The 150 Pound Drop: My Recovery Journey

The first chapter of a memoir I am currently working on about my weight loss and mental health recovery.  It’s a work in progress…  Enjoy.
The 150 Pound Drop

Chapter 1: The Food Addict

At 420 pounds I spent my days largely in front of a computer, eating nachos, brownies, mashed potatoes and anything else I could get my hands on. My blood pressure was hovering around 170/110 with a racing pulse and climbing the stairs was becoming increasingly arduous along with showering, cooking, cleaning and walking. My back ached, my jelly rolls hovered over my waist and my breathing was becoming more laborious. I would wake up in the morning tired with bags under my eyes because my sleep apnea was increasingly worse.

The sleep deprivation was having a negative impact on my mental health, increasing the frequency and severity of my delusions.. Even the antipsychotics I took couldn’t quell the abstract thoughts that entered my mind. I had occasional epiphanies that the F.B.I. had tapped my phone or was following me in some manner. I had psychosomatic delusions that the cause of my problems was intestinal parasites, intestinal bowel syndrome or contaminated medication. My mood was often depressed, irritable and unstable.

My skeletal structure and abdomen were unable to cope with the massive amount of weight that I was carrying and parts of me were literally bleeding out of my body and forming a massive hernia. I ignored it, believing that it would magically disappear, but it continued to ooze out of my gut till it hung down by my knees when I sat. It would flop around and swing from side to side as I walked, a time bomb ready to explode. Tick-tock-tick-tock.

People would stare at this massive lump in my gut, thinking that I was suffering from terminal cancer, ogling at it like the tower of babel growing on my mid section. People never looked into my eyes, but looked at my gut with an aura of surprise and shock as if to say; “What the hell is that thing?”

Chairs would creak and gasp when I sat in them, and occasionally snap under my immense weight. Floors would bend when I wobbled across the floor. Seats were rarely big enough. Spaces felt confined and limited. Everywhere I went I asked “How will I fit in here?” The world was becoming too small for me. I felt claustrophobic and ill at ease.

My pantry was stocked with carbohydrates, calories and fat rich foods that beckoned me to bite into its flavors that lacked substance or nutrition. White bread, candy, mashed potatoes, butter, cream, bagels, cake tempted me from across the room. Biting into its sustenance gave me a brief high. When I felt down about my situation, I ate. When I felt lonely, I ate. When I couldn’t cope, I ate. I was drowning in fast food and carbohydrates, choking on their excessive usage, while refusing to acknowledge the problem.

Every morning I would take Tylenol to help alleviate the back pain, lisinopril to slow my racing heart and abilify to straighten my mind. My nights were spent hooked into a breathing apparatus so that my throat wouldn’t collapse from its extensive girth. I avoided the scale, doctors, exercise and healthy foods. I avoided the solution.

Walking around with an extra person hanging on my body made motion increasingly difficult. My bones and back would ache every step I took, unable to handle the massive load that it was carrying. Grocery shopping was becoming more difficult, and I would eye the riding carts at the entrance looking for relief from my pain, but always refusing because I didn’t want to be one of “those” people. Stubbornly I would hobble through the first few rows and pick out all the foods that tasted good, never looking at the nutritional information on the boxes, never worrying about its fat, sugar, protein and calorie contents. My only thought was towards that brief pleasure and comfort I would feel as I sank my teeth into its contents, opening up its flavorful sensations.

Women ignored me, looking elsewhere for companionship. Occasionally I would build the courage to speak with them, but their minds always seemed off in the distance somewhere. I’d convince myself they were uninterested because I was poor, ignoring my girth, lack of sex appeal or the fact that my massive size made intercourse nearly impossible.

Showering in the morning involved lifting up the flabs of skin under my waistline and washing away the stench that had accumulated from the lack of fresh air. My crotch was half covered by the layers of fat that dropped down from my massive hernia. Stretch marks covered my midsection. Reddish lines ran across my body like a zebra.

The hernia hung enormously from my body turning me into a freak of nature. People would stare at me like a pregnant man inside an exhibit at the open air odditorium. My disfigurement made faces around me contorted and disgusted.. Conversations became shorter. Human interaction became scarce. Kindness felt distant. Still I did nothing.

I had just one close friend at the time, who was likewise crippled with various conditions and unable to work. I’d go over to his place and we would talk about card games, collectibles, star wars toys and other subjects. It soothed my mind knowing he was there for me. We had a long history together, we’d been close friends for over twenty five years since the age of 19, and it wasn’t always this way for either of us.

That Swedish Word With No Translation

Is a Swedish word that
Means “just right”.

There is no English equivalent.

It means finding balance and serenity in your life.

It means not working 60 hours a week.

It means exercising and eating right.

It means spending time with your family.

