05/19/10 Down to Tornitus 6


Tornitus 6. I am SO excited that things are about to happen. Establishing character and getting to know how everyone interacted with each other was important, but I am ready.

I’ve already begun building 3-D models for the city, and today I’m going to sit down with coffee and really bust out the set of scripts for Tornitus 6.

I actually almost never drink coffee anymore (previous stomach problems), except when I want to really really concentrate, often when I do a huge binge of writing, where I want to be more than 100%. Which always reminds me of a scene in “Beverly Hills Cop” where Eddie Murphy is telling the chief about the other two cops (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton) and how they are kinda like supercops. I wish I could find it on youtube, but Murphy is ad-libbing like crazy. And in an extra on the DVD they comment on how Murphy never drinks coffee, but that morning he had some.

Which I supppppose is not a lot different from the normal comedian coke habit (a la Lenny Bruce, Jon Belushi, etc), but it is certainly more legal. :)


  1. Herandar

    What sort of Galactic Organizational Body is this if a single layperson can interpret and decipher their reports? It should require a team of highly paid lawyers days just to translate the legalese into plain speech. Bureaucracy is the key to any hegemony, and a galaxy-wide government should be massively bloated, not to mention corrupt. Or is that only when humans are a part of said governmental body??

  2. JKCarroll

    @Herander, remember that you need to do some word substitutions. For “team of highly paid lawyers” substitute “network of possibly sentient translation computers” (some of those computers have been known to wear bolo ties, ergo the “possibly sentient” label); and for “single layperson” substitute “Yuri.”

    Hey, she hacked into an alien operating system and in a few days has learned to fly several thousand spaceships. The G.O.B. has hordes of highly paid staff members; we have Yuri. The G.O.B. is badly outnumbered.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    P.S. re: my previous comment regarding bolo ties, the conflict over the proper use of bolo ties has lead to near-civil-war conditions in the G.O.B., with the southwestern portion of the galactic spiral arm holding that they are a perfectly valid substitute for necktie wear, while the rest of the galactic spiral arm sniggered and pointed fingers at them. The G.O.B. eventually sent teams of highly-paid expensively-dressed fashion consultants to the southwestern portion of the galactic spiral arm to settle the matter.

    The teams were never seen again.

    The representatives of the southwestern portion of the galactic spiral arm denied having anything to do with the disappearances, yet could not explain why the handkerchiefs they were using strongly resembled the ties a number of the fashion consultants were wearing.

    The G.O.B. has taken the bolo tie controversy under advisement. The committee is expected to report back to the main body sometime before the black hole at the center of the galaxy has finished consuming the last of the galactic stellar matter.

  3. Connor

    As a second year law student, I can confidently say that in the real world we do indeed make important legal decisions based on terms defined in just as fuzzy and just as unintuitive ways. The infamous torture memos showed exactly what kind of scary stuff people can get up to when smart people use these sorts of definitions to bad ends.

    I’ll bet you anything that in the G.O.B. there are literally volumes of caselaw and/or scholarship trying to create standards for “merest modicum” and “measurable significance,” complete with equally unhelpful sentences purporting to explain this standard, complex multifactor tests (no one factor of which is dispositive), all of which add up to the fact that you can pretty much put together a good argument for either side of sentience based on whether or not it’s important to oppress or wipe out some folks.

  4. Connor


    (If you’re curious, “no one factor of which is dispositive” is judge-speak for “we have a list of things to consider in deciding this question, but no one of the things we consider, by itself, answers the question.” These show up all the time for tricky legal questions, such as: whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor, whether a person’s salary is “excessive” for the purposes of federal income tax, whether a regulation on the use of land is so restrictive that the government effectively “took” the land, etc. etc.)

  5. daniel wolff

    I thought it was just me who liked that movie!

    And in regards to the possibly sentient translation computers, Carl Sagan recounted a story (in “The Dragons of Eden”) about an American senator who was asked to enter a phrase into a program that would translate anything he wrote into Russian and then back into English. He entered “out of sight, out of mind.” The phrase he got back was “invisible idiot.”

    Could be tough organizing a galaxy.

  6. Pingback: Spacetrawler - 07/14/10 Back at the Parking Garage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *