each piece she's torn from the whole
she gathers up to organize in a way that makes sense...
A discussion point where ideas, articles, and stories that contain much of what you want and need to become aware of the existing corrupt reality we are experiencing and of ways to solve them...
Sometimes your, heart that's your real home, it's that place where your closest friends and where you made them most and no matter where you are their memories find a way of showing up to up to say hello...
Maribel couldn't stop looking at the massive red stain, she didn't feel like crying except to stare and tell what she saw. As if she wasn't, for now, Grace's granddaughter, just a witness... later she would cry.
It was a crimson red spotlight. The only real light in the apartment was a dim yellow lamp on the desk away from the open window. However, there, at the window, the blood, still glistening as fresh paint on a broad canvas, was filling the room with a ghastly red glow; the wheelchair, the floor, the walls around the window, covered in blood; a blood red spotlight.
After racing back across town to the apartment and fumbling with the keys, Maribel finally opened the door to find the crimson stain spotlighting the empty wheelchair by the window. "She was gone, my grandmother was gone. The window was open, the wheelchair and the floor around it covered in blood. I call her every night after I get home from visiting her every evening after work like I did tonight but she wasn't answering. I was worried so I came right back over."
"I called the police."
Detectives Gentile and Espinoza stood over Maribel seated on the sofa across from the window. CSI was still working the room and uniformed officers were canvasing the building.
Gentile looked back toward the window... Sounding like sheet metal hanging from a cord banging up against the concrete wall, damn dog incessant barking.
"And the aide?"
"How did you know she had an aide?"
"Your grandmother's an invalid, I would assume she has some sort of aide."
"Machaela, is here during the day, everyday."
"I'll need her contact info."
"Go ahead, you were saying?"
"Well, Machaela is a good woman you know."
"I'm sure she is but go on."
"Well as usual, last night Machaela left as soon as I got here. I stayed to make sure Grandma ate something cause she wouldn't if we didn't make her. All she'd have is a cookie from the tin which she does anyway late at night after I put her in bed. I can tell when she gets out of bed anyway, finding crumbs on the floor leaving a trail to the window where she likes to put herself in the wheelchair, she can't sleep, she gets bored just laying in bed alone so she gets up, Machaela has found her in the wheelchair, asleep by the window covered in crumbs. I can't imagine who would want to hurt her, she has nothing of value except what's of value to herself. She really is so sweet, I can't imagine..."
"Does your grandmother have anybody in the building or the neighborhood she doesn't get along with?"
"I doubt it. She spends her days sitting in that wheelchair, it's how she gets around the apartment, rarely using the walker. She stays in the apartment, sitting by the window looking out on the street, peeping into neighbors apartments in the building across the alley."
"Maybe somebody didn't like her looking out the window, they didn't like what she might have seen."
"It's a good neighborhood, nothing really bad ever happens here. What could she have seen."
"We'll canvass the neighborhood," Gentile turned to Espinoza, "maybe she saw something in one of those apartments she shouldn't have." Standing and pointing towards the window Gentile says, "Like what's that little building on the roof there with the skylight, is that a penthouse apartment? If you could call it that?"
Gentile noticed the penthouse the moment he walked into the apartment. A ramshackle outcropping, a bad idea that became the building's architectural cancer, simply ugly because someone decided they wanted to have a penthouse apartment.
"She did tell me about something strange she saw in that apartment. I never thought anything of it, I thought she was making it all up. I was traveling so I never saw but I called every night and Machaela didn't seem to bother to look but my grandmother saw a man, a very large green man. The first she saw him lying on a table, connected to machines and tubes and wires like he was in the hospital, but the green man never seemed to move she said, didn't seem to be alive, I told her that it is was probably a mannequin. But she insisted it was man. She said there was a doctor there too. He opened and closed the shade and did other things on the machines, she told me that during the day they would pull back the giant shade covering the skylight, that’s when she saw him, in the sunlight in the middle of the day."
"Well I'm sure someone else must have seen it too. We'll have to..."
"There are no apartment windows on this side of the building."
"Excuse me, who are you?" A small well built mature man walked into the apartment.
"I'm the building manager, Benny."
"There's not one other window on this side?"
"No, all the apartments have windows front and back, nothing on either side wall except for Grace's."
"You know who manages that building across the way?"
"I manage it."
"Perfect, well then I guess you're gonna escort us over there aren't you?
