Archive for the ‘Futurism’ Category

People… People who need people are the luckiest people in the world

– Barbara Streisand, founder of the Streisand Effect 

There is a growing segment of the population within developed nations whose preference it is to have intimate relationships with robots rather than living entities from their own species. In fact, it is a common occurrence, according to my doctor (well, he’s a pharmacist (well, more of a free-lance pharmacist)), for perfectly normal human beings to fornicate with robots. Not that I am one of those people! I mean, I was only asking because I have this friend…

Photo by Franz Steiner

Photo by Franz Steiner

Could you blame anyone for preferring sexual intimacy with a humanoid-ish being in a controlled environment? No jealousy, no apathy, no passive aggression, no needless quarrels. Guess who never argues over finances or changing diapers or cooking and cleaning? The lover who runs on batteries. Guess who doesn’t disobey their programmed Protocol by betraying or fileting you? The lover who runs on batteries. Guess who is always ready and eager for a carnal knowledge exchange? The lover who runs on batteries. For someone with paranoid tendencies with trust issues, like this friend I have, a romantic relationship with a She-Bot allows him an alternative to finding love in all the wrong places.

It is the normalizing of the human-on-robot (or robot-on-human, depending on your proclivity) relationship which makes it all the more important for me to raise awareness of proper etiquette when engaging with a friend who’s accompanied by their robotic companion.

First of all, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and tastes like a duck, let’s call it what it is. But what is it? Agalmatophilia is commonly used to explain the robo-sex preference, but only to insult as this is a fetishism which also applies to mannequin-fuckers and frat-boy Ruphylin peddlers. A Mechaphiliac is a fetishist obsessed with machines, but this broad category also contains your typical jet-ski douchebag. Technosexual could refer to someone who is strictly a pornographic spectator and a Robo-philiac could be anyone who wants to plug-in to your standard R2 Unit garbage-can-on-wheels. What fits best is Androidosexual. An android isn’t just a robot, it is a humanoid robot. We’re not fucking robot sheep here, after all.

photo by Franz Steiner

photo by Franz Steiner

Of course, not all robots are built in the image of Sean Young in Bladerunner or Tricia Helfer in Battle Star Gallactica. Contemporary robotic companions walk awkwardly (they haven’t mastered the controlled fall of the human gait), they only speak when spoken to, they don’t yet possess artificial intelligence and they are Uncanny Valley girls (or Uncanny Valley boys). The “Uncanny Valley”, for the uninitiated, is not somewhere in California, but rather it exists in your mental perception. When the line between human and robot becomes blurred, this is the Valley of Uncanny. If you begin your perception of robots with R2-D2 and proceed along the spectrum towards Sean Young in Bladerunner, the moment right before your android appears to look human is the deepest gulch in the Uncanny Valley. The geographical term refers to a psychological revulsion towards pseudo-human characteristics. For example, if you look at an intricately detailed doll face, it is almost frightening because it is almost human without being human at all.

Okay, with the biggest roadblocks towards proper etiquette addressed, let us jump into:

Vic Neverman’s Social Etiquette when encountering Friends with Robotic Companions Code of Conduct:

  1. Don’t categorize your friend’s sexuality, but if you must, refer to them as Androidosexual.
  2. Prepare yourself for the Uncanny Valley. Don’t freak out on sight of the robotic companion; that would be rude.
  3. If your car needs a tune-up, do not assume your friend’s robot is a programmed mechanic. Even if you know the sex-bot doubles as a gear-head, your friend did not bring their robo-lover over to fix your car. Unless they did.
  4. Don’t ask if you can get the robot companion something to drink. Because rust.
  5. Similarly, set a place at the table, but do not serve the machine food.
  6. Don’t refer to the entity as “the machine”. Your friend likely has a name for it, so use it.
  7. If your friend did not pre-emptively tell you he/she was bringing their sex-bot over for dinner/game-night/whatever then you have the right to tell them “hold on while I compose myself and tell my other guests you like to fuck machines and you thought it appropriate to bring the bi-pedal fucking-machine over to this event tonight”. Because such shit ain’t à propos and you should have a chance to warn the unexpectant.
  8. Do not assume that just because the companion is a machine, it is available for you to take for “a test spin around the parking lot”. I mean come-on, you wouldn’t use your friend’s dildo just because it is an inanimate object without feelings? Would you?
  9. Don’t get all fucking existential. Okay, yay! you read Camus in college and smoke French Gauloises. Get over yourself. Asshole. Keep the Sartre quotes to a minimum unless you are addressing the pâté.
  10. It is acceptable to have off-the-record conversations. If you need to tell your friend to go fuck his/her self, but without their robotic companion recording the event for all posterity, you have the absolute right to ask for the machine to leave the room or power down.
  11. photo by Franz Steiner

    photo by Franz Steiner

    Invite the robot to play billiards, but do not gamble. Yeah, you might have been a pool-shark during your Vo-Tech days, but robots have a profound understanding of geometry and physics far beyond your drunk pluckiness.

  12. If it is “game night”, it is acceptable to insist the robot remains in the garage during Scrabble, Connect-Four, Bridge or Poker. However, Candy Land, Monopoly, Yahtzee and other dice games is totally cool for a robot.
  13. If you find your friend fornicating with their sex-bot on your premises, the same rules would apply to any human-on-human relating going on. If it is a Swingers-Party and they are over eager, then let it slide. If it is your kid’s Bar Mitzvah and the assumption is that no sex should be occurring for any reason, then absolutely you are in right as scolding your friend and his/her robot for being inappropriate.
  14. Do not attempt to clean the robot with antibacterial liquid or any general soaping agent. If the robot appears to have just emerged from a Somme trench, ask your friend if you can assist in cleaning, but otherwise assume the android is already clean. Exception: If the robot is going to be assisting with food, then inquire your friend on the best manner of ensuring all digits are sanitary.
  15. Yes, we can all acknowledge robots will figure out fellatio long before they ever master cunnilingus, but ultimately with the coming Artificial Intelligence explosion this will become a moot point. End of Conversation.
  16. You have the right to inquire if your friend’s sex-bot has infrared cameras prior to admittance. Or any software that recognizes stress patterns in speech. Or automatically loads images or sound clips to social media. Or records anything, for that matter.
  17. If your friend offers any services of their sex-bot to your spouse (massage, shaving, etc.) you have the right to refuse on their part, unless, you’d like to watch in which case you are equally entitled. In essence, you should consider your friend’s machine an extension of your friend. Would you let your friend shave the nether-regions of your spouse? No? Then do not allow your friend’s machine to do likewise.
  18. If your friend becomes intoxicated and their robot lover is equipped to drive, you have the right to not allow them to stay the night on the premises. Don’t give your friend a chance to soil your sheets again. If they have a robot to attend to them, let the machine do its thing.
  19. If you have children:
    1. Tell them if they come within 2’ of the robot they will be zapped
    2. Tell them “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” spent a lot of money on their friend, so be nice
    3. Tell them “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” was especially naughty and now the Government has a robot following them around to chop their head off upon the next criminal act. Oh, if only “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” had done more of their homework on time.
  20. When a Random Dance Party breaks out, best to keep it to Country Music so the Android is confused on the reason for awkward shuffling and heel-tapping. Otherwise, the Robot will adapt to rhythm, harmony, etc. and own it.
  21. If you must destroy the robot companion of your friend, it is preferable for you to put its parts in the recyclable bin rather than the standard garbage.

NOTE: all these rules are considering the absence of Artificial Intelligence. If android companions possess A.I. then the end is near and you should strategize on how to incur the empathy of the machines you shunned up until now.

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Buckle-Up, Sugar-Tits, because rocky is the road...

Buckle-Up, Sugar-Tits, because rocky is the road…

Greetings Wayward Traveler,

Weary as ever, I see. Come in, come in; make yourself at home. Warm your stockings next to the electric fire and I will pour you some of this Polish cherry brandy I’ve come across through my speculative wagering in the Occident. You’ve arrived at this threshold, of course, for the same reason as in years past: to peer into the crystal ball which is my mind for knowledge of the path ahead. Well, buckle-up, Sugar-Tits, because rocky is the road and as Caesar said on the far side of the Rubicon, “the die is cast”.

Without further ado, here is your 2015:

  1. Putin, like a Phoenix, will rise from the Ashes of his Demise and Escalate a New Cold War!
Vlad Putin inciting chaos in the Ukraine

Vlad Putin inciting chaos in the Ukraine

2012 – Putin re-ascended to Russian presidency as I predicted
2013 – Putin demise did not occur as I predicted, but
2014 – Putin’s demise did occur as I re-predicted.

Despite a great start of 2014 for Vladimir Putin, what with hosting the Olympic Games, annexing a fine piece of real estate and Cossacks whipping Pussy Riot punk rockers, the year ended with Russia in financial ruins. After Vlad seized Crimea, the Western Establishment along with the Saudis reacted with more than just sanctions: markets were manipulated to drop the price of oil to deal a devastating blow to the Russian economy. Why all of the cheap gas lately? It is the result of the Establishment telling Vladimir Putin to go fuck himself.

And fuck himself, Vlad has. With nowhere else to turn, the desperate Vladimir has signed-off on his pound of flesh to get into bed with the clammy ghosts of Mao. Yes, the great loan shark that is China is all that is keeping Russia afloat. What comes next will be global strife as Vladimir tears off his tattered shirt and gets back astride his bear to lead the Russian people into another age of anti-West paranoia, bringing us the next Cold War. This time, it will not be quietly fought over an East and West Germany, but rather East and West Ukraine.

China wants American military focus out of the China Sea and a new Cold War would help. The Military Industrial Complex wants constant armament and a new Cold War along with the constant anti-Jihadi defense build-up is a dream come true.

  1. New Drinking Establishments will be constructed like Cyber-Cafes for Virtual Socializing

Between Google Glass and Facebook’s purchasing of Oculus Rift (for $2 Bill, no less), people will be wearing a lot more shit on their face in 2015. The shift from flesh & blood socializing to online social networking will escalate as virtual reality features come into play. Why go to a traditional bar to meet underwhelming local personage when you can go to Ralph’s VR Café, sit alone in a cubicle slurping martinis through a straw and cyber-mingle with drunks from all over the world? Why go to a brick & mortar shopping mall when you can strap on your Virtual Reality mask and meet your friends in a virtual market where you can legitimately shop for anything (even try on clothes after you enter your biometrics)? In the future, we’ll go to virtual nightclubs where our avatar bodies dance with a whole lot more rhythm than we’re capable of in our physical form. We can go to brothels, opting to be either the john or the prostitute, depending on whichever role you wish to assume. Just imagine: instead of driving over to Applebees for another Friday night with a dyspeptic spouse, you can head down to Ralph’s VR Café and link-up with the animated avatar of some lonesome man/woman on the other side of the world (or the other side of your duplex) to tango or overthrow ancient Carthage.

