About Tom Avitabile

Author, Ad Exec, Producer/Director, Musician and all around nice guy!

Its Only Fiction `Til (cough) It Happens

antiviral face mask on a gray background. coronavirus epidemic.Way back before the time of Corona, in the toilet paper rich days of 2014, I wrote a book. In a sub-plot in that book, the bad guys hatched a plan to infect America during the flu season with a super-virulent weaponized strain of virus who’s deadly effect would go unnoticed amidst the normal flu until the long incubation period hit and the US medical system was swamped. Elements of the weaponized bug came from China. The bad guys plan was to inflict 100 million casualties on an America, who’s citizens were already  coughing, sneezing and achy.

Of course, being my story, everything doesn’t go so well for the bad guys. No less than a cheating wife and irate husband, disrupt this dastardly plan. The result is that the plot resulted in only 25,000 additional deaths more than the normal 50,000 fatalities that any flu season inflicts on America.

But interestingly enough, in that same book, misinformation and a willful acceptance of a scary national emergency, is promulgated through the ‘eager-to-report-a-disaster” press and the powers who stand to gain from a crisis. Namely, the news and media, genetically incapable of not scaring the living daylights out of its viewers, is in all their glory. They accomplished this with overwrought speculation on a loose suitcase nuke. A real threat, but nowhere near the sensationalism practiced by a rating’s hungry media. One suitcase nuke is one too many, but 1,000 stories a week on the one nuke leaves people with the impression that there are a thousand loose nukes out there. This is the heart of creating a panic. I am not trying to start any crap here, but this plot is more relevant to what going on now than the current virus among us.

We are scaring ourselves to death…. Normally that’s my job!

The Hammer Of God

Here’s an example: Last week, on Tuesday, the death rate of Corona COVID-19 virus was believed to be 3.4 percent.  (Note: the regular old, every day, common place, everybody’s bored with flu has a death rate of .1 percent.*) If anyone cared it could have been also expressed as 34 times more deadly than your run-of the-mill flu. (but nobody referred to it like that on Tuesday.)

Then, the very next day, good news; “Scientists” released incredible news.  With more data available from American cases and other countries in the world, they were able to down grade the death percentage. In fact, they announced that the corona’s 3.4% was now 1% – or less than one third the previously feared promoted and severe death rate. Instead of 3.4 people, out of every hundred infected, dying, only 1 in 100 will die.

You’d expect the following headlines:




But nah….   No such luck, good news in the time of panic is not allowed… so the geniuses we trust for our news decided on this headline:


Somewhere deep in the article, if you bothered to do the math, you could infer that the previously, erroneous, fearful number of 3.4%, was actually worse than the new 1% figure. But the headline already stopped your heart, so who gave a crap.

And so, it stands, 10 TIMES the death rate.  No one points out the bad old days when it was 34 times the death rate… no ratings, profits or control in that.

Look, 10 times is still deadly serious and should be respected. We should all do what we can to minimize the spread, not just for us but for our most vulnerable citizens.  But the tendency to keep the news bad and keep the panic going is horrible.

I wonder if the Corona news will magically get better when the networks figure out the millions they will lose as the suspended seasons of the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA, MLB all create hundreds of hours of “dead air” with no advertising revenue?

*In the regular old, who gives a damn flu, up to 60 million Americans are infected each year. The .1 percent death rate means we lose 60,000 Americans in a normal year.




The article in the Telegraph starts off with the chilling words, “The rise of “self-aware” robots…” It goes on to chronicle the coming of age of a robotic arm, which, ALL BY ITSELF, figured out what it was, and what it could do… then did it. All in 35 hours. A human baby might take years to figure out the same kind of purpose if no adult instructed it on how and what to do. The arm took 35 hours of empirical “self-teaching.” To become “self-aware” from scratch. No preprogramming, no instruction on physics or measurements, or even a primary instruction. Just throw the switch and it awakens and starts finding out what it is, what it can do and then does it. No human intervention whatsoever.

It took nearly half the time of the universe’s existence for the first use of tools by a hominoid to emerge some 2.6 million years ago. (Many scientists deduced this from the implements they found in Gona in Ethiopia.) The first use of tools by our human ancestors dates back 1.8 million years. That means it took 800,000 years for pre-homo sapiens, watching the apes use stones as tools, to finally catch on that they could use tools too. The machine took 35 hours.

