12/4/20

dog with brim hat
4 min readDec 4, 2020

Hello reader. It’s nearly 6:00 AM and I am not asleep yet!

A few days ago I promised to quit caffeine but I grabbed a red bull and broke my probably 20 hour streak. I spent my day on my computer again and received some news that we maybe won’t be getting paid for some of the hacking we’d done earlier this week.

I’m alright with this since the program had declared the assets we poked at out of scope, but it’s still a bit of a bummer.

After waking up I went downstairs and played scribble with some people. It was pretty fun and I enjoyed it. Afterwards I played video games and kind of forgot what else I ended up doing.

I’ve got to finish a few paragraph overview thing for my buddy Ben where we promised to hack on Epic Games but ended up not finding too much. I feel bad about the project somewhat because they gave us money up front, but to be honest the scope was hard and I didn’t want to put too much effort into it.

Around 4:00 AM I went for a walk and thought about the novel I want to write. Here are some interesting things I came up with:

Overview

The novel will follow our character in a future United States where we’ve gone to war with the rest of the world and been technologically set back by war. It’s implied that this fight is still ongoing but we’re not making much progress whatsoever. The world is nearly 8 years past the initial confrontation and the United States has adjusted to living in a tapered down version of it’s past golden era of technology.

War hasn’t ravaged the country in the way it normally does — we’re mostly setback in education, jobs, and everything which came from the collapse of the technology empire of the 21st century. All of the powerful people moved to the Midwest as supply chains which delivered food to the cities has gradually fallen apart to where it’s unreliable. The nuclear bunkers that are scattered across highways around Midwest have been converted into large networked supercomputers where hackers and intelligence analysts attempt to unproductively fight the war.

Our protagonist is a 22 year old man who lives in a rainy city near Miami. His parents were displaced from their jobs as programmers and now work in manual labor producing windmills and solar panels. Before the war, he was a computer prodigy who built automated programs for the government.

Now that the United States doesn’t have many opportunities for software developers, he instead spends his time working alongside a small group of hackers who steal and sell pirated media from different corporations and entities within the city.

This is all I can really think of right now, but some interesting ideas I really want to go over more:

  • The different experiences for the workers and the people living in the Midwest. Cities will have an entirely different purpose and mainly serve to consolidate humans during the network outage which causes supply chains and vast amounts of information to be less manageable.
  • Why the United States went to war, how they lost, and what the cost was. The idea they tried to nuke the rest of the world, succeeded partially, then were bombed and had our communications fully compromised. They lived in darkness for a few years and mass casualties and lack of specialization lead to a world without the ability to rebuild. Airspace surrounding the US was heavily monitored and we were left to starve out ourselves.

Some things I need to figure out:

  • What our characters story is. Are they on a world changing quest or are they fighting for something more personal? Do they simply exist in this world and there is no endgame for everyone?
  • Everything about this new world — what happened, why, what was the result of that. Lots of interesting opportunities for tidbits of fun thought experiments and scenarios.
  • Who is the antagonist? What situation does our character find himself in where he’s challenged and will grow?

I’ve still got a lot of stuff to figure out. Nothing here is really set in stone. I just like the basic idea of it so far.

I’ll probably think on all of this a bunch and actually look into how to write a novel. It’s starting to seem a whole lot more approachable and I like the idea of fleshing out an interesting story.

Nearing 6:30 AM, I should probably go. I’d replaced my insulin pump infusion set about an hour ago and it’s causing a bit of pain. Probably fucked something up and it’s not going to work unless I change it… hmm… do I fix it or go to sleep?

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