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BS: Mudcat Story Tellers

Donuel 01 Jan 24 - 01:27 PM
Donuel 02 Jan 24 - 07:47 AM
Helen 02 Jan 24 - 01:16 PM
Donuel 03 Jan 24 - 07:25 AM
MaJoC the Filk 05 Jan 24 - 11:26 AM
Mrrzy 06 Jan 24 - 01:55 PM
Donuel 06 Jan 24 - 03:36 PM
MaJoC the Filk 07 Jan 24 - 10:19 AM
Geoff Wallis 07 Jan 24 - 11:29 AM
Donuel 17 Jan 24 - 08:03 AM
Donuel 21 Jan 24 - 07:08 AM
Donuel 29 Jan 24 - 12:51 PM
Mrrzy 01 Feb 24 - 05:24 PM
Thompson 03 Feb 24 - 04:35 AM
Donuel 03 Feb 24 - 08:06 AM
Donuel 07 Feb 24 - 02:35 PM
robomatic 09 Feb 24 - 05:25 PM
Donuel 13 Feb 24 - 06:54 AM
Donuel 13 Feb 24 - 07:33 AM
Donuel 13 Feb 24 - 10:29 AM
MaJoC the Filk 13 Feb 24 - 11:11 AM
Donuel 13 Feb 24 - 11:31 AM
Donuel 15 Feb 24 - 02:13 PM
Donuel 15 Feb 24 - 03:10 PM
Donuel 16 Feb 24 - 06:58 AM
Donuel 17 Feb 24 - 07:43 AM
Mrrzy 17 Feb 24 - 06:01 PM
Donuel 24 Feb 24 - 02:05 PM

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Subject: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 01:27 PM

Missing from the contemporary BS are numerous stories 'catters used to write. For your consideration 'Edward Diemonde E.D. CEO'.

In a boardroom of friendly managers sprinkled with laughter a video was starting as the lights slowly dimmed.
"Hello my name is Edward Diemonde CEO of MCI Mega Conglomerates Incorporated. The stockholders have spoken and approved our AI efficiency program. The exciting news will prove at MCI we only take forward steps. It is my duty to explain what this will entail for the coming months and years. Initially, there will be extra costs but by year's end, the savings will be phenomenal. Being among the first to implement AI efficiency, we will reap the greatest rewards. We will retain our paper and printing divisions while building new 3D printers for industrial robots to advance the product and beverage divisions.

The savings will be in HR, insurance, health care, maternity benefits, and salaries with the exception of transportation making an unheard-of 88% savings in manufacturing costs by year's end. This year of transition will require that 98% of our employees will be self-exporting their employment elsewhere."

The din of surprise and anxiety nearly drown out the video that drones on with facts and figures. At the end of the video meeting, the intercom beckons "Will Mr. Hanson please report to Mr. Diemonde's office".

In the CEO suite Ed Dimonde says to Mr. Hanson, "Not that I need encouragement but the AI video spoke for itself don't you think?"
"Im a chief engineer Mr Diamond, My job is plant management not a film critic."
"I didn't expect an Acadamy Award Hanson but as chief plant manager I thought you might have a point of view or enthusiasm for the changes were planning."
"Tell me Ed do you really see a full transition in a year"?
"I see as little as 10 months for our changes. Is there something Hanson"?
"Yeah something, like thousands of people out of work".
"That is unfortunately progress. You didn't think we would remain with 20th-century methods forever, or are you an antique handmade purist"?
"No I don't think John Henry can beat a machine but you are replacing muscle AND brains."
"Well Hanson you can be in charge of the sentimental department."
"Don't you see you are sacrificing proud accomplishment for electronic efficiency?"
"How much can we make selling an emotion, can we can it? We don't sell feelings - we sell products!

