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It's an interesting setting, what I've read so far, and I've got an idea or two percolating that may or may not come to fruition. A seed is trying to sprout for an idea starting in '05 and going forward.
One little detail though, (and it doesn't really apply to me but may for others), removing hippo's, rhino's and elephants from the pool seems to be a bit speciest, considering moose are allowed. In looking at the Wiki, it seems that hippos (1.5meters) and rhinos (2.0 meters) are actually generally smaller or the same size as the largest moose (2.1 metres) species. Elephants seem to average about a meter or two larger than the moose.
Perhaps a better restriction would be to allow any land mammal (and any sea mammal that is between the sizes of the minimum land mammal size and the maximum land mammal size), but set minimum and maximum furre sizes; something like a min of 1.2 metres or 4ft to a max of 2.0 metres or 7ft.
Anyways, I'll try and keep an eye on things and see if I can culture this idea I've got further. - 19:50, 10 January 2008 Jetfire
- 1 Theory on how the Change 'spreads'
- 2 Change and disabilities?
- 3 A mortal analysis of Paradise
- 4 Thinking far future...
- 5 Summer Olympics
- 6 What happens after 2020?
- 7 Change and the Media
- 8 Furries in Space?
- 9 The Reality Distortion Field is Real
- 10 Bats?
- 11 Farming in Paradise
- 12 BioFuels
- 13 The Chicago Ghost Killer
- 14 Octuplets born in California
Theory on how the Change 'spreads'
Been thinking about how it might spread, such that we have a higher proportion of Changed in NA, but not leaving the rest of the world out, and I think I know how.
The 'computer virus' that Changes people, uses the RDF to spread itself. Our 'program's' own protection method is also spreading the damages.
Basically, I am guessing that if the RDF needs to kick in on you, then you are passively 'infected'.
Then, when August 17th comes around, the Virus triggers itself, but it for whatever reason can only copy itself for every previously Changed person. (The Doubling effect), and it can only affect people that have been passively infected, ie people who have had the RDF kick in on them.
The goal of the virus is to spread as far as it can, so it takes the number of new Changed it can, and spreads it more or less evenly across the available (RDF-affected) population.
So the first Changed is in Chicago (I think). Through the year until the next Change, she will encounter thousands of people, even in passing, which triggers the RDF on them and passively infects them.
Come August, 1988, the next Changed will be picked randomly from those thousands of people, and now we'll have 2 people spreading the RDF virus. 1989, a big chunk of Chicago has probably had the RDF trigger at least once, not to mention some tourists and other visitors to the city.
In 89, we get 2 more Changed, and one of them could possibly be in a different random city, just because he'd been to Chicago in the past 2 years and unknowingly seen a Changed, and a new nest of RDF-field affected people starts up.
European and Asian and Oceanic outbreaks could happen in years to come as the number of tourists and business people from those reasons travel into North America and begin to be fielded and infected themselves.
The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City probably 'infected' most of the people who were around and watching, meaning that by then (if not before) pretty much anyone has a chance to be Changed.
It also means that truly isolated areas of the world (South Pacific islands, isolated Amazonian tribes, etc) could potentially be unchanged after the 2020 deadline; but any encounter at all with a Changed would likely Change them immediately and spread like wildfire through the village)
And while the RDF may 'fail' at some point, it'll probably still be around in a less effective form, trying to maintain some stability and spreading the Change. --Jetfire
- I'll give that some thought. It's somewhat similar to something I already had in mind. Perhaps those who have the RDF fail completely will be much more likely to change the next year, or they might even change out-of-phase. In any case, once they figure out that it's like a communicable disease, and everyone is already 'infected', the remaining humans will go nuts. --Buck 12:35, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Change and disabilities?
I keep forgetting to bring this up on IRC, but how do people (as in writers and other interested people in this setting) think disabilities would be affected by the change? Both Mental and Physical?
Would a paraplegic who lost his legs in an accident regrow them if he changed? Would he regain the use of them if they weren't lost but just disabled? (back injury)? What about false teeth, deafness, blindness, etc?
