Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brave New World, for real



The other day I saw something amazing. My husband is a fan of the Singularity Blog and he's always saying, come here look at this.

First he showed me this one - a robotic's company called Cyberdyne. Yes, you heard right, someone has a sense of humour. They're making exoskeletons. See here. The lower leg version has been available for a year now.

And this one was elegant and amazing, a robot bird. It is controlled by a computer which communicates with the bird and controls it in real time, responding to air currents.

I like to read New Scientist on the train to work. It gives me ideas for stories and keeps me on my toes.

How do you get mental stimulation to keep your brain ticking over?

15 comments:

C Kelsey said...

My brain seems to grab disparate pieces of information and combine them to get new stories. For instance I'm fairly certain that my current work is heavily influenced by the travel guides I've been reading as well as the Animal Planet tv show "River Monsters" plus a discussion about jungle living I started in Baen's Bar a month or so ago.

Do others actively combine things like that or do you mostly take one specific thing and then twist it into a story in your head?

danielocasey said...

How? Short answer - life's nuts, my stories only slightly more so. It's all about people after all...

c Kelsey > combine, definitely. Like the exo-suit, and the AI > and the human drones that are going to have to revolt, but the robots need the humans because the AI has unwittingly tapped into the humans as extra processors, ... oh this could be fun... no time however... I'll have to shelf this one as well.

MataPam said...

I read any thing that catches my eye at the moment. I read Science News regularly, and several science blogs.

I follow a marvelous site full of paranoid right wingers AND New Age mysticism AND pseudo-science groupies AND conspiracy theorists. It's wonderful, so long as you don't try too hard to correct their science.

Right now I'm reading "Extreme Architecture, Building for Challenging Environments" by Ruth Slavid. Lots of ideas that would transfer to other planets.

Anonymous said...

"Everywhere" seems such a cliche answer, but it's true for me. News stories, small happenings in my house, friends' comments, dreams (both day and night), music and the list goes on. Usually, it starts with a certain type of story I want to write, and then I research that type of thing. My mind takes the details it wants and fills them in with other stuff. It's a totally controlled and supervised process, don't you know.

Linda

Chris L said...

I like to combine older-style SF with newer ideas. I love the adventure story style - boys own stuff.

Having said that, I did plumb the depths of the Encyclopedia Magica (set of four faux leather D&D manuals from the early eighties) for an idea a few months back and got a pretty slick story out of it.

I do also get ideas from news articles, which often seem more like kids stories to me.

Stephen Simmons said...

Brain?

Maybe I should consider getting one of those ...

Mike said...

Stephen? If it's ticking, I'd avoid it. You want one of those nice steam-powered ones, not the old mechanical ones. Although I've heard good things about the ones built around aether power... as long as you keep it properly aligned with the orbital plane. But do be careful with the tickers...

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

C Kelsey,

I read that one of the signs of a creative mind is the ability to put disparate facts together and come up with something new!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Danielsocasey,

It's funny, the creative people I know are brimming with ideas.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Matapam,

The things that are out there on the internet are really scary. I stumbled across a site where the men seemed to hate women and the things they were saying ...

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Linda,

It's like that for me too. I'm always seeing or hearing things that help me refine what I'm writing.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris L,

I love a good adventure story!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Stephen,

Behave!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

LoL, Mike.

MataPam said...

Rowena,

The various hate sites are proof we often judge people by category, not individually. It's a tendency we all need to be aware of, both so we don't do, and so we show it accurately in our writing.