Monday, 10 March 2014

2014 National Wormhole Week

It's that time of the year I get super-excited about - it's wormhole time. Thanks to Stephen Tremp, I get to release my inner geek. Before I start, I have a special anniversary to share with you today.

This time a year ago my first book, Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre, was launched. What a year it's been. The response to Passing Time was overwhelmingly positive. I've been touched by just how many people, some I knew and some I did not, loved my tales and emailed me to say so or left reviews to let me know how much they enjoyed it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has read, reviewed, and supported me during my first adventure into indie publishing.

Now back to my inner geek. 



To celebrate the release of Escalation, Stephen Tremp is co-hosting the Second Annual National Wormhole Blogfest with Alex J Cavanaugh and L. Diane Wolf. This year's theme is to write about one thing where science advances mankind, and one thing where the science will go to far and set mankind back.

I'm choosing one advance for both, the Internet. 

The Internet is one of the greatest technological advances of the 20th Century. An information highway that connects people and institutions from all over the world. With the tapping of a few keys you can be looking up anything from making your favourite cocktail to that strange ailment you been afflicted with, or converse with people of all ages, walks of life, and from all parts of the world. Never have we as a society been so connected. 

But there is a price to pay. Stalking, trolling, bullying, con-artists, pedophilia, to name just a few. They are not the only dangers. As we live our lives increasingly online or attached to our social media apps, we are in danger of loosing the real-life connections with the people who surround us. Ever been annoyed when someone repeatedly looked at their mobile phone while you were supposed to be watching a film together? Ever found out something serious about a member of your family via Facebook? 

While I love the Internet and all the benefits it brings, I think we need to guard against it taking over our lives so completely we run the risk of losing what keeps our society cohesive and functioning.

What are your feelings about the Internet? Do you think that the advances out way the risks, or vice versa?

That's it for today. Congratulations to Stephen on his release. He'll be guesting here this Friday as part of his Escalation Blog Tour, when he'll be discussing Women of Science and Science Fiction. Don't forget to call back.

25 comments:

  1. Huge congrats to Stephen too! And yay for the internet (and to the guy who invented the WWW too - 25 years ago today - Sir Tim Berners-Lee.). It's a shame it's fraught with such nastiness but the I really believe the good outweighs those who wish to spoil it!

    Take care
    x

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    1. The WWW 25 years old today? I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing, Old Kitty.

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  2. Very excellent points! Several people have selected the Internet today. Bullying is a scary thing online.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

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  3. That was my pick, too. I didn't even think about all the dangers.

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    1. Sadly, I'm sure I've only just touched the surface.

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  4. A lot of the Internet keeps some distracted like my daughter.

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    1. I guess the Internet has replaced the TV in that respect. I'm sure you are vigilant about what your daughter sees online, but I do worry about the children whose parents are not so concerned.

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  5. I can't imagine life without the internet but just like before we had it, people make bad choices. But now the news is spread across the world much quicker and to more people.

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    1. I agree. Bad choices will always be made, no matter the medium. And now news can be spread so quickly, it's not so easy for people in the public eye to hide their mistakes.

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  6. Congrats to you for your one year anniversary on your release of your short stories. It's amazing what can happen in a year's time.

    The internet is a great choice. It has pros and cons. I just hope and pray the pros will continue to outweigh the cons as we progress forward.

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    1. Thank you, Angela. I can't believe a year has passed already.

      I also hope the benefits the Internet brings will always outweigh the negatives.

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  7. I think the Internet is great if used properly. Thankfully bloggers seem to be good people.
    I dread to think what might be out there, and I hope I never find out. I suppose some of it is like life itself with some good and some bad people around.

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    1. I think you're right - on the whole the blogging community seems to be a safe and supportive community. I've not come across a bad blogger yet. Here's hoping I never will.

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  8. LOL. Sorry if my comment is lame, but this is the third site in a row that focuses on the internet. AND rightly so. I totally agree that it has the power to connect yet divide. As always, it's up to mankind to take charge and do what's right and just to keep us close yet let us flourish.

    Sheri at Writer's Alley

    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
    Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

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    1. Your comment is not lame at all. The Internet has been a popular choice today because it is something that concerns us all.

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  9. It pays to be aware and never assume. An identity may be a valuable commodity in the future.

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    1. Exactly. The sad fact is the person you think you are talking to may not really exist.

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  10. I don’t know nuffin’ about wormholes, but I do know a bit about ITC. As an ex IT professional I am well aware of the dangers of modern IT and I find it useful but I tread lightly. Knowing what tools are available to those who are not too bothered about things like ownership, I am keenly aware of some of the dangers. Human nature being what it is, opening up a data path into your house is inviting in the unscrupulous. No matter what anyone tells you in order to sell you their apps or services, you are no more proofed against those dangers than a gazelle is able to fight off a lion. Gazelle-kind survives because they live in a herd and only the weak or the ones near the edge of the herd get picked off. On the Internet, you are in a cyber-herd which is millions strong, so by sheer numbers you are better off than a gazelle. Using good Internet security software makes you a strong member of the herd, but nonetheless you are unable to fight off the Internet predators if they target you. Most users have only avoided problems because the herd they run with is very large, not because they are safe and mostly you stay away from the edge of the herd, but there is no real protection. There are millions of you and only a relatively few predators and you may never get too close to the lions. Unfortunately, unlike lions, Internet predators get smarter and stronger all the time.

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    1. A rather apt analogy, Snafu. I don't kid myself that if the gazelle wanted to target me, it could. All I can do is to everything within my small amount of power to stay safe.

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  11. I'd follow if you have a Google Connect button Ellie, but I can't see one. And thanks for mentioning my post for Stephen's blogfest. I'm still getting around the list.

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  12. Congrats on the anniversary of Passing Time!

    The Internet definitely has its pros and cons, but I wouldn't want to go back to a time before it.

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  13. I was actually thinking about this subject while driving today and it occurred to me that there always seems to be a price to pay for progress.

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  14. Technological progress is like an axe in the wrong hands, so 'love thy neighbour' as the bible states but be wary of lurkers.

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  15. Hope I'm better late than never here...
    The Internet is one of those things that really does shape reality. The world we live in today seems a fairly tale compared to 25 years ago. Information at your finger tip and nothing getting in the way of it spreading. We take the good with the bad and hope for the future.

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