switched to bolo'bolo, which is interesting but just a bit too dense: it's the first anarchist tract I've read that really manages to drive home the whole "the system is made of people" thing and put forward a clear model of how parts of the global economic/political system could be subverted long enough to provide stable alternatives. That said, the author really likes him some neologisms (along with reappropriation of existing terminology: he has some simple infographics describing political ideas, but he calls them "yantras"), and it makes the otherwise short and interesting read drag a bit: I'm about half-way through this book, even though it's less than 200 pages long, because every few sentences I have to wrack my brain trying to remember what the author means by some term.

So, as a result, I started reading Thomas Rid's Rise of the Machines, a history of concepts from cybernetics as they impact culture. I'm not very far in, but thus far it's pretty readable (compared to other books I've read on the subject, which tend to be more technical and less eclectic); I've read some excerpts from later in the book that really convinced me it would be a good read. The main thing I worry about is that it might lean too far toward a general audience, and avoid actually addressing important ideas like shannon entropy or self-organizing systems. There's also one weird glitch in the introduction, wherein the author says that he, "like other people working in cybersecurity", always assumed that the "cyber" prefix originated with Neuromancer's coinage of "cyberspace", which seems kind of absurd -- who hasn't at least heard of cybernetic feedback, even though they call it systems theory now? -- but hopefully it'll turn out to be a strange one-off problem, like Gertner calling UNIX a "programming language" in his otherwise wonderfully well-researched history of Bell Labs, The Idea Factory.

Since I last posted in this thread, I also read two Warren Ellis books: Gun Machine and NORMAL. Gun Machine borders on standard police-procedural, and is probably the most mainstream Ellis has ever been, but it retains some of his trademark oddness and occultic ideas; it would probably be more accessible to a New Yorker with an interest in NYC history, because it sort of centers around geographically- and historically-themed events around NYC (sort of like Ghostbusters 2016 sets itself up to do). NORMAL is very entertaining, but most of the ideas in it aren't super new to me, and Ellis does less than usual to make them interesting; it's also very short.

I also read John Higgs' history of the KLF, KLF: Chaos, Magic, and the Band that Burned a Million Pounds. Higgs is always entertaining, and this book makes a good pairing with Gorightly's various histories of discordianism. It's sort of a strange parallel to Cosmic Trigger, insomuch as it follows a couple of guys who embrace their very minimal exposure to discordian ideas and get sucked in: one of the KLF members read only the first book of Illuminatus! (though he briefly worked on sets for Ken Campbell's stage play), and the other hadn't read any at all; both though discordianism was something made up for Illuminatus rather than something anyone actually practiced; as a result, when they became super famous with a discordian-themed musical group, they were jaked by various parties & took the jakes seriously, leading to The White Room, among other things. When they finally burned a million pounds, they didn't realize that they were performing an act that occurs in Illuminatus, & that chaos magicians have discussed at length as a very potent ritual.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: December 15, 2016, 12:39:05 pm »
A woman from New Zealand wakes up in a Kazakh jail cell, the officials having jailed her because they don't believe New Zealand exists. Twist: she has drifted into another time line where New Zealand doesn't exist & all events derived from or related to it never happened. Peter Jackson is still making low-budget horror movies.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 10, 2016, 12:27:15 pm »
Fictionalized retelling of yesterday's events focusing on the pact Trump must have made with mephistopheles to pull this off being enacted by serial demonic posession of voters

Trump was elected via a pact with an egyptian frog demon. I unironically believe this.



Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 09, 2016, 10:23:40 pm »
A science fiction series where the protagonist is a goofy overenthusiastic nerd with no common sense / sense of self-preservation, surrounded by people who are constantly trying to get him to shut up / save him from himself / get him to cut to the chase and tell them if the alien he's poking is dangerous.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 07, 2016, 09:57:58 pm »
A stuntman is hired to stage a fake failed assassination attempt against a presidential candidate in order to boost his ratings. The stuntman gets promises that the campaign officials will let him "get away", but renege on the deal. The stunt succeeds, and the candidate wins the election; he's a fascistic figure and expands presidential powers. The stuntman manages to escape prison, and attempts to actually assassinate this president, now knowing that the "campaign officials" who hired him are actually CIA agents who were conspiring with the candidate to cause a coup.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 06, 2016, 04:45:33 pm »
The wotld is secretly controlled by two Skull-And-Bones-esque organizations modeled off of the fraternities from Animal House

I don't think it counts as original if it's true ;)

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 05, 2016, 01:26:46 am »
A self-proclaimed superhero has intense psychic powers only deep into psychedelic trips; as a result, he ends up performing on massive scales the small actions that very stoned people usually perform. Because of the danger of a bad trip, a superhero team forms (from slightly less powerful supwrheroes) who essentially trip-sit him once every few weeks and gently guide his power use so that he at least has some positive outcomes. This is played for comedy, but the stakes are very high: these guys are essentially sweet-talking a hallucinating god.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 04, 2016, 11:35:46 pm »
During the construction of a subway tunnel in Switzerland, a large cave system is discovered with evidence of recent construction, but the bolts are made of an unknown material and are of a strange shape. After some investigation by veteran spelunkers, they discover that contrary to current archaeological canon, the neanderthals never went extinct: instead, a community of more than ten thousand moved deep into this cave system and survived, creating a flourishing technological civilization. The Swiss make contact with this civilization & attempt to normalize relations, having an exchange of diplomats. WACKY HIJINKS ensue as the children of neanderthal diplomats attempt to integrate into the Swiss educational system despite having a primarily fungus-based diet, no experience with meat other than ritual funerary cannibalism (the only reasonable means of corpse disposal in a closed underground environment), no familiarity with the concept of cooking (since fires are dangerous, food is primarily prepared with pickling and other forms of fermentation), a matriarchal lottery-based government (with lottery-based culling of the population), and a technological landscape based primarily around the breeding and cultivation of fungus and bacteria colonies. This fish out of water story becomes a romantic comedy when the diplomat's daughter & heir to one of the most powerful neanderthal line falls into a FORBIDDEN LOVE with the daughter & scion of a major Swiss banking family, just as knock-on effects of Brexit & Brexit copycats are causing pressures that suggest that the Swiss banking industry is in danger.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 02, 2016, 08:10:15 pm »
In the near future, content farms are replaced with edit farms: most articles are produced via spintax (i.e., a large set of recursive templates hooked into databases, such that a human being can put in a pitch in a special pitch format & the machine can create thousands of variations of articles based on that pitch), but the article-writing machines cannot distinguish between good articles and bad articles reliably and the volume is too big for general A/B testing, and as a result, hoards of poorly-paid independent contractors do the work of choosing which variations are best and performing light editing to make the result seem more human-like, before producing only hundreds of variations for A/B testing on regular readers. The plot involves an editor discovering a systematic coverup of investigations of the working conditions of these edit farms by the people who administrate the spintax systems, blocking articles on the subject from being printed.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: November 01, 2016, 09:15:53 pm »
In the mid-80s, an elderly english madam dying of AIDS opens up to a reporter trying to do a story on the crisis. However, the madam explains that she is a four hundred year old vampire who ran a brothel in order to siphon blood off laudnum-drunk men, infecting them with siphilis to explain away the knock-on effects of being preyed upon by vampires. She confesses that she was the whitechapel killer, having killed a couple of her girls who were going to go to the newspapers, but the laudnum in the blood had negatively affected her judgement, leading to some of the anomalies in that case -- she was in a constant delusional state, being essentially an immortal junkie. Because the immortality of vampires is related to a viral mutation of the immune system (supplemented by ingestion of lymphocytes -- leading to vampires sometimes eating pus instead of blood), auto-immune disorders are the one thing that can kill them.

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