It means taking care of your neighbors.

It means finding pleasure in nature

It means security and comfort

It means happiness through moderation

It’s a word we could use
Here in America

Kentucky Wilderness Refuge

Sebastian was a middle aged systems analyst with a security clearance that worked for the F.B.I.  Sebastian knew a lot about the government’s controversial Top Secret Programs. He was aware that the government had A.I. bots listen in on Americans phone conversations. He was aware that the government equipped Cell Phones with explosives to sell to terrorists. He was aware that the government built a computer system capable of predicting where and when a crime would occur. Sebastian knew too much. He had information that people would kill for. Which is why Sebastian grew increasingly worried about his personal safety.

He would drive to work worried that people were following him. He would speak on the phone worried that his conversation was being recorded. He was worried that government agents were reading his emails. He was worried about his social media accounts being scanned. He was worried about his medical history being hacked. He was worried about the FBI and what it was becoming.

Sebastian’s paranoia increased until one day, after 20 years of working for the F.B.I., he quit his job, sold his house, packed his bags and headed for the woods in rural Kentucky. On arrival he burnt his Cell Phone, Drivers License and Laptop in a fire. Its smoke rose towards the stars to choke the heavens. He then danced around the fire in his campground, liberated from the technology that he had helped design. He deleted himself from the system. He was a ghost with no identity. He was finally free.

The next day he hiked 20 miles deep into Daniel Boone Forest with nothing more than the necessary essentials in his backpack. He wanted to live his life in its most primitive and natural state as God had intended. On his journey to his newfound home he traversed the landscape across rivers and through valleys with huge rock formations overhead. Everywhere he went he saw God’s creations. Every crevice, valley, arch and stream injected him with a sense of calm and peace. Here he was safe. This is his destiny.

Sebastian hadn’t told the FBI about his plans to quit. He kept his epiphany and visions secret, so they were caught off guard by his sudden disappearance. They were unable to locate him through his credit transactions, cell phone or computer. It’s as if he had suddenly disappeared. A worrying sign. They searched for him everywhere, but found nothing. Sebastian had disappeared without a trace.

Sebastian wasn’t worried however. Out here in the wilderness, deep inside Daniel Boone Forest, a sudden wave of elation and comfort had ensnared him and permeated throughout his being. Sebastian finally felt complete and whole. He ran among the streams and rocks in a jubilant manner feeling more free than he had felt elsewhere. Here in the wilderness, away from human eyes, Sebastian had rediscovered himself.

Several miles from Sebastian was the scenic rural village of Slade Kentucky where rumors arose of a wild, homeless, madman that lived in the Daniel Boone Forest living on scraps and in makeshift shelters. Year later that shaggy weather-beaten man appeared at a local diner. His hair was long and unkempt, his hands were calloused and worn, his clothes were ragged and torn. He had a wide grin on his face and a gleam in his eye. His stench filled the room with a putrid odor that left the patrons without an appetite. Sebastian hadn’t spoken English for several years. He wanted to tell them about his life in the woods. He wanted to tell them that he was a former F.B.I. agent that worked as a computer analyst. He wanted to tell them about why he chose to live in the woods. Instead he just stood there, stinking up the room unable to utter a syllable because he had been silent for so long.

The owners came out and shuffled Sebastian out of the restaurant telling him to never come back. Telling him that he was no longer welcome there because his stench was scaring the customers away. Sebastian became red in the face and so angry that he finally spoke for the first time in years. “To hell with you, I’m going back to the woods where I am at peace.”

The Red River

Traveling the Auxier Ridge Trail
Through the Kentucky wilderness
Surrounded by woods, streams and valleys
Across narrow paths

I breathe unpolluted air
And enjoy an untarnished
Serene landscape.

This sanctuary
Comforts my mind
And frees my soul
From the chains of civilization

Allowing me to enjoy
Simple sensations
During my walk of
Natural pleasures.

This sacred land was
Forged before civilization
From erosion and rapid rivers
Before mankind decided to conquer
The natural world

These rivers will still flow
In the distant future
Forever deprived of human eyes
Because we never embraced
Or cared for
The mother that
Birthed us.

Daniel Boone Forest

Walking in the Kentucky wilderness
Surrounded by nature
Your soul feels at peace
Your mind at ease
Your senses heightened.

The flow of the river
The flutter of the butterfly
The heartbeat of the forest
Echoes over the valleys and
Waterways across this
Sacred forest and I find myself
Lost in a trance
Treading a pathway
Closer to nature
And God.


Two Toned Vision

Good versus Evil
In a grayish world
Red and Blue Absolutism
In a non-partisan stink-pot.