'That damn dog was getting louder. Too damn early dog just barking away like that!'
Grabbing a flashlight, Gentile walked to the window.
"Anybody put a flashlight down into the alley yet?"
"My grandmother said the green man opened his eyes."
Turning back to Maribel, "Wait, so he was alive?"
"I don't know I told you. I always thought it was a mannequin or that she was seeing things, I told you I never saw the green man, when I got here from work to check on her yesterday the skylight shade was closed. But she said the green man opened his eyes and looked up at her and she kept saying that for days after that the green man would stand looking up through the skylight, looking at and the doctor finally noticed and frantically pulled the skylight shade."
Gentile looked out through the window at the covered skylight then down to the alley. 'Like the dog was gnawing at something, it was growling furiously and barking like a machine gun', but he couldn't see the dog or anything, garbage and boxes lots of boxes, otherwise the alley was clean.
"Does a doctor live in that penthouse apartment, Benny?"
"No, he's a scientist I think..."
"A scientist? In Brooklyn?”
"Yeah, Brooklyn's got scientists...Fil, Filiberto's his name, he's got two roommates or regular visitors who stay often, one's an IT guy and the girls' a lawyer."
"Well, lets take a walk Benny." Gentile led them out, "Call me when you guys are done we'll be in the other building."
In the alley between apartments, walled off from the outside the dog barked with increased anger, screaming, until Gentile walked up to the wooden wall, touching it gently, as he would. The dogs snout brushed against the wall, sniffing heavily, whimpering... suddenly started to bark, roared viciously. Gentile backed away, "I love dogs", he said.
"And he loves you," replied Benny, Espinoza snickered.
"They always do, lets go," he motioned.
"Come on we'll take the lift." Benny wave them both on the lift, "Its slow and creepy but it won't kill your legs like those stairs around us. Cracked marble steps, each feels like they was made for a giant."
"Excuse me mister Brooklyn scientist", Gentile exclaimed looking up the elevator shaft. "Living in a penthouse apartment, is that expensive?" Remarked Gentile to Benny.
"Well its just an extension of the seventh floor, a separate staircase down the hall from the seventh elevator landing but its nothing more than an isolated shack on top of the roof, so no, not expensive."
"How old is this building?" Asked Espinoza.
"What is this an open house?
"Very old," continued Benny. "Before most buildings in this part of Brooklyn were built. It was a private home at first, called Il Prometeo, after that one owner turned it into an asylum before it was turned into rentals in the 30's".
"The Prometheus?" Said Espinoza.
"Correct! You know Italian, Detective?"
"You know Italian?" Repeated Gentile.
"When my wife and I traveled to Italy a couple of years ago and already knowing Spanish I was able to pretty much able guess my way through Italian."
Approach the stairs to the penthouse. He's not renting any Apts, the whole building is silent...
Upon beginning the climb up the short flight of stairs a terrible cluster of screams and a roar rained down from the penthouse. Guns drawn and Benny ordered to get back downstairs, both detectives jump up to the short penthouse landing and straddle the penthouse door. Into his police radio com on his vest Gentile, whispered forcefully for backup and received no answer. A moment and Espinoza stepped back, facing the door and kicks the door down, bursting in to the room. Sudden silence. A small room, a waiting room, a chair, a couch and coffee table and a kitchenette to the right. A man cowed in the corner to the left between the wall and the end of the couch, shaken with fear. He said nothing. Espinoza pressed the wall to his back as he slid across to pull the man along the wall and out of the apt. "Get downstairs and wait, help is coming." Pushed down, the man hurried away.
Silence. The silence that comes with the realization that you've waded in too deep and no amount of swimming would get you back alive. Lilly stood with her back against the entry door, Fil sat on the floor below the living room window closest to the bedroom watching Meier as he stepped slowly toward the bedroom door. "I can hear him, Fil."
"Fil what have you done?"
"What do you mean, Lily? It worked. You said it would never work, that I couldn't make it happen and I did."
"This doesn't mean it worked. This is worse, worse than it not working at all. That thing in there - "
"You've created a monster."
"It was just hungry."
"And when it gets hungry again? What then? And you Meier. Who are you, Igor to his Frankenstein?"
Knock at the door...
