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“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
The repeal of Net Neutrality could be the absolute worst thing to ever happen to the Internet.
A internet provider's website in Portugal, where they have no Net Neutrality laws.

A internet provider’s website in Portugal, where they have no Net Neutrality laws.

I am a full-stack developer. I work in IT. I’ve watched the Internet grow from a few rare nodes on a green CRT screen to the behemoth it is today. Please believe me when I say this repeal of Net Neutrality could be the absolute worst thing to ever happen to the Internet.
 
Net Neutrality ensures that all internet users have equal access to the online world. Its repeal would mean that internet providers could charge a premium for certain sites, block access to others, and stifle competition. The end result is an all around worse experience and greater cost for all of us.
 
From a tech point of view, you might think of it this way: From any node on the Internet, you can reach any other node, anywhere in the world. And the bandwidth/speed allocated to that node would be basically the same no matter which node you connected to. A repeal of Net Neutrality means that your internet provider can decide that they don’t like nodes B,C,D, and E for some reason. End result? Your connection to B,C,D, and E are slowed or even cut off. “But I’ll just get another provider if they do that,” you say. Great, if you can find one who doesn’t do this too. And in some communities, there is only one internet provider. If you don’t like that they’re filtering your data, there’s nothing you can do.
 
Another thing to consider is startups. Let’s say you have company X, and you come out with a new online service that directly competes with internet provider P. Provider P could slow down or even block traffic from your X, preventing it from getting off the ground. End result: X doesn’t get enough business and dies. Provider P retains its monopoly power. Wash, rinse, repeat.
 
If this sounds too dystopian and fanciful, a few quick web searches will show you that US internet providers have *already* been doing these nefarious things. With Net Neutrality’s repeal things will only get worse.

Why Blade Runner is More Relevant Than Ever

When the original Blade Runner film was released in 1982 to mediocre box-office sales and lukewarm reviews, few could predict the film would have such a lasting legacy. For nearly three decades, the film’s neon-saturated, overcrowded, rain-swept dystopia served as the default backdrop for dozens, if not hundreds of science-fiction films. Even the Star Wars prequels borrowed (or ripped-off) the film’s noirish cyberdream vision for some of its urban landscapes. But more so than its look, Blade Runner’s themes have survived long past its inception date…

Keep reading at Tor.com.


Visions of the Future

Ask most people what they think the future will bring in the next 10, 20, 50 years, and you’re likely to encounter pessimism. Drought, famine, war, disease, scarce resources. The planet is warming up, we’re killing of species by the hundred-fold, destroying this one and only planet we’ve been given. Right now we have Ebola, Global Warming, ISIS, and a newly elected American Congress that has promised to roll back much-needed health reforms. The future does indeed look bleak.

Few people you will meet will expound the optimistic views of the 70s and 80s. Colonies in space. Environmentally friendly cities. Famine, disease, war rendered obsolete simply by the fact that we have moved from a society of scarcity to one of plenty.

Our optimistic visions of this:

Orbital Space Station

Have been replaced with this:

951023 - Elysium

Our defining vision for the 21st century is dystopia, at least so far. Part of this is fueled by the media we consume. Film, video games, television. But they are not to blame. Art echoes stark realities, casts a mirror on our inner psyche. While some live in utter luxury, others on this planet must scour garbage of others to survive. While we send probes to the planets and beyond, loft massive ships into Earth orbit, a ten year old boy dies of Ebola, alone, suffering, without adequate care, to be forgotten.

It’s easy to be bleak, pessimistic. Our politicians like clockwork fail to live up to their promises, or fall into scandal and shame. Instead of propping up the forward-thinking, most intelligent, philosophical and artistic among us, we praise those who have the prettiest face, or are the most obnoxious, or who, by nature of their birth, simply have more money than we do.

Some called Gene Roddenberry a utopianist, but I think he had it right: humanity needs a vision of the future that is grand instead of bleak, optimistic instead of dire. And he was wise enough to know that a post-scarcity world does not mean that all suffering will be eradicated. It simply means that, barring exceptional circumstances, all individuals will have the opportunity to pursue whatever they can imagine.

But this is not the world we live in. If you are lucky enough to be born into a class or society where you have access to healthcare, food, education, you are already ahead of the game. But even so, most in the Western world struggle with crushing debt, an economy that favors the top as it exploits the lowest among us.

We do have plenty, as William Gibson said, it’s just not evenly distributed.

I think our problem — and I want to say up front that it’s a solvable one — is that we — we as in humanity as a whole — have no singular vision for the 21st century. And so, because we choose not to strive for an ideal humanity, or because all the billions of shouting voices just devolve into noise, we revert to the stock image of the future that we’ve been fed via media for the past several decades: dystopia.

Stop for a second. Name one film, book, video game, or other media you’ve encountered in the past five years that presented a view of the future that wasn’t bleak. Can you name ten? Five? One?

Now, how many of the dystopian variety can you think of? Fifty? A hundred? More?

Part of our problem is a lack of foresight. Unless we plan for a different future, unless we actively strive for a future that we all can embrace, we will instead receive that which our subconscious automatically creates, and that will be fueled by our default vision of the future. Instead of this default vision, can we imagine a future in which:

  • Everyone on the planet has affordable or free access to food, water, clothing, shelter, and healthcare
  • Everyone on the planet has access to affordable or free education up to any level their minds desire
  • A massive reduction in fossil fuel use to be replaced with sustainable resources
  • A slowing of population growth to sustainable levels
  • Reduction and eventual elimination of war and the reasons for it, which are typically: land, religion, resources
  • A massive ramping up of the search for life in the Cosmos
  • A massive slowdown of resource depletion concomitant with renewed efforts to preserve and protect all living species
  • A commercial, private space program with an intent to expand humanity’s presence beyond Earth

I’m sure we can think of more, but these would be a good start. And the most important thing is that all of them are very much possible, especially if each of us, individually, work towards one or more of those goals each day. Even if only a small percentage of humanity’s billions took up these goals, think of the change that might be possible. The mode we are living in now: scarcity, debt, war, poverty, a surveillance state…this inevitable slide into dystopia is but one mode of many. And all we have to do is shift our consciousness a bit to realize that another mode is possible. And that can just as easily be inevitable too, so long as we make it happen, so long as we consciously act to bring it into the world.


“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More