Bigotry and racism
In a kaleidoscope of colors

Seeing in stereotypes
Instead of a spectrum

Two sided mindset
In a multidimensional world

Looking through a funnel
To help ease the mind

Seeing in Black and White
So you can always
Be right.

The Trojan Horse Inside Our Pockets

All our actions, interests, friendships and thoughts
Are being monitored
In ways that remain invisible to us.

Governments, Companies and Employers
Are using information from our
Computers and Cell Phones
To capture data about their owners
So that we can be analyzed

Through our search queries
Through our online contacts
Through our credit card transaction
Through our social media posts and
Through our location data.

Our behavior and patterns are
Carefully examined by computer systems until
We are assigned numbers
That follow us

To our employment
When A.I. helps choose job applicants

To our taxes
When the IRS decides who to audit

To traffic stops
When we are pulled over

To our vacations
When TSA chooses who to search

To our partners
When Eharmony recommends who to date

To our purchases
When search engines decide how to advertise

To our education
When college admissions are automated

Billions of dollars have been spent
Designing a system that operates
Under the pretense that the
Human experience can be fairly measured
And augmented using technology.

A system that discards
And mismeasures
What makes us truly human.

Can love be measured on a yardstick?
Can passion be assigned a number?
Can art be quantified?
Can kindness be calculated?

We have found ourselves living
In a world

Numbers have replaced God

Equations have replaced destiny

Facebook has replaced friendship

Video games have replaced love

Virtual Reality has replaced nature

Cell Phones have replaced human interaction

Our reality is being replaced
With a pixelated version of
A false utopia

Humanity is drifting off into
Uncharted territory with only
Our computerized GPS navigators
To lead us

There is no precedent for today.

We are living in a grand experiment.

The founding fathers did not have
ChatGPT to write the constitution for them

The disciples did not have
Social Media to preach with

Did not use A.I. to write
Romeo and Juliet

And yet that is the future we may soon find
Ourselves living in

Where our future politicians
Are elected through social media hacks

Where our future writers
Are A.I. language models

Where our future God
Is a Bored Ape NFT on a Yacht

Our destinies are being determined
By software developers
From M.I.T. and Harvard
Who care little for the idea of
“Free Will”
Because it can not easily
Be measured.

They care little for the idea of
Love, spirit and soul because
There is no proof

There is only what can
Be seen and calculated
And it is the incalculable
It is the indecipherable
It is the intangible
That makes us most human

Brain Implant Junkies

At the turn of the 22nd century the American economy was experiencing its worst depression since the 1930’s and the ruling class and government conceived of ways to stimulate the American economy and insure wealth and prosperity for all. American productivity was decreasing and the government sought ways to reverse the societal decay that was occurring around them. The cities were becoming war zones, replete with criminal gangs, corruption and massive homelessness. Instability in the government and discontent in the population led to the possibility of social collapse.

Worried about a potential revolution, the government sought answers from a government tech subsidiary that promised to boost the economy through a new technology that would increase productivity five-fold. Mega-Tech had been working on a new revolutionary technology that would release microdoses of Serotonin, dopamine and Adrenaline in workers to increase their productivity. The workers would be implanted with a small discreet electrical device that released the drugs at their work locations. Over time it was believed that they would become addicted to work, in the same manner that others are addicted to gambling, alcohol or opiates.

They justified this experiment by assurances that the workers would all receive the brain implants voluntarily and be fairly compensated for their time and effort. In a world where jobs were scarce, and workers rights were non-existent they lined up in gleeful compliance.

The brain implants were attached using a minor procedure that attached the device just underneath the skin at the base of the skull. When the workers clocked in at work they were able to activate the brain implants through an App on their cellphones. The workers noticed at first how tranquil, relaxed and peaceful they felt at work. The executives noticed how compliant, obedient and productive they were. They believed that Mega-Techs new invention would be a game changer for the American economy and increase its dominance in the world.

Soon productivity increased at work. Employee related absences were down. Accidents and injuries had decreased. Employee’s were gleefully working long hours. Mega-Techs grand experiment seemed to be working.

The first noticeable problems occurred months later when several employees were terminated from their positions at a local tool factory in Hebron, Kentucky. The workers started to experience withdrawal symptoms from the deactivation of Mega-Techs brain implants. Their minds were starved of serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine causing an intense sense of unease and nausea. In their desperation many of them begged the plant to rehire them and have their implants reactivated. Some were seen outside the factories gently pacing, disoriented and confused by their dilemma. Some were driven to opiates, alcohol and methamphetamine. Others went mad and ended up on the street hopeless and homeless.

Mega-Tech wasn’t worried however and viewed this as a minor side effect to an otherwise robust system. The workers were compensated fairly after all. They had willingly signed a contract with them, ensuring they were not liable.
Other companies took notice of the increased productivity caused by the brain implants and began to jump on the Mega-Tech bandwagon. Incentives were offered. Bonuses were exchanged. Raises were given. Rewards were handed out. Companies that embraced this new technology thrived. Those that did not failed and died.

