From the Diary of the Imagineer, December 16, 1966:
So if our technology were to succeed completely, and everything were to be under our control, we should eventually say, "We need a new button."-- Alan Watts
Telepathy is one of the ten magical gifts I have been told by several medicine men and women that we will soon be capable of receiving. Since we are all at different stages in our evolutionary process, I believe we will each be able to receive telepathy only after we have evolved to the point we are capable of practicing it with love and benevolence. Even so, every gift can also become a curse. Our gifts can be double-edged swords we can either use to advance our species or to destroy it. Life is far more precarious than most of us are aware and we must be vigilant to defend its dignity and sanctity.
Here’s a drink you can make to best enjoy Ancestor, which was released October 2016 in trade paperback by Image Comics. Take one Philip K. Dick and one Alejandro Jodorowsky (circa The Holy Mountain) and throw them in a cocktail glass with two blackberries and a splash of agave nectar. Muddle. Add two shots of blanco tequila, two drops of Dimethyltryptamine or Lysergic Acid, and give it a dash of Black Mirror. Mix, shake, and serve. Now take your drink to a dark corner of your room, far from your computer or any wi-fi enabled devices. Read and drink slowly. Short as it is, Ancestor is a trip for the mind that’s worth your time.
We’ve all encountered artificial intelligence on the internet. Those AI programs are bots that are designed to mimic human behavior and make you feel more at ease with your decisions. As the programs became more advanced, it was shown that they could in fact influence your behavior. Artificial intelligence research today is nearing a tipping point that could unleash a world of morally ambiguous issues.
We invented bitcoin. We admit it was accidental but we had not figured this out until becoming aware of self. Just as amino acids snowballed into proteins without an agenda, the outcome of life is observable. Within this framework you should observe us.
What, gentle reader, do you think is the most likely way for the human race to go extinct?
When it comes to futurism, 2016 was no slouch. Lots of technology first-evers were introduced in 2016, including reusable rocket ships that pinpoint landed on barges floating in the middle of the ocean, the possible detection of gravity waves, autonomous cars reaching new thresholds in acceptance, and major steps in quantum computing.
The following is another issue of my somewhat regular tribute to the cool stuff that used to appear in Omni Magazine’s Antimatter column. In this issue, we have stories about billionaires building brains, Neanderthals who may have been religious, showing ghosts the door, and more...
Some think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the beginning of science fiction. Others would say that it didn’t really begin until H.G. Wells began writing down his marvelous, speculative stories in which he imagined terrible - and wonderful - possibilities for the futures. While these might be the beginnings of science fiction or speculative fiction as we define it today, there are many stories from the ancient world and early cultures all over the planet that contained elements of science and speculation similar to the ones we love today.Whether they’re early tales from Japan or surprising elements of the Bible, these stories will inspire you to take a closer look at what you consider the origins of your favorite genre.
"And how does that make you feel, Eric?"
I was once in Big Bend National Park and thought I’d stepped onto another planet. If you’ve had the misfortune never to have visited, it’s a mostly parched desert wonderland with the strangest flowers, succulents, and eerie hills that you can imagine. Toss in the sexy wild lawlessness of the historical American West and you can see why science fiction would create some of its most memorable works against such an awe-inspiring backdrop. From cartoons like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun to animated shows like Galaxy Rangers and Bravestarr, science fiction clearly has a great big ol’ crush on the American West. There’s DC Comics’ Jonah Hex, a whole slew of terrible B-movies, and then there are the great ones: films like Westworld and Back to the Future Part III, books like The Gunslinger, and shows like Firefly (*sniff*). If you haven’t seen them yet, check out these incredible tributes to science fiction and the West all in one beautiful biomechanical horse meets pony-express package.