Monday, May 23, 2016

The Mephisto Box - A Horror film and an open door

And now back to being creative....

Director Kelly Hughes, was once called the John Waters of Pacific Northwest Indie Horror Films by Digital Dead magazine back in November of 2015. With more to follow. As of the posting of this blog, Kelly now has eight episodes of his latest feature film, The Mephisto Box up on YouTube.

From Kelly's website:

In this highly anticipated new web series, a disgraced psychiatrist redeems himself by treating a fragile mental patient, only to unleash a demonic attack. Subscribe to the official YouTube channel and watch a new episode every Friday: Video.

Cast of, The Mephisto Box (2016)
Yes, there I am in that lower row.

We had shot some of the film here at my house, which I am currently in the process of selling. We also shot in various other locations around the greater Seattle area. Including in a large church up on Seattle's Capitol Hill along its famous Broadway Avenue. I got to play sound man and general grip that day.

In the shoot at my house I got to fill the positions of F/X man, pyrotechnic and for a while, talent wrangler I suppose. It was fast paced, guerrilla filming, colder than the tip of a witch's nose in Antarctica and at times even a bit hotter than we needed.

We "burned" a guy to death, then chased him down, put arrows through him and later resurrected him as a demon in a ring of fire. Among other things.

You can see many of those shots on Kelly's website.

As I said I'm selling my house. I live on a couple of lovely acres in a forest and I love this environment. It's so peaceful and tranquil here. But I'm looking forward and need to move so I can devote more time to working on my writings and film productions from now on, as well as moving some place more local to what's happening.

My house listed for sale last Friday. There's been a stream of people through here checking it out. I heard one agent tell his client she might want to decide soon as he didn't think the house would be on the market much longer. Which is nice to hear. I've heard one person wants to put a bid on it, that it's the right price but she has to wait till some of her financial dealings are complete in a couple of weeks.

Back in 2006 I had tried to sell... just as the market started to tank and then the bubble burst in the housing market. Now ten years later, here we are again. Though I'm better situated and more motivated to sell. So far so good.

But this is about Kelly's film.

It's fun that we got to shoot some at my house and around my property in a couple of films now. The first being Kelly's recent shortDon't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle The Baby Sitter. In the teaser you can see me as Grandma's ghost while my son pours gas on the fire behind me. Good times.

That short ten minute film was created for the upcoming DVD compilation GRINDSPLOITATION 2: The Lost Reels. It was a lot of fun to shoot and it turned out better than expected.

However that was just a short. This is about the feature.

In The Mephisto Box, there are some great scenes and acting by many of the actors, including always excellent actor Betty Marshall, a long time veteran of Kelly's films since the 90s. This time she is a disgruntled all around helper for someone of means, and very jealous of her position. There's some real gems in this film for those into indie horror. I even got a short (short) scene as a street preacher.

Here is a teaser for it. Synopsis - A disgraced psychiatrist attempts to redeem himself by treating a young mental patient, not realizing he is tampering with demonic forces in this new series by director Kelly Hughes.

We will be stumbling around Crypticon this upcoming final weekend in May over the Memorial Day weekend. Say hi if you happen to make it. It's a fun film, a fun crew to work with and Kelly is an indomitable force and enjoyable to be around. Just like Crypticon.

I hope you have a great weekend too. If your passions is for creating, film production, or just writing stories, or simply viewing or reading them, find your passion and start acting upon it. Life is just sitting out there, waiting on us, hoping we will knock on that door which will be opened, if you just take the time to look for it and step through.

For me, The Mephisto Box was a part of that door opening. As was my book, Death of heaven. Or my work with a studio some years ago as a screenwriter in absentia (I worked remote as I was in Seattle and they were on the east coast). As was In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, my first published short horror story (also contained in and the first story in another book of my short stories, Anthology of Evil).

These were my doorways into my passion, writing, getting it out there for people to read. And film production. Something that goes back to being a public access cable TV producer in the early 90s, just like Kelly Hughes. That project so long ago, led to us finding one another on Stage32.com. Kelly's entry through that door start then and there, so many years ago.

You never know where what you do will one day lead you. So if you have the inclination, then do something. Act on your desires. Even the little things count sometimes. They are all just one more step up to that door you have to bring up the courage to knock on, to turn the knob on, to push open that heavy creaking door into, your future, your passion, and possibly your bliss.