When she arrived detective gentile was there, about Grace. You mind if I look in the room, the spare room, its the only room visible from her apt. Well there a lots of apts visible across the alley. True and I'll check those soon enough but the only window visible from her window that has its shade down is the one in this apt that has its shade pulled down and from here I don't see another window with a shade pulled. Well sorry if you had any real valid cause to enter you'd have a warrant. Excuse me detective mind if I pass? And you are? None of your business really but friends of this apts tenant. Sorry. They close the door upon entering. They moved onto knock on other apartment doors.
Noises from Fils apt.
Detectives break the door down. The door to the room opposite the entry was beginning to shatter. A great human-like angry growl comes from the room...
The Monster reveals itself disappears, struggles to be one or the other... There is blood everywhere... Grace Harold everywhere...
beats his way out of the apt... climbs to roof from where he falls
The monster was being kept in the spare bedroom...visible or invisible, conjured or manufactured in a 3d printer from vegetable matter?
La Vita Dopo
Dr Scoma, the late shift pathologist, alone now for years, after having been married for fifteen...surrounded by death...muses that here is an opportunity to make life...
Vitto left so many notes, a detailed Bible of his ideas, called Il Prometeo, all that went into creating this thing and his diary. Makes me wonder what triggered everything. Did he find the building or did the building find him. Vitto moved into the building to complete the project, an idea he's been working on for over twenty years. He needed the sun, and the rain, everything needed to create a being.
Strata, an adopted child.
History of Il Prometeo, the house, how, why and who built it?
God the absent father. Never around when you need him always there to beat you down whenever the stress of existence beat him down. God! Come back, God...the being that created and nurtured his child grows tired of parenting and leaves behind an unfinished creation.
Dr, what is this thing? A thing. A being of some sort. I don't think Fil had any real idea of what he was doing. That device, what was it? A 3D printer actually. A what? Yeah, believe it or not, that's what it is, a room size 3D printer. Didn't know they came that big. Well they make them big enough to build houses. Well think of it, any assembly line robot is a 3D assembly machine, just doesn't produce the material for assembly, a 3D printer does but even then it has to be given the molecular elements to produce the material to eventually "print" the object in addition to being given the actual design in an understandable language. That's really the genius here, he devised a plan, a design for an artificial human, whose brain was part of the whole body, not centralized in the head but a hive brain where each body part, each molecule could think for itself a being that would produce an output, basically telling the printer how to complete him. He had hundreds of drawings and papers detailing his plan, a notebook filled with his intentions...but his problem was the monsters mind and soul...it had neither, at least not at birth. The soul and the mind, the brain are products of age, development and experience...molded and sculpted over time to produce a mind, a soul, a self, which the monster had none of. All beings are born infant, almost incomplete.
He plans with a friend to steal the evidence of the case. What does it matter, after the case is closed, there's no one to arraign, no charges to consider, everyone related to the case is dead...once the case is officially closed the evidence will disappear into a locker...I'd have to leave evening behind, the job, my life...
The Dr muses, perhaps the key is creating an infant...not a full grown being.
Just finish your report Alex, so I can finish mine...
And the evidence?
Lock it up
Gentile, we gotta problem. Crain was working the evidence locker that day when two men, dressed in black, go figure, showed up with the precinct Captain with a Federal court order looking for what evidence was left of the Frankenstein case. (Made sense). But it was gone. Not all of it, just the most important part. Strata called it the head, the device spider shaped with a metal head and a thousand eyes and six extending arms. Captain was pissed, so were the Feds but they weren't showing it. Immediately the captain personally organized a team to look for Strata the obvious choice for the felony having left for vacation three weeks prior then calling in his final notice that he wouldn't be coming back. Once the captains team had arrived at Strata's apartment the new tenant had already moved in...
How the hell did anybody find out about the case anyway. That was quick. Usually most cases move up the food chain unnoticed, just paper work to be stored but this... every agency, has a snitch working both sides feeding the right people the right information. Fucking federal vampires everywhere keeping wraiths at bay waiting to suck some info up their way.
At the TSA, what a beautiful child.
Alex vacationing in Maldive, beach combing with an infant tucked and sleeping in a forward carry pouch, surrounded by young girls admiring the child...
Months pass, the Dr had retired and births a child with a young man. You think they'll let us get married in this country. You haven't even asked me. Will you marry me?
Victor to Vitto or Bittor or Vincent or Filiberto (Fil)
Alex to Zeus Strata
How was Grace kidnapped and why bludgeoned. Vitto had never killed another person.
