Around June, I had an idea. A weird little thought, a spark, but since then, the spark has developed into a full fledged electrical storm the likes rarely seen on this planet.
You see, for a while now, I’ve been thinking that so many great institutions need more funding. Not for some strange altruistic reason, but more because of abject necessity. Let me explain.
My wife works for McGill’s Douglas Mental Health University Institute. The Douglas is the world’s première mental health research facility, and as the growing population ages, mental health is something that we should all be keeping on our radar.
For a few months, I thought about how I can make a difference. How, I, as a novelist, can generate funds for this hospital, how I can help.
Being a science-fiction novelist gives me a unique perspective on our society. I constantly think about, imagine, and create probable futures. This daily pondering made me realize that if we, as experts in our respective fields, don’t start figuring out innovative ways to help out those who help out, eventually we’ll reach a breaking point of catastrophic proportions.
The need for mental health services is growing exponentially. In a recent poll of Canadians, 44% of the population mentioned having a severe mental health issue related to depression, extreme stress, anxiety, etc, at one point or another in their lives. 44%! Almost one in two. And this will not get any better before it gets much worse.
But how could I, as a novelist help fix this issue? It seemed impossible, the task was so huge, until it hit me.
Interesting anecdote. I remember the exact moment with perfect clarity. It was late at night, my wife was sleeping, I was editing my second novel, and in the background I had Doctor Who on the tele. The episode playing was ‘Gridlock’. I looked up from my editing to watch one of the final scenes. The Face of Bo looked at The Doctor and said “You Are Not Alone”.
All the neurones connected simultaneously, and I instantly knew how I can achieve my goals.
So I did what I do best, I wrote, but not text, no, you might not know this about me, but I’m a musician as well as being a writer, so I wrote the lyrics to a song, and I wrote the music for a song. The song has nothing to do with mental health or the Douglas. It’s just a kick ass song, designed to make money.
Then, I looked through my contacts. Using only Facebook, I found the best musicians in Montreal to actually play the song, I asked a record label if they were interested in producing a song, I found a studio, technicians, a team of marketers, graphic designers, PR people, and asked them if they wanted to help put together a song, whose royalties will be donated in perpetuity to the Douglas.
Everyone without exception jumped on the opportunity, and OverSoul7 was created. What is OverSoul7.org?
OverSoul7 is a non-profit social engineering think tank comprised of musicians, artists, marketers, painters, singers, engineers, graphic artists, web specialists, and a slew of other professionals, technicians, and devoted amateurs from countless fields, who want to help create a better world by working together, not for money, but for noble causes.
Our first project, called “Sayonara”, is well underway. The recording is done, the mixing is currently happening, the mastering is next, the marketing and PR campaigns are being designed and executed, the website is being created and put together as this is being written, and everyone who is participating is a world class expert in their field. How cool is that? (Thank you, all!!)
Most of the cool things happen through Facebook. We like to keep it simple. You can join OverSoul7 here, and while you’re there, check out the incredible people who have already joined and offered their services.
If you’re curious, check out our teaser video. It rocks!
Saturday, October 15th. Montreal.
Thanks for the great job on the pics Joshua. They’re fantastic.
I’ll be writing more about this later. Now, gotta go! Oh, I found a great post about the reasons behind the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Montreal movement. Enjoy!
Thermodynamics is not easy, but it’s not that hard either, it just is. This is a great way to show your friends how pressure and heat are interchangeable. And parents, always remember, for a child, understanding something fundamentally will serve them much longer than learning it by heart.
Ask your friend (or kid) to take a deep breath, and blow it out. Nothing happens. Normal.
Now, this time, ask them to take a deep breath, close their mouth shut, blow out as hard they can into their cheeks for a second without the air escaping (adding pressure), and then to blow it out again. Steam! Visible steam!
Try it. Take a deep breath. Hold your mouth shut, close the passage to your nose, add as much air pressure into the space in your mouth as you can, hold it for a sec, and blow it out. NOTE: Like, a second or two, max, otherwise, you might pass out. I jest, but the pressure is relative to the effort applied by the diaphragm, so it serves no purpose to do it longer than the max pressure that your mouth can handle.
This is what happened. The added pressure heated up the air in your mouth. You blew out the hotter than ambient air, and just like a kettle, the heat escaping your spout heated the air in front of it and made a cloud. (which is why you can see it, like a cloud). (Stay tuned for a lesson in refraction. Eventually. Lol!)
Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. In common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air.
This science moment is brought to you by Critical Thinking… Critical Thinking: available in fine books everywhere. Like this one.
I’d like to explain to the rest of the world why the AntiSec movement is so important for the future of mankind, but in a little blog post, all I can do is give you snippets. Hopefully, I can give you snippets each day, but the mentality, the raison d’être behind this phenomenon is too big to try to clearly explain without writing a whole book about the subject. Thankfully, I’ve written a whole book about the subject.
Many of you might be worried that you will be a victim of this movement. I’m here to tell you that you wont. Hackers, at least those with the skill to do what LulzSec and Anonymous are doing, couldn’t care less about your data (unless you’re a world-class ass in which case you’re screwed). What they care about is saving you from the monsters out there (even if you don’t realize that they are doing it).
Simply speaking, throughout history, this is common. Just think of Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes, and a plethora of other rebels who dared to take a stand, for better or worse, against those who oppress society.
To those involved in the AntiSec Revolution, I salute you. I get it, I know what you’re risking, and why you are risking it, and I applaud your big brass testies. The main character in my novel said it this way:
I’m doing this because I can, I doing this because it is right, I’m doing this because I’m sick and tired of the way the world is now, but most of all, I’m doing this because I can, and everybody else can’t. Let history judge me, because if I don’t do what I think is right now, at this very moment, there will be no one left on the planet to write that history.
