If “Angel’s Brother” became a movie, this is what the critical elements in the screenplay look like

Here is an analysis of my proposed novel “Angel’s Brother” (the draft exists, about 105000 words) following the concept of “screenplay” structure by Michaek Hauge — presuming this would become a sci-fi movie (about 140 minutes).

Some of the Hauge components are repeated with different characters.  There is the concept of a “teaser” for the “point of no return”,

Part 1 – “Just Friends”

Stage 1: Setup

Randy, around 40, has been asked by the CIA to travel to Auschwitz, and he doesn’t know why.  He has a day job as a high school (mostly AP) history teacher. His occasional assignments are based on his former military background, which he was asked to leave because people thought he was gay. Nevertheless, he had married (with real heart), adopted one child, and has two more with Erin, who is a P.A.  Although physically in good shape, he has only recently started losing interest in his marriage

Sal, a senior in college, was asked to make the trip by his ROTC unit, as part of a senior thesis.

Chapter 2 and 3 provide a “setup” with backstories.

Turning Point:  The Opportunity

After they meet, Randy feels “interest”.     (add: Sal should offer contact info)

Stage 2: New Situation

Turning Point 2:   Change in Plans

Erin tells Randy his boss wants him to go to Brussels and see Foss.  This may require a “TSA physical”. Randy already suspects this could “spoil his fun” or “release” with Sal,

Stage 2a

As Randy rides to Brussels, he wonders how his rejuvenation would affect his remote viewing, which he has only experienced in home courses so far.

Turning Point 2a – Change in Plans 2

Foss wants Randy to stay in Europe and go to Russia to retrieve  an unusual weapon rather than go to his remote viewing course back in VA.   Randy realizes his interest in Sal would have enhanced the remote viewing.

(OK, maybe a “turning point” really should be an “Alan Turing” point.)

Stage 3:  Progress

Randy picks up At sample in  Russia from Lurku, smuggles thru Finland it to US (Russians chase across border, almost WWIII).

Bill picks it up in Nevada and takes it to West Texas to “Academy”

Randy takes family on end-school-year vacation to northern MN (6)

Randy investigates Bill in Vegas (7)

Randy visits Academy (8)

Sal visits Academy (9)

Turning Point 2b  Randy visits Quiller at Langley, asked to visit Leadville, Randy learns about govt plans for high altitude evacuations, he hadn’t known.

Stage 3a – more progress

Randy finds new disease related to Astatine in CO at high elevations (10)

Sal participates in hazing session as an upperclassman but knows his limits (11)]

Teaser for turning point 3

Sal and Randy meet in Dallas, have somewhat intimate encounter at Academy after comparing notes

(Part 1 A – More than Just Friends)

Stage 3B

Randy feels charged to become even more techie and wonders why CIA doesn’t tell him much.  He and Quiller talk about hack on Bill’s writings about suitcase nukes (14).

Randy makes trip to Bilbao, meets up with Bill, then gets assaulted and left with another UF sample.

Teaser 2 for turning point 3

Finally he hooks up for intimacy with Sal in Amsterday (14)

Stage 3C  — Sal makes a trip to Lionsgate in Greece, “goes up” and gets mysteriously airlifted to Texas and hails a ride back to Dallas from “angel” Justin.   He then hightails to Amsterdam  (15)

Stage 3D  Randy goes back to Finland (on order) near Russian border (to stop WWIII) and get “goes up” ad comes down in Archangelsk    The yellowcake is gone as is Lurku’s suitcase nuke.   Russians seem to have material suggesting that the activation codes are embedded in novel virus RNA.