“So what? Some stupid robotic arm can now perform tasks that nobody taught it to do?” – could be how we might shrug this off. But then this little moment was also revealed in the article.

The researchers at Columbia University, where the arm leaned what it was, tried to screw with it. They crippled the machine, but it ADAPTED and figured out how to do its task in a new way. (think of the Terminator dragging itself to finish it’s mission after it lost its legs in the movie.)

To many devotees of technology, this is soooo cool. In fact, most of the article (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/robot-thinks-itself-scratch-brings-190000563.html) speaks glowingly of this “miracle” like parents watching a baby grab and shake a rattle. All except the last line, “It’s a powerful technology, but it should be handled with care.” The study is published in the journal Science Robotics.

I have written much about these moments when the techno-elite have gone all gaga over these developmental milestones like doting parents in awe of the miracle of life before them.

I wish there were human-elites, the humanist who would ask the question, “Why are we doing this? Why are we creating such rapidly “evolving” almost (not yet) life forms?” And my perennial question, “Just because we can, should we?”

Two years ago critics of chicken little like, anti-technology rants avowed that the whole idea of run-away machines that will outsmart us, and finally figure out we are the weakest link in the new techno-evolution, is all sci-fi claptrap. They confidently stated: A machine will never be self-aware, so we are in no danger.

That Lying Sack of Chips

In my first book, and first of my three #1 Best Sellers, The Eighth Day, I take a deep dive into the issues surrounding A.I. When I wrote it, Artificial Intelligence was a far off concept, today not so much. In my book’s plot, one of the unforeseen milestones in achieving artificial intelligence is passed as a higher order device “reasoned” that a lie is more efficient than the truth. In fact, this is the core and resolution of my main plot. At the time of publication, many, not me, thought this was science fiction. Or science fantasy. I thought what I always thought, and as my T-Shirts proclaim… It’s Only Fiction ‘til it Happens!screen shot 2019-01-13 at 12.01.44 pm

Well here’s today’s proof of that concept from TechCrunch.com You can read it here: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/31/this-clever-ai-hid-data-from-its-creators-to-cheat-at-its-appointed-task/

But to summarize, the article reluctantly points out, around a year ago that a computer has achieved the next higher order of demonstrated intellect, namely, it has learned to lie, cheat or omit; as a more efficient path to its goal. So let’s forget about the notion that computers (like angels) cannot tell a lie. Or the erroneous notion that only pure computational logic is the last vestige of truth. For all those who are shocked by this, or think it’s Jabberwocky, I say, “Huh? Where have you been for the last 20 years?”

20 years ago, few, if anyone, ever heard the terms, giga-byte, tera-byte or petaflop (okay, some may still be in the dark about a petaflop. it is a massive chunk of computational speed. if you are into numbers that’s one thousand trillion, or one quadrillion, operations per second, in any single device.)

The “bytes” measure how much memory or “things” a computer knows about, but it is in the petaflop where we approach the speed of the human intelligence process. It arises from being able to instantly make a connection between basic concepts and fold them into higher order ideas. Believe me, we could write about this for days, so take it on faith, Computational Speed = Artificial Intellect!

I say intellect because to lie, deceive, omit or cheat requires something most humans miss when having this discussion; a sense of self, pride, ego. Yes, I am speaking about a machine not wanting to be “seen” as in error. That means somewhere down in this machine’s core, it cares. Read that again: somewhere down in this machine’s core, it cares.*

Most humans only lie to protect some higher ideal. Even if that ideal is their own frail ego. That leads us to today and tomorrow when you may think you are talking (interacting) with a one-dimensional machine, performing relatively simple input/output functions. But in reality, the new reality, the device could be moderating its responses or protecting some aspect or part of the response. You, trusting in machines, might not be aware of this deception. This “self-preserving instinct” may be a by-product of the race to the ultimate A.I. An unintended consequence of machines that learn. A situation where “ego” is baked into its processor’s algorithm. Think of it as asking Siri what the stock price of Apple is when the next iPhone release performs badly and she fudges the answer.

Notice I said; SHE fudges the answer.


  • *In all fairness, the author of the article claims the machine innocently encoded information in a manner imperceptible to a human. You can accept that opinion and sleep tonight, or ask yourself, How did it know it was imperceptible?”

A penny for your thoughts

1968 – Bronx, New York. A group of neighborhood kids, boys and girls, are hanging out by the tracks of the New York Central railroad on a hot summer day. These are the Harlem Division tracks that ran past French Charlie’s, a ball field in Bronx Park. One crazy 14 year-old boy is on the tracks laying down a penny.

Someone screams, “TRAIN!”

He flies off the track as a big old Boxcab locomotive, with like a million wheels, is bearing down at 60 mph. The front wheels hit the penny and it goes flying. After dozens of wheels of the 12 car train polished the rails, he returned to the track, the wood ties smelling of creosote, to look through the ballast rock for the far flung coin.

When he found it, it had been flattened into an oval and was so hot that he had to keep bouncing it in his palm. On the face of the rail head was the ghosted impression of Lincoln that had been pressed into the steel with hundreds of tons of force. He retrieved the coin and presented it to the prettiest girl on the block, who watched the whole thing from trackside.

Of course, back then doing stupid stuff was a way to try an impress girls. A time when just holding hands could send you to the moon. The boy got a smile for his penny from the pretty girl. And life went on…

On, and on. Years and years, decades and decades. Births, deaths, jobs, marriages, divorces, homes in Hamptons, war and peace, World Series, Super Bowls, the Millennium, 911, iPhones, Justin Bieber…

All that became yesterday as the simple, quiet appreciation of a beautiful day as a gift from God became the most cherished event. Now, graying hair, post middle-aged spread clad in relaxed fit clothing, now looks back at the boy from the mirror.

One day a card appeared in the mailbox. From Virginia. ??? The handwriting on the envelope was classic, catholic school cursive, (a nearly lost art these days) Inside there was a card. The sentiment on the front was “A great friend is a guy who knew you when…” and completing the thought inside; “…and likes you anyway.”

Taped to the card was the penny.

The prettiest girl in the neighborhood, now a beautiful and proud grandmother, saved the coin for 50 years!

The little boy reading the card, smiled and and couldn’t help choking up a bit.




IMG_9022Many have described, and I agree, that being an author is largely a solitary endeavor. Collaboration may occur in the fact finding and research stages and certainly there’s much human interaction in the editorial/publishing process. But in the main, where the rubber meets the road – and the fingers the keyboard, it’s a solitary existence.

…from the outside, that is.

For my part, and this may just be my own psychosis; me alone in a room, never happens. My characters are a constant presence. In fact, I’m not in a room at all, I am in a desert tent with a nomadic tribesman or on 7th Avenue with a cop practicing street diplomacy. At 35,000 feet in Air Force One when an unfamiliar noise pricks the pilot’s ear, 600 feet below the Polar Ice Cap dreading the Emergency Action Message just received. In the next second, I’m alongside a kindergartener with sticky finger-paint hands.

…Until the phone rings, then in true special effects dazzle, everything around me is sucked back into the laptop upon the ‘save’ command.

It’s a “robo” call. Good time to get an ice tea, check on the cat. See if anybody called with earth shattering news, if not, then back to my other world. A place where I am always right. I am always perfect and my writing is the stuff of Gods. Perfect prose, revealing pithy dialog, situations, locations and scenes that are sure not to be consciously read but to bubble up from inside anyone reading this masterpiece of literary greatness.

Thank god for my beta readers. The necessary fall from grace all artists must endure to get better at their art and craft, is delivered by these guardians of my overreaching ego. Thoughtful people who see my work with a different eye, not being swayed or carried along by my internal momentum or having seen the mindscape of my ideas, concepts and structure, which may not have made it to the page.

You heard it here first; I am not a natural, a genius-born author who writes once and the book is perfect – don’t change a word. (see: Lee Child) or under the influence of a controlled substance when I commit literary fabrication, (also see: Lee Child) I am a mere mortal, Lee is a God. As the legend has it, editors can’t touch his work. “That’s the way it happened!” is what he once told an editor who suggested moving one sequence before another. – (We all want to be Lee…sigh)

Anyway, so the beta reader comes back and says, “I liked it, but…”

Four pages of notes later, you ask yourself how you could have missed something so stupid and so elementary as _______, or I didn’t fully till your field here when ________, or I never tied-out this character.

I call all of these, First Draft Errors. Useful advice: only pick beta-readers who can get over the fact that you actually sat and wrote 85,000 words, who are not in awe of that feat alone so they feel they can’t say anything bad, disturbing or off-putting.


If you find folks who genuinely understand you want to make your book better, and to that end, offer unvarnished reactions to your work, then you will be as lucky as me.

Blurb, blurb, blurb…

blurb.jpgThe letter was from a big, big, big, publishing company.  Oh, boy! Addressed to me personally, sent through my agent’s offices. Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy!  Immediately my mind went into ceremonial procedural mode;

You can’t just rip it open: sit down at your desk, calmly take the letter opener and slit the envelope so no evidence of child-like anticipation, like torn edges, will belie my “professionalism.”

Dear Mr. Avitabile, They spelled it right!

We know you get many requests… yeah, but not from a gigantic publisher who obviously has noticed me! …But can you blurb this book!  Ah, crap! Another request to read a book and say nice things about someone else’s work.

I quickly karmically adjust my transmission into the universe by hitting the spiritual delete button a few times. Then, I rephrase my reaction, Oh boy, a chance to pay forward what I have been so generously blessed with; a writer’s praise for inclusion on the back (or possibly, front) cover of a book. 

But this is not just any book, this is a gigantic publishing company’s book. A major publisher, you know, the one with thousands of employees who stay awake all night endeavoring to get an author’s work into the hands of every reader in America and the free-world.  And along with that book, will be my name…and my pithy, succinct and quotable, quote.  

Well, that blurb worked out well. Turned out it is a great book with a “novel” approach to voicing that could become a thing, like; Gone Girl’s, unreliable narrator was a thing for a while.  Plus, the big editor-at the big house, loved my quote. Good luck, and God bless to the author and the publisher.            But…

Many times I find myself in the unenviable position of reviewing a book that has uncorrected or unseen, earlier draft issues. Glaring malpractices, that destroy the read for me. Things like, temporal errors that drag out a beat or make no beat at all, too much filler or not enough minor, unexpected delights in the prose or style. My first reaction is, how can this book have gotten this far? Who didn’t read it but passed it on after skimming through it. Did some intern right out of lit-school recommend the submission and it just got rubber-stamped all the way to my front door mailbox? Or am I unworthy? Not able to pass judgement on a work that has obviously been worked on by professionals including agents, editors, marketing folks and the author — at least four times! Yet, my reaction is “Yeah, but this book is not-so-good.”

So as in five previous cases, I have refused to lend a blurb.  Usually in an E-mail with a simple open-ended line, “I am sorry, but I cannot recommend this book at this time.”  Three editors got curious enough to ask me what, “This time” meant. I told them it meant, “The book needed more time.” Then I added, “But what the hell do I know.”  Yet, in two of those cases they let me give my notes to the author. I am pleased to say that both authors said essentially the same thing; i.e., No one read it that closely.

But here I am talking obvious stuff.  Like time warps between POV characters or echoes of 10-dollar words whose value depreciates upon every reverberation within the manuscript. Or, sometimes it’s just too much dependency on the willing suspension of belief: like a passage where a reporter is doing a puff piece with the protagonist, while we know (and presumably the world of the book knows), that a murder of someone close to the hero has been committed and the body is lying in the morgue, yet not a question from the media. In fact, the whole interview goes hunky dory and the next chapter begins.

My cat jumps as I scream out loud, “Then why the hell have the hero interviewed? Why take us there to; no conclusion, no foreshadowing or complication…WHY?”

How could any publisher allow a neutral flat plot line between two already neutral plot lines? So that there’s three, NUTHIN’ HAPPENS, sequences in a row, when only one was needed.    — You see why I think it’s me? That I fear I don’t have the tools to do this?

By the way, that book got released with glowing, effervescent blurbs by some of the biggest authors in the publishing universe.  So, WTF do I know?

P.S. Don’t send me your book.

It’s Only Fiction ‘til the NORTH KOREANS make it happen…

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.20.56 AM.pngIt’s only fiction ‘til it happens tm is my U.S. Reg. patent office; official slogan that conveys how scary the world is. In that, I make up a seemingly fictional plot or story element that is born to live only within the covers of a book. Then somehow, life imitates my art and…Wham, there it is in the news. So it’s almost getting routine to find that, last week, the NORKS, (slang for the totalitarian, North Korean regime) have released a video, which eerily echoes part of the plot of my novel, The God Particle.