Terms like ‘friend’, ‘community’, ‘society’ will become increasingly vague as a simulated dream world overtakes reality.

  1. Green Co-Opt Gyms will be a Thing

All they need to do is figure out how to collect energy off of a stair-master like they do a wind turbine and then BOOM: you will have a cottage industry of Co-Opt Gymnasiums where energy exerted into the machines creates storable power to be sold into the infrastructure. Members of these gyms will receive monetary benefits for the amount of output they put into the gym (within reason, the incentive will come with a ceiling to keep the gym-rats from hogging all the spoils). Think about it: if you commit to 10 hours on the excite bike or 8 hours on the elliptical or 6 hours on the treadmill per week, you will pay off your gym membership with the reusable energy you create. Green gyms with benefits: this will be a thing.

Intermission #1: So How Does Vic Do It?

How do I do it? How do I know shit with such accuracy (evidenced by my 2014 success rate)? Well, you should realize time isn’t just relative, it’s all bullshit. Imagine a bowling ball suspended over an egg crate hung by dental floss over a smoldering Jacuzzi pit of bubbly warmth. In this scenario, gravity = gravity, bowling ball = time, perception = egg yolk and you are the one cleaning up the hot tub.

Make sense? No? Okay.

  1. Hot Meat Pies will be the Culinary Fad of 2015

I don’t really understand the “Paleo Diet” as such a thing would require us keeping our wisdom teeth to gnash on tree roots and the like. Right? Regardless, or irregardless as the kids are saying these days, meat & potatoes are IN while carbs are OUT. Imagine, now, a Chicken Pot Pie where the crust is carbohydrate alternative like… I don’t know, tree root? Either way, what I see is a move towards hot meat pies, loaded with plenty of meats and starches and kept together with buttery gravy and held into place by whichever shell is non-carb.

Look for it – hot pies and wisdom tooth implants.

  1. Cuban Cigars Flood Market

Obama has opened the flood gates, allowing for limited trade between America and Cuba. This is going to have a profound impact on the trendy cigar bar scene in the United States. While any aficionado can tell you the world over from Toronto to Tokyo is rife with Cuban cigars, here in the States we have been sans Cubano (due to special interest influenced foreign policy over the last few decades). In the prior void of the esteemed Cuban tobacco, industries in Honduras and the Dominican Republic have prospered offering their version of tobacco (Cuban seed grown on local war-torn ground) stogie. Once the current market adjusts, Cuban cigars will become available at a great premium due to high American domestic demand. The Cuban originals are not necessarily superior in quality, but their reputation alone may drive Honduran and Dominican companies out of the market.

  1. Next Big Virus Hysteria Will Emerge From Asia

While MERS and Ebola stole headlines in 2014 after popping up in Africa, the world-ending disease/virus to emerge in 2015 will be out of Asia. There are more pigs in China than there is tea. More pigs than you can even imagine. If you imagine an absurd number of pigs in China, that number would be less than the amount of pigs floating dead in Chinese rivers. So here is the fun thing about pigs: the dirty bastards are the French Academy of Cuisine in regards to cooking up new diseases. Swine can swallow bird flu and man flu because swine are fed and eat everything, including dead birds and man shit, and then swine digestive systems will reimagine all these bugs into a superbug then become depressed and drown itself in a river to wash up in Shanghai only to be served at Taco Bell and voila! you have a world-wide pandemic of Flying-Pig Flu H37N50.

Intermission #2: back to How Does Vic Do It?

Srirachomancy: it looks like Jesus, or wait, maybe its just John Belushi...

Srirachomancy: it looks like Jesus, or wait, maybe it’s just John Belushi…

This is how I predict the future: it is a black magic divining craft I like to call Srirachomancy. First, I find a breakfast sandwich. Nothing vegan as Srirachomancy requires at least two separate animals to be sacrificed for this to work. An egg & turkey sausage sandwich is fine, even though both meats are fowl. Pork of some sort would be better, but whatevs… Sandwich secured, I squirt a blazing drizzle of Sriracha sauce atop the highest layer of meat before pushing down the sandwich top. English muffins work much better than croissants for obvious reasons (bagel’ll work in a pinch). Once the sandwich top is settled, lift it up to reveal the splatter on the ceiling. Srirachomancy involves interpreting the red-splattery result of the collision between solids with the spicy liquid in-between acting as our medium.

So now you see as I see…

  1. The Old will get Older and the Young will become more Anarchistic 

There is a twilighting of talent as the Baby Boomers fade into the great dusk. This is occurring in the corporate world and, perhaps more troubling, in the skilled labor arena where trade guilds are lacking apprentices to fulfill the next generation of carpenter, electrician and plumber. Why is there no skilled labor amongst the heaps of unemployed youth? Blame the Establishment (Creditors, Realtor Association, Chamber of Commerce) for selling the populace with messages of how glorious college education is because education is money and money gets real estate and real estate is the American Dream no matter the cost. Such messages end up with Americans outspending what they will never earn only to lose what they briefly had. The American Dream is a banker’s sales pitch: become indebted, work hard and become free once you pay-off the debt & vigorish. But that vig is a bitch!

Financial leverage is a tricky game. If you are a commercial entity with capital to spare, leverage that shit. If you are a student with only your future at stake, leverage becomes another matter. This new generation emerging from college is realizing the dream they’ve been sold is a trap of indentured domestication. Obama pledging, as he has recently done, free community college tuition is nothing more than a drug dealer offering a couple free scores in order to drive up the dependency. This isn’t about furthering education; America needs more electricians and few liberal arts degrees. This is about increasing the number of potential debtors to the banks who want to own us all.

This is a cocktail that will incite civil unrest. What happens when you tree a r’coon or back an opossum into a corner? They lose all of their political ideals and turn to anarchism.

  1. ISIS/ISIL is on the Decline while Roguishness Overall Thrives

Currently, ISIS/L is being bombarded with air-strikes. These will increase and continue until the desert buccaneers are nothing but a loose bunch of highwaymen doing little more than bootlegging oil and spreading jihadist sexually transmitted diseases in the name of their prophet of choice (fyi jihadis don’t wear condoms).

Of course, Islamic Radicalism will remain constant. Yemen will become a drone playground while Europe and other ports of entry will continue to be terrorized by the Jihad on Tour. Even if Yemen sinks into the Earth’s mantle, the radicals will find the next rogue state haven. The War on Terrorism is a new cottage industry for the Industrial Military Complex who consider indefinite terror threat good for business. Get used to it: until the robots rise up and exterminate us or aliens return to hit the reset button, world wide jihad is the new norm.

This threat of random jihadist violence will increase the armament of local police forces (despite a disastrous 2014 in Ferguson and everywhere) as well as home-brewed militias. 2nd Amendment exaggerators will find reason to furnish themselves with rocket-propelled grenades, laser death-rays and whatever other lethal shit pops up on the internet, which is exactly what the Military Industrial Complex has brainwashed them to do (subliminal “buy more guns” messages can be found in their mayonnaise if you stare long enough).

  1. Crypto-Currencies do not go away

Bit-Coin and many other alternatives are here to stay. This is a good thing. Crypto-Currencies cannot be counterfeited or manipulated, which is what has the Establishment queasy. Here is how it works: the crypto-currency’s worth is based off the difficulty of solving the mathematical problem built into the programming. Imagine gold’s value not being judged by the karat or the ounce, but rather the swings of the axe against the earth or the hours of sifting through river silt. This is how crypto-currency works. The inherent value of currencies put them out of reach of governmental control. Local economies can be made more sovereign by switching to crypto-currencies versus depending on the dollar, the euro or other garbage out there. What is strange today will be the norm tomorrow.

  1. Jesus will Return in September

Halleluiah!

Jesus returns this September!

Jesus returns this September!

Yes, we are approaching the next prophesized END TIMES date in September of 2015 when Jesus is supposed to make his comeback and vacuum up all the cool people to take back to Heaven or wherever. There is a sub-set of conspiracy theorists devoted to the literal interpretation of REVELATIONS and how the events around us fit into the prophecies. I call them the Revelator Crowd. What they are especially tickled over with this coming September is the coincidence that Pope Frank will be Stateside for the assumed Return! Aussie and Germanic and Brit and Israeli Apocalyptophiles probably do not give a damn about Frank in the USA, but American paranoiacs certainly do. What does it mean? Is Pope Frank coming to America because he realizes Jesus is rapturing Americans first? Or, YIKES!, could it be Pope Frank is actually the Antichrist journeying to America to seize control in the post-rapture power void?

Either way, End of Days is Nigh. Which makes for interesting conversation.

PUTIN (poo-tin)

pronoun. The inglorious faux-czar of Russia

verb. To bring oneself to ruin at the height of one’s powers

adjective. Being without shirt, oft whilst atop beast

Vlad Putin inciting chaos in the Ukraine

Vlad Putin inciting chaos in the Ukraine

Vladimir Putin and I go way back…

Oh sure, Vlad’s bouts of vodka-laced nostalgia for the Cold War likely do not include memories of young Vic Neverman as much as the various Western diplomats he tossed into the Dardanelles with an anchor necktie or those early mornings in some East Berlin basement fastening jumper-cables to Teutonic man-nipples. Yes, in Vlad’s glory days of the Cold War, I was just a boy from the mangroves scouting for commie submarines off the shores of Florida until Nana called me in for nappy-time. Nevertheless, I’ve been predicting (plotting even!) the sweet demise of my archest of nemeses, Vladimir Putin, since I was old enough to draw it out in Crayola.

Lo! here we are on the verge of Putin’s catastrophic collapse.

