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Superstruct

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Oct. 23rd, 2008 | 12:03 am

I finally got around to signing up for SuperStruct, the collaborative predictive game about 2019. It's only going to be running until November 17.



where do you live?
Scenario 1: things remain relatively stable.

In 2010 I bought a house near where I work in Pasadena. I've done a lot of work retrofitting it to be as independent as possible for my critical needs. I've got PV, a local garden making about 80% of my households food supplies, and I've even been making progress at some carefully chosen bacteria to try and reclaim my own water.

I managed to work through some of my insecurity, and took advantage of my appointment to our local governments advisory commissions and have been managing to work the ideas of resilliant communities in to our local government

Scenario 2: things go bad.

After the first time the taps went dry in los angeles in 2012, the cultural conservatives needed someone to blame. Did they think perhaps their additional to exponential growth was to blame, and that perhaps all those warnings about global climate change were true? Nope it was the gays, athiests and feminists, God was punishing them with a drout for harboring us.

After seeing that first strike from blackwater against San Fransisco, I thought it would be a good idea to live somewhere else. So me and some of my friends joined the migrant masses, we skipped down to mexico for a bit, but really wanted to try and make it into Canada. They're still at least somewhat sane, though having a crazy millitant neighbor to the south had made them rethink the open border policy.

Also no matter how good your hacking skills are, it is really hard to avoid the wide deployment termal sensor webs, so we keep moving.

We're running low on supplies, and getting hungry, and the offers of money from the mexican drug cartels for zombie hosts for spamming are getting quite tempting.

One of our last thoughts for some personal freedom was to get our hands on a ship or old oil platform and cast off into the open sea. Then we'll just have to deal with pirates, and hopefully avoid those periodic "re-orientation" camps.

Who do you live with?
I still live with my girlfriend, regardless of what those cultural conservitives are trying to force us to do.

Also to deal with my introvert's terror at the demands of maintaining the expected constant net presence I've been working on my own AI conversational simulator of myself. She watches all of my web reading and the cursor tracker is good enough at keeping track of where my reading focus is, and is a lot simpler than those eye tracking rigs.

On trusted hosts she has full access to my chat, mail, voip streams, calendars, and blogs.

I guess carrying around a digital copy of yourself counts as living with yourself?

What do you do? Where do you work?
Work, that implies they're still paying us, right?

Up to 2010 I had a pretty nice job working at Caltech doing Bioinformatics research. Unfortunately a lot of our money was coming from the NIH, and a broke government can't fund much science.

But most of us who were working here were also working because we liked science, and since there aren't many paying jobs elsewhere, we still spend part of the day carrying on with the research.

Of course since we're also hungry, we have some additional jobs tending the hydroponic farms up on the roofs. And since we aren't getting paid we aren't as motivated to do what our Primary Investigators tell us.

I'm still convinced that the way through the economic crisis is through the DIY mentality of the open source world, so in addition to hacking on parts of KDE and trying to find power optimizations to eek out some more battery life, I also spend help maintain the local 802.11 mesh networks.

I've also started debating with some vegetarian friends, if you dump the right bits of RNAi into C. Elegans you can make a mutant worm whose 98% muscle, and whose nervous system never developed. So is eating them vegetarian? Of course its still not terribly practical as you need to do this to a lot of worm eggs, since a healthy one is only about 1mm fully grown, but still we are making some progress making meat without an animal.

What matters to you most?
I really don't want to be the last (or next to last) generation of intelligent life. I want us to get past the great filter.

I gave up on thinking it was H.Sapiens that was going to make it to a sustainable society a long time ago. Humans are subject to too many types of bad decision making. That falacy of the sunk cost has been a real killer these days, and then there's that difficulty facing long-term problems.

I'm not sure if its going to be the humans who understand systems modeling who'll make it, or genetically engineered humans (or other species) or if those AIs are finally showing some signs of creativity, but I really hope one of us creates a workable future.

How did you get to be this person? (Tell us about a defining moment in the past 10 years, a decision you made, an opportunity you took, an event that changed the way you think, etc.)
My big struggle has been trying to cope with depression. When I pay enough attention to the world to take an action, the magnitute of the problems we face crushes me. As I collapse in on myself I have to find something to safe to obsess over sufficiently to blot out my obessing over all the imploding trends.

Frequently I use MMOs as an escape, but at times the content generators run out of fun things to explore, and I'm forced back into facing reality.

What do you know?
I'm a software developer whose been doing bioinformatics software development for a number of years.

I'm curious about economic models, social organizational, AI, and what happens after we automate most of our jobs? (Will the only jobs left in the future be the ones whose terms of service specifically ban bots? (AKA MMO gold farming?))

who do you know
I like the coworkers in my lab, I like my girlfriends family, and I have a group of friends I visit semi-regularly to play games with.

I also respect my fellow commissioners on the transportation commission.

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