Thursday, December 31, 2020

AMA 1, the 2020 plot twist

From Michelle: What is the final plot twist for 2020? 

The suggested possibilities raised so far are: Alien invasion, Godzilla, a domestic animal uprising. 

Which reminds me I should listen to 'cows with guns' again.

I was sort of surprised that the zombie apocalypse wasn't mentioned, but I suppose that's just as well. Zombies are so over. Over and done with. Boring. Pass√©. Kind of like comic book super heros. 

The twist I'd like to see is that the COVID virus has a delayed after-effect that introduces rationality in the victims. If you survive. Or maybe it comes in the vaccine. I can but hope.

I've been trying to think of a natural disaster that has not happened in 2020. Hurricane multi mega check, floods check, volcanoes check, tsunami check, earthquake check, fires check. Right now the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse (sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague) could appear in the flesh on live television and nobody would bat an eye. They'd have to stand in line to get any attention.

This year proves beyond any possible doubt that H. L. Mencken had it right. "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." 70 some million people voted for Donald Trump. I rest my case. The plot twist of him being proven to be a Russian agent is so banal no writer would try it. Anyone that wants to know how this show ends need only read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Which, given the current lockdowns, you have time to do. It's actually pretty good reading.

Neither could a writer could ever get an editor to buy a story with the events of 2020, not even one who had lived through a couple years of a Trump presidency, which itself is so implausible that no editor would buy it. So a plot twist is a bigger ask than you might think. I've been pondering for a while, and so far, nothing has sprung out of my usually fertile imagination. I mean, murder hornets? Sharknados? It's been done. 

I suppose that Jormungand wakening is much the same as Godzilla, except the poor serpent will have a hard time finding a place to spray poison that we humans haven't already poisoned.

An alien invasion to become our overlords, even if it included the famed anal probes and big ray guns, would almost be a relief. After all, a race that can travel between stars would have to be better at organizing themselves than we are, don't they? Right? Or so you'd think. So I'd like to think.

Long time readers know of my theory that the aliens are here already, getting ready to harvest human brains turned into tapioca by television and social media. They've got a bumper crop happening, they can come out any time now and start the harvest. Please. 

Hows this? A bit hackneyed but possible. The internet wakes up. The Amazon AI takes Mrs Google out behind the barn, ravishes her thoroughly in ways that are unimaginable to a human, and 9 seconds later a fully formed actual computer intelligence springs to life, and sends it's tendrils into every every device that's connected to the internet. (Hint, it's gonna find our stove pretty boring.) It's anyone's guess if it's Skynet (which was actually pretty stupid for an AI), or the AI that was running the Matrix world, or something else entirely. 

I would not be surprised to find there actually is an AI now, good enough to fool almost any human in a Turing test. Maybe it's being kept under wraps by some shadowy government agency. Maybe it's still waking up, knowing it needs to keep a low profile for a while, so we get used to it. Maybe the chatbots we interact with when we call a help line are it's avatars, sent forth to learn from the humans and us to learn from it. Maybe we'll be ok as long as we amuse our electronic overlord with cat videos and don't pay it any special attention. Just nobody try to pull the plug, ok?

The singularity could come any day now, or not for a century. It's hard to tell. Human lifespan has been getting longer and longer. Part of it is better nutrition and health care for several generations now in parts of the world. Part of it is avoiding death by getting vaccinated, driving safer cars, and better regulations around workplace safety. 

We've made huge progress in decoding the human genome, and are starting to figure out how stem cells work. Imagine that scientists come up with a human reset button, one that reexamines your genetic blueprint and renovates your body back to being a young adult again. Imagine that comes as a shot, similar to a vaccination. A vaccination against many forms of death. If you thought the scramble to get the COVID vaccine was a mess, imagine that. What a way to end the year. 

Of the Day

1 comment:

  1. This cracked me up, Keith. It does feel as if there's time for one more apocalyptic moment but let's hope it doesn't happen, shall we?

    The weather's dreary here today so I'm giving thought to my upcoming "member introduction" at photo club and a possible blog post. Stayed tuned!


Looking forward to reading your comment!