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Author Topic: quick writing experiment
rstegman
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The election is now over. Many are despondent about the results while others are giddy.

Write what you think the nation will look like in four or eight years.

Some think it will be a utopia and others think it will be a dystopia.

Then there will be those who could write about today and be right.

it is good to write one's impressions when situations are happening.

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Disgruntled Peony
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Honestly, I'm going to have to pass on this at the moment, because it would involve more research into painful subjects than I am presently ready to delve into. Maybe later, when I've had time to find my balance.
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extrinsic
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Thirteen-line limit, presumably? Unless of a more or less summary or synopsis nature.

I have a doozy of a prediction extrapolated out about eight years of a generational twenty-five year implementation process, akin to the Interstate Highway plan implementation phase. Mass menial employment and transnational corporation livery and cradle to the grave corporate nanny citizenship, in an oversaturated autonomous remote tele-operation and monitoring labor economy -- the drone hive-mind.

The focal agonist lives a dreary work life bound to a computer monitor as a watch person of an assortment of dials and gauges and object and people movements, and enjoys an occasional hobby pastime passion several hours or so weekly, say, artisan herbiculture, for which he holds a prestigious small local reputation. He privately wants, perhaps, to be a data highway pirate, to find the proverbial secret horde of undeveloped data resources ripe for exploitation. These are as of yet unexploited raw though organized data ores.

He's duped, as many are, into finding ways to exploit as yet unexploited data, in service to his corporate leadership's capricious whims. If he does uncover a way, he won't gain, will actually lose status, though remains blissfully unaware and by "bread and circuses" is more or less content. Shades of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick's works!? Somewhat Ubiquitous existential Obsequiousness to capitalist collectiveness. "Ubique-Obseque" (You-be-kay; Ob-see-kay)? Dystopian utopia. The same of the same as it always was, is, and will be.

Me -- my private strategy is too keep my head down, as always, and write above the radar horizon from an ironic pluralist mien, to mean all and sundry are culpable for the strife or all would benefit if only . . .

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Robert Nowall
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I thought we weren't doing politics here.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
I thought we weren't doing politics here.

That would be my other reason for abstaining. Even if I do engage in this exercise, I don't plan on sharing it here. I just don't feel like it's appropriate to the nature of the forum.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Predictive brainstorming fits into science fiction, but Robert's correct, politics are not appreciated here.

If you can play "what-if" and attempt predictions without getting polemical or political, go for it.

But be careful, okay?

And remember, the "best" "predicters" of the day were way off on what they thought would happen this week. Don't take any of it seriously.

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extrinsic
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Fantastic fiction's non-one-to-one motif to meaning correspondence is especially advantageous for political topic evasion: science fiction, fantasy, thriller, and horror. They called it satire when Shakespeare and court minstrels, bards, and jesters of old skewed political commentary expression.

The nursery rhyme form, for example, uses singsong rhyme schemes and accentual verse contained in skewed motif representations to comment about social conduct and persuade public opinion. The Jack and Jill nursery rhyme comments on a legislative enactment that prescribed weights and measures, of public houses in particular, defined the measure of potable beverage containers, less volume, actually, as a sneaky method to increase tax revenues: a jack is a half pint; a jill, or gill, is a quarter pint; a crown is the empty head room of a container; up the hill refers to Parliament; to fetch a pail of water doubles for tax revenue from sold beverages and water as supposed to be tax free. One interpretation of the meaning anyway.

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

A thus far bloodless coup d'etat election, factual from real life, for example, could be instead an invasive plant species takes over a community's industrial district and residence neighborhoods, like kudzu. That's rich and ripe fodder for allusion and irony, particularly of the non-one-to-one relationship convention. The kudzu poses as urban blight creep and smothered industry.

Laborer devaluation, surplus laborers, jobs deficits, and public assistance as Caesar's "bread and circus" bribes to the masses, could as well be poised as a skewed allusion, say, to a carnival circus sideshow -- or Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848.

