The Uncanny Pedestrians

Art by Neil Slorance

Monday | January 06, 2025 | 7:23 AM ET


The long awaited trial for the Jerome Appleby will begin today. The 26-year-old El Santo resident who turned himself in immediately after a killing spree claims he thought was interacting in a droid-reality environment. The case will be centred around DRE from the high-profile robotic-reality firm DreamIt, to determine whether Appleby satisfies the mens rea – the criminal intent in the shooting, or whether he could mistaken the environment for the real world. The publicly accessible map he designed and played in DreamIt was a recreation of El Santo, and has since been shut down. The shooting spree began in a skate park and continued for almost 30 seconds until Appleby ran out of ammunition.

The CEO of DreamIt, Andy Foccacio, issued a public statement on Sunday stating they will temporarily close all their reality centres until they introduce new security regulations and require all users to undergo a mental stability examination before returning to their environments. DreamIt provides an enhanced personalizable environment to interact with humanoid robots, allowing users to build themselves an alternate universe. It has been lauded by some as “the healthy natural virtual reality alternative we have all waited for”, although some have criticized DreamIt for it’s lack of censorship in AR environments.

In a recording uploaded to YouTube by an El Santo citizen, Appleby is seen standing up from what appears to have been a skateboard accident, pull out a pistol, and begin shooting nearby unprovoked pedestrians.


Story inspired by NYT video.

Fight Club book review

Artwork by JASEighty6
Artwork by JASEighty6

Fight ClubFight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book from the beginning to the end, and then read the Author’s new afterword found at the end of the book. If I could make one recommendation to readers it would be “read the afterword first”. You will understand the context of the book, the reason why it is often desperately explicit, purposefully grotesque. You will also come to appreciate that the book was made in obscurity, and almost died in obscurity. The book was not a multi-million dollar production, it was the first book from an unknown author from an unknown school. The author himself presumed no one would care for the novel.

“In the workshop where I started to write fiction, you had to read your work in public. Most times you read in a bar or coffee house where you’d be competing with the roar of the espresso machine. Or the football game on television. Music and drunk people talking. Against all this noise and distraction, only the most shocking, most physical, dark and funny stories got heard.”

View all my reviews

Doing whatever you want to do

I presume we agree that the Western millenial generation has been brought up to believe that they can do anything that they want to do if they put in the effort. This is an optimistic idea of perfect liberty, complete autonomy. I’ve bumped into several millenial digressions that confirm this is not an iscolated phenomenon, but maybe it is a large scale delusion.

If you’re living under  rock, let me present the scenario to you: you grow up being told that, if you commit to something, you can do whatever you want to, if you are dedicated, the world is your oyster. Thanks to being born into a Western industrial globe as a benefactor in a priviledged time and location in world history, we now have access to more information and opportunities than almost any other human in any situation past or non-western. This much is true, and so the prevailing conclusion is that we can do anything. At least that was my understanding of it.

The conclusion of “you can do anything you want to do if you really want to” though, is the idea that everyone deserves the economic situation they find themselves in. The wealthy deserve to be wealthy and the poor are in a situation that they found themselves in as a result of actions that they chose… Let’s forget for one second the fallacies in this blanket statement and presume for a moment that this has even a bit of truth to it: even if this is partly true, democratic governments that are more egalitarian tend to encourage people to “choose” higher education and a more productive life which tends to benefit the economy much more than allowing people to choose to be illiterate, unemployed, or unproductive. Even from a purely self-interested economic GDP perspective, there is no excuse to not helping people along that somehow find themselves in a situation in which they choose not to study.

So when will we get completely free education? Come on!

Twitter + #hashtag = change! (vote4justin)

twitter-parodyI just received the email that is attached below no less than half an hour ago.  I’m a Liberal sympathiser, but I’m also allergic to dribble. So I’ll break this email down to comprehensible chunks:

The story begins with a swooning account of a politically active Canadian millennial. This young quintessential depiction of the voice of freedom  went so far as to say “I’m in”. She even took a photo in a booth at the National Convention in Montreal. With these two words and that click she stepped over the division of people who are not in, and is now definitely part of a movement who declare that they want change. She is most certainly in.

