Blabberbox » Creative Stuff:Creative exercises or reflections for myself.Share on Twitter

White Mask

February 24th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
A man is working late in a museum with a white mask propped up on a table.  He notices the mask has very human-looking eyes, and when he gets closer to look, they suddenly move to look at him.  He quickly realizes this is a person wearing the mask behind the table, but when he shoves the table away, there is no one there, just the mask floating and staring back at him.  It starts to move, and when it turns, it goes invisible as if there is no back side to the face.

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Another one that was a dream for me.
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God's Flashlight - Novelization

January 9th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

Opening credits with the beeping sound of someone on life support in a hospital.  Once the beeping stops and flatlines, there's a power shut-off sound, and things go dark one by one except the body on the bed, leaving a spotlight in the dark.  Everything is silent.  A glowing, formless, non-humanoid spirit rises from the body, and the body disappears into the darkness.  There's a moment of peace while the spirit looks at itself and its surroundings, like a child discovering the world for the first time.  There are faint specs of light in the darkness, like stars, as if having risen to the heavens.  It looks like a stylistic choice to only show the character in darkness, but we later realize it's not.

Suddenly, bright-white eyes appear one after another in the dark surrounding the spirit.   A green, grainy overlay appears over the scene, and a booming voice announces, "There it is.  Capture it."

Cut back to...[More]
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VR Room

October 16th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Had this one as a dream that felt somewhat like a murder mystery...

Someone is trying out a VR game that looks and feels extremely real.  They wake up on the floor in a bluish green tiled room that seems to have had a commotion and is abandoned.  A strange cat/tiger hybrid strolls by with a fruit in its mouth.  There's a constant sound of something dripping nearby.  Once out of the game, the person tries to ask if the place seems familiar.  A friend looks up the tiling and room pieces and confirms they are actual pieces that exist in real life.  At first, they think it's just really good photo capture, but over time, they start to notice things that are too coincidental.  It eventually turns out the room is one that actually exists, as they stumble upon it in an alley way.  The same cat hybrid strolls out the open door as they go in to explore it.  It eventually turns out that it's not just a photo-capture of the room but actually...[More]
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Man vs Reflection

May 22nd, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Guy punches himself in the mirror and hurts his fist.  He gets pissed, punches his reflection's face, and knocks himself out.

- a dream I just woke up from. If anyone wants to do this as an animation on commission, let me know lol
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Past Becomes Myth

September 20th, 2020 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
1. Kid watches people fly on TV. Parent: "Humans can't actually fly. Our bodies are too heavy. It's just a myth."
2. 1000 yrs later... Extremely fat kid watches people run on TV. Parent: "Humans can't actually run. Our bodies are too heavy. It's just a myth."
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Just a random idea for a comic that came to mind.
(but I do secretly believe we used to be able to fly)
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Nameless

September 20th, 2020 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another mystery/horror story that came as a dream (and somewhat terrifying one at that)...

A group of friends are traveling to a new city and staying there for a bit. It is a tropical beach city - a sandy, walkable, small town with low-rise, shack-like residences.  They play video games as a team online the first night and joke about why they bother to name the group if they can't beat anyone yet.  After midnight, they order food delivered on GrubHub, since it's too late to go out and fall asleep after eating.

The next morning, a waitress from a nearby restaurant comes over with a plate of lobsters, but they didn't order anything.  The waitress says she has one of their credit cards, name, billing address and all.  The charge came from last night.  One of them suggest credit card fraud, but the waitress says the order was made in person. The friends point out they didn't even go anywhere last night, that they ordered food delivered.  One...[More]
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A Taste for Health

June 27th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Had an idea for a story recently for if society found a way to make someone naturally like the taste of healthy foods (like vegetables, etc) - imagine if what you liked and craved lined up with what was good for you.  It sounds and all seems well, everyone eating better diets and enjoying better lifestyles.  Then imagine one day unexplained animal attacks start leaving people dead and torn up, seemingly at random and in generally urban settings with no dangerous wild predators.  As the story goes on, footage and evidence start to reveal the attacks seem to come from not any animal but a human.  The authorities track down and arrest one suspect, but the killings continue, seemingly at random and with no motive.  It turns out not to be any one person but people at random who suddenly go mad for human meat.  The commonality is they've all been genetically modified to like the taste of whatever is good for them, and it worked too well.  Because the healthiest...[More]
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Prions and Synthesized Foods

April 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
More an open-ended question here.  Prions, or misfolded proteins, are the cause of mad-cow disease when eating meat.  The animal itself is more likely to be produce misfolded proteins when eating brain tissue, but sometimes it's also just luck (or perhaps environmental, stress, etc).  The prions themselves cannot be destroyed by heating or other means once created, as it's more a mutation than a "disease." Once in the body, it causes other proteins to be misfolded as well in a tumor-like fashion.  

With regards to new synthesized foods like vegan or fake meats,  I wonder what ways (if any) are there to unintentionally create misfolded proteins in the process as well.  Right now, it seems that they try to mess with the vegetable ingredients as little as possible when creating the meat flavor and texture.  Some of these opt for an organic and non-GMO label to make it distinct, but a concern would be if something like lab grown meats...[More]
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A Wish for a Life

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Imagine if you could make any wish come true but would cause the death of one random person.

A man, known as the Baron, lives in a castle atop a hill and is suspected of having a supernatural artifact that does this, causing many mysterious deaths in the nearby town for his own gain.  Each death is similar, with each person becoming suddenly frail and ghostly pale before dying within days.  The story initially seems one of despair, as no one can really prove this to authorities and people at random just keep dying.  Many supporting and likeable characters have their arc abruptly ended in this manner.

An investigator tries to solve this mystery but doesn't believe in superstition.  He's an outsider to the town and tries to bring science and reason he believes the townspeople lack.  He suspects more likely the Baron created this rumor to hide something more nefarious.  A friend of the investigator gets frustrated with the investigator's calm...[More]
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Racist Mentality

March 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is essentially a shorter version of one of my points from the longer Three Tiers of Mind and arguably an extension of the discussion on Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning.  What bothers me lately is there seems to be a general shift away from why racism is bad in the first place and more towards just any mention of race is bad or that any difference in advantage is bad (aka "privilege").  What makes racism bad at its core is that you are ignoring a person's individuality and making an assumption about that person based on association to a category.  In other words, you are not seeing the person in front of you but treating that person as just one of many belonging to some arbitrary label.  That person is no longer a person with their own agency and ability to cause change in the world but just a thing, an object, something that is not you.  That's the real problem that leads to all other acts someone may commit, which everyone then reacts to as racism or other crimes.

You see this immediately in any situation you normally associate with racism.  The reason slavery was able to make sense in people's minds was the ability to ignore the individuality of any person branded under the slave label.  Removing race would have made the act no better if the hierarchy still existed (and it did/does even amongst populations of same ethnicity).  The reason there is conflict between the rich and poor is because each side uses the other as only a means to an end, treating the other as just that - an other.  Removing money or other material differences makes the situation no better if people still view each other in terms of what they have, their demographics, or other population-level traits - in terms of association and value instead of as individuals (some will recognize this as the concept of dignity in Kantian theory).  Objectifying, commoditizing, treating someone as merely a statistic... these are all different names and outcomes for what is essentially the same thinking process deep down.  They judge you on where you come from instead of why you came, what you represent instead of what you actually chose to do.  You're X because you're a Y, and Ys are X.  It's the act of being too lazy to think about the full context and just reacting on a trigger word, of trying to think in broad-brush rules and sweeping generalizations instead of being willing to look at each situation case-by-case.  The flaw is thinking the abstract grouping more real than the individual the abstract was created around.  

This same manner of thinking pretty much leads to any other social aspects we consider "bad." An unfulfilling job - being a cog in a machine, working under someone's thumb - happens when your individuality is disregarded and you are treated as just a faceless number amongst many.  A friend or relationship feels false when the other doesn't actually listen to you specifically but just says what could be said to anyone else.  Someone is patronizing if they give advice without knowing anything about the person they are lecturing and just assume advice is warranted.  Someone is pedantic if they are ignoring what you're trying to say and only caring about how you said it.  Even the murderous psychopath - the difference between him and a hero soldier is that he does not think about others as individuals, just objects, a kill count, again a number.

When taken...[More]
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God Formula

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another one that came to me in a dream. Made more sense right after I woke, but I unfortunately started losing details as soon as I got to writing it down.

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The story is essentially a sci-fi thriller movie, where the founder tries to create AI from a math perspective similar to induction instead of the more common approach of fitting to data.  It's counterintuitive but rather than try to create a general algorithm that adapts to specific cases, the founder wants to start from one case and solve for the rest of the world - ie letting the AI define the rest of world on its own volition. In other words, instead of adapting or being an agent in the world, this algorithm plays God and creates it from scratch.  The idea is similar to trying to understand or simulate the current universe by instead creating a new one altogether via man-made blackholes in a lab.  It's also similar to what you do in theoretical math where you define hypothetical systems or...[More]
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Dreams Adrift

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

This could either be an animation or short film. The imagery of someone walking upsidedown against the night sky is what stuck in my mind.
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Scene starts panning down from a cloudy, moonlit night sky to a girl standing on the edge of a highrise rooftop with her arms out.  It looks like she is about to fall, but as she goes over the edge, the camera rotates to instead show her walking down the side of the building, apparently sleepwalking.  There is a wistful element as her hair is constantly flowing and her arms are out to balance.  The elements seem to whirl around her as she walks, as if animated by what she is dreaming.  The iconic scene is of her walking upsidedown on the bottom of a plank between two highrises against the backdrop of the moon and night sky in the background.  

Eventually...[More]
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Vue

January 20th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story that came as a dream, ironically as a movie I was watching in the dream.

The movie initially starts as a horror film about boy initially trying to escape the home of a crazed family with a murderous cyborg child.  The home is more or less a cave with no open windows or exit (all boarded up).  The parents are human but very old and clearly insane, sort of like the fake grandparents from The Visit.  The cyborg behaves more like an animal and is Frankenstein-like, with loosely pieced together scrap metal for arms, blades for hands, barely functional prosthetics for what's left of the face (doll-like eyes, unmoving lips, etc), etc.  Often it crawls on all fours or climbs the walls, staying in the shadows.  It is unclear if it was once human at all or entirely machine to begin with.  The pacing and feel is almost like a Saw movie at first, with no indication how the we arrived here or why things are.

After about halfway through...[More]
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The Sound That Isn't There

August 20th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Premise of a horror film I thought of while staying up too late. Tongue
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Imagine every night you hear the loud humming of what you think are street sweepers driving by.  One night, you get tired of it and venture out into the streets to complain, except there's nothing there.  You run towards the sound, but it just keeps getting louder and louder, with nothing in sight for as far you can see.  The sound eventually starts moving away and goes quiet, like it does every night, and you go back home confused.

The next night, you run out again when you hear the sound, trying to get to the center of it before it goes away again.  This time, you keep running towards it as it tries to get away from you.  At first, you are barely able to keep up with the sound as it is moving away.  At some point, you realize the sound is suddenly getting louder and louder than it ever has before.  You get so caught up running towards the sound that you don't...[More]
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Lossless Algorithms

August 12th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
The following is an algorithm I wrote for generating support/resist in trading with no thresholds or parameters. On each price move, the price range traveled loses a point in score. The resulting score of any price range is its support/resist strength, which declines the more it is traveled across (zero being strongest and untraveled). Visually, the price line looks like an eraser scrubbing away ranges on the chart; ranges least scrubbed thin out to support/resist lines.  The reason I call it a "lossless" algorithm is because it doesn't estimate anything or use any seeded values/thresholds.  It is analogous to lossless audio/image file formats.  There is no sampling or use of statistics.  There are no knobs to tweak and no assumptions to take.  It is a perfect 1-to-1 map of where price moves most and least freely.  It is also extremely light both in computation and space because all you're doing is a single subtraction per datapoint and...[More]
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Happiest Memory

July 15th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     The happiest memory in my life is not one I could ever share with anyone else.  Because it isn't a moment from within my real life but instead one from within a dream, a dream that occurred almost ten years ago.

     In that dream, I spent my childhood in a small abandoned town alongside someone who I seemingly knew all my life.  We would race neck-to-neck as we leapt from rooftop to rooftop, laughing maniacally as we tried to one-up each other, reaching higher and higher into the skies before eventually just taking flight altogether.  If it seemed we flew too high and one of us began to fall, we would catch each other and throw ourselves even higher than before, until we finally made it above the clouds.  At the end of it all, we'd sit atop the remains of an old wooden post so high up that we could watch the sun set, not against the land or water but against the sky itself, the ocean of clouds below reflecting its descent like a mirror...[More]
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Advanced Alien Life is Tiny

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
If a few hours on a larger planet with higher gravity can be years on Earth, then any advanced alien life is most likely from a smaller planet with much lower gravity than us, where each year for us can be millions for them.
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Perpetual Dreams

March 5th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story I watched play out like a movie in my dream - ironically this one about a character dreaming...

A man lives his life through many lucid dreams.  In them, he is aware he is dreaming and can pick the setting or story he wants to live in.  One thing he can't control though is that the dreams seem to randomly end and reset.  While he keeps his memories from past dreams, no one else in the dream seems to remember.  Over time, he starts noticing a person who is always in the dream.  It starts off with them just passing each other by, walking in the same direction, or other small coincidences, but eventually they end up in the same scenes or situations as well.  She ends up being the only constant between each dream, and they share many adventures together.  However, whenever he tries to talk directly with her and figure out who she is, the dream cuts off.  It doesn't help that she also always forgets everything as well, so every...[More]
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Data Does Not Equal Fact

January 24th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
"Data!=Fact: Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning"
ie Statistics vs Math
ie Engineering vs Physics

Part of my frustration with all the focus on big data, statistics, quant, and numbers in general is that these are all forms of inductive reasoning.  Amidst all the hype around being more data driven, many seem to have to forgotten that inductive reasoning only provides an estimate of world.  It does not and cannot prove anything.  Evidence alone does not provide truth.  Data does not equal fact.

There are...[More]
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Reflections of 4D

January 8th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
A nice read- https://gizmodo.com/two-experiments-show-fourth-spatial-dimension-effect-1821739488

Essentially if a 3D object has a 2D shadow, what if we looked for the 3D shadow of a 4D object? My thought is take it further - If our reflections are 2D, what about 3D reflections of a 4D object?

If you think about it, the answer to crossing all spacial dimensions is light.  We always perceive visually in two dimensions even though we live in three.  Just as a flat movie screen serves as the window into our 3D world, it is likely that our 3D world serves as a window to the 4th. This starts to relate also to where Virtual Reality and brain-interface technologies are going; I'd imagine that some combination of the two fields would be necessary for us to perceive more than just in 3D space.

Although somewhat...[More]
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