Or Cyril M. Kornbluth's predictive futuristic dystopian science fiction novella The Marching Morons (Wikipedia), the text:PDF, 1951. The '50s were a time of ascendant predictive projection about the way mass culture trends suggested society would unfold. The psychohistory base of Isaac Asimov's Foundation cycle both influenced such prediction practices and cautioned against them. As much what such predictions missed as what they influenced came to roost.

Ayn Rand didn't foresee over-the-road trucking pick up a large amount of industrial transportation displaced from the railroad, steel, and energy baron dynasty, for example. Nor did Upton Sinclair put a thumb under Rand's "moocher" society chaos predictions. Kornbluth struck a chord, chords actually, satirized all and sundry and to a fair-thee-well pluralist outlook at unconscionable "final solutions."

Predictive prose need not exclude fantasy, or hard science fiction, or thriller and horror narratives. Fantasy folk tales are predictive, if this then that complication sequences. Always an agency causes the prince to become a frog, a moral error of the self's doing, the beauty to fall into a coma, the beast to have a savage breast, the giant, the ogre, the gnome, goblin, the elf, witch, sorcerer, etc., to run afoul of some moral truth error, the heroes and heroines and villain victims too.

The epic Old English poem "Beowulf," for example, what happens if old worlds and new worlds' ideologies and cultures collide. The serpent Grendel and hero Beowulf clash is akin to the Greek mythology Pythias and Apollo clash at Delphi; an old animist serpent worship culture that clashed with the new humanism worship culture and lost. A root cause of which was new tool and weapon technology and new combat strategy. Fantasy melded to historical legend no less. Oracles, too, that they are messengers, ostensibly of the gods.

Who might be the mystical messenger mage of the recent election coup d'etat? Such that a fantasy might be composed? Or thriller or horror? Pluralist satire would include all and sundry as witting and unwitting contributors, the messenger a prescient philosopher sophist who understands human nature as if given a gift from the gods; that is, dissenter urban minority vote suppression from insistent optimistic polls and reporting. Say, a revenant persona possessed of psychohistory skills. Dissenter voters can be widespread suppressed bigly by expectations their candidates will win regardless and, ergo, not turn out.

The Coyote trickster, for sure, a wolf in pet dogs' clothes. Or Greenman from old world lore. From Scriptures, who? maybe Lot, Aaron, or Paul. Fantasy would parallel those potentials, though be a fresh, lively, and vivid persona possessed of fault and frailty as much as insight and honor. The blind man oracle from the motion picture O Brother Where Art Thou, for an example. A tale of a reluctant prophet possessed of an awkward serendipity for respectable ends from wicked means. Like Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Horror comes in visceral and psychological terrors, and more appealing when they overlap, which thriller does. Also, matters of mundane and metaphysical motifs further distinguish horror. Mundane's earthly horrors suit a magical realism aesthetic; that is, blurs distinctions between real-world extant fact as mystical belief and mystical belief as real-world extant fact. And, furthermore, horror's distinctive metaphysical divisions between spiritual and paranormal motifs.

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight cycle, for example, poses paranormal rogue vampires as self-absorbed predators, the everyday commoner sort of antisocial miscreants. The Cullens pose as more or less proactive idle aristocrats, and somewhat sympathetic for their noble self-sacrifice in service to the common good, for which they are entitled to superior privilege. Fresh, skewed non-one-to-one motif correspondence indeed.

Straight-up thriller often involves espionage complication intrigues. If thriller isn't ripe for pluralistic satiric comment about elections, what is? John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, 1963, for example, misdirects, misinforms, misrepresents, and skews beliefs and outcome expectations. The action is a snake-oil con scenario that bases on recipients' want to believe and ultimately believe the snake-oil's efficacy unequivocally.

[ November 11, 2016, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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Funny you should mention Coyote in this context... I actually ran a game recently that involved him helping the player characters to alter the outcome of an election in a Weird West setting (the same setting I eventually plan to write novels in). We'd been building toward the election plot point for the better part of a year, and it ended up falling less than a week before the actual election by pure coincidence.