This young heroine stood up for what she believed in, and by extension, if you’re not in, you’re not standing up for what you believe in. (But she’s someone like you, so don’t worry). The movement she started is powerful. It is growing. It is nation-wide. 970 people believe we have a chance at success – 970. This is the beginning of a revolution.

The most poetic and most dangerous part about this movement is that they are in support of positive political leadership. This movement has impossible odds, since 35 million people live in Canada, and only 970 believe in positive political leadership. 23,971,740 eligible voters – 970 = 23,970,770 people who are in support of negative political leadership. Contra mundum ad infinitum.

But you can help her by tweeting something positive with the hashtag #whyimin4canada

Liberal Party of Canada - Parti Libéral du Canada .'s profile photo
Justin Trudeau
Today, 5:22 PM


I want to share a story about how someone like you took charge, stood up for what she believed in, and started a powerful movement.

Meet Mackenzie.

For her, it all started this past February, at our historic National Convention in Montreal.
Mackenzie stepped into our photo booth and took this picture:

Meet Mackenzie

That night she joined 970 other Canadians who made the same promise she did. She said:

“I’m in.”

Now she’s part of a growing, nationwide movement of Canadians in communities, towns and cities across the country, who are declaring that they want change.

In fact, by making this declaration, they are driving change. Have a look:

Mosaic image

These are some of the 970 people so far who believe that with hope and hard work, we can build a Canada where each of us has a real and fair chance at success.

What truly inspires me, is that by starting this movement, each of them has declared being ‘IN’ for positive political leadership with an ambitious vision of Canada. Leadership that addresses the challenges of their daily lives and helps our country grow.

So I have a question for you, Emerset.

If you could help shape the evolution of our country, would you?

I’m In is YOUR political platform — you started it this past February — and you have the power to grow it — making change a reality.

Here’s how:

  1. Upload your photo — take charge, stand up for change and help build our live mosaic of Canada.
  2. Tell the country why you are IN. Share your reason for wanting to drive change — @justintrudeau #whyimin4canada.
  3. Spread the word — from now until May 30th, I will be re-tweeting the 3 most memorable #whyimin4canada tweets, per week. Remember you want to tweet @JustinTrudeau #whyimin4canada.

Real change happens when people take action.

So, upload your photo, lend your voice, and speak out for what you believe in. Let the country know why you’re in.

This is beyond politics. It’s about your ideas for your country.

Are you in for Canada?

Thank you.


This email was sent to: […]

  Email updates like this one are the most effective way for us to keep in touch.

To contact the Liberal Party of Canada, please reply to this email. Our mailing address: 81 Metcalfe street, suite 600 Ottawa ON K1P 6M8. Authorized by the Federal Liberal Agency of Canada, registered agent for the Liberal Party of Canada.


Sample Alert box

The Secret of Enlightened Individuals

Wikipedia - taste the fruit of knowledge

I often find myself wondering what the people I find myself surrounded by would be thinking if their environment was only friendlier and more accessible to higher learning and creativity. If everyone was exposed to everything considered “elitist” then where would we be now? If everyone in the world had a chance to drive go carts at 3 and derby cars at 11, what would the F1 competitions look like today? Where would the world of symphonies or skiing or medicine be if we were all given opportunity at a young age to practise anything and be exposed to much more?

As my favourite symphonic composition is Beethoven’s 9th – I know it’s cliche and I’ve tried to like other obscure composers more, so at least I can say with confidence that it is my favourite until now – I find it hard to imagine a world where everyone, myself included, had the chance at a young age to try to compose other symphonies. I imagine a small fraction of a percent of the world even had the chance, and so this artistic area remains under-explored. My argument is that we should have been able to give everyone in the world a much greater chance of potential greatness, and we would have benefited from it like we can’t imagine.

This has been in the back my head for several years now.

On Youth Restlesness

Whatever one is born into, he becomes restless of it. From the lowly farmer with no cares in the world to the imperious overlord who rules nations. From the smallest hamlet to the grandest metropolis, from the hottest hell to the coldest winter, the happy lazy languorous milieu, to the driven successful advancing conquering league.

