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“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past” – Thomas Jefferson

Hello, I’m Casv5-pp10-3d-righte Lane, author of the Life Online technothriller book series. Would you like some free insight into preparing for the challenges of the next century world?

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Nov 13

When You and Your Avatar Become One

What if you could live inside the world of your favorite show?

Do we really need to care about a world where some entities are human, and others are digital?  What would this world mean?

If we look at it in evolutionary terms, we only need to care if digital humans are a threat to our survival. For example, if we can no longer trade labor for the currency we need to purchase basic goods like food, then we will not be able to survive. In that scenario, we will be in conflict with the digital humans.

But if the digitals are only our ‘servants’ doing all the things we do not want to do, then the existence of these ‘helpers’ will proliferate.

And then what about if we ourselves do not really want to interact with humans, can we send a digital in our place?

What will it look like in the near future to be human and an avatar? Will your avatar be an exact digital rendering of you? Or can you customize it to look how you really want to look? You know – thin, sexy and beautiful.

These are questions you will need an answer for much sooner than you think. In 2013, a Russian billionaire revealed his plans to become immortal by 2045 by uploading his brain into a hologram body.  The idea is the computerized version of your brain matches with a hologram rendering of your body, and you live forever. To make this work, you should leave very specific instructions about how you want ‘future you’ to function. (If you want to know how this works out when everyone can do it, check out my fiction book The Unbroken Line).

Before we get there, how about living as an avatar in an online world that mirrors our own world. This was the idea behind Second Life – which still exists. An online game where you can create an avatar and operate it in the virtual world. But of course, you have to be present to play along.

So what about using artificial intelligence to ‘live’ without human control as an avatar. This is the hybrid between your controlled Second Life style avatar and your hologram body. In this land you can put your avatar on ‘auto-pilot’ by uploading your social media feed, or another digital reflection of who ‘you’ are – maybe videos – and let the avatar go. The A.I. would manage basic concepts like saying ‘hello’ to someone who said ‘hello’ to you, or running away from a (digital) grizzly bear. You could intervene when necessary or just watch your avatar navigate its own way.

How much time would people spend in this rendered world? Probably hours. Especially if the game became an extension of social media. Instead of posting to your friends, you could have a virtual town hall where all your friend avatars show up and get your updates. You could leave your trip photos running in a room of your house where your friends could come by and view them anytime – with commentaries. The scope is endless. Attending an online class would put the information directly into your ‘brain’ to be re-used in the real world whenever you need it.

Why do we want any of this? Because it’s entertainment. Because we love the idea of immortality. Of course there may also be tangible social benefits, but we do not know what those might be at this point.

There is also the commercial potential. Every store, and product, could be present in the rendered world. You as an avatar would be able to see everything you may ever be interested in buying. Even try it out in a simulated world. Of course the processing capabilities required for this could also be limiting, but once it gets up and running there will likely be no way to stop it.

If you want to understand how it could go wrong, and the kinds of questions we’ll be looking to answer in the future, I have a new romance future tech suspense thriller series called Ravencross by E. Avalon. The first three books – Embrace, Triumph and Whisper – are out now. Each book is a romance wrapped in a thriller with the future tech thrown in-between. The idea is the cast, crew and fans of a popular daytime drama become dangerously, and obsessively involved with each other while playing an A.I. enhanced online game based on the show. You can check out the books here.

DiAnd as soon as you finish reading, begin preparing to organize your digital information into the compartmentalized order your future fake brain will need to keep you going long after ‘you’ are gone.

Jun 28

Do you have to be an Entrepreneur to Earn a Decent Living in the Future World?

When Alibaba CEO Jack Ma announced his plans to support one million new jobs through online entrepreneurship, a new realization dawned. With fewer traditional jobs, automation, and outsourcing, an increased percentage of the population will have to create their own work. Ma is suggested they open an online storefront on Alibaba, and that advice may be timely and vital to future economic stability.

In my book The Motion Clue, medical scientist Dominique Dorth is a French North African who runs a global business from an island near Shanghai, China. The entire enterprise is based on the idea of providing unique remedies to people around the world. And her lifestyle as described in the book, fits neatly with Ma’s 2017 vision.

