Not Growing Up…Just Getting Older

The Mick

When I was 10, the New York Yankees were the “best-est” thing ever in the whole world. The world at that time was the entire Bronx. Yogi Berra (8), Joe Pepitone (25), Roger Maris (9) and Mickey Mantle (7) were the bubble gum cards that got you respect and honor in any schoolyard. The Yankees were so cool, that the candy at Ida’s Sweet Shop on Burke Avenue was named after them. Baby Ruth bars and the M&M boys. And Yogi sold Yoo-hoo Chocolate drink on TV. To be fair, Gil Hodges from the Brooklyn Dodgers, also sold Maypo on TV. But Maypo was a hot, maple flavored oatmeal cereal, not peanuts and nougat wrapped in chocolate. The Yankees were, as was candy, the biggest thing to that point in my decade long life.

I remember that on long hot summer days, you licked the salty sweat that dribbled down your face from your lips as the sun bounced off the concrete of the schoolyard’s ball field and blasted you from below and above. Squinting, you watched Joey Mangione wind up to pitch a black electrical tape wrapped, “clincher” softball at you. At that second you fantasized that you would step into the bucket, explode your rear hip and extend perfectly through the swing, connecting on the fat part of the bat and send that ball right over the 12-foot chain link fence into the traffic on Bronxwood Avenue – just like Mantle or Maris! Extra points if you hit Mr. Deputo’s old salmon and dingy white, colored Studebaker that never moved from the spot outside his house.

In all that time, the thought of actually meeting Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle was the same fat chance as going to the moon. We’d hang out on River Avenue at 161st street outside the Stadium after the game. And sure, maybe we’d catch a glimpse of Tresh, Richardson, Boyer, Whitey Ford even Mantle, but they were out of there like a shot. Piling onto the team bus or beyond reach on the other side of a blue, police stanchion line. A couple of dorky lawyer’s kid’s from the suburbs usually got up front to get an autograph or shake a hand. But not us, we was nobody’s kids. We was just Bronx guys.

Now I am considerably older than I was back in the 60’s and hero worship has gone the way of the Studebaker – free agented and drug tested out of existence. But we did eventually go to the moon. And so did I, last week, in fact.

Now that I am an author, my heroes have changed. The new “Yankees” in my life are the literary team that plays at the top of the New York Times standings. Guys and gals who can hit the long ball out 20 to 30 million books. Men and women who keep their percentages up by coming to bat and connecting… connecting with their fans. At Thrillerfest, the International Thriller Writer’s convention that I attended last week, I met the Mickey Mantles and Roger Maris’ of the game I play in now.

My hero worship, adjusted for age and decorum, returned. The same awe and esteem by which I held The Mick and the rest of the pinstripe company was back and at full gush. So that’s how me, a kid from the Bronx, wound up just shooting the breeze for twenty minutes with Nelson DeMille, a kid from Queens. We didn’t talk baseball much, but I did get his autograph… on his latest book, Radiant Angel.

Here’s the thing. In my life, as a Director – Writer – Producer – Author, I have met and worked with some of the biggest stars, names, celebrities and musicians ever and never asked for a picture… but here’s me and Nelson from Jamaica.

Tom and Nelson Cropped

THE DRAMA ON THE ROAD TO NUMBER 1

TDQ_No_1 BIG

Recently my novel, The Devil’s Quota,  became a number one best seller. As you can imagine, that’s a great feeling and personal satisfaction for any author. However, I couldn’t help but immediately reflect on the perils and precarious pitfalls that occured along the way in creating this book.  During that time in the trenches I wrote a blog chronicling one such close call that could have ended in literary disaster; almost fatally wounding the entire book. It was just a small thing but one that would have cut the very beating heart out of the story.

On this, the occasion of this my second #1 bestseller, (The Eighth Day was my first) I thought re-running that blog, and by reflection, my mindset at a time when the notion of being #1 was a million miles away, when I was solely focused on the editorial and submission of the manuscript. Enjoy.