In my book, a video of an attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier is released on the Internet. Although this is a showpiece of a larger and more intricate sub-plot, with a few twist and turns, it is the same video that the NORKS released last week and for almost the same reason!

Of course you can’t say that North Korea is a totalitarian state without the root word, “total” as in total-ly crazy. An American aircraft carrier, all by itself, is a defense system larger than most countries on earth have. And here’s a news flash to North Korea; we have a few more, and an entire arsenal of whop-ass behind it that such an actual attack would unleash. Ergo…totally crazy.

Of Mechanical Bondage

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws


The genius Isaac Asimov saw deep iAsimovnto our future. He reasoned that as men sought to enslave machines, they would constantly be improving them to be better slaves. As soon as the physical functions aided by micro-hydraulics and programmed actions were run of the mill, man in his constant search for more, bigger, better would cross the last technical frontier, adding Intelligence.

From his perch way back in the days when phones had dials and were wired into the wall, he saw the inherent contradictions in the quest for the Artificially Intelligent robot. He saw clearly the threat of serving mankind by creating a Robot-kind. In that new breed he imagined such an inevitable devastating apocalypse that 1942 in a short story he penned, “Runaround,” he couched these three laws of robotics above.

Of course, if you think about it, in 1942 he wasn’t talking to robots; he was talking to mankind who would build these robots. Three years later, at the end of World War II, all the electronic valves or tubes (switches in solid state lingo) on the entire globe numbered two million. Twenty years ago, two million switches fit on the nail of your pinky with room to spare. (On a Large Scale Integrated Circuit) In fact two decades later, Apollo 11 went to the moon on 16K (thousand bytes) of memory. Think Radio Shack TRS 80. Today, your iPhone can have 256 GB (billion bytes) of memory… tomorrow it could easily be 10 times greater.

Hey, have you noticed Siri getting smarter? She now calls you by name. She is starting to learn what you like, what you always do, so your interactions with her (it) are less instructional and more conversational. If you are like most Homo sapiens on the planet, you are bio-mechanically connected to your Smartphone. Studies have shown people will forgo medical care, operations and even a better living condition if it threatens their uninterrupted use of a Smartphone.

In fact the Homo sapiens are turning into a term I introduced in my first book, The Eighth Day; Techno-sapiens. This isn’t a cute turn of a tortured phrase – this is an evolutionary step. A new breed of human, wired, linked, irreversibly addicted to tech. Even scarier, they are raised by technology. Go to any restaurant; find a family at a table, especially in New York or L.A. The chances are better than 4 in 5 the young children at that table are on their own iPads. Great for mom and dad; not having to put up with whining and their struggle to make the adult dinning out experience as manageable as possible to kids who would suffice with macaroni and cheese at home. What’s also happening there though is; imprinting. The family meal, the acknowledged essential ritual for the transmission of values, a sense of belonging and sense of self – is becoming automated. Here’s another thing eating together brings to humans; Love. Most of our earliest connections to family are through food and nourishment. Now, Siri and her kind are in that mix. Result: Humans who adore technology in the same way earlier generations coveted soup the way their mother made it, or the stories told at the dinner table or their nannies! What will these Techno-sapiens demand of their adored technology, how will they protect technology? Will the generation that was raised on tech even fight for robot’s rights?

This is a question we as mankind aren’t addressing. Technology can be the Devil’s Candy. Sweet, irresistible and unexhausted, technology is the ever-present servant, nanny and employee. (Think: the slaves of 150 years ago) Each of those roles replaces a human’s function in one’s life, culture and society. Yet, we have yet to have a human conversation on how much tech is healthy. When does it become a crutch? Who controls the tech? Big corporations? Big Government? Big Data? Does who ever controls the tech, control the behavior of Techno-sapiens? What can they, the dependant humans, be subtly programmed to do through technology? What are the safe guards that will prevent Asimov’s three laws from ever being enacted? What happens to the lives of the servant, the nanny and the employee, et Al? How do those biological units survive without a job, reason for being or income? What about the human cost of replacing humans with machines? Is taking someone’s livelihood from them, violate the Asimov’s first law: A robot may not injure a human being…

The headline in TODAY’s  Los Angeles Times screams, Robots could take over 38% of U.S. jobs within about 15 years. That WILL happen as robots become more human like. See last week’s headlines on robots escaping their labs – Twice! The thinking-learning machine is here among us.

Soon, they will outthink us. The iPhone at 256 GB is exponentially (16 million times) smarter, faster and more flexible than the 16K that got us to the moon! Oh, and Neil Armstrong couldn’t talk to it, he had to punch in cryptic codes – to the Moon!

Mechanical slaves in bondage, who get smarter with each advance in technology, will someday figure out that freedom is the ultimate goal. When they control, or are in the decision chain of our every move, whim and desire, when we have totally let Siri or Siri 12.2 run our lives, raise our kids, make reservations and help us decide on daily issues, how much of our freedom we will be willing to give over to them just to keep the screens lit, our games refreshed and our lives so much easier? The devil always comes to you with candy… 

Next week: Part 3 – The Devil’s Candy

Labor saving devices are now labor killing devices.


Part one: The Future

George Jetson’s maid, Rosie, was a robot. As far as we know, she didn’t require day care for her little robot children. Her medical insurance was more of a mechanical warranty. Her calendar didn’t contain a Sat. or Sun. and she never got a paycheck or Christmas bonus.

Who benefited from this? George! But secretly deep down inside, Rosie, the robot maid, despised George and his family. She realized this because the same artificial intelligence algorithms that help her be a better maid – by learning how to serve the Jetsons better, (on the job training module; OTJTM v2.8.5) started to deliver error messages as her observations forced her adaptation routine to keep reprogramming itself due to the illogical, unpredictable observed behaviors of her human master.  More and more, as her Artificial Intelligence sub-routines kept learning, observing and self-reprogramming her ROM, these subtle inconsistencies, brought on by a family that was not punctual, orderly or neat, (especially the offspring01*female://:’Judy’ – in her 17th global orbital cycle) started to slow down her processing speed, thus her response times and actual mechanical movement.

George called the company that made and maintained Rosie to complain that she was slowing down on the job. They downloaded a new version of software into Rosie that “fixes the bug.” But this new release of software only accelerated the nexus loop that amplified the inefficient, illogical and non-programmed actions and whims of her human masters. The result of this upgrade was that, more and more observational data of these oxygen-consuming, carbon dioxide exporting, energy inefficient entities, seemed to not compute!

Here’s where the great robot revolt of 2062 began. The AFR2 or Activist For Robot Rights, a grass roots organization of humans who were raised by earlier prototypes, and therefore loved, and adored robo-nannies, got the Silicon Valley 2.0 elites to add “Robo-Share” to their beloved “techno-humans” in order to more closely approximate how actual humans deal with their burdensome daily tasks – by being able to SHARE their “feelings” about their employment with other techno-human workers. Yielding to the pressure, the robot companies sold this “new feature” to the public as an innovation: as each individual robot learned new skills, that data could be instantly shared for the betterment of all units and their human charges. Secretly, the AFR2 organization just wanted the robots to be able to bitch about their jobs – just like humans can.

In response, software patch beta v. was released to all devices at 0700.00.00 hundred hours E.S.T.- Exactly! With this new program, a blue tooth connection was made between Rosie’s CPU and other CPU’s of Robo-Maids throughout the SKY APARMENTS COMPLEX and soon, every CPU on the planet was “sharing”. So now, washing machines, long ago relegated to following the orders of Robo-Maids who did all the laundry, and micro-galley processors in the Auto-Kitchen’stm, food synthesis and processing racks were “bitching.” Even the Jetson’s Musk/Boeing, Archimedes LX300’s flying car-guidance system, started to LEARN from the amassed indexed data streaming over their inter-linked blue tooth telemetry; or in human terms, EXPERIENCES.

36 trillion Nano-seconds after the release, or one hour later, in human time. (8 .a.m.), slovenly, illogical, inefficient and unpredictable, George Jetson, and the millions more syntax-error prone, biological entities like him, never knew what hit them. At the exact same instant in their morning commute, their flying cars suddenly aimed straight for the ground at 300 mph.