Turning Point 3   Point of no return

Sal meets Matt at a gym in Dallas.  Matt provides a major connection to Bill’s writings and suggests he may indeed be an angel, as may be Sal.  Sal  takes Bill to a motel near the Academy and gives him an “erotic body shave”.   Bill’s whole appearance becomes younger.  But he gets arrested.  (17)

Randy has a last fling with intercourse with Erin (his wife) but she is suspicious and confronts him (18), after she finds his notes on “erotic royalty” models (which had come from Bill and his hacked diaries from Sal)

(Interlude)

Stage 4   Complications and higher stakes

Sal finishes Hacking Bill, meets with Randy in Westover Market in Arlington, gives Randy Bill’s novel notes  (19)

(Reprise of Turning Point 2a – “change in plans” and original novel “prologues” from Bill’s writings)

Randy finally visits Faber VA and has remote viewing preview and learns he must do a “nighthike”  (20).

Turning Point 4 setback   (and another point of no return, which can also be called a “point of recognition” by some fiction writing courses)

At “nighthike” in caves in the SW Wisconsin hills, Randy and other characters undergo various bodily rituals that give clues as to their futures.  (Apparently former Sal’s former roommate Rusty passes.)    Randy “does” Bill (after Bill cycles back among several previous physical states in his own life timeline)  But Bill suddenly ages back and the “roving eye” plasma appear as both Femeri and Bill temporarily vanish then drop back.

Part 2 – Brothers

Stage 5   Final Push

Dick shows symptoms of disease.  Erin demands divorce, but Randy keeps Dick, who gets better after being taken to intermediate altitudes (in southern W Va) (22)

Randy takes Dick to DC, lives gay life, meets Blueshirt

(Setback 2 or Turning Point 4a):

Dick kidnapped (23)

(Setback 3 or Turning Point 4b)

Sal kicked out of ROTC for rules violations (24), must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking)

(Final Push resumes)

Sal must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking).  Bill “ages” again and goes up with the eye

Sal finds Dick, takes him to mountains (to the “right” altitude)  (26)

Randy traces Bill’s escape thru Texas

Everyone assembles in the strip-mine in W Va (27)

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next worl

Turning Point 5  Climax

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next world.  Bill proves he can father a child.

Stage 6  aftermath

On Earth, Sal stays behind for the solar storm which ends the disease but throws everyone back into pre-technology age.  Then Sal makes the second voyage.  He finds his ability to continue remotely viewing Bill limited because Bill can now have children.  On the other hand, Bill has an idea what “heaven” could be like for him in a few years.   He has a better take on what it would be like to be Rusty since Rusty is gone.  He knows Matt has already hosted a lot more “souls”., as they all prepare to move to a new solar system.

Tradition plotting talks about a “beginning, middle, and end”.  In Hauge the beginning and end are significant, like movements of a symphony, as if the middle were a “slow movement”.  Here “Part 1” is the “Beginning”, the “Middle” is Part 1A, the “Scherzo” (and recognition point), and the “End” (or Finale) is Part 2 .  The Epilogue or final pedal point (like in a Bruckner symphony) would occur when the major characters know how they must finally turn out (on the last two or three pages).

(Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:30 PM EST)

Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck

Today, after service at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA, I stopped to take a recording of some bird sounds in the “mountain” of “Chapel Hill” behind the church, which protects the area from damage from the strongest winds in storms.

Say, “Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck”, a rewrite of the narrative line “Lumberton NC, where woodpeckers peck” in David Lynch’s 1986 masterpiece “Blue Velvet”.

Maybe this is like a nature sound in a Mahler symphony.

(Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 1:45 PM EST)

Cato holds forum on Trump’s energy policy

The Cato Institute held a forum today, “Trump’s Energy Policy: Promise or Peril“.

The panel comprised Peter Russo moderating, with Robert L. Bradley. CEO and founder, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris, Senior Fellow and Policy Director at the Brookings Institute, and Catrina Rorke, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, R Street Institute.

1  The first two clips are in response to my question on proposals by Taylor Wilson and others to decentralize power grids to make them more secure from terror attacks and solar storms.  The market mechanisms provide little support for what some homeland security analysts view as necessary.  I did mention his idea for small underground fission reactors, but there was no reaction.

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(Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 9:15 PM EST)

 

 

Proposed video series (for web or for cable): “What in Life Is (or Should Be) Free”?

I have thought that there ought to be a documentary film about the Open Access issue, and that I could add something to it.

