May 2, 2013

April 2, 2013

January 28, 2013

The newspapers are wrong.

You’ve probably read about me, but don’t listen to what the media is saying because it’s wrong.

I never wanted to be famous. I’m not psychologically disturbed. I wasn’t abused as a child, I never tortured animals and I didn’t wet the bed until I was 9 or 12 or 16 or whatever else the talkshows and journalists and bloggers are screaming about. But no one’s ever going to believe me when I say that because for every incorrect fact that’s printed, there is a correct one too. And that’s how you tell a lie, isn’t it? - by mixing it with the truth.

Maybe they’re right.

Maybe I am a monster.

I did kill all those people after all. I murdered 66 children and 82 men and 85 women.

Of course they think I’m a psychopath.

I’ve seen the story that’s being told about me: “233 men, women and children – all victims of human trafficking - were burned alive in a warehouse fire. Reports say that the arsonist, Dr. Jacob King, planned the violent attack with methodical and savage cruelty.”

And yes, christ, that’s all true. It’s true — except. That last part. That’s not right.

It wasn’t savage cruelty, even if I did do it on purpose. Even if I spent a week preparing to burn it down. Preparation wasn’t necessary, you know. There was a 1,000 gallon propane tank already in there.

I don’t know if you’ve seen propane go up, but it explodes. And a 1000 gallons? The fire was so hot that it cracked the concrete a block away. The entire sky lit up like a second sun had been hung and I could feel the roiling heat on my face.

That final act, that’s not the real story. It was the consequence, the aftermath when all the other variables have been added up, and -

Well. Does it even matter now? Probably not.

But. Here it is anyway.

I’m a doctor.

I can’t take out your appendix or set your broken arm, but I have a doctorate in biological engineering with a subspecialty in Synthetic Biology and Medical Technology. I received my education free of charge thanks to the United States Military with the expectation that I would work for them for at least 10 years after earning my degree.

The US military spends more money than you would think recruiting the best and brightest minds and I was young and naïve and so eager. I couldn’t even imagine the research I would be getting into.

You see, these days a college student studying biology will cover some material on genetic breakthroughs. They’ll learn that we’ve recently made advancements in knocking out genes in a mouse, that we can insert DNA into an embryo so that the mouse will grow a human ear on its back. They’ll learn that these advancements are too new to fully understand and it’s going to take a long time before we can stort it out.

In reality, we’ve been able to grow human ears on mice for over 30 years. The oldest human clone? 39. Oldest human/chimp hybrid? 19.

When I arrived, the next big advance was being able to manipulate DNA in people who are alive and breathing and grown. Convention dictates that you must start with an embryo if you want to tailor its genetic code and then wait 15 or 20 years for a human to fully mature – but that wasn’t good enough.

HIV gave us our launching pad. We retooled the underlying mechanism found in a retrovirus. This allowed us to insert fragments of DNA, then whole genes into cells. We moved onto organ systems, then entire animals. Eventually humans.

It was more complicated than I’m implying; you have to make a custom strain for every person, - a bespoke infection, if you will - but we eventually got it right and now. Well. A few hours after inoculation, the process of shedding old cells begins. Depending on the type of cell or system you’re targeting, a subject can be fully infected within days.

But the details aren’t important now. Everything that we did, everything we planned on doing? What it meant was this: humans were no longer humans.

They were blank slates that we could write on.

And I was helping.

What could this possibly have to do with the 233 victims of human trafficking, you wonder?

You might already suspect some of it.

But the rabbit hole is deeper than you think.

See, we - I - worked on something called the Comp-T Gene. Its innocuous name is shorthand for Compliance with Training. It sounds like something you’d find in Labrador, but it’s more powerful than that. See, you put this gene in someone, “turn it on” using transcription factors and you can train that person to do anything you want.

After you’ve set a subject, you turn off the gene but the behavior? It’s permanent - a brand-new, hand-picked, biological imperative.

I heard one of my colleagues refer it as the “Kool-Aid Virus.”

He was, for all his flippancy, correct.

You have to know that I wasn’t part of the team that set the 233 Comp-T men, women, and children that ended up in that warehouse. I never should have known about them but how I came to that information isn’t important.

And.

God.

Believe me, please, believe me. Please. I know that I’m a monster and all the terrible things people are saying about me. I killed those people, yes, I lit the fire, it’s true. And yes, maybe it was savage, and god it was cruel. I pay for it, now. I wake up sweating, I have nightmares so terrible that I get sick. There is no taking back what I’ve done, and I hate myself for it. You have to understand, I killed 233 people, but — listen. I think, I hope, that I saved 233 lives too, maybe more, because don’t you understand? Do you see? There were plans. They were going to take over. They were using those men and women and children; they had designed them, 1000s of hours of planning and do you see it now? The warehouse was a way station before they were being sent off to kill 233 members of our government — including the president — 8 days from now.

They were going to stage a coup.

I have no idea if I succeeded. It’s not likely. Even if I stopped it once, they can just do it again, can’t they.

