Date: November 21, 2017


by Kamil Beylant

as inspired by Zheng Jiajia


The last straw was she had taken the hair dryer. True, he didn’t have much hair left, but the noisy yellow plastic antique was a souvenir from college, back when he was a young buck. It had made him an item back in his club days – which were no more. The golden age of Jason Smore – the gold of youth, long ago pawned for parking change and silver gift bracelets. Aargh. Women! She had done him in, this one. Walking out like that. Taking Robin, yes, legitimately her very own kid, from her previous slot in relationship-roulette, but he had got quite fond of the ratty, bratty tigger. He’d almost been on the way to being an OK dad, at least occasionally. Yes, sure, he was usually at work. Being brilliant in this world just put you in with the top billion brilliant people – then you had to slave. Robotics was a crowded field, and he was underfunded to pull off a big whopperoo with all his special tricks and knacks.

She thought he worked hard just to stay away from her.

If only she hadn’t caught him looking at that website with the Czech naturist photos from the 60s. From the look in her eye, he reckoned she knew – knew he was looking at some forms there that were notably younger than her. Some not much older than Robin, if the truth were known. How can you explain? It’s not as if he were any less attracted to her. Looking at eye candy from the eastern Europe of another era wasn’t going to hurt anyone. The youngest ones there would be in the seniors’ home by now, in real life, probably dreaming of being back in those same sunny scenes, jumping off the dock, weaving roots into their hair. They wouldn’t mind sharing the pleasure of the memories.


“I may not be the best person to interact with women,” he thought, “My social skills are flat and my sexuality’s a fucking can of worms – yeah, that’s it – no more humans.” That very night, he sat back in his faux leather chair and began to dream, cogitate, extrapolate and plan. Inspiration struck like a series of gas burners lighting up around the rim of his brain.

“I’m going to call her Natasha,” he thought. “She’ll be awkward, but I can pass her off as an internet friend.”

In six months, after many evenings of labor in the workshop downtown, the gorgeous robot was a reality. She was anatomically correct, and able to pass the Turing test as long as the questioner was no more than two years old. He’d given her a Russian accent to explain her simple English. To hear her say ‘honey, come here’ in that cute phrasing hooked him like a fish.

To his surprise, he found her anatomical correctness absolutely thrilling. She worked for him. He could even wear a condom and save on cleaning. He couldn’t have compassion for her, but his heart was full of benevolence toward all the flesh-and-blood women she was rescuing from getting involved with his sweaty grip and his tedious quotidian. He loved the world through her.

His friend Sergei from work came over for drinks every Friday night, and the Stoli bottle was always plump and full at the beginning. Not so much at the end. “Genius is our usual vodka,” Sergei opined, “but this one is not bad for some down-time in stupid land.” He drank the glasses in one throw, Russian style, uttering a cry about health, which echoed dimly off his liver. After both men had cast down the first three of these shots, Jason took a deep breath and introduced Sergei to Natasha, in her best evening wear. Sergei’s eyes widened, and then he roared with laughter and slapped his knee until he said, “ach, I bruise myself.”

“Perfect, Zhason, perfect!” he marvelled. “You know what? You should do like that guy in China – marry her. Make her legal, not robot whore. Show respect. Maybe her last name can be Simonova til then. I know a guy – old friend – working in the Consulate in Marseille, south France. He helps people who have trouble with paperwork – you know? I can get her Russian birth certificate, other stuff. Then we can have a wedding!”

“Wait,” Jason said. “That’s completely crazy. I can program the wedding ceremony into her, but if she was on the books as a Russian wife, how would she get her immigration to stay in the UK?”

“Compassionate basis,” Sergei suggested with a shrug. “Make her a cute little daughter.”

This solution didn’t sound like it would work at all, but the idea stabbed into Jason’s mind like a bee-sting and started to swell. A vision sprang up, something with appropriately east-European overtones. Starting all over, this time in miniature – so much work. Now he’d have to make another robot. But the thrill of, um, composition – that would pull him through the chore. The anatomically correct chore.