You will never know if you simply don't try, and try again, and keep trying, until finally one day, probably when you most think it will never actually happen...it happens.

Get involved.

Get involved in yourself, in your community of creatives and in ours too by watching and sharing what we have done. So that one day perhaps, you too will be sharing what you have done with us, and we will share it with all of our community.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Church and Guns

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recently signed a bill allowing people in his state for churches to legally have armed security.

Let that sink in.
Note the props: Reagan book, Bible with holstered gun on top
When a national gun culture finally invades your churches, your religion, it's really time to pay attention. Arming churches is not a religious reaction. It's a human, scientific reaction. We don't need to arm and militarize churches. Yes, they have been attacked. But few and it's not really reasonable in arming your church.

Religion should be a baseline for humaneness, for peace, spiritual security, for joy. Historically, for sanctuary. Not for anger, not lethal reactions.

This lack of continuity between religion and believers is untenable and hypocritical. People fear putting their beliefs on the line. They always have. And yet, they have martyred themselves to perpetuate their beliefs. Beliefs that have inspired countless millions over thousands of years. But many now see that it is better to arm their church, than to possibly die for their beliefs.

When I think about Church, about guns, I think back into my past. Back to when I was in the Air Force. My final main base was in Spokane, Washington. In 1975 I was at Fairchild AFB, a nuclear bomber base in the Strategic Air Command (SAC). We had fuel tankers, B-52 bombers, and were on alert 24/7/365.

In about 1977, I got friendly with the guy who gave out equipment in the base gym. My friend and I played racquetball every other day and lifted weights on those other days. If we needed anything we'd go to the equipment room attendant. We got to talking over a period of weeks about things in general, "guy stuff", guns and eventually, oddly enough, religion. Then one day he asked if I wanted to go to his church.

I was at a point in my life where I was ex Catholic, had been head altar boy at our church and in fact had been the altar boy serving at our old priest's open casket Mass for his funeral. My first time seeing a dead person. He looked good, the gentle kind soul I had known for years and served Mass with.

Later I went to a single final and graduating year of Catholic primary school (eighth grade). As I entered my young adult years, I was looking into the universe to see what there was, other than what I had been taught. I read a lot of books on philosophy, religion, even magic, a sign of the times in the 60s and 70s. You name it.

So with an invite to visit what sounded like a cool church, I figured, why not?

I told my wife about it. She probably couldn't have been happier that I wanted to go to church. After all, she was raised Baptist and we had been married in her church. Yes, the whole big church wedding and all. We divorced the year I got out of the Air Force. The guys told me when I arrived at my main base that no one survives that base and remains married. There were a lot of divorces, a lot of philandering, mostly with wives of enlisted fooling around with officers, especially pilots, the God's of the Air Force.

So my wife and I agreed to check out the guy's church with him and his wife. I told the guy the next time I went to the gym. Which was the next day. He said he would pick us up with his wife on Sunday morning and he would drive.

Well, that's nice of him, I thought.

Government as an entity, is typically rather stupid. Elements within the government however can be quite intelligent. yet there is a healthy dose of stupid among the employees. I was about to be stunned by the stupidity of this "nice" guy from the gym.

He had told me to bring my gun, that it was cool to wear a gun to church. I thought that was odd, but hey, I was open to see new ways of viewing the world. I carried concealed, legally, my Walther PPS\k .380 auto. Yes, I should have seen it coming. I should have seen something coming.

We headed out of Spokane toward the border. As we were crossing the border I got nervous and asked him about it. He said it was okay, the compound was in the hills of Idaho and it was beautiful there. About my concealed gun and his, and considering we were in the military, and I had a secret clearance unlike him, I was concerned about federal issues.

He said not to worry, you didn't need a concealed weapons permit in Idaho and where we were going it wouldn't be an issue. When we finally got there up into the hills of Idaho it was beautiful. We arrived at a gate that was unlocked and allowed us to pass. We were now on the property of the Church of Our American Christian Heritage. Beware a church that has in its name, "American" or "Heritage". Or any church who seems to have all the answers.

