Blindsight

And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own ...

Haven't posted here in a while. I blame Twitter.

Yearlust 2020 was ... honestly pretty much the same as 2019, chi-powered martial arts in settings where it is just one source of superpowers among many.

I guess I could expand on it and say I like the idea of the different underlying superpower types being related (already true in most settings: magic users use life force when they do ritual human sacrifice. Same goes for wizards firing off a Death Curse with their last breath. See also: vampires/succubi/incubi who drain life energy i.e. chi)

--

Been listening avidly to the Metamor City podcast which is far less famous than it should be. Think cyberpunk, psychics and high fantasy all happening in the same urban setting but better than it sounds (and it SOUNDS great, you should totally listen to it and pimp it everywhere) and was fascinated by how magic, tech, vampirism, deific power and psionics all coexist and overlap (vampire feeding creates a psychic link between vamp and thrall. Vampires are thus scared of telepaths because the psychics will turn that link around and 0wnz0r the blood-sucker. On the flip side, psychics hate vampires because their minds can't be read unless they're feeding on a telepath)

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There was this Eastern European scifi series (possibly Polish, idunno) from the early 00s. You know, the Peak Transhumanism Stross' Accelerando Years) Anyway, in it, the Kardashev tiers of technological advancement didn't top out at the best one could do within the laws of physics but at the best and most permissive set of physical laws you could modify reality to have.

--

All powers converge toward similarity as they grow. Magic, psionics, chi, technology, cosmic power, all rivers that flow into the same ocean if you follow them far enough.

There are a million ways to be weak, a thousand ways to be strong but only one way to be omnipotent.

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Conclusion: Yearlust 2020 was not chi plus martial arts, it was superpower interactions, the Olympic Symbol Venn Diagram Mandala of Assorted Bullshit Magics.
Wu Ao Shi

Google *Should* Know This

"... a babe with a claymore running along the Royal Mile, pursued by remotely piloted drones, invisible to everyone except children and drunkards too poor to be using augmented reality." — deleted scene from Charles Stross' Halting State, dated June 25 2006

Found this in my records. Shame it never got used. Very cool action scene idea; unintentional technologically-viable invisibility brought on by ubiquitous augmented reality.


Ambrose Chase

Thinkwank/Yearlust 2018 and 2019 Catchup

Forgot my password for a couple of years there. Oops.

2018: Black Panther (and really the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole) Avengers: Endgame in 2019 may have been the ultimate love-letter to the fans who watched every single one of these movies since 2008 but Infinity War was a better movie, in the sense of assembled better from the sum of its parts.

2019: chi-powered martial arts*, specifically in comic-book universes, even more specifically in the Marvel Universe (and the Netflixverse), even more specifically combined with Master Of Your Domain body-mastery.

If I ever somehow get to write for Marvel, it will be a series digging into their entire mystical martial arts community. The Chaste (I am especially fascinated with Stick. It's not often that you see the grizzled Old Blind Master traveling the world and actually doing shit), The Hand (their ninja necromancy bullshit begs to be made sense of), the monasteries that trained Temujin and Shang Chi, Hector Alvarez, K'un Lun (what even is their greater purpose? What are their interactions with the larger world?), Soulstriker and many more.

Especially interested in the assorted chi techniques/jutsu we've seen over the decades in the comics (and boy are there a lot!) The Chaste can rip the life force out of their enemies (at the expense of their own) and sneak up on Daredevil(!)**, Iron Fist can do mind-melds and purge demonic possession, Shang-Chi and Elektra have both demonstrated variations of the Silent Shout (a sonic scream jutsu) and Soulstriker can literally punch people in the soul (his fist ignoring their flesh via some kind of anima-dimensional portal effect)

All that aside from the standard-issue physical boosts of course.

It would be a lot of work compiling all these instances and then ranking them both hierarchially and horizontally (which are related to which? How? Foundationally? Convergently? How are Soulstriker's soul punch, Iron Fist's demon purge and Temujin's ability to kick Living Laser in his photonic form all connected?) but that's the kind of shit I live for.

One could literally derive an entire history from these techniques, imagining the back-and-forth jutsu theft between rival sects and monasteries, the arms races of technique and counter-technique over the centuries and use that as shared history-matter for this layer of the setting.

Then you'd bring it into the present day. Between mutants, Inhumans and other sources of quicker, easier power (plus technology), a case could be made for these ancient practices to be obsolete. However, none of these guys are stupid and outdated doesn't mean outcompeted. A technique for detecting the bioelectricity of human bodies could be adapted to detect the EM activity of cameras and phones, allowing the practitioner to maintain their stealth capabilities even against modern opponents. A jutsu for rendering oneself semi-fireproof could accidentally be discovered to grant infrared invisibility (or perhaps, not so accidentally. Maybe the infrared cloaking was already ancient due to being a demon-hunter stealth jutsu) Direct spiritual attacks can easily bypass any level of enhanced physical durability or enhanced healing.

Stuff like that. Clearly, I didn't leave this one behind in 2019, huh? 😆



* to be fair, this has been a permanent fixture in my pantheon of fictional kinks since 1992 when I first read the manual to Street Fighter 2 for the SNES.
** I imagine the final exam for members of the Chaste is that they have to be able to get within 100 feet of Stick before he senses their presence. If they can do better than that, they get a higher rank.


EDIT: come to think of it, I missed 2016's. It was cryptocurrency. That's it. That's the tweet.
Ambrose Chase

Barbed Wire Phone Lines - Badass!

https://www.inc.com/magazine/19970615/1416.html - farmers' barbed wire fencing pulling double-duty as telephone wire in the 1920s. Frontier ingenuity at its finest. Makes me think of that Warren Ellis quote from Crécy, his woefully under-read comic/history text/treatise-on-the-word-"cunt"-as-punctuation:

These things may look primitive to you, but you have to remember that we're not stupid. We have the same intelligence as you, we simply don't have the same cumulative knowledge you do. So we apply our intelligence to what we have.


I think this might be my 2017 yearlust: old means to new ends in the old days, technologically speaking: Ken Macleod's "... the crystal radio that receives and the spark gap that transmits";, African talking drum networks, Vikings using cliff-face acoustics for public speaking, the Antikythera mechanism and so on and so on and so on.

One can easily imagine a scifi genre that transcends mere Steampunk and uses ALL the technological improvisations of history in a single milieu to craft something not entirely unlike the modern world.

crossposted from Steemit
Fictionaut

So. I joined Steemit.

Been a while. Good to see us still clinging grimly to what used to be the best place on the internet. I got love for LJ; so many great conversations, so many friends I made without meeting. Good times.

So. I joined Steemit a few weeks ago. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Steemit is a hybridized blogging/social media site that literally pays you in Likes.

Well, Upvotes. Same thing.

How is this possible? To answer that, I'd have to explain Steem cryptocurrency which would in turn require me to explain cryptocurrency in general which would lead to explanations of bitcoin and the blockchain technology. The latter is easy; it's basically just servers but decentralized. Random people all over the world keep a big copy of all transactions on their system and a vast majority of them have to tally or transactions won't go through. Prevents cheating and scamming and hacking. Also, cheaper.


Oh yeah, that's this year's yearlust by the way. Money. I realized about two years ago that being poor is only fun in your twenties (because *everything* is fun in your twenties) and there is nothing noble or clever or closer-to-earth about being a broke-ass nigga. Yes, I am black and I am using my privilege. The privilege of being able to call myself a quasi-reclaimed racial slur. Woohoo. Deal with it.

Anyways. Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency. Look them up. If you don't already know.

Steem is a crypto that is earned on the Steemit aite by posting quality content that people like. They upvote your poat or comment and 7 days later, the payout is available for withdrawal. It is completely free to use, extremely clever in design and has enough enthusiastic techies in the membership that it has become self-correcting to block and counter griefers and scammers and people who try to game the system.

Turns out once money is involved, people get active. Who knew?

My favorite description of it (coincidentally my own) is that Steemit is the single moat elegant way of converting literacy into lucre that currently exists.

So. I will be crossposting between there and here quite a bit since my content is similar on both platforms anyway. Comics, movies, writing, cryptocurrency, other such thinkwank.

Thanks for reading. Let's get this money.

PS
Oh, I'm steemit.com/@edumurphy if you want to take a look.


PPS
For game balance purposes, Steemit doesn't let you use more than five tags per post.

Oh LJ, how I have missed you!!
Consider Flesh Eat Enemy (Wolfskin #1)

Ideological Infection in Progress

- INjection 11 and 12
- Brigid is far too paranoid and brilliant and rich to trust an actual lawyer so she grabbed pretty much very law-library ever digitized, probably paid a bunch of students with scanners and shit to sneak into libraries to get at the shit that *isn't* and loaded all into LawBot
- then again, maybe LawBot has only been programmed to give a shit about contracts
- that moment when we see through her eyes (and Sheela's) in the mirror is powerful (yet funny: dick pics lol)
- Sheela is not quite her AI, I don't think, more like her Manfred MacXian exocortex but the difference is getting awfully thin
- why do I have a terrible feeling that the Injection helped her build that teleporter before it went ... off the reservation, shall we say
- or maybe she took some of Robin's knowledge and did systems engineering/hacking/SCIENCE!!! to it until it spat out a functioning teleport device

More coherence on this lster.
Fictionaut

Amorality is relative.

So I gotta ask, why is it that in fiction whenever some person or entity claims to be Beyond Good and Evil, it's invariably because they're doing some evil shit? How come we never see some amoral individual saving orphans, saving lives or saving the world because good evil don't make no difference to them?
Babytron sez Limitations Are Obsolete

Borne with the Wind.

"It means there's normal people, like your mom. There's people like me who train, study, barter and bargain their way into certain skills and powers. And then there are liminal people. You and yours are born with some of the weirdest collections of gifts and curses ever assembled on this planet." - Entropy of Bones, Ayize Jama-Everett


The second group has always been one of my strongest fictional kinks.