Dude, you broke the future – a talk by Charlie Stross


Charlie Stross gave a talk at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December 2017. It puts our current history into a larger context. It includes a fresh view of AI as it has been with us for centuries in the form of corporations!

A real eye opener worth reading! Dude, you broke the future!

You can also watch the talk on youtube.

New Years is as good a time as any to make changes to patterns making you dumb!

As I contemplate the year and our life it has become clear that following my current patterns will not give me the future I want. My habits are not destructive, but also not constructive.

This is a very personal thing, but I am sure that many in my age group will find themselves needing to redefine their life, start fresh and complete, what they always wanted to do. Since we are embodied, we must start there. Sleep, food, other things. What pattern makes us truly feel good and able to achieve what we aspire to?


I have decided to abstain from some things I like in exchange for feeling better long term. I also want to find myself in control of my urges. Wine and beer is one of those things I associate with relaxation.

Reading biographies of the many good people who ended up their lives struggling with dementia, it is surprising to see the widespread problem of alcohol. I am not an alcoholic, but I have noticed the heightened sensitivity to it with age. The pleasure is not worth the risk. This blog is a great collection on Dementia: Going Gentle Into That Good Night

I ran across it doing research for a story I am planning out.

But there are also other habits most of us share.

Over the last few months I have self observed patterns of electronic media consumption, which by themselves are not obsessive, but can become so. Apps like Flipboard claim to search for your interests presenting the results, but they are designed to keep your attention like a drug. Facebook has the same ultimate intent as do many other social apps like imgur, Pinterest, and even Quora.

All really aim to permanently capture your attention via continually changing visual stimuli in an unconscious way. While you are aiming to take in this information, you DO NOT THINK. You are just visually processing. And you are becoming addicted! You keep spending time.

It turns out that “flipping those boards” and reading those abstracts one after another or “Liking” the posts on Facebooks as you scroll endlessly also might have more long term effects on your intelligence and creativity – perhaps even eventually causing dementia.

The site mentioned above has a great book review of “The End of Absence” by Michael Harris and analyzes some of these patterns further in Technology and Neurology – A Perfect Storm For A Lifestyle Dementia

I am not intending on becoming a Luddite, but “attention must be paid!” In this case, I want to look at my patterns and be aware and in control . In the end our life experience is about how we consciously spend our time.

The perfectable lightness of being

the_unbearable_lightness_of_being_by_fokkusunm-d6en4tw-2017-04-19-10-34.jpgSource: Deviant Art

As I am getting older, I am becoming much more aware of my state. Sleep is more of a challenge, keeping your body functioning smoothly becomes a conscious goal, and I am really quite conscious of how the physiological state impacts my mental experience. In my 60’s, jumping out of bed is not the exhilarating experience I remember from my 20s.

Yet I am much more conscious of the flow of time and the importance of every moment to be lived fully.

Insomnia and other issues started me on a conscious road of measuring and tracking myself and looking at the results. I am gaining understanding of the influences that give me a good night sleep and make me feel well during the day, things like

  • Sleep – 7.5 – 8 hours – this has been difficult. I put in the time, but actual results are variable. It is the most delicate balance depending on time in bed, prior eating and drinking etc. I can only allow the occasional single glass of wine, need to get to bed by 10:30pm, eat only moderately, and now force myself to get up at 7am unless I had a truly poor night with lots of sleep interruptions.
  • Meditation – I now strive for at least twice a day 15 min, or longer monitored with Inner Balance
  • Exercise – I strive for 5 minutes HIIT on a stationary bike plus some bar bell work
  • Weight loss via no carb diet
  • Writing or other “self-fulfillment” activities

My success in achieving the goals is improving. Monitoring myself with Streaks helps maintain awareness. And when it all works like today the experience of being alive seems on another plane. It is not like a manic high, but just feeling great, productive, at peace, in the flow. It makes all challenges look easy and life fun.

I think, the most important realization in these moments is how our outlooks and judgment are truly impacted by our physiology.

Makes you wonder, whether important people like politicians and presidents should have physiological tests before showing up for work.



I thought I was establishing a habit of writing frequently. But life got in the way. The really odd thing is that in my mind the last time I blogged seemed like a couple, maybe three weeks ago, not months.

There is the desire to write, the surge of ideas, the need for expression. But actually sitting down seems hard at the moment. In any endeavor the vision of what the outcome will be is usually divorced from reality. There is the struggle for what you feel is there and what you find forming on the screen or page.

I think, most of us find it hard to live in the present. We reminisce, we look forward to something. Before we know it has passed. Family, kids home, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and suddenly it is February with the tax return looming. And I will not write about politics right now.

Like everything good, I need to make it a habit. Life change – daily mindfulness, exercise, expression – write.

Track it, form the habit. Write, no matter how silly the output. And maybe I can make something of the ides stacked out there in my notes. In the flow, the self stops being the focus. Rationally, life is futile. We find or escape in the purpose we create.

Watching the painter painting…

With the sun hanging low on one of the last nice autumn days. Kate Bush singing about an Architect’s dream and painters in changing light.
Chores done.
Sounds of birds, with Bertie, when her son was young. Indulgent? A parent’s right!
Being in the moment, all done and not wanting.
What a wonderful feeling to truly experience life.
All you have to do is be there.