Friday, May 30, 2014

H+ Fragments and BTS (1)

Welcome to Lord Pearce Wachter's East Coast testing facilities. You have agreed to participate in a trial for a new product being developed by the company HPlus Nano Teoranta. Please be sure to fill out and return the informed consent form to our staff, then watch this introductory video for a brief overview of the trial itself.
We first hear about LPW from Topi, who's in the burned village of Dunbara, home of the young African soldier he's with.

A groundbreaking new series by acclaimed producer Bryan Singer, H+: The Digital Series takes viewers on a journey into an apocalyptic future where technology has begun to spiral out of control... a future where the world's population has retired its cell phones and laptops in favor of stunning new device by Hplus Nano Teoranta, an innovative technology company that has found a way to connect the Internet to the human mind 24 hours a day.
Whoa, Hannah Simone is stunning and outgoing. It's hard to imagine she played a meek Indian girl. She spoke with Conan O'Brien last year in The Queen of Accent Faking.

The tools being developed at HPlus Nano Teoranta represent some of the most advanced technology in the world and a giant step forward on the path of transhumanism. Find out if H+ is right for you today!
These testimonials (i.e., promotional) almost sound real. But are they?

Would you control the internet with your mind? Stay connected without a device? At HPlus Nano Teoranta, we're delivering the future today.
Eerie still, these additional testimonials definitely sound real.  

The cast and filmmakers discuss the world of H+ The Digital Series.
"The world is in you.  You're always online.  You're always connected."

Kenneth, the creator of the H+ interface, goes from rock star programmer to questioning the impact of his invention.
Kenneth is dead center in the visionary lead-up to H+ and its dystopic aftermath.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

H+ Chapter 8: Full Circles (Episodes 43-48)

Northern California, USA - 2 weeks before it happened
While rallying his troops, Jason's mechanical body brace gives out and he is unable to move his arms and legs. He turns to someone he considers a trusted friend for help.
Actor Sean Gunn does a very deft robot 'dance,' as his poorly maintained brace and corrupted software break down.

Southern Alaska, USA - 1 year after it happened
Kenneth, Simona and Francesca reach the Alaska Data Center, but there is a surprise waiting for them there.
Even a highly digitized world requires an arduous trek through rocky Alaskan terrain and leads to human intrigue and rage.

Hamburg, Germany - 3 years before it happened
Topi chases Manta into a German subway station desperate to have her hear his one plea.
"I understand everything now, the chip, the mistakes. You don't need to be ashamed. I can help."

The Vatican, Italy - 2 years after it happened
Topi crashes into where Gurveer is hiding with Vadish...he carries a desperately sick Manta. Gurveer knows what is causing Manta such pain.
"The child can [help Manta], but she won't be the person you fell in love with." "Simona!" the child says.

Western Ireland - 30 minutes before it happened
Breanna's relationship with Gonall reaches a breaking point, as secrets past and present are unearthed.
I don't want Breanna to jump off the sharp, rocky cliff.  Then she gets a call: "Kenneth?"

Our world - when it happened
At the data center, Kenneth has something else up his sleeve for Jason. In a flashback to the moment of the massive virus attack, we find clues to the deeper cause.
One force launched the virus attack, another works to rid the people of it, and we are in the midst of a classic human standoff. 

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Monday, May 26, 2014

H+ Chapter 7: Residual Effects (Episodes 37-42)

New York, USA - 8 years before it happened
Jason wants a fair settlement for the harm caused him by LPW [Lord Pearce Wachter], a biotech firm. The LPW lawyer interprets things differently.
"You're a lab animal... I'm not a cliche... On a personal level, I just don't like your type."

Rome, Italy - 2 years after it happened
Topi reaches the base and finds a clue: a message from Manta meant only for him.
Topi runs with purpose and runs with clarity, following a secret message from Manta (said in Finnish, I believe).

Dunbara, Republic of Congo - 7 years before it happened
Peters and Gurveer negotiate with a remote African chief, promising, "When you see what it can do for you and your tribe, you'll realize money is nothing in comparison."
H+ promises to increase the health, strength and efficiency of the African chief's tribe.  Tenfold.

Rome, Italy - 2 years after it happened
Manta, having hallucinations, reaches out to Matteo for help. She says she doesn't need him to be a priest, but wants him to listen to her confession.
"The hallucinations, I can't control them... What if there are things, though, people that we don't want to forget?"  Read: Topi.

Oria, Italy - 3 months before it happened
Concealing his H+ connection from Jason and the neo-Luddites, Kenneth forms a plan a continent away.
"This is how the world should be, Kenneth, untouched by science and technology.  It can be, it will be."