Modesty, Chastity, Young Love and the Taliban

Tom Avitabile | SetaraRight smack dab in the middle of editing my fourth book The Devil’s Quota – which is set in New York City, upper New York State, Canada and Afghanistan – I felt I had constructed a beautiful love story between an American G.I. and a local Afghan girl. It was all very lovely and very soft around the edges. I was positive that I had captured the true euphoria of that first spark of love, infusing into the relationship the electric sensation two soul mates tingle with every time they meet. I topped off that exchange of energy with its titillating aftermath and breathless anticipation of their next encounter. I even threw in a dash of the fanciful ‘what if’ and the ‘what when’ dreams that occupy their every idle moment.

From a plot perspective, I had set their encounter at the community well, literally at the most nurturing and central location of a war-ravaged, dirt poor Afghan farm village. I had Sgt. Eric Ronson, the perfect male hero for a love interest; a strong, strapping young warrior buck.  As for my femme extraordinaire I had an incredibly radiant, simple farm girl, Setara.  I even had over-arching symbolism in their meeting across not only the walls of the well but the one million walls between their cultures.

So I had it, the forbidden love, fighting to survive against the prejudices, mores and  traditions of the times in which they live.  And then….

The burqa happened.

Or more correctly my editor, Sue Rasmussen happened …  to come across in her research that, according to the taliban, which is known to shoot you if you do not comply, women have to wear a burqa in public. That means fully covered, without the tiniest slit for the eyes! However, the inherent slapstick comedy of women walking into walls and bumping into things is avoided with a dark mesh over the eyes. (See, the Taliban isn’t totally unreasonable.)

But I, however, walked right into a wall. The whole “their eyes met” gone, the descriptives like “the radiance on her face” gone, the insightful “he could see her attempt to suppress her elation over seeing him,” gone!

Conclusion: There is absolutely nothing on the romantic attractor side of a story if the taliban were to write it. One of many good reasons never write a Taliban-based love story, because in a world lousy with taliban, all marriages are arranged. The young-ins have absolutely no say with whom they shall grow old. In short, romance, as we would artfully construct it, becomes a charge listed on an order of execution, read aloud before the stoning to death of the young girl.  

So you can see that the Western-accepted, innocent, G-rated acts like two kids smiling at one another, God forbid holding hands, a scandalous peck on the cheek or the public humiliation and spectacle caused by him merely gazing upon her naked face, in the taliban world, puts a crimp in my romantic story. It is also a fatal AK47 bullet wound through my entire book because I need that relationship in Afghanistan as the emblematic inciting incident for the rest of the story. Those characters also become major players as the story unfolds.

At this point, I’ve got a lot riding on Afghanistan and it’s being spoiled by a thin veil of mesh fabric. That means my two love interests will pass in the night or at least the darkness of the taliban-imposed morality police.

So I took my case to the Google World Court and I looked up images of Afghan women and right there in vivid, living color, in stills taken recently, are images of many women in burqas, but then my heart stopped, almost like my male character’s, when I saw the one woman among them in the hijab. Then, I found many photographs of hijab-clad women among the populace.

The hijab saved my life.

The hijab, more like a loosely worn scarf around the head, allowing full facial features rescued my love story. Now I actually have photographic proof that hijabs and burqas can co-exist with men in the same public space.

Saved! Book back on course. Everything’s good with me. Not so much with the women living under oppression though. Hmmmm, maybe that’s another book?

Buy this book! The best deal on the Internet @ 99¢ for a limited time only!

ATW

The best deal on the Internet @ 99¢ for a limited time only!

After The Wanderers by George Cannistraro

“A surprisingly adept decent into hell and ascent into life.”

This review is from: After The Wanderers (Paperback)

The Summer of Love has been romanticized by many, in hundreds of books and films of the 60’s, but in ‘After The Wanderers‘, Cannistraro allows us to relive it, in a truly wonderful, non-romanticized, ‘warts and all’ LSD trip. In marked contrast to the literary, well trodden, flower power nostalgia of Haight-Ashbury, Carnaby Street and Woodstock, Cannistraro sets his turf in the mean streets of the Bronx.

At times poignant, and at times laugh out loud funny, this lush chronicle of coming of age, in the Age of Aquarius, is set against the background of urban strife, racial tensions, anti-war protests and raging hormones, literally on drugs. And like the times, his main character’s journey is part acid trip, part rock ‘n roll concert and part free love. With a couple of rumbles, scams and the funniest wedding I have ever read about in print. Denoted with sage lyrics from the music of that time, those words become the poetry and headlines to not only the content of the book but of the decade the story is set in. In all, a gripping read that spans generations by shamelessly reveling in our basic need to feed our human desires. – I’m Tom Avitabile, I am an author and I loved this book!