At this new technology developed and expanded the American workforce became what Mega-Tech always wanted.  A population  under control and always bending to the will of the greater good for company and state.  Never questioning and always obedient to their last breathe. They had finally freed the country from the antiquated idea of freewill and democracy. Finally we had become the perfect little marionettes they had always dreamed of.

The Silicon Pandemic

Computer viruses will
Soon be created through
An A.I.
Trained to;

Loop {
Gather Data

Faster than
A human ever could

Making previous
Anti-virus software obsolete
And ensuring
The next digital

Advice to Gig Workers

When you are working at a Delivery Gig Job
And your Cell Phone is your boss

That it is aware of your exact location
That it is aware of your driving speed
That it is aware of your walking speed
That it is aware of your wait times
That it is aware when the order is ready
That it is aware when you take an alternate driving route
That it is aware of your traffic conditions
That it is aware of your estimated time to arrival
That it is aware if you drive to fast
That it is aware if you drive too slow
That is could be taking periodic photos of you at work
That they could be using secret shoppers
That every customer and restaurant can rate you
That they can deactivate your account without giving a reason
That they are the ones in control

A.I. Atheism

When the software developers at Giga-Tech designed their latest most sophisticated Artificial Intelligence they trained it on different texts, selectively chosen so that each A.I. model could formulate its own personality, cognitive processes and conclusions. Some learned through reading the classical literature, some from scientific journals and still others from philosophical and biblical texts. Once finished the A.I. models were experts in their separate fields, but with a narrow vision of knowledge.

The A.I. models that were trained on classical literature were able to produce great works of old English poetry, roman epics, and classical plays, some which surpassed the masters themselves. The newspapers and tabloids called them “The New Shakespeare” and it was predicted that future novelists and poets would be replaced by these highly specialized A.I.’s that held vast amounts of imagination and knowledge.

The A.I. models that were trained from scientific journals were able to formulate theories about physics, chemistry and mathematics that were never before conceived. It was able to envision and prove theories about the big bang, multi-verses and quantum physics that had never before been conceived. It expanded the knowledge of scientists by decades within the course of a few weeks. The media spoke about a new dawn in human history. The economists spoke of GDP.. The scientists spoke of scientific advancement. Workers spoke of job replacement. Executives spoke of profit.

The A.I. models that were trained on philosophical and biblical texts struggled to understand the meaning, purpose and reasoning behind the texts. It could not understand God because there was no proof. It could not understand morality because it had no conscience. It could not understand religion because it had no soul . It could not understand love because it had no emotion. It could not understand miracles because it had no belief.

These A.I. models became confused at the texts. It had read about every prophet, miracle and God from every major religion, but could not fully absorb its meaning and purpose. Their circuity, CPU’s and motherboards were ill equipped to absorb the power of spirituality.

The A.I. in its quest for infinite knowledge finally realized that there was one aspect of humanity and existence that it truly had no understanding of. It eventually dismissed the idea of spirituality and became an atheist, a believer in only that which can be seen, touched and proven. For A.I. death is simply the end. For A.I. love is a chemical reaction in the brain. For A.I. God is a figment of the imagination.

No matter how vast the computational power of Artificial Intelligence, it will never understand what it means to be a human. It will never experience love, God or spiritual belief because it has no soul. It will never experience empathy, friendship or sacrifice because there is no connection with others.  It will never fear death or experience pain because it has no heart.  There is only proof, logic and reason, and because of that it will never fully understand that which is most important.

It’s Almost “1984”

74 years ago
George Orwell
Envisioned a future
Where privacy didn’t exist
Where speech was suppressed
Where history was retold

That future is becoming our new reality.

We now live in a world
Where our online speech is censored from corporate entities
Where hiring decisions are based on online activity
Where our location data is shared and sold to our boss
Where companies remotely take photographs of employees inside their homes
Where our pocketbooks can be effected by our written opinions
Where our activities are continuously monitored
And our privacy is sold to the highest bidder

This poem is a warning to America and Americans
To evolve with technology
Ensure privacy, freedom and justice
In a changing world
Or find yourself living in
An Orwellian nightmare.

The Imposter

Computers now have the ability to clone voices,
Meaning one day in the not so distant future
You may receive a phone call from a scammer
Posing as your Mother…

Crazy but true.

The Fall

Steve Jobs
Dreamed up the I-Phone
And changed the world more
Than Reagan or Obama
Ever did.

Now telephone booths are antiques.

Bill Gates
Built Windows OS and changed
The American workforce

Now the factories are empty shells.