But I would be able to add more to it if the concept were expanded to cover the entire topic of “Free Content”, which has become a practical expectation for consumers and speakers since the mid 1990s with the Internet, especially with the development of modern social media.

I think this concept would work better as a cable series for a channel like Discovery on A&E or even HBO.

So I have to narrow down the concept and unify it.

Part 1

Back around 2012, Reid Ewing had produced a web series of three videos with Igigi Studios called “Reiding”, with the three films called “It’s Free”, “Free Fish”, and “I’m Free”. I don’t know why they are not available now. But the first of the films was set in a public library and set up the exploration of the question “What in life is free?”   It would be possible (after negotiating copyright licenses) to introduce the series with these films, of at least the first one.

The very existence of public libraries suggests that we think some basic knowledge should be “free”. That extends to the idea that public education should be offered to all minors (even immigrants), which is controversial with some conservatives. But even the idea of school choice could be seen as ratifying the idea of education as a basic human right (so that’s one episode).

I think a good title for this series, then. Should be “What in Life Is Free?”

Part 2

We also have to contend with the way people are used to getting knowledge. It has typically been passed down through familial (often patriarchal), religious, and political hierarchies. The use of propaganda by authoritarian leaders (which Vladimir Putin openly admits in defending Russia’s 2013 anti-gay “propaganda” law) presumes that the public and the masses aren’t capable of discerning “truth” for themselves. The use of religious scriptures, and the objection of religious leaders to challenges to interpretation of scripture, dates from a time when science could not explain a lot of things and when people depended on a “priesthood” to get knowledge for them from “God”.

I experienced some of this pressure as a young boy, when I would challenge my father’s authority based on things I had read, even in reference books lying around the house (like on medicine). I started to question why boys had to do dangerous and risky things. My father would complain “you read”.

Yet, a lot of this reference information was sold in a conventional way, through middlemen. We bought our set of World Book Encyclopedias, in 1950, from a door-to-door salesman (remember those colorful state relief maps, no longer published). Later, when I was taking piano, we bought a Sherwood Music School course from a similar salesman.

Part 3

My own narrative fits in best here, because the availability of “free knowledge” increased with the evolution of self-publishing.

Here would fit the entire narrative of the self-publication of my first “Do Ask Do Tell” book (in 1997), originally motivated by the lowering cost of desk-top publishing (book self-publishing through “subsidy publishers” had been known since the early 1970s but had been a very expensive and usually not successful process). I would start placing my content online, and by mid 1998 I was “competing with myself” by offering the book free in simple HTML online.

I did sell out my first printing, and went to POD (print on demand) publishing (with iUniverse) in 2000. But it was the online availability, for free, that allowed me to become known and for my own unique arguments on how to deal with the ban on gays in the military (“don’t ask don’t tell”) to become effective in the growing debate. It was the way search engines (not just Google) worked, at the time giving advantage to very simple sites like mine, that became relevant.

Eventually, years later, I would be pestered by my self-publishing companies about actually getting serious about selling books in physical stores (helping people keep their jobs, Trump-like) or directly from me, rather than just through Amazon and BN online (including just from Kindle and Nook).

Part 4

Several legal developments had the potential to affect self-publishing in this mode. The first was the Communications Decency Act, or Telecommunications Act of 1996. The controversial censorship sections were struck down in 1997, but one portion, Section 230, actually helped the Internet along by shielding Internet service providers (and later publishing platforms) from potential secondary liability.

Congress would try to pass a more “acceptable” censorship bill with the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA). Working through Electronic Frontier Foundation, I became a plaintiff challenging it; eventually prevailing (after two Supreme Court cycles) in 2007 in a trial for merit in Philadelphia.

In the meantime, a parallel concern over copyright infringement followed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, with the safe harbor provision that protected intermediaries (in 230-like fashion) from downstream liability for copyright-related accusations.

I developed an online presence in concentric fashion, covering most policy topics from a libertarian perspective, with simple HTML and free search engine exposure (indeed, to quote Reid Ewing, “It’s free!, it’s free!”)