What if the cause was not from a physical accident, but was viral or bacterial in nature? Some disease struck them blind? Would they stay blind?
And what if the disabilities were genetic? Would those genetic flaws still show in the new form?
Finally, what about mental disabilities? Could the Change 'cure' Alzheimer's? Would it affect someone who is literally a brain dead vegetable on life support?
If it does have curative properties, I suspect we'll start seeing more and more miracle cures (assuming they can survive the flu) in the years to come. Which may imply that there'll be a push in the early to mid 2010's to just keep someone alive as long as possible in the home they Change and are cured/fixed.
--Jetfire 11:00, 4 February 2008 (EST)
- I think there are good arguments to be made for some healing properties of the Change, but I wouldn't make it go all out. A person missing a limb should still be missing a limb after the change (I have in mind a scene with a one-armed pianist who goes monkey and starts playing with his feet).
- When it comes to things like Alzheimer's, that is a much more difficult choice. I don't see mental retardation being suddenly healed by the Change, as that is a birth defect (and such things happen in animals too). But progressive diseases may backtrack, even if the conditions begin to return over time. That could make an even more painful story, somebody suffering from Alzheimer's, who Changes and now recognizes all his family again. But after a year or so everything starts to slip away again...
- Anyway, the whole keeping folks alive and hoping for a Change could make a good dynamic too. I just think there's a lot fo possibilities to consider before we make a decision on this. --MatthiasRat 12:24, 4 February 2008 (EST)
- I'm inclined to do as Matthias suggests. It's more or less what I had in mind. However, one of the things that the Change does is it puts everyone in very good health. Even being a 300 pound female bear, CM is in very good shape. It will cure some ailments, and put chronic diseases into remission. Those developments will confuse the medical community enough without regrowing limbs or curing Down's Syndrome. But if you've read the latest Tall Tales, ROB is being forced to act more openly. --Buck 15:40, 4 February 2008 (EST)
- What happens to medical devices like heart pacemakers or hip replacements that were implanted in people before they changed? --Jenifur Charne 20:45, 10 February 2008 (EST)
- That's basically an open-ended question. I'm going to leave the answer to that one unsaid because I think it'd be a good Plot Point in a story. A furry episode of House maybe? --Buck 22:45, 10 February 2008 (EST)
- Late into the discussion, but better late than never. : ) Anyway, what about things like fillings and caps on teeth? Going to a dentist would be interesting. Going another step, outside medical devices wouldn't fit anymore and would bring up some unique delimas. What about people with prosthetics? If someone turns into a bear, I'm sure their leg isn't going to fit anymore, yet Unknown will wonder why they make such a claim all of a sudden. Lots of places to go with these stories. Tinbender 21:24, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Hey, not really sure on any of the points raised, have to give it some thought. One thing to consider though is can anthro's act as a bridge to humans for viruses that currently only affect animals?--Devin 23:35, 10 February 2008 (EST)
A mortal analysis of Paradise
Lets me see if I get some of the details right.
There is a post-singularity Uber-computer, that when projected into 3-space, has the same consistency as humanity's combined thumbnail and happens to be running a simulation of the events leading up to its own creation. Secondly, it gets infected by a super-bug/virus that makes borg nano-probes look overly large and cumbersome. Said post-singularity, sentient, ROB-type entity/ virus changes some lines of code (if such things can be referred to as such) in reference to the people in the simulation, in and around the vicinity of Chicago (maybe the super-bug's designers had way-distant ancestors from there, or whose ancestors had a grudge against the place). The Uber-comp, in a flash of inspiration counters with the 'firewall-from-not-heck', or RDF as we understand it. The ROB is still successful with its dastardly and despicable plan to make the simulated history end differently.
That I get as far as it can be understood by a three-dimensional entity not particularly versed in post-singularity, multi-dimensional physics and computational theory.
