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What Is “Fundamental”
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Lexie Kings: on 3/22/17 at 15:59pm UTC, wrote Love short stories. Still I hope more mystery writers choose the shorter...

Cecilia Flori: on 5/31/14 at 13:24pm UTC, wrote Hi :) heheh no I didn't even notice he looked like Humpty-Dumpty but your...

Flavio Mercati: on 5/31/14 at 1:22am UTC, wrote Hi Cecilia, nice tale full of humour :) is there a particular reason why...

Peter Jackson: on 5/29/14 at 17:26pm UTC, wrote Cecilia, Great tale. We both use allegories to tell our story. Yours was...

Anonymous: on 5/23/14 at 7:22am UTC, wrote Hello Cecilia Evolution is a process of adaptation & given enough time &...

Cecilia Flori: on 5/12/14 at 22:12pm UTC, wrote Hi Joe, my essay by no means mean to be a an essay regarding space-time...

Cecilia Flori: on 5/12/14 at 22:10pm UTC, wrote Hi, thanks for the movie link! I think ill watch it!

Cecilia Flori: on 5/12/14 at 22:09pm UTC, wrote Hi Ajay, Well my points are the following: 1) try seeing climate...


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FQXi FORUM
May 25, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: A boy with a story by Cecilia Flori [refresh]
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Author Cecilia Flori wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 13:01 GMT
Essay Abstract

This is the story of some crazy guy that claims he comes from the future and he is here to help us solve one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change. Admittedly, most of his story is quite wacky and doesn’t make much sense. But his outlook on climate change is worth thinking about.

Author Bio

Cecilia Flori is a postdoc at Perimeter Institute since 2010. Obtained a PhD from Max Planck institute for gravitational physics in the summer of 2010.

Download Essay PDF File

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 11:05 GMT
Hi Cecilia,

a very curious tale indeed. Intriguing enough to want to read to the end but the characters are so strange I could not 'connect' to them. There is some truth in people's paying more attention to emotional stories. This one is just too strange though and that distracted my attention from the climate change message.( Others may well disagree with me so do not take my lone opinion to heart.) Very creative though,I imagine it working better as an animation or graphic short-story. I am glad to have read something so original even though it's not my cup of tea. Good luck, Georgina

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 23:38 GMT
Dear Cecilia

Nice! In my essay I took the reader to heaven, but you took yours on a trip to the future and back again.

I enjoyed the story and the smooth seamless telling of it. You even managed to convince this Dear Reader to overlook some questions: why do the future species, unlike humans in almost all ways, still retain Western names? X$Q22*&** or some such 1 would have been a more consistent name for George. More important are two paradoxes: First you the narrator are present in both the present and in the year of our Lord 4040 (or whatever it was).

Secondly (I read your story before my morning coffee so I might have missed an important point): why are the future species so concerned about the ancients not wanting to change since they have obviously changed? Plot hole? Paradoxes, no problem I really enjoyed reading your cautionary parable. It can be a sequel to the great 1950's movie of a similar metallic future creature with a slit for eyes, come by a spaceship to Earth to warn and instruct us. I tried to find the name of this film but could not. Try to publish an abridged version in Nature journal's Futures page?

And I would be glad if you as a Perimeter member can read and give feedback on my Beautiful Universe theory - hope it does not tun out to be science fiction too!

Best wishes from Vladimir

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Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 01:04 GMT
After coffee: here is the 1951 movie I mentioned: The Day the Earth Stood Still a trailer and a radio show about it is on YouTube.

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Author Cecilia Flori replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 22:10 GMT
Hi,

thanks for the movie link! I think ill watch it!

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 13:12 GMT
Dear Doctor Flori,

I am terribly sorry for completely ruining your delightful futuristic fable. Hopingly, readers will continue to enjoy reading your essay, and they will be able to avoid reading my essay REALITY, ONCE, and my Theory of Inert Light that I have posted on several essayist’s Comments sites.

By refuting Einstein’s Special and General Theory of Relativity, I of course proved that time has never existed. Awfully sorry about that.

Very ruefully,

Joe Fisher

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Author Cecilia Flori replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 22:12 GMT
Hi Joe,

my essay by no means mean to be a an essay regarding space-time travel. This is simply a fiction story.

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Luca Valeri wrote on May. 10, 2014 @ 16:36 GMT
Dear Cecilia,

Thanks for your nice story. But you shouldn't look for that boy. Linsdar-Sandar-Drame was mistaken. The time machine he built was in reality a quantum wave inverter. It inverted the wave function of the cosmos back to the state it was in 2013. Sadly, with that all the memories of George where erased. He was left only with a nebulous vision of the future. Like a dream. Or the old prophecies. No information to prove, he came from the future has been left. He even forgot, he had to look for his father.

See also a recent article on the arrow of time: A quantum solution to the arrow-of-time dilemma

Best regards,

Luca

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Ajay Bhatla wrote on May. 11, 2014 @ 07:12 GMT
Cecila,

Very entertaining story.

My question: Is the message you wanted heard on 'How to steer the future' as follows:(a) Focus on changes that allow for human adaptation and (b) Stop coming up with emotional stories on climate change?

A secondary concern: Doesn't the fact that George exists in the future, except in a changed form, show that human adaptation was made possible?

Lastly, I'm not at all sure what meaning "living under the earth" is supposed to contain other than, the completely changed uninhabitable surface.

Did I get anything right?

By the way, my essay is pretty straightforward, I think. Please check it out here and let me know what you think of it.

- Ajay

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Author Cecilia Flori replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 22:09 GMT
Hi Ajay,

Well my points are the following:



1) try seeing climate change in a different light: not as an impending doom but as an evolutionary step which might lead to something not so terrifying. This more positive outlook could be achieved if the rate of change would be slowed down so as to allow for adaptation

2) I think the reason climate change is not seen so seriously for most people is that long distant planning benefiting people which do not exist yet is very hard to justify. Especially since they cant defend themselves :)

3) Absolutely do write emotional stories for climate change. I think that is the way to convince people partly because of 2 above. Stories for children would be even better!!

Regarding the existence of George, well I guess some kind of adaptation is implied but they have to live underground and it seem they soon will get wiped out. So not quite the desired living environment.

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Anonymous wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 07:22 GMT
Hello Cecilia

Evolution is a process of adaptation & given enough time & raw materials will eventually produce a fully evolved, perfectly adapted life form which particular life form will be evidenced by the facts that it will be able to live - indeed thrive - anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances or relocate or terra form to suit, doing so, moreover, without causing any waste, loss or damage to either itself or its surrounds, animate or inanimate alike.

We were well on our way to this most exalted of states until the rise of patriarchy.

Evolutionary viability as critically relies on 'female centrality' (see my essay) as it does on the availability of sufficient & suitable subsistence resources.

This is the law patriarchy breached.

Unless we dismantle patriarchy & re-centralise women, we're doomed.

But if we do, not only will we escape the bottomless abyss of omnicidal oblivion now yawning beckoningly before us, but we will be able to resume our evolutionary trajectory all the way up to this universe's highest existential plane - a fully evolved, perfectly adapted life form thriving in perfect harmony with itself & all its surrounds, animate & inanimate alike.

At which point we will most likely have discovered interstellar travel & be visiting other endpoint selected life forms romping around this unimaginably wondrous universe together.

How odd that the patriarchal god actually told 'Adam' "to go forth & subdue the earth" - & look where it's gotten us !!!

I enjoyed your essay,

thank you

Margriet

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 17:26 GMT
Cecilia,

Great tale. We both use allegories to tell our story. Yours was full blown and engaging. I think your purpose of taking us away from current earth bound thinking succeeded. I hope mine did too, though it's mainly science.

Your view on climate change is interesting and I agree entirely valid. Also if we're to move to populate space we need to similarly evolve gradually. However I feel we can manage the odd leap forward in understanding.

Well done and thank you. Best wishes.

Peter

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Member Flavio Mercati wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 01:22 GMT
Hi Cecilia, nice tale full of humour :)

is there a particular reason why George looks like Humpty-Dumpty?

best luck,

Flavio

PS I wrote an essay too d'you know?

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Author Cecilia Flori replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 13:24 GMT
Hi :)

heheh no I didn't even notice he looked like Humpty-Dumpty but your totally right he does!! I guess it adds to the irony.

I'll definitely read yours !

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Lexie Kings wrote on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 15:59 GMT
Love short stories. Still I hope more mystery writers choose the shorter format.

Mystery novels are always too short on mystery and overstuffed with delays and side plots that go nowhere.

The correct size is the long short story or novelette, but the print publishers refuse to deal in those forms.

Besides, as an expert from this website points out, there has been a renaissance of short story writing occurring in North America over the past twenty years as well as with lyric poetry. I attributed this primarily to the proliferation of creative writing programs. I didn't associate it with the Internet, but I believe, as Ms Kaufman points out, that it must be a key component.

People love telling and hearing (reading) stories. And the love finely tuned language. Or at least enough do to provide an audience, which is always key.

The recent appearance of George Saunders, a short story writer, on the Daily Show and Charlie Rose came like a thunderclap. Short story writing has in fact never been better than it is today as both Best American Stories and The Pen/O. Henry Prize collection have clearly illustrated over the past two decades.

I recently read Alice Munro's "Axis," which shook me to the core, and four days later it still haunts my thoughts.

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