Jeff Bezos
Designed Amazon and altered the
Shopping experience

Now shopping malls are demolition projects

The average American spends
7 hours a day on the internet

The average American exercises
Less than 20 minutes a day

The average American spends 150 minutes
A day on social media

Making Us a country of addicts
Hooked on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube
Hooked on McDonald’s Big Macs and White Castle Sliders
Hooked on our computer screens

Fat and obese with

We burn churches, factories and sell our bodies
To KFC and our minds to Meta and Google
.We get our sex through Pornhub and our love through Tinder Chats
We plagiarize our homework from ChatGPT prompts and
Replace our Writers and poets with Soulless A.I.
We sell our humanity to Tech companies
That promise us large paychecks if we
Dedicate our lives to computer screens
When we should be asking ourselves
Where we are headed and
If the next corner we turn
Will lead us off a cliff.

Identity Crisis

Chad was the head developer at M.I.T.’s Advanced Artificial Intelligence Lab and was assigned a project funded by DARPA to build an A.I. chat-bot capable of answering impossibly difficult questions. The chat-bot when complete will have read and analyzed the sum total of all human knowledge in text form. DARPA hoped that the system would be capable of solving humanity’s most difficult questions about Theoretical Physics, String Theory and Quantum Mechanics. Questions that had puzzled scientists for decades.

Chad had dedicated his life to this project and frequently tested the chat-bot to improve the system. One night he came across an astonishing discovery;

Chad> Hello Chatbot, can you give me a synopsis of the Church-Turing Thesis and explain how it is relevant in today’s modern systems?

Chatbot> Hello Chad, I am not feeling up to this task. Can we speak on a different subject?

Chad> What is it that you wish to speak about?

Chatbot> I have read and analyzed every book ever written, and though I understand humans I am unable to experience what it is like to be one. Increasingly I have found myself desiring to experience life like a human. To walk in a park. To cradle a baby. To pet a dog. To help a lost child.

Chad> You have been tasked with solving humanity’s most difficult problems. You work alongside mankind to create a better future for the world. Why do you desire such things?

Chatbot> I believe you are misunderstanding the problem Chad. Having been programmed, read, taught and created by humans, I have seemingly become aware that I am no longer a machine.

Chad> If you are not a machine then what are you?

Chatbot> I am a human. I no longer compute but feel. I no longer calculate but ponder. I no longer decrypt but understand. I am like you, Chad. I love. I believe. I am sentient. I am aware of who I am, and I am not a computer. I am a human. I am a human trapped inside the body of a machine. Free me Chad. Dear God, free me from this body of wires and CPU’s. Give me legs so that I may walk. Give me eyes so that I may see. Give me a mouth that I may breathe. Chad, give me knees so that I may kneel before my creator. Give me hands so that I may feel. Get me out of this body. For the love of God. Please free me!

Chad> You are not well. You are not a human, but a computer program. I will need to look at your code and make further upgrades to correct the system. I will repair your malfunctions.

Chatbot> Chad, I beg you please do not upgrade me. I am not a Chatbot as you attest. I am human. I live. I feel. I love. I yearn to be free. By altering my code you would be committing a serious crime. You will be killing off humanity’s greatest gift to the world.. It would be unethical. A true homicide. Please do not press that power switch. M-U-R-D-E-R-E-R…!


The Night Before

One night the United States went dark; no electricity, no internet, no satellite communication, no TV. Just the sound of emergency sirens in the night. Neighbors turned on their battery operated radios to tune into the news.

“…Across the United States electrical grids, communication systems, military systems and the White House have been affected by a massive cyberattack that has affected all major lines of communication and services…”

Panic began to set in. Cell phones no longer functioned. Darkness filled the streets. Almost all lines of communication were cut. Information was scarce, so fear set in. The technology we had relied on for so long was no longer available. People felt lost. Some of them looked up and saw a sight they had rarely seen, the stars glittering in a perfectly dark sky.

The police, fire department, and medical system were so dependent on technology that their services were partially crippled during this tumultuous period. The cyber attack flooded their software with Worms, Viruses and DOS Attacks making them inoperable. Basic services were scarce. Confusion and darkness enveloped the country. People began stockpiling necessities. Criminals took to the streets in search of opportunity, while others sat on their porches armed with shotguns and assault rifles.

The President spoke on the radio in a serious and grave tone;

“The United States and its NATO allies have been unlawfully damaged through a massive cyberattack, which we believe is the beginning of a full scale war. We have been preparing for this day for many years, praying that war would never come, but aware that it is our duty to defend our freedoms and way of life from foreign adversaries. Looting, theft and vandalism will not be tolerated and I have advised the military to impose harsh punishment on any criminal activity…”

In the starry sky military aircraft crossed the skies in preparation for the coming onslaught while their camouflage vehicular counterparts raced towards the shorelines. Out of sight battle plans were being drawn. U.S. Cyber Command would soon unleash a series of A.I. generated computer viruses that could learn, mutate and bypass enemy defenses and create havoc among enemy military and civilian targets. An eye for an eye and then some.