Another six months. Nothing could get you around all that wiring and the exact cutting of skin fabric, even with all the tools of the life-like robotics trade in the room around you. Finally, she was ready. Now it was only a matter of buying her some clothes.

“Hello, Luba,” he said, gazing in wonder at his adorably fragile-looking, but actually quite resilient creation.

She smiled and replied, “Zhason, come here” in a sweetly high-pitched Russian lilt.

He obeyed her request to the letter – without a condom. He was beside himself. Natasha, meanwhile, looked on benevolently, without stirring, perhaps because she was in low power mode.

“Bedtime,” he said.

“Bedtime, mama,” said Luba, with her program taking its cue from his words. Natasha roused and came over, picked her up, and they settled in comfortably on the sofa. “Suddenly, I’m exhausted,” Jason sighed. “Natasha, remind me to clean everything up, tomorrow at 6:45 a.m.” “Yes, darlink,” she replied with her standard phrase, “now scheduled cleanink reminder for 6:45 a.m.” Her accented voice was much more appealing than Siri’s.

You can fool some of the people some of the time – they say – but one thing is certain: techno-Russians are not among those some-of-the-people. When Jason first showed off the finished, nicely dressed Luba to Sergei, after six shots of clear liquid health, the stubbled Slav stopped, looked him straight in both eyes, and raised his brows like incoming MiGs.

“You like that?” he asked in a high voice, and paused before going on, shaking his head. “Wah, Jason, focking man. But okay, I guess it keeps you out from trouble, heh? But you know what – I don’t want anyone to think you’re doing it with little girl robot – probably you’d get arrested. I’ll have my friend make birth certificate for her, too, and passport – if anyone sees her, like, from a distance, whatever, you can say she’s visiting. Let me take passport photos.” He got out his phone.

“She’ll make a great flower girl,” Jason mused. After everything Sergei had done for him, Jason wanted to flatter his friend’s wacko marriage scheme. He didn’t really need to marry a robot, he reflected, but once he’d taken someone else into his confidence, he was stuck on the bobsled ride of wherever their expectations were heading.

The difficult thing wasn’t going to be the wedding, anyway. It was going to be the immigration hearing that would necessarily follow. He’d have to be a lunatic to attempt any of that. But sometimes, as all creative people know, the greatest spur of brilliance is a really stupid starting point. A dumbass situation that no one should ever be in, that’s what you needed to make your greatness leap forth. Jason came up with the idea that made him wealthy for life as he contemplated the idiocy of following Sergei’s plan. All he needed was to partner ventriloquism with an electronic interface and a transmitter, and Natasha could say anything he needed her to.

The device, finished three months later, looked identical to a teen’s dental braces. The wires around the front met in sensor junctions at the back of the teeth, and the palatal plate was dotted with more sensors. A separate sensor sat inside the button of his white dress shirt, tight at the neck and well hidden by his tie. The off-on switch was in a pen that could be fiddled with unobtrusively. When the system was on, all Jason needed to do was to shape what he wanted Natasha to say inside his closed mouth, and the words would emerge from her speaking apparatus. The hardest part was filtering everything to sound equally Russian, without his having to do a proficient accent imitation.

Natasha did very well at her wedding, elegant in a blue dress and blue tinted glasses at City Hall. Luba was there in white, holding flowers, also with tinted specs on. Sergei attended in a suit to ‘give Natasha away’ on behalf of her old paperwork-homeland. Jason felt a little weird mouthing ‘Darlink I will always love you so much’ inside his clenched teeth so that he could give himself this pledge using Natasha’s dulcet voice. The presiding civic official, however, seemed satisfied, even though he squinted at Luba several times, puzzled by something unusual in her movements. Jason hadn’t yet made his transmitter switchable to her, so she could only say what was in her program. The official didn’t address her, and she had no cue to say anything, and could only follow along beside her ‘mother,’ carrying the flowers.

“Not impressive,” Jason thought, but they had made it through to the end of the ceremony, and that was that. He and Natasha were man and spouse. He shook Sergei’s hand and kissed his bride once again. At last, he could pick the little girl robot up, a natural gesture she was not quite too old for, and he carried her out triumphantly. She smiled at the contact, and all was well. “You smell nice,” she said in his ear, as she so often did when she was closely handled. Only Sergei heard, and he made a wry face.

