There is No Pizza on Luna (lynxsteps) wrote,
There is No Pizza on Luna

General notepad entry

Civil defense sphinxes.

Wandering the country after a technological apocalypse that destroys all the higher human affective capacities (love, empathy, aesthetics, joy, spirituality, altruism, neophilia, curiosity), in search of a single living companion.

A "brain hopper" module that constantly reminds people of spiritual things -- that artifically coaches those genetically consigned to being Semiotically Stupid in fluorescent thought and explosive symbolism, in a society where fluorescence is a basic survival trait.

Reverse haunted house story, about a radiant spirit that gets trapped in the sinister banality of an ordinary suburban home.

Pakula-esque paranoid political thriller set in an urban fantasy world with fae and shapeshifters

Psychological tension between only two lucid people in a roomful of people who have been rendered automatons through hypnosis, possession, or some such -- there is something tempting further in the room, and the one in power tells the visitor that they must also surrender their will to enter

If there is something fundamentally irrational or meaningless or eldritch in the universe, there is no guarantee that we are capable of perceiving it. There could be something horribly awry in the fabric of reality, and there is no guarantee whatsoever that we know about it. There could be a war between sense and nonsense at every level of existence, and our entire universe might just be a local consequence of a nonsense victory. Having no basis for comparison to what is "fair" or "sane" or "logical," we could be stuck in a system that guarantees meaninglessness and doom -- and what, if not that, is entropy? -- while there's another one right next door that's in perfect, fertile, ecstatic harmony. As a matter of fact, either could be transformed into the other if the perceptions of its inhabitants were sufficiently twisted or sufficiently limited. This, of course, means, that a twist in a mind is every bit as important as a twist in the fabric of time, of only so on a local level -- but what if BILLIONS of minds were twisted?

Give the "City Come a-Walkin'" treatment to corporations and government institutions. How would Microsoft behave if it were a single person, making decisions about small-scale daily life?

"exploding situation trees"

wire-frame Buddhas
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There's no way of knowing if the universe is irrational since at some level of regress (even if you posit a god or a stack of turtles) you can say no more that "it just is". And if the irrationality is wound up in that "just is" there's no way to know. This is kinda like John Wheeler's saying "The more we find out about the universe the more pointless it seems." He also muses a bit on whether it is our minds that are in some way creating the rules of the universe around us. Sort of a mental version of Mach's Principle.
(Sorry if the physics geeking is out of line, but the urge builds up. Sorta like Tourettes syndrome leading to growling obscenities at an inopportune time. ;)
It's not out of line -- it's interesting in its own context. But (and this ties in nicely with the whole messy Otherkin thread) it's no real obstactle to exploring the concept in a story. It'd be difficult to write about a world where, for instance, Godel's Incompleteness Theorem is not only false, but is false in a way that is perceivable, comprehensible and -- most importantly -- interesting. But it would be possible. Textual reality is under no obligation to respect real-world physics or metaphysics, of course. And as you've probably already noticed, almost all of my favorite stories take advantage of this fact. Any story or script I write is probably going to take place in a <academicspeek>textual space</academicspeek> where scientific accuracy rides in the trunk. :) I'm not expecting opposition on this point, but I'll lay it out for discussion and to remind myself: it's possible to imagine a world where mechanisms exist to directly intuit "how irrational" the local reality is on an absolutely scale, and it's possible to write meaningful, interesting narrative there. So why not? :D
Forgive a bit of meandering:)
The usual way of dealing with this sort of (basic info in your world/universe is wrong or absurd) is to have something from "elsewhere" intrude. In Flatland, it's a 3D being. In Lovecraft it's Elder Gods or whatnot. I wonder if there's some other way to introduce it (since that one's been done to death). In some stories I've seen, it's the character that is the "intruder" into a universe that is patently absurd at its base (ex: Star Trek Next Gen. episode with Crusher in a warp bubble universe that's shrinking).
Even if there is no intruder per se, you could discover it by noting some blind spot. Something that "just is" unknown, and within your universe, unknowable but that there's no good reason for not being knowable. Gordon Dickson kinda went that way with The Final Encyclopedia which was described as a way for society to look at the back of its own head by looking at all known information and finding gaps.
Got it covered. :) The spoilers will come out gradually here, but I'll be taking a somewhat similar route in a couple of different Philip K. Dickian story arcs for the comic, where society at large has deliberately induced epistemological gaps into itself, and the average person is aware they're there but accepts that they'll never know exactly what fills them.
Oh, I'm a big fan of world building of the sort that Hal Clement did. Robert Forward did a good job of that scientifically based type in Dragon's Egg and Starquake. But, it's not some holy writ. (Picture Queen Victoria proclaiming: Your story is not in accordance with regulation G-42 on scientific limitations. We are not amused!)
Murray Leinster's Lost World had so many scientific flaws in it as to be embarrassing at times. It was still one hell of a good story.
I like to use the examples of Shakespeare writing about the "shores of Bohemia" in The Winter's Tale even though Bohemia was supposedly landlocked at the time the play was set (there's been some debate whether this is true), and his reference to "clocks striking" in Julius Caesar even though pendulum clocks wouldn't be invented for centuries later. In those cases, the mistaken premises clearly don't hurt the literary quality of the works...