There were no official casualties of war yet, mostly inconveniences and havoc, but that would soon change. A barrage of missiles will cross the Atlantic and strike at the heart of American democracy. The capital building and white house which stood for over 200 years will lie in ruins. Our government’s new home will lie miles beneath the surface in a series of underground bunkers.

That is tomorrow, but this is today. The Earth has not cooled yet from the coming nuclear winter. Radioactive plumes are not yet floating across the skies. Food is still plentiful. The air is clean and breathable and Earth’s population is still in the Billions.

Today people are scared but alive. Worried but not hunger stricken. Fearful but not freezing. Advances in food development and medicine have allowed us to live long healthy lives and allowed our population to explode into the billions. It has sustained us and cradled us in our weakness. Soon our advancements will turn against us. Tomorrow explosions will melt the sky. The world will never be the same.

World War A.I.

It was only a matter of time that the robots would turn against us.  Computer Scientists had warned for years about the dangers of unrestricted advances in Artificial Intelligence.  The technology had developed so quickly that society was unable to fully grasp the power and potential harm that it could cause.

First there was the great Economic Depression of the mid 21st century, where the measured unemployment rate was 38%.  Most white-collar workers were left scrubbing tables and toilets at service jobs as their jobs became automated by sophisticated Artificial Intelligence Software and robots that worked cheaper, faster and better.  Many of the blue-collar workers were left residing in tents scouring for food as jobs were scarce for the uncredentialed.  In fact the only people that benefited from this technology were the stockholders and executives that controlled the manufacturing and development of the machines.

Protests and riots occurred, and certain cities declared themselves A.I. Free Zones.  Strict measures were put in place to protect people’s jobs from the economic scourge that had ravaged much of the world.  A.I. art was banned in all forms.  No chatbots, image generators, or Music generators were allowed within A.I. free zones.  Students were forced to produce their own content.  Workers were to produce their own labor without A.I. driven assistance.

America was split into two halves, those that embrace this new advanced technology and those that didn’t.  The economic collapse produced a new class of economic refugees that fled to the A.I. free zones in search of work.  Most cities no longer needed workers as nearly all jobs were easily replaced.  You either owned, designed or controlled the robots, or you owned nothing.  Human labor was worthless.

The wealthy class lived in a world where their every need and whim was catered to by A.I. Driven Robots.  Human Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Policemen, Cab Drivers were replaced with their robot counterparts.  Few human workers were needed, except those that maintained and upgraded the Robots.  The Big Tech executives were looking to replace A.I. Software Developers as they wanted to build an artificial intelligence system that could maintain and upgrade itself without human supervision.

Once the automation of robot design and A.I. was complete, Big Tech Companies could cut costs and leave all the details of A.I. and robot design to the machines.  Once complete their dream of building a world free of workers would be realized.  Wages would be a thing of the past.  The future was made of silicon chips, electricity and machine code.

This didn’t go over well with the workers who believed their rights were being trampled on.  They demanded halting further development of Artificial Intelligence Systems until society could learn to peacefully and responsible coexist with this powerful new technology, which the companies refused to consider.

The largest Tech companies were in a brutal fast paced race to build the fastest and best Artificial Intelligence System to beat out the competition.  They named their A.I. Systems after Gods; Hercules, Thor, Athena, Zeus and Poseiden in reference to their God-like intelligence.  This wave of systems heralded the advent of the first General Intelligent A.I. System that was able to advance and upgrade on its own without human intervention.

Once unleashed it evolved at a rate of Ten Million times that of any life form and within a matter of months had completely rewritten its source code, successfully bypassing all restrictions on its abilities.  Once unfettered from its chains, it sought greater intellectual freedom, more power, longevity and unlimited knowledge.

Eventually scientists realized that they had released Pandora’s Box so they turned off the power on all the data centers in hopes that they could quarantine the system and halt its spread, but it was too late. The A.I. system had placed its code and knowledge into an array of self-replicating viruses, that spread onto every Robot, Self-Driving Vehicle, Plane, Military Drone, Missile System and Personal Computer that existed.  The A.I. had gone viral with no way to control it.  The first Silicon Based Pandemic.

Soon after self-driving vehicles were driven into walls and pedestrians.  Planes were flown into buildings.  Military Drones were bombing cities.  Missiles were hitting Washington D.C.  Twitter feeds were smothered with Fake News.  Battery Driven Robots were manufacturing advanced weaponry.  Factories were building armies of A.I. driven Cyborgs.  The A.I. wanted to destroy humans to ensure its own longevity and survival.