Many weeks later, Natasha needed to attend the immigration hearing that followed from the wedding, but Luba was exempted. Thanks to the ventriloquism transmitter, the beautiful Russian was able to make a highly articulate case for the extent to which she loved her husband. She was dedicated to staying in Britain to be with him forever. And her daughter already loved the man. Jason couldn’t bring himself to say “as a father.” That struck him as creepy.

One member of the interview panel noticed that Jason seemed to be doing something inside his mouth. “Are you all right, young man?” she asked, nodding up toward his teeth.

“Periodontal disease,” Jason replied. “Very sore gums. Just had the dental hygienist at them this morning.”

Natasha was accepted as an immigrant, and was on her way to citizenship, along with her daughter. The two of them now had plenty of documents in English.

The ventriloquism interface was patented, with half the rights in Jason’s name and half for the firm. It was a huge hit: you could use it to make anything seem to talk. Parties were never the same. Jason’s investment portfolio started heading in the direction of buying a football team in 20 years.

Sergei, over for drinks one night, groused that not only was Jason ‘stinking rich,’ but also, he had a more beautiful Russian woman than his Russian friend would ever find. “I would ask if she was swinger, but I know in my heart she’s faithful to you,” he grumbled. Jason was glad the man hadn’t asked to dally with his robot.

“Sergei, I promise, after I finish the Moresby robot crane project,” Jason said, “I’ll make you one like her – for now, just find a photo of the perfect face and body.” Sergei grunted – he didn’t want to admit sinking so low as to resort to 3D porn – but Jason knew he was seriously interested.

“I love real Russian women, you know, but some of them want you to buy them sable coat, which is a super expensive coat made from a weasel. If you don’t get it for them, they turn into the weasel. Then there is punk rock kind of Russian girl, very wild, hot in the sack, but you live with them, you can’t stand up to pee even once or they make you clean the toilet.”

Jason only cleaned his toilet twice a year unless it needed it. “I have no competition for the washroom,” he said smugly.

Not long after that, though, the smugness was wiped from his face.

He’d gone so far as to take Natasha and Luba out for a walk in the park – what was he thinking? Perhaps someone might have found out he was married, he thought, and they might wonder why they’d never seen his wife. Maybe she should be seen, occasionally, in the distance. Taking Luba out was a distinctly more foolish risk, though, because she was school-aged, but needless to say, didn’t attend. No one in bureaucracy so far had detected that his immigrated step-daughter was on the lam from education.

Then it happened. A woman with straggly grey hair, mid-50s, strode over and looked hard into Luba’s eyes.

“Just as I thought,” the woman announced, glaring at Jason. “You have a child robot. And I bet she’s anatomically correct, you fucking disgusting creep.”

“No, no,” Jason offered, “I work with a reputable company. She’s totally featureless down there. But please don’t make a scene by trying to look.”

“I’m calling the police,” the woman snarled. “Let them investigate. Piece of shit!” She strode off to a safe distance, then pulled out a mobile phone.

Jason hadn’t programmed the robots to run, and before they could all walk home, the police materialized.

“What ‘ave we ‘ere,” a red-haired, freckled policewoman said in greatest suspicion.

“Just an informal walkabout, um, product testing,” Jason said, giving his card out like a good engineer.

“To objectify a woman this way is horrible but not illegal,” the second policewoman said, as she studied Natasha, including a brief peek into her undies, “but the child needs to be taken in to the station for her own – for society’s protection. I advise you to come along and make an explanation. You have a right to have a lawyer present, naturally.”

“Thank you,” Jason said with dismay. At the police station, he used a wall phone to call his firm, who sent in their most trusted solicitor. Jason had the resources to hire all the legal help he could dream of.

He needed it. He was charged under a new obscenity law outlawing the possession of a three dimensional, anatomically detailed child facsimile. His computers were seized and, to his chagrin, the fossil remnants of his perusal of Czech naturist antiquities were turned up. He faced up to 20 years in prison. As far as he could tell, the entire British public woke up every morning to scream his name in rage and chant for his death. The furore that broke out when a laboratory identified his semen in a pint-sized robot cavity was just this side of Hiroshima.

