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Future Ads. Fun with Wacky Matter.

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I’m still flapping, still trying to get fully airborne on my intended next novel, The Big Aha. But today instead of flapping, I’m playing with my blog. As so often happens here, the pictures have very little to do with the words.


View of my home office from my desk chair, January, 2012, pan made with AutoStich app on an iPhone. Click for a larger version of the image.

I’ve been wondering what advertising will be like in eighty or a hundred years. Nobody reads anymore or even watches a movie. It’s all web nuggets. They don’t “cruise” so much as “harvest” the web. The ads are like viruses, like smart drones, they hound you, they’re targeted to individuals.

In the future, some real work is being done on getting ads into dreams. Particularly if you sleep with your personalized web cruiser on. Maybe you get used to the ads in your dreams, and the ads help you sleep. As it happens, just last night, I kept dreaming I was Googling things in my dreams. How terrible.

Maybe your personal web cruiser can synch the ads you get with with you’re actually seeing in the real world. The ad-mongers might give you fake sense of synchronicity. If they can process your realworld inputs a bit faster than your brain does, and then feed in the kicker maybe ad just a a split second before you see the real thing. And you’re like, wow!

I’m also thinking about the idea that, in the future, we can use quantum engineering to make wacky matter.

The way this works is that computers of the future use quantum computation. Atoms and molecules are always doing quantum computations, even when they’re just sitting around. These computations are in fact rich enough to emulate anything that an ordinary computer could do. If we can just get the hang of how to do it, we can start having computers that are chairs, rocks, air currents, glasses of water, candle flames—whatever.

Okay, suppose that any bit of matter as carrying out a quantum computation, and that we’ve learned to interface with these computations and tweak them.

(Fun option) You dose your surroundings to make them more vibrant, more cartoony, more congenial. Slogan I’ve mentioned before, “Instead of you getting high, your house gets high!” At first it seems harmless and things snap back.


Wild turkeys spotted across the street. Gobbling softly, under their breath.

(Fear option) What if something like a computer virus infects matter, perhaps changing the laws of physics to make our world more congenial for some evil darkside hackers. Or maybe even for some type of aethereal aliens—come to think of it, I used that power chord with the Peng in Hylozoic, so this time let’s keep it more of a near-future actually-happening-in-Silicon-Valley thing, and funner.

(Change option) What if the repeatedly wacked space in some area reconfigures itself—and settles to a new stable attractor. Like that “false vacuum” power chord. Our local spacetime becomes a new domain. Or maybe just the body of one character becomes a new domain.


“What, ME cyberpunk?”

Good scene, with the wacked space. Like the ultimate hungover friend scene. He appears, tottering, and he’s somehow altered the dimensional “signature” of the spacetime in his body. His body has, like, two-dimensional time and two-dimensional space. He slides into your room, coming under your door like a menu to a Chinese restaurant.

And then we get a page or two of this wacked dude describing how it feels to be in 2D time.

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9 Responses to “Future Ads. Fun with Wacky Matter.”

  1. Kehrtraud Says:

    complex time – you just can’t see the imaginary part. Or you can?

  2. Roy Says:

    “[Newt’s] ludicrous proposal to establish a lunar colony by 2020 was a sign of desperation.” — from a New Yorker blog (John Cassidy, January 27) on the Republican primary debates.
    It seems Gingrich has read your novel Software.

  3. Steve H Says:

    Rudy, I made something complicated in a dream once and then realized I was waking up. I was frantically trying to think of something I could save to that would still be there when I -but I was already awake and laughing at myself.

  4. Anon Says:

    “I’ve been wondering what advertising will be like in eighty or a hundred years”

    Sketch of a potential trajectory:

    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/01/27/peak-attention-and-the-colonization-of-subcultures/

  5. Rudy Says:

    Steve H and Kehrtraud, I really appreciate that regulars like you guys adn Alex are still commenting! People still read the blog, I think, but most save their comment energy for Twitter and Facebook.

    Re computer dreams, last night for the second day in a row I dreamed about Googling something or adjusting something on a screen. Obviously I’ve been over using the computer this week.

    Some days I hit a rhythm where it’s write in Word, answer email, post a tweet, comment on Facebook, check email, write a little, edit some photos, work on a blog post, check reactions to my post on twitter, check message on Facebook, write in Word a little, Google a few things, all day long. It can be fun, but I definitely need to make myself go outside as well.

    Kehrtraud, I have more of an image of being aware of parallel worlds for the 2d time thing. I think I talked about it a little in Realware. These aliens called MetaMartians came from a part of the universe with 2D time and they were always dumping on us for our shabbly and limitied single dimesion of temporality.

    Roy, I kind of like when any politician has heard of SF concepts! That was a good thing about having Schwarzenegger as gov here in CA. The Terminator himself.

    Newt…even his first name is kind of eldritch. I saw him a debate, he is kind of bright and funny. But I’m hoping the O-man can hold the fort.

  6. Jeremy Says:

    That is so weird – those last two paragraphs pretty much describe a dream I had as a child. A ‘being’ slid under my door and then hovered next to me just observing – it didn’t seem complete. If we ever get ads in our sleep could they search old memories and create dreams out of them, or retrieve old dreams as memory and manipulate them? They could perhaps evoke that curious feeling of having a weird memory but not really being sure whether it was a past dream or something that really happened. There’s got to be a word for that…

  7. Rudy Says:

    Jeremy, I think my idea for the ad sliding under your door comes from a scene in one of Wm. Gibson’s novels where they are, I think, in cyberspace but also in Kowloon Walled City, and an ad slides under the door, and a shape on the floor attacks it and tears it apart. And the host says the protector entity “offered a criticism” of the ad, and the narrator says, “offered criticism? it ate it!”

    I too have the occasional expereince of not being sure if something’s a real memory or a memory of something I saw in a dream. A related thing is that sometimes in a dream, I’ll seem to remember having seen something in an earlier dream. As if, while dreaming, I have a better memory about my dreams.

    Certainly dream ads could do all of these things. I might work some of them into this new novel I’m starting.

  8. Steve H Says:

    Rudy, I kinda think dream advertising might be possible if you had a good AI or a set of algorithms to apply. You present the conscious mind with sets of images throughout the day, and at night the dreaming subconscious solves the riddle and the ad acts itself out in a dream. If you misapplied the algorithms, people would dream your product was chasing them with a chainsaw or bleeding in the refrigerator. Maybe you could hack your competitor by adding an image that blended with theirs? There might be a whole government agency devoted to chasing people who commit malware dream advertising, and therapists who specialize in getting rid of traumatic advertising shock. Robert W. Chambers dreamed up the evil KING IN YELLOW back in 1895; it was a book that fried your brain by setting up the characters and place in Act One, then doing something so awful to them in Act Two that the reader was left a trembling wreck on the verge of madness. Lovecraft used it for the Necronomicon, but Madison Avenue would certainly use it to sell Chthulu-flavored candybars.

  9. Belf of moldovia Says:

    Rudy thats good golfpunk sweater you are cyber-golfpunk too…


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