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Messages - Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: Yesterday at 11:58:53 pm »
A heist flick with a twist: two teams are competing with each other to pull off the same heist, and each member on one team has a "mirror" version on the other team played by another actor who has been typecast as the same very specific role. (For instance, if one team has Vin Diesel, the other has Dwayne Johnson; if one team has Denzel Washington, the other has Will Smith.) Their lines are almost identical. They never meet.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: February 26, 2017, 07:17:02 pm »
Recently read The Russian Cosmists by George Young, on account of Warren Ellis mentioning it in a newsletter months ago. It's a bit dry but worth reading if you have an interest in modern Russian philosophy, nineteenth century western occult movements, or transhumanism. It ties together all the people conventionally considered cosmists (with brief biographical sketches), along with De Chardin, Scriabin, Tolstoy, Steiner, & others whose ideas are similar but whose connection seemed historically tenuous, by showing how the ideas of Federov circulated and mutated within late 19th century Russian intellectual circles. It makes the case that there's a characteristically Russian stance toward philosophy that privileges community, praxis, and the rehabilitation of unpopular ideas, and that this position better represents cosmist thought than any particular details (which would change between thinkers). It also indirectly makes an argument for the potential for librarians (and other intellectual gatekeepers) to have an out-sized influence on history.

Also recently read Track Changes by Matthew Kirschenbaum, a literary history of word processing. Lots of interesting details in it. Mostly it focuses on the cultural impact that the mechanisms behind word processors had on the way literary authors thought of themselves and their own work (as opposed to distant readings of how the use of word processors might have concretely caused stylistic changes). Unexpectedly, there are almost as many evocative passages and turns of phrase in here as in The Russian Cosmists.

Finally, today I finished Transreal Cyberpunk, a collection of short stories co-written by Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker. Despite the name, it doesn't contain much that would be called cyberpunk. It's mostly gonzo/bizarro fiction. I had read many of the pieces previously, but because this collects all of the pieces the two co-wrote in chronological order (and because it contains explanations by each of the authors about how each story was composed), I found this collection much more enjoyable than the individual stories within it. This collection contains some of the strangest stories I've ever read -- and I take care to seek out and read particularly strange stories. If you read and liked Semiotext(e) SF, this is a good companion piece. Also, if you're interested in Grant Morrison's concept of the hypersigil, transreal SF will probably be of interest: Rucker believes that by combining arbitrary particulars of one's own life with "SF power chords", he can produce significantly more gnarly & interesting stories. (I'm not sure to what degree I agree; Rucker is usually too daffy for me, though in this collection Sterling reigns him in.)

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 26, 2017, 12:20:26 am »
A former sitcom actor is called upon for a secret operation because he is the highest-ranking Qi Gong practitioner who is also a US citizen. He is sent on a mission to investigate a group within a chinese organized crime syndicate that use qi redirection for combat -- with the national security implication that they may have ties to chinese spy agencies. However, being a c-list celebrity recognizable to many people (even thirty years after the show went off the air) comes with its own complications.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 26, 2017, 12:19:24 am »
A vain, angry king becomes beloved because of a witch's curse that everything he does to harm is ineffective. His popularity angers him, and he eventually commits suicide.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 26, 2017, 12:19:06 am »
After a nuclear war, disney world becomes the religious center / holy land for a very powerful cult that is involved in rebuilding social structures.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 23, 2017, 05:22:24 pm »
More horror films:

"Torture Porn"- This is an art film that centers on graphic and biologically realistic eviscerations of living victims set to porno music rather than the traditional suspenseful or heavy metal scores typical of horror films. Out of context it's ambiguous whether moans are of pain or of pleasure. There's also a scene with "blood bukkakae" where the killer punctures several people's throats and lets all the blood spray onto their face

"The Brooklyn Boogeyman"- This is basically a straight biopic of the killer Albert Fish except the pins that he used to stick in his taint are inappropriately likened to the pins in the head of the villain from Hellraiser


"The Brooklyn Boogeyman Returns"- A completely fictitious sequel to the above wherein a person reading Fish's suppressed final statement causes him to return from the dead to continue graphically killing and eating children

"A Brooklyn Boogeyman Christmas, Fish vs. Krampus"- Albert Fish's ghost posesses Santa Claus, to be in a better strategic position to kill and eat children, however this develops into a turf war with Krampus