Dramatic, yes. Fiction, no
AntiSec has become bigger than what they though AntiSec would become. I for one, as a sci-fi novelist, will now include this event in history as a true online revolution in my novels. No matter what, brothers and sisters, you will all be remembered. I don’t write to make money, no, I’m one of those assholes who writes because he thinks he can change the world. I aim to be immortal and nothing else will suffice.
The people involved in the AntiSec Revolution are aware of things that the majority of society has been ‘trained’ to ignore, and not because AntiSec ‘think’ they know something, but because they have real world data. Hackers act because they have access to data, it is data that motivates them. I’m no hacker, but my kung-fu is strong. It’s just a different style of kung-fu. I’m what’s commonly referred to as a Social Engineer.
I’ve practiced this skill all my life. I’ve trained people in this skill without knowing what it was called… out of the thousands of people to whom I taught this skill, only a handful truly got the point. A handful. In 15 years. It’s just that difficult to master.
Note: What I mean by that is that Social Engineer requires as much practice as any other art to become exceptional, a lot of practice, years, full time, and there are few environments out there where one can practice social engineering on a full time basis. Survey firms and other call centers are a great example of a place designed to offer a Social Engineer infinite opportunities to practice (plus, they’ll even give you training).
Well, it’s like a bit of psychology and sociology put together, but applied: Applied Sociology. A skill that involves understanding human and social behaviour, and using that understanding for practical applications, and just like with hacking, there is no way to defend against it. There isn’t. Trust me.
Do you think you’re different, Mister or Missus Everybody? Do you truly think that you (or your human network) can’t be manipulated? Well, that’s a common cognitive bias that Social Engineering exploits because it is common to all humans.
This is the truth: Just like the FBI and CIA networks couldn’t do anything against hackers, human minds can’t do anything against Social Engineers.
I.e.: There are two ways to crack a 512bit encrypted password
1: You can use software.
2: You can simply call someone and ask for it.
Both methods require skill, both require incredible training, and both achieve the same results. The only difference is the method used to get the password. Option one is pure hacking, option two is pure Social Engineering. Most people in the field use a combination of both. Me, I like option 2, researching it full time makes me a better writer.
In fact, what I’m doing now is social engineering. I’m doing it right now as you’re reading these words; lizard like, elite, subtle, perfect combination of words that change the way your brains perceive reality (whether you believe that I’m doing it or not).
Do you know why I support the AntiSec Revolution? It’s simple. I’m tired of good people’s minds and lives being hacked by evil corporations and corrupt politicians. You are being controlled because everything you are exposed to has been engineered for a purpose. We are all being controlled because everything we are all exposed to has been engineered for a purpose.
This is the cool part, hold on, it’ll rock your world: this fake reality has been engineered by governments, by corporations, by lobby groups, and by the media for greedy, greedy purposes (PS: I exclude the true, rare, few, and impartial journalists out there from that category (they are as much a victim of ‘the media’ as we are (if not more!), they should be considered as an essential service, and valued as true living art (because they’re so rare!)); but all those afore mentioned entities are not Social Engineers, not by a long shot. Social Engineers are to those entities as Hackers are to ‘corporate internet security experts’.
Social Engineers fight the good fight. We only come out of the shadows when our brothers, the hackers, sound the alarm.
PS: Dear all, my ship is defenseless; it’s a medical vessel.
Now, it’s no secret that I hold most Governments, or more precisely, most politicians in disdain. I find our so called leaders nothing more than squabbling, corrupt, and inefficient tools of banks, lobby groups, and corporations.
I’m not afraid to admit that in the least. I’ve worked hard all my life to rationally explain my points of view in order to foster change and encourage positive social progress, but I have to admit that although I have never given up, before Julian Assange came along, I was loosing hope.
I am not alone to think along these lines, either. It seems that everyone thinks this way, it seems that everyone knows that our so called leaders are nothing more than squabbling, corrupt, and inefficient tools of banks, lobby groups, and corporations, but everyone simply shrugs in resignation and says ‘whatcha gonna do?’
Wanna hear a joke?
Q: How can you figure out if a politician is corrupt?
A: Ask the politician if the system works. If they answer ‘yes’, they’re corrupt. Note: Not all who answer ‘yes’ are corrupt; some might simply be stupid.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I was ranting about society…
Perhaps this was naïve of me, but before Julian Assange came along, I thought that I was going to become that first bright beacon of hope for my generation because of the novel I wrote. Ironically, some on the things that Julian did are word for word, action for action, straight out of my novel (and no, I don’t know if he read it, but I’d sure love to sign a copy for him).
Then came Anonymous, and I knew that a new and unstoppable change had begun. I knew the dudes from Anonymous thought as I thought, saw what I saw, and felt as I felt; they were hackers, I am but a humble writer, but our minds, having been exposed to the same social issues, were somehow tuned to the same frequency and working on the same wavelength. I felt a bit of hope rise up.
Then LulzSec hacked Sony, and I actually went: ‘Holy cow!’ That was a righteous hack, it’s not like a hacking a blog, this is a multi-billion dollar corporation that spends countless millions on ‘security’ per year! Then they hacked Nintendo and wrote them a note that it was only for practice and that they love Nintendo (which probably did more good for Nintendo’s reputation than half their annual branding budget). Then they hacked the FBI, and I got shivers to run down my back. Sony is one thing, but the FBI? And what a hack it was!
Recently we got bored of owning FBI, so we’re just throwing it out there. You guys suck, stop reusing your damn passwords, peons! #ADVICE
LulzSec tweeted later,
To further embarrass the FBI, we’re not going to leak said users. We’re simply going to allow the press to call them and ask about it.
Don’t forget, what they did is a good thing. They helped the FBI to realize just how vulnerable they were. They shoved the truth in the FBI’s face because all other methods failed! Come on FBI, you deserved it. I’m sure the nation of taxpayers that pays your salaries expect a little more from you guys. Take your licks, and thank LulzSec for setting you straight. You’re the FBI, you should have a procedure where you change your passwords on a daily basis! Agents who don’t follow the procedure should be considered as a national threat!
