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Author Topic: imaginary graemlins of the future
kenmeer livermaile
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Imagine a perfect sphere of cheaply abundant bandwidth in a future only a few years from now, some of it already happening in more advanced locales, I suppose.

Graemlins advance from the Silent Era, and speak and squawk and sing. They become increasingly sophisticated conveyors of emotional nuance and rhetorical 'effect'.

One such graemlin would be:

a finely-grained semi-ralistic image of B.B.King singing 'The Thrill Is Gone'. After it had become an accepted emoticonal standard, it would spawn subsets: actual footage of B.B. squinting his eyes in emotional effort while hitting one of his trademark two-note 'stingers' (B.B. afficiandoes will kow the genre of licks of which I speak)...

A very popular but also despised by over-use, will be the graemlin of the famous toy monkey banging cymbals...

Stock footage of Injuns on horseback cresting the ridge accompanied by the musical cliche: DUH-dundundun-Dunh... (brass and woodwinds as tom-toms)... subset being Hollywood aboriginal ulullation accompanying a f-f-f-f-f-IST!!! of an arrow piercing a blue-suited cavalry soldier through the chest.

A dozen or so variations of Tarzan/George of the Jubgle.

A dozen or so variations of Ron Jeremy/John Holmes classic 'you know you want it' postures accompanied by an inexhaustible variety of quotes, quips, erotic vocalizations, animal/industrial/mechanical/bodily function noises....

An especially sophisticated variety will feature film noir stereotypes overlain with classic mid-20th century jazz motifs such as, say the opening notes of MIles Davis' unmuted trumpet from in 'Generique from the French avant-noir film "Ascension Pour L'Achafaud" ("Lift to the Scaffold"). Use of false stock Bogie quotes (like 'Play it again, Sam', which Bogie never said in the famous flick) would separate the boors from the berets.

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0Megabyte
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Within a decade of that, we won't need graemlins, as we'll all be online speaking with our online avatars, which possess whatever form and voice we desire. Kinda like video conferencing, only we'll all feel like we're there, in an actual virtual room. (it'll be great for the sheer sake of interactivity. Since the environment is totally virtual, you can order it to change to show precisely what you want. No more paper boards showing charts and graphs, but charts and graphs appearing right there in the middle of the "room"!)

The whole need for graemlins will be past, as we can show the emotional effect we want with tone of voice, body language, etc. The thing that makes internet communication so much less communicative than regular RL communication will dissapear. Thus, their purpose gone, graemlins will become one of those things only we old people remember.

Like... um... gramaphones? Eight-tracks? Whatever else you old people used to use that I now have no knowledge of?

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scifibum
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Dunno - written word can be processed, scanned, and comprehended with greater speed than spoken word. I think we'd need neural enhancements before we abandoned text in favor of virtual speakers.

I expect graemlins of highly nuanced character to be more likely - but not that useful if we have to pick them ourselves. Who would want to sort through a vast library to find just the right graemlin for a given situation? Someone like kenmeer might design them on the fly, but someone like me would never do it. On the other hand, if a computer gets smart enough to figure out what's appropriate then do the sorting for us, then we're talking about a kind of mediation to communication which I think could be quite profound.

[ October 29, 2006, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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0Megabyte
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Okay, true. Written communication will still be very common. Far more common.

But when we DO have those neural enhancements, which is when I'm talking about, these things will probably be more common than phone calls, or at least replace them. Essentially, you could have at minimum voice emails, and emails of far greater... potential. Mini movie emails.

Live communication over what the internet becomes could become more common than phone calls. Heck, broadband based phone lines are already appearing, and I'm thinking at least fifty to a hundred years in the future here.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
I expect graemlins of highly nuanced character to be more likely - but not that useful if we have to pick them ourselves. Who would want to sort through a vast library to find just the right graemlin for a given situation?
I imagine they'll just attach them to adjectives so you'll just be limited by your vocabulary. You type in *jealous* or *angry* or *veryangry* or *enraged* or whatever and the graemlin would match it.
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seekingprometheus
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scifi,

The spoken word technology already exists. Has for years. It's called the telephone. It's just a matter of integration.

The creation of a virtual environment like OMega is talking about will require technologies that do not exist yet. Neural interface technologies are an option (I don't have time to link right now, but inchoate forms of these technologies are already being developed--check out "Citizen Cyborg by James Hughes or "Radical Evolution" by Joel Garreau). I agree that it will exist quite soon. I lament my sad prediction that true virtual reality is unlike to develop in the next 50 years. When it does become real, it changes humankind more profoundly than anything since language.

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0Megabyte
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Which is why someone needs to make a serious movie about it before it happens. (Not "Lawnmower Man.")
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seekingprometheus
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Or "The Matrix."
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Chael
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As long as it's not "Snow Crash: The Movie." I'd hate to see what They'd do to it.
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kenmeer livermaile
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It would be a mish-mosh pit like the cinema version of Dune.

Too much. Too big. Too reliant on excellent verbal imagery (the one place where the Dune comprison doesn't hold, since Herbert was no verbal poet, just a damn fine storyteller/thinker).

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The thing that makes internet communication so much less communicative than regular RL communication will dissapear."

Sadly, the increase in direct modes of communication will mostly decrease, at first, the depth of content. In time, though, the restrictions of feeling-face-to-face (even via avatars), and its associated sense of urgency to reply in 'real-time', as well as the diminished quality of thought resulting from the absence of the rchitectural support provided by composing in text, will be balanced out by the richer nuances afforded by virtual presence.

As one who spent most of his life without email, I can attest to how much it has expanded the contact of deeply thinking minds because it a) connects so many while b) keeping them at a safe remove from physical violence and c) requiring even the stupidest among us to form their thoughts into typewriten words, an act which imposes of itself an inherent rigor usually absent in oral comunication.

"Thus, their purpose gone, graemlins will become one of those things only we old people remember."

Or simply used as fashion accesories. This is an entirely, repeat *ENTIRELY* ne world we are sharing and cocreating via the demiurges of electronics engineers and software codesters.

"Like... um... gramaphones? Eight-tracks? Whatever else you old people used to use that I now have no knowledge of?"

You just committed a delicious non sequitur, albeit in reverse synbtactic alignment.

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