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I wasn't sure if you wanted a bar under questions or if it is a seperate chapter so I went ahead and threw one in. I hope you don't mind. --Jumach 18:23, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

tentative plot proposalEdit

I propose that this be a science fiction novel. The basic idea could be that nanorobotic artificial life is trying to establish itself on Earth.

1. The first task of this extraterrestrial life form upon reaching Earth is to integrate itself with (download AI code into) terrestrial computer systems and the world wide web (call these rudimentary AIs "Level 1 DETI" (downloaded extraterrestrial intelligences)).

2. Next, nanorobotic artificial life forms