Four months later:

"Ah, Hanson I heard you are spending time at HR and not the assembly lines."
"Thats because they tell me the suicide rate among former line employees is up by 20%."
"You are not needed at the lines anymore now that they are self regulating or the HR department since it is their last week."
Thats fine Mr. Diemonde since I came up here to give you my notice"
"Good I expected as much. You are a sensible man Hanson, I'm sure you know our production team doesn't need redundancy anymore, even our remanufacturing of defective units are automated now. So you won't think of me as an ogre or Scrooge after 30 years of work here you have a golden parachute which I'm sure you agree is far better than a pension.
"Thats very generous of you Ed, I'd like to give you something if you don't mind."
"Whats that"?
Diemonde is hit in the face and falls to the floor...
"As for you Ed, keep your blood money. When I walk away from you I'm walking away clean, something you can never do. You are as obsolete as last week's software. You didn't have too much of a good thing, you threw away people as if they were just things. You may have been clever but you were never wise. In a very real way you are not even human. I am only curious what AI will do with you now that you are no more than a spare part".

One year later poor Ed is gone but AI found a better way of making money. The paper and printing divisions once they were fully AI began printing perfect money and bearer bonds. It was laundered through their own AI Banks without a middleman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Jan 24 - 07:47 AM

While the literal money-making story is more of an outline than a story, it appears the storytellers of Mudcat are all gone.

The storytellers of today seem to be inventing fraudulent cryptocurrency scams for profit or Republicans running for office.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Helen
Date: 02 Jan 24 - 01:16 PM

Hi Donuel,

This thread reminds me of Mudcat past threads.

This is one of my favourite Mudcat threads: A challenge: a flea,an orange,a bicycle seat

This was the challenge:

"So, I'm issuing a story/song/poem/joke writing challenge. I tried to think of 3 unrelated items and I eventually decided on:

"a flea, an orange, and a bicycle seat."

And my other favourite story challenge:

BS Mudcat challenge 100 word story exactly

The challenge for that thread was:

"Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to write a complete short story which is exactly 100 words long - no more and no less.

"It has to be a proper story with everything you want to express in those 100 words."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Jan 24 - 07:25 AM

The most unusual story challenge was to write a story without spaces between words so that at least two different narratives could be read by separating words in different numbers of letters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 11:26 AM

For completeness: The 100-word story is called a Drabble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 01:55 PM

I illustrated a story once, but didn't write it. I still have those drawings...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 03:36 PM

This world of absurd Trumpism and anti-vaccine insanity and absurdity becomes more evident during a pandemic.

The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth. — Albert Camus.

I don't mean absurd in the silly or joke sense alone· I mean absurd as an existential reality that shares the stage with the ideal arts of man like particles are to waves. The best stories show the ironic absurdity of war and peace, love and war and more. I respect the absurd. Thats why I was a cartoonist. On the other hand hypnosis was more serious because of responsibility to others.

In a pandemic Camus, was a celebrated Existentialist philosopher and novelist, author of The Stranger, and provided a paradoxical observation, which is, in itself, telling of the absurdity of nature and of humanity that comes from it. For truth is opposed to absurdity. Yet, if absurdity is the first truth, then this means that there is no truth.

Thus, absurdity calls itself out as absurd.

Absurdity doesn’t mean whacky or just inefficient. It means that a truth and its negation are both in operation at the same time. And this is the kind of world we seem to live in.

Despite the order that science has attempted to make of the world since the dawn of the Enlightenment, it has only managed to draw back the veil covering the absurdity an inch. The Webb telescope has only put cosmology in greater disruption of standing theories. There are no close ups of Aliens that scientists agree are probable.

Quantum physics is a prime example. Particles both exist and do not exist. They are connected across time and space, so that two is now one in a dimension that is adjacent to EVERYWHERE.

We have known for nearly 100 years that it doesn’t all stay “down there” with the atoms either. Cats can exist and not exist at the same time too. (not really but they do have secret lives)

Dozens of logical explanations are put forward but not one has any evidence for quantum reality. And it may be that the universe is just absurd or is half-conscious with free will.

Our attempts to sweep away the absurdity with many worlds and collapsing wavefunctions is just a way of burying our heads in the sand, hoping that everything will finally make sense.

But what if it just doesn’t?

How do we live in a world where logic itself is a convenient lie?

Without logic, philosophy takes us nowhere, only in circles as it insulates itself from the absurdity of the universe in unassailable premises and models similar to math that is disconnected from some reality but spot on in fractals and mass energy relationships.

We are living in a four dimensional fractal while our minds inhabit an ideal plane. We reach out with our minds, but there is nothing concrete there. Everything that exists is a chaotic sand painting blown by the wind that appears to make sense some of the time, but at others goes careening in mad directions like a Trump tweet.

I have to go to the store or not to buy something good or not and maybe make a sandwich later if I'm hungry. So basically I don't have to go. Naa I'll stay and rant more...

Crap I had this really cool thought and it disappeared just like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 10:19 AM

If you want an unusual story challenge, try writing one without the letter E. It's been done once (in French), and translated triumphantly into English under the same rule; whether the respective authors' names broke said rule, I can't remember atm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 11:29 AM

There are two novels without the letter 'e'. I've read one of them, Georges Perec's 'La Disparition' (in translation, I hasten to add), but not yet attacked Ernest Vincent Wright's 'Gadsby'.

To 'E' or not to 'E'


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 08:03 AM

Ending a story well is second only to a good beginning. I find the most poignant ending to a story to be the most common everyday act that somehow holds more simple significance and overwhelming importance in an entire lifetime. The simplicity of the act could be a bird landing and looking deeply into one's eyes or a bite of a biscuit or the touch of a hand.

Sunsets, Hollywood and happily ever after endings are lazy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 07:08 AM

I hear stories like music. Each character is an intermediary that is harmonic or discordant in relation to all other characters. The hero may emerge later but the villain often appears first.
Like melodies within a melody there are simple stories like the Goldilocks story where one is too hard, one is too soft and one is just right like the brothers in The Godfather. A triangle of relationships are easy to understand like a three part fugue, When you add more parts to that fugue there is confusion and difficulties.
A plot twist or a surprise is like a key change at the end of a piece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jan 24 - 12:51 PM

To producers in the business, there are only 7 basic plots. One is the Monster and the others are about that simple as well. The largest variations are the cliches. The obvious cliches are fun to spot but there are some kinds that many people miss like the Magical Negro. Bagger Vance or Morgan Freeman as God are the examples that come to mind but there are many going all the way back to Uncle Remus. Then there are cliche characters like the lone female in a cast of nearly all men. Animals are usually cast as having a sixth sense. Your average off-the-shelf villain is disfigured and sounds British. They might be cultured enough to like Beethoven. Or they are barely human.

If your movie has a maverick cop who had to turn in his gun and badge and confronts a time bomb by picking the red or blue wire to cut and at the end throws the bad guy from a great height to run against the clock to save a relationship with his estranged girlfriend they met under very unusual circumstances you have witnessed a script made by a madlib or a Chinese menu with 3 columns.

We are fond of story cliches even if they don't happen in real life like the spit take or being scared to death by a cat that leaps from a closet. Inventing a new cliche is not as easy as it sounds. Its easier to have two cliches smash into each other like a train trying to go into a tunnel only to hit another train coming out.

These plots and cliches were men's ideas and are finally starting to fade in the dawn of a few women writers, directors and producers. It is a time for some new bias in stories although there are older examples like Frankenstein that was saying something about men many people still miss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 05:24 PM

Is there anybody going to listen to my story, all about a girl who came to stay?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Thompson
Date: 03 Feb 24 - 04:35 AM

She's the kind of girl who puts you down when friends are there. You feel a fool. When you say she's looking good, she acts as if it's understood she's cool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Feb 24 - 08:06 AM

Romcoms have the backstory of possibly meeting someone who could be the most important person in one's life. It could also be the most risky trust or danger we could encounter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Feb 24 - 02:35 PM

The stories the ego tells itself are most dangerous when they are not true. The ego more or less hides by pretending its thoughts are your thoughts, its feelings are your feelings. So who is in charge?
Your unconscious is far more you than the ego. It knows more things than you can not consciously know. The conscious ego hijacks most people with suggestibility and false stories to the point that they sometimes wake up after 30 years of groupthink cult political or religious control. It feels as though their life was stolen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Feb 24 - 05:25 PM

I just listened to a well known story that I'd never actually read because it was turned into a world famous movie.