When a child reaches a certain intellectual age, in middle to late teen hood, he will grow restless of life, and blame it on his upbringing.

He then will seek to find justice or victory or peace of mind in change, in fighting for something different than what he has been given, in fighting for “the” answer. This restlessness will continue and when one finds they cannot win all challenges in life, they have a choice. Where to go, what to do, it all becomes ambivalent now, and he will seek psychological peace from within rather than from outside circumstances, which now all fall into the same boiling bin. After fighting an inevitably losing battle, he despairs, but after this ray of hopelessness comes wisdom like never before, and now the great person can rise with nothing to lose. He now has made his peace with the world, and has now grown perfectly middle-aged. It is the greatest fear of all revolutionary hot-heads, to become this. But once you stop with self-centered extremist fanaticism, you realize you’re not the only human in this test tube. If a great personal loss does not shake you, but rather you step back, regroup, and re-advance, then you have already overcome the self-centered small-mindedness of youth, and stepped into the cold cold world of physical mathematics.
After this only though, comes even truer wisdom:

You will one day realize the joy of neither the thralls of self-elevation, nor the shouts of united victory, but the peaceful bliss of a flower in spring, or a friend conversing in the afternoons. Away from the chaotic mess and the noise of a thousand jobs. Away from madness. This is wisdom.

On the Success of The Life of Pi

The Life of Pi was Yann Martel’s second novel. It was written after an obscure novel which “did not move. […] It vanished away quickly and quietly” (Martel VII). It was also followed by his latest novel which also poorly received, “In the US the reviews were what one politely calls “mixed”; in the UK they have been uniformly hostile” (Moss). Between these unsuccessful novels came the best-selling Man-Booker Award winning Life of Pi. What was it that distinguished Martel’s second novel, which shot him into multi-million dollar world-wide distinction, and was so different from Beatrice and Virgil, Continue reading On the Success of The Life of Pi

Calamity Befoul’d

Calamity Befoul’d and all your guts,
O take from this dead life what you once gave.
Empty my stuffing of post-mortem ruts
Which leaves the roots of fear still on the brave

Then ageless times, now lost and always mine
-The Pantheon of memory is to blame
O catch it swift, beloved wretched Time!
With everlasting peace and want of shame.

Malicious Cruelty, as thou art deep,
I’ll overshadow all thy glib pretence.
You enviously take what you can’t keep:
For heretofore my life may recommence.

And yet it can’t. A slave to liberty,
My life is but a shadow-play of me.

Science and Cold Statistics

The world population today is estimated to be 6.9 billion people and is expected to reach 8 billion in twelve years. This has caused considerable strain on the earth, and we are not expecting things to get easier in the future. More people inevitably means more resources used, more energy used, more vehicles needed, oil burned, plastic garbage created, and wildlife systems destroyed. Already the only natural habitat for the Giant Panda, the great Chinese forest has been subdivided with highways cutting through it. Ecological progress is not within the foreseeable future.

Yet looking at the quality of life the average Canadian citizen (and even middle-class second-world-country citizen) possesses, people are usually shocked to discover that their personal lifestyle and quality is higher than the royalty of the dark ages. This is not because we crush the lower class more, to the contrary we live in an age where the common man has had the most freedom and rights in the written history of the world. We live better, have a longer average life-span, have access to a better diet, have fridges, freezers, and vitamins, we have better health, better hygiene, and more education opportunities and entertainment because of technology. The bubonic plague will never be a scare anymore and famines have been eradicated in the developed world through pesticides and irrigation. All of this, because we invented microscopes, studied electronics, physics and various forms of advanced engineering, among other sciences.

The only way to possibly solve global warming without destroying the world economy is through finding alternate forms of energy, to harness E=mc². Solving today’s problems versus solving tomorrow’s problems is like scrounging for food versus building a farm: both are necessary, but the farm is of extreme importance.

Works Cited

U.S. Census Bureau – World POPClock Projection

Cameron and Neal. A Concise Economic History of the World. Oxford University Press. 2003. Print.

Pesticide”. Wikipedia. MediaWiki. July 2011. Web. 19 July 2011.