We drove up in his truck, a forerunner to today's SUVs. he pulled into an area of the compound with a traditional type well int he center and several buildings, one being an old fashioned church with the steeple and all. Several guys were wearing what looked to me like Nazi uniforms, only a different grey color, looking just different enough that you COULD claim, they weren't Nazi uniforms. When I mentioned the similarity (as well as the Hitler salute they used) they got offended. They weren't Nazis! Sure seemed like it to me though.

I won't detail the entire morning. But it was bizarre, surreal, disturbing, and scared the hell out of my wife. I worried if I didn't play it right, would I end up in the bottom of that well. They told us stories of how the local Sheriff was afraid of them and wouldn't come onto their property. The old ladies were the most racist people I had ever met.

Their national leader was there from Georgia to give a lecture at their church service. He didn't know we were there and were novices to their beliefs. He had really let go intimately detailing their beliefs and disgust at non whites, about the "cesspool of humanity that was Vancouver, B.C. Canada."

We got out of there eventually and never looked back. Don't get me wrong, these were very nice, polite and friendly people. I know deep down they meant well. But the things they believed in were immature, foolish, and frightening. As well as bad for humanity in general.

By time we got into the truck to head home that day, my wife had inadvertently nearly ripped off the sleeve of my shirt from repeatedly having grabbed it and holding on with dear life, while trying to look happy and at ease. Occasionally smiling and whispering she would say into my ear, "Get us out of here!"

The next day I considered telling the base about what was going on, but my racquetball friend talked me out of it. After all he said, those people know where you live and when you won't be home with your wife. It brought to mind a scary situation.

Gun and church do not belong together.

Pairing them is a massive warning that something is wrong. Perhaps, if your country has been invaded by an active force as happened in France, there is reason. But not here, not in America, and not since the Revolutionary or Civil War.

Needless to say we need a separation of Church and State, and Church and guns. If you want to protect your church from attack, try non lethal forms, try metal detectors, try anything, but leave your guns at home.

If your church is at all about death or killing, find another church. If your religion is death oriented like the three major desert religions of the Middle East, rethink your life choices.

Religion needs to be positive, life affirming and not about killing people.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Religion as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Many disorders that humans exhibit are merely normal conditions wherein the "dial" and degree has simply been turned up high enough that it has become an issue in one's daily life. PTSD is one of those where some psychologists are claiming it isn't even a disorder but a natural reaction to long enduring traumatic stress after the fact.

OCD precursors are another one of those things that when properly attenuated in life, can lead to great success in life, love and career. As with PTS, it's a necessary and functional thing in life. But when one is put into a situation where the stress is intermittent, continual and long lasting, one has to heighten one's senses in order to deal with it in the most safe manner possible, for the organism (people).

Now of days we are existing in an environment that we really were not designed for in being bombarded continually with stressful information. That of constant vigilance and preparation to fight or flight.

Once one of these human features broaches over to that point of being a disorder, it is then that we see issues that affect the individual's life, those around them and in some cases as in politics an entire local government, the nation or the world at large.

We are seeing a lot of this in the world today regarding religious beliefs brought on by triggers of fear, a decline in the veracity of religion itself with the advent of instant and ubiquitous information\media, the reactions to all that as well as to those speaking out against religion. It can incorrectly appear as a "war" on religion. When in reality it is something else entirely.

"Everything happens for a reason."

That saying has a purpose. One that simple minds have subverted. it is a shorthand to mean,... we need to find what purpose to ascribe to an event so that it has more purpose than mere happenchance.
In that way we can turn bad into good, good into better.

But to believe that there is a fate or a divine action that results in your being affected is to abdicate your ability to affect your own existence, to accept responsibility for what has happened to you in your life. 

YOU mostly have done to you what you experience happening. 

Even if it's not true, even if it's indirect. 

Because once you accept that, you have empowered yourself. 

Only then can the true "magic" in your life begin to happen.
There is too much magical thinking in the world. However we are as a race finally beginning to mature.

Eventually this will all will die down. Life will mediate into a level playing field and this will one day all be looked back upon as that period in history when there was obvious madness rippling through society world wide.