The RDF, The Veil, The "Really-Annoying-Mess-Up-Everyones-Lives" Field, appears to start collapsing or 'twisting' in several personal accounts. In fact, it would seem that there are certain individuals who have appeared to figure out means of 'gazing-past' the gaps in said previously mentioned field even though they do not have one of their own. Yes it has been theorized that they will soon fall victim to the ROB, however, consider that all of this is in one sense mere coding (albeit it happens to be far more complex than that), and that said people are taking advantage of 'bugs' in the code. How many bugs are there? Is it possible for someone (probably a changed, or mad scientist) to 'tune' or 'tinker' with the field, probably no more than tweaks to appearance or color? I know the Primary Engineer Of This Work has stated that there are no 'powers', but then again, this is all just code, and hackers can sometimes be just mortal.
Just a thought or two. I should probably stop this monologue before a super spy shows up. ~midon~
- You're pretty close overall, though the simulation doesn't necessarily have to be of the ROB's own creation. Human Earth could be something It came up with all by Itself. Another book that's similar to what I've come up with here is Darwinia. Someone suggested that the best thing for the ROB to do is to restore from backup. The thing is, these are still people. ROB doesn't have a moral problem with allowing them to die within the sim, but will act to protect both itself and its people from an outside threat. Hence the RDF and other measures.--Buck 17:46, 4 February 2008 (EST)
Thinking far future...
First, to make it VERY clear, I am NOT thinking of any stories or anything set in the 2020 period yet. I've just been thinking of how the world may be like by then, as the last half are about to change.
I suspect there would be a mix of celebration (the last humans are joining us!) and mourning (humans will no longer be as they were). Regionally, there will probably be searches for the "last human baby", the ones born days/hours before the last Aug 17 change; they'd probably be local celebrities, similar to "New Years Babies"
And in 2021, the nervousness would start. Is the change source gone? Is it mutating? Are we going to change further? Or into something else now? For the Changed Generation, that little shiver of fear every August 17th will probably persist until they are all gone.
All that assumes civilization hasn't fallen apart by then of course. :)
--Jetfire 10:42, 25 February 2008 (EST)
This was nagging at the back of my mind a bit, but I finally nailed it down to actually check dates:
- "The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, will be celebrated from August 8, 2008 to August 24, 2008".
For the record, the 2004 Olympics also just straddled the Change day, having started on Aug 13th. No other Summer Olympics have straddled Change day, but the 1996 games ended just before it, and the Paralympic Games that year did straddle the Change day.
The 2012 games in London curiously have a break between the end of the Olympics on Aug 12, 2012, and the start of the Paralympics on Aug 29.
Just something to think about for writers out there. :)
--Jetfire 10:07, 27 February 2008 (EST)
- The Change takes place right in the middle of the Olympics. All it takes is for one or two athletes to change to gum up the works. These people are already in top physical shape, too. But what happens when a swimmer becomes a dolphin, an otter, or perhaps something that doesn't swim well? I don't think the RDF can handle becoming as large as a rhino. They'll still displace an awful lot of water when they splash in.
- I'll have to mention this in Open Secrets.
- --Buck 14:53, 27 February 2008 (EST)
- At least the illness will be a bit of a cover. Depending on how many Changed athletes there are, (both active and new Changed), the illness could be used to skip out on some events out of necessity.
- Still the pressure to perform, even if their form is inappropriate for the sport (A Bull trying to do a polevault or the triathlon in general? A bear for gymnastics? A Mouse in weightlifting? ) will be intense
- There would probably be a lot of discussion when a star athlete suddenly isn't performing as well as they did before.
- Of course, a few years after that, the Beijing Olympics here will probably end up with a * like the LA and Moscow Olympics, as people find out about the Change and the number of ringers (otters in swimming events, felines and primates in gymnastics, gazelles and cheetahs in track events, bears and bulls in weight lifting, etc...) semi-intentionally sent by the various countries. We could very well see TTC-level problems happening in Olympic Village.
--Jetfire 15:07, 27 February 2008 (EST)
What happens after 2020?
Point one: Computer programs are never intrinsically equipped with an off-switch. Rather, a shutdown condition must be explicitly coded into a program -- and any program which lacks an explicit shutdown condition, will continue to chug merrily along until something hardware-ish gets in the way.
