You’ve been imprisoned by a shadowy government project and your identity has been erased; the only question is why. Welcome Home.
In a dystopian society where severe laws are in place to regulate the media you’re allowed to view, anyone and anything can be erased. Most people get their information and entertainment from the Knowledgebase -- a computer network dubbed the “sum total of human knowledge.” But forces are at work to edit and shape the Knowledgebase as they see fit -- suppressing dissident thoughts and behaviors. Their clear target: a group of rebels who hide in plain sight and call themselves the Transhumans -- people who remote into androids illegally, and whose goal is to eventually transplant a human consciousness into an android.
In the middle of this stands 77, a prisoner who’s been asked to repair a broken android for his captors. Once he solves the mystery of this android, he may find the truth behind the Transhumans, the elusive Knowledgebase architects, and the erased.
The Erased presents a near-future parable for the media age, where the march toward merging with technology comes at a terrible price.
“The team, from the University of Arizona, were able to replicate the central pattern generator (CPG) - a nerve cell (neuronal) network in the lumbar region of the spinal cord that generates rhythmic muscle signals.
The CPG produces, and then controls, these signals by gathering information from different parts of the body involved in walking, responding to the environment.
This is what allows people to walk without thinking about it.”
Ian Sample, a Science correspondent for the Guardian who also wrote a book on the Higgs (Massive) breaks down the announcement from CERN this morning.
"The discovery of the Higgs particle ranks as one of the most important scientific advances of the past 100 years. It proves there is an invisible energy field that pervades the vacuum of the known universe. This field is thought to give mass to the smallest building blocks of matter, the quarks and electrons that make up atoms. Without the field, or something like it, there would be no planets, stars, or life as we know it."
My favorite response to the news this morning came from @JamesUrbaniak (the voice of Dr. Venture): “NEW BOSON, BITCHES! #worldpeace”
My e-book, The Erased, is available for free today 4/18 through Friday 4/20 in the Amazon Kindle store. Remember, I provide the first few chapters for free anyway if you want to check them out (and Amazon previews them as well).
Here’s a review from the Amazon page:
"A great story depicting a not so far fetched future. Told concurrently from multiple perspectives, this novel keeps you on the edge of the page, and demands you to see and understand all sides of the story. The ending leaves you wondering who the antagonists and protagonists really are or who to really root for (or how you wish the future might look)…in other words it was a great story that left me wanting more."
"There’s a level of connectivity… That’s really what you want to feel in life, you want to feel connected, want to feel relevant, want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings-on and activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are… just by being alive." — Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Answer to the question, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?”
If there’s anyone I absolutely love hearing talk, it’s this guy.
"Geminoid Summit" — 3 ‘geminoid’ androids meet, along with the humans they were designed to resemble. March, 2011.
"Computers are getting faster. Everybody knows that. Also, computers are getting faster faster — that is, the rate at which they’re getting faster is increasing.” Lev Grossman, for Time Magazine. February 10th, 2011. Photo by Philip Toledano.
"Soldiers practically inhabiting the mechanical bodies of androids, who will take the humans’ place on the battlefield. Or sophisticated tech that spots a powerful laser ray, then stops it from obliterating its target.
If you’ve got Danger Room’s taste in movies, you’ve probably seen both ideas on the big screen. Now Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out research arm, wants to bring ‘em into the real world.
In the agency’s $2.8 billion budget for 2013, unveiled on Monday, they’ve allotted $7 million for a project titled ‘Avatar.’ The project’s ultimate goal, not surprisingly, sounds a lot like the plot of the same-named (but much more expensive) flick.
According the agency, ‘the Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.’
These robots should be smart and agile enough to do the dirty work of war, Darpa notes. That includes the ‘room clearing, sentry control [and] combat casualty recovery.’ And all at the bidding of their human partner.”
“…by merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.” Ray Kurzweil on the Colbert Report — April 12, 2011.
“The Singularity is the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. There are several technologies that are often mentioned as heading in this direction. The most commonly mentioned is probably Artificial Intelligence, but there are others: direct brain-computer interfaces, biological augmentation of the brain, genetic engineering, ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain followed by computer emulation. Some of these technologies seem likely to arrive much earlier than the others, but there are nonetheless several independent technologies all heading in the direction of the Singularity – several different technologies which, if they reached a threshold level of sophistication, would enable the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence.”
“What does it mean to confront the Singularity? Despite the enormity of the Singularity, sparking the Singularity – creating the first smarter-than-human intelligence and ensuring its safety – is a problem of science and technology. This is not a philosophical way of describing something that inevitably happens to humanity; it is something we can actually go out and do. Sparking the Singularity is no different from any other grand challenge – someone has to do it.”