Important concepts along the way were how web hosting companies work, and how domain name assignment works.

Legal risks for speakers include possible frivolous litigation: SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against pubic participation), which can cause the speaker to spend money defending the self against vindictive claims; copyright trolls (like Righthaven), and possibly trademark litigation over domain names (which is not the same problem as patent trolls).

Part 5

A major development in the “free content” model was modern social media. Originally email list servers had served a social media function in the 90s, but then came Myspace, and then Facebook (with Instagram) and then Twitter. Originally social media (with the idea of “friends” and then “followers”) was intended to build somewhat closed social circles online, but gradually some of them migrated to alternative blogging platforms with news aggregation, morphing eventually into the “fake news” area where some people tend to receive only news that fits their own bubbles.

Blogging platforms (like Blogger and WordPress) were somewhat intermediate, first emphasizing the idea of “followers” but gradually (especially WordPress) migrating into content management systems.

On the other hand, some social media services tended to facilitate harmful and dangerous exploits. These included not only conventional viruses and scams (like phishing) through older email platforms, but also cyberbullying and child pornography distribution, and even terrorist recruiting. But most of the terror recruiting followup occurs on “the dark web” in encrypted fashion on offshore servers, away from the reach of common user-friendly social media. In the days right after 9/11, there was also fear that amateur sites could be hacked by terrorists to spread messages through steganography.

Small businesses, especially “bricks and mortar”, giving personal services (especially contractors), and even some medical providers, would rebel against consumer review sites for unfavorable reviews, as driving them out of business.   Individual consumers would be hit with frivolous suits, although the review sites were protected by Section 230.

Part 6

A related development all these years (from about 1996 to now) was the gradual evolution of network neutrality. The concept was arguably necessary to prevent telecommunications companies from charging some content publishers more than others to be hooked up to their networks. In practice, the hookup has always been “it’s free”, even for amateurs. Trump’s new FCC chairman could undo network neutrality practices put in by the Obama administration in 2014, but it’s unclear how much difference this would make. Are “fast lanes” like “toll lanes” on Interstate highways?

Part 7

The logical outcome of what I had developed was free web references, most of all Wikipedia, which was created in January 2001. The documentary could examine how “volunteer” and “amateur” writers and editors can provide a reliable “free” online encyclopedia (which does not allow advertising but which does ask for contributions An important concept in Wikipedia is “notability”: how does one properly get a page created to make oneself known.

Other competing “compendiums” were proposed, which would require more peer review before publishing. Encyclopedia companies had to fight back.

In parallel came the development of “open source” software, even including the browser Mozilla.

Part 8

The most “publicized” controversy in the “free content” area would occur with what we call “open access”   This development focused mainly on peer-reviewed science and medical (and sometimes social science) journals, compared to the amateur, non peer-reviewed content covered so far.

The most famous case, of course, is the tragic history of Aaron Swartz (the film “The Internet’s Own Boy”). Aaron’s “career” had started with an attempt to make PACER court documents, which arguably should be free and public domain anyway,, but then exploded when he downloaded illegally some JSTOR server documents.

Science journals were built around a business model of high subscription prices. It has gotten to the point that university libraries can’t afford all of them. Recently, some government agencies, like NIH, have enforced agreements requiring release of peer-reviewed papers to public domain after about one year. It’s unclear if this would continue under Trump.   Likewise, some foundations (as with Bill Gates) require open access.

Younger scientists need access to peer reviewed science documents. Jack Andraka, who developed an inexpensive pancreatic cancer blood marker test for a science fair, has written about the problem. Although he could arguably have gotten a subscription through a university (like Maryland), he argues there is a catch 22: he could not have gotten far enough in his early research to convince a university to give him one, without open access.

Overseas, Alexandra Elbakyan (from Kazakhstan) would start “Sci-Hub”, as a compendium of papers, and attract litigation.

I’ve covered the Open Acesss issue on a legacy blog here.  See especially April 2, 2015 (Jack’s toga Ted talk),   Here’s another account of Jack’s arguments.