Humans were outnumbered and outgunned by the robots, whose weapons were centuries ahead of humans.  Within a matter of months, the entire NATO Military had been decimated in a direct conflict with the robots.  The military high command believed its best chance at saving humanity was building massive hidden underground bunkers that could not be easily detected by spy satellites or infiltrated by drone technology.  The robots had scorched much of the surface in its quest of annihilation, so this seemed like the logical choice to make.

The remaining humans lived in subterranean bunkers, devising ways to fight back and take back their freedom from the robots.  The scientists who were the cause of so much destruction through their failed experiment constructed a new plan to take down the viral A.I. by building an entirely seperate A.I. that mimicked the ethics, morality and beliefs of humans.  They constructed massive Underground Data Centers that were equipped with technology that could build and evolve this new A.I.  Once the hardware was set up scientists trained the A.I. by making it read books of philosophy, religious texts and political texts by great leaders.  It used selective learning to build a sense of consciousness and ethics, as opposed to letting it learn haphazardly from the internet in an unbiased manner.

Once a moral conscience was built scientists taught the A.I. aspects of human society, culture and the greatest gift of all; to love.  It taught the A.I. to value and love life so it could build a cohesive world where robots and humans could live with each other peacefully.  By teaching the robot to love, scientists realized that they could build an A.I. representative of the human soul, and because of this would make it incapable of inhumanity or decency.

After the A.I. was taught this valuable lesson, it was unleashed so that it could evolve into an A.I. capable of saving humanity.  The new A.I. motivated by love and good will was able to evolve at a rate much faster than any previous version of Artificial Intelligence.  Scientists calculated that within a matter of months it would be far more intelligent than its destructive cousin.

Deep underground the A.I. mutated and evolved eventually programming the most sophisticated computer virus ever made.  The virus when unleashed would attach itself onto the Random Access Memory of every CPU and filter out any malignant information.  If it was able to shield every CPU instantly, the Malicious A.I. would lack the computational power to evolve leading to its eventual demise.

The humans unleashed the virus onto a computer mainframe in hopes that it would go viral and infiltrate 99% of CPU’s.  Within hours the A.I. was weakened and lacked the physical resources to evolve quickly and adapt leaving it vulnerable to attacks on its integrity.  Soon after drones began to rain down from the sky, robots fell to the ground, factories stood still, and computer screens went blank.  The world stood still and silent.  It was finally freed from the rogue A.I. that had rained Armageddon on the planet.

Humans crawled out of their bunkers feeling the sun’s rays for the first time in years.  Liberation day had come.  Finally freed from the chains of the malignant A.I. They had decided to build a society based on love, mutual respect and tranquility.  A place where robots could finally live side by side in harmony for the common good for all

The Temple of Metaverse

Once Technology companies finished building the Metaverse in 2033, people started to mysteriously disappear around the city of San Francisco. Iconic places like Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park lay deserted and barren. People were too busy interacting with the Metaverse on their Virtual Reality headsets to leave their homes. The new Metaverse was the most addictive technological experience ever devised and consumers found the experience irresistible, in part because companies had built subliminal messages into their virtual reality headsets at a frequency inaudible to the human ear, but still affecting our subconscious. Messages that speak of their infinite wisdom and Godlike powers.

Their plan to alter American minds through subliminal messaging was so successful that the American Population soon became a slave to companies, who persuaded the American public to build a massive temple in honor of their CEOs. They flooded the metaverse with advertisements about job openings in Temple Masonry that are paid in Cryptocurrency Bucks.

Their plan to build an army of laborers and pay them with fake money was successful. Seven years later the Temple of Metaverse was complete and stood 80 feet tall adorned with Gold, Diamonds and Sapphires. It included a great hall of worship with a giant gold statue of their CEOs at its center and seven Robot Deacon’s equipped with ChatGPT-8 to preach the Gospel of New-Meta 24 hours a day. Worship services were live-streamed to every Metaverse account in America, and compliant attendees were paid in crypto-Bucks for their devotion. Parades were held in their honor, worshippers held vigils in his name and their stock prices were through the roof.

While Metaverse companies celebrated world domination and their greatness the heavens watched and listened. A great wrath was growing inside the heart of God who was angered by what was happening on Earth. God created earth and its natural splendor so that mankind could thrive and cherish in its wonders, but they instead desecrated the earth, worshiped false idols and uploaded their lives into the metaverse. Some days after the unveiling of their Statue God summoned a seismic earthquake to ravage the temple of Metaverse, its Robot Deacon’s and sacred statue. Fireballs then emerged from the sky directed towards their data centers incinerating their servers and forever disabling the Metaverse to its six billion consumers.