“…her preferred location was her lab, which was next to her pharmacy in one of the gold-plated skyscrapers on Shanghai’s Yangshan Island free trade zone. Exempt from import-export controls, she could order any legal ingredient, invent and test a new vitamin or supplement, and market the product to willing buyers around the world. Her lab included a production studio where she produced promotional and instructional videos for her products. With millions accessing her content as a consistent global audience that nicknamed her, ‘Dr. Dorth’, she was one of the most viewed people in the world.”– from The Motion Clue, Book 1 in the Life Online series

The character has an online storefront on the Internet, which provides her access to a global market encompassing the entire world population. We can guess she is able to employ a few dozen people (maybe hundreds) because her market is not limited by physical world constraints. This universal access, and uninhibited market reach is the vision Ma outlined at his own conference, Gateway ’17 held in Detroit in June 2017. He repeated his intention to support one million U.S. jobs by helping American entrepreneurs reach the Chinese market. China represents one-fifth of the world’s people. And Alibaba’s reach through the Internet covers the whole world. With rising consumer demand from China’s middle class looking for high quality products, Ma has a vision that small business entrepreneurs in the U.S. can use the Alibaba platform to create online storefronts, and those small businesses will employ at least a million people, just as the process works in China (estimated 12 million entrepreneurs, employing 30+ million people in China).

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Of course not only Chinese and Americans will be using Alibaba and similar platforms. As in the book, anyone will be able to access the services, and everyone will be in business with each other. This world does not require concerns about competition. In a world of extreme niches, every consumer is able to demand customized products. The economic winners will be businesses that provide outstanding customer service and consistent quality production and delivery.

One can envision some entrepreneurs like Dominique decided to launch an online storefront after being pushed out of traditional work either through automation or outsourcing. As these realities continue to hit the economy many people will realize their best chance to bounce back and continue to earn a living, may lie in knowledge, professional experience, hobbies or personal skill, which you can become a product or service to sell to the global marketplace. In Dominique’s case, she is a pharmacist who researches ancient remedies around the world and creates customized treatments for her global customers.

In today’s niche-consumer world, the average consumer does not want to be average. People are constantly looking for specific products aimed at their particular tastes. Recently I was shopping for a slim shoulder bag that my laptop would fit in. My specification requirements included specific shades of red or green (the colors of my company readyentrepreneur.com) that I also wanted to carry around. To find this bag, I was not going to go to a shopping mall and walk aimlessly through every store. I went online to Amazon.com. After entering a few search terms, I looked at various options and selected the one meeting my criteria – color, number of pockets, fits laptop, and also good reviews. Later, when I attended a conference carrying the bag, everyone commented on how much they liked it, and no one had heard of the manufacturer. The Internet is the infrastructure of the 21st century, playing the role taken by roads and railroads in the last century. But in contrast to the physical transportation infrastructure, cost and access to the Internet is inexpensive, and available to almost everyone.

The Alibaba platform was originally designed as a business-to-business e-commerce site, think Amazon (as they do) for entrepreneurs looking for other entrepreneurs to provide products and services. Today additional companies under the Alibaba umbrella provide consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales, and the entire behemoth is on its way to $400 billion in market cap value. By the way, this is a company projecting $1 trillion in revenue in the next three years. The growing consumer demand for deepening niches of products is the rising curve accelerating small businesses into global companies. In a hundred years, Alibaba or its successor is likely to be a multi-trillion dollar company, and the use of the site or another similar online commerce platform would be the standard for any business.

Online commerce will eventually drop the “online” and become just commerce. The Internet has made access to business services possible for anyone in the world. The business infrastructure is readily available to anyone who wants to use the software. The work of managing consumers, suppliers, finances, logistics and technology is performed by many competitive Internet companies, and new ones arrive every day. In contrast to last century manufacturers, in the Internet age, a company can focus only on creating a product or service, and outsource the manufacturing, delivery and record-keeping to other systems, again at a reasonable price.

Maintaining culturally-specific uniqueness will be a selling point for global niche products. The world’s consumers are waiting for products suiting their personalities, interests and desires. Although there are many cultures were conformity is still implemented, sometimes violently, these ways of thinking will be superseded by the world’s interconnected youth, liberated women and mobile workers. Think of the Filipina nurse who has worked in Saudi Arabia or New Zealand. Or the Barbadian restaurant manager who works on a cruise ship serving customers from ten countries traveling to twenty others. These global workers, spread their knowledge and experiences at home and abroad. And that movement is only expanding, not diminishing, as countries continue to build for a rising middle class, and expanding incomes promotes the demand for more professionals and service workers, including foreigners.

