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Winona Cheung was dripping wet as she made the difficult climb up the cliff face. She had just plummeted twelve meters into a crystal clear mountain lake and it had been exhilarating. She heard a loud whoop and in her peripheral vision saw the flash of a naked body fly past. Judging by the merest glimpse of long blond hair it was Jens. She looked down to see the splash of water as he disappeared under and holding on using just one hand she waited to see him resurface. One minute, two, three, four. She looked up to see [...]
“I don’t need to tell you that this client is very valuable to our business. If you fail to impress him, I’m afraid you’ll be sent back to Montreal. It requires discretion, the personal touch.” Alain Camus nodded. He was standing in the CEO’s office high above London’s financial district. Affectionately called Babylon, the new hi-tech building used hanging gardens as part of its internal environmental systems. “I must admit I am not sure why I was chosen. I’m Canadian and not exactly connected in the way my predecessor was.” The client in question was Lord Percival Coventry, Duke [...]
An intriguing announcement from the folks at CERN (read here). At one level this is a coincidence. Why should the cosmos sound like European classical music, especially Beethoven? Pattern recognition run amok? But then it does point to a truth I reference in 'Paradise'. The main protagonist Akash Jayarama mentions the Indian philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, especially the idea of Spanda - that the essence of the cosmos is vibration and that the laws of physics are harmonic patterns.
The children of Eden grow up in a pre-fall Paradise, wild like many tribal children. There is a science behind this - developmental psychology. Many modern Western children grow up with tightly controlled, highly managed lifestyles. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the lack of 'wild' play increases the chance of the child developing neuroses and insecurities. The French photographer Alain Laboile is noted for the photographs of his children engaged in wild play on their rural property. They capture a sense of joyful freedom and do a good job of capturing how the children of [...]
This is an excellent overview - super intelligent humans are coming - of the issue of genetically enhanced intelligence. Sci-fi suffers from a deep prejudice about intelligence. The super intelligent are either mad scientists or emotionless Spocks. Whilst it is true that some with high intelligence in one area can be lacking in other areas (the socially awkward nerd) the reality is that people with a high intelligence are usually gifted in most areas.
This is a complex topic. I only touch on it in 'Paradise', simply because such complexity would distract from the narrative. It is also a subject easily confused by conspiracy theories. The book Dark Money by journalist Jane Mayer is an accurate and thorough examination of how the elites manipulate public policy. It examines the network set up by the infamous US based Koch brothers, but similar networks exist in other economies. There is no one great conspiracy, but rather a complex of competing conspiracies. Corporations already attack each other through aggressive takeovers, legislative traps (aided by compliant politicians controlled by [...]
Conservative Hindus, Muslims and Christians have always been embarrassed by nudity and they have attempted to rewrite history. This is especially true in modern India where the conservative Hindu is more prudish than a Victorian gentleman. Modern Indian historical dramas dress the actors in a modern, conservative reimagining of ancient costume - despite the abundant evidence to contrary. Here are some examples of pre-Islamic Hindu art.
What is the point of clothes? The anthropological evidence is clear. It is primarily for decoration. Various cultures adopt costume as a way to distinguish themselves. Modesty is a secondary issue. It is not universal. Yes, clothing may be used to protect the naked body from harsh environments, but that seems only to apply to cold climates. Prior to Western colonisation, the overwhelming majority of warm climate cultures dressed in very little, using a wide variety of ornamental techniques to express their identity.