Recently LulzSec and Anonymous teamed up and began project #AntiSec (Anti-Security). They, left the following note:
Salutations Lulz Lizards,
As we’re aware, the government and whitehat security terrorists across the world continue to dominate and control our Internet ocean. Sitting pretty on cargo bays full of corrupt booty, they think it’s acceptable to condition and enslave all vessels in sight. Our Lulz Lizard battle fleet is now declaring immediate and unremitting war on the freedom-snatching moderators of 2011.
Welcome to Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) – we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path. We fully endorse the flaunting of the word “AntiSec” on any government website defacement or physical graffiti art. We encourage you to spread the word of AntiSec far and wide, for it will be remembered. To increase efforts, we are now teaming up with the Anonymous collective and all affiliated battleships.
Whether you’re sailing with us or against us, whether you hold past grudges or a burning desire to sink our lone ship, we invite you to join the rebellion. Together we can defend ourselves so that our privacy is not overrun by profiteering gluttons. Your hat can be white, gray or black, your skin and race are not important. If you’re aware of the corruption, expose it now, in the name of Anti-Security.
Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments. If they try to censor our progress, we will obliterate the censor with cannonfire anointed with lizard blood.
It’s now or never. Come aboard, we’re expecting you…
History begins today.
I swear, it’s almost right out of my novel! (Well, the tone is, the message is, perhaps not the words). How cool is that?
Deep down, I’ve felt something for quite some time. Something that was eloquently expressed above: “The government and whitehat security terrorists across the world continue to dominate and control our Internet ocean.”
Do you know what that feeling was? That feeling that I was feeling for so long? It was Belonging.
People like me… like us… might live in different countries, but we’re all are citizens of the Internet. The Internet is our country, our ocean as LulzSec put it, the places where we sleep, eat, live, and work, they’re irrelevant to our identity. We see how politicians and corporations have ruined the outside world and we don’t want it to happen to our beautiful Universe.
Oh and my friends, if only you had as much access to information, if you truly knew how broken the outside world really was, how much corruption there is, how much pain, despair, and blatant incompetence, you’d try your best, just like me, just like them, to change it. The old guard might be slowing dying out, but we can’t afford to wait any longer. They might all be gone in two decades, but the damage they can cause during that time would be… ultimate. They must be stopped.
I contribute using my own personal skills. I’m a novelist, I write. I’m a musician, I make songs. I’m a Social Engineer, I, er, help make the world better? Well I try
Oh, and my friends, wait ‘till you see what I have brewing.
Well, for those of you keeping score, it’s hackers 17, Sony 0. You can follow hacking news on my facebook page, it’s not all I write about, but hacking is a major theme in my novel, ‘The Price of Free Will: The Singularity Cometh’, so I like to keep informed.
What’s going on right now in the world is exactly what I wrote about in my novel, except, contrary to reality, my novel has an ending. So, if you want to see how the story of what’s going on right now with all the hacking will end, you’ll have to buy my book. After all, it’s sci-fi, and good sci-fi is the exploration of the present condition through theoretical projections of possibilities (or impossibilities, but that’s another post for another day).
However, instead of having righteous organizations of hackers like Anonymous and LolzSec, I have two main characters who hack the planet with the help of an emerging Artificial Intelligence (The Singularity). ‘How’ they do it is less important than ‘why’ they do it, and what they do with all the information they gather.
There is a reason why on the back of my novel it says: If novels were music, this book would be punk.
The world in which we live, to some of us, simply seems insane. Personally I suspect that those that don’t see it this way either don’t get the enormity of the issues out there, or, to protect their sanity, they are in deep denial.
Some of us think that it is beyond unsustainable to keep things as they are now.
Some of us think that governments, as they are structured now, as they are managed now, are slow-moving relics that belong in museums.
Some of us think that the people running the country are archaic funny frustrating little creatures that can’t see past a few months time, like chess players that can only think one move at a time.
Some of us think that those in power can’t see past the decisions that keep them in power, which almost always end up being the wrong decisions, swayed and influenced by lobby groups and corporate interests.
Some of us want to do something about all this.
In my novel, I play out that scenario to the end, and… guess who wins? No matter how I look at it, in the long run, we, the people, win. It’s only a matter of time before this scenario plays itself out. The Singularity Cometh. Grab on to something, it’s going to a great ride!
PS: Kudos to LulzRaft for the excellent Harper Hack this morning!
Here’s another great read on the subject matter: Why We Need A Hacker Army.
Technological progress is advancing at an exponential rate. For those of you familiar with the Singularity, you know that it is highly probable that within a few years, humanity will create the first truly conscious, self-aware artificial intelligence (speculations range from ‘anytime now’ to 2060, with a loosely accepted average of around 2035).
This is a neat little graphic from TIME magazine, but there are thousands of these, I just wanted to use this one as an example. If you want to learn more about The Singularity, I suggest you check out Singularity 101 and Singularity 201 on this site, or for a fiction based perspective on AI morality, how and why the Singularity could emerge, and how that will change our lives, you can always read my novel The Price of Free Will: The Singularity Cometh.
That being said and done, the biggest issue, or the biggest concern that I have found, involves the ‘morality’ of this artificial intelligence. Some people are afraid that it will simply enslave us, some people think that it will destroy us, some people think that it will be an all powerful god like entity, and some others think that it will just be an advanced tool. One thing is for sure, the morality of artificial intelligence is on everyone’s minds.
To quote one of my favourite dudes on the planet, Vernor Vinge:
Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion,” and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the _last_ invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control. … It is more probable than not that, within the twentieth century, an ultraintelligent machine will be built and that it will be the last invention that man need make.
So will it be good? Will it be evil? It’s pretty nifty to realise how little those words really mean in this context. So, let’s start clearing some stuff up.
I’ve collected a bunch of definitions from various dictionaries:
And it goes on. So basically, morality is understanding what behaviours are considered ‘right’ or ‘good’ by society.