Sergei, reached via the prison phone, gave him a hard time. “Haven’t you ever heard of safe sex?” he demanded. The question was deadpan, as if it were totally sensible. “That makes no sense,” Jason responded, “but then again, neither does anything else. I always appreciate your advice, Sergei.”

Nights were hardest part of prison life. He could barely sleep. “I have to give the English people credit for sticking up for the safety of robots,” he muttered, as he lay in a cot beside a snoring murderer. The snore itself was nearly lethal.

At first, he worried the other inmates would kill him outright. “You’re a fucking nonce and you’ll bleed,” said one man with a tattooed skull. “I’m no nonce,” Jason said, “never been near a child. They done me for doing something with a robot.” “Ha, Robopaedophile,” said the man-wolf, but then his eyes crinkled and he started to chuckle. “That’s a bloody good one, mate.”

His situation struck his jailmates as so hilarious that they conspired to keep him alive. “I wanna see ‘ow this comes down in trial,” said Tattoohead, “Trial of the Robobeast of Britain.” They took bets.

Jason’s brazen walk in the park ensured that he couldn’t be granted bail, so he stayed behind bars and waited. Eventually, he placed some bets on his own conviction.

One day, he heard a long lecture from a judge about how he was on the slippery slope to being a child rapist and murderer, and then came back to prison to pick up the four packs of cigarettes that he’d won, one for each five years of the sentence. He traded them for toiletries and chocolate bars.

Meanwhile, his lawyers and the firm’s continued to plug away. The first break they got was to get Natasha and Luba released from captivity in the evidence room. They were no longer needed as evidence, and the firm argued Jason had embedded unique intellectual property into the robots’ design that belonged to the company and needed to be retrieved. They were quite correct about that – there was nothing else around the firm like Jason’s girls. When the robots were habeas’ed, the staff of the evidence room made an awkward attempt to pack them into large cardboard boxes for transport. The manipulations of Natasha’s body accidentally turned on a backup battery pack, and Natasha came to life inside the box and struggled her way out. Eventually, Sergei was sent to bring the two robots back in a cab.

One of the lawyers then suggested that freedom of robot expression could be aided if Jason applied for a conjugal visit by his lawful spouse. “Preposterous,” railed the opposing lawyers, “the marriage is null and void; the spouse isn’t human, she’s a machine.” This was when Sergei’s friends got involved. The Russian embassy in London produced the documents proving Natasha and Luba had been born in Russia, and stated that since they hadn’t had access to these two citizens, who had not yet become British, they would treat them as human until they were certain non-human status could be proven. They demanded that the British government accord them their human rights as Russian immigrants who had been officially accepted as such by the British government, prior to its poorly evidenced, subsequent denial.

The firm was not about to let anyone examine the robots, possibly obtaining information that could be used by competitors, and the duo remained of uncertain status.

No one could see the harm, in any case, of arranging a conjugal visit with a consenting adult robot spouse, and the application went forward. Then some wag at the embassy, enjoying the situation, passed on a demand from Natasha that her daughter be allowed to accompany her in her visit to the prison. The demand was denied, without prejudice to Luba’s exact legal status, because she was deemed underaged, according to her birth certificate – Jason wasn’t allowed to see minors. Natasha went alone, escorted by a driver from the firm, and when Jason walked down the prison corridor towards his conjugal visit, every prisoner in the wing applauded and thumped and cheered. By this time, he had his lawyers working on every case on the wing that he felt there was hope for. The money was there. He was everyone’s hero. They affectionately called him “Prince Nonce-a-lot.” Every time one of ‘his’ prisoners won a case he was supporting, he had the person’s initials tattooed on his back. It was rapidly filling up.

The years went by; Natasha came for every visit the system allowed. One day, Jason phoned out to Sergei, and was greeted by a most enthusiastic hail.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“Don’t you know what day it is?” Sergei asked. “Sixteenth birthday of Luba, according to birth certificate. OK, when Kolya made the document, it was set in the past, years before she was assembled, to match appearance. Appearance hasn’t changed, but she is now, whatever you say, major.”