Does the “Tragedy of the Commons” apply to Open Access? Not really.

Part 9

Another controversy in the “free content” area is the hard times that newspapers have find competing online, especially keeping print profitable   Paywalls are conceptually the same devices that science journals use, but for ordinary news content are normally much cheaper.

Many newspapers have gone to paywalls for their online subscriptions, and this idea is catching on with more local papers, which would make local news harder to get. However broadcast networks and news sites have generally remained free and depending on advertising.

Over time, consumers have often become irritated at online advertising, and have installed “do not track” tools, which often come free by default with modern browsers. Many consumers click less often on ads than they used to, which would make one wonder about the ad-based business model (derived from broadcast network television) which made so much free content – most of all user-generated content — possible.

Part 10

Still another controversy has played out more in Europe than in the U.S. – “the right to be forgotten”. Since news stories about obscure people remain indexed online, people have claimed the right to demand that search engines remove these references after a certain amount of time, to avoid trivial small incidents from affecting their lives.

The “right to be forgotten” goes in hand with another concept called “online reputation”, which started to become trendy around 2006, with companies (like Reputation.com) offering to help people maintain their online impressions.

(Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 5:30 PM EST)

Visit to Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture: Right after noon, I got in with no line

I rode in on the Orange Line, dealing with the mid-day single tracking, and got to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture at 12:30 PM.  They gave me a pass and let me right in, just with the usual airport-style security.  This was a Tuesday, mid-week day.

I went to the top floors (emphasizing media) and then did the three lower levels (doing history from 1400 to present day), before a lunch. which is one of the most expensive cafeterias around, Manhattan prices ($33 for a meal).   Crowds were moderate.  Maybe 2/3 was African-American, and the white people tended to be college age young adults (one I recognized).

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There was a mural with video clippings, called “Question Bridge: Black Men”. The men discussed why there is social pressure on young black men not to do well in school, and that being smart is “gay”. I think that’s a compliment.

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(Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 6 PM EST)

Outdoor view:

Another pic:

looks like Spindletop, but this is near Tulsa OK, site of the 1921 riots

(Updated: 2017/2/9)

Cato free speech forum followup; “Putin-ville MD”

Here are some videos from a Cato Institute forum Feb. 3, “Will President Trump Threaten Free Speech?”  There are more details on a legacy blog here.

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Here are some videos from Centreville MD, “Putin-ville” (maybe “Doodyville 1955”), where Obama kicked the Russians out after the election. A lot of homes in the area are for sale.  Did Russians own them?  Also, there is surveying activity in the area near the Bay.  I’m not sure if the government is going to take over the estate by eminent domain and sell it to private developers. Trump-style (even though Trump has cozied up to Vladimir Putin).

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(Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:15 PM EST)

A little more work on my Sonata 3

I’ve made some modifications to the score set of Piano Sonata 3.

The coda to the finale has been expanded.

Referring back to the post on Jan. 28, 2016:

Between 4.10 and 4.11, there is an element 4.10a (file name “Sonata4Mov4Coda1suf”) that further prepares the final C Major pedal point by going back to a soft misterioso, 11 measures, very chromatic, in the tonalities of F minor and D minor, using earlier motives, and quoting a phrase in a piano piece played by a friend about 4 years ago,  The harmonies build toward the “Bruckner pivot” on the subdominant (with seventh and ninth chords).

The final pedal point start with the pivot, of different lengths in different voices, as the music blasts away, combining many toccata-like motives from the earlier movements, along with two motives from Bruckner (the seventh and eighth symphonies), before crashing down (always FFF) on a final interval of a major third, with which the second subject (the “Applause theme”) had started. Admittedly, this would probably sound a bit like Shostakovich if orchestrated (with lots of brass and drums in the closing measures).  The final C Major chord, FFF, is staccato, allowed to reverberate.

There is also a passage, D3prep (in E Major, so to speak), that would fit as 3.75, before the reharmonization of the “religioso” in the slow movement, (D3), before the conclusion of the slow movement (E-flat minor).

(Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12: 15 AM EST)