Introduction

On this blog I will post stories I have written, most of this stories are mundane science fiction, a sub-genre of science fiction. Mundane science fiction are stories set in the near future and either on Earth or in our Solar System, further this type of science fiction is based on the current state of scientific knowledge. Although I might deviate a little bit of the rules of mundane science fiction, you will not find “sword and planet”, “faster than light” or similar stories.

Space colonization is a central theme of most of the stories I will place on this site, in particular I will deal with the political and social issues related to space colonization. Further I will explore in my stories different types of societies and new ways of life. All kind of emerging technologies will be discussed in the stories, but mostly within the context of their consequences for society. As general rule I will not use hyper-links in the stories in this blog. If necessary I place at the end of a story a short list of hyper-links about the key concepts of that story.

Since I realize that due to the length of the stories, scrolling this page for stories will be cumbersome, I have created an overview page with a link together with a short summary for each story posted on this blog.

Comments are welcome, but I will moderate all comments and I alone will decide on whether a comment will be approved.

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Etiquette in Gramatia

Terrestrials who visit Gramatia will be heavily surprised with the complex rules of Gramatian etiquette. At first glance an Earth-born person might think Gramatian have no etiquette at all, but that would be plain wrong. Here a quick summary of the most important aspects of etiquette in the Commonwealth of the Gramatian Union. Continue reading →

Is the singularity right around the corner?

This excellent post illustrates why I don’t talk about “technological singularity” in any of my SF stories.

SelfAwarePatterns

Schematic Timeline of Information and Replicators in the Biosphere: major evolutionary transitions in information processing. Image credit: Myworkforwiki via Wikipedia

You’ve probably heard the narrative before.  At some point, we will invent an artificial intelligence that is more intelligent than we are.  The superhuman intelligence will then have the capability to either build an improved version of itself, or engineer upgrades that improve its own intelligence.  This will set off a process where the system upgrades itself, with its greater intelligence come up with new ways to enhance itself, and then upgrade itself again, looping in a rapid runaway process, producing an intelligence explosion.

Given that we only have human level intelligence, we have no ability to predict what happens next.  Which is why Vernor Vinge coined the phrase “the technological singularity” in 1993.  The “singularity” part of the label refers to singularities that exist in math and science, points at which existing theories or frameworks break down.  Vinge predicted that this would happen “within…

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Lunar radio-observatory (Updates)

I have added a new part to my ongoing story “The Lunar Radio-Observatory” on Wattpad. Please, check it out. For those unfamiliar to the story, here a short intro:

Fifty years have passed since humans returned to the Moon, when a scientist arrives on the Far Side of Earth’s only natural satellite. Though formally sent to head a scientific mission located at the Lunar Radio Observatory, his real mission is to lead an investigation in regard of establishing a second radio telescope of the Far Side.

However, the Moon is not only interesting for scientists but also for project developers. And as a four-decade-old arrangement banning tourist resorts on the Far Side is about to lapse, these project developers are eager to build a new hotel there. This brings the scientists on a collision course with the project developers.

In this story we follow both sides of the “debate”, the scientists and the project developers. In addition the Moon has become the object of a political dispute between Earths and Space settlers.

Characters: motives and actions

Reason is, and only ought to be the slave of the passions – David Hume.

Though one can disagree with Hume’s position on reason and passion (desire), this quote does, however, describe how I perceive characters in my work.

In my stories I seek to build the plot around characters who have rational plans to achieve their personal aims, which are based on their passions or desires. Clashes between characters, however, arise from the fact that different persons have conflicting passions.

And to lesser extent tension is also caused by the fact characters have only incomplete or even false information, causing them to make mistakes in the pursuit of their ends. False information, of course, might be supplied by those with different aims in order to manipulate the actions of other people.

On a deeper level, a single character might even have conflicting passions, causing internal conflict. For instance, an abolitionist may be in love with a slave owner despite her desire to abolish slavery. Or a person has to choose between two or more ends, because they cannot be achieved together.

As a related issue I like to explore how society and technological progress affects how we choose our aims. What I mean certain developments might make our aims obsolete or creates entirely new desires. And social expectations might drive human and other sentient beings to act differently than how they would act without such pressure.

Finally, over the course a characters life he or she might change his or her passions, desires and aims as the result of increased knowledge and life experience.

Getting married in Elynesia

In order to have your marriage to be legally recognized by the Elynesian authorities you have to marry in a civil ceremony at either a city hall in Elynesia or at an Elynesian embassy or consulate (if one or both prospective spouses live abroad). Continue reading →

What’s next after IBM acquires Red Hat?

Recently news broke that IBM has bought Red Hat for the enormous sum of 34 billion USD. For starters, Red Hat is the company behind Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a Linux distribution aimed, as the name suggests, for use it the enterprise environment.

However, Red Hat is not the only FOSS company to have been acquired recently and the article above in the link notes that the only major independent commercial vendor of Linux is Canonical, the developer of Ubuntu. The article’s author suggests that this business might be acquired by Microsoft. Continue reading →

Short notice

I have recently accepted an offer for a full time day job, which means that I will be from home most of the time. And since I intend to spend my scarce spare time on working on my book, I will give lower priority to this site.

Panpsychism

Followers of this site might know that I oppose materialism, and that the problem of consciousness is one of the primary reason I reject materialism or physicalism. One of the philosophies of mind I am most inclined to is panpsychism or panprotopsychism. This is, simplified, the idea that consciousness is somehow fundamental to nature just like space, time, mass or electric charge.

In the video below David Chalmers explains what panpsychism is.

For a deeper discussion of the idea of panpsychism, see Philip Goff’s article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Background: marriageable age by nation

This list might be updated from time to time Continue reading →

Elynesia

After some consideration I have decided to change the name “Elysia” to “Elynesia”. This new name is derived from Greek words elysion (Elysium, heaven) and nesos (island), hence Elynesia could be translated as “heavenly islands” or as “heavenly archipelago”.

The new name is chosen to emphasize that this country consist of multiple orbital habitats or islands in O’Neil’s terminology. So Elynesia is an archipelago located in outer space. This way the name is similar to Polynesia or Indonesia.