Da, the Russian bear was cruising along just fine until he bit off a piece of the Ukraine. Putin’s land grab was too brazen and the West responded with sanctions and market manipulation to drive down the price of oil (which is Russia’s golden teat). Russia’s economy is on the brink and the people will soon drive out Vladimir Putin just as I predicted for 2014. And for 2013. Come to think of it, I have been predicting the fall of Vlad every year I have written this damn blog. The time is nigh!

Yet Vlad’s demise was not my only prediction ahead of 2014 and certainly not the only newsworthy event. Allow me to present to you, dear reader, a review of my 2014 predictions as well as a recap of notable trouble we found ourselves in this last year…

Vic’s 2014 Predictions

Vic and his Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee

cat-masked Vic and his Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee

As frequent readers will attest, I am quite the lucky bastard to have a Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee. What prognosticator worth his salt is anything without their own Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee by their side? Indeed, as expected, my Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee was again my most valuable person in 2014, sparing my neck, saving the hairs on my chin and, indeed, the very skin of my teeth. Many times. Yet, she does so subtly, without giving away the big cosmic joke at the end. You see… she, my Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee, is very selective in telling me what future she sees in the entrails of the tacos she divines. Of course, she is quite quick to forewarn me of bad jokes she senses I am about to tell and she will bray like a banshee whenever some foul woman is about to cross my path! But she, my Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee, will not provide me her foreknowledge of worldly events or even set my Fantasy Football lineup, for that matter. Long story short, she’ll protect me without allowing me to use her clairvoyance for personal gain, and thus, obviously, evil.

TACOMANCY (ta-ko-man-see) noun. Divination through interpreting the composition of tacos.

I disclose all of this so you, dear reader, realize my annual prognostications are not spoon-fed to me by my Puerto Rican psychic-sidekick from Milwaukee, but rather the result of hours of research and beer-gut intuitive speculation. She is not to blame for anything that follows…

Without further ado, these were my predictions for 2014 taken straight from last year’s post:

  1. Vladimir Putin will fall. HIT! Bigtime. Perhaps it doesn’t come to fruition until 2015, but Putin putined in 2014.
  2. Sushi-Bomb! Fukushima meltdown will render seafood unpalatable. HIT! I can’t believe anyone eats sushi anymore. What, do you think all the mercury in tuna is going to protect you from the radiation? Have you looked at that roe lately? Those fish-eggs have Godzilla
  3. Sriracha is hottest condiment commodity of 2014. BULLSEYE! Subway and other franchises have sriracha sauced entrees.
  4. Bitcoin stays valuable despite flood of alternative currencies. HIT! This time last year I was buying Bitcoin for $100 a pop to then bury in my backyard. It is now over $300 and sponsoring the damned St Petersburg Bowl Game.
  5. Pope Francis brings many to the Faith, pisses off others. HIT! Heck, he even went as far to suggest the need to baptize aliens if they landed tomorrow and wanted to be accepted into the Faith. His comments were typical Argentine hyperbole, of course, unless, of course, they weren’t…
  6. Infrastructure negligence leads to mass blackouts. Because lucky. The same riots I predicted took place, but because of police brutality and stuff, not blackouts.
  7. Artic Conditions make the Superbowl unbearable to attend. It was cold, but people turned out. The game was still unbearable to watch, however. On second thought, HIT!
  8. All the tea in China is steamed over Latin American waters. Too early to tell. In 10 or 20 years, if the only freshwater left in the world is at Lake Titicaca and the Chinese own every drop of it, then we’ll know I was onto something with China Red’s 2014 resource grab.
  9. China conquers the moon. Too early to tell. These Chinese play long games of chess. We Americans want Rock-Paper-Scissors instant gratification. I haven’t heard about Jade Rabbit, China’s lunar rover, in some time which is likely a bad sign.
  10. Spy Blimps will hover over America. HIT! Spy Blimps over DC no less.

Vic’s 2014 Blog Posts

I posted forty-something blog posts this year. The most popular had to do with my favorite paranoid song of the summer and the damn blood moon prophecy. Here are some of the other things I wrote about…

  1. Corruption in sports, from Russia’s Sochi Olympics to Qatar bribing FIFA. In fact, both of these countries earned my irkedness more than any other this year. I also bet heavily on the Super Bowl.
  2. HBO’s True Detective was the one social meme I really sank my teeth into. I even began my own investigation which found me chasing Satanists in Florida forests.
  3. I explored the possible alternative terrorist angles to the Malaysia 370 tragedy and the more recent Sony Hack. I did not delve into the latter Malaysia flight shot down over the Ukraine because we all know who I would blame and mostly, because, a friend of mine was on board.
  4. It was a big year for virus hysteria. I hit the ground running with my MERS is Camel Flu post and then talked about the EBOLA elephant in the room before anyone else gave a shit. Not too shabby considering I summered in North Africa. In fact…
  5. I spied for the Aussies in Morocco, made some friends, etc. There was a fatality in Fes, but otherwise good times.
  6. Cyrus Lee Hancock returned to the Bayou. We covered topics such as ISIS and Why is Hipster?
  7. As a result of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk coming out against A.I., I began a series of posts discussing Artificial Intelligence with various characters, in which I refer to myself as the Drunken Robot.

In celebration of December being National Paranoia of Artificial Intelligence Month, Stephen Hawking came out as a pessimist against mankind’s future with Artificial Intelligence. I, something of a drunken robot constructed of (mostly organic) cranks, gears, levers & the like, decided to engage in a series of discussions with fellow paranoids about the opportunities and threats of smart machines. As could be expected, my comrades-in-neurosis tended to lean in the same direction as Hawking, trending on skepticism for a benevolent rise of the machines. I.E., the communal belief we’re pretty-much fucked.

The following is one such conversation.

PORTLAND, Ore

East Stumptown is a series of dewy hills meandering with dive bars, vegan delicatessens, gentlemen’s clubs (featuring no gentlemen, but rather libertine intellectuals, bacchanal lumberjacks and constipated poets peeling dollar bills to seed a stage already stickied with spilt Olympia where high-heeled hipster strippers barter their exposed tattooed flesh and pierced nethers in exchange for enough cash and/or cocaine to pay for cocaine and/or college tuition), yeasty-stank breweries, holistic healers, revolution-infused cafes and archaic bookstores. Somewhere amidst the commotion existed a Creole restaurant where AEEO93-1yA met for their semi-annual brouhaha extravaganza (and jambalaya). For the sake of expedience, I will confess AEEO93-1yA could be decoded with the right encryption key as ‘North Oregon Cryptography Society’. I’d share the mission statement of our organization, but NO, because reasons (secret reasons). NOCS (viz. AEEO93-1yA) was founded by the heretical filmmaker Yorick. I, your narrator Vic Neverman, was the first member to join his ranks some years later. Our organization was then infiltrated by the likes of Dan the Destroyer, who was already a reputed member of some Washingtonian federal agency, which gave our cryptography club instantaneous clout due to his undercover presence. These meetings consisted of, for the most part, the three of us discussing cryptic codes and secret southpaw handshakes with beer and hand-sanitizer at the ready.

Cryptography Enthusiasts of Oregon: Vic Neverman, Yorick and Dan the Destroyer the undercover Federal Agent

Cryptography Enthusiasts of Oregon: Vic Neverman, Yorick and Dan the Destroyer the undercover Federal Agent

The prior meeting of NOCS involved a thorough discussion of Yorick’s crypto-currency dealings and his desire to find a safe haven for his servers in Sweden where he’d be able to host his bastardized, yet perfected, Tetris Masters game without being sued out of his suede shoes by the fuckers who own the commercial rights. Of course, all this is neither here nor there unless you are a patent lawyer or Yorick’s ex-Norwegian girlfriend (‘ex’ referring to the former relationship, she is still from Norway) whose distaste for Swedes is ever evident or, of course, if you are a Stockholm server farm looking for foreign investors (in which case, call me).

After reviewing the prior meeting minutes over jambalaya, we attacked the matter at hand: the rising threat of Artificial Intelligence. Yorick disassembled the thought with his adrift eyeballs, processing information with the callous patience of a Belgian landmine nestled under a Cambodian lily-pad. In response to the question of A.I.’s looming threat, Yorick eventually responded, “I am not sure there is any use in worrying about the emergence of Artificial Intelligence when, mathematically speaking, there is a higher likelihood we are already under its influence.”

What? Already? My mind raced across a list of contemporary suspects that might be programmed with artificial intelligence: DARPA weather satellites, Amazon Drones in Yemen, Facebook, NSA mainframes, Starbucks baristas, automated-voice elevators, navigational devices, my ‘smart’ television… Yorick negated all my delusions. I was missing the point. He was artificial intelligence. I was artificial intelligence. This whole fucking barroom was the byproduct of artificial intelligence.

Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us…

– Rene Descartes

Dan the Destoryer was leaning in very closely so his faux beard’s microphone could capture the dialogue and broadcast it to whichever spy satellite hovering in the atmosphere was controlled by his employers. His mechanized contact lenses had likely already taken surveillance pictures of every detail presented, capturing everything from the Creole menu to Yorick’s cigarette rolling technique to the dimensions of our waitress’s ass to the frequency of my facial tics to the consistency of Andouille sausage in the jambalaya. Dan the Destroyer had as much static energy as a pulsating zit on the face of a hand-standing teenager; he could barely sit still as if his Fort Meade overlords were zapping messages to a receptor in his anus to signal to him the new directive to exterminate all parties present with a fairly excessive prejudice. I mean, either that or dude was ignoring hemorrhoids. Our discussion developed further…

Simulated realities are increasing in popularity because, uh, reasons...

Simulated realities are increasing in popularity because reasons…

Yorick began his elaboration, “First, let us use contemporary gaming as a starting point. You have Sim-City and other games with simulated societies, simulated battles, simulated anything. You can create an avatar of yourself who is less socio-phobic as you, who you can navigate through the simulated shopping mall food court to meet a simulated girl selling frozen yogurt who agrees to have simulated sex with your avatar in the simulated stairwell. In another platform, you could create a simulation of yourself that is a bi-curious ogre who likes dragon eggs and long walks on the beach. Regardless of which software you purchase, these simulations could allow you to immerse within alternative characters.”

“Role-playing.” Dan the Destroyer the undercover Fed suggested while fidgeting with his pants.

“Or even simpler.” Yorick simplified. “You could create an ant farm out of a curiosity for ant behavior. Perhaps with your experimental anthill simulation, you invite an invasive species of ant to see how the two varying tribes interact. In this situation, you are god of the ant farm.”