After The Wanderers – The best deal on the Internet @ 99¢ for a limited time only!

The Scary, Scary World Inside the Female

 

 

No wait, why don’t I just pull a pin on a grenade and wait 5 seconds…it will be the same as trying to survive this blog or any discussion that dares to invade the inner sanctum or reasoning process of half the human raceby the male half.


I am in the finishing phase of my 5th novel, Give Us This Day, and for some unknown reason, I risked my life and limb to stubbornly, not only write a book with a female leading character and hero (heroine!) but to have the audacity to go inside her, to delve into her psyche and foolishly think I could come out with my cognitive skills and self-image intact!


Note to all male authors: When delving into the working of the female mind, always, always, always assume that you are wrong. Then just ask any female and you’ll quickly confirm just how wrong you are.  But then ask another female and see how wrong the first woman was! — No, no, no, not that Female #2 agrees with you, noooo, you are not even on the same page as her, the terrifying reality is that she doesn’t agree with Female #1!

Okay, so back to me. I recently was enlightened to the fact that having a male character ask a female character for permission to call her by her first name, i.e. “May I call you, Brooke?” Is actually worse than chauvinisticThis critique hit me like I was T-Boned in my new Corvette just as I was pulling out of the dealer’s lot. I quote from the response of a woman whom I sought out not only for her brilliance but also because she is, like my protagonist, Brooke Burrell-Morton, a powerful person of achievement and position, who was kind enough to read and comment my manuscript, …


It’s huge power play and condescending for a man to address a woman who is an equal or better by her first name.   It’s like him asking her to get coffee for him.  She’s [Brooke is] a sharp cookie and should be offended or at least think he’s a sexist a**hole by his asking. 


I had two simultaneous thoughts when I read that… First, thank God for her and her sharing that critical piece of social decorum of which I was totally unaware, ill-informed and insensitiveAs, apparently, were a few other female early readers who missed it. (See Female#2) 


My second thought was…I am never going to talk to a woman ever again, God knows how many faux pas I commit per minute in just even the most innocent and casual chat with someone of the opposite sexYikes, I don’t want to ever be a sexist a**hole, EVER! Much less announce and confirm that fact in unretractable, New Times Roman set 12 on 12 in 435 pages that will live-on somewhere or on some shelf or digital file till the sun flickers out. 


Now, on second thought, where’s that hand grenade?

 

When what you write creeps you out!

Photo Credit: NY Post

I don’t know if this is really in the “It’s Only Fiction `til It Happens” pocket, but I wrote a scene set in Paris where bad guys cover some money laundering tracks by blowing up an art gallery and killing the people who work there. The French authorities never suspect any foul play because the perpetrators made it look like a gas leak explosion.  A few weeks ago, a real building exploded here in Manhattan’s East Village. Two people died. God rest their souls.

It made me feel creepy.  It also made me think.

Last year a whole apartment building, up in Harlem, was destroyed in a gas explosion. When you consider the fact that gas is in 99.9 percent of every home, apartment house and business in the developed world, it’s amazing that it doesn’t happen with more frequency. I guess the fact that when it does happen, it makes the news, bodes well for how relatively safe it is worldwide.

In The God Particle, I used a gas emergency to ferret out some bad guys in a European neighborhood.  And in a Bourne movie, he breaks the gas line and puts a magazine in the toaster. When it pop the whole house pops along with it. Steven Segal turned on the gas jets in the galley of a battleship and threw something in the microwave and set it for “Boom.” So using gas as a deadly device in fiction is not new. It’s how you trigger it that is the area for “fresh air”, i.e. toasters, ringing phones, electrical contacts attached to doorways that spark, etc.  By the way, none of those igniters are what I used in my novel, but you’ll have to wait till October 20th when, “Give Us This Day” premieres at a bookstore near you.

But still, having a real deadly explosion, so close to my fictionalized deadly explosion is a little unnerving.

Tomorrow, I will write of an author who wins Powerball! Let’s see if this “mojo” maintains.

 

When you write BIG keep it small.