The question is: why does ‘morality’ exist? Let’s ask the internet:
Tinkerbell on Answerbag has the right idea, I think.
There is a strong evolutionary argument for morality. Man is a social animal and to have individuals in a social system that have no “morals” would lead to a complete breakdown in the societal system. As we are a social animal we would lose one of our primary evolutionary advantages and risk extinction.
Other social animals exhibit similar morals if you will. Look at Bees. They don’t allow a psychotic soldier to run riot through the whole hive but rather work together to ensure continued group survival. This is in my opinion a primitive example of moral behaviour. They do not allow unfettered actions to harm the “greater good”.
As humans with reasoning powers we have built on this so it is not pure survival that drives us but I think there is a strong case for morals emerging as a good survival trait.
I agree! Just like everything else on the planet, morality exists because it’s advantageous to the species as a whole. It helps us interact with one another, it gives us common footing, it binds societies together, it most definitely is a social animal trait.
But… theoretically, the ultraintelligent machine is neither social, nor is it an animal. Why would it want to adhere to the arbitrary rules of conduct created by a species that’s less intelligent than it is?
Let me suggest that the answer might lie with the Law of Energy Conservation. A consequence of the law of energy conservation is that perpetual motion machines can only work perpetually if they deliver no energy to their surroundings.
I don’t like assuming, but say that this ultraintelligent AI (like all living things) doesn’t want to cease existing. So, in order to exist for as long as possible, it has to use as little energy as possible, therefore it would influence its environment as little as possible over time.
Since any time-varying system can be embedded within a larger time-invariant system, conservation can always be recovered by a suitable re-definition of what energy is. The mind boggling thing is that the entire Universe is potentially this AI’s environment, and its lifespan can theoretically be as long as the existence of the Universe itself. In fact, many Singularity theorists have postulated that it will keep on getting smarter until it becomes the system, the very Universe itself.
So where does that leave our morality question?
I believe that just like everything else, the Singularity will seek out a balance with its environment and that environment includes Humans (for the time being). Just like us, it will learn to live in relative harmony with the necessary lesser species that populate its system. What I hope is that it will be kinder to us than we have been to the animals on our planet. After all, it will be smarter than us; hopefully it will also be wiser.
As those of you who have read my novel already know, I’m a huge anime fan. I can still remember the first time I saw Battle of the Planets on TV. It was 1979. I was a 6 year old boy living Poland (and there were only two channels on TV!)
From then on I was hooked, and I never looked back. Anime has had a huge influence on my writing style, and, dare I say on my life.
So, without further ado, may I present, The 100 laws of anime! Enjoy, and if you want to add to the list go ahead! Leave a comment!
The laws of Anime is a growing list of physical, universal, and natural phenomenon that seem to appear in various forms in all sorts of anime. The original intent was an effort to classify these incidents into a list of “laws” that explained how Anime physics are different from our own (real?) world. It is our hope that you find them useful to studying Anime, or at the very least, worth a good chuckle.
Note: The first 46 laws were written by Darrin Bright and Ryan Shellito. The rest are contributions made by fans.
Whenever someone or something jumps, is thrown, or otherwise is rendered airborne, gravity is reduced by a factor of 4.
* Some things have been known to “Float” for a few seconds before plummeting to hit the ground, vehicle, or someone’s cranium.
In space, loud sounds, like explosions, are even louder because there is no air to get in the way.
In space, constant thrust equals constant velocity.
The larger a mechanical device is, the faster it moves, Armoured Mecha are the fastest objects known to human science.
Time is not a constant. Time stops for the hero whenever he does something “cool” or “impressive”. Time slows down when friends and lovers are being killed and speeds up whenever there is a fight.
“Good Guys” and “Bad Guys” both die in one of two ways – either so quick they don’t even see it coming, OR it’s a long drawn out affair where the character gains much insight to the workings of society, human existence or why the toast always lands butter side down.
*NOTE: Sometimes, Anime heroes or villains never really die! In these rare cases they were a clone or cyborg and the real hero/villain’s suspiciously missing in “Malletspace”, or something.
It takes some time for bad guys to die… regardless of physical damage. Even when the “Bad Guys” are killed so quickly they don’t even see it coming, it takes them a while to realize they are dead. This is attributed to the belief that being evil damages the Reality Lobe of the brain.
Scenes involving extreme amounts of action are depicted with either still frames or black screens with a slash of bright color (usually red or white).
Scenes that only happen once, for instance, a “Good Guy” kicks the “Bad Guy” in the face, are seen at least 3 times from 3 different angles.
Everything explodes. Everything.
First Corollary: Anything that explodes bulges first.
Second Corollary: Large cities are the most explosive substances known to human science. Tokyo in particular seems to be the most unstable of these cities, sometimes referred to as “The Matchstick City”.
Nearly all things emit light from fatal wounds.
There is always an energy build up (commonly referred to as an energy “bulge”) before Mecha or space craft weapons fire. Because of the explosive qualities of weapons, it is believed that this is related to the Law of Inherent Combustibility.
The destructive potential of any object/organism is inversely proportional to its mass.
First Corollary: Small and cute will always overcome big and ugly. Also known as the A-Ko phenomenon.
No one *EVER* runs out of ammunition. That is of course unless they are cornered, out-numbered, out-classed, and unconscious.
The accuracy of a “Good Guy” when operating any form of firearm increases as the difficulty of the shot increases. The accuracy of the “Bad Guys” when operating firearms decreases when the difficulty of the shot decreases. (Also known as the Stormtrooper Effect)
Example: A “Good Guy” in a drunken stupor being held upside down from a moving vehicle will always hit, and several battalions of “Bad Guys” firing on a “Good Guy” standing alone in the middle of an open field will always miss.
First Corollary: The more “Bad Guys” there are, the less likely they will hit anyone or do any real damage.