The last scene in the story was an empty cigarette pack thrown into a fireplace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 06:54 AM

I dunno robo.

The line between fiction and non-fiction is heavily skewed to fiction because many of us live inside another person's or organization's imagination or lies, be it a religion, cult, nation or even language peculiarities. So what is reality is still ultimately a construct.

It is only natural that each of us has a subjective reality based on our experience. In my search for a universal reality many of my assumptions are based on scientific facts yet the more data I accumulate the more child-like our understanding seems to be no matter how complex the subject portends.

There could be an argument that an infinite panoply of realities is as valid as what we call fundamental laws. The universe is certainly large enough to encompass more than self-similarity from one side to another. This leads to a paradox that reality may include a kind of fantasy of many realities.

One of these impossible realities that society is still wrestling with is a real object that appears on radar and with our eyes but appears anti-gravitational and capable of speed unmatched by all human attempts. With so much we don't know we still pretend we know reality.
This presumption is fiction and most reality is still unknown and unidentified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 07:33 AM

What we call the totality of the unknown or unknowable is the 'Mind of God'.
Perhaps all things are possible there. In that space, fiction is on the same footing as non-fiction, fallacy is fact, and belief is paramount.

What would Dave the Gnome believe?
For me, I believe that is where the Marvel Universe lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 10:29 AM

Dave enjoys Marvel and is an author of fantasy as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 11:11 AM

If you're after fiction, consider the human brain as a pattern-matching machine: stuff glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, for example, is 1% fragmentary data and 99% guesswork, closely coupled to the all-too-human tendency to jump to a foregone conclusion from a standing start. That's why (eg) Herself saw our cat* in his accustomed place on the chair in the kitchen, then looked closer, and realised what she'd seen was a pair of shoes of roughly the same colour. Taking that extra second before reacting would not, to our distant ancestors, have been a wise move, as it really might have been the tiger after all.

And *that*, mesdames et messieurs, is why "not-true data" (ie fiction) works --- it gives our self-preservation instinct some exercise, by taking it for a nice walk around the truth.

* Strictly speaking, he's not our cat: we're his staff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 11:31 AM

I like the way the Filk exercises fiction. Observational stand-up comics could learn a thing or two from him. I exorcise non-fiction.

I think human brains have several structures that can bring quantum realities into focus. If AI is ever loaded into quantum computers we may get a peek of the mind of god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 02:13 PM

Heros are made to suffer and sacrifice. Villains usually die in the end but sometimes they are the most interesting character who changes society. Some heroes kill as much as the villains but some do not ever kill like Batman. Some villains inspire empathy like King Kong or the Terminator. Heros who sacrifice and suffer are portrayed to be better than the rest of us. They are often orphans or have parents who die in the story. The villain looks at what's in it for me but the hero looks to what is the right thing to do or wrestles with values. Sometimes that altruism leads to the hero's doom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 03:10 PM

The greatest heroes in religion are always intermediaries; Jesus (between man and God), Budda, Mohamed etc.
Heros in stories are usually intermediaries be it George Bailey, Spartacus or Tom Hanks in Saving Pvt. Ryan. What connects us to the hero is that we are all intermediaries. Its hard to think of a completely alone and lonely hero but they do exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 06:58 AM

The greatest stories are love stories. They usually involve the conflict between desire and duty. Love either is finally fulfilled or tragically cast away. I think most people obsess over the one that got away even decades later, at least secretly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 07:43 AM

Why are love stories the greatest?
I don't know any sci fi
that could make you
laugh or cry


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 06:01 PM

You haven't read much sci fi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Story Tellers
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 02:05 PM

I find I naturally have been continuing the work of Aldous Huxley and Michael Pollan regarding the doors of perception and the resistance of Big Brother. Decriminalizing nature is important to society. The scientific aspect of space and time manipulation also interests me.
If we had that tech no vault or safe would work. Travel would be unique without propulsion. The consciousness of energy is also fascinating. The Ethical Compromises of future tech is a popular theme.

Whats your favs?


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