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Month: January 2015

Buy “Illusion of Choice” Today!

This was a long time coming. Like really long.

My novel “Illusion of Choice” is available for pre-order from select retailers online. Please visit Amazon for more information on purchasing. If you purchase before April 7th, 2015, you can grab the book for $0.99. On April 7th, it will revert to its full retail price at $2.99, which I’d argue isn’t too bad.

This post is a hard one to write because it requires me to sell myself which I don’t really enjoy doing. I’d rather be observed of my merits than having to push people to see my skills. Unfortunately, I do want this book to have some traction, and for some reason, a paygate allows for that to happen.

I started this book as a teenager when I thought making video games were easy. It was a pretty big concept at 14, and I don’t think even today it’d have a chance at getting made. It had too many working parts. Somehow, underneath all those parts, I pulled out a story about an individual named David Warren whose life wasn’t what he wanted it to be. David just wanted a normal, simple life. From the onset of this story, we see even a simple morning cannot be normal for David. As the story progresses, we learn how far from normal his life really was and how he never had a chance to fit in.

The story has a lot of action, violence, profanity, I think some sex, but I try to do all of that as flavoring for the under arching story. I’m not done with this universe, but I think this is a great entry point.

If you decided to purchase the book, thank you very much. It means a lot to me, and probably more than you can realize. And if you enjoyed it, please submit a review. I know reviewing seems so tedious since people tend to only review stuff they hated, but it’d help me a lot to hear that people actually enjoyed something I did. Also, if you did enjoy it, feel free to share it with anyone you think may like it and forward them to my blog. I want readers more than anything else.

Here are the links again in case the hyperlinking failed:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Illusion-Choice-Eric-Ponvelle-ebook/dp/B00UTQODI0/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1426729970&sr=8-6&keywords=Illusion+Of+Choice

It is available under creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-SharALike 4.0 License –

Creative Commons License
Illusion of Choice by Eric Ponvelle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Psychopathy of Fox News

I have been working on a piece for a little while on psychopathy, but until I am fully ready to post that paper, I’ll settle for this mini-essay on Fox News.

Fox News is the last bastion of true opinionated journalism, and I mean that without any sarcasm. They push their own agenda so hard that is obvious to anyone who cycles through the channels who they support. This is opposed to the other media outlets that try to conceal that.

Where Fox News fails, other than being a vacuum of information, is they seemed to have slipped in their own punch and have lost all composure.

Take for example this “report.” In it, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says we should show “respect” to our enemies and even empathize with them, if possible. Fox News proceeds to lose their shit. Oliver North of all people then comments, using “utopian” as a term of slander, that this is horrible while the Fox News “anchor” says she wants to “wring the neck” of terrorists personally.

This is the ultimate summation of Fox News: they are unable to understand that war yields more war. They cannot understand a leader who is not (at least in this moment) a blood-hungry warmonger. The two terms should go hand-in-hand. They do not understand empathy in the way adjusted humans do because to Fox News, empathy is completely unattainable. You empathize with people you agree with only, and that’s that. Thus is the psychopathy of Fox News.

I wish I could cite the person who said it, but one quote always sticks out to me: “When you kill someone, you are creating widows, widowers, orphans, and others who have lost someone they loved.” This summarizes why a “War on Terror” will never end. You are creating new soldiers with every drone attack that misses the real target. You bomb a funeral procession that was supposed to have several members of al-Qaeda or ISIS, but instead was filled with civilians. Then, all of those affected by that attack are now more sympathetic to the terrorist cause.

What Hilary was saying it was most libertarians and pacifists want: we shouldn’t involve ourselves in other matters without first understanding the root cause. The reasoning for 9/11 is all over the place if you read any of al-Qaeda or bin Laden’s materials. They were attacking us for our sustained occupation in their region and allying with their enemies. Their method of getting their message across was horribly off point, but this was the result of decades of frustration and anger that no changes were happening through diplomatic means. A “smart power” policy could prevent the next 9/11, and it could regain some of the clout we lost in the last decade.

When Fox News suggested that Hilary wasn’t a warhawk at all, as if implying that as a slight against her, they really missed the mark. I have no doubt that if she wins, we will be in some other war. It’s how modern presidents work. Fox News will take any chance they can to slander their enemies. I used enemies instead of opponents because they are so far off the scale of reason and logic, that I think they see all of this as a war.

Fox News is the type of network that would deride Obama for freeing the slaves as attacking legal business owners. They are unable to come to any sort of bargaining in terms of reason and logic, and the end it creates an atmosphere of fear.

Cop Killers and Killer Cops

I really don’t want to publicly talk about this, but I cannot censor myself either. My book features a lot of talk about corrupt cops, a full-out onslaught on the power tripping police, and freedom through this action.

That’s what makes me so sad at how often these stories are popping up. I’m not linking to anything. There’s enough everywhere you look. Everyone is drowning in stories of it. Where I take umbrage is the notion that the job of police to kill if necessary. That is the job of a soldier.

Somewhere in this messed up decade, the police went from people you could run to if you needed help to someone who may gun you down and never face any real repercussions. We may act shocked that this is happening, particularly when there is no indictment, but this has happened a lot. Rodney King wasn’t that long ago. For some reason, police are held to a different standard than we are, especially if the civilian involved is a minority.

This is not an indictment on all police. I have had equal parts good and bad run-ins with the law. Some clearly overstepped their bounds, and some where truly kind people who were just doing whatever they can to help. Therein lies the problem. These truly good men and women who risk their lives by being on the front line of civilian violence, and who are good, honest people are put in extra danger because of psychopaths.