Remove the bludgeoning. Strangled from behind, put in a large sack. No, Adam learns to slip out of the studio. Sees him prowling the studio and the green man watching her.
The concrete walls were reinforced with a later of heavy steal liquid alloy and concrete, the windows and skylight covered in retractable steel outer shutters and yet Adam figured his way out to get to Grace.
Changes: Adam can see in the dark. how Grace is killed and taken by Adam a cat bringing its owner a present after Adam overwhelms Vitto and goes directly to Grace. Adam has already installed a tracking and homing device that triggers Adam to come home but doesn't work. Adam inadvertently kills Grace and brings her home as a gift to Vitto all bludgeoned and limp. Adam treats her body like any other piece of meat when he discovers that's all she is and wonders if Vitto is the same. Adam begins to tear Grace apart, confused that she is like Vitto, yet like the meals he has been given but the taste is different, his first taste of meat that Vitto tries to take away from him. Efforts with a tranquilizer weapon fail. Adam realizes that might be just as tasty and as one would encounter a hungry tiger, Adams seems to show anger and chases Vitto out the door; thank God for steal.
rarely allowing a visitor and most often it was Lilly, his girlfriend who would visit. It had been weeks since Lilly did so at his request and now he was asking her to come he had something important to show her. Fil sent Meier to pick her up. What's he want to show me Meyer. I'm not sure how to explain it, if he even wants me to, but he never said not to. is this another prank you two have screwed. Ohhhh I wish it was. Tell me Meier. I think you can wait...its important he show you, its important to him, that he present it plus you're a lawyer. You both are in trouble again aren't you? Well its hard to explain, just keep an open mind.to pick her up. What's he want to show me Meier. I'm not sure how to explain it, if he even wants me to, but he never said not to. is this another prank you two have screwed. Ohhhh I wish it was. Tell me Meier. I think you can wait...its important he show you, its important to him, that he present it plus you're a lawyer. You both are in trouble again aren't you? Well its hard to explain, just keep an open mind.
Do you know a Grace Harold? Well she's a tenant of the building across the alley. Ohhhh really? I don't know her. Well she's missing and we're conducting an investigation. From which apt? That one up there with the open window. Well maybe she ran away? Maybe, but she's eighty and wheelchair ridden for the most part. Ohhhh I see. Just asking if you might have seen or heard anything suspicious last night. Ohhhh no no I didn't, I'm down the hall you see. Down the hall from what? Do you know the guy who lives in that apt? Um...
Fils focus lost in a void spoke up and said, "we went all the way, its gotten out of hand."
The door to the apt they first knocked on across from the suspect sit opens. You guys knock on my door? Gentile goes to her while Espinoza continues with the old lady.
Fil lived alone...technically, in a shack the owner called a penthouse cause thats what it was, a one bedroom shack on the roof. A living room, which he pretty much lived in, a small kitchen and a bathroom in between. The bedroom, he didn't sleep in his bedroom. This was a rare rooftop apt with a skylight in the bedroom doubling as a studio. Once was probably a former tenants if not the original owners studio; being the polymath, the studio was his except now, it was a nursery...Fil stood against the door to the studio, back to it he turned pressing his ear to listen and he could hear the man quietly sobbing, groaning as if in deep pain.
Good and evil are each acts of opportunity… We all have the desire for each, most for good depending on the return you benefit from… Watch what you say… Watch what you do… Take note of your awareness, watch what you say… careful of the opportunity to act, it is of benefit for or against you and others… Lack of awareness can be will become an act for or against either depending on your desire
The Guardians of Desire, Opportunity and Temptation
Temptation and opportunity…
No one is truly good or evil but everyone has an opportunity to play upon desires and playing into those desires is acceptable but you don't want it to become guilt which can play on itself…becoming temptation and desire. Resistance builds strength, awareness of our desires and Temptations, watch what you say
Believing without evidence is always morally wrong – Francisco Mejia Uribe
You have probably never heard of William Kingdon Clifford. He is not in the pantheon of great philosophers – perhaps because his life was cut short at the age of 33 – but I cannot think of anyone whose ideas are more relevant for our interconnected, AI-driven, digital age. This might seem strange given that we are talking about a Victorian Briton whose most famous philosophical work is an essay nearly 150 years ago. However, reality has caught up with Clifford. His once seemingly exaggerated claim that ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence’ is no longer hyperbole but a technical reality.
