Sunday, September 01, 2013

WorldCon Day 4 - Quantum Lightbulbs are A-Popping!

I think being at WorldCon violates Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.  I noticed that my entries are being dated the day I'm writing them, but the content is about the day before.  
Does this mean that time is slipping?  Am I getting closer and closer to the speed of light, which is causing time to slow down in my relative time-scale?  
I certainly seem to be gaining mass.  But that could be from all the convention food I'm scarfing down.  
Maybe my consciousness was uploaded to a massively parallel processing quantum computer, and my sense of time running away from me is from the clock speed being sent to infinite.  
Or maybe I've just become unstuck in time, just like Billy Mummy.  No...  Wait...  I mean, just like Billy Pilgrim, from Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five.  Billy Mummy played the weird kid with that corn field in that Twilight Zone episode, and was Lost In Space, not Lost in Time.  
Gotta keep my references straight.  Unless the character was named Billy Mummy in an alternate dimension.  Woah.  And my neural engrams have been imprinted with that information!  Of Course!  
Or not.  But the ideas just keep popping in my head.  A bunch of quantum light bulbs going "pop, pop, pop!"  They are flashing into existence at the event horizon inside my brain, allowing some of them to escape and enter the general consciousness stream I'm sharing with you.  
I wonder if they have any more of those barbeque meatballs in the Con Suite.  Now THERE'S an idea.  And that's what this day was about.  Ideas.  Pop, Pop, Pop.  
How to Write a Short Story - Good panel.  Quick and lively.  I like writing panels like this.  Even when they don't tell me something knew, it makes what I've heard and learned before pop back into the foreground of my mind (pop, pop, pop).  Statements that shifted my perspective were: "A short story is about a moment that changes a person's life."  Michael Swanwick said that.  That put things in a good perspective for me. 
Planning a Starship - A panel that focused on existing technology to trigger others to build a working starship.  A powerhouse group with David Brin, Gregory Benford, Joe Haldeman, Laura Burns and Albert Jackson.  A lot of the same material that was brought up in Benford's Starship Century panel the day before, though it did range a bit wider into areas that haven't been disproved as of yet.  Listening to the banter of Brin, Benford and Haldeman made it entertaining at least.  Some discussion as to why the aliens haven't visited us yet, despite the numbers indicating there should be millions of inhabited systems out there.  That touches on something in my own universe.  
Screenplay Structure for Novelists - A presentation by Lou Anders, chief editor at Pyr Books, who used to write screenplays in Hollywood.  A new way at looking at how to plot novels.  It overlaps some of what I learned from using Dramatica Pro, the story generation software I use, but it is very clear and concise.  Anders is an entertaining speaker as well.  Gave me things to think about concerning my own novel (pop, pop, pop).  
Consensual Reality - How our ability to augment our reality might change us, especially if Real reality contradicts it in a bad way.  This is something I've thought about, how this sort of enhancement could improve our lives, personal, economic and political.  Imagine if, while hearing a politician speak you could see a bubble over his head telling you who is paying for his campaign.  The panelist focused a lot on the negative aspect of augmenting reality, which gave me other aspects to consider (pop, pop).  It also reminded me of the presentation on AR Poetry I saw in the SF in Japan panel the day before.  
One thought I had in the midst of the panel: In 1984, we were warned about Big Brother.  The problem today seems to be more from a swarm of little brothers that we have all around us.  
Starship Patents - This was a hoot!  Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf from the Swedish patent office brought some copies of actual patent applications from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and Russia for spaceship designs and space related equipment.  My favorite's included the Greenhouse Helmet, which has plants growing inside the astronaut's headgear to provide oxygen from his/her expired carbon dioxide, and a flying saucer which used an "Unknown Einstein Effect" to slow down light and use the increased energy to power magnets that would allow the craft to fly to the nearest star system in two weeks.  The best one, though, was the "Spiritual Eye."  It's a "device," a wooden frame with a plexiglass panel dividing it in two, which, the inventor claimed, he had already used to project his consciousness over 400 light years to communicate with representatives of the Pleiladian Federation, with whom he has already signed, on our behalf, a treaty allowing Earth to join.  Wow.  These are genuine patent applications that can be looked up on line, and some of them were actually GRANTED!  There is a story in this somewhere (pop).  


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