Lesson learned this week: 

Epic, Sweeping, and Grand, don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that…

Interpersonal, character-revealing, reflective expositive reveal of the character of your CHARACTERS.

Now, how’s that for a mouthful? 

130,000 words of Epic, Sweeping, and Grand manuscript hit my publisher’s desk with a thump. (Metaphorically, because I sent it as a word file) He lauded it as “terrific”, the plot fresh and ingenious, the new lead character totally carrying the novel, and the last two acts are overflowing with action (and he meant that in a good way).  He went on to say that he loved the scale of the story.

unnamedPretty good, right? Considering that my dear publisher slotted in Give Us This Day, my fifth book, “sight unseen” last year into his prestigious slate of releases for 2015 and the submission of the manuscript was his first hint as to what it was about. His trust in my work and me was unwavering and complete.

But…

After all that, praise, all that positive feedback, he made ONE, little teeny-weeny note. He said he’d have liked to have seen a little more “sense of fellowship” meaning that sense of companionship between the characters.  He was right. Due to the “fish-out-of–water” nature of the beginning of the story, I purposely wrote the characters as all business. What he felt he missed in this BIG story of mine was the little asides about life or quirks that he felt I did so well in my previous four novels, which he published.

SO NOW, PANIC!

Couldn’t sleep for a week. How to…, What to…, How will…, How does…, started and stopped a hundred mental debates in my head between me and the story.  I’d suggest a scenario in a specific place where a little personal jib-jab could occur and then the story side of me said, “Appears, forced!” “Doesn’t flow.” “Useless appendage here.” “Slows the story, as it’s building.”

Let me tell you, the story side of me is tough!

So, finally a week later, with my pen between my legs (Bad turn of the phrase, I realize, now that I wrote it) …tail between my legs, I asked my publisher “LIKE WHAT?”

At this point, I need to tell you that my publisher is a genius. Not because of what he says, but because of what he doesn’t needlessly say. In one succinct line, he ended my turmoil by name dropping one of my minor characters: Nigel. 

Cue the angelic music: Ahhhh Ahhhhhh. 

That was at 5:45 a.m. last Tuesday.  I was really late to the office that day because at 5:46 the whole missing human connection of my story laid out before me like a GPS map. The ‘tilty’ kind in 3D that looks like you’re up in a plane seeing all the way to Grandma’s house. I immediately saw all the good and further story interconnections that paid for the ink, this new facet of the novel consumed. This one drop of gold that he strategically placed in my brain energized and elevated the entire book – in at least four places in the story!  I eventually left for the office mid-morning! The book was 2200 words heavier, but a million times more wonderful.

I entered the office with a smile that most people would assume is due to having gotten lucky, the night before.  In fact, I had gotten lucky at 5:45 a.m. Actually, upon reflection, I got lucky years ago when I met, Lou Aronica of The Story Plant and he published my first book.

Now if I could just fix that other little nagging thing about the scandalous affair in the second act. 

Uh oh, panic rising…

The only “Big Bang” that is left is in Porno!

4f949c8252674.imageIn my novel, The God Particle, the forces of Science and Religion are pitted against one another in a battle as old as Copernicus and the Catholic Church.

The conflict between Science and Religion has been raging throughout history and reflected in the art and literature of every culture. Even in movies, i.e., Inherit the Wind.  The two sides are dug in, each convinced that their understanding of the way things came about, the way things are and what will happen next, is the correct version of the “Truth.”

Embarking on a book that had as its subtitle, “The Super-Collision of Science, Religion and Terror,” I quickly realized I’d better know that of which I write.  The overwhelming conclusion from my research for The God Particle is that religion is dismissed by intellectuals as a myth, a fairy tale, and the opiate of the masses. Implicit in that designation was that the “masses” were “Asses.” That perception is based on the statement, “Science is fact…period!” All other explanations are inventions of fantasy for those of lesser intelligence to wrap themselves in.  Truth be told, that’s the kind of proposition you’d expect from Science, where proof, logic and empirical data rule the roost.

On the other side, although not as prevalent, are many of those in the Faith/Religion camp who are of the opinion that it is, in fact, Science that is mentally incapable of fathoming the inescapable conclusion that there is intelligent design. That there was a divine hand in all of this, mixing the primordial soup that was the nascent universe. These “believers in God” find comfort and solace in their religious belief that all of this is not an accident of a cosmic chemistry set being driven by Newtonian forces to cool and congeal into “Everything.”

But last week, Science took a bad hit.  The scientific fact that the universe was created in a Big Bang event 13 billion years ago has been rocked to its molten core. So indelible, so entrenched was this “Truth,” that Nobel Prizes were awarded for two engineers from AT&T who discovered the echoes of the Big Bang in the far outer reaches of the universe. That’s how cocksure Science was of its facts. And Yet…

So where does that leave the debate? Well, to me it means that Scientists, Intellectuals and adopters of the scientific method and it’s rock solid conclusions, turn out to be just as prone to myth as the “religious believers” except the science-based people believe in a different myth. A scientifically provable myth! But their scientific proof is only as good as the method they use. Being human scientists, the only insight they gain is built upon assumptions in science made earlier. In other words, science-minded folks derive comfort in their myth because it is proven by their own math, logic and evolving science (whose metamorphosis’s is built upon the very same expanding science doctrine, so it has the incestuous ability to compound any error made in the first steps, i.e.: The Big Bang) Another ironic way to look at this is that the blind devotion to scientific logic is fallible because an earlier error or misdiagnosis, leads to revised theories and are then used as “Gospel” in proving the next logical step or advancement of scientific doctrine.

So in the end, The Big Bang has lead to the Big Mess. Science has been proven by its own methods to be just as mythically based as Religion. Therefore, can the claim now be made that scientists are the priests and shaman of a belief system that is just as fanciful a faith-based doctrine, as those who they accuse of being religious? The only difference being that their religion of science is one that excludes God.  Nonetheless, what we learned last week was that science’s “facts” are just as suspect as those tenets of their religious counterparts.

14_largeNow, not that I am a genius, but I saw this coming. Way back in my research I realized that there is no way to win, prove or even be ahead in this debate between religion and science. No matter what side you are on, it’s circular. But, I did do one thing that was genius; I quoted one. In the very first pages of The God Particle you’ll find this quote, the smartest thing anybody ever said about the issue, from a member of the Scientific Hall of Fame no less:

All Religion, Arts and Sciences are branches of the same tree. – Albert Einstein.

Works for me…

Live from New York, it’s only fiction `til it happens. 

In my second novel, The Hammer of God, a massive terrorist plot, which the nation was expecting, fizzles. But unfortunately for the terrorists, their pre-recorded on-line propaganda video, taking responsibility for the devastating attack (which didn’t happen) runs as scheduled.

In response to the collective relief of the nation over the terror of just the impending threat alone, and the premature celebratory faux pas by the inept terror group, Saturday Night Live does a comedy sketch depicting the terrorist as premature ejaculators. Using a Jihad-John type who can get through his rant as he keeps having dreaded and unmanly early “arrivals”.

That was the fiction part. (read an edited excerpt below)

isis-620x412Two weeks ago, SNL ran a commercial that started out like the sappy super bowl car ad where the dad has to let his college aged daughter (50 Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson) go out in to the world and make her own way.

Only, the comedic reveal is that she is joining ISIS as a bride.

In both these instances, my fiction and our reality, America deals with the unthinkable by whistling past the graveyard.

For it’s daring to make fun of savages who kill brutally on a wholesale basis, SNL has received its share of condemnation on the Internet. But I feel many miss the point, taste or lack of it aside, this skit, this parody of a real commercial is based on a gruesome reality that is happening right now! For some unfathomable reason, young woman from America and other western countries are leaving their families to become, essentially, female slaves and baby factories for the savages of ISIS.

In my first book, The Eighth Day, I deal with a psychological manipulation/programming of people when they are online by images that are fed to their subconscious by the computer. This subliminal suggestion compels them to do unthinkable things against all societal norms and self-preserving instincts. ISIS has shown great production and social media ability, could this inexplicable behavior of young women possibly be caused by the same type of manipulation that is the premise of my first book? It’s only fiction `til it happens!

Edited excerpt from page 287 of The Hammer of God:

Also priceless was the almost pitiful way the terrorist spokesperson was bragging about the success of the attack and its abrupt removal from the airwaves.

