Human Origins

The narrative of the transition from Ape to Man is contained within one astonishing cut in the film 2001…

…but 4 Million years of history contains a lot of potential stories. I am thinking about setting my next novel (after the Singularity’s Children series) back at the Dawn of Man.

It looks like we coexisted and even bred with many other species of Hominid and some of those seem to have been pretty smart. Recent discoveries show that Neanderthals were making cave art hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Neanderthal cave art, spain.

Haplo Groups‘ markers allow us to trace humanities deep ancestry. We (Homo Sapiens) left Africa 70K years ago to spread our seed across the world, mingling and mating with the local—as we tend to do.

We eventually replaced the ‘other‘ and history started…

But I love the gaps—into which stories can be inserted!

Maybe I will set it 12,800 Years Ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas, the fall of Eden and the interment of  Goebekli Tepe.

Anyway, I think there is plenty of material for a book set at the Dawn of Man…
…what do you think? Would you read it? Or shall I go 12,000 years the other way?

 

(image: Neanderthal with face paint – Viktor Deak)

Tech from Singularity’s Children – Spex



I write about a lot of near-future tech in my Singularity’s Children books. One example are the Spex, a combination of neural interface and augmented reality (AR) head-up-display.

To get an idea what it will look like from the inside, check out this over-the-top; but probably—sadly—all too accurate video from Keiichi Matsuda.

I believe AR is going to be huge, but will only really take off when combined with at least enough neural interfacing to extract sub-vocalized speech from the brain (or perhaps from nerves in the throat). Nobody is going to want to wander around in public mumbling to Alexa or Siri and risking eavesdropping!

Of course, it’s only a short step from extracting superficial speech to full on brain-to-brain communication; aka telepathy.

And if this sounds a bit futuristic, there are already scientist able to extract and reconstruct the images the subjects are observing.

Recording dreams is coming! How crazy is that?!

For more, even more, if you have a spare half hour, check out this super interesting interview with Mary Lou Jepsen on Rod Reid’s ‘After On’ podcast.

What is Consciousness?


I recently published another essay on Medium.com.

I take some ideas from my SciFi novels on the nature of Consciousness and Reality and flesh them out to make them explicit. I do touch on some of this in Book Three, but in a novel, I didn’t want to slow down the story by digressing too much into philosophy.
Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

Take a look and give me a clap or two if you enjoy it!

 

What is Consciousness?

“We have no idea what we, or YOU—the protagonists in our subjective lives—actually are.

This is not an exaggeration. Science currently has NO IDEA what Consciousness is; not even a plausible conjecture; NOTHING. This is a glaring gap in our epistemology when consciousness is the foundation of all meaning in the universe; which it must be, because without conscious experience what is ethics, hope, passion, and art? Would there be any meaning in a vast complex universe utterly devoid of anybody to experience it? Would there be any loss if such a Universe was destroyed? Or if a Billion were created and then destroyed in the blink of an eye?

 

Main Image: Kevin PhilippeAgua de Estrella