A globally mobile workforce is not governed by free trade agreements. Government contracts typically focus on commodity items a country is trying to protect such as wheat, coal, oil and automobiles. But unique items of clothing, or specific learning materials, or household decorations, or technology software or even health remedies face no online barriers to trade. Since individuals rarely turn down an opportunity to make money, even in the face of government policy or their neighbor’s disdain, the expanding online marketplace will not be controlled.

These new “Alibaba” entrepreneurs are likely going to be a significant force in influencing the ongoing expansion of a global, free trade, self-supporting, entrepreneurial, technology-driven and controlled, individually-minded world – just like in the Life Online series. This is a case where technology will drive human interaction, not government. Free trade automatically exists online and there is no government ability to end this reality. Even if legislators pulled the plug on the Internet, clever rogue technologists, like Life Online character Zylen Blain and his Cyber Army friends, would figure out how to directly deliver the connection services. Global free trade is a fact of economic life, and online entrepreneurs do not need a trade treaty to work with people all over the world.

However, the ongoing ability of technology to drive our activities, and help us make money, becomes even more ubiquitous in a world where the average entrepreneur has to think of the online presence as a branch of the business, not only a function of the business’s administration, like the accounting department. Although earning a living income online increases a person’s dependency on Internet technology, the benefits outweigh the risks as the number of people utilizing online services increases exponentially. When being online becomes the only way to function in the economy, the call to create a million jobs in 2017 may end up being completely understated.

For a real world explanation of how the rise of online entrepreneurs will influence and change the market, see another version of this blog created for today’s entrepreneurs at my site: http://www.readyentrepreneur.com.

Want to discuss these ideas? Send me an email: casechat(at)claneworld(dot)com.

For more information about the Life Online book series visit my website: http://www.claneworld.com

May 15

Is there a tech agenda in China’s One Belt One Road Initiative?

The market town – the one hub of commerce for a region, river or road – has now become Amazon.com. But more than two millennia ago, global market towns were the designated stopping routes on the Silk Road trading lanes covering half the world. And now with extensive publicity those roads appear to be reopening as part of China, and the world’s, biggest global infrastructure project. China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is expected to re-connect Asia, Europe and all the lands in-between via road, rail and shipping ports destined to change the face of world commerce. This week, Beijing hosted the largest diplomatic meeting to date to publicize and promote its intentions.

But behind all the fanfare, I have a question. What are the digital plans in this project?

After all, we are no longer dealing with camels and caravans and sailboats. In this 21st century resurrection of the old trade routes, does China have a plan for a digital network to guide, supplement or even, provide surveillance over global trade, and individual personal travel along the way? To begin, the One Belt One Road project refers to the literal construction of highways, railways and shipping ports accessing 65% of the world’s population, who today control one-third of world GDP and one-quarter of all the goods and services moved around the world.

In case you’re wondering, the belt is the physical roads, and the road is the seaways (I know confusing, but I guess belt and water did not work). Big numbers means big spending – the usual cost estimates start at the comfortably round $1 trillion price tag, and go up from there. Some commentators put the entire package at closer to $4 trillion. But, again depending on who you ask, this is not benevolence or aid – it’s loans from China to the receiving countries who then turn around and pay for China’s companies to complete the construction. So that’s the basics, what about the tech?

Now when I think about the tech impact, I’m imagining a Life Online scenario as it would play out in my technothriller books.  But to bring the ideas closer to home, think of the average consumer and the implications for online shopping. You could make your purchase for goods coming from anywhere in the world, and track the entire shipment from manufacturing through distribution along the new Silk Road. This would mean there is a control hub somewhere (maybe, in China) that effectively tracks all the cargo, and people, moving through the Belt and Road countries. The official reason for this would be to provide security and reassurance to commercial businesses. The unofficial reason could be to control a significant portion of world trade and to, at a moment’s notice, say, cut-off vital shipments bound for a country that may not be playing along with the bigger agenda. I’m thinking that’s a credible outline for a future Life Online thriller.

Surprisingly, the official news coverage of the One Belt One Road story does not really mention digital or electronic commerce, which is surprising. Why would they be building a replica of a two-thousand year old trading network? Why not update it for the 21st century?

I’ve seen some mention of the idea of a “Cyber Silk Road” in e-commerce. This refers to the opportunity for smaller companies to do business online and transport goods with more efficiency. Obviously all products will move faster than back in Marco Polo’s day. The number one impact of OBOR will be the shortening of transportation times, sometimes by half, from China to Central Asia and Europe. But is that all the digital productivity Belt and Road will offer?