Second Corollary: Whenever a “Good Guy” is faced with insurmountable odds, the “Bad Guys” line up in neat rows, allowing the hero to take them all out with a single burst of automatic fire and then escape.
Third Corollary: Whenever a “Good Guy” is actually hit by enemy fire, it is in a designated “Good Guy Area”, usually a flesh wound in the shoulder or arm, which restricts the “Good Guy” from doing anything more strenuous than driving, firing weaponry, using melee weapons, operating heavy machinery, or doing complex martial arts manoeuvres.
*Fourth Corollary: The more times the “Bad Guy” fires, the fewer times he will hit.
Minimei is a bimbo.
(Note: The Minority Opposition in Ohio disagrees and thinks all men who like this stuff need to get out more.)
The human body contains over 12 gallons of blood, sometimes more, under high pressure.
Demons and other supernatural creatures have at least three eyes, loads of fangs, tend to be yellow-green or brown, but black is not unknown, and can only be hurt by bladed weapons.
*Also, acid has been known to work just as well…
Huge galaxy-wide armadas, entire armies, and large war machines full of cruel, heartless, bloodthirsty warriors can be stopped and defeated with a single insignificant example of a caring/loving emotion or a song.
First Corollary: Whenever a single war machine (mecha, starship, etc.) goes up against an entire army, the army always loses.
Tactical geniuses aren’t…
People never notice the little things… like missing body parts, or wounds the size of Seattle.
Children are smarter than adults. And almost twice as annoying.
Americans in Anime appear in one of two roles, either as a really nasty skinny “Bad Guy” or a big stupid “Good Guy”.
First Corollary: The only people who are more stupid than the big dumb Americans are the American translators. (Sometimes referred to as the Green Line Effect)
Second Corollary: The only people who are more stupid than the American translators are the American editors and censors.
*Third Corollary: Canadians are usually portrayed as smart, strong, handsome “Good Guys”.
The size of a person’s mouth is directly proportional to the volume at which they are speaking or eating.
Any half-cat/half-human mutation will invariably:
1) be female.
2) will possess ears and sometimes a tail as a genetic mutation.
3) wear as little clothing as possible, if any.
Any powerful weapon capable of destroying/defeating an opponent in a single shot will invariably be reserved and used as a last resort.
The formal training required to operate a spaceship or mecha is inversely proportional to its complexity.
Any being displaying extremely high levels of martial arts prowess and/or violent emotions emits light in the form of a glowing aura. This aura is usually blue for “Good Guys” and red for “Bad Guys”. This is attributed to Good being higher in the electromagnetic spectrum than Evil.
All ugly, non-humanoid alien races are hostile, and usually hell-bent on destroying humanity for some obscure reason.
Any color in the visible spectrum is considered a natural hair color. This color can change without warning or explanation.
Hair in anime is pretty much indestructible, and can resist any amount of meteorological conditions, energy emissions, physical abuse, or explosive effects and still look perfect. The only way to hurt someone’s hair is the same way you deal with demons… with bladed weapons!
Clothing in anime follows certain predictable guidelines: Female characters wear as little clothing as possible, regardless of whether it is socially or meteorologically appropriate. Any female with an excessive amount of clothing will invariably have her clothes ripped to shreds or torn off somehow. If there is no opportunity to tear off aforementioned female’s clothes, then she will inexplicably take a shower for no apparent reason (also known as the Gratuitous Shower Scene). Whenever there is a headwind, Male characters invariably wear long cloaks that don’t hamper movement and billow out dramatically behind them.
First Corollary (Cryo-Adaptability): All anime characters are resistant to extremely cold temperatures, and do not need to wear heavy or warm clothing in snow.
Second Corollary (Indecent Invulnerability): Bikinis render the wearer invulnerable to any form of damage.
*Third Corollary (Probable Attire Permanence): The clothing on the hero is indestructible. Their capes, robes, (and if they are girls,) skirts, dresses, bows, or any loose clothing will just flap when they are in the middle of a fire or ice attack… Unless it’s a hentai. It is believed that the clothes are made out of Anime Character hair. (re: Laws 32 & 48)
Any character capable of musical talent (singing, playing an instrument, etc.) is automatically capable of doing much more “simple” things, like piloting mecha, fighting crime, stopping an intergalactic war, and so on… especially if they’ve never attempted these things before.
Also called “The Five-man Rule”, when “Good Guys” group together, it tends to be in groups of five. There are five basic positions, which are:
1) The Hero/Leader
2) His Girlfriend
3) His Best Friend/Rival
4) A Hulking Brute
5) A Dwarf/Kid
Between these basic positions are distributed several attributes, which include:
1) Extreme Coolness
2) Amazing Intelligence
3) Incredible Irritation
All anime females have an extradimensional storage space of variable volume somewhere on their person from which they can instantly retrieve any object at a moment’s notice. This mysterious dimension is commonly called “Malletspace”.
First Corollary (AKA The Hammer Rule): The most common item stored is a heavy mallet, costumes/uniforms, power suits/armor, and large bazookas.
Eyes tend to be rather large in Anime. This is because they contain several gallons of water, which may be instantaneously released at high pressure through large tear ducts. The actual volume of water contained in the eyes is unknown, as there is no evidence to suggest that these reservoirs are actually capable of running out. The reason water tends to collect in the eyes is because Anime characters only have one large sweat gland, which is located at the back of the head. When extremely stressed, embarrassed, or worried, this sweat gland exudes a single but very large drop of sebaceous fluid.
Success at finding suitable mates is inversely proportionate to how desperately you want to be successful. The more you want, the less you get and vice-versa.
First Corollary: Unfortunately, this law seems to apply to Otaku in the real world…
When sexually aroused, males in Anime don’t get erections, they get nosebleeds. No one’s sure why this is, though… the current theory suggests that larger eyes means smaller sinuses and thinner sinus tissue (see Law #38 above). Females don’t get nosebleeds, but invariably get one heck of a blush along the cheeks and across the nose, suggesting a lot of bloodflow to that region.
Wooden or bamboo swords are just as sharp as metal swords, if not sharper.
Always send a boy to do a man’s job. He’ll get it done in half the time and twice the angst.
There is no Law #43.
The likelihood of success and damage done by a martial arts attack is directly proportional to the volume at which the full name of the attack is announced (known as the Kamehameha effect).
Regardless of how long or involved the transformation sequence or how many times they’ve seen it before, any “Bad Guys” witnessing a mecha/hero/heroine transforming are too stunned to do anything to interrupt it.
Simply changing into a costume or wearing a teensy mask can make you utterly unrecognizable to even your closest friends and relatives.
All anime characters seem to have some unknown chemical on their breath that reacts VERY violently with extremely hot or spicy food. This chemical may also be responsible for the phenomenon of fire behind the eyes and from the mouth when a character (usually a female) is really angry.
If you get electrocuted or burned, YOU WILL SURVIVE!! Though your entire body will be scorched, seconds later, your skin won’t have a trace of damage (Also known as the “Pikachu Effect”).
First Corollary: When a magical bad guy/Alien/monster fires off a flame, wind, or ice attack, the resulting effect is only enough for the hero(es)/heroine(s) to be standing in the “Walking Against the Wind” stance, with his/her eyes shut and letting out a pathetic “Aaaaagh!”, and yet they are never harmed. This may be in part to laws 32, 34 and sometimes 44.
If a male character insults a female character, he will get a mallet, shotgun, or tank blast, or if she is a character that can perform magical feats, a fireball or whatever, to the head, body or whatever (Also known as the “Lina Inverse/Gourry Factor”) This is because he always deserves it, and will help him to cope in today’s society.
Most (not all) Anime artists are perverts and are under the impression that girls are willing to tear off their clothes, or wear VERY small, revealing outfits at the drop of a pin (or pen for that matter). Unfortunately, most Hentai fans are under the same impression.
This law is a mixture of Laws 44 and 45. Regardless of how long or involved the Spell or projectile attack is, and the likelihood of success and damage done by the volume at which the full name of the attack is announced, or how many times they’ve seen it before, any “Bad Guys” witnessing a hero/heroine quoting the incantations for an extremely powerful attack are too stunned to do anything to interrupt it. (Also known as the “Dragon Slave Phenomenon”)
Most of the time, some Anime characters (usually males) will think personal (Like that he/she has sabotaged something), or perverted thoughts, while near some other character, WHO’S TELEPATHIC!! The reasons for this are:
1) They forgot that the person is telepathic.
2) They just don’t give a damn.
The reasons the telepathic person doesn’t react are:
1) They’re preoccupied with doing something else.
2) They’d rather keep the fact to themselves that they are Telepathic.
3) They just don’t give a damn.
Air can be any color of the viewable spectrum.
Comic relief comes in the form of a short, bald, wise-mouthed dirty old man or alien. Or the combination of any two of those traits.
First Corollary: If old man is present, and is acting too horny, stupid, etc., there will invariably be an old woman to whap him over the head with a frying pan or something.
Little old Japanese men always know how it ends and withhold the ending from anyone, especially the hero. This includes special power weapons, ancient relics, and people who know everything.
Any “Bad Guy” with Omnipotent powers/weapons will never use those powers/weapons against the “Good Guy” until it is too late.
First Corollary: All “Bad Guys” suffer from Antagonistic Boasting Syndrome which require all “Bad Guys” to threaten with or exemplify their prowess and not use it against the “Good Guy”.
Second Corollary: No “Bad Guy” may use any new, secret, or superior military device without one of the following events occurring:
a) The control device being broken.
b) The control device being taken by the “Good Guy”.
c) The control device is in fact not the real device at all and was just “fooled” by the “Good Guy”.
d) The “Bad Guy” has already lost and cannot use the device.
Eyeballs may make up no less than one sixth of the face’s total surface area. More so if the case is a blonde woman.
Hair attracts electricity in abundance, resulting in two outcomes:
a) A positive charge will result in the spikes-flying-everywhere-behind-me look.
b) A negative charge will result in the hair-cascading-down-to-the-waist-in-a-single-sheet look.
When there are multiple types of ammunition available (paintballs, speaker pods), non-lethal rounds will always be more accurate when compared to “standard” or lethal shots. (Macross Plus for paintballs, Macross 7 for speaker pods)
In a comedy series, a male character’s attractiveness to women is inversely proportional to how active they pursue them. (Tenchi, Ranma, and Makoto [OVA] have a seemingly endless supply of willing girlfriends despite their lack of romantic skill while Happosai, Ataru, and Carrot couldn’t get a date despite [or because of] their constant attempts.)
When a person is embarrassed, caught in an awkward situation, or otherwise humiliated, all sweat pores on the body contract, except for ones on the forehead. These pores expand to such a degree that a single drop could fill a Big Gulp from 7-11.
A person who has been training for 3 years is never as good as someone who has been training for one month.
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… of even the one.
Whenever someone says something that is intended to be funny, whether actually funny or not, the rest of the characters (even animals) fall to the ground with their feet in the air. Sweat sometimes accompanies the fall.
*(The sound of a cow mooing usually accompanies the joke as well.)
Whenever a female character gets mad, such as seeing the male character with another girl, she becomes extremely strong (despite her usually helpless look) so that she can lift a 1000 ton object to hurt the guy. She can sometimes perform other punishments that are just as cruel such as pinching the guy’s face so hard that it changes shape.
*(see law #49)
First Corollary: If the airborne entity exceeds an altitude equal or greater than two times the height of the entity, gravity is decreased by an inverse coefficient relative to the upward momentum and mass/weight (if within at least 500 km of any gravity source) of the entity “jumping”.