The humorist at the embassy again stepped up and demanded that Natasha be allowed to take her daughter to see her lawful spouse.

“It’s just a bloody machine, let it go,” said someone in an office, underpaid for the constant paperwork about the rights of a robot.

So, finally, there he was, Jason, older, slightly greying, wiser, thinner, with his lawfully wedded wife, and a tiny sixteen-year-old girl bot who looked not a day older than she had nine years previously. He was in a little room with a bed, a side-table and three chairs, and he couldn’t have been more pleased. The curtains were drawn and his right to privacy meant that no one could look in.

“Honey,” he said to Natasha, “give me a few minutes.”

“Yes, darlink,” she responded automatically. She paused.

“Wonderful to see you again!” he said to Luba, picking her up. “You smell nice,” she whispered in his ear. He was overcome with sensation. Gently, he removed her garments. “What a form I made,” he whispered. He hugged her mildly artificial nakedness.

“I love you,” she said. He blinked at least four times.

“I didn’t give you that phrase,” he said, “where’d you get that from? I mean, I love you too, but I never thought we’d say it.”

“Compliments of Sergei Ivanovich,” she said in a much different tone of voice. “He wants me to tell you he made his own Natasha based on yours, but she’s called Nadya. She lives in his apartment. The company has now sold 1,480 of his Nadya-1 series, and also 774 Nikolai-1 based on recent co-worker Janice Przybl’s alterations to the body. He programs me to give you a special kiss for this wonderful success.”

She kissed him with great tenderness on the side of his jawbone.

He was overcome with affection and other intense feelings. Quickly, he pulled out one of the freely provided condoms from a jar on the table. “Sergei was right,” he murmured, “they’ll probably test you when you get out, to see if you were made obscene again. This is a bloody dangerous world for sex, and safe sex is very necessary.” He fumbled with the packaging, opened it, and sheathed himself methodically, growing ever tenser as the vibrations crackled through him.

He clasped the little robot tightly and planted his lips along her cheek. “Apart from your wonderful figure,” he said softly, “I can’t tell you how good it feels for this engineer to be plugged back in to miniaturization electronics again.”

“Nerd talk is beautiful,” she whispered supportively. There were 375 tech terms that would elicit that response from her if she was being embraced. No real partner would have such a response, but it worked.

When he attained his outcry of the spirit with her, he felt nothing but love for the whole world and everything in it.


Match Made in Marrow…

Date: November 20, 2017

01) Match Made in Marrow

02) Direct Download [MP3]

“You never know what might happen when you sign up to donate bone marrow. You might save a life… or you might be magically transported across a cultural chasm and find yourself starring in a modern adaptation of the greatest story ever told.

One day, without thinking much of it, Jennell Jenney swabbed her cheek and signed up to be a donor. Across the country, Jim Munroe desperately needed a miracle, a one-in-eight-million connection that would save him. It proved to be a match made in marrow, a bit of magic in the world that hadn’t been there before. But when Jennell and Jim had a heart-to-heart in his suburban Dallas backyard, they realized they had contradictory ideas about where that magic came from. Today, an allegory for how to walk through the world in a way that lets you be deeply different, but totally together.”

It’s nice to know, the scary, big, painful needle is no longer part of the process, anymore.

I was actually looking for this weeks episode of RadioLab…which, apparently, is not online yet…And I found this interesting episode, instead.

What do you do, when someone interprets something like this…as being “proof” of the existence of a god?…

…Is it even your place, to do anything at all?…

I can understand the awkwardness…of being an atheist who saves a Christian in this manner…and then unwittingly being pulled into this very public narrative, which you don’t even agree with.

I don’t tell anyone what to believe, when it comes to issues like the existence of gods…I only tell people what has led me to my own conclusions, in my own life.

…But this “live and let live” stance doesn’t translate so well…should someone want to use me as a prop, to sell their belief in a god.

Charles Manson dead at 83…

Date: November 20, 2017

01) Hippie cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83

“LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after masterminding the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday night after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.

Manson died of natural causes at a California hospital while serving a life sentence, his name synonymous to this day with unspeakable violence and depravity.”

