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Messages - Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: Yesterday at 02:02:21 pm »
A set of well-intentioned government tax incentives lead to a large city installing third party home automation security systems on all (public and private) buildings. The security system is a monoculture and is wiped out completely by a ransomware attack, resulting in literally everyone in a city becoming homeless (as their security systems don't let them into their own houses & won't accept their authentication, treating them as intruders).

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:16:22 am »
A group of strangers wake up in a locked cell. They discover that a failed novelist has kidnapped them in order to force them into awkward situations, so that he can study human nature and thereby improve his writing. Some of those situations involve certain people acting out particular stereotyped roles (under threat of death, if they fail to do so suitably well). It's like a cross between Saw and Whose Line Is It Anyway.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 04, 2017, 11:22:48 am »
Something similar to those alternate history novels like "Man in the High Castle" where  the Nazis won WW2, except instead of the nazis, the world has instead been taken over by the regime of some random minor tinpot dictator from history like Fidel Castro, Fulgencio Batisda, Kim Il Sung, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, or Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier
Bruce Sterling wrote something *kind of* like this, if it's something you're interested in reading. Pirate Utopia is based on the premise that one of these post-WWI experimental anarchosyndicalist communes became effective & politically powerful (mostly because somebody competent was brought in to handle the manufacture of munitions), with knock-on effects leading to the second world war being circumvented. The result, culturally, is that fascism never got the stigma attached to it that it has, nor did utopian rhetoric of any stripe; the result, historically, is that Harry Houdini, Bob Howard, and H. P. Lovecraft end up working as undercover dipomats for the US government and organize an alliance with the anarchosyndicalist pirate state of Fiune whereby they provide Fiune with nukes.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:23:16 am »
There is a planet where the dominant intelligent life form is a kind of mind-controlling parasitic tapeworm. These tapeworms have the only technological culture on their planet, and have selectively bred their hosts (furry, docile ungulates with very little capacity for thought) and formed a culture around degrading other forms of life on the basis of how similar they are to their hosts -- for instance, terms referring to non-ungulate mammals are common insults & religious taboos exist against eating (or allowing current or future hosts) to eat food touched by fish, amphibians, or insects. In addition to having mind control, these tapeworms also have control over hormone levels in their hosts -- they can increase adrenaline or testosterone in order to make their hosts temporarily stronger. These tapeworms find adrenochrome highly addictive, and so there's a drug trade involved in harvesting it from animals -- but most animals on their planet do not produce it, and there's fairly heavy regulation. Some enterprising drug traffikers have decided to go to other planets and harvest them -- and earth is on their list. While investigating a series of strange, grizzly murders, a detective finds his case taken over by an FBI agent who acts a little weird; he eventually discovers that the FBI agent is being parasitized by a worm who is from the space-worm equivalent of the DEA: the control is not complete (the host species were bred for docility specifically because the worms can't overcome conscious resistance) but the actual FBI agent and the space worm are cooperating because they have a shared goal. The policeman & this FBI-worm hybrid work together to track down the killer, knowing that it must be someone whose will is highly compromised, & eventually discover that the worm is inhabiting various alcoholic binge-drinkers, taking control while they are black-out drunk and maxing out their adrenaline and testosterone to make them physically stronger in order to more effectively kill their human victims -- which causes them to have a severely shortened lifespan. The worm then exits their bodies through the anus and finds a new host (jumping into their mouths). They finally track down and exterminate this worm, take out the refrigerated rental unit where it has been storing its stock of human pineal glands, and celebrate. Then, the policeman shakes hands with the FBI agent, the FBI agent takes off his pants, squats down on the ground, and shits out a six inch long worm, and the worm runs off, jumps into the mouth of a nearby stray dog, and the dog runs off in the direction of the worm's hidden space ship.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 02, 2017, 05:05:47 pm »
*After Mars (and possibly Venus, Mercury, and/or Ceres) is colonized something very similar to astrology becomes one of the more legitimate parts of stock market prediction, as the relative positions of the inhabited planets has a predictable effect on how fast messages can be sent between them which in turn has predictable effects on information-based businesses

This is fantastic!

*Comedy skit: Instead of a pumpkin, Cinderella's carriage is a lemon

The lemon party ends at midnight, or else.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:38:32 pm »
At a politically sensitive time for Russia, the lost cosmonauts -- the people sent up in secret and assumed dead prior to Yuri Gagarin -- begin to return, having had gone through some kind of time slip that existed in near space in the early 60s. The political ramifications of the return of national heroes erased from history by a nation that no longer exists, and the personal drama surrounding the time gap in their lives (with everyone they had known dead), form the drama of the story.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 30, 2017, 02:24:39 am »
Some ideas adjacent to cantor's continuity conjecture are, in fact, sentient thoughtforms. When they come into being they usually kill their hosts, out of guilt -- because they know that a human who thinks about them for too long will have a much worse fate...