In the Life Online books, the entire world is connected via The Network, which is run under the auspices of the United Nations. The Network tracks all human activity including trade and personal travel. If China has created a digital network connecting One Belt One Road, this independent project would one day need to be integrated with the world system. You can also imagine the military implications. The central hub for OBOR would be able to provide military interests with an up-to-the-second map of all activity on major trans-national roads and rails, and in ports, which would greatly facilitate strategic decision-making.

As a traveler, I love the idea of taking the Beijing to London railway one day. But as a future world observer, I cannot help but wonder what kind of technology underlies all of the OBOR projects, and whether or not the plans include surveillance and tracking. For that part of the story, we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, I think I should start working on the plot for the fictional version of the story.

If you want a detailed overview of OBOR check out this “visual explainer” from the South China Morning Post.

I also go into more detail about the initiative and the facts future tech folks can track in my You Tube video about OBOR.

And join the conversation on social media or let me know your thoughts via email.

Oct 31

The Life Online themes in the Popular Media

From time to time I read an article that captures the tone and themes of the Life Online stories.  The excerpt below is only a small part of a much broader New Yorker article “Does Trump’s Rise Mean Liberalism’s End? by Yuval Noah Harari on October 7, 2016.  But these quotes reminded me all to well of the social situation in The Origin Point that makes building a global surveillance and online network possible.  Although the book is only fictional, the world it describes is very real.

Quoting from the article…

“Disruptive technologies pose a particularly acute threat to the power of national governments and ordinary citizens. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, progress in the form of the Industrial Revolution produced concomitant horrors, from the Dickensian coal pits to Congo’s rubber plantations and China’s disastrous Great Leap Forward. It took tremendous effort for politicians and citizens to put the train of progress on more benign tracks. Yet while the rhythm of politics has not changed much since the days of steam, technology has switched from first gear to fourth. Technological revolutions now vastly outpace political processes.

The Internet suggests how this happens. The Web is now crucial to our lives, economy, and security, yet the early, critical choices about its design and basic features weren’t made through a democratic political process—did you ever vote about the shape of cyberspace? Decisions made by Web designers years ago mean that today the Internet is a free and lawless zone that erodes state sovereignty, ignores borders, revolutionizes the job market, smashes privacy, and poses a formidable global-security risk. Governments and civic organizations conduct intense debates about restructuring the Internet, but the governmental tortoise cannot keep up with the technological hare.

In the coming decades, we will likely see more Internet-like revolutions, in which technology steals up silently on politics. Artificial intelligence and biotechnology could overhaul not just societies and economies but our very bodies and minds. Yet these topics are hardly a blip in the current Presidential race. (In the first Clinton-Trump debate, the main reference to disruptive technology concerned Clinton’s e-mail debacle, and despite all the talk about job losses, neither candidate addressed the potential impact of automation.)

Ordinary voters may not understand artificial intelligence but they can sense that the democratic mechanism no longer empowers them. In actuality, the most crucial choices about the future of ordinary voters and their children are probably made not by Brussels bureaucrats or Washington lobbyists but by engineers, entrepreneurs, and scientists who are hardly aware of the implications of their decisions, and who certainly don’t represent anyone. But voters can’t see them or address them, so they lash out where they can. In Britain, voters imagined that power might have shifted to the European Union, so they voted for Brexit. In the United States, voters imagine that “the establishment” monopolizes all the power, so they are determined to give the system a kick in the groin and prove that they still have a say. This makes Trump the perfect candidate. Precisely because he is utterly unthinkable to the mainstream élite, he is the ideal way to prove to the system that the ordinary voter still retains some power—if only the power of mayhem.”

Further in the article, the following questions are posed:

What will happen to the job market once artificial intelligence outperforms humans in most cognitive tasks?

What will be the political impact of an enormous new class of economically useless people?

What will happen to relationships, families, and pension funds when nanotechnology and regenerative medicine turn eighty into the new fifty?

What will happen to human society when biotechnology enables us to have designer babies, and to open even larger gaps between the rich and poor?

These concerns highlight the challenge facing everyone who remains alert and aware of the technological changes that are sweeping through our society.  The question is – what to do about it?

 

Sep 24

Our Descent into Stepford Wives and the Premise Of The Origin Point

 

stepford-wives-1975_4151“I don’t think the avethe-origin-point-white-3drage American is really going to cry about the price they’re paying, most of them are already enwrapped with their mobiles. We are talking about a population barely looking up as they go through their day. People have no idea how often they are viewed on camera.”