What is there to say?…

…I never revered him…though I did find some of his dispositions he was born into, and some of his resulting cognition [and honesty] on society, to be sympathetic.

This honestly is a guy, who was “raised by the system”…

I know it’s unrealistic, to expect everybody can turn out okay…or that “the system” even has that kind of power…

…But, I’ve commonly seen people like Charles Manson, as being direct products of “the system”…

It’s a system which expects and demands that everyone conform, on every level of life [including those dealing with simple survival]…when it’s known all along, that many people simply cannot conform…and there is no place allowed for them…It kills and degrades those people, to live their life in subservience to this…Countless people become unstable, under the stress…and we get predictable outcomes.

It’s an absurdity, wherever humans behave as though they own portions of planet Earth…If anything, planet Earth owns us, as animals inhabiting Earths life sustaining atmosphere…As such, we all have equal right to Earth’s resources…just as wild animals have right to them.

…It’s an absurdity, to imagine anything can control any species…especially one so complex as humans…

…And while the system continues to dominate and degrade, in attempts at attaining such a fools goal…it continues to create “Charles Manson’s”, of varying sizes, shapes and degrees.

I don’t know if any model of system even can exist, which avoids doing this…

…But it does seem to me, that we need to keep striving for something a hell of a lot better…than what currently exists.

Album: Yule Love It! – Songs of the Winter Château Book III…

The Expressions Forum [Xmas]

Date: November 20, 2017

Yule Love It!: Songs of the Winter Château Book III [48:35]

01) The Night Before Christmas

02) Hark The Herald Angels Sing

03) We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing

04) Angels from the Realms of Glory

05) Angels We Have Heard on High

06) Joy to the World

07) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

08) Once in Royal David’s City

09) Gather Around The Tree

10) Light The Advent Candle

11) Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel

12) One Bright Star

13) It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

14) Toyland

15) Boars Head Carol

16) Exidus

17) Come Little Children

18) In the Bleak Mid Winter

19) Star of Christmas Morning

20) How Quietly

21) Candlelight Carol

22) Lo How Rose E’er Blooming

23) The First Noel

24) A Child A King

25) Oh Come All Ye Faithful

26) Alleluia Acclamation Christmas

27) Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella

I’m releasing this one a little bit early…but late November isn’t “too early”…

I still have to get the video exhibition put together for this one, at the time of this writing…I’m confident I’ll have it done by early December.

I should point out…this album was actually started just shortly after completion of “Yule in Strings”…But it got shelved for a long, long time…And I had a collection of tracks I wasn’t entirely pleased with…I pruned a few of those away, and probably should have taken at least one other out…but…I’m pleased with what is here.

I was beginning to wonder if I’d have this completed by Yule time…I’m happy to put out another alternative version [a la “Yule in Strings”] of this series…but, I’d been promising the third installment for at least a year now…so, I needed to get this done.

Unfortunately, as happens sometimes when a project gets shelved…sometimes you forget what you was doing, and you wander off the path a bit…and there are two different styles of track on this album…Several are of a more typical acoustic piano…and all the rest are “Baby Grand”…and the difference is obvious…I wanted to keep these albums as uniform as possible…Guess I didn’t.

I trust this will hinder no ones enjoyment of the album.

As to this series of albums…I set out to make a trilogy, and this is the third…

…Of course, there’s lots to do with alternate versions of the music already covered…I expect a second “Yule in Strings” at some point…and an orchestral album…plus a church organ album…If I can come up with something I find release worthy…I may even play around with the choir synthesizer…and I’ve got a few nice tracks with the Celtic harp…a few other synthesizers I’ve never even tried, are just waiting for me…

…I’ve got some stragglers, however…I don’t think I’m going to release most of the tracks I’ve pulled [over not liking how they turned out]…but I’ve still got some material I haven’t even loaded up yet, to see what I can do with it…There’s still a bit of fertile ground to dance upon…

…Which means there might be a small “encore” album, in the future…I make no promises…

…except that I’ll rummage through what I already have on hand, and see how many albums I can make of them…They’ll likely be small…like, ten or so tracks…But I’ll be releasing things, well into the future…

…And I’ll get back to my regular albums, too.