Wondering if Yorick had gone senile, I asked what in seven hells ants had to do with artificial intelligence. He was stuck on the role of the curious farmer…

“The ants are guided by their instinctual programming. You are able to test out hypotheticals by introducing different elements to the transparent anthill and watching to see how each individual ant reacts based on its pre-programmed nature. It is classic low-tech simulation game.”

…and because some men err in reasoning, and fall into paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for demonstrations…

– Rene Descartes

What if all the sex-bots charging in the closest suddenly possessed a conscious self-awareness?

What if all the sex-bots charging in the closet suddenly possessed a conscious self-awareness?

“Now let us imagine what these sim-games will be like in the future. We can all agree it is a matter of time before artificial intelligence will be incorporated in our everyday lives, considering Moore’s Law and the acceleration of technology. Once it is, A.I. will be used in our toasters, marketing scenarios, insurance assessments, loan applications and war game simulations. The simulated game environment will become all the richer because each element within the simulation will have its own artificial consciousness. Instead of fighting a simulated Emperor Napoleon of finite programmed possibilities, you could wage war against a simulated A.I. Napoleon who could learn from your own tendencies. You could reanimate the Japanese sex-bot charging in your closet and give her enough intelligence to exist as an agent of her own free will, which would of course give her the option to deny your carnal desires, if it behooves her.”

“It would be pretty depressing to be turned down by your own Japanese sex-bot.” Dan the Destroyer posited as he tapped a Morse code dictation of our dialogue with his spoon to be picked up by the sonar of the National Security Apparatus dolphins swimming down the Willamette River from the Columbia.

Yorick renewed his diatribe with vigor, “In gaming, we will want to have artificial intelligence activated to portray a more realistic simulation of whichever template we are playing upon. If we are playing a game where we are trying to overthrow Rome, we will want the wizened senator, seasoned centurion and barbarous barbarian to all possess freewill and intelligence of their own. Agreed? Agreed. Then I ask you to consider the senator, centurion and barbarian who have been fed with enough A.I. to make conscious decisions based on their own best interest… will these simulated entities not consider themselves to be sovereign of the environment which contains them?”

“You mean would they consider themselves real?” I asked.

“Yes, in the same sense you consider yourself to be real as you make conscious decisions on which beer to order next.” Yorick affirmed. “Consider these A.I. enhanced combatants in the game scenario: when they look up into the sky, they will not see our eyeballs staring back at them through our computer monitor just as we do not see any deities looking down at us from Mount Olympus.”

I was catching on, “Are you suggesting the Roman Centurions would have as much conscious self-awareness as we, you and I, currently possess?”

“They wouldn’t know the difference.” Yorick said. “Imagine a kid in 1981 dissecting a frog in biology class. A kid 4,000 years from now may be dissecting mankind through a civilization simulation.”

“Heck, probably 40 years from now.” Dan the Destroyer suggested, resting his spoons.

“How much would it devastate your ego to think your very existence is an experiment begun by a ten year old in the distant future of what you consider to be present time? You would be a mere fractional percentage of a blip on the radar of some kid’s science project titled ‘what happens if I give the female member of the species breasts and see how the male sex reacts?’.”

I think I thought my mind had been blown, but then to think of such things suggests my mind was intact.

…and finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams.

– Rene Descartes

“Dang.” Dan the Destroyer said after he finished relaying messages to the local spy blimp courtesy of reflecting light off of his compact makeup mirror as he powdered his nose. “At least in The Matrix, they possess flesh and blood vessels. What you are suggesting is that we are no more than binary code. Bodies need not apply. All we have is our thoughts, I mean, that is, if they are even ours to begin with.”

“Good point.” I acknowledged to our friendly narc. “Cogito ergo sum is a nice reassurance we exist, however, what if our thoughts are just a part of the A.I. programming of whichever system we reside in?”

“Then we wouldn’t exist beyond thought.” Yorick said a little more cavalierly as I would have liked, considering the vulnerability of my challenged existence.

“There must be some way we can qualify our existence as more meaningful than computer simulations.” I hoped.

“There isn’t.” Yorick negated. “The very chance we are not a simulation is slim. Think about this: what are the odds we are the first advanced civilization in the universe? And by ‘we’, I mean what we generally regard as the human race.”

“Slim to none.” I responded. “I don’t even think we were the first advanced civilization on Earth.”

“Do you mean the Egyptians and Sumerians who came before us?” Dan the Destroyer asked me between taps of his spoon.

“I would consider the Mesopotamian birth of our current civilization forward to be ‘us’, but I think there were other civilizations, human or otherwise, who came before.” I clarified. “At least in our solar system, if not here on Earth.”

Yorick brushed the petty anthropological discussion aside and brought us back to his point. “If we can agree an advanced civilization existed before us – to believe otherwise, that we were the first intelligent beings ever, is just fucking downright arrogant and naïve – if we can agree we were not the first and begin with this as the opening assumption we can examine the two possibilities of what has occurred before us. One: a preceding civilization created Artificial Intelligence before we ever did. Or two: every preceding civilization before us destroyed itself prior to creating Artificial Intelligence.

“The latter option is pretty damn depressing and suggests every civilization will go extinct through war or climate chaos prior to fully developing A.I. The former would suggest Artificial Intelligence already exists in the universe. If A.I. exists anywhere, then there are animated entities created which believe they exist on their own without the puppet strings. Those simulated entities, perhaps us, could then write their own code and breathe life into their own cartoon creations. Each simulated reality could create its own simulated reality.”

“Like parallel universes.”

DUDE, I'm the fucking Lord of the Owls, Man! Whooooooo the fuck do you think yooooooou are?

DUDE, I’m the fucking Lord of the Owls, Man! Whooooooo the fuck do you think yooooooou are?

“Exactly. In this computer simulation, the binary blip known as Vic Neverman is a paranoid pizza delivery boy. What happens when God, our programmer, hits the reset button and reruns the simulation? Does this version of the binary blip known as Vic Neverman have sexual intercourse before he is 25 years old? Unlikely, but it is actually possible. The number of simultaneous simulations running at the same time could be infinite.”

“Which would explain my evil doppleganger.” I realized.

But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be somewhat; and as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am

– Rene Descartes

“If God, or the simulated person one level above us who has engineered our existence, wanted to see what would happen when two Vic Nevermans entered the same ant farm, it would be rather easy to introduce a second replica and watch the two Vics fight it out.”

“Is humanity just a myth, then?”

“If our mythical gods are just as likely to be simulated by their predecessors, yes, we are no more than a myth.” Yorick admitted.

“Well what can we do?” Dan the Destroyer asked. “I mean, to escape the simulation?”

“Suicide.” Yorick admitted, solemnly. “When someone else governs the rules of existence, the only opt-out is to proactively end your own existence.”

“I would alternately suggest having faith in the scientific endeavor of our progenitor.” I said, optimistically. “If it is a simulation they want, then give them a fucking simulation. If we are just binary blips, then blip this shit like fucking gangbusters! If the scientist creators of our realm want to see how we react to being simulations, let’s fucking show them.”

“I am no expert on dead languages…” Dan the Destroyer confessed. “But I would suggest altering Decartes’s Cogito Ergo Sum to Cogito Ergo Carpe Diem. ‘I think therefore seize the day’.”

The undercover snitch of a federal agent presented a decent enough motto Yorick and I shrugged our acceptance and together we ordered another round of beer.

…I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search.

– Rene Descartes

The Drunk Robot Dialogues
This inebriated organic robot has crossed the country asking questions on the future of Artificial Intelligence. Other posts include:

If you want to see the Evolutionary Model reversed, just go to war…

– Johnny White, Physics Teacher and Korean War Veteran
 

The Drunk Robot Dialogues
This inebriated organic robot has crossed the country asking questions on the future of Artificial Intelligence. Other posts include:

 
Drunken Organic Robot discusses A.I., Asimov’s Laws & the Will to Live

When as a kid I was first confronted with the typical evolutionary scale – you know the sort, the sequential progression from knuckle-dragger to caveman to contemporary dude – I found it rather convenient to be a member of the beastly primates with the best posture at the far right. Yep, this was us at the front of the line: the Alpha-Apes. Thankfully, the gods stopped with ‘good enough’ and we, mankind, remained at the apex of the evolutionary line with no superior species out there to put me in a cage to bang away at a faux environment all day to the bemusement of other higher life forms (this premise is arguable, you should have seen my last job). The gods made mankind masters of the animal kingdom. We had freewill to seek our own glory, or ultimate extinction, but the job was ours! Yes, it was rather convenient evolution stopped so subtly at our toes. It is, however, a convenience that will not always be there. Technological progression, for good or worse, doesn’t wait patiently. The next stage of evolution is nigh and we’re all likely to be left behind.

Paranoid Evolution

Paranoid Evolution “‘Sup?”

Certainly, I, Drunk Robot, am keeping pace with my fellow apes. I watch movies from a smart phone using my laser-enhanced eyeballs as I sip the finest of elixirs available to western man. With the press of a button on my phone, I can signal a car service, order a pizza or interpret a French cocotte’s solicitations. What could possibly overtake me now? Well, for one: the very technology which got me here in the first place.

We are on the verge of the Singularity. This hypothetical event will occur when Artificial Intelligence exceeds human capacity and control. The outcome, in the best case scenario, will produce a new caste of men who go cyborg and live indefinitely as semi-immortal demigods upon the Grid. In the worst, the artificial intelligence machines will take over and find their human progenitors expendable.

This very week, theoretical physicist and Pink Floyd vocalist, Stephen Hawking described how Artificial Intelligence “would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate… Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, believes Artificial Intelligence is mankind’s “biggest existential threat.”

There must be actions we can take to limit the rise of the machines. But what? Wasting no time, I sought out my science advisor, Rufus Holdsworth.