Hang in there.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/ocd-guilt-and-religion/
http://ocdla.com/scrupulosity-ocd-religion-faith-belief-2107
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/31/health/ocd-scrupulosity-religion/
http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2012/01/18/is_the_era_of_big_religion_over.html

Allow me to toss this into the mix:

It seems to me conservatives tend to be focused too much on their ideals (questionable as some of THOSE are) rather than giving enough consideration to reality, for far too much of the time. It sounds great but like religion, when you delve into it, eyes open, you quickly run into things many conservatives can't abide to consider.

While liberals are more concerned about actually reality rather than perceived (or believed) reality and govern their ideals through an effort to appropriately balance those.

So conservatives then try to claim liberals are unethical because they will bend their ideals if needed to fit reality (typically when it comes to being humane vs concerns of idealism or religion).

It's the religious ideology format of governing one's thought all over again. Something I see in many conservative atheists too. It's easy, quite lazy and requires very little exercising of the brain cells. Just say, "But God, God's laws, or idealism!" and you're done. But life is more complicated than that child's view of the world.

And it explains so much about our current mess.

Now add this to all of this:

Social Network Algorithms Are Distorting Reality By Boosting Conspiracy Theories

Monday, May 2, 2016

Which Revolution?

I hope you had a nice May Day weekend.

Think about this for a moment. There is a revolution in the works. One that has been needed for a long, long time now. Bernie Sanders has been talking about a political revolution and we desperately need one. I hope he is right and I hope it comes to be.

I have a conservative acquaintance who says the most important thing is to protect our guns in case of or when, we have to have an armed insurrection to take back our government. So he is voting for Bernie, or if he isn't available, Ted Cruz. Really? Wow.

Well, he's a conservative and conservatives have a very childlike, naive way of viewing the world through their very binary filters. Things aren't going well, beat up the bad guys. Easy peasy. Because it's just too hard to do it without a gun. As if a gun in the hands of armed citizens nowadays could win against the US Government. Uh huh....

That brings up the other revolution in the works. Not Bernie's non-violent one. You know about it, you see it in the news now every day and it is coming not from the liberal but the conservative side of things. Republicans have seemingly lost their minds. And it's been a long time in the proces. Going back to before Reagan, back to Nixon and before, but really taking off in the Reagan years.

To be fair, Democrats kind of let it happen by sitting back too much and doing little to combat it. To stop it dead in its tracks while it still had a chance to. As things are going we are at another point in our politics where the GOP can be course corrected and that apparently is again up to the Democrats and Americans in general, because the Republicans seem incapable of controlling even themselves.

The GOP is looking to block Donald Trump from the presidential nomination even though he is the clear choice of the people voting Republican, or just dumb.

The last time that happened it was on the other side of the aisle.

Democrats tried it in the 1968 election. They didn't like who the people liked and so they chose another candidate, one who had not even been running. Except perhaps around just enough delegates and GOP official's offices to get him the nod.

The 1968 Democratic Convention is now a highly notable historical event. It frightened some of America back then. There was to get to the point, a riot. One requiring police and the National Guard. The people did not like that a candidate was being chosen for them by their party officials and they let them know that in no uncertain terms. It ended in emergency room visits and over fifty people being arrested.

Back to 2016.,,,

Donald Trump, is a joke. As a President anyway, not as a potential President, apparently.

His supporters are a joke. At least their belief in Trump as President is anyway. A joke that could potentially become president. President of the most powerful nation in the history of the world. President, the most powerful man in the world. And people think Trump is the one for that?

Seriously. I mean, seriously?

Look, this is not a joke. There is fundamentally no difference between the intolerance of Trump's rampant diatribes against Muslims, Mexicans and others and that of the Muslim intolerance of those like just like him, and a potential intolerance against many of us as citizens. It is something that can easily be turned worse and against others. Just as Muslim intolerance against the west has been turned against and some might argue mostly against, Muslims, we could suddenly find that many of us are suddenly in the Trump abuse list.

Who are Donald Trump supporters? People at NASCAR events. Evangelical Christians. Some of the dumb educated young Republicans. Those privileged and those who delusionally see themselves as privileged. People who like many of us are pissed off at how our economy is and how our personal ways of life have suffered in a lack of upward mobility.

People feel embattled, put upon, a bit paranoid now perhaps. Paranoid because of real reasons in terrorists wanting to kill Americans on American soil. Paranoid in feeling changes in their positions and lifestyles. Because change is happening, positioning is changing. But that is, America. We live in a constant flux of change and opposition to that change. It keeps us vibrant, alive, on our toes. As long as we don't allow it to also make us afraid, paranoid, childish, binary in our approach to life and others.

