by on October 31, 2018
As long as there is some form of pay off to the reader. People generally don't want to read about a character who never changes. It doesn't matter if they always win or always lose. A character can fail but still grow as a person. Or they might fail, but the reader identifies with their struggle or downfall. It's not a bad idea to give them a few wins though if only to shake up reader expectation. A lot of losses don't need to have much to do with the character's personal flaws. It can just...
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by on October 31, 2018
Zeus and his brood sit at the far side of the feast hall, scheming. Athena is whispering in Apollo's ear. Hermes is running messages from Ares to Hephaestus. Hera, Artemis, and Aphrodite all have their heads together. Every now and then they glance at our end of the table to see if we were listening. We aren't. Why would we? The old guard just doesn't understand that I don't need to eavesdrop to know what they are up to. Everymove they make is discussed in my domain.  Call me Diadílous. I...
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by on October 31, 2018
Cripple 0x44212a4 knew it was over. A fourth escape plan, foiled. And now he was the one blamed. He got his chances and now was being faced with the ultimate punishment. Nobody knew what the government did to the crupples it gave up on. They left to some city and were never heard of again. Most believed that the government had some brain chemical in the city that made the residents slaves. Nobody dared investigate, fearing the same chemicals. And today, 0x44212a4 thought, was his turn to be d...
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by on October 31, 2018
"Colonel, broad-spectrum unencrypted signal. Appears to be 23-24 band electromagnetic broadcast, audio representation." "Lower-tech signal? Over-light acceleration?" "Possibly. No signal acceleration. We are picking it up at light speed. I'll have the computer run a language diagnostics." "Absolutely. Major Patoulga, get the computer to triangulate source and direct us toward it, see if you can't help the comms officer." "Yes, ma'am." A flurry of activity began in the once lethargic ...
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by on October 31, 2018
The old man was down on a knee, one hand on his arm, the other on the pommel of a sword, the point resting on the ground. A long life this man had lived, the kind of life anyone would be proud to have. But all lives must come to an end. The shrouded figure approached from behind, face draped in complete darkness, seeming to glide across the floor. A pale hand held a long scythe, the kind a reaper would hold. But not for the kind of reaping most in the area would know. The figure was within...
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by on October 31, 2018
“Hey, can we talk?” I was standing out in the rain, outside my house, on the phone, while the love of my life played with my son. My son. James sounded confused. “Right now, Mark? Aren’t you busy?” “Yeah,” I said, mouth dry. “Alright man,” James said, concern suffusing his voice. He realized I was upset. Hell, I hadn’t realized I was upset. That’s was the thing with best friends – they knew you better than you knew yourself. “I’m at my apartment, just come on over.” I frowned....
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by on October 31, 2018
So creative, it seems like magic: a step-by-step guide to unleashing your most innovative brainpower Our rational, conscious mind is a wonderful thing. But sometimes when we are looking for a solution, it can be a limited resource. I’m always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. What if I could come up with answers in my sleep? I discovered that it’s possible to do just that. To the outsider, it can look as if someone were literally dreaming up solutions to situations...
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by on October 31, 2018
eople trust Wikipedia. The free online encyclopedia is now the fifth-most visited website in the world and is a pipeline of information for digital assistants like Alexa and Siri. Ask your iPhone what a lynx is and up pops an information box with content pulled from the open platform. (It’s a medium-sized wildcat named for the “luminescence of its reflective eyes,” by the way, at least according to the 1,668 people who have edited the page since 2001.) Because the encyclopedia has millions ...
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by on October 31, 2018
Hold my drink: I’m going to make the case for intoxication. There’s a significant historical precedent for the use of mind-altering substances. While the use of mushrooms by the druids of pre-Roman Europe is debated, although not implausible, there’s solid evidence of the use of all manner of psychedelics in the Americas dating as far back as 1500 B.C. There are even those who have argued that our religious impulses stem from prehistorical tripping. Outside of ritual and medicinal use of...
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by on October 23, 2018
Every enterprise needs to innovate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re are a profit-seeking business, a nonprofit organization, or a government entity. The simple truth is that every business model fails eventually, because conditions change over time. We have to manage not for stability, but for disruption — that, or face irrelevance. There is no shortage of advice on how to go about it. In fact, there is far too much advice. Design thinkers will tell you to focus on the end user, but Harv...
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