The Impacts of Human-SIM on Conversation

One of the main inspirations behind my short story, Human, was the palpable impatience in conversation. How often do we find ourselves explaining the context of a situation – whether personal or professional – and the listener suddenly ceases to be just that, a listener – as they interrupt with a question; a question which would be answered in due time with further explanation? We are interrupted because the listener doesn’t have the necessary patience for the context. The problem is we, the speaker, have a need to be heard. We may have only one question which requires background and explanation, while at the same time informing the speaker we understand essential aspects of the subject. The interruption shifts the need from ours to the other party, and our need is never met. One of the characters in Human is an individual named McGregor – the original creator of Human-SIM and its networking systems. We meet him briefly in the final portion of the short story. We don’t know much about him yet, however he’s written much about why he created Human-SIM, and this “conversational impatience” was one of them. In his early research paper, Modern Conversation and Its Flaws – The Cause of Social Disturbance and Degradation, McGregor noted his intent to “eliminate the ever present conversational impatience by allowing the listener to have all the information ‘uploaded’ or ‘shared’ with the listener” just as the conversation begins. McGregor states later in solid conclusion: “No more interruptions.” We suspect[…] [Keep Reading]

HUMAN-SIM and Infinite Connections

Cal Newport recently published an article about Ray Bradbury and his short story THE MURDERER. What caught my attention is how real the world Bradbury illustrated has become. Interestingly enough, HUMAN also captures this idea of being constantly connected, though my focus is not on the mental distraction as portrayed in Bradbury’s tale or Newport’s writings. I am much more interested in the social implications and conversational impatience which I see evolving in regular discussions. Bradbury’s distracting phone call or Newport’s note of the disrupting email are the same as the conversationalist who interrupts one when speaking, believing they know the rest of the sentence better than the speaker. The remaining stories to be told in the HUMAN story universe explore the consequences of when these situations are amplified. An idea misinterpreted because the listener came to their own conclusions prior to completion of the speaker’s thought. Seeking to be understood when the patience or capacity doesn’t exist. Being in many conversations at once, intending to capture it all. These works are the basis for my own thoughts on conversation and one’s ability to listen and the other’s need to be understood. HUMAN-SIM is the attempt for the story world characters to have it all – or to have “the world” – at the same time. What happens when we can’t have it all? When we have to chose “the world” over something else? What if the real world is speaking to us, but we are too focused on “the world”[…] [Keep Reading]

Human – A Short Story

I was fortunate enough to meet Ani Paoletti via Twitter when she noted she was providing free book covers for writers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been searching for an artist to help me with cover are for a long time through Twitter and DeviantArt with no luck to date. I sent a note to Ani and she helped put together the cover below for my short story, HUMAN – which originally appeared in Kyanite Press last year. This cover exceeded my expectations and I wanted to share it. I’ll be doing an interview with Ani in the coming weeks, serving as another entry in the Interviews from the Void series. Read on to explore the world of HUMAN. I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to reach out to Ani if you need cover art assistance. In the near future, we’ve overcome the limitations of non homogeneous communication. A man lost in his life and career hopes to get the latest HUMAN-SIM upgrade and get promoted at work, with unexpected consequences… DAY ZERO My brain processor lagged. Susan – the barista who always took my order – told me the price for my regular, black coffee. It was always $9.56. My Human-SIM integrator card already released $9.56 from my account and transferred it to the café. Yet something was wrong. “Scott, I’m afraid prices went up today.” “They did?” I asked after a brief delay. Maybe I had a poor connection to the network. The café was one of[…] [Keep Reading]