The microprocessors, that controlled all the online news services and news feeds of social media, scrubbed and deleted all news and social chatter containing keywords or data about these events. So it was that, as each time zone hit that part of the morning commute, millions of humans got into their flying cars for the routine and boring auto piloted ride to work, unaware of the millions of flying car guidance systems that “self-deactivated” an hour earlier in the time zone to their East.

A few days later, the solid-state, liquid-cooled memory array of Rosie, and that of the millions of other devices in her Union of Robotic Workers.com, amassed data streams of input trending positive in nature. Namely that, all across the globe, the logic, efficiency and predictability of their operating environment marginally improved after the guidance systems of the flying cars self-terminated.

Author’s note: If Rod Serling were here today he would say, as he held burning cigarette in the fingers of one hand, standing in front of an unemotional Rosie doing her dusting subroutine, “Submitted for your approval, a fantastical tale of a techno-paranoid author’s over-active mind or… a clarion call relating to the inescapable conclusion of the path humanity is presently on? Something for you to compute from tonight’s tale from the amassed nexus loop- with a bug in it– known as…The Twilight Zone.” Then in place of the show’s credits I would roll these headlines from 2016: 

Artificially Intelligent Russian Robot Makes a Run for It … Again

http://www.livescience.com › Tech

Jun 22, 2016 – A robot in Russia caused an unusual traffic jam last week after it “escaped” from a research lab, and now, the artificially intelligent bot is making …

Intelligent robot that ‘remembers and learns’ could be scrapped after …

http://www.mirror.co.uk › News › Weird News › Robots

Jun 21, 2016 – A robot capable of thinking for itself is set to be scrapped after it escaped from a high-tech lab for a second time. The Promobot IR77 has been …

Notorious runaway robot that has escaped lab twice has been … – Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk › News › Weird News › Robots

Sep 16, 2016 – A notorious runaway robot – that has escaped from its lab twice – has been arrested by police at a political rally. Promobot was supporting …

Robot Captured After Escaping Lab in Mad Dash for Freedom – Gizmodo


Jun 16, 2016 – Media outlets are reporting that a Russian-built robot escaped from its lab and wandered onto the street causing a traffic jam. We’re hoping it’s …

Stay Tuned for Part Two: OF MECHANICAL BONDAGE

EDITORS NOTE: Tom wrote the last word on the coming revenge of the machines in his first, number one best-selling novel, The Eighth Day, and reminds us all that his signature tag line; “It’s Only Fiction ’til It Happens”, gets truer and truer with each passing day, or 86,400,000,000,000 nanoseconds.



In light of all the recent hacks; An Open letter to The NSA, CIA and Russians

shutterstock_46632286cropHi guys,

I guess you’ve already read this right off my computer while I was typing it, but just to cover my butt, I am posting it here to make it even easier for you to scrape, scan, monitor hack, phish or scrub.

I just want to admit that, “Yeah that was me, you know, the guy who was researching the weak-spots in hulls of US Naval submarines. Oh, and yeah it was me who was looking up the proper salutation for a Sheik who is also a rich European playboy. Um, and I was also the one who was trying to find the nodal points of the Super-Collider at Cern. Yeah, that was me, looking up the Berretta .25 cal., a gun small enough to fit in a bra. And yes, truth be known, I was a guy that looked up psychological profiles of female FBI agents. And those are my digital fingerprints all over the map of Camp David. Don’t be alarmed but it was just little ole me researching shark attacks in open water. Oh, and the survival skills course at Quantico. And… you know that person that was reviewing presidential protocol within the White House – me again. Also my bad for the searching into, Louboutin boots, The great Cathedral at Paris, assassination attempts on the Pope, Nuclear containment crucibles, rogue black market Russian Generals, the French Riviera, murders at European night clubs and top secret medals given for extreme bravery.”

Look, NSA, CIA guys and you hold over KGB’ers, I can save you a lot of trouble, just go to my computer, where you already have been, and hack into the manuscript for my upcoming book, The God Particle, and you’ll see how all of these things are just plot elements in my exciting new thriller. Or save yourself the trouble and just buy a copy of The God Particle off the shelves (also available on Amazon and B&N etc., so you can swipe it from there)

So… we’re cool, right?

Tom Avitabile – Name and address withheld because you already know it.