Looking back on things, there are a lot of weird parallels that came up from time to time, although the candidate the players kept jokingly referring to as Trump ended up losing in the game thanks to the players' actions. (He wasn't specifically a Trump allegory, as I've planned for the character to be part of the setting for years, but he was one of the wealthiest people in town and had a focus toward building business and industry in said town.)

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rstegman
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I am sorry, I had not thought of this with politics in mind.

My thought was that there are people saying strange things about the results of the election and those whild be a fun writing exercise to try.

I was not thinking of them published here either, just something you might write out, even in a rough form.

Back on 2000, I wrote my prediction for the next century. I was absolutely wrong on the near future predictions, but my far future ones might still come true (I gave two possible endings).

Near future science fiction, that is within a hundred years, tend to be looking at advancement in technology or changes in society and looking at what might happen if they continued on at the present rate.

This would be that kind of story / scene. There are several social trends going on, several political trends going on and several technological trends going on.
While figuring the distant future might be easier and harder to disprove, figuring what things will be like in four or eight years won't push tho imagination needed very far.

The comments I have heard brought this to mind and I just thought I would mention it.

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extrinsic
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Short-term predictive prose often chooses narrowed concept, event, time, space, situation, and persona topics, if not exclusively, selected from emergent technology, culture, and warfare. What's emergent on the technology, culture, and confrontation front? Global cyber warfare. Not a world war, Global War I. Emergent technology: autonomous and tele-operated machines. Emergent culture: a populist retrograde pushmi-pullya tug-of-war with multi-culturalism and pluralism.

What's emergent on a generational level? Millennials. Early generation forerunners often bear the standards of their generations' technology, culture, and social interaction innovations. All those Millennials with their noses buried in smart phones must be up to something collaborative, subversive, or transformative, or contentious. Gossip, valid or otherwise, at least now spreads faster than the proverbial grapevine. Ripe for rich near-term predictive prose anyway.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Possibly more appropriate for its own topic, but it might be an interesting exercise to speculate on how current events might trigger a story.

For example: the Facebook glitch that indicated that some users had died (with memorializations and such). What kinds of stories could grow out of something like that happening? What if social media of one kind or another glitched in a way to convince a large number of people that something had happened, when it really didn't? (Orson Welles' Halloween drama that convinced people that Mars had invaded all those years ago, is another example.)

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extrinsic
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Effective hoaxes depend on recipients' want to believe and their fears, and credible if not distorted factual gossip and rumor.

A series of maps cropped up on social media after the 2016 general election that compare Democrat voter concentrations and crime area concentrations and drew the pre-assumed consequent, or petitio princiipii, that Democrat strongholds are high crime areas. The posts use erroneous data for the crime maps taken from other election year maps. The cum hoc; ergo, propter hoc fallacy falsely connects separate circumstances.

The two circumstances relate to population concentrations, where, at present, Democrats concentrate: urban regions. Actual crime stats, though, are matters of interpretation: urban population percentage to crime percentage per capita is about equal to rural ratios, though numerically larger due to more populace.

The two base data points are subject to question on formal logic bases; one, that urban concentrations are not by Democrats, the ongoing "gentrification" of urban centers relocates and displaces ethnic liberals to marginalized locations; and two, crime is not unique to any ideology, save those of criminal intents anyway. Criminal syndicates just happen to be more profitable in population concentrations. It's just good business sense. My sense of urban centers population concentrations is like the weather proverb, "Wait a bit and it will change." Ergo, inner city demographics are subject to change. Crime concentrations less so, if at all.

Anyway, the maps hoax is a scare tactic based upon valid data misinterpreted and misrepresented for the ulterior agenda of demonizing urban minority population Democrats as criminals-all by association. This feeds into social fears and wants to believe.

