Friday, October 16, 2015

Greg Walks the Room, Exploring Games


c. 2014, Rick Whitney
Walk with protagonist Greg Cobb through an exhibit of immersive games fed by wearable sensors.  Greg wonders how the games are rooted in the AlignIt platform.  How can the games can be organized ontologically?  Read this brief excerpt Greg Walks the Room, Exploring Games.


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Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Games and Revenue

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
How can one advance the development of a research tool?  What if the development is paid not by a grant but by commercial applications like gaming?  What pressures may bear down on the creator to fund further development by less than ideal means?  In a newly posted excerpt from AlignIt, venture advisor Chris Mueller begins a frank discussion with AlignIt inventor Roger Barnes about the revenue potential for AlignIt.  Where are trade offs warranted?  Is there a clear line of integrity in developing the tool?  Read further in this excerpt on Games and Revenue.


Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Enter the GameIt Mastery Series

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
Gear up, the quest is about to begin!  Read this brief intro to an intense archetypal training game, featured in the novel AlignIt.
Entry to the GameIt Mastery Series is now posted on Medium.



Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Game Demo in AlignIt

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
When AlignIt inventor Roger Barnes wants to give a picture of AlignIt, he points people to GameIt.  That's because AlignIt is abstract.  It's a technology platform, a research tool.  But GameIt makes AlignIt accessible.  GameIt is a game company, a publisher of intense archetypal training games based on the sacred sciences articulated in AlignIt.  Show it in a game--this was my strategy as an author to bring home the abstract philosophy and computer science of ontologies in a way non-technical readers can grasp.  GameIt uses the power of AlignIt to create beautiful, mysterious, and alluring games that ordinary people can enter, navigate, and explore.  

Read this excerpt Game Demo in AlignIt to see how Greg gears up for a taste of the power of AlignIt.  


Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.


Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Campbell's Dictum -- Make the Marvelous Mundane, the Mundane Marvelous

John W. Campbell was one of the greatest science fiction editors of all time.  He's known for his editorial dictum that writers should make the mundane seem marvelous, and the marvelous mundane.  New technologies should come off as matter-of-fact.  In a rare example of consciously following a science fiction trope while writing AlignIt, a scene suddenly came to me, and I realized it exemplified Campbell's dictum.

Sara contemplates whether to upload to their hotel room a set of already developed family "room preferences."  Or should she turn on the "ubiquitous preference recording" feature of the hotel room--a feature that will record all of the family's in situ preferences for lighting, temperature, and other occupant choices.  While conferring with Greg about this, she suddenly notices the wallpaper.  What's special about the wallpaper?  Sara is an industrial designer and, like Greg, a spiritual adept, a member of an esoteric school.  She notices the wallpaper has extraordinary mathematical designs she's never seen in any pattern book before.  More than mundane background, no less than the very wallpaper itself embodies the mission and mandate of the mysterious Bayside Village--to recover and update sacred sciences.  I posted a brief excerpt about it on Medium:

Marvelous Wallpaper, Mundane Technology -- An Example of Campbell's Dictum in AlignIt.




Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.


Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dreaming the Future--New Recording of Talk at Many Rivers

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and book reading with author Rick Whitney on July 7, 2015 at Many Rivers Books and Tea in Sebastopol, CA.  The evening encompassed big questions about living our ideals, models of change, and what gets in the way.  Discussion was engaging.  The original announcement is below.

Dreaming the Future
How are the seeds of our future civilization cultivated?  What could the Buddhism, Sufism, or Tantric Yoga of the future look like?  How do we conceive new models of science, business and community?  Author Rick Whitney will read from his new novel, AlignIt: A Tale for a New Civilization and explore utopian experiments.  Set in the near future in Bayside Village, a marvelous and unlikely techno-utopia in the midst of dystopian Richmond, California, the novel follows protagonists Greg and Sara Cobb and their five year old daughter Tara on a week-long visit from Seattle to explore a move to this grand experiment. 

Through a tour, orientation, and job interviews, the reader is conducted through the imaginative utopian world of The Bayside Village, encountering weird and wonderful technologies and social experiments.  Get ready for idealists, gurus, scholars and skeptics.  Philosophers seek an integration of traditional and modern science while sages unite diverse teachings in the Village’s projects, experiments, and technologies.  Caught between fascination and concern, Greg and Sara face difficult choices.  Should they heed the practical requirements of a grounded, responsible life, including the long road to Greg’s faculty tenure back home?  Or should they heed a shared longing for a community of like-minded scholar-practitioners, and take bold new strides in their careers and family life?  Readings will focus on seed ideas and questions aimed at shaping the future of our civilization.