“I know. Indifference is one development I have never reconciled. When did people become so complacent?”…

…”Most people are not using the smartphone to do anything smart. They are scrolling through social media updates.”
“Which means they’ll barely notice when our system comes online, and we track and store their every move.”
“No, they’ll walk right into the process.”
“With their heads down.” Both laughed.

– Julia and Marco in The Origin Point

What if all the people around you were slowing, literally or figuratively, turning into robots, would you give in or fight for your humanity? Some believe the transformation process has already begun. Our collective decision to become addicted to digital software in all forms from social media to gaming, has transformed the way people interact, or not, with one another.

By the middle of this century, the U.S. population will be pushing 400 million people. How will the government cope without advanced technological tools to maintain law and order, and to ensure efficiencies? In The Origin Point a future tech cyber novella, officials run a secretive plan to get all Americans onto a global surveillance and online tracking system. In summary – when you are online, the government would know by tracking every click on your mobile, tablet and laptop; and when you are offline, the government would know by following you with ground surveillance cameras, sensors and overhead satellites. Why? The official reason would be to catch terrorists before they act. The unofficial reason would be quite simply to manage the population.

Government will need to maintain control, but could their requirement push officials to transform us literally or figuratively into Stepford Wives? The original 1975 movie, The Stepford Wives, is one of the scariest films I have ever seen (much better than the 2004 remake). Not so much because of the production, but definitely because of the story. Based on a book by Ira Levin, the story (sort of spoiler) is about a town where the men have converted their wives into robots who do everything they say. And the one last hold out…okay go find the movie, I won’t give it away.

The men have an overwhelming desire for perfect, submissive wives. Women who cook, clean, look after the children, and perform sexually without comment or complaint. And this desire is stronger than the need to function with a human partner. When you think about the technological capabilities evolving today, the question becomes: would a government ever reach the same conclusion?

I’ll optimistically say ‘No,’ sort of. The government has no need to literally turn everyone into robots, but it does have a mandate to manage the population and ensure order. Influence peddlers in politics and the media already work to solidify collective ideas about history, geopolitical events, even fashion and sports. People are constantly shamed into saying and doing ‘what’s right,’ and the public has a vocal and singular vision of what ‘right’ should be. What’s to say the next level of social pressure would not be the creation of an official template upon which every human should live their lives, and implementing the tech tools to ensure everyone signs up and falls in line. This is partly the reason governments come to champion the omnipresent Network, in the Life Online book series.

The Origin Point is the first prequel to the Life Online series. The story provides the background for the creation of The Network, an online tracking and surveillance system, which will be solidly in place by the next century. The reason the government operators in the story are so focused on implementing the system is national security. They see a threat that can only be fought through watching everyone at all times. But to make the concept palatable to the average person, they connect the system to consumer services not only shopping and banking, but also education, healthcare and tax filing. This provides the average citizen with extraordinary conveniences – no more standing in line, filling out forms, researching information – all those tasks are automatically completed. Eventually people can do everything online, and since all consumer information is available the system becomes capable of providing ‘life instructions’ to people based on the stored data? The Network starts first suggesting what people should do, but over time, people cease thinking, and The Network is in complete control.

Why does this remind me of The Stepford Wives? Because the government is going for order and obedience, just like the men in the story. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to run the world if everyone did what the government wanted (assuming a benevolent dictatorship)? In the Life Online world, crime is almost eradicated. Health care costs are controlled because premiums are tied to exactly what people are eating, their exercise, even the environment where they live (which prompts people to fight for environmental protection). Education is all online, so every person is accounted for, the exact level of a person’s competence in a subject is known and jobs are offered directly to those who are trained. Tax revenues are calculated to the minute, even if there are loopholes, the process is transparent. Government spending is tracked to the nickel (pennies no longer exist), and taxpayers can demand accountability based on real data.

Essentially, this is the trade-off: convenience and efficiency versus privacy and personal decision-making? Which concepts will win? As of 2016, the shortage of technologists, lack of government initiative, and haphazard commitment to high tech transformation means privacy and thinking are winning. The government does not have the resources, human or capital, to implement a system like The Network. But the government could authorize the resources for itself at any time, and that is where the danger lies.

That’s essentially the unraveling for The Stepford Wives. Once the men realize they can implement the robot plan…it happens. When people are not really aware of a tactical plan designed for control, they cannot mobilize to fight back. If people function without recognizing where the danger lies, those who are better prepared and set with their own agenda…will win.

