coping

Cause du Jour

The clock is no longer ticking down. There are no grains of sand left in the upper chamber of the hourglass. It’s time to call time. Our dark epoch is now. Dystopia isn’t some futuristic wasteland somwhere forever beyond the borders of our generation’s average lifespan; it’s an emerged reality our species has collaborated to build over time. Some of it still may be in the form of unstable, early alpha releases, while others have just progressed to beta stages, but a lot of it has been in stable version release cycles for some time, now. Human appetite scales now at over 8 billion units. The habitable zone of this planet has been cauterized from self repair. An economy is based on rewarding the ability to consume more, faster. A vast global network of computers connecting much of the world together has been used as a weapon as much as a service. Increasingly autonomous machines look up things for us, buld things for us, adjust our thermostates, surveil our movements, analyse our habits, and (when necessary) aim a rocket as us.

We’ve developed a complex system for existance at our current standard that we can’t actually fully understand or switch off without considerable downsides, and whose maintanence requires further complexity. Our minds are geared for the opposite: to create patterns, cut corners, latch onto simple solutions. So here’s a text-based experimentation to make sense of things. It doesn’t aim for facts, those are easy enough. It’s going for truth. Make of that what you will.

In practical terms, this site exists for two purposes:

  • A place to put some writing and other experiments that don’t really fit into the blogging category, though not at such a high quality it should be flogged for print.
  • A flat-file site to use for various hosting and distribution experiments that may help make some other websites a bit stronger.

There are enough films, books and TV shows speculating about our far or near future despair. Everything that tackles the present is basically news, and the rest is history. This isn’t about the future or the past. It’s about now. It’s not concerned with the news, except of what it means to our present, downward spiral. Too often, Classically, sci-fi writing is set in some different time or planet or reality, while offering some commentary on the present reality of the author’s time. We’re now in a time where the future seems less far off. Analogies are clunky, and less necessary.

Dystopia is in Facebook normalising deep profiling of all its users, its the caste system of Amazon finding faster ways for people to shop without leaving their homes by penalising warehouse workers for using the toilet. It’s a U.S. made drone sold to Saudi Arabia to take out people in Yemen. It’s the supply chain that has children in a Congo mine digging minerals that go to a sweatshop in China to develop overpriced, short-life-span iPhones for people standing in queue all night outside an Apple shop in Covent Garden. It’s algorhitms that have automated our biases to more efficiently sort through job applications and reenforce a status quo. We don’t need to speculate on where this is all going. Sometimes it’s enough to just stop and simply mull where things are.


Dislaimer

So, everything on this websites is a work of fiction… give or take. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner… Unless they aren’t. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental… if you believe in coincidence, anyway. Or maybe it’s fate, or karma.

In any case, in those instances, some names and identifying details would have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Others probably haven’t, though. In some cases, the auther may have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from recollection, but memory is a shifty thing. The mind plays tricks, and sometimes goes to extreme efforts to obscure particularly traumatic details or hard truths. It’s a defence mechanism.

Nothing on this websites is intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The information in this websites is neither meant to supplement or replace proper training. The author advises readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits, and do not take risks beyond their level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.

Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information on this website is as carbon neutral as possible, the author does not assume any responsibility, and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, physical, mental or temporal damage, or disruption caused by exposure to this content. The author is a cruel and uncaring bastard, but then so is the universe.


Website

This site was bult on the Hugo framework to fulfill two purposes: create a place to write some short fiction, and have a simple flat flat website to experiment on different hosting set ups. I’ll update where this site is available as things develop.


Design

The minimalist, design, lightly edited to conjure the idea of a government form of some sort uses the Ghostwriter theme by JollyGoodThemes and was ported to Hugo by jbub. Anything buggy on this site is down to me, not them. I chose Ghostwriter because the set up accomplished the most without me having to do too terribly much. The appropriate theme name is just a happy coincidence.


Content

Creative Commons Licence The Dystopia Report, run by yours truly, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions to use content beyond the scope of this license may be available by asking first.


The liner notes

Here are some resources help me tweak this site to my liking. Maybe they help you, maybe they don’t. What? You want to fight about it?

Aligning images in markdown is greatly helped by ebadf.net’s blog post on the topic. Editing text files and writing content is mostly done in Brackets. Tweaking CSS and processing Sass on the fly is made really easy with the Scout-App. If you ever want to work on image styling without loading a bunch of generic images that you’ll later need to purge, then placebear is the thing for you. The site is currently being hosted on Google’s Firebase, which seems somehow fitting. More tool sharing as tools emerge.


Image source.