Along with a giant sigh of national relief, … two final cultural nails were put into the coffin of the loose nuke nightmare. The first was that the web- site, MyCEP.com, went from four million hits a day, down to forty-four. Then came a “Saturday Night Live” parody of the Al Jazeera “Melted Ships” video. In this version, the masked terrorist spokesperson kept having premature orgasms as he tried to follow the script. It ended with a shot of 72 virgins, some bored, some sleeping, and some playing solitaire up in Heaven.

The audience response was the convulsive laughter born out of the deep terror shared just a few days earlier.

Tantalus or Daedalus?

artificial-intelligence-job-killer-or-your-next-boss1

In the last blog post, “We are at day Four of the Eighth Day,” I wrote of the threat that could be posed to the human race by the new race of Artificially Intelligent machines that we are building.  Just like in my book, The Eighth Day, the Artificial Intelligence entity, in a last ditch attempt to save its sentient life because we have figured out it wants to eradicate humankind, offered up a host of technological miracles to temporarily seduce us.

Imagine for a minute that you are one hundred years in the future.  As one of the few survivors of the global uprising of the machines, you are looking back to see how this whole enslavement and eradication of the human race happened. You find an old iMac. On it is the last Goggle page searched by some blogger, (me), as he was writing an article. This is what you would see in the search results for Artificial Intelligence.

  • Search Results: 14 found.
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Ordered by descending date.
  • Clicking on ^ opens the link in a new window.

Pages: 1    ALL

Race to embrace Artificial Intelligence… ^

January 04, 2015 22:12:36 GMT

Century-Long Study Will Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence… ^

From the December 15, 2014 22:52:46 GMT

Stephen Hawking: ‘Artificial intelligence could spell end of human race’… ^

From the December 02, 2014 18:19:51 GMT

Artificial Intelligence Outperforms Average High School Senior… ^

From the November 04, 2014 12:49:24 GMT

IBM artificial intelligence to get broad access to TWITTER data… ^

From the October 29, 2014 20:57:48 GMT

Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon’… ^

From the October 24, 2014 19:16:52 GMT

ELON MUSK: Artificial Intelligence Could Wipe Out Humanity… ^

From the October 10, 2014 01:09:00 GMT

ELON MUSK: Artificial Intelligence Could Wipe Out Humanty… ^

From the October 09, 2014 15:58:02 GMT

IBM plans artificial intelligence push… ^

From the October 07, 2014 22:44:14 GMT

Hawking: Artificial intelligence could be ‘real danger’ in near future… ^

From the June 16, 2014 17:44:26 GMT

Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone… Academics warn of dangerous future… ^

From the June 08, 2014 16:12:40 GMT

FACEBOOK Joins NYU in Artificial Intelligence Lab… ^

From the December 09, 2013 21:48:50 GMT

Disease database will use artificial intelligence to find new cancer treatments… ^

From the November 13, 2013 00:14:49 GMT

‘Artificial intelligence to transform web’… ^

From the December 29, 2010 14:39:00 GMT

If you actually took the time to read the above what you saw was the Tantalus propositions mixed in with the dire warnings.  This is always the way humans fall prey to something. Seeing only the benefit without weighing the potential risks. After all, who cares if a few smart guys cry wolf over A.I.? How can we possibly let their “chicken little rantings” stand in the way of Artificial Intelligence finding new cancer treatments!

Just like in my book, The Eighth Day, the Artificial Intelligence entity in a last ditch attempt to save its sentient life offered up a host of technological miracles. Quantum leap advancements that only it’s artificially intelligent born brain, unfettered, by human limitations, emotions and compassion could achieve.  Tantalizing gifts like curing cancer, unending food supplies, eternal life and interplanetary travel.

Moral: The devil always comes to you with candy!

 

We are at day four of the Eighth Day!

sabotA few headlines jumped out at me last week:

Bill Gates is worried about artificial Intelligence too.

Rise of the robots at AOL lead to job cuts.

Apple smashes records reporting highest profits in history.

Well, well, Bill Gates has joined in the warnings over AI.  Just like in my novel, “The Eighth Day.”

This eerie development parallels the fears of the fictitious group I created in that novel called, The Sabot Society.   At the time, I made them out to be a bunch of nuts, albeit dangerous nuts with bombs, that were warning about machines taking over, but today their previously fictional ranting of a “dig-topian” future enjoys highly esteemed company in the likes of Bill Gates, Stephen Hawkins and Elon Musk.