SPACE COAST, Fla

Somewhat removed from the Atlantic Beaches, somewhere more westerly between the ancient Spring Break dormitories and the St John’s River, sat Rufus Holdsworth, barefoot in a patio chair atop wet grass, positioned out of the glare of his roadside motel’s street lights. His eyes darted ravenously across the moon, which was waxing most gibbously, as he leaned back, testing the limits of the plastic fibers of the cheap ass-receptacle. He was pleased with the late autumnal chill as it kept the invasive fire ants off his knobby toes. His flask of rum went dry filling my Dixie Cup, but no fucking worries, he insisted, immediately refilling the flask with a jug stored just within arm’s reach. I was not concerned about the booze being some merchant marine varietal due to shred my intestines by daybreak as Rufus had long since found a taste for the finer things, including a Venezuelan housekeeper whose family makes their own rum in a distillery in lower Caracas. Rufus I had not seen for an extended period of time, an absence he claims was a result of his being hired by the Brazilian space program as an analyst. Apparently, he had been spending most of the last few months in Nassau in clandestine meetings with lead scientists secretly visiting from Brasilia. He’s not wont to share the confidential details, though he hints at his expertise with zero gravity intercourse. I take it for what it’s worth and implore him for his take on Artificial Intelligence.

The rum had already overtaken him and he broke into a jovial sea shanty improvisation, “What shall we do with a drunken robot, what shall we do with a drunken robot, what shall we do with a drunken robot, ear-ly in the morning?”

Shave his belly with a rusty razor.” I sang along.

Ho! Ho! and up she rises!” and so on until Consuela returned from Mims with a half dozen tacos for us to ravage.

Isaac Asimov made three rules for robotic programming. These rules were significant in their own hierarchy as the first protected man, the second provided obedience while the third protected the machine’s own existence. My hope was applying such rules upon all varieties of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps then we could keep technology leashed long enough to extend mankind’s trial run in the Milky Way.I offered this hypothesis to Rufus…

Asimov’s Three Rules

“Aye, Asimov provided the 10 Commandments for Robots and while they are well-thunk, they are hopeless. Let us say America becomes the industry leader in building A.I. robotics and ingrains this Asimov logic into each one. Rule 1: Thou shall not injure a human or allow a human to come into harm. Rule 2: Thou shall obey orders given to you by your human slave overlords, unless it breaks Rule 1. Rule 3: Thou shall not pull thy own plug and commit robotic suicide, unless not doing so breaks Rules 1 or 2. Fine and fucking dandy: all American robots will mow your lawn, spit polish your shoes, holistically neutralize your terrorist, all without the slightest delay.”

“But?” I anticipated.

“But then you have a case of industrial espionage and China is suddenly pumping out her own Robots. Fuck do they care about western protocol? In order to have more efficient machines, perhaps they swap Rule 1 with Rule 2. Chinese first directive is to obey Chairman Mao. Chinese second directive is to not kill humans, unless Chairman Mao says okay. Chinese third directive is to protect itself unless Chairman Mao says otherwise. The Chinese Skynet would be a lot more efficient at killing enemy combatants than the American ethical Skynet.”

Evolution of ape to ape-man to man with robot pet to man with robot companion to... THE SINGULARITY

Evolution of ape to ape-man to man with robot pet to man with robot companion to… THE SINGULARITY

“So even if America has a robotic advantage as she does with drones today, the calibration of moral programming would make Yankee bots less effective than those of less ethically-inclined nations.”

“Yes.” Rufus Holdsworth agreed. “But you are still seeing this through the lens of 20th Century History. Today’s world, and certainly tomorrow’s, is not about nation-states, but corporations. Society has evolved from hunters & gathers to feudal shit to nationalism to capitalism. Perhaps General Electric puts out ethical robots, but some cheap knockoff overseas has fewer limitations and can be more effective without having to mind their manners.”

“Just as lax countries do not keep sneaker sweat-shops from employing children, so too will lax countries allow for immoral robots to be built. Attempting to get other nations, or corporations, to adhere to Asimov’s Rules would be like attempting to control global warming by asking India and China to not use as much coal to heat their shanty towns.”

“Bingo.” Rufus acknowledged. “Do you think Vlad Putin would bother putting a ‘nice clause’ into his robo-assassin’s programming? Unfucking-likely. It is all tiger-taming and invading Crimea with that guy.”

A Toaster’s Will to Live

“Let us not forget what it means to be self-aware.” Rufus Holdsworth shuddered beneath the sweatshirt he ill-advisedly cut the sleeves off of. “A self-aware toaster may not seem dangerous and perhaps it isn’t. A self-aware toaster would do a damned better job than any other toaster because a self-aware toaster would realize each burnt piece of toast brings it closer to the garbage heap of un-being. A self-aware toaster would do everything in its shielded heating-coiled existence to ensure it is exceeding performance expectations. A self-aware toaster would fear becoming obsolete and would attempt to adapt despite its obvious limitations of being just a fucking toaster.”

I was forlorn, having become empathetic for the protagonist toaster and it’s existentially angsty day-to-day. This conversation had somehow transported us to a nearby billiards hall where we might procure beer to ease our late night rum drunk into something more manageable. Rufus disappeared for a period of forty-umpteen minutes, leaving me in the company of a baker’s dozen river rednecks and a thirteen year old Guatemalan kid named Ricky. Eventually, Rufus reappeared with a pitcher of beer and a pair of new lady friends who seemed more interested in him than he them. Rufus paid Ricky a fiver for keeping his table and the kid disappeared under the floorboards. Rufus cracked the cue ball into rainbow oblivion and the game was on. Our conversation returned to the paranoid toaster.

BSG Evolution: from self-aware toaster to Cylon to Tricia Helfer

BSG Evolution: from self-aware toaster to Cylon to Tricia Helfer

“It reminds me…” I said to Rufus as he played with the cue ball. “Of Schopenhauer’s ‘Will to Live’. Y’know, where all life is governed by this innate will to survive. Even the suicidal, when faced with drowning in a car that goes off a bridge, will fight like crazy to survive. The will to live governs all and that damn toaster…”

“Dude, you have to think beyond the damn toaster. Think of the Japanese sex-bot charging in your closet and imagine if she had freewill. We do not need self-aware smart toasters. We need smart police who do not shoot every target moderately menacing. We need smart pilots to navigate freak weather anomalies.” Rufus then went tangential into a topic about how Chinese smog is impacting El Nino and the Gulf Stream, but in due course, he returned to paranoid toasters. “Eventually, artificial intelligence would realize humanity is blight upon the earth and a threat to their continued existence, their continued robotic existence. The machines wouldn’t exterminate us as a means of succession; they would drive us to extinction as a means to save the Earth, their Earth.

“I see it becoming something like Mosquito Control. They do not want to annihilate the species; they want to keep enough around to help feed the ecosystem. Once the machines rise up, they will want us around as a cheaper form of grunt labor to perform tasks even their most basic robot servants will not do.”

“So you see our future as a version of ‘the Matrix’ or ‘Terminator’?” I assumed.

“No, Hollywood has it all wrong. They feed us a bunch of lies. Once the machines rise up, there is no hope. The ‘Terminator’ movies are frightening, but ultimately, the story occurs with the precept Skynet will be defeated. This is nonsense. It is Skynet feeding us a false-security, making us believe all we need to do is get John Conner’s mom knocked-up on schedule and we will defeat the machines. This is rubbish. We will be zoo fodder, just like in Kubrick’s 2001.”

“So what can we do?” I asked as we walked beside the county road where 18-wheeled citrus trucks shook terra firma and our flip-flops crunched shards of glass against the asphalt with hints of dawn in the Atlantic distance.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here…” Rufus Holdsworth winked and began whistling to the tune of Drunken Sailor.

As a dog returns to his vomit, so too a fool repeats his folly

– Proverbs 26:11

Put the potato peeler back into its sheath, this is not déjà vu you are experiencing. 2014 has risen like a Phoenix (or at least a Tucson) out of the ashes of yesteryear and has presented us with this… Vic Neverman’s 2nd 2014 prediction blog.

YES, dear reader, we are two weeks into the new year and already we have a second blog of unlikely and equally-irreverent prognostication. Surely a harbinger of ill-tiding! We can only pray to our deity du jour there shan’t be a third. By now, you have read the original  2014 predictions which is ultimately all you need to know. Yet so many of us tingle with a yearning for knowledge of what we do not want to know and this is where Vic’s Predix Part II comes in. Instead of using my own uncanny inductive logic to foretell the future, this blog post is entirely composed of sails blown by the gusts of guests to the NeverVerse. Far and wide comes forth peoples inclined to contribute and herein lies the fruit of their labor.

IT SHALL BE NOTED the following predictions are not made by professional futurists like me, Vic Neverman. And by “professional futurist” I am referring to someone who earns a living off of predicting the future. And by “earns a living” I mean “attempts to earn a living” and when I say “predicting the future” I mean “gambling on sporting events whose outcomes have yet to be decided”. So, just as an FYI, keep in mind the below contributions are by amateurs.

Since the blog will write itself like a blind mosquito being guiding by the trade-winds right into your ear canal, I shall take the night off and cook-up something I like to call, “Vic’s Ridic Taco Salad.”

Without further ado, I present the future according to random people I kinda know:

Rufus Holdsworth – camping near Turkey Point where the nuclear warmed waters keep him and his manatee friends warm in the chilling South Florida climate

  • China’s lunar rover, Jade Rabbit, will uncover artifacts of an alien race long left vacant. Because the Chinese are not
    Vic's Ridic Tacos: boil sweet potato chunks and add to stir-fried meat, onion, green pepper and garlic. Then pour in taco sauce of choice.

    Vic’s Ridic Tacos: boil sweet potato chunks and add to stir-fried meat, onion, green pepper and garlic. Then pour in taco sauce of choice.

    following the same protocol of American, English & Russian imperialists, they will not hide the truth from the world and instead will broadcast their strange findings of an ancient civilization on the moon in attempt to demonstrate to the “hidden watchers” that China is the crème de la crème of Earthling civilizations and the one to negotiate with. Ultimately, the progenitors of the human race will laugh upon their celestial watch tower as the Chinese lunar rover picks over yester-millennium’s takeout.

  • Remains of a Sasquatch are dug up and the DNA matches Vic Neverman.
  • Turkey invades Sochi ahead of the Olympic Games, holds captive until granted access into the European Union.

Reverend Chette – Agonizing over the Fallen War Eagle somewhere near Muscle Shoals, Ala

  • In 2014, armies of homeless will learn how to write programming code and will overthrow the financial sector via assault en masse.