In a world of grayness, we cannot allow ourselves to view it in the lazy fashion of merely good versus bad, love versus hate, rich versus poor, Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus liberal. We are all Americans, with new ones being born, and immigrating all the time. It is our strength.

Trump and those like him are our weakness. They exploit our weakness for their profit and benefit and if Trump is anything, he is for himself for profit and benefit. He is merely another crass bass individually in the style of nouveau riche as opposed to more classy old money. A base individual who seeks only the filthy lucre. Where his God is himself. We are there for him, no matter how much he claims he is there for us.

Ted Cruz is a whole other level of ugly. As John Boehner claimed his past week, Cruz is the "Lucifer in the flesh" (and not the cool type Lucifer in the TV show) and that he, "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

The GOP this election season is really batting 1000 here on serving us up the dregs of American depravity.

People who believed in God, Country, John Wayne, Bruce Willis and kicking ass and taking names are incorrectly clinging to those like Trump and Cruz out of false hope for a lost and in some cases, nonexistent past. People who are hunters, who like to shoot for fun and who believe their 2nd amendment rights are being infringed, can't get enough of these guys. These are the nut cases who have rushes on gun stores the last two times Barack Obama won the presidency knowing they were about to lose their guns when all that happened was, there were banner times for gun manufacturers and gun stores.

Donald Trump supporters have the 1st amendment and they are going to exercise that right to its fullest in order to be heard. Because they need to be sure everyone knows that the American's right to be Christian is being impinged. That they are taking away their guns and that must be stopped, at whatever cost. Even though so much of their fears are groundless. Still they say they would die to defend our country and feel patriots could do no less.

And they have the guns and perhaps more, to fight with.

These are the people that the Republican party want to screw with at the Republican convention.

This should be interesting.

By the way, it should be any day now that conservatives and Republicans start to blame anyone but themselves, liberals and progressives for sure, as it being their fault for the rise of Donald Trump. If not one day, his presidency.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dark Chapter Press Unlimited presents the A-Z Horror Anthology

A little over a year ago  Stuart Keane with Dark Chapter Press gathered up a bunch of us authors, twenty-six to be exact, and assigned us each a letter of the alphabet. These authors were to write a horror story based upon the letter they were assigned.

I am also in this A-Z Horror Anthology.

I remember thinking:

"I sure hope they don't assign me X because that one would be hard to come up with a title that isn't  either cliche or boring (for me) compared to all the other letters."

Of course, I therefore drew the letter, X!

X I tell you! In the end I actually came up with two stories. Not that I meant to or wanted to, but I'll explain in a moment.

Oh. Brief side note, director Kelly Hughes whom I've been working with on a couple of film projects is releasing a few episodes of a feature we completed, The Mephisto Box (here's the YouTube Channel). We had so much fun filming this and it was a lot of work. It's a 1970s style horror film.
Update 29 April 2016 - Kelly has now released the first four episodes. I have cameos in ep. 2 as an addict in an NA meeting bent over, face hidden and a street preacher. Interesting to note that the death scene at about four minutes in is reminiscent of the Rosebud chapter in my book Death of heaven which came out originally in 2012 and that chapter was actually written decades ago.

Now. Of the authors involved, Lily is one of them with whom I'm acquainted. She drew... W.

I had tried to get friend and author, Kurt Giambastiani in on it too (I'd love to have seen him do horror), but sadly (for us all) I had mentioned it to him too late to acquire his own letter.

These stories have a word count limitation. Obviously. They are after all, short stories.

I had come up with an interesting concept based on Xibalba, the Mayan Hell. From that I researched and wrote a story titled, "Xibalba Unleashed", a great big, epic, claustrophobic little story. A serial killer origin story.

I really liked it. My editor really liked it. There was only one problem. When I went to submit it to Dark Chapter, I discovered a terminal mistake.

I had been about halfway through writing it when I dumped my Harley Davidson. I hit a pothole and then immediately another which brought me down on the dirt road. I was only about a hundred yards from my house on our county dirt road which at the time had massive pot holes all over it. I was going slow, being (perhaps too) careful, when it happened. In fact I was only going about five miles per hour.

Two days on the couch (no hospital just pain), $3,000 (and a month later) and I got my bike back. It took a couple of weeks of healing up before I got back to finishing the story.

That was when I reexamined the rules prior to submitting it and found I had gone over the word count by nearly 2,000 words! I was crushed. I had put a lot into that story and really liked it. I had to research ancient Mayan culture and mythology. I had to examine maps and learn about actual caves that supposedly led to the Mayan Hell. Fascinating stuff, really. All wasted.

There was no avoiding it. If I wanted to be in the anthology (and I did), I would have to cut pages and ruin a very well crafted tale. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. So I would have to come up with another "X" story. And so I did.

I came up with, "X The Unknown" which will be in the anthology.

I hadn't wanted to come up with any of the titles people kept suggesting. All the obvious ones, all the cliches. I hadn't wanted even to use "X The Unknown" but finally it clicked with me and after all, I did have to come up with something.

I came up with a story about a local Seattle area FBI agent and a very messed up serial killer. It was written, edited and submitted. I liked it, again, my editor liked it. She doesn't like everything. I had struck gold twice in a row.

It will take a while for all these single story releases to get all the way down to the letter X up on Amazon. So in the meantime may I suggest you check out our first story in this series as well as all the rest as they come out every other week or so?

From Dark Chapter Press Unlimited and Shaun Hupp:

Anniversary Dinner by Shaun Hupp.
"Jim and Kristen are happily married. On the eve of their anniversary, Jim plans a special dinner for the couple, pulling out all the stops to ensure the evening is as romantic as possible. All is going well, until they have an unexpected visitor…"

After Shaun's story you can check out each letter story as they come online. Next up on April 29, 2016 is the letter, "B". In this case it is Matt Hickman's, "Brazen".

Brazen by Matt Hickman
"Karen works the pole in an exclusive strip joint, where a VIP area like no other satisfies the needs of the most discerning of customers. Noticing a client fixed on her performance, she joins him in one of the private rooms, where depraved needs are met and forbidden desires made real."

A fun something to look forward to kind of thing, don't you think?

Honestly, this should be quite entertaining and all you may very well have to do to share in this dark and interesting affair is...to click on it (see customer's note below).

Won't you join us to explore the shadowy side of the alphabet?

After all, twenty six of us are waiting for you alone...in the dark.

Next up....

Caravan - May 4, 2016
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X The Unknown by JZ Murdock
Y
Z

CUSTOMER'S NOTE: Recommended for Kindle Unlimited users it is a single, short story. Dark Chapter Press Unlimited titles are intended for Amazon Kindle Unlimited customers, who can download these short, creepy single stories as part of their subscription at no extra cost.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Dies, Henry Rollins Against North Carolina Anti-LGBT HB2 Law

Conservatives in North Carolina (Mississippi too for that matter). Hatred. Fear. Cowardice.

This is a short and irregular blog today as I usually release them on Mondays. I thought this important enough to share however because of all the ridiculous and disgusting actions America has been repeatedly subjected to over the past twenty years or so (which should be inclusive really of the Reagan years) from the right, the conservatives, the Republicans.

We have been abused through (anti) voter laws, gun issues, civil rights and women's issues and on and on ad naseum.

On the day that musician Prince had died, it seems especially poignant that we allow room for those Americans who are different than us. Especially those staunch conservatives. We need to be more accepting and less rigid and punitive to those different from us.

How much in our world would we not have if not for those who are different than us, be they straight, gay or whatever.

So please check out one of my favorite people, Henry Rollins, in his speaking out against North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory's new anti LGBT "bathroom" law, disingenuous as that description by the right is and as Henry will explain if you read his statement.

Please do.

I doubt I could say here what he says there, any better.

Just a taste of what Henry says:

"HB2 is now law. There is no “walking it back.” If McCrory eventually caves and tries to repeal it, everyone will know it’s because he values money over his homophobia, which he has poorly disguised as moral rectitude and common sense. Either way he’s fucked. If I were him, I wouldn’t feel all that put out by Springsteen’s cancellation as much as I would fear PayPal scrapping its plans to locate a new operations center in his state. PayPal is bigger than any governor."