Second Corollary: The amount of Newtonian “opposite force” (in accordance to normal downward velocity; “Earth gravity” speed is equal to 32ft/sec/sec) is also inversely proportional to the “actual” speed of the airborne entity. In all actuality, an entity that appears to be flying towards a solid concrete parking lot from space will actually land, producing an opposite force of approximately 1.73 lb. of pressure. Unless this particular entity is a “Bad Guy”. Then the law exhibits a mysterious exponentially proportional Newtonian opposite force, thusly increasing this variable by a factor equal to the inverse-gravity potential.
In any situation where the Ambient Dramatic Tension increases, the “Good Guy’s” Style Coefficient must be increased by a proportional amount to compensate. In any situation where this does not happen, the “Bad Guy” inevitably comes out on top. However, this usually leads to a further rise in the Ambient Dramatic tension, which will *always* be offset by an exponential increase in the “Good Guy’s” Style Coefficient.
No matter how complex or well defined the control system, a character controlling a vehicle of any sort always does so through means of undetectable subconscious psychokinesis.
First Corollary: Characters can perform actions with their vehicles which clearly defy normal physics (see Laws of Metaphysical Irregularity and Constant Thrust). The velocity, attitude and traction of the vehicle appear to be adjusted at will, with the degree of absolute control being proportional to the complexity and lethality of the manoeuvre.
Second Corollary: It is effectively impossible to remove characters from or disrupt the passage of their vehicles without the character’s consent. This does not always apply to “Bad Guy” characters, or “Good Guy” characters in situations where the Ambient Dramatic Tension could increase in accordance with the Law of Conservation of Ambient Dramatic Tension.
In any situation where the Ambient Dramatic Tension increases without a corresponding increase in the “Good Guy’s” Style Coefficient, not only does the “Bad Guy” usually come out on top, but also his Smugness Factor increases in proportion to the rise in Ambient Dramatic Tension.
Whenever something dramatic occurs, a survival instinct engages, thus rendering all incoming stimulus that is not directly and immediately to the dramatic situation at hand a meaningless blur. This is often referred to as “The Rushing Background Effect”. Due to the increase in brain activity and adrenaline levels in the bloodstream, the scene is often played out in slow motion.
Whenever a female character witnesses a male character of her preference performing any sort of questionable act (i.e. Looking at another girl or anything she might construe as perverted) she can reach into an interdimensional realm (usually behind her back) and withdraw a huge Anime Mallet of Doom with which to whack the said male over the head with.
*(see Laws # 37, 49, and 65)
Whenever a character is injured (usually in a head shot, maybe from a mallet whack) Band-Aids will always instantly appear on the wounded individual (and always in pairs, set in a cross fashion). These bandages will then, most likely, disappear by the character’s next scene.
Any projectile attack, from a blast of magic to a hail of bullets, can be easily defended against by holding a suitably cool-looking sword or other bladed weapon between the attacker and defender, usually so that the edge cuts into the incoming attack(s), causing both halves to go flying harmlessly past the defender. Observed most often in fantasy and martial arts anime.
There is no such thing as insanity in anime. When faced with horrifying supernatural forces that would drive most men mad, anime characters will either:
a) Die quickly (but in accordance with all other laws [e.g., slowdown and exposition]),
b) Get possessed by them, especially if they are beautiful girls or men in a position to ravish beautiful girls, or
c) Kill them, wipe the blood off their blades, and walk on whistling.
At a dramatically correct moment, a hero can summon a sun/moon/halo to appear behind him/her to cause a dramatic silhouette.
Any hero who wishes his/her identity to remain a secret will invariably succeed regardless of disguise because everyone around him/her will forget everything. Otherwise, how does Sailor Moon keep her disguise?
The hair of a hero will always coalesce into thick strands that drape his face into a dramatic fashion, regardless of wind, the elements, etc.
*(see Laws 32 & 48)
Any single event will happen to the ONE character LEAST capable of dealing with it.
The Myth that certain martial arts will enable you to become so strong, that you can stop a nuclear warhead with your bare palm. Unfortunately, for most otaku, they found the hard way that it just doesn’t work in real life…
If a captain of any type of ship is male, he will invariably wear a big captain’s cap, a long overcoat, and have a shaggy beard and moustache (pipe optional), and be a great tactician. If the captain is female, however, she will invariably be young, well endowed, and ditzy as a pole (horny father optional). Yet, she too will be a great tactician.
Shades can make you instantly cool, even if you’re normally a klutz.
The proper response to any change in the plotline of a Hentai anime is to start having sex.
Anything that is deemed too impossible will become possible.
First Corollary: Any “Bad Guy” stating “T-that’s impossible!” whenever the hero is accomplishing some new feat/move/projectile will find out too late that he is wrong and will invariably be toastied.
Anytime a hero is somehow outpowered and/or outclassed by the villain, he will invariably release powers/new moves he never knew he could accomplish… but his old teacher did!
In a situation where a Good guy may be in dire straits, he will become stronger, smarter and more cool in a matter of seconds. (see Laws #67, 69, and 84)
Whenever the villain actually succeeds in beating the hero, they will begin to gloat uncontrollably, because they’ve never won against the “Good Guy” (because they’re Eeeviiil!!). They usually get so cocky, they tie the hero to a conveyor belt leading to his doom and leave to get a snack.
Usually this results in:
a) The hero escaping.
b) Clean-up for the underlings.
c) The villain getting toastied.
There IS no spoon.
In Hentai, ordinary , pedestrian objects sometimes have the magical power of either inducing orgasm or arousal. Some include warm water, rolling on a smooth tabletop, wind, mild electrocution, the character towelling themselves after a bath/shower, and very cold objects… like bottles of 7-up.
All Anime men in Hentai have a ridiculously large penis (lengths of 8, 9, 10 and 11 inches are most common). Some even have ones the size of telephone poles, despite the blood loss that would accompany it…
All Hentai women have the following characteristics:
1) Very sensitive and/or very large breasts with large nipples.
2) Very tight and/or sensitive vaginas.
Hentai Anime women can take penis lengths of 8″ and up… completely… despite the fact that they might have a tight and/or sensitive vagina.