In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877), Clifford gives three arguments as to why we have a moral obligation to believeresponsibly, that is, to believe only what we have sufficient evidence for, and what we have diligently investigated. His first argument starts with the simple observation that our beliefs influence our actions. Everyone would agree that our behaviour is shaped by what we take to be true about the world – which is to say, by what we believe. If I believe that it is raining outside, I’ll bring an umbrella. If I believe taxis don’t take credit cards, I make sure I have some cash before jumping into one. And if I believe that stealing is wrong, then I will pay for my goods before leaving the store.
What we believe is then of tremendous practical importance. False beliefs about physical or social facts lead us into poor habits of action that in the most extreme cases could threaten our survival. If the singer R Kelly genuinely believed the words of his song ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ (1996), I can guarantee you he would not be around by now.
But it is not only our own self-preservation that is at stake here. As social animals, our agency impacts on those around us, and improper believing puts our fellow humans at risk. As Clifford warns: ‘We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to …’ In short, sloppy practices of belief-formation are ethically wrong because – as social beings – when we believe something, the stakes are very high.
The most natural objection to this first argument is that while it might be true that some of our beliefs do lead to actions that can be devastating for others, in reality most of what we believe is probably inconsequential for our fellow humans. As such, claiming as Clifford did that it is wrongin all casesto believe on insufficient evidence seems like a stretch. I think critics had a point –had– but that is no longer so. In a world in which just about everyone’s beliefs are instantly shareable, at minimal cost, to a global audience, every single belief has the capacity to be truly consequential in the way Clifford imagined. If you still believe this is an exaggeration, think about how beliefs fashioned in a cave in Afghanistan lead to acts that ended lives in New York, Paris and London. Or consider how influential the ramblings pouring through your social media feeds have become in your very own daily behaviour. In the digital global village that we now inhabit, false beliefs cast a wider social net, hence Clifford’s argument might have been hyperbole when he first made it, but is no longer so today.
The second argument Clifford provides to back his claim that it is always wrong to believe on insufficient evidence is that poor practices of belief-formation turn us into careless, credulous believers. Clifford puts it nicely: ‘No real belief, however trifling and fragmentary it may seem, is ever truly insignificant; it prepares us to receive more of its like, confirms those which resembled it before, and weakens others; and so gradually it lays a stealthy train in our inmost thoughts, which may someday explode into overt action, and leave its stamp upon our character.’ Translating Clifford’s warning to our interconnected times, what he tells us is that careless believing turns us into easy prey for fake-news pedlars, conspiracy theorists and charlatans. And letting ourselves become hosts to these false beliefs is morally wrong because, as we have seen, the error cost for society can be devastating. Epistemic alertness is a much more precious virtue today than it ever was, since the need to sift through conflicting information has exponentially increased, and the risk of becoming a vessel of credulity is just a few taps of a smartphone away.
Clifford’s third and final argument as to why believing without evidence is morally wrong is that, in our capacity as communicators of belief, we have the moral responsibility not to pollute the well of collective knowledge. In Clifford’s time, the way in which our beliefs were woven into the ‘precious deposit’ of common knowledge was primarily through speech and writing. Because of this capacity to communicate, ‘our words, our phrases, our forms and processes and modes of thought’ become ‘common property’. Subverting this ‘heirloom’, as he called it, by adding false beliefs is immoral because everyone’s lives ultimately rely on this vital, shared resource.
While Clifford’s final argument rings true, it again seems exaggerated to claim that every little false belief we harbour is a moral affront to common knowledge. Yet reality, once more, is aligning with Clifford, and his words seem prophetic. Today, we truly have a global reservoir of belief into which all of our commitments are being painstakingly added: it’s called Big Data. You don’t even need to be an active netizen posting on Twitter or ranting on Facebook: more and more of what wedoin the real world is being recorded and digitised, and from there algorithms can easily infer what webelievebefore we even express a view. In turn, this enormous pool of stored belief is used by algorithms to make decisions for and about us. And it’s the same reservoir that search engines tap into when we seek answers to our questions and acquire new beliefs. Add the wrong ingredients into the Big Data recipe, and what you’ll get is a potentially toxic output. If there was ever a time when critical thinking was a moral imperative, and credulity a calamitous sin, it is now.