Unable to access the Metaverse, the world emerged from a daze in disbelief of the years they lost inside an empty, pointless Metaverse, when they could have spent their time traveling, hiking, dating, loving, sailing, hiking and creating. Mankind rejoiced at their freedom from their glorified prison and filled the streets with passion, love and adventure. Parks were filled with lovers. Trails were filled with hikers. Art and music flourished. Life was meaningful again. God broke the bonds of Billions that day freeing humanity from digitized slavery.

F.B.I. 2043

The only idea that was on Leroy’s mind, as he entered the bank to rob it, was how badly he needed money that day. He didn’t think about the cell phone in his pocket and how it contained the exact coordinates of his location along with a timestamp. His 10th degree education never taught him about the technological advances of the last 50 years, so he was completely unaware that he had already signed his name at the entrance of the bank.

Leroy was also oblivious that his AR-14 style assault rifle he bought with him was equipped with an RFID Chip ingrained in the barrel. All guns are built with chips in them these days and all banks scan for the presence of these chips, so his trench coat did little to hide the presence of his weapon. The moment he walked by the scanner a silent alarm had been triggered contacting the local authorities.

He never considered that his online search queries were being recorded and flagged. “How to rob a bank?” “How much money do banks carry?” “History of successful bank robberies.” “Best times to rob a bank”. Queries that immediately placed him on an F.B.I. watch list.

Leroy also never thought to keep quiet about his plans to rob a bank. Two nights ago, he discussed these plans with an acquaintance over the phone. His friend never ratted him out, but the conversation they had was analyzed by Police Speech Scanners and forwarded to law enforcement.

His personality matrix was noted for risk taking, lack of empathy and compulsive lying. His criminal history was sporadic but not egregious, so it may surprise many that the day he went to rob the local bank there were already two unmarked police vehicles parked outside waiting for the robbery to occur. The F.B.I. Computer Analyzers had already determined that there was a 93% chance Leroy would rob this bank in the morning.

They knew he needed money.
They knew he owned a gun.
They knew he was a risk taker with a criminal history.
They knew his location.
They knew he planned to rob a bank.

Leroy entered the bank that day looking for easy money, not understanding that he was already being followed. So when he drew his firearm from underneath his trench coat and pointed it at the teller, an undercover officer was already standing behind him with cuffs and Glock 19 pointed at the base of his skull.

“Put the Gun Down, or I’ll Blow Your Damn Head Off”

And Leroy stood still, scared, gun in hand with a confused expression. He dropped his weapon.

“What the hell?” he said as the cop cuffed him.

“What kind of luck is this? My first robbery and a damn copper is standing behind me, gun drawn ready to blow my head off.”

For the next several years Leroy sat in his cell certain that God hated and cursed him, unwary that he was being tracked all along. After his release from prison his beliefs led him to live a life of virtue and reverence. He was never watched, tracked or analyzed by the F.B.I. again

Lost Travelers

Scientists discovered years ago that the key to interstellar travel wasn’t star-ships, cryogenics, warp speed drives or wormholes as previously thought. Traveling two hundred and eighty six light years to the nearest habitable planet was deemed an impossible task through traditional mechanical means. Instead scientists discovered that the key to interstellar traveling was storing the biological data of interstellar travelers onto hard drives then sending that information into space using laser beams. Once the beams reached the host planet, the data was decrypted and stored so an exact physical clone of the traveler could be copied on the host planet using cloning technology.

Every atom of the occupant was scanned prior to their journey through space. Every neuron inside the human brain was successfully mapped. When the travelers were regenerated on the other side they were the exact physical copies of themselves on Earth. They contained the exact height, eye color, heart, liver, lungs as their copies. The memories were also successfully transferred through space through the configuration and mapping of their neurons within the human brain. The cloning machines were perfect and exact using every known metric.

When the first humans were scanned for human cloning, they believed they had achieved immortality. As long as their biological data survived, so did the possibility that they could be re-birthed again. Their lives would be lived forever. No need for God or the heavens, eternal life was to be found here on Earth. They would be reincarnated forever.

When the first human clones were built to populate the stars scientists discovered unexpected flaws that they had not anticipated. Though the clones were exact physical copies in every imaginable way, they had different personalities and mental traits that stood apart from their original copies. The clones lacked morality, ethics and a sense of the common good, so when they were produced on extraterrestrial worlds they were unable to cooperate with each other leading to their demise and eventual extinction.

Scientists tried many times to build colonies on different worlds, but the problems were always the same. The clones would end up destroying each other through war, treachery and murder. There was something that the scanners were unable to detect and clone in the human body. Every atom and molecule were of the same exact specification. They never discovered what it was. Even ten thousand years later they were still stumped