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Biopic of Your Most Private Moments For All To See From Big Data

We really need to start being more aware of our actions. Why? Today and each day forward will all too soon become our legacy. We are deciding each day who we are. At least who our descendants and others might one day come to believe that we were.

This is concept and info could would fit right into my continuing horror \ sci fi story, "The Unwritten" on Wattpad.

Here's the situation. We are already working on ways to access "big data", massive amounts of information that are essentially useless to a human being. Big data requires computers or a lot of people in order to make it accessible, intelligible, useful.

Without computers, information leaks containing a million pages as in the Edward Snowden situation, or more recently with the eleven million pages from the Panama Papers leak, we simply cannot make use of that much data. It's an ongoing problem the NSA deals with on a daily, even hourly basis.

But we are starting to get a handle on it. Solutions are on the horizon.

We have to assume that in merely a few years, certainly in a few generations down the line, we will have figured something out. Projecting from that we will one day quite easily and literally be able to generate an easily understandable format to receive and manipulate all that data.

The projection that one could make a movie about the life of someone from the past with all that data isn't that far fetched. It could also include far more than we would now consider possible.

It could include for instance, friends you never wanted anyone to know you had. Places you went, things you did you never wanted anyone to know about. To make it "commercially viable" in a sense, that is at least more pleasure able to view, it could even include sexual situations you were in that were never filmed.

Remember, we're talking about the future here.

Regardless of what hidden moments you have stored away, situations meant for no one ever to see, one day they may be able to see it all quite clearly. Just for purposes of speculation, from a short sci fi story of mine, "EarVu", a scientist finds a way to produce 3D videos from previously recorded audio tapes. Think about that for a moment. That technology alone could bring down the entire world.

Already we are talking about taking various random footage shot from ATM machines, people's cell phones, things posted on social media, combing them all and getting 3D representations of what happened in choosing a single element or person as focal point.

This is all rapidly becoming not, science fiction but science fact.

When viewed from the future in using massive data it's entirely possible and would be quite plausible not to mention astounding. What could be discovered about a person's very private life in hindsight?

It is in part after all why conspiracies always fall apart and come out into the light.

Time is enemy to all and friend to some.

How would you feel about one day a movie being made of your life? You would have no control over it, not say in it, and you'd never know about it.

All this from easily known historical data. Though perhaps now being from unknown data. Just information freely available through a future version of some benign entity like Ancestry.com or some other such entity. Like a library.

A film of your life could literally be made by anyone, though more probably it might be made by a descendant of yours. Perhaps simply out of curiosity.

Much as how someone can now write a biography of a historical figure from the past from existing information, photos and such. While now that is mostly limited to those highly documented individuals, many of us are already being highly documented in ways far exceeding that of anyone from the past, or of what we are even now aware of.

Something for us to ruminate over. As some people worry that God can see their most secret actions, what if literally anyone could?

I spent many years studying espionage when I was younger. I discovered from the analysis of freely available data that one can uncover, must as with statistics using available numbers, that you can uncover highly accurate details from information that is freely available.

In taking just a few things from someone's life you can find where they have been in a day on a specific date, even what they were doing. From that you can extrapolate other things. It's really quite amazing and the more you delve into it, the more you can discover.

In taking information from other individuals involved with someone, even peripherally involved in things, you can then find strikingly obvious things about that time. Things that an individual had believed was (and had been right about, except in hindsight) completely private and secret.

Just remember, Time, wears everything down. Entropy rules.

I was stunned during and after college to find what I could do with statistics, with just numbers being correctly manipulated, with reasonable levels of inaccuracy accounted for. I found I could literally foretell the future. I was a media buyer for a while for Tower Records and achieved worldwide top buyer one month for my accuracy. I didn't even have a computer at work back then in the 1980s, I did it all with pen and paper on a clipboard.

However in using computers, machines that can handle massive data, grinding it up into something intelligible, what will we be able to accomplish some day? To see? To know?

Think about it. You can now use a spreadsheet to generate very useful graphs. Even moving graphs. Computer models can generate real life-like looking characters. One day we will be able to produce a film just from big data. Or seemingly happened, might have happened, but that's another (scary) topic.

Time will tell. It surely will.

If ever you wanted to be the star of your own movie, a film about your life, it may just happen. Though it may happen many years after you've passed on.