The Singularitive Scenarios

Draft of
Back Cover Blurb
for the 7-Part Saga


A century-long epic that chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of a cadre of innovators, their new technologies, discoveries, and social movements.

    

     In 2031, Jase, a maverick Ph.D. student, toiling on unglamorous astronomy research in a UC Berkeley lab, launches a rogue experiment. The experiment leads to discoveries that astound humanity—but have uncertain consequences over the coming decades. 
     Those uncertainties incite a conspiracy theorist and his sheeple to foment controversies about the discoveries. The discoveries also have heretical ramifications that provoke a firebrand religious crusader and her minions to vilify the leader of Jase’s lab, Lita, a young professor striving to advance her career.

     The roller coaster lives of Lita, Jase, and their colleagues careen into even more chaos when their collaborations with a gutsy biotech entrepreneur and an alt-lifestyle activist reshape society—in beneficial but also divisive ways.  
     The Singularitive Scenarios dramatizes how, over the coming century, a chain of new technologies, scientific discoveries, and social movements revolutionize civilization. It also follows the intimate stories of a cadre of innovators as the arcs of their lives take unexpected turns, some serendipitous and others tragic. 
     The epic saga will make you ponder our destiny—and origins.

WARNING

This Section Contains
Spoilers

Placeholder cover art from
Kiarash Mansouri
via Unsplash.com

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Summary of
installment 1

Rogue Revelations

     In the near future, Jase Park-Muller, a maverick grad student doing unglamorous astronomy research at UC Berkeley, launches a rogue experiment. The experiment unexpectedly leads to a series of scientific discoveries that have profound impacts on humankind.
    However, the fascinating events that the discoveries portend won’t culminate for decades; the technologies used to make the discoveries are esoteric; and it will take years to determine how the events will impact Earth’s biosphere and civilization.
    Those attributes incite conspiracy theorist, Robert Bob along with his apocalyptic supporters to popularize a cataclysmic meme. Even worse, an infamous religious extremist, Lourdes Graham and her allied politicians discredit the blasphemous discoveries by vilifying Jase’s young lab team leader, Professor Lita Bloom. 
    The resulting misinformation, violent confrontations, and criminal investigations lead Lita’s lab team to lose trust in each other, their technology, and civil society. 
    As Lita struggles to maintain her lab team’s cohesion, her relationship with her fiancé, and her sanity, she begins to doubt herself and wonder: who or what to believe.

Some of the themes that this story explores are:

     (1) The inter-relational dynamics of a team endeavoring to discover the extraordinary using new, esoteric technology;
    (2) Technological advancements can undermine trust in the technology and the elite who understand and control technology. 

     (3) Communities that become concentrations of residents with homogeneous views can create societal strife.
    (4) Similarities between religious extremists and conspiracy theorists. 

Placeholder cover art from
Bozidar Vukadinovic
via Unsplash.com

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Summary of
installment 2

Biosphere Breakdowns

 

     In the months following installment 1, Rogue Revelations, scientists begin hypothesizing possible implications of the recent discoveries. Some of the speculations are exciting, but others are troubling or heretical, resulting in ongoing attacks on the credibility of the scientists, especially Lita—the professor who is the public face of the discoveries. 
     When Lita speaks-out against the infamous conspiracy theorists and provocateur, Robert Bob, the vilification against her becomes terrifying. But Lita won’t stand-down, and that leads to a life-threatening confrontation. 
     At the same time, a startup company pursuing a cure for a genetic disease makes a medical breakthrough. Pari Meegat—an intern at the startup, and her boyfriend, Ryno Alco—a researcher in Lita’s UC Berkeley lab, secretly experiment with the breakthrough as if it were a new recreational drug—with unexpected results. 
     When the founder and CEO of the startup, Burt Beutzer, realizes that his company's untested technology might help Lita’s situation, he risks his career, prison, and the company's survival to help her. But Burt and Lita’s supporters must grapple with the religious extremist leader, Lourdes Graham, and her government allies, who think the technology and Lita are abominations
.

Some of the themes that this story explores are:
    (1)
How societal polarization can undermine any real or perceived sense of safety and stability.

     (2) The relationship between Earth's physical cycles and life on the planet, and how seemingly benign changes in the former could have adverse impacts on the latter.
    (3) The tension between investing large but finite resources into scientific research versus human welfare.
    (4) The impact of the increasing pace of technological development on human interactions, decision making, health care, military activities, etc.

Placeholder cover art from
Kiarash Mansouri
via Unsplash.com

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Summary of
installment 3

Revolution Reboots

     A decade after the discoveries in installment 2, Biosphere Breakdowns, researchers determine that an area of Earth will incur a regional natural disaster. Even though a consortium of nations has the know-how to avert the disaster, the consortium’s leader, Charles Foster, doesn't have the political will to allocate the huge funding required to prevent the disaster. Foster claims there are too many other higher priorities. Still, many people believe the real reason is the area in peril is poverty-stricken.
     When large, violent rallies erupt to protest the inaction, it escalates already high levels of societal tribalism. The resulting unprecedented levels of distrust threaten to undermine the credibility of democratically elected leaders—including Foster.

     Meanwhile, a large company develops a technology that solves one of the challenges of crewed space travel. Pari Meegat, a famous executive at the company, wants to popularize a side-effect of that technology because it could mitigate tribalism. The side effect alienates Pari's husband, Ryno Alco, but she embraces it and becomes a protest leader. 
     Ryno is also buffeted by the head of his Berkeley lab, Marc Romney, who joins a movement to establish a new political system that addresses societal distrust. But that change can only come about in a crisis—and a crisis is underway
.

Some of the themes that this story explores are:
    (1) How viable democracies require critical mass of citizens who have competent critical thinking skills, and also trust the political system.

     (2) How a potential, but uncertain catastrophic event can undermine civil society.
    (3) How new technology can impact personal identity and culture.

Placeholder cover art from
Colin Lloyd
via Unsplash.com

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Installment of 4
Worlds Apart

[plot highlight: Humans establish two-way communication with the extraterrestrials.]

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Red Orange Light Art

Installment 5 of 7
[Title TBD]

[plot highlight: Humans rendezvous with the extraterrestrials.]

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Bouncing Light Balls

Installment 6 of 7
[Title TBD]

[plot highlight: The conditions that enable humans and the extraterrestrials to interact come to an (expected) end. During this transition, human civilization is hardly recognizable to early 21st century humans.]

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Molecules Bio

Installment 7 of 7
ALIEN PREPARATION Prequel

[plot highlight: This prequel story describes how the extraterrestrials planned for their rendezvous with humans, and in so doing, it explains several enigmas from the other stories in the 7-part series.]