Yozgat, Turkey - 1 year after it happened
Riding with Gurveer and baby Vadish in the back seat, Leena connects with Conall for the first time in a year...and reaches an unsettling discovery.
Leena is ecstatic to get a call from Conall, after a year, only to find that he's been talking to her all along.  Then, Gurveer bolts with their baby.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, May 16, 2014

H+ Chapter 6: Convergences (Episodes 31-36)

H+: The Digital Series Episode 31: "Original Sync"
In an underground medical experiment, a figure presses a nervous Gurveer to bring his new implanted chip to full power on an unlikely test subject.
Manta gets flustered, and raises the power of H+ to 80% then 85%, without Gurveer's direction, risking their experiment.

H+: The Digital Series Episode 32: "Seeds"
Dunbara, Republic of Congo - 1 year after it happened
Topi and the young soldier search for Dunbara - a village burned to the ground long ago. They find the area and dig; Topi knows what he is looking for...
The body decomposes, but a microchip doesn't.  

H+: The Digital Series Episode 33: "On the Exterior"
Northern California, USA - 3 years before it happened
Jason and his fringe political clan of neo-Luddites have raised the stakes and kidnapped an enemy to their cause...and let him know what they want from him.
"It's the Fall of Man! Scientists that can't stop tinkering with us, redefining what it means to be alive, and you were their lead architect."

H+: The Digital Series Episode 34: "Endure"
Mumbai, India - 8 months after it happened
In the post-disaster India, Gurveer visits Leena's small village with one goal in mind, and encounters a reaction he doesn't expect.
"I don't know what saved me.  Do you know what saved me, Doctor?" Gurveer can take the baby, but Leena is coming with him.  

H+: The Digital Series Episode 35: "Query String"
Northern California, USA - 3 years before it happened
Kenneth has a dream and wakes with an insight that drives him to alert someone immediately.
Simona Rossi is the Virgin Mary, whom Kenneth meets as a little girl in a dream.

H+: The Digital Series Episode 36: "How to Hack a Data Center"
Southern Alberta, Canada - 8 months after it happened
Working with Simona, Kenneth struggles to set up a familiar network.
"Oh, my God, what is that? It's beautiful." "It's how we're going to save this world."

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

H+ Chapter 5: New Visions (Episodes 25-30)

Tierra del Fuego, Chile - 4 years before it happened
Kenneth visits the South American lab where the H+ technology is being synthesized onto the map of the human mind, and views the first test subject: someone we know well.
"There was a time in human history, when God and the hand of science were the same."

Brazzaville, Republic of Congo - 1 year after it happened
Topi flees a young African soldier following him - only to find an unlikely ally.
How much can Topi trust the African soldier to help him?

Oria, Italy - 3 months before it happened
Matteo, in priestly robes, faints as he meets Simona in his church - when he wakes he blames it on his body adapting to his new H+. In the pew, he tries to make a personal connection with Simona, who confesses to visions past and future.
How do you keep your faith in the Holy Father, if horrible incidents and visions happen to you?

Northern California, USA - 2 weeks after it happened
As Francesca and Simona reconnect in the cabin, Kenneth preps Anthony for what to do while he's gone: he's planning a dangerous journey with a critical goal.
"Only faith will heal this broken world."

Dublin, Ireland - 3 years before it happened
After skipping his own party, Breanna seeks out Kenneth at his apartment. Kenneth reveals why he's been on edge.
Kenneth has been having dreams, apparently disconcerting, since implanting himself with H+, and he finds a more than sympathetic Breanna.  

H+: The Digital Series Episode 30: "Lord of the Body"
Gurveer tries to convince his superior of an important next step with the child.
"This place is hell.  Savages roam the streets here."

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Monday, May 12, 2014

H+ Chapter 4: Malfunctions (Episodes 19-24)

Mumbai, India - 1 month before it happened
Through H+, Conall shows Leena more personal parts of his life - their connection grows deeper.
High tech doesn't necessarily mean we have sterile, dispassionate contacts, as Conall and Leena get up close and more personal with one another.

Oria, Italy - 2 years after it happened
As Matteo gases up his car for a trip that will take a week, he prepares a young man to lead when he's gone...while making other preparations with his passenger.
Is it me, but doesn't Matteo have a strikingly resemblance to Neo from `The Matrix?

Dublin, Ireland - 4 years before it happened
Just before Kenneth leaves to visit the human trials of H+ in South America, Breanna feels there is something he needs to hear.
"I can't even begin to understand the work you're doing here. It's brilliant. I've come to view you as my colleague, and perhaps even my friend."

Southern Italy - 2 years after it happened
Matteo and his passenger come to a roadblock with armed thugs. She makes a quick plan and gives Matteo explicit instructions.
If Matteo is Neo, then (whoa) Manta must be Trinity, from `The Matrix.

Dublin, Ireland - 3 weeks before it happened
As we see what Conall sees through his connection, Breanna grows suspicious of all the time he spends on his H+.
"We can't be out of  reception for too long. We need to be able to check up on Leena." "Suddenly you're the advocate for H+?" 

San Francisco, USA - 1 week after it happened
Finally out of the parking structure, Kenneth needs to lead his people out of the reception area for H+ but Jason holds him at gunpoint. However Kenneth holds an advantage Jason wasn't counting on.
The straight down, sky high camera view suggests that there is God at work here.  

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, May 9, 2014

H+ Chapter 3: Connections (Episodes 13-18)

Porland, Oregon, USA - 5 years before it happened
Breanna, after pitching her new software venture to a corporate boardroom, later privately meets with a younger, clean-shaven Kenneth to offer an opportunity.
What if you were a software genius, and someone said you could change the world by writing the operating system for H+?

San Vito, Italy - 2 years after it happened
Someone with an interface observes Matteo outside the gates of a base. Later, Matteo returns home and has a flash of insight.
I imagine after a while, we can get used to augmented reality, which affords us with more information right in front of our eyes (rf. Terminator).

Mumbai, India - 3 months before it happened
In a conference with Dr. Gurveer, Leena is asked to adjust her sleep schedule to match Breanna's work demands. Strangely, Gurveer's attention seems divided.
Breanna muscles Leena into adjusting her schedule, while Gurveer is preoccupied with a secret conversation about Leena and the baby.

San Francisco, USA - 2 days after it happened
Brian, a young boy, finds his mother in the parking structure and describes the chaotic world above, and Kenneth gives him a special assignment.
Scores of people just dropped dead at the airport, and young Brian thinks it's H+.  Many kids are still alive; they are too young to have H+ inside them. 

Helsinki, Finland - 7 years before it happened
Drunk, Topi stumbles onto a fragment of a conversation online and is suddenly messaged by Manta, who he meets at their bar for a surprising exchange.
Old world manipulation and secrecy, romance and jealousy collide, even in a digitized world.

Oria, Italy - 2 years after it happened
Matteo experiences a vision and is awoken from his trance by someone he has been close to but never met, standing in the rain.
"My name is Manta, I need your help, and I'm afraid I'm responsible for your [burned] hands."

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

H+ Chapter 2: Foreign Bodies (Episodes 7-12)

Mumbai, India - 5 months before it happened
Gurveer prepares to implant H+ in Leena so the Sheehans can track her pregnancy from abroad; she's anxious and asks many questions about the process. Gurveer, who tells her his own body is not compatible with H+, tells her she is lucky...though something else is commanding his attention.
Leena asks a good question: Besides tracking your biochemical process, can H+ also read your thoughts?

San Francisco, USA - 45 minutes after it happened
Kenneth races to save Lee's life with spare wiring and circuit boards. Francesca, a soon to be a board-certified neurologist, objects to Kenneth's methods and can't believe what she's seeing.
Kenneth is creating a makeshift electroshock device, in an effort to revive the unconscious Lee.  

Helsinki, Finland - 7 years before it happened
Topi, now in a physical relationship with Manta, goes to a crime scene which is technically out of his office's jurisdiction. His boss holds him back, but a look at the victim offers a tantalizing clue.
Was the victim clawing at his wrist, before he died, and trying to remove or disable the implant?

San Francisco, USA - 50 minutes after it happened
Kenneth tells the small group to plan for a week below, and tries to stop an angry survivor from leaving, only to be accused of being a terrorist. Just as he needs good news, he's pulled away to examine Lee whose condition has changed.
Lee was trying to reboot, then his hard drive crashed.  Completely.  

Helsinki, Finland - 7 years before it happened
Topi and Manta hike, sharing a growing intimacy - but Manta won't reveal anything about a particular subject.
"Whoo, let's hear it for the sun!  Once again, sir, you didn't let us down!"  But what about that bracelet, Manta?

San Francisco, USA - 20 hours after it happened
In a quiet moment, Francesca asks to get the truth out of Kenneth. How does he know so much about H+? Meanwhile, a group of survivors searches for Kenneth.
"If we're going to figure a way out of here, we have to work together, make smart choices. We can't rely on miracles to save us, OK?"

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Monday, May 5, 2014

H+ Chapter 1: The Beginnings (Episodes 1-6)

Transhumanism is better known as H+
A new series [H+ The Digital Series] by Bryan Singer (producer of the X-Men films, House M.D. and Usual Suspects), H+ The Digital Series takes viewers on a journey into an apocalyptic future where technology has spiraled out of control.
I just discovered this, even though it premiered in August 2012. I don't remember when I subscribed to its channel, but apparently my time to learn about it and watch it is now.  Here are the six episodes of H+ Chapter 1: The Beginnings.

San Francisco, USA - 5 minutes before it happened
Prologue: Fragments of news reports show a future world as it adopts H+: a radical new way to be connected to information and each other through only your thoughts, via a high-tech implant. While the breakthrough is hotly anticipated by the masses, it is a change not easily adopted by its discontents. We segue to a couple parking their car in an underground airport garage. The husband, Lee, surreptitiously watches a football game on his H+, upsetting his wife Julie who wants him to drive safely. Their domestic squabble is interrupted by a bizarre spectacle throwing their world into chaos.
Driving under... the influence of football: "Come on, baby, it's double OT. There's not going to be any reception down there."

Boom, from the get-go, we see that the more things change, the more things stay the same.  Husbands will be wrapped up in sports, and will try to hide from their wives, who will eventually bust them anyway.  This is how it was with my fiancee, now my wife, and me in the weeks heading into our wedding.

San Francisco, USA - 15 seconds after it happened
Julie and Lee stand shocked at the sudden chaos surrounding them in the lot and then risk a similar fate as Lee goes to aid the fallen people. A mysterious bearded man in glasses, Kenneth, appears and leads a small group down to Level 6, where he insists they're safe. But some in the group are skeptical of their hero and his theory for what has just happened.
From 5 minutes before it happened, to 15 seconds after it happened. Exactly what "it" is, we don't know yet.

Helsinki, Finland - 7 years before it happened
A young man, Topi, enters a bar to meet a woman named Manta, who he has chatted with online. Manta plays mysterious, giving Topi a hard time, but Topi may have secrets of his own.
You and someone you meet online decide to meet. That is, in person. So what happens?

San Francisco, USA - 1 minute after it happened
With a small group from Level 6 of the parking structure, Kenneth takes Lee's body to a van to get out of the water from the sprinkler system with the hope he may be able to save him.
"What makes you such an expert?" He used to work for the people who made H+ implants.

Mumbai, India - 5 months before it happened
Breanna, a hard-charging technology executive, and her husband Conall (both Irish) meet with a doctor, Gurveer, and a young woman, Leena (both Indian), to arrange a surrogate pregnancy. When the introductory meeting turns into something more like an interrogation and Breanna leaves to continue a work call on her H+, Conall tries to make a more human connection.
Surrogacy is no dispassionate transaction. There is a human undercurrent of attraction and also jealousy.

Oria, Italy - 2 years after it happened
In a desolate village, Matteo tries to help a man injured in an accident, but realizes getting the medicine he needs will not be easy.
From San Francisco and Helsinki, to Mumbai and Oria, H+ is ever present. But can it connect cultures?

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, May 2, 2014

High School Girl vs Kansas Governor

My article from an old Media & Tech blog (December 4th 2011)

Emma Sullivan

This story is as much a sign of our changing landscape for communications, as it is a testament to the human willingness to forgive-and-forget.

On a visit to the Kansas state capitol, high school senior Emma Sullivan tweeted the following, as the Los Angeles Times reported in High school tweeter gives Sam Brownback a political headache:
Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.
Ever alert online, the staff of Governor Sam Brownback saw the tweet, and called her school quickly and basically had her ‘called to the carpet’ by her principal. The principal apparently ordered her to write a letter of apology to the governor. Which she flatly refused, on the grounds of freedom of speech.

All this, when she actually never made such a comment to Gov. Brownback. At least not in person. But, you know, Twitter is very much a reality for us when it comes to communications.

Interestingly, in a follow up Teen tweeter 1, Kansas governor 0, the Los Angeles Times said, the governor himself apologized for his staff’s overreaction. Which he posted on Facebook. He added that no apology from Sullivan was necessary, even upholding one of most sacred rights for Americans. Freedom of speech.

Professional athletes are reprimanded for certain tweets. Sports team owners have been fined severely for certain tweets as well.

But, thankfully, wiser minds and calmer hands quickly resolved this Girl vs. Governor standoff. Hooray to Brownback for his kind handling of this.

Hooray, too, to Sullivan not only for taking a stand, which may seem quite easy for a lot of teenagers, but also for admitting that she ought to be careful about what she says.

So, like I said, wiser minds and calmer hands prevailed. In these very sensitive political times, we can all appreciate that!

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD