The Mathematics of Murder: Should a Robot Sacrifice Your Life to Save Two? | Popular Science

The Mathematics of Murder: Should a Robot Sacrifice Your Life to Save Two? | Popular Science.


Wow. This was a cool article. Really robot-ish and all. Would lethal war weapons be legal if they were too lethal? According to Geneva Convention-related articles, weapons should give the targets a 25% chance of field mortality or 5% chance of hospital mortality. Robot weapons could be 100% lethal.

Or a robot car — what if your car had to swerve off a cliff to save the lives of two oncoming drivers? Would your robot car just fling you off the cliff? You’d be reading a book, and then whoosh.

Can people CHOOSE what to believe???

Say you don’t believe in something.

Not, you don’t BELIEVE something — like your buddy thought Dark of the Moon was a good movie (pssst…it wasn’t) — but that you don’t believe IN something, like God or evolution or ghosts or meat-eating or spontaneous combustion or Pluto.

Can you choose to believe in it? I mean, is belief a function of years of conditioning — environment and genetics molding your heart and brain into one certain believe system? Or can you REALLY wake up one day and just BELIEVE — for the long term too, not just like for a weekend or something because there’s some hot religious orgy going on and you’ve got nothing better to do because your elephant drag race was cancelled.

People have been reborn and have had awakenings and all that, so maybe — like my health insurance — if there’s a life changing event (birth, death, bad case of indigestion) then I guess you’re allowed to change your mind.

Sometimes during the day I’ll hear about something that I don’t believe in, and I ask myself — what would that be like to believe that? And basically, in order to do that, all those little dissenting voices in my head would have to shut up. They’re all screaming, “HEY! That’s a load of BS! It goes against everything you…um…believe! There’s no way the universe exists like that!” So for me to just switch, then all those voices would have to go away, because it’s not the same to simply ignore them. I’m not talking about going along with something, I’m talking BELIEVE something heart and soul.

I believe I’m done now.

2013 in review – Web Statistics and What’s to Come in 2014

Hey Everyone!

WordPress pulled together some stats about for 2013 that I’d like to share.

Thanks all for stopping by! Happy New Year!

Remember to check out once in a while — great art, shorts, and stories.

Also stop by too, for some of my theories on Santa’s supposedly magic abilities — more to come prior to Dec. 25, 2014.

The novel is nearly complete. I’m in final revisions and expect to submit it for consideration to agents in spring. It’s been a long time coming, but I really like how it turned out, so it was worth it. I’m dying to give out a teaser…how about this: I’ll pick a completely random sentence and paste it here. That way I’m not committing to any one sentence (like the first or last), because I might revise my first sentence and then regret pasting it here — you know how writers can be; that’d be a head-slapper.

I plugged in my word count to a random number generator (range 0-75,550) and got the number 3,262. I’ll go to that word in the story and write out the sentence that it’s in. Remember! Still draft…

Okay — here we go — completely random sentence from my first, still draft, novel:

Ha! Well, in terms of dialogue, narrative, or internal first-person thinking-to-himself thought (indicated by italics), this is a thought. A line in italics means someone’s thinking it to himself or herself. This is a third-person novel, but occasionally people think things that I write out in italics. Make sense? Okay — here it is –

Why couldn’t they just work?

*******BOOM CRASH POW**** <–fireworks

See you next year!

Your friend,


Alright — here are the stats. Have a great year, everyone!

[post revised to fix comma in word count]

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s up! Check out BILLY AND THE OCTOPUS GIRL today!

Hey All!

Been a while, but I’m working furiously to finish my novel. In the meantime, I still contribute to Quantum Fairy Tales, an awesome e-zine of spec fiction.

Their Halloween issue features my most favoritest ScienceForFiction yet! It’s called


and I love it! Truly, this is the best example of my writing voice yet. This tone — the language, pacing, perspective — are very much like what the novel sounds like. So even though I care about all my SFF pieces, this one has a special place in my heart. It’s also pretty frickin’ awesome if I do say so myself.

So check it out! And leave a comment too, because QFT is hosting a giveaway if you leave a comment. Check out the announcement and get a chance at winning one of the prizes!

As for me…back to finishing up final final final edits. Should be querying within the month.

Ciao all!

On Sabbatical…from blogging


Hello Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve taken a break from blogging. I have spent nearly every minute of my free time writing my novel.

I’ve just completed the final chapter, and will be working on final revisions before submitting to agents this summer.

I’ll continue to contribute to Quantum Fairy Tales, but blogging is on hold for the foreseeable future.

I wish I had the time, but reality has sunk in, and all my free hours and mental energy must go into the novel for it to get done. I hope you understand.

Thanks everyone for your support on Science for Fiction. If’ you’re on Twitter, stop by and say hello sometime.

All the best,


New “Ender’s Game” Trailer Released

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was one of the first real SF novels I ever read, and one of the most impressionable.

It’s just one of those books that every SF fan should read.

Now there’s a movie coming out in November, starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford (great choice).

Here’s the trailer:


Flying Car Coming To A Driveway Near You!

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent friends! Have been working furiously to finish this book. It’s coming along — about 10k words to go. That is HUGE.

If you’re a writer, check out my other blog for author interviews, writing tips, and resources. It’s a bit easier to maintain than scienceforfiction, so content goes up there fairly regularly.

Okay — anyway — who wants a flying car?!