This brings me to what drew my anger: some guy shooting and killing two innocent cops. This act by a raving lunatic wasn’t political; it was selfish. Any sort of solidarity concerned citizens were rallying was shattered with that act. Now there are two extremes: One said are the people against murdering cops like the one who gunned down Tamir Rice for having a toy gun without any attempt to disarm him. A video shows him, admittedly moving his hands towards his waist band as a cop car with two individuals pull up, the door opens, one fires on the child and hides behind the car, and that’s it. Murdered.

On the other end, we have some guy killing two cops who did nothing wrong under the guise of some social message. It wasn’t. It was blind terrorism.

As a country, we are afraid to talk about race and racism. We are afraid to ask what made Michael Brown, a teenager who had a past, into the type of person where his unarmed murder by a cop isn’t a clear case of his innocence. We’ve failed him as a society just as we’ve failed the police who resort to violence before they resort to using psychology. When every cop is a soldier, does that make anyone who opposes them insurgents?

In Defense of YOLO

A few years ago, “rapper” Drake is credited with penning the timeless classic “The Motto,” which created the meme of “you only live once,” or as it is best known “YOLO.”

Many like to castigate this song as a silly form of social Darwinism. There are examples of people doing some utterly fucktarded things while rambling about how they only live once so they may as well enjoy it, like a guy who died while drunk driving and tweeting. Most interestingly, the song has gone from an actual movement with people adopting it as their own personal mantra to just an ironic joke. But is this correct?

The notion of “you only live once” is unique to the current generation. After the Boomers have ransacked and held the economy for ransom, the generations that followed were forced to accept a future without any guarantees like the Boomers had. Went to college so you can make a successful life? Well, tough because the Boomer before you is occupying any promotion you’d be able to do for the next 20 years. So, rather than focusing on a life where you save money to pass on to the next generation, and work for that imaginary job, the concept of you only live once has never been truer; for the majority of us, we won’t work one job but several rotating jobs in various career paths. Instead we should enjoy the time we have now before we die in whatever job we landed in today.
Furthermore, we can extrapolate that YOLO is a condemnation of religion. It resonates with the youth because they no longer see rewards in the afterlife. This is our only time to enjoy what we have, and we had better take it for ourselves. The Boomer generation takes a lot of flak because they hold a lot of the cards, and a lot of the blame for the economic turmoil. That topic deserves its own dissection, but the point remains that the generation in power is the one that taught “Me first” concept that lead to the belief of entitlement in the Millennials.

The concept of you only live once is a notion that a lot of other generations won’t get. I like the slogan from Aleister Crowley, boiled down to be, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” What this states is we should do what is in the best interest for us first, be that taking care of our health, our happiness, or those who contribute to that. Since that is a bit of a loaded phrase written by a raging bigot lunatic, we have to find new ways of adapting this to the times.

In the end, do what makes you happy, be it helping others or yourself without hurting anyone else. Above all, act in a way that you will be able to live with and ensure you do so without unnecessary risk. Because after all, you only live once.

Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer [Review]

TL;DR

A hacker finds a file that allows him to edit the world around him, proving humanity is part of a computer simulation. Immediately, he gets himself into federal trouble and does the only logical thing with his god-like powers: journey to Middle Ages England and pose as a wizard. Really good book!

Full Review (Spoilers Ahead)

Humor is a hard genre to write well. For every really funny book, you will have cringe-worth writings that miss on every mark. Fortunately for Scott Meyer, he has the chops from stand up to pull off a genuinely funny book.

The book follows a young hacker who spends his time sifting through various databases. He eventually stumbles on a file that allows him to edit his height. After some humorous experimentation, he creates an app that allows him to do it on the fly, editing everything in his favor. Nearly, instantly, Martin Banks is suspected of committing computer fraud and the federal government starts hunting him down. Naturally, Martin decides to go to Medieval England where he could disguise himself as a wizard.

Once there, Martin realizes he wasn’t the only one with this idea as he meets many hackers-cum-wizards. As his life in this new time goes on, Martin must solve the case of a bunch of people being murdered in ways that only a wizard could.

The story is short, refreshing, and not too heavy-handed on the simulation argument that is the crux of the story. Scott Meyer has already released book 2 showing he is ready to dedicate a lot of time to this series.

Check out on Amazon: Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0)

Altered States of Consciousness

Every now and then, I like to create projects to create a focus for my blog. Here’s one.

I study altered states of consciousness a lot for my own entertainment. Something about the notion that the only thing separating us from utter insanity is our access to “sobriety.” The problem with the notion of sobriety is that it isn’t made equal across the board. For schizophrenics, for example, have trace amounts of dimethyltryptamine in their urine. So, taking no substances that change their perception, is “sobriety” really sober? This is question is why I propose using the term baseline, which varies from individual to individual.

For this blog experiment, I am going to try various forms of legal altered states of consciousness and document my results. When doing this sort of research, I am often frustrated with the lack of quality information out there. It seems like it is far easier to find how to change yourself with illegal means, but nothing really detailed with holotrophic breathing, for example.

I am going to change that. My goal is to attempt various methods over a span of time and document my results.

For my first experiment, I am going straight to baseline.

I am a coffee drinker, and I do the ketogenic diet. My goal for my first experiment is to eliminate the first while performing the second. This will likely be painful, as I have been off the rails since December. I will also likely have headaches from the lack of caffeine, which is risky since I am prone to migraines.

As a “pre-trip” report, I will say I am very hungry all the time thanks to sugars, and my mood is very neutral to negative. My attention to the situation and awareness in life is very lacking as well. I have a good deal of energy, but I am prone to laziness.

I’ll report back after two full days of purging carbs and coffee.

On a general front, I am hoping to have an update regarding my novel and other writing related things pretty soon. I hate to be the type to do the “new year, new me” thing, but it sort of worked out that way.

Until next time.

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