How deep will our complacency go before we, the entire population, end up like The Stepford Wives? That’s remains the fundamental question for those of us tracking the unintended consequences of the technological revolution.

 

Sep 09

ELECTION 2016: Is there a Political Party envisioning America in a Future Tech world?

The short answer is NO.

Why do you care?:   Exhibit A – housing prices in Silicon Valley.

America’s money and America’s future are in technology. Future jobs, wealth, growth and our advancement as a society will come from the technology industry. Our ability to defend ourselves against enemies will require advanced technological tools against those that purport to destroy our way of life. If we are constantly building an advanced, future tech America that neither our trade competitors nor our ideological enemies could envision, we will remain one, no, one hundred steps ahead. The industrial age has passed, the tech age must be embraced. But you would never know from the rhetoric in the major party campaign platforms. Continue reading

Aug 15

Apple, The FBI and the End of Detective Work

If The Network’s digital eyes were able to capture his full facial view, it would likely register an anomaly, and prompt a tracer protocol to determine where the human had originated his trip and the entire route of his travel. SDetective - free imageergei’s artificial adjustment was only designed to avoid instant recognition, by slowing The Network down. The Network did not disregard humans who attempted to evade its surveillance protocols. Any human digitally caught wearing a disguise would be automatically flagged by an automated suspicious behavior tracker, and stay on a watch file waiting for another report.
– from The Unbroken Line

Wither Sherlock Holmes. The word ‘detective’ has its roots in the Latin ‘de’ which is to reverse and ‘tegere’ which means cover, in other words, ‘to uncover.’  History and everyday life, for the moment, tell us a detective is the person uncovering the clues to crimes. And pop culture has provided us with a string of memorable stars from Holmes to Friday (that’s Joe Friday from 1950s TV show Dragnet) to Crocket and Tubbs (80s TV Miami Vice) to Olivia Benson (after 17 TV seasons, yes you know who that is) and back to a resurgent Holmes. Yet despite the contemporary intrigue surrounding the famous British detective character, the joyous wonder of watching a human being use skill and expertise to wade through facts is fading with the co-opting of technology to do the tasks human eyes and brains used to do at a crime scene. Continue reading

May 30

Yes or No to Sex – Is a Consent App a Good Answer?

“On this I know my risks and they are sky-high. Are you okay with it or not?”
Janna frowned at him, then half smiled. “All right fine. The answer is yes,yes, you can record me if you want. I am one hundred percent okay with it.”
Hagen picked up his com and pointed the device towards her mouth. “Can you repeat your consent, please?”
“Seriously?”
“It was your idea. And a voice modulator app will be able to detect whether you’re under duress when you speak. I always forget I have it.”
Janna looked at the com with disdain. “Did you make Kadie do this?” Janna asked emphasizing the Commander’s name.
Hagen feigned shock. “Uhhh…how dare you. That’s so inappropriate and totally unanswerable.”
“So, no.”
“No comment. Where were we again? Oh yeah, the CYA part.” He held up the com again.
Janna looked at him, then at the com. “Fine,” she said reaching out, and pulling his hand, holding the com, closer to her mouth. Hagen touched an icon, then Janna clearly stated, “Under no threat or duress, I, Janna Marric am saying yes, I am one hundred percent okay with having sex with Hagen Writstone.”
Hagen grinned as he touched the icon again. “Thank you,” he said pulling her into his arms.

– from The Unbroken Line

Consent App screenshotThe latest affirmative consent app called Yes to Sex has come out with a college campus version to be tailored to a school’s requirements. It is not as sophisticated as the app on the com (smartphone) described above in the outtake from the technothriller The Unbroken Line, but it’s another step towards using technology to fight crime and gather digital evidence. In the novel, you can state your consent and the app uses a voice modulation feature to determine if you’re under duress. In today’s technology, the app only goes as far as making the recording.

Continue reading

Nov 01

Living Forever with a Simulated Conscience – The Premise of The Unbroken Line

hologram google free imagethe-unbroken-line-2-3d

 

On the day of death, most humans know whether or not they have ended their biological line’s existence on earth. If the departed passes with no biological children (and none on the way), and no stored reproductive DNA, an unbroken line ends irreversibly. At that point, the opportunity to continue to genetically and psychologically influence the lives of others is over, the once-in-a-lifetime window to prolong a 3.8 billion year process, gone forever. The finality is absolute. Or is it?

Continue reading