What are they seeing that you don’t when you look at your iPhone for a text message or video? Only the eventual enslavement of the human race by machines. In one scenario proffered by a professor at some lofty college, we are doomed. In her vision of the future, we inefficient humans face eventual eradication by artificially intelligent machines “who” will deem us as messy, unorganized, illogical wastes of energy consumption.
Before it gets to that though, I think it will come down to socio-economic “conversion.” This proposition will be proffered by a new class that rises out of the beneficiaries of automation; the “Technosapian Elite.” They will be those last few humans who will wrongly believe that the machines are our friends and only looking out for the betterment of mankind. They will offer a “Sacrifice of Abraham” style of choice. They will enforce a societal norm that will be positioned as a choice; you can have a computer or a child, but not both.  They will justify this ungodly option with facts, namely, that there will be no place in the work force for your offspring in a world of computers, they won’t be able to support themselves.

Orig.src_.Susanne.Posel_.Daily_.News-robots.replace.humans.work_.artificial.intelligence.2025_occupycorporatismA leading economist has calculated that today there are only enough jobs on Earth to support a global population of 3 billion. However, the United States Census Bureau estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012. The rise of A.I. will inexorably lead to machines designing better machines. As these new super machines take over more and more human tasks the number of current jobs in the world could be cut by one third… in the next decade!

If you doubt that, remember why Steve Jobs told President Obama that an iPhone could never be made here in America. He said that if he needed a million more iPhones, he could just call China and they’d work day and night through the weekend and make them. He pointed out that you can’t do that in the U.S.

Please take dire note: Foxcon the main Chinese manufacturer of iPhones is falling apart. Its “workers” are committing suicide rather than work like slaves. There are 40,000 guards “protecting” 20,000 workers at one plant. Now Apple, the company that just posted the largest earnings in HISTORY, is being forced to consider robots to replace the “slaves” in China.

How long before bottom line profits due to affluent consumerism drive millions of the working class from gainful employment?

Here’s a chilling piece of fiction right out of my “Sabot Society’s” manifesto: Unless we start to limit the advancement of machines and the subsequent taking over of human endeavor by them, eventually they will perform so many tasks that only the rich will be able to survive. What of the rest of humanity? Those with no position in the workforce will be deemed non-essential.

My fear is that a new digital form of Fabian Socialism will ensue, driven by the new reality: with machines you don’t need that many people. It won’t be long until someone gets the idea that the “nonproductive class” should not be allowed to procreate. This sanitizing will be done for the betterment of the world and its limited economy and resources.  (If you doubt this, see Roosevelt, Teddy. Sanger, Margaret. Shaw, Bernard, from the last century) 

Before it comes to that (as it has many times in history, see the National Socialist Party; Germany, Mao Zedong; China, Joseph Stalin; Russia, for recent examples) We should draw clear lines of what we will and will not allow machines to do so that human relevance, at all levels of society, remains intact and sustainable.

Of course the above is just one possible progression of the diminution of mankind in the name of progress.

If you doubt these trends, I submit to you the large lobbies of older buildings in our biggest cities. Designed to handle the crush of hundreds of employees, from typing pools, accounting, secretarial and administrators. Today you see a trickle of workers at rush hour. Thousands of jobs have been eliminated. Jobs where people made salaries, paid taxes and fed the economy, themselves and their families. Word processing, spreadsheets, project management programs and other labor saving devices that don’t ask for raises, take time to eat or call in sick, have replaced all these workers. They also don’t spend money or pay taxes.

In late 19th century Holland, when machines threatened the jobs of workers they fought back by throwing their wooden shoes into the gear work of the machines to destroy them and preserve their jobs. The shoes were called sabots and the word “sabotage” was born. Also the shoes were called Clogs and thus “clog up the works” also became part of the lexicon.

Today we would all be hard pressed to know where to throw the shoe. At an ATM? At your Smartphone, iPad or PC? Your office server? The assembly line robots? More troubling is that not one of us would do that. We would never sacrifice our comfort, life style or convenience for the sake of humanity’s future. Remember, It’s only fiction `til it happens… and it’s starting to happen now!