You're on a fucking roll. I'd watch *all* of these movies.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 20, 2017, 01:19:44 pm »
The last survivor of China's 1980s ESP program (the Extraordinary Human Facilities program, or EHF) has been employed as a spy, conducting economic / industrial espionage as a result of being able to read anything that is within about four inches of his buttocks (along with a great deal of language and memory training). Fearing a scheme similar to the Opium wars after the United States legalizes Marijuana across the board, he visits various offices involved in regulating the pot industry, making sure to lean against filing cabinets and sit on desks. What he discovers shocks him: the last survivors of the CIA's ESP program (Project Stargate), a group of five people who can accelerate the growth of plants, are being kept in a trance underneath a vast CIA pot farm, with the production sold overseas on the black market as a means to fund the black budget.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 20, 2017, 11:10:57 am »
Two screenwriters working on different productions meet in a preliminary hearing for a lawsuit, after investors at a test screening noticed that the dialogue in both films was identical (and that, upon looking, the shooting scripts were also identical). The lawsuit was settled out of court & neither film ever got theatrical release or distribution as part of the deal, and the screenwriters hit it off, fell in love, and got married -- their connection cemented by the idea that they were fated to be with each other by the bond of having written identical 120 page screenplays, down to the letter. However, years later, after one of them dies, the other  (while searching through his estate) comes upon his draft -- and sees that the similarity with her own is only marginal (i.e., by that draft, they would have been 'twin movies' but not even character names are the same). Tracking down the final shooting draft, she sees that it differs significantly from both. She contacts her old boss and investigates up the chain, to find that the same esteemed script doctor was assigned to both pictures, and that it seems that he had replaced both scripts with one of his own. However, looking over various complaints, she found evidence to believe that it wasn't his own at all, and that instead he had, for years, been stockpiling good but unproduced screenplays and occasionally using them as 'rewrites' for similar films when he didn't have time to rewrite properly, and without crediting the original author -- and that this accounts for his legendary ability to perform many major rewrites simultaneously.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 20, 2017, 02:09:38 am »
Early in the second world war, a young soldier sent as part of an invasion force to the mainland fell in love with a local and deserted, fleeing into the jungle. This man raised his child and grandchild to believe (as he did) that the second world war was still going on, and that the absolute worst thing that could happen would be a capture by the imperial japanese government. He gave them as much military and guerilla training as he could, and they became strong and disciplined. In the present day, the last surviving member of the line is discovered by an american filmmaker looking for POWs lost in vietnam, and his existence and story is announced to the world. After that, he is subject to a series of assassination attempts by Yakuza hired by a secret society of Diet members who are dedicated to the return of the ambition and culture of the Japanese Empire -- essentially in order to destroy a source of anti-Imperial PR. However, because of his heavy training, the man survives, and decides to hunt down and kill each member of this secret society -- including the prime minister!

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 16, 2017, 10:26:16 pm »
A generic thriller about an energy healer who is stalked and psychically attacked by men in dark suits takes a sudden turn when, upon reflecting, our protagonist realizes that she would not be attracting murderous MIBs if some part of herself didn't want to be murdered by the government. She then decides that any attempt to interact with the spirit world is a form of sublimated death wish, and begins tracking down and killing other light workers in order to fulfill their secret unconscious desire.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 14, 2017, 05:35:17 pm »
A scholar decodes part of the Enigma Variations & discovers that it's instructions on where to find a lost score by Scriabin. Right before the inaugural performance of this score, he decodes some more and finds an oblique warning. He runs to the performance hall, intending to put a stop to it, but it's too late: wheels within wheels made of flaming eyes begin to descend from the sky.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 13, 2017, 10:26:29 pm »
When life-extending (and youth-extending) drugs become inexpensive, elaborate ritual suicides by public intellectuals become extremely culturally important: an intellectual gives his ideas to society, and then (like a president) steps down after about 500 years in order to limit the stagnation of society and let fresh blood in. (Normal workers, on the other hand, will often live perpetually.) However, when a particularly iconoclastic traditionalist thinker refuses to end his life at the appropriate time, society begins to destabilize, and riots break out, ending twenty thousand years of peace on earth. He uses this opportunity to amass political power in the hands of young radicals who refuse to die.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 13, 2017, 01:13:09 am »
An alternate history: schools in the British model become standard across most countries in the industrialized world (i.e., dormitory-based, segregated by sex, with corporal punishment, starting in early childhood and continuing through early adulthood) as background for prospective politicians, leading to a psychologically warped international culture of hypercompetitive man-children.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 12, 2017, 10:59:25 pm »
A long-haul trucker who has been smuggling small amounts of drugs on the side is forced to stop and take shelter when a thick fog suddenly rolls in. He decides to sleep for the night in the lot he found. When he awakens, the fog still has not cleared; he has no response from CB, no cell signal (or GPS), and no reception on his television. Taking out a shortwave receiver, he finally gets some indication of outside civilization: some still-running numbers stations. Finally, he finds a distorted broadcast: someone is screaming, and then static. He listens for a continuation, but then sees the skin on his arm bubbling. The audience hears a scream, and the picture cuts to black.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: February 12, 2017, 10:40:54 pm »
A group of occultists belonging to the white pride section of odinism steal the skull attributed to Hitler from a museum and perform a ritual to revive him. It succeeds, but the skull actually belongs to a random servant. This servant must navigate a strange & alien world, with new taboos & familiar dangerous political tensions.

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