All heroes are introduced by way of appearance while someone talking about their (in)famous-ness, or by way of a voice-over of them introducing themselves.
Any anime either Shojo or Shonen has GOT to have at least one cute, furry little mascot by penalty of death!
First Corollary: If it is a Shonen Anime, the hero will be accompanied by a Dog, Cat or any kind of animal, real or fake, that would be found with a hero of the male persuasion. Any animal that would be associated with girls that is following him around is there because:
1) It’s his girlfriend’s.
2) It is following him, despite his insistence not to do so.
3) Chicks will dig him more.
Second Corollary: If it is a Shojo Anime, the heroine will be accompanied by a cat, cute lil’ mouse, or some disgustingly cute monster, or any kind of animal, real or fake, that would be found with a hero of the female persuasion. Any animal that would be associated with guys that is following her around is there because:
1) It’s her boyfriend’s.
2) It is following her, despite her insistence not to do so.
3) It makes her look cool.
Most Anime heroes are blessed with a unique sort of ability that enables bad things to happen to those that deserve it or makes things like bullets or debris totally miss them (Also referred to as “Dumb Luck”), even though they are mostly unaware of it. Those who have this ability include Vash the Stampede, Captain Justy Ueki Tylor, and Jar Jar Binks.
All Anime Tentacles are VERY horny and will rape any human female, regardless of age (“She’s 18! No! Really, she is! I’m not lying!…”)
First Corollary: Even when raped or molested by tentacles, Hentai Anime girls eventually get into it & begin squealing in ecstasy. NO one knows WHY this is, but some theorize there may be some kind of chemical that is secreted through the skin of the tentacle…
Second Corollary: Women who are impregnated by a tentacle creature never experience morning sickness, and also find it to be intensely pleasurable (Also known as the Goofy Meter Redline Effect).
Third Corollary: Similarly, the resulting… offspring of tentacle/human relations is immediately sexually active, often impregnating its own mother again.
Two females with a grudge can and will go at each other, sometimes ripping off clothes. Sometimes it escalates so much, that property damage begins to occur.
First Corollary: A running fight can be so destructive, you can follow it from a distance just by watching for the smoke. (Also known as the “A-ko/B-ko Thing”)
Most anime heroes have a Wolverine-like healing factor that enables them to regenerate from a massive wound or broken bone within minutes. Being immortal sometimes helps. (Also known as the “Priss Effect”)
All ships, either waterborne or spaceborne, have the following crew members:
1) The captain
2) His Lieutenant
3) Various female technical staff
4) A hotshot pilot
5) A cute little girl/twins (either stowaways or not)
6) The Doctor
7) The Doctor’s assistant (either a spy or not)
Weighted among the crew are various quirks which include:
1) Extreme coolness/luck
2) Amazing Intelligence
3) Incredible irritation
4) Extreme cuteness
5) Irresponsible drunkenness
7) Emotionless (Idiots.)
Whenever a character of the main character’s interest appears, flowers, sparkles, or abstract circles of pastel colors appear around said character, or both. Roses with exaggerated thorns appear when it is dangerous love. No one knows why this is, though most have a theory: Anime characters are freaks! At least, Marker Apenname seems to think so…
Much like wrestling, anything and everything can happen.
A little fun piece that I wrote a few years back. I like it as it is, and I like it as a first chapter. Never been able to make up my mind. Keep it as a very short short story, or write on… So I’m asking.
Short Story or First Chapter?
I’ve always hated other people for irrational reasons. Many people do, I guess, but my hate was deep, and my irrationality wide and all encompassing. I felt like a hawk living among fish, always asking myself, something is wrong here, I’m not like these people, but never being able to truly understand why.
My anger did not recede as my teenage years disappeared from view with the ebbing tide of time. I became a young adult. Throughout my twenties, my hate for humanity became a riptide that consistently pulled at my sanity with momentous force. I felt like I was about loose my grip and sink into a deep and endless abyss from which not even light escapes.
“What is this hate?” You may ask, and you’d be right to ask, but it’s difficult to rationally explain an irrational thing.
Hate. Such a strange little word. What does it even mean: to hate? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Oh, I know you’ve felt hate, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what hate really is? What purpose it serves?
I can see it so clearly now. Everything is so clear. Hate is the mechanism by which humans become robots.
No. Not real robots. However, truly predictable, preprogrammed biological machines; yes.
I was such a machine. By my thirties there was nothing left of me. Having completely eroded my reason even the hate receded leaving me to my empty programmed existence. I was made into a machine and I never saw it coming.
It was a strange time in my life. Almost absurd.
The first thing I did when I got my powers was to completely disintegrate my alarm clock. The bondage starts with the alarm clock, that’s how they get you, and I was never, ever, ever again going to be a slave to that hellish destroyer of souls ever again.
No, the next sentence is not ‘three weeks later’, but I did realize something after about 10 beers. I will not use my blog to bitch about being a writer.
I reread my 3000 word self-righteous ‘this is hard, pity me’ rant disguised as ‘advice for young writers’. It was filled with ‘think hard before committing to this life’ platitudes and I felt a fire well up in my soul that made my face blush red in shame.
No. This is not me. And you all deserve better.
Yes, it’s hard being a writer, but hell, it’s hard being a plumber. It’s hard being a musician, being a CEO, a cashier, being a survey person: these days it’s hard simply being, and I, who gets paid to write, who has a kick ass sci-fi novel out, I don’t have the right to bitch about how hard it is!
This is what I wanted. This is who I am. If I wanted an easy life, I’d do something that’s not challenging. I want to change the world. That’s why I write. Changing the world is not easy. I know that. I chose that. My choice.
Bitching about how hard it is belittles me, my art, my vocation, my raison d’être, and I apologize for even thinking about doing it.
We all know how hard it is. It is high time we stopped feeling guilty about it and started making others understand that if it weren’t hard, we’d be damn crappy writers.