I don’t think I’ll be around much longer to wonder.

(Source: reddit.com)

January 25, 2013

Distant Light (1/2)

6:10pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z4wrrtcd-cql
Filed under: music 
January 25, 2013

Distant Light (1/2)

6:09pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z4wrrtcd-RUH
Filed under: music 
January 19, 2013

1:46am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z4wrrtc6Fd8X
  
Filed under: picture fat neckbeard laugh 
January 16, 2013

January 13, 2013

Lazy man who can’t find his words
All caught up inside his head
He is there with you, he is there with you
And when he can’t speak from too much wine,
You’re always there with his line
He wants to go home
You know the jolly show must go on
But he sees me on you
And you on summer buzz and summer heat
But I don’t know
For go to the picture show today

We’re living day by day
And we both know
That this world can make no sense
When you jumped everybody’s fence

We’re living day by day
And we both know
That this world can make no sense
When you jumped everybody’s fence
And you know it can
And you know you can
Know we can, yeah yeah

(Source: youtube.com)

January 12, 2013

3:15pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z4wrrtbbgjWv
Filed under: picture gif cat 
January 12, 2013

January 12, 2013

throughascreendarkly:

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Werner Herzog, 1979)

(Source: timesculpture)

January 8, 2013

January 7, 2013
Meaningful/Good Conversation in Fiction by inkedexistence

There are a number of problems people encounter with dialogue, and a number of ways they can be circumvented.

The four primary issues that need to be addressed are:

  1. Characters only say two things.

  2. Dialogue is not two people talking to each other. It is two people talking AT each other.

  3. Dialogue without subtext is boring.

  4. Dialogue is an act, not a conversation.


1. Characters only say two things:

  • This is who I am.

  • This is what I want.

That is it.

When you write dialogue, bear these two points in mind.

This isn’t to say the characters are explicit about their identity and motivation (we’ll address subtext in a moment) but nevertheless, identity and motivation are always the determining factors.

Often, weak dialogue stems from statements which either lack personality or lack motivation. Characters are just talking to fill space on the page.

Don’t do that.

Its perfectly alright to have a character blather pointlessly… but only if that pointless blather reveals character or motivation.


2. Dialogue is two people talking AT each other.

All of the points I’m making are tied together. This one is particularly tied to my previous point about a character’s wants being expressed in dialogue.

Often, you’ll read a segment of dialogue that feels like a lazy badminton match. The words go back and forth… back and forth.

No. Good dialogue is about scoring points. Its like volleyball. Your characters set themselves up, put the opposite team off balance if possible, and then spike the ball down.

Each character has a clear goal in mind for this conversation. They want something, even if its only to hear themselves talk.

Rarely are they talking for the purposes of holding an equal and measured conversation, purely for the mutual joy of it.

The art of conversation is dead. If it was ever alive to begin with.

Characters talk at each other. Their words are intended to provoke a change in the external world. The goal isn’t always explicit, but its always the purpose behind the conversation.


3. Dialogue without subtext is boring.

What isn’t said is almost always more interesting than what is said.

Sometimes, it’s necessary for characters to explicit and unambiguously “put it all out there.” These moments should be special and used because they are so jarring and blunt.

Often however, you should shoot for a level of meaning beneath the spoken words. You need to give the reader something to think about and infer beyond what is being said, otherwise you’re left with just the words on the page and a bored reader.

You want to engage the reader on levels beneath the obvious. You want to give the reader “2 + 2 =” but rarely should you tell them “4.”

A boy wants to ask a girl out:

  1. Have him walk up to her and say “Will you go out with me?”

  2. Have him walk up to her and talk about what a beautiful day it is, and how beautiful that flower over there is. And… how beautiful that dress she’s wearing is…. uh….

This is just one, halfassed example, because quite frankly its hard to give examples of dialogue with subtext. But the gist of it is simple. Its the difference between a dancer preforming a flirty striptease and a naked woman walking out on stage and saying “Here are the tits. Here is the ass.”

This doesn’t mean you get to linger, or waste words. You should still endeavor to cut to the heart of matters, just don’t walk out onto stage naked.

Implication and inference are vital. Without them, dialogue comes across as superficial and flat.


4. Dialogue is an act.

Ever notice how, in a movie when a character pays a taxi, they never stop to fumble for change? And they never get change back? (unless it has some specific purpose in the plot)

Dialogue should be like that. Its a stage production. An act which mimics real-life, but only for the purposes of providing enough familiarity for the reader to function.

Its like the background set on a play. Does it look real? Not really. But it looks real enough to fill its function.

Dialogue has the same function.

Most of real-life conversation (and real-life life) is composed of inane and mechanical events. This goes along with the “back-and-forth” I mentioned earlier. Yes, back-and-forth obviously does occur in dialogue, but you should be ruthless in cutting out the unnecessary and the uninteresting.


At least, this is how I see dialogue. Hope it helped.

(Source: reddit.com)

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