Point two: The Change is the result of a 'furry virus", i.e., a computer program.
2020 is when the entire planetary population will be furry... but who's to say the 'furry virus' won't continue to do its thing, Changing people year in and year out, with each year's quantity of Changes being double that of the year before? We know that being Changed is not an absolute protection against the 'furry virus' -- the setting rules themselves explicitly allow previously-Changed people to get hit with another dose of Change, after all -- so either (a) the 'furry virus' does have an explicitly-coded off-switch, or else (b) starting in 2020, an ever-increasing number of people are going to end up Changing two or more times in any given year.
If the 'furry virus' has a built-in off-switch, that begs the question of what, exactly, its shutdown condition is. Does it stop spreading/infecting when there's no unchanged Human left, is it waiting for some specific event or combination of events before it quits, or what? Perhaps the guy who wrote the 'furry virus' did so with the specific intent of encouraging ROB to make [insert specific changes here] in ROB's virtual world, such that the results of those changes are the virus's 'off-switch'?
If, on the other hand, the 'furry virus' has no built-in brakes, things can get weird, fast. People have already floated the notion of Changes happening "out of season"; what if these 'unscheduled' Changes are merely a harbinger of things to come, in which people can be re-zapped at any time of year, an arbitrarily large number of times per year? It may be instructive, or at least amusing, to extrapolate the data given in "The Numbers", and divide each year's expected number of Changes by the expected population for that year: In 2020, there's 1.12 Changes per person (perhaps every human being Changes, regardless of their current state, and there's a 12% chance of one guy Changing twice?). Since we're basically talking about a doubling function, it only takes until 2024 for every ex-human to be an involuntary member of the Change Of The Month Club (because there's a touch over 17 Changes per person that year), and the Change Of The Day Club starts up in 2029 (during which year there's a bit less than 514 Changes per person per year). In 2034, the extrapolated number of Changes per person for that year is significantly over 15,000 (which works out to about 7/4 of a Change per hour, every hour, for every human being); by 2040, we hit 1.75 Changes per minute; 2046 is when every human being starts to hit 1 Change per second.
To repeat what I said above: Things get weird, fast.
Obviously, the above figures are ridiculous, since they're derived from mindless extrapolation of an exponential curve. Perhaps the most sensible way to go is to presume that ROB manages to do something about the metatstasizing 'furry virus' no later than 2025 or so. In any case, one hopes said figures at least provide a bit of food for thought... Cubist 05:03, 10 March 2008 (EDT)
Change and the Media
It's probably a sign that I watch WAY too much TV, but it's a theme that's been in the back of my mind (man that back area's getting mighty crowded with ideas). As the Change progresses, even with the Veil in place, more and more effects of the Change will start showing up in other ways, and it will become more and more 'public' even if the Unchanged won't really know what is going on. I suspect TV shows especially will begin to show a lot of these.
This is just some of my rambling thoughts on what the TV Cable signals might be sending to the screens of the Changed near-Future.
Reality TV in all its forms will probably be the first to really start showing the effects of the Changed, since they tend to have the fastest turnaround time and the most contact with non-actors. Court shows (like I wrote in my short story case) will have more and more cases of Changed vs Norms and even weird Changed vs Changed cases. "He won't share the nail clippers!" "She gifted me the money for the vacation to Alaska in January")
Gameshows also will start having more Changed contestants, especially popular ones like Price is Right.
And then you have the Survivor types. Show's like "Top Model" and "Bachelor(ette)" and "Blind Date" (especially given the Change's habit of giving the Changed Eye-turning bodies) will probably have the most Changed on a show early on (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
Home Makeover shows may start seeing even weirder designs as designers/homeowners remake rooms to give room for antlers or bigger buttons for hoof fingers and such. (We thought Frank's designs on Trading Spaces were weird BEFORE he Changed... :P )
Amazing Race may have a Changed Team soon; a few Changed in the Big Brother House (probably intentionally put in there by a Changed Studio staffer), and the next Survivor or two would probably have some contestants.
Once the Field comes down, I fully expect CBS to roll out a "Furries vs Normals" Survivor while they can.
Now onto more tasteful TV. (arguably :P )
Cartoons? (what few new ones that are made) will likely start having more and more of a furry bend to them. Hallowe'en specials may turn 'human' toons into furry ones as experiments to transition shows.
Soaps? Expect Change stories fairly soon I dare say. I don't watch them myself, but from what I've heard of some storylines they've done in the past, the Change isn't all that strange. These writers will probably be chaffing at the restrictions of the Field the most.
Sitcoms will probably start getting Changed in-jokes fairly quickly as more Changed writers and actors come on staff. Some of the jokes may verge on Veil-breaking too, but viewers would discount as visual FX.
Procedurals/Drama's, business as normal but more Change-related stories. Maulings and gorings investigated on CSI's (along with strange fingerprints/bootprints, hair samples, etc...), Without a Trace investigating people who disappear after Change Day, maybe even a TG mystery. Numb3rs maybe touching on the Change rate (imagine Chris brought in as an advisor for an ep ? :) ). House or ER dealing with a Changed patient and/or Changed doctors/nurses.
And finally (for now) Sci Fi/Fantasy shows will probably find themselves in a very difficult position. On the one hand, they'd be ideal to start exploring the Change itself. On the other hand, as long as the Field is in effect, they can't really explore them since they'd have to turn normals into Furry's (or dress furry's in fursuits). Plus, a show's setting may not exactly be ideal for adjusting to the Change. "SG-1/Atlantis" may be able to adjust (turn it into an Ori curse or something), but Terminator would have a harder time. Heroes could probably pull it off, but BSG? Unlikely. (Imagine them finding 'Earth' but it's a Furry Earth... Hmmm...)
Anyways, that's just some of my rambling thoughts on the TV of the near future, for what its worth.
- There's a simple way to make furries show up in Television. Simply use the polarized lenses as featured in Open Secrets on the video camera units. The image of the furries would pass through the polarized lenses onto the film. The film would record the true image in the same way that people would see the true image. Boom, RDF circumvented. --MatthiasRat 12:26, 28 January 2009 (EST)
Furries in Space?
OK Time for even more thoughts from me. :) Endeavor's launch last night triggered this thought.
I'm not going to elaborate, but is anyone watching the ISS crew for change symptoms? Or the shuttle crew if they're up? A Change up there could be Veil breaking just because of the amount of attention and lack of privacy those people have. (not to mention the extreme circumstances they'd be under).
The Change itself could very well spell the end of Manned space flight for the next few decades in the end.
Not sure if it would spell the end of manned space flight but yeah even just an examination of the air filter would find stuff that couldn't have gotten up there any other way.--Devin 19:16, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
- I'm sure it'd be the end of manned space flight for quite some time simply for economic reasons if nothing else. This is going to be rather disruptive and there'll probably be a bit of a budget pinch. Bryan 19:21, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
The Reality Distortion Field is Real
Sadly, not the one you have in mind: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/18/2117208 :) Bryan 19:21, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Just a question about the species: I've noticed you put aside birds for now, but what about bats?--22.214.171.124 23:52, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
- Bats will put a huge strain on the Veil. If/when they do show up, it might be coming down by then anyway. --Buck 00:36, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Farming in Paradise
Just shooting an idea in here for later. This is the technology widely deployed it the Paradise setting. But put the clock back ten years (1997 discovery, widespread global deployment by 2008). Biochar/agrichar. With any luck, the Green Revolution will be replaced with the Black Gold Revolution quickly. --Buck 03:27, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Jon, you're beginning to scare me a bit. :P
This was just on Slashdot this morning: New Source for Biofuels Discovered by Researchers At The University of Texas at Austin
Basically, some bacteria that can make cellulose which can be turned to fuel, and the cellulose can be harvested without harming the bacteria. --Jetfire 06:10, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
- I read about this yesterday. They hope to increase production efficiency 17-fold because otherwise, you'd have to cover the entire Midwest with this. Unfortunately it won't happen fast enough to prevent the shortages I know are coming.