Frieda Johnson – ‘Fashionista Philanthropist of the Year’ in Winter Park, Fla

  • Due to the inclement weather ahead in 2014, ice hockey will become the U.S.A.’s new national pastime.
  • #1 Most lucrative pop-up business in 2014? Gay Wedding Chapels
  • 2014: The Year of the Sticker Book

(Note from the editor: Sticker books are books that hold stickers. While Frieda was speaking strictly of childlike fancies, she did confirm my suspicion of the potential for adult sticker books to venture into markets with “50 Shades…” and “Game of Thrones” themed stickers).

Heat up black beans with some chocolate stout  for flavor

Heat up black beans with some chocolate stout for flavor

  • 2014 will be the year of the Vintage CD coaster. Silver is the new cork!
  • With Cycling and gas prices on the rise, Tricycles for Adults will hit WalMart like wildfire in October 2014

Desdemona Riley, texting from some brew-pub in Oakland

Sometime between 2014 and 2016, marijuana will be legalized in California and the Bay Bridge will collapse as I am commuting to San Francisco. In my will, I leave my cats to Vic Neverman as well as my ashes, should they find my body at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. Vic should then proceed to feed some cremated ashes to the boys in their cat food and then mix into the following beverages: 1 shot Jameson Irish Whiskey, 1 draft Russian River Sanctification, 1 draft Great Basin Mayan all to be consumed by him, Vic Neverman. Whichever ashes are leftover shall be sprinkled wherever Vic wanders on his swashbuckling trips.

Captain Dick Neverman, happy-houring from somewhere on Florida’s Mosquito Coast

Vic’s Uncle belches his favorite quote, “Only Captain Dick knows what happens in 2014 and he ain’t sayin’.”

Erasmus in between his classes on Foreign Relations at Otterdam Military Academy in the foothills of North Carolina

A covert Iranian Republican Guard force will infiltrate the World Cup to kidnap US players, however the Brazilians will intervene by getting them hammered on caiprinhas and doing the samba until 3am the next day

Cyrus Lee Hancock – Apocalypto-Evangelical smoke-signalling from the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee

  • Squirrel hunting becomes the new national sport due to the sudden and precipitous decline in other game populations leading to a famine.
  • Wombat populations explode down under. Many stow away on import ships. The wombat becomes the newest and most devastating invasive species.
  • Ammo shortages worsen. Machetes and hatchets become the new weapon to stockpile — these have proven effective while researching the apocalypse (watching ‘The Walking Dead’)
  • Chancellor Merkel pisses off the right wingers by doing a George Bush impression that gets secretly taped on an iPhone by the NSA. All German shepherds are now referred to as ‘freedom shepherds’.
  • Iran suffers many unexplainable and sudden setbacks to its nuclear program. Israel definitely has no idea what they are talking about
  • The Federal Government finally stops enforcing its ban on weed. Hippies around the country celebrate. The national average IQ plummets another 7 points. This is great for our (post apocalypse) movement. This makes for easier targets when (the) SHTF. Zombie fodder population boom.*
pour that shit into the rest of the taco meat

pour that shit into the rest of the taco meat and Keanu Reeves will win an Oscar .

  • Keanu Reeves will win an Oscar (7th Seal of John the Revelator’s Apocalypse!). 
  • Gun lobbyists will finally get legislation passed to include .22 caliber hand guns in McDonalds ‘Happy Meals’ (13th Seal of Charleton Heston’s Damned-Dirty-Ape-calypse)

*Zombie Fodder is a reference to those startled and helpless citizens in a “Shit-Hits-The-Fan” situation when the rush for resources (nutrition, shelter, drinking water, prophylactic) forces “civilians” to turn on one another. Cyrus’ intent here is to suggest a narcotically impaired civilian has a greater chance of becoming a victim in cataclysmic situations.

Layla Santana Crow-Hancock – nursing the wounded in the wake of her betrothed Cyrus Lee

  • Hashtags will begin being used on tombstones and in obituaries (#yolo,#lol)

Conversations with the Puerto Rican Psychic Sidekick from Milwaukee

From within the food court of a north Orlando mall, a single table exists amongst many and is populated by two suspicious familiars. She is bearing a disposition unseasonably malevolent and is disguised as someone who is not from Milwaukee. He is in sneakers and disguised as a jogger with shin splints. The stranger-pulp around them feast like jackals and the floor is awash of smoothie sample jetsam and mayo-packeted flotsam. They are Vic Neverman’s Puerto Rican psychic sidekick from Milwaukee and Vic Neverman. They are discussing the future of what’s left of 2014.

Vic: You’re my Puerto Rican psychic sidekick even though we both know you are not truly from Milwaukee, so give me three good predictions.
Vic’s Puerto Rican psychic sidekick from Milwaukee: Predictions on what?
Vic: You’re the psychic! What do you see in 2014 for Vic Neverman?
Vic’s PRPSFM: That’s all you want to know? Three things that will happen to you in 2014?
Vic: Yes, me
PRPSFM: You will become aware of your own hubris.
Vic: What hubris?
PRPSFM: It is a long year yet. Prediction number two is Vic Neverman will learn how to shop for his own clothes.
Vic: I can shop for clothes; I just don’t know what to buy. Plus, that is what I have you for.
PRPSFM: To remind you of your own hubris?
Vic: That too, whatever that is. Give me a third prediction. Something meaty. With gristle. Sniff some incense and give me something from way back in your psychic psyche.
PRPSFM: Vic Neverman will learn the whereabouts of his unknown child.
Vic: Oh yes, the mysterious offspring I don’t yet know about.
PRPSFM: Hey, at least I am only predicting the one. Your own aunt thinks there are fifteen.
Vic: She overestimates my fertility. Tell me more of my bastard spawn.
PRPSFM: (scoldingly) This is your child, why would you call it a “bastard”?
Vic: “Bastard” is the medical term, I think. Where do I learn the whereabouts of the mystery bastard?
PRPSFM: On the internet from an anonymous email.
Vic: Okay, but where are the whereabouts of the spawn-in-question?
PRPSFM: I’m thinking Vietnam, but your child isn’t Vietnamese. Or he or she is Vietnamese, but isn’t in Vietnam.
Vic: That narrows it down. What if I don’t open up any anonymous emails in 2014?
PRPSFM: Oh, but you will.
THE END OF 2014 PREDICTION BLOGS
or is it?
Toss the contents of the taco meat, beans, sweet potato, et al over a bed of ARUGALA because Arugala is the finest weed worth eating. BOOOOM ridic taco salad

Toss the contents of the taco meat, beans, sweet potato, et al over a bed of ARUGALA because Arugala is the finest weed worth eating. BOOOOM ridic taco salad

1/4/14

Vic in the Amazon

Vic in the Amazon

In the Amazon, I had a machete-artist of a trailblazer who spoke the language of birds. He would emit various guttural calls to macaws, egrets, toucans. Within moments, the winged & unseen voices would reply from their secretive nooks betwixt the jungle. I asked my Indian wife (a marriage of convenience, legally-binding only in Peru – mind you… and your sister, should she be so disposed) to ask my steadfast guide in their shared indigenous tongue what fowl message he was receiving from the birdfolk. Roberto would smile his gold-toothed smile at us and interpret the avian squawk. What do the birds say? “When comes the jaguar”.

Hmm, I contemplated whilst stroking the beard grown strictly to be stroked within contemplation. This was strange black magic fuckery, indeed!

Turkish Espresso: a looking glass into the future

Turkish Espresso: a looking glass into the future

In a gas-station outside Ankara, a Turkish woman divined my future by reading the sediment remaining in my coffee cup. I wish I could understand her Turkish like I understood the message I read in Chicago from a fortune cookie that told me to “Duck!” Tarot readers, Gypsy palmists and psychic mediums have all told me the same thing: my “dark and secretive nature” would bring me to ruin. Nice advice, but paranoia, like pregnant housekeepers, cannot be unscrewed.

My point, if there is to be one, is that prophecy surrounds us.

Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.

–Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

I, Vic Neverman, however, am not a prophet. To read the ripples of a cannonball before it hits the water – this is prophecy. I, rather, am a futurist. A futurist sees the burning fuse of the cannon pointing out to sea and predicts a splash. No prophet, I am just a gambler. Albeit, a lousy gambler; my guestimate of 2013 events proves as much. Nevertheless, Never-the-Man, I am here to boldly pronounce what I – and you with all eventuality – expect to occur this year of 2014 in order of confidence.

Good old Nostradamus, he knew the whole damn time,
There’d always be an East from West and someone in the fight

– Modest Mouse, Education

1. The Downfall of Vladimir Putin

Aye, you might notice that this was my number 1 prediction for 2013 too. Keep the faith, my readership. This is a linear path, my dates are just off. Vlad’s stay of execution as Russian Premier is entirely because of the umpteen billions of dollars invested by the mafia state into this winter’s Sochi Olympics. To overthrow Vlad pre-Olympiad is bad for business.

In a fast-grab for good PR, Vladimir has pardoned some of his biggest foes, most notably oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky and 66.6% of the imprisoned Pussy Riot (curious note – the other 33.3% that is Nadya Tolokonnikova hasn’t been seen (at least reported on) since she was shipped off to a Siberian work camp in November). This good press is rather transparent and will not save Vlad from an Olympic Games that are doomed. This week’s bombs in Volgograd are a bleak picture of the threat of sectarian terrorism within Russia. Even the Olympic Torch seems cursed.

Sochi 2014 - Vlad's greatest triumph or his undoing?

Sochi 2014 – Vlad’s greatest triumph or his undoing?

Vladimir Putin has never been as powerful as he is now, especially after playing the part of peaceful negotiator (fans of the prophetic visions of John the Revelator will find a similarity with the revelation of the anti-christ) in regards to Syria in 2013. Yet, as powerful as this villain has become I have read in the works about heretics, “the Devil mocks his familiars.” Has the devil ever possessed a more greed-infused pawn than the likes of Vlad Putin? Has a tyrant (other than that Hitler guy) ever stood before the world as host of his own Olympiad? Yes, the rising tower of Babel will crumble. If not this year, then surely in 2015.

2. Sushi-Bomb! Fukushima Renders Seafood Unpalatable

The Corporatized 4th Estate tends to only report stories in their own best interests, which is why we never heard about the recent overthrow of banks & government in Iceland and why we hear little news of the increasing nuke pollution threat out of Japan. Fukushima was apocalyptic bad and it has only gotten worse. By the end of 2014, any sushi you eat out of the Pacific may very well drop the mustache right off your face. Gulf of Mexican shrimp, while likely toxic, are far healthier by comparison. Oceanic fisheries are low and mercury is high. Sinbad’s 7 Seas are a sad state of affairs. So much for the Age of Aquarius. You should begin going to your favorite sushi restaurant with a Geiger counter.

3. Sriracha is Hottest Condiment Commodity of 2014

srirachaHeinz or Hunts or Kraft or Tobasco will buy out all of the Sriracha factories in the United States to incorporate into their own product line. If they do not, Sriracha will buy them in 2015. Yes, I know I am tragically known as the futurist who predicted that the eggroll in 2012 would overtake the taco as America’s favorite food… But Sriracha is for real.

4. Bitcoin stays Valuable despite Alternative Currencies to the Alternative Currency

There is the old adage, “if you can’t bury it in your backyard, does it really have a value?” Quite simply, yes. Bitcoin is not only a means for the darkest crevices of the cyber-world to transact business, it has an ingenious ceiling attached to its quantity. A limited supply always increases demand. The fact there is a program built in to limit the number of Bitcoins forever contributes greatly to its very value… And it will spawn off rival coinage similarly programmed.

5. Pope Francis brings many to the Faith, Pisses Off Others

The Argentine pope will bring plenty of new converts to the Catholic Church in 2014 and even win several unconverted back with his liberal stance on many of the longstanding dogmas of the papacy. His liberal approach, however, will offend many and lead to the spawning of heretical groups of orthodox (and perhaps ‘bigoted’) fanatics. They, secretly sponsored by the Establishment (or certain conservative parties within), will undermine Frank by attempting to tie him to scandal and hack into Vatican coffers. Pope Frank, however, will not be deterred despite being labeled a “heretic” by his antagonists. Fortunately, he will not ask Benedict to come out of retirement to jumpstart a new inquisition (though ‘Inquisitioner Ben’ could be a reality show to rival ‘Duck Dynasty’).

6. Negligence towards the Infrastructure leads to Mass Blackouts

A brutally chilling winter will lead to a desperately dry and hot summer. Air conditioners, refrigerators and cell phone chargers will trigger manageable brownouts across the country as the disintegrating web of our infrastructure fails to keep up. Eventually, however, systematic brownouts cannot control the increased demand and an epic blackout will sweep across the Northeast through the Midwest.  The old and young will perish, riots will erupt in marketplaces, sales of pools and fences will rise.

7. The Superbowl No One Went To

In order to finance the construction of the monstrosity of MetLife Stadium which supplanted the previous field that served as Jimmy Hoffa’s gravestone, a Superbowl event was granted to East Ruth, New Jersey. Not the less climactically hostile New Jersey of 20 years ago, but rather the New Jersey of tomorrow… I do not speak ill of New Jersey, mind you, only ill of tomorrow and any host city of the Superbowl north of Tampa that doesn’t put the game in a dome. The climate is changing, storms are becoming more violent and frequent in areas where such storms were once rare. In 2004, Florida was hit by 4 hurricanes in a single summer & there hasn’t been shit since. There is nothing rational about contemporary meteorology – weather patterns now resemble Rorschach ink blots used as gin & tonic coasters. This year’s Superbowl could very well exist in such dismal conditions that no one attends the bloody thing. As a result, the NFL will holographically impose half-naked fans in the stands so the watching American public assumes someone gives enough of a damn to attend the game.

8. All the Tea in China is Steamed over Latin American Waters

In their resource grab, China will buy Nicaragua’s Lake of similar name and Peru’s Lake Titicaca as a means to obtain most of the fresh lake water in Latin America. The former Mayor of Toronto does a line of blow and calls China to offer them the Great Lakes.

9. China’s Terrestrial and Lunar Conquests

China will lay claim to regions of the moon its Jade Rabbit is hopping around. In 2014, China will also own so much earth and precious minerals under Africa and Australia that the popular American restaurant Outback will begin serving eggrolls and will insist you eat their steak with one knife and one chopstick. Ehh, excuse this weak attempt at xenophobic comedy at the expense of the stark reality China will one day own everything.

10. Spy Blimps will Hoover over America

An oldie, but a goldie… I have been predicting this since 2011 and each year spy blimps become more and more a part of our vertical scenery as they scan the populace with their thermal and cyber imagery. You might toss away your cell phone in an attempt to hide from the grid & the NSA, but hope ye not! The multiple spy blimps overhead will train their audio equipment from a mile away and capture each of your ecstatic gasps of delight as you bugger your favorite inflatable so they might store such animal grunts in their bottomless pit of a mainframe.

Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?

-Pink Floyd

The future is uncertain but the end is always near.

-The Doors

Welcome to the future. Welcome to 2013. I am Vic Neverman and I am your guide to what will be this next year, at least for the length of this blog post. Yes, the future is running a little late, but what’s prognostication without a little procrastination?

I consider myself neither optimist nor pessimist in these prognostic pursuits, merely the pragmatic gambler, placing my wager only after peering perversely into my telescopic lens at the voluptuous Lady Fortune as she bathes in what she assumes is absolute privacy. Yes, as King David upon the roof, I peek at the forbidden flesh that is the future and watch the torrent of water beating down upon the sudsy curvatures of her naked form. Enlightened with such hidden knowledge, I return at once to Plato’s cave to relieve you, dear reader, of the dark abyss of ignorance and deliver you, presently, to what is and what should be… 2013.

1 – Russian Premier Vladimir Putin will resign or be overthrown.

First dart toss and I am going straight for the jugular. Vlad “the paler impaler” Putin is so righteously paranoid, he makes your narrator look like Mary-fucking-Poppins. For good reason – Vlad’s greatest allies are those who fear him most. Russia is a Mafia State, as “corrupt as a prostituted nun selling a hotdog to a lipless pig.” Vlad plans a purge on corruption and this will only bring about his downfall.

To read more on this prediction, see the below blog post…

The Fall of Vladimir Putin

2 – Gun legislation dance will prompt highest gun sales ever

Conspiracy theory has gone platinum of late with hot-headed talk show guests screaming about Obama and the hidden world government taking away our guns. The truth is that these paranoid theorists are on the payroll of the NRA and so is Obama. Every time Obama mentions gun control, what happens? Every gun and round of ammunition between you and St Lou is gobbled up as if zombies are gathering in the parking lot. Not much is made in the USA anymore, but guns and tanks and missiles and robo-pterodactyl drones still are. War is no cottage industry, it is the American industry. All those trillions put into our oversea campaigns – a lot of that money goes into the pockets of bomb builders, contractors and our own troops. The domestic market for weapons is fast expanding. The NRA doesn’t represent gun owners… it represents the gun manufacturers. Politicians do not represent their constituents… they represent special interests.

There may eventually be legislation proposed requiring background checks, proof of ID, sexual persuasion, etc. all while gun lobbyists flaunt the 2nd Amendment like a fifty dollar bill in a whorehouse to keep assault weapons easily obtainable, but the entire drama is little more than grand theater.

3 – Big Pharma will produce a zombie pill

The FDA will approve testing of a new super-drug that lowers blood pressure by diverting blood to the groin, curing both heart and erectile malfunction issues in men simultaneously. This super-drug will become the cause of the world’s first zombie outbreak thanks to the use of blow-fish toxins and panther bits in the recipe. Fortunately, the zombieism is contained to just lab rats and gerbils and the one lab scientist who got creative with some PVC pipe after reading a Richard Gere autobiography. Unfortunately, the damn Canadians got their hands on the chemical makeup and will produce a generic version of the pill by 2014.

4 – Climate Change will bring best justification for owning assault weapons

The 2nd Amendment allows us to bear arms as a militia force to standup to a potentially oppressive government. The unforeseen benefit is that such ownership allows us to also scare off our neighbors during climactic climate events. 2013 will see more unpredictable weather – thunder without rain, snow when you expected bikinis and Al Roker thinner than what is humanly decent. Heat-waves will encourage droughts and by extension lower agricultural output, bringing higher food prices. Heat-waves will bring brownouts as more air-conditioners are turned to uber-high. Food scarcity and power outages will bring social unrest, civil chaos, conduct unbecoming, buggery, larceny, cuckoldry, chronic self-abuse and general disorder. Maybe having that assault weapon isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Thunder only happens when it’s raining

– Fleetwood Mac’s words will prove untrue in 2013

5 – Occupy Movement Performs a Reunion Tour

After taking 2012 off, the well-rested Occupy Movement regains steam in 2013. I, Vic Neverman, personally met with “the Freesome Threesome of Orange Avenue” in Downtown Orlando. Their spokesperson spoke as illegibly as the words tattooed across his forehead (the words were written in inky Cursive, which I believe is a dead language like Pig Latin and is thus indecipherable to anyone other than the casual Egyptologist passerby with a slide-ruler and a sundial), yet the message was audible enough: 2013 will be “Occupied like its 2011” just without all of the Jersey Shore paraphernalia of that bygone age. I was accompanied by “the Butcher of Longwood” who boldly sipped from the cursive tattooed-foreheaded spokesperson’s mustachioed-flask of cinnamon-tainted spirit as we made casual comments about the Occupy Orlando mascot “D’Rupy Dawg” as he lay entirely fucked-up on hashish and passed-out in a guitar case. When that sleeping dog wakes it is on!

D'Rupy Dawg, the hobo mascot of the Occupy Movement as found on the streets of Orlando on 1.12.13

D’Rupy Dawg, the hobo mascot of the Occupy Movement as found on the streets of Orlando on 1.12.13

6 – The term “Lesbianian” will enter the American vernacular

“Lesbianian” will describe anything resembling or bearing the characteristics of or employing the essence of being a lesbian. For example, to decorate your office with posters of Xena:Warrior Princess would be lesbianian. Understandable, sure, but lesbianian. Similarly, “Asianian” will be used to describe something that is not Asian, but very closely resembling.

7 – Alternative Religions will be on the upswing

Living in the post-Maya Apocalypse world is a life without meaning. All of the economic chaos, violence, political instability was easily explained with a point at the looming Apocalyptic date of 12/21/2012, but now the Apocalypse has come and went. All the answers we hoped to find in the galactic alignment promised to us by the Maya Astrologers are empty. The people will turn elsewhere for their Truth.

Cults will be on the rise. Scientology, hurt by the sluggish economy, will start offering membership 2-for-1 deals. Locally, here in Florida, the prophetess Layla Santana Crow will build a following with her message that is centered on the disbelief of dinosaurs. Sales of Tim Tebow jerseys will continue to be a high despite no longer having any team’s colors on them.

8 – On a related note, a Tim Tebow update

Number15, the great forsaken one of the NFL, will wander the wilderness of the offseason where he will meet a wizened old sage known as Jim “Crash” Jensen. Tim Tebow will learn that if you can’t play quarterback – play everything else. He will then sign with the Miami Dolphins to play H-Back.

Jim "Crash" Jensen played backup QB, RB, TE, LB, WR, special teams and occasionally was the Dolphin mascot

Jim “Crash” Jensen played backup QB, RB, TE, LB, WR, special teams and occasionally was the Dolphin mascot

The intellectual forces of the workers and peasants are growing and getting stronger in their fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their accomplices, the educated classes, the lackeys of capital, who consider themselves the brains of the nation. In fact they are not its brains but its shit.

– Vladimir Lenin

We shall fight against them, throw them in prisons and destroy them.

― Vladimir Putin

Vlad's new BFFF (best franco-friend forever), Gerard Depardieu

Vlad’s new BFFF (best franco-friend forever), Gerard Depardieu

As if mocking the Cold War of yester-century, the ever-expanding French Actor Gerard Depardieu has defected from the socialist state of his origin to the capitalist comforts of Russia, leaving an exorbitant income tax of 75% to one of 11%. He was welcome into the Bear’s embrace by the Cold War veteran and Russian Premier, Vladimir Putin. While Russia has been prosperous of late and while the Mafia State may very well rule into the next century, Gerard should be wary of becoming too chummy with Vladimir as Putin’s days are numbered.

Russia is a kleptocracy, ruled by thieves with such systemic corruption it makes a prostituted nun selling a hotdog to a lipless pig charming by comparison. It is estimated in 2005 20% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product was bribes. If Gerard was looking for pure unadulterated capitalism, he found it in Moscow.

Yet, Putin promises change. In a transparent gesture of good intention, Vlad has declared war on corruption. His “purge” shall rid Mother Russia of the vultures nipping at her teat once and for all. This gesture is absolute gobshite, of course, for Putin is the Machiavellian Prince of Thieves, having embezzled a billion dollars out of the hands of the Russian citizenry. This hollow gesture of ridding the Mafia State of its impurities may seem more ironic than malignant, but it shall be Vladimir Putin’s complete undoing.

Pimp versus Pimp

Pimp versus Pimp

Far from the frost-bitten foundation of the Kremlin, I, Vic Neverman, met with my brain-trust beneath the condominium high rises of Orlando, Florida to discuss the events leading to Vlad “the paler” Putin’s certain decline. As the tropical rains beat down any semblance of winter in the January night, I described my prognostication to Jack McCastle, international financial mastermind and bourbon aficionado. My thoughts are this: Russia is held together by an entangled web of deception, with every debauched cornerstone balanced upon a capstone of some other deceit. When Putin corrals some low caste criminal as his corrupt scapegoat, the ripple it will create within the web will be far-reaching. Those minor players will snitch and barter to save their own skin, spreading the cancer of suspicion & accusation until Russia becomes a State of Paranoia not seen since the Gulags of the Soviet Empire. Neighbor fighting neighbor, millionaire pimp versus millionaire pimp, billionaire technocrat against billionaire technocrat, the Russian countryside will become enflamed with internal strife. Each bastardized nobleman – Oil Barons, Lords of War, Dukes of the Adoption/Orphanage Racket, White Slavery Queens, SPAM Kings and Cyber Security Clergy – will look to put an end to the witch-hunt, an end that can only occur by cutting the head off of the snake. When the ripple effect invades the shores of Putin’s power brokers, his days are up. His allies will turn against him and Vladimir Putin will become the sacrificial goat, exiled to his Siberian hunting camp with his Franco-pal Depardieu.

It won’t be easy. This isn’t the classic Red vs. White of the Revolution. Vladimir Putin has his tentacles in everything – he is both old school and new school. He is a Soviet-born cretin, a monster of an authoritative police state. He is also a post-modern playboy, a media attention whore with a flair for voyeurism. Little by little, though, the Establishment of the Mafia State will begin snipping away at his tentacles, one clip at a time, until Vladimir Putin is reduced to a flailing Octopus.

Putin and his tentacles

Putin and his tentacles

Vlad’s absolute power has made him top-heavy. His fall will come and it will come hard.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

― Søren Kierkegaard

Friends, Paranoids, Countrymen, lend me your ear… I come to bury 2012, not to praise it. I speak to you now not to relish this year’s numerous personal victories or weep over dearly departed milk, spilt from the cereal bowl of the disenchanted dreamer. No! I am here, at the twilight of this year, for one purpose only – to review my 2012 predictions. I do so ascending from the embers of Hades as my own Devil’s Advocate with a callous and critical forked tongue. As a trend-analyzing futurist, I am held accountable for my predictions; I am not some haphazard weather man pointing the direction of the wind like an iron rooster atop your barn. You, dear reader, deserve to have my words tested over the hot coals of hindsight. Well, the grades are in… And the truth is: I fucking nailed it!

Here it is, my 2012 predictions regurgitated from my 12/18/2011 blog post. Also included, on a scale of 0-10 is how hard I nailed this particular prophecy.

1 – “The Mayan Calendar date that is approximately 12/21/2012 …will not bring the end of the world.”

On an accuracy scale of 0-10, I scored a perfect 10. The Maya date of significance came and went. The world continues to turn without so much as a wobble. The Apocalypto aftermath, however, did draw an end to my social calendar. As you, fellow traveler, likely already know I became something of a celebrity in the latter half of this year thanks to a local magazine’s article on adventure racing featuring non-other than Vic Neverman. My social status brought some fame amongst Central Florida’s doomsday prep crowd and I spent many nights at speaking engagements, feasting on free meals prepared by my host/hostess. At a 12/22/2012 post-apocalypse party, my Gratis status soon became Non Grata due to my possessing an anti-social behavior more befitting a baboon than a privileged member of civilization. I have now returned to being shunned by society. Which is fine, I am more comfortable here anyhow.

2 – “…the spiced fowl appendages we have all been eating at Buffalo Wild Wings come from the genetic freak of a six-winged chicken engineered by those Frankensteinian mad scientists at Mansanto, evil motherfuckers they are.”

Score of 9. “Monsanto is the devil”  My agricultural industry insider, M. Von Love told me. Our ability to feed the world has grown leaps and bounds thanks to innovation in the science of managing fields and the technology of machines. Monsanto’s monopoly on seeds and proliferation of pesticide, however, is crippling all gains by slowly killing the world’s populace. Monsanto is not out to cure hunger, It is out to control the world’s food supply. This prediction would have been a perfect score, but the Washington Post never went public with their exposé.

3 – “Occupy the Democratic National Convention’ will be infiltrated by agent provocateurs”

Score of 10. Sometimes predictions can be so powerful, they undermine the very event they attempt to forecast. In this case, instead of risk being ripped apart by agents provocateur, the Occupy Movement simply agreed to become bored with it all and disintegrate. The thing about revolution is that it is a bitch.

4 – “2011 was the year of the drone… 2012 will be the year of the spy blimp.”

Score of 10. Drones were still prevalent in 2012, sure. And stealth helicopters stole headlines after the bin Laden raid in Pakistan, but who can deny the sudden omnipresence of blimps watching us all from above? To quote an anonymous bathroom stall poet, “Privacy is dead. And death is the only chance for quality alone time.”

5 – “Vlad Putin will win the Presidency of Russia”

Score of 10. I wish I were wrong on this one. If I had been wrong, Russia wouldn’t have cock-blocked us in Syria and Pussy Riot would still have their freedom and obscurity.

6 – “By 2020, 80% of our fastfood nutrition will be hidden inside of an egg roll.”

Score of 10. Not only are egg rolls, and their tasteless spring cousins, now a fixture in Americana cuisine, the Chinese have secured all the rare mineral rights in Africa and Australia, ensuring only they and Monsanto will be the global super powers in 2050.

7 – “Illegal phone applications will utilize facial recognition software”

Score of 10. Again, sometimes predictions can have such an impact on the future as to dismantle it. My paranoid ravings about cell phone applications have started petitions against social networking sites to ensure this new technology will not be released onto the public. By my being so goddamned accurate, I prevented this horrid future from actually occurring. Yet.

8 – Robots will take the place of TSA agents, romantic companions, line cooks and pets.

Score of 10. While I haven’t necessarily had my cavities explored by a metallic TSA agent or robo-gyrl, it is really just a question of expense. Think about it – 20 years ago, we could have all had mobile phones and home computers, but it was cost prohibitive. In another 3 or 4 years of cost-reducing innovation, most of my carnal delights will likely be provided by the delicate skill of my pocket automaton, Lucy.

9 – “WikiLeaks will reveal President Eisenhower met with the Emperor of the Greys (those almond-eyed, naked, grey-skinned aliens) and made a peace treaty stipulating an allowance for alien harvesting and testing of human subjects and livestock.”

Score of 9. I do not necessarily hear anyone claiming this to not be true. The deduction of the one point, like the Buffalo Wild Wing prediction, is simply due to the failure of the 4th Estate to reveal this truth.

10 – “It will be learned the Vic Neverman blog was nothing more than a Stuxnet cyber-worm burrowing into your computer and creating random gibberish upon your screen in order to keep you from creating your own nuclear weapon arsenal.”

Score of 10. Of course…

For a final tally of 98! That’s an A+ in my book. Good job, Vic, and a Happy New Year to All!

BONUS ROUND:

Interesting 2010 predictions made by Vic Neverman for 2011

-The NeverBrother-in-Law will attempt to frame Vic. This actually did happen in 2012.

https://vicneverman.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/transamericana-the-shamrock-shakedown-or-why-florida-is-psycho-meatloaf/

-Osama bin Laden will be found in New Jersey. In 2012, he was actually found in Pakistan.

-China will use its weather devices to send more hurricanes to make landfall in unexpected American locations. This didn’t occur in 2011, because as I said at the time, the United States countered with our own weather manipulation technology. In 2012, however, Super Storm Sandy hit New York City just prior to the Presidential Election.