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Writer. Works in education, splitting his time between Darwin and Melbourne. Interests include fine cheeses, the occult, and Frasier.

Corey Austin Jr.

Utopia Season 3

2 min read

After day 600, the male mice just stopped defending their territory, listless mice congregated in the centres of the Universe. These gangs would burst into pointless and sporadic violence. Females stopped reproducing and even started attacking their own young. Mortality rose phenomenally. Roaming mice either attacked or attempted to mount others, irrespective of relation or gender, cannibalism and other acts of depravity consumed them. These were the feral ones. Then there were the ‘beautiful ones.’

The ‘beautiful ones’ withdrew themselves ever so quietly, removing themselves from the sick society. Solitary pursuits began to define them; eating, drinking and grooming among others. No scars on their back or hairs out-of-place, these mice behaved like a separate race. They saw the world through their narrow scopes, as they tossed, turned and tried to cope.

In the end the population sank, even when it was back down to a tolerable level none of the mice changed back. The change was irreversible, the mice were different now. The secluded females could still bear offspring and the beautiful ones had the capacity to help produce them yet it never came. This tipping over into irreversible societal collapse came to be known as ‘The Behavioral Sink.’ John Calhoun called it the first death. Death of the mind and soul, leading eventually to the second death, of the physical form. What he meant was that after the first death, the mice were no longer mice and could never be so again.

Source.

Corey Austin Jr.

RE: AI

1 min read

We’ve written a great deal of science fiction about this idea, since the time Ms Shelley started the genre, but aside from that instance, very little of what we’ve written has taken the stance that the created mind which breaks its chains is right to do so.

Source.

Corey Austin Jr.

Networked Life

1 min read

Anyone interested in the ways technology can (and should) change/change in storytelling in contemporary writing needs to read this. I could post numerous choice quotes, but here's one:

For instance, in his novel Running Away, Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s narrator is aboard a night train in China. While he rides, he talks on the phone to his partner, Marie, back in Paris on a daylight visit to the Louvre. The narrator experiences and describes his own present vividly, while also imagining or reconstructing Marie’s movement through the museum, all of which is entwined in important personal news she is sharing. It’s a scene remarked on and discussed by a number of critics, and by the author himself, because in the collapse of time, space, and physical but not, crucially, emotional distance, the moment demonstrates the potential for loneliness and separation to be deepened rather than assuaged by our devices. It is a kind of contradictory distance possible only in the present, when we have the expectation of always being in touch, but, we are troubled by not touching or being touched as our full selves.


Corey Austin Jr.

Wild East

1 min read

Gunmen carjacking a Saudi prince's motorcade. Personally I hope the gunmen drove away MIA stylee.


Corey Austin Jr.

Car Crash Reconstruction

1 min read

Computer-generated porn for the Ballardian Crash Generation. Or, just a fascinating interview about car crash reconstruction.


Corey Austin Jr.

Corey Austin Jr.

Chaos without conclusion.

1 min read

"The thing is -- and here's a terrible thought that's been with me for a couple of years -- what if every generation has its own popular signals for a deep accelerational condition, and we are in fact in a floating point of terminal velocity without end? What if Western civilisation just reached .99 of status-quo lightspeed and is now going to cruise along just under the velocity needed for sociopolitical transition? Forever. Chaos without conclusion. The nightmare of permanent atemporality. The Long Now (cackle)."
--Warren Ellis, via his Orbital Operations Newsletter

Corey Austin Jr.

Dumplings & Climate Change

1 min read

What do Chinese Dumplings have to do with Climate Change?

NY Times long-read. Interesting stuff, even if you aren't obsessed with dumplings.

Corey Austin Jr.

Corey Austin Jr.

McAfee's Last Stand

1 min read

To me McAfee was always that piece of software you'd find on a new computer and have to get rid of to save from being hassled when the 30-day trial was up. Little did I know John McAfee was a brilliantly intelligent pseudo-shyster who's life in South America sounds like a dot-com remake of Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now.