- I read about this stuff every day. I mean, every day. --Buck 14:19, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
Another bit of news: "Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol." --Buck 11:12, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
The Chicago Ghost Killer
After having seen countless videos of Persona 3 on youtube, and having played the .hack//GU games, and having read about this setting repeatedly, this idea was born out of my skull. It doesn't really fit with the setting per-say, (people dealing with expected changes in their lives and the changing of culture as truth becomes harder and harder to keep hidden), but it's still interesting.
Imagine if once the number of furries hits the thousand mark or close to it (1997), a strange series of murders begin in Chiago and wander outwards. To normal police and investigators these people have -nothing- in common, just random innocent people. But the furries know that every single person killed was a furry! Now this is where things start to get weird.
When seen by furries, the killer is a lanky laid back twenty something raven haired young man whose expression almost always remains passive wearing semi-formal dark clothes with a revolver in one hand and spare bullets in the opposite pocket.
When the police just about anyone else whose effected by the perception filter see him, they see 'Average Joe' or 'Face You Can't Help But Forget' and never ever notice the weapon he's holding unless he hits them with it or shoots them or something just as drastic. It is also is picked up by metal detectors the same as any metal gun. In other words, his existence, is like the existence of furriness to normal humans, his existence effects them, but they can't notice him directly.
This guy always knows a furry when he sees one regardless of media or medium, or reads one, this include file records of people TGed by the virus. When he spots one or finds out about one, he calmly location that person, in order of him learning about them, and shoot that person in the head without fanfare then simply move on to the next one.
Physically his strength and speed are all perfectly average human, meaning a bear or tiger furry could easy tear him apart.
Strange thing is that if profiled, no records of him will turn up, anywhere!
Also, he might even begin to appear DIFFERENTLY to people who are under the effect of the perception filter. He can't appear as a furry, and can NEVER EVER appear as a precise person (he can't appear as someone's mother or brother). But he can ultimately change how people look at him, they see a five year old girl with a teddy bear opposed to a man with a revolver even if he STILL can't fit in a toy car for the life of him and that 'bear' might go off if someone else 'hugs' it, (which he'd avoid someone doing at all posts). He could also appear as a fire fighter or police officer if he gets clever enough. Though furries will -always- see through this disguise. Along with any human whose able to see furries without effort.
The Chicago Ghost Killer never attacks non-changed humans, and will never take a shot if there's a reasonable chance of shooting a non-changed person.
He travels by mundane methods, he always travels by the most practical and speedy method and always has the correct change or ticket (this is not an illusion). His taxi, train, or airplane never crash.
If detained for questioning, he might just walk straight out of the police station unless some of the cops are furries. If stripped of his weapon and ammo next time he shows up he'll have a new set perfectly identical to the last one down to the imperfections in the casing.
Now this is where things get ambiguous. I don't know if he's killed he just appears in Chicago the day after the change again each year, or weather two different people with abilities similar to his appear in his stead these armed with a crossbow and another one shot distance weapon.
Since deleting the entire universe is not an option, The Chicago Ghost Killer might be an emergency fail safe to try and cut off the infected flesh from the system.
His name comes from where he started killing (strangely the same place as the changes began) and the fact that to normal humans he IS like a ghost, there yet not there but decidedly felt.
I know this doesn't really fit with the setting at all, but I just had to share it with the only people who'd appreciate it.
- Alex Warlorn. 2008 06 15
- And his name is Agent Johnathan Walker Smith, is it? Seems like a Matrix Agent to me... (unsigned comment)
- Actually I don't think he'd -have- a name, or even know the true nature of the world, he'd just know what he -had- to do and how to do it and how he can do it.-- Alex Warlorn
Octuplets born in California
Things that make you go Hmmmm....
8 babies at once Planning to breast feed them all. Names not being released (yet).
Could we have a changed couple hiding out there from the glare of the media spotlight? :)
--Jetfire 15:25, 27 January 2009 (EST)