Shorty story idea: Bot Wars

Bots are built by various countries around the globe that escalate tensions on social media and traditional media outlets. Counter bots are developed to counter the existing bots and that sparks a bot arms race that eventually leads to traditional warfare.

Short story idea: dystopia repo.edu

Sam is unable to repay student loans despite having a fairly decent job, nice apartment, fast car, and material excess. Sam starts noticing his every movement is being watched and discovers that he’s being tracked by a repoman. He uses elaborate schemes to secure all of his material wealth and finally confronts the repoman only to discover that the repoman was merely tracking him and waiting for his default on his student loans so that he could repo Sam’s education. The repoman repos Sam’s education, leaving Sam with a knowledge base that’s 8 years in the past. Meanwhile, the repoman is part of an elite group of humans becoming super intelligent as they repo the education of millions of students around the globe and put that knowledge into their own minds.

Human Machinery

A great example of the human machine is waking up in a particular “emotional state”: sad, angry, lonely, depressed, happy. That’s a product of the human machine. We have done nothing with the body or placed the body in an environment that makes such an emotional state a natural reaction. Yet, the emotional state is quite real.

That emotional state exists because the human body is a machine.

The moment we discover human machinery for ourselves brings clarity. Emotional states do not stop appearing (seemingly out of nowhere). Emotional states are not invalidated. If anything, discovering human machinery validates emotional states. An emotional state is created (whether physically/mentally awake or asleep) by human machinery.

We cannot NOT experience an emotional state. Still, an emotional state is both as real as our human body and as unreal as our dreams.

Prolonged exposure to particular emotional states (whether from a physical environment or a mental environment) results in reprogramming of the human machine. It is the same as learning to play the piano, ride a bicycle, drive a car, read, write, dance, do math, cook, sing, act, etc. Human machines can become programmed to produce a consistent emotional way of being. These exist as depression, anxiety, paranoia, delusion, and other ways of being that are often mistaken as an emotional state. The human machine has no judgement as to whether these are “good” or “bad”. That judgement is left to us.

The human machine becomes increasingly proficient at whatever it is trained to do. The human body will become better at being depressed (anxious, worried, happy) with practice whether you are choosing the training or not. Eventually, the human machine will be programmed to produce emotional states without thought. It is at that point, the human machine has gone from an emotional state to a way of being (e.g. going from “feeling depressed” to “being depressed”).

The state of depression is not the same as the emotion of feeling depressed. Depression is a physical state of being for the human machine. In any given moment, a human machine with depression can no more be NOT depressed than a human machine can not go to the bathroom. Depression is something the depressed human machine must do.

Seeing the distinction of our human machine gives us the opportunity to distinguish between taking an emotional laxative or costive.

  • If we choose to be purely our human machine, we are depressed
  • If we choose to be naive enough to believe that we are NOT our human machine, our human machine is still depressed
  • If we choose to exist inside of a human machine that is depressed, we are ourselves with a programmable human machine that can be reprogrammed to any way of being given prolonged training

In other words, we can choose to be in our depressed human machine AND train it to learn how to be in a perpetual state of happiness (or complacency or anything we want). Much like becoming a master at playing the piano takes 10,000 hours of practice, so does becoming a master at being happy. The great news is that any mental state can be practiced 24/7. That mental state has an effect on our human machine. We get to direct our human machine however we want.