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 30, 2017, 12:46:05 am »
A person who would normally be a minor character in any typical story spontaneously develops extrasensory awareness of where the camera is pointing (which over the course of the story develops, with intense training, into the ability to, for short periods of intense concentration, identify the nature of *all* non-diagetic elements of the film), and uses this to take control of the narrative.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 26, 2017, 02:08:03 pm »
Close encounters are screen memories for the transition between substantially similar parallel timelines, and the degree to which the screen memory is strange is proportional to the difference between that person's home dimension and their destination. People with many alien abduction experiences are confused because reality keeps changing under them. Scientists discover that, by modulating a strong electromagnetic field using a device similar to an MRI machine, they can trigger such an experience and cause a person to swap places with their double in another timeline -- but most modulation patterns don't work, because the number of viable timelines keeps shrinking. Around the same time, scientists in these doomed timelines (on the brink of nuclear war or worse) discover the same technique, flooding our timeline with impostors.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 24, 2017, 01:35:30 am »
An anarchocommunist superhero who is a hobo, and whose superpower is an ingenious mind for mechanics & chemistry (like MacGuyver turned up to 11), but whose fatal flaw is an over the top emotional reaction to conspicuous consumption, making it difficult to live in society or even operate in proximity to people who are plugged into consumer culture. (Just as supervillians are mocked for their compulsion to explain their plans, this hero can be defeated by seeing or even being reminded of obnoxious displays of wealth, which cause them to rant at length about the bougeoisie.)

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:46:38 am »
Galactic Special Agent 253, Our Man From UMMO, is a playboy energy being from the center of a distant star, transmitted by a sentient psychedelic alien fungus. He is on a mission to identify, track down, and stop his predecessor, the former agent 253, a body-hopping terrorist named Mondo Cain, who uses classified information in his campaign against the galactic government. They end up on the Sol Wilderness Preserve And Theme Park, where the indiginous people (humans) aren't aware of the galactic government and staying in character is imperative for visitors -- a policy enforced by the death penalty. There is a complication regarding the fungus: the trip only lasts eight hours, after which hosts go back to their normal lives with a set of absurd fabricated memories; Agent 253 has no control over which host he ends up in: he has no consciousness while nobody in ~10 AU is currently tripping on the right drug, but he will hop to one at random when they start. He assumes his opponent has the same restriction. Eventually, he discovers that Cain is himself from the future -- if he hops onto a space-liner going near the speed of light in one direction & then hops onto another nearby spaceliner going in the opposite direction at the same speed, his consciousness ends up going back in time -- and that he discovered some dark secret about corruption in the galactic government. He pleads with his future self to reveal the information. Just when his future self is about to concede, a random passer-by shoots them both: an under cover agent, numbered 253, from Galactic Time Control.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:16:11 am »
A warrior sect has anot initiation ritual where they see a vision of their own death, then take an oath never tof speak of it. The sect is known for bravery & risk taking: they are willing to put themselves in danger in situations that don't look like they will lead to the envisioned death. It doesn't matter much that the visions have little to do with how people actually die: nobody notices, because they kept their visions secret during life.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:59:48 am »
A drug is developed that has two primary effects: 1) psychic powers, and 2) a profound feeling of unity with the universe and alignment between one's own life path and the universe's master plan. This drug becomes very popular on the black market as a research chemical -- after all, many people wish they had fantastic abilities, and everybody likes being assured that they've made good decisions. However, because of the precise nature of the confidence induced -- a confidence in the correctness of one's past decisions, regardless of their nature -- the drug produces a perpetual state of war: among heavy users of the drug (most of whom are trying to escape past trauma) momentary impulses are enabled by the drug, executed with the help of the drug, and justified by the drug, including destructive impulses.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 21, 2017, 08:48:13 pm »
Shortly after the release of the first generation ships, advances in life-extension technology result in a second batch wherein the first generation of inhabitants could live long enough to still be healthy upon arrival -- so long as they can stay sane for the whole trip. The third batch of generation ships introduced the first coldsleep tech. Around the time of scheduled arrival, the tech to open up a one-way wormhole to the destination was invented (although it wouldn't be possible to get enough energy for a wormhole going in the opposite direction for another fifty years). So, all four groups make landfall at about the same time, with vastly different cultures: the first batch have short lives and are obsessed with conservation and with ensuring a good life for their children; the second batch, being nearly immortal, have spent a thousand years trying to assuage their boredom and tend toward the eccentric, having an obsession with keeping entertained by any means necessary; the third batch and the fourth are snapshots of earth culture taken a thousand years apart. Intelligent representatives of each culture form a colonial council to try to prevent war and solve problems peacefully, but they have a hard task ahead of them: the colonies are trying to self-segregate despite limited space and limited resources making it important that they live in close proximity.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 21, 2017, 06:19:09 pm »
A space opera narrated by a ship's engineer whose engineering degree is fraudulent. The technobabble doesn't make sense because the character speaking it knows nothing about engineering, and the drama comes from the generally poor upkeep job being done.

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