Idle Rambling About Digital Telepathy

The Rise Of The Agents

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though within 18 months the “Knowledge Navigator” shown above will finally — at last — be a reality. It seems possible that just as we reach the so-called “Fourth Turning” we will also reach something akin to a Petite Singularity in the sense that Agents will consume huge portions of the economy.

Add into the mix advances in robotics and, welp, I just don’t see what jobs will be left for humans to do, period. All of this — MIGHT — happen so fast that even ding-dong Trump might to address the notion of UBI as part of the 2024 election cycle.

It’s possible, but not probable. It could be that even if things advance as quickly as I suspect / fear, it will just all happen to fast for the slow-moving American political system to adapt and address it directly.

All I know is 2024 is shaping up to be a crazy year, one way or another. We’re now less than a year away from all the insane post-Election Night 2024 shenanigans that I fear might happen the moment it’s clear Trump is going to be re-elected.

But it’s possible that I’m over thinking things. Trump *may* lose and it won’t matter. We’ll punt our problems down the road another four years and it won’t be until 2029 that all of my dystopian hellscape predictions begin to come true.

At least I will — hopefully — be able to get a few of the six novels I want to write as part of this project done if that is the case.

But if agents really do take over sooner rather than later, the economic disruption could be astonishing. If we have AGI or something akin to “proxy humans” at our beck and call, then that’s millions and millions of jobs that will become moot overnight.

Burn, Hollywood, Burn — The First Popular AI Generated Movie Is Probably About 18 Months Away

by Shelt Garner

We are zooming towards a new, uncharted future when it comes to Hollywood-quality AI generated movies. It definitely SEEMS like within 18 months some scrappy startup will use AI to generate a “Toy Story” like movie that is created without the hand of man involved other than simply pressing a button or two.

So, it could be that in three years there won’t be any writers, or actors, or directors or below the line people involved in the production of movies — period. And that will just be the beginning.

It could be that by 2030, Hollywood as we currently know it will no longer exist. There will be two types of people left in Hollywood — Suits and Programmers. That’s it. There will be a small sliver of people producing “artisanal” movies, but most human stars will have gravitated to Broadway.

It’s even possible that places like the Catskills might make a comeback. Hell, even some sort of vaudeville might return. But the fact remains — the clock MAY be ticking on “Human” Hollywood. And I say this from the POV of someone who is hard at work on my first novel. It could be just as I finish it and begin to query it…all forms of marketable (human generated) entertainment will just be so much dust in the wind.

Idle Rambling

I Just Don’t Know, Folks

by Shelt Garner

The moment I think I have a stable first little bit of this third draft of the novel, everything collapses. So, I dunno. I guess I have a stable first chapter? Maybe? It’s possible? I really like what I’ve come up with, regardless.

Yes, President of Hollywood, I’m working as fast as I can.
I’ve reworked the first scene YET AGAIN, this time so it has more tension in it and is more focused. But the changes I’ve made in the story have now forced me to rewrite everything that comes after it. This. Happens. All. The. Time. I think that’s a sign that my storytelling ability is getting a lot — A LOT — better.

I hope.

Anyway, I continue to fall apart on a physical basis. I have some real concerns about the state of my teeth. I don’t know what I’m going to do about that in the near to middle term. I have a fear things are going to get really, really bumpy, only to sort themselves out in a way I can live with.

It’s just going to suck in the near term. Ugh!

I hope I can sprint between now and Christmas when my next de facto deadline is. Christmas is when some relatives will return who I will feel compelled to show at least the first scene to. They were quite pleased with the last version I showed them, then I asked ChatGPT about what I had written and it said, in effect, “This sucks — no tension.”

So I went back to the drawing board and gave the first scene more focus and more tension. I’ve learned a lot of my problems come from simply having too fucking much going on in a scene. Just by cutting long, meandering scenes into shorter, more focused scenes, I fix a lot of problems.

I have also realized I have to hurry up. I can’t keep screwing around. I have a limited amount of time — I’m NOT going to live forever. I’m already in my 50s and not only may AI make all my hard work moot, the prospect of a significant political crisis in the United States starting in late 2024, early 2025, is a “not great, Bob” type situation.

A Perfect Storm: A Hottake On Q*, The Looming Possibility of AGI and The Need For UBI

by Shelt Garner

I’ve been reading up on this whole Q* issue in its relation to Sam Altman being fired then rehired and it’s all…very curious. Just the idea that we may be approaching AGI is enough to give one pause for thought. And the idea that it may happen between now and when the so-called “Fourth Turning” staring in late 2024, early 2025 is very unsettling.

Imagine that just as the United States is having an existential political crisis, we are also being faced with something akin to a Singularity as well. If we achieve AGI between now and Election Day 2024, then, suddenly the idea of a Universal Basic Income becomes a serious political proposal.

But, wait, there’s more!