Rick Whitney was born on Earth in the late 1960's (Gregorian calendar) and has lived there all his life so far.  He has settled in the northern hemisphere, not far from the Golden Gate Bridge.   Rick works by day at a world class research university helping important things happen; by night he steals away to his laptop in the side room of his California bungalow with the dog to bang out his second novel.  Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt at www.alignit.blogspot.com.  

Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  Listen to Dreaming the Future, a talk and reading with Rick Whitney on AlignIt

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Neil Benson, Antagonist

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
Greg meets up with Neil Benson, revered information science Guru, also visiting Bayside Village as a possible consultant on AlignIt.  A bellwether of mainstream academic values, Neil is unimpressed by Bayside Village’s gurus, sages and utopian ideals and just wants to get on with AlignIt.  Greg’s own misgivings about Bayside Village get stirred by discussions with Neil, motivating second thoughts about the safer path to faculty tenure back home at University of Washington.

See also this post on Neil Benson and the acid of doubt


Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tension Mounts in AlignIt

c. 2014, Rick Whitney
            Tension in the AlignIt story mounts in several ways, driving toward the book's climax.  Throughout the story, Greg and Sara are discussing impressions and deliberating about a possible move to join the work of Bayside Village.  Greg can’t get hold of Human Resources (HR), and this gets on his nerves.  Sara has a great interview on Thursday until the end when a question opens an unresolved past.  Overreacting, Sara feels undone, feels her prospects ruined.  Roger is frenetically working to discover and respond to venture capitalist Chris Mueller’s commercial interests and diverging approach to AlignIt.  Roger confronts Chris and struggles with questions about whether he (Roger) has taken the right kind of advisor.  Greg finally musters the courage to seek out HR and get his paperwork wrapped up, but he meets with a surprisingly cold and rude reception, casting doubts on Roger and the leadership of the Bridge Institute.  Both Roger and Greg discover, independently, a connection between Chris Mueller and Bridge Institute HR.  This opens uncomfortable questions about how ideals can get subverted, how projects can get taken over, raising grand questions about stewardship and responsibility. 

            On a walk, Roger and Greg finally discuss forces at work behind the scenes, putting pieces together about Chris Mueller and Interim HR Director Amelia Blocke.  Roger understands Greg’s and Sara’s concerns about Bayside Village.  He wants Greg, but counsels Greg to consult his heart.  The fate of Chris Mueller and Amelia Blocke hangs in the balance, while Greg and Sara deliberate about joining Bayside Village.


Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Distractions from the Mission

All is well at Bayside Village.  All is well in our lives.  Until distractions come.  We can be moved by lofty visions.  We can ride aspirational currents.  We can make great efforts.  What keeps us on course when temptations lurk?  This excerpt queues up the drama of AlignIt.
c. 2014, Rick Whitney


Greg’s heart was moved beyond words for a moment. This exchange promised enjoyment of a camaraderie far beyond his expectation.

“We do integrate science and spiritual training, as I had hoped,” Bateson said. “And we do make our scholarly and technological developments broadly available through our Research Access Office.”

“Headed by Jackie Schrader,” Roger said.

“These and the Art Center are the focal points of our efforts at civilizational creativity,” Jenny said.

Sara’s eyes lit up on hearing Jenny mention the Art Center.

“Civilizational creativity,” Greg said.

“Yes,” Jenny nodded. “Creating new structures, new paradigms, new institutions, on a civilizational scale.”

“Yes, and it’s a daily challenge,” Bateson said, “to attract, retain and then support the right people to keep the vision on course. And you can’t imagine all the distractions that come our way to entice us into serving other aims.”

Roger nodded his head distinctly in agreement.

What distractions, Greg wondered.


(Rick Whitney, AlignIt, 2014, p. 26)



Follow Rick Whitney and AlignIt on Twitter.  And don't forget to subscribe to receive emails from this blog in the upper left corner.  

Listen to this radio interview with Rick Whitney on AlignIt.  

Read AlignIt excerpts on Medium.

Order AlignIt on Amazon.com in book or e-Book format.

AlignIt is now available on Amazon.com. The novel and cover art are copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney. All rights reserved. This blog post is copyright 2014 by Rick Whitney, CC BY-NC. See more here: http://alignit.blogspot.com/search/label/License.