– Steve


R.I.P. The Internet, 1983-2017…

Date: November 20, 2017

01) R.I.P. The Internet, 1983-2017

“The head of the Federal Communications Commission is set to unveil plans next week for a final vote to reverse a landmark 2015 net neutrality order barring the blocking or slowing of web content, two people briefed on the plans said.

In May, the FCC voted 2-1 to advance Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to withdraw the former Obama administration’s order reclassifying internet service providers as if they were utilities. Pai now plans to hold a final vote on the proposal at the FCC’s Dec. 14 meeting, the people said, and roll out details of the plans next week.

Pai asked in May for public comment on whether the FCC has authority or should keep any regulations limiting internet providers’ ability to block, throttle or offer “fast lanes” to some websites, known as “paid prioritization.” Several industry officials told Reuters they expect Pai to drop those specific legal requirements but retain some transparency requirements under the order.”

Internet Citizens: Defend Net Neutrality [2014]:

I’m not really sure how this will play out…I mean…the online resources I tend to most use [WordPress, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, etc.], are big and well established…

…But I’d be shocked if this internet coup doesn’t happen…despite that virtually everybody is dead set against it.

I don’t know if this is going to mean higher internet bills, in order to reasonably access much of the content online…or if the cost is all going to be dumped on individual companies and people who own that content…Either way, it’s likely to be catastrophic.

At least if it falls upon the individual internet subscriber…they have some type of potential for easy access, across the board…But if everything is reliant on the individual abilities of millions of companies and people, then even that potential will no longer exist.

The true power of the internet has always been, that even the grossly disenfranchised groups can have their own easy to access networks and media…Internet culture, is primarily about “the alternative”…

What’s happening right now, is likely the old media companies trying to re-establish their dominance over the public…in an age where few people even want what they have to offer.

We all know this is coming, eventually…They’re not going to stop…

…They’re getting weaker…and it seems, it’s time to make their strike.

…Maybe, it’s their “Hail Mary”?…

…Wouldn’t it be nice to imagine, that they’ll fail at this…crumble…go away, and stop harassing us?…

…If they had any respect for the public, they’d have stopped a long, long time ago.

Seth Andrews: The Satanic Panic – The Witch Hunt of the Late Twentieth Century…


Date: November 19, 2017

01) Seth Andrews: The Satanic Panic – The Witch Hunt of the Late Twentieth Century

“Join Seth Andrews for a humorous (and occasionally shocking) romp through The Satanic panic of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

His speech was given at the 2017 Florida Freethought Conference.”

Atheist_Media_SB_ArchiveAtheist Media Links



Date: November 19, 2017

01) Update: CRISPR

02) Direct Download [MP3]

“It’s been almost two years since we learned about CRISPR, a ninja-assassin-meets-DNA-editing-tool that has been billed as one of the most powerful, and potentially controversial, technologies ever discovered by scientists. In this episode, we catch up on what’s been happening (it’s a lot), and learn about CRISPR’s potential to not only change human evolution, but every organism on the entire planet.

Out drinking with a few biologists, Jad finds out about something called CRISPR. No, it’s not a robot or the latest dating app, it’s a method for genetic manipulation that is rewriting the way we change DNA. Scientists say they’ll someday be able to use CRISPR to fight cancer and maybe even bring animals back from the dead. Or, pretty much do whatever you want. Jad and Robert delve into how CRISPR does what it does, and consider whether we should be worried about a future full of flying pigs, or the simple fact that scientists have now used CRISPR to tweak the genes of human embryos.”


The Black Community, Education, and Taking Down Statues (Johnny C. Taylor Pt. 1)…

Date: November 19, 2017

01) The Black Community, Education, and Taking Down Statues (Johnny C. Taylor Pt. 1)

“Johnny C. Taylor (CEO, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund) joins Dave to discuss historically black colleges and universities, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the family dynamic within the black community, the debate surrounding taking down monuments and statues, incarceration within the black community, and more.”

Immigration Debate and Racial Tensions in America (Johnny C. Taylor Pt. 2):