What if AGI is considered “woke” by MAGA to the point that they want it destroyed because it starts to take “jerbs” away from blue collar MAGA people? How’s that for a sticky wicket? You would pit the tech against the people at the same time as we the United States debates if it should lurch into fascism. And if AGI came and suddenly the entire economy was thrown up in the air…well, you really have a recipe for economic — and political — disaster.

But I am prone to “hysterical doom shit,” so, lulz, it could be that we just continue to drift through history and we punt our political problems down the road and only gradually reach any sort of technological Singularity. But I am…worried.

It definitely seems as though 2024 – 2025 could be one of the most momentous eras in American, if not human history. Only time will tell.

I Have Got To Hurry Up

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though disaster could strike at any moment when it comes to this novel. Something might happen that either changes the context of the novel a great deal relative to my personal life or even makes the whole experience a lot more difficult to do.

I have some issues with my teeth that are really causing me growing alarm. I’m afraid there will come a point very, very soon when I’m in so much pain that it is difficult for me to get *any* writing done. That, combined with how I’m not going to live forever, is forcing me to push myself to write faster and better.

And all of this is happening in the context of not just the fucking Fourth Turning zooming towards us starting in late 2024, early 2025, but the very real possibility that all human art will be replaced by some sort of AGI in the near, near future.

All of this is a “Not great, Bob,” situation for someone like me who just wants to write a break out first novel that will be enjoyed by millions. (Wink.)

The Shape Of Things To Come: ‘Her’ Is Our Future

by Shelt Garner

Not sense the 1930s movie The Shape Of Things To Come has a movie so predicted the future. Every day, it seems as though “Her” is pretty much our future in, what, 18 months?

If that is the case, then, holy shit. The entire knowledge economy is about to be totally re-imagined. And that will happen in the context of the fucking Fourth Turning. Or, put another way, holy shit are we in for a bumpy road over the next 18 or more months.

We could see a total transformation of the technological and political landscape in a rather abrupt manner. Late 2024, early 2025 has at least the making of a “holy shit” moment in human history. By 2030, the entire geopolitical world could be re-formed into something new and exotic, especially if you think a few regional wars might go hot with a limited nuclear exchange.

But remember — the whole thing will be scary as shit while it’s happening. There will be no narrative or value to what happens. And, if things get as bad as I fear, there will be long stretches of time where communication itself is something of a luxury.

Anyway. We definitely seem to be rushing towards some sort of “Petite Singularity” in the very near future. Buckle up.

The Sprint Begins

by Shelt Garner

I’m just about to lock down the first two chapters of the third draft of my first novel. It’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done. I’m really, really pleased. I just have to keep the quality of work up.

I’m never going to be Gillian Flynn, but I am at least getting closer to Stieg Larsson quality writing (I know I read his stuff translated). The key thing that changed in the last month or so is I’ve finally — finally — figured out the relationship between different people as the story opens.

As such, now I can zoom through the much of the novel. I still have a lot of issues with some structure ahead of me — especially in the third act –but, in general, I know this story so well that things writing *should* move at a pretty nice clip.

But there are some known unknowns. One is the holiday season is now here and that is going to scramble things on an emotional basis. Meanwhile, I’ve been in a very — VERY — idyllic situation when it comes to writing for a long time and that is bound to change — one way or another — sooner rather than later. I just have to accept that.

What’s more EVEN IF I stick the landing of this novel, the looming Fourth Turning and Petite Singularity starting in late 2024, early 2025 is something I’ve quite worried about. And that’s over and above what a stressful pain in the ass the querying process is on whole.

Anyway. Wish me luck.

Pondering The Potential Reception Of This Novel By Literary Agents

by Shelt Garner

Now that I’ve just about locked down the first two chapters of the third draft of this novel, I find myself pondering What Next. I still have a few more months of writing to finish the third draft, but I definitely am beginning to think about the querying process.

My big concern is, of course, that because I’m doing this in a vacuum that the somewhat provocative premise of the novel will make literary agents — who I imagine as being mostly liberal white women — either laugh or get angry. I have no idea if the “sex worker who solves a murder mystery” will be cool with literary agents or not because of that.

But “Barry” was popular, so, lulz, it’s at least *possible* that my similar type story might have broad appeal. And, yet, sexwork is so loaded in the minds of most people while being a hired assassin is a lulz that it’s possible it will just be too loaded for anyone to take seriously.

Yet the point is that I want a heroine is really, really interesting. Someone unexpected who you will want to hang out with for the time it takes to read ~140,000 words. I believe I have come up with just the type of evocative story that people will really find worth their time.

I hope.

The holiday season is now here, so that is an added complication. My fear is that because of the holiday season and other “known unknowns” that I’ll really be pushing it to wrap this novel up no later than April 2024. Then I will have to save up the money to get a professional manuscript consultant to read over the third draft.

THEN I have to start to query just as the “Perfect Storm” of The Fourth Turning and the AI generated Petite Singularity happens in late 2024, early 2025. But, if nothing else, I definitely am happy with this story. There are probably going to be a lot — A LOT — of structural changes to the third act in the transition from second to third draft.

But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.