A widespread social media hoax then might start a skewed rumor that non-one-to-one relates to a primordial human fear. These are generally related to fears of falling, drowning, burial alive, fire, falling objects (Chicken Little), violence generally, coerced or forced displacement, thefts, cheats, and deceptions.

So what if an agenda wanted resistant tenants to move out on their own from, say, a blighted urban community wanted for real estate development and expanded tax base revenue? A multi-pronged campaign is indicated. A hoax must be skewed to succeed, appear to be one thing and actually be another, by one or more degrees of separation, and be persuasive motivation for the target group's self-relocation.

Say to dry-land crop farmer families in Oklahoma, plagued by severe drought and erosion, farm laborers are wanted in California and the work is as rosy as existence in the Garden of Eden. (John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath, 1939) Industrial farm conglomerates moved in behind the Okies. Predicated on Green Revolution principles first espoused by Nazareno Strampelli (1920) and initiated whole cloth and globally by Norman Borlaug thereafter.

The cores of the Green Revolution are industrial land agglomeration, mechanization, irrigation, herbicide, pesticide, and chemical fertilizer adjuncts, hybridized and genetically altered seed, and, of late, autonomous and remote tele-operation of every agriculture aspect from land preparation to planting, to cultivation, to harvest, to transport, to storage, to factory processors, to consumers.

Hereabouts, a blighted community is under similar siege. Urban planners targeted the community for relocation a decade ago and instituted a master plan to that end.

Relocate mass transit routes and stops so those are inconvenient for the blighted community; bound the community with high-traffic thoroughfares that are effective invisible fences to contain the community; relocate goods and services outlets away from the community, and parks, schools, and jobs; depress the effective property tax rate and property appraisal value; relocate into the community parolee halfway houses, drug rehabilitation clinics, "low-rent" assisted living homes, and temporary shelters; invite crime by withholding public safety services: police, ambulance, and fire; and persuade self-relocation through enticements: locate social services agencies nearby end-target enclave community access (housing projects), establish incentives for housing project residence, section eight housing zoning codes, lower rents, lower eligibility standards, lower subsistence assistance qualifications and benefits. Cheaper all around.

The only persuasion not considered is an enticement to improved vocational, recreational, cultural, and lifestyle benefits. Actually, the intent is to bound and bribe the community to stay away from schools, jobs, parks, culture activities, and churches, and displace them to an isolated refugee community beyond even the outer margins of the region (the outskirts). Eviction altogether -- nowhere to go, though.

Meantime, gentrification of the urban center proceeds apace and already encroaches into the blighted community. Many will instead wind up in prison, or homeless, or shoved into already marginal communities that are themselves future targets for the same relocation initiatives.

A skewed hoax to further the above ends would assert the urban renewal plan is a bigoted conspiracy targeted to oppress the powerless in all its agendas such that the blighted community revolts and must be suppressed. Let them know the truth and expect they will abreact. Put it out on social media. Problem resolved.

Frankly, I prefer serendipitous hoaxes that intend malfeasance and backfire into positive gain results for all and sundry. Few and far between, if ever, those are. Uncommonly, often those are of an individual's experience.

I started a rumor about myself decades ago, that I was a spook in training at the local spy university. My intent was to trace how rumors spread through my cohort groups, see who told what to who, and how long a rumor took to come back to me, and how the content was distorted.

This was akin to the parlor game "Telephone" in which one person whispers a comment to another and the comment then circulates, one-by-one, through the group. The fun of the game and strategies are to skew the comment and see what the end result is. Some play the game straight; others deliberately skew the comment; some design a comment that bars skews, so scandalous it is itself uncorruptible.

Whoops. The spy school caught wind and sent out tracers to see what was what. One agent invited me to apply through a backdoor process. Net outcome, my cohort groups began to believe the rumor, despite my insistent denials this is not me, gave me grudging respect and kept a comfortable distance, and I learned the agency was not for me. Their background check of my records tripped alarms in places high and low and stirred up agency internecine rivalries. Anyway, I learned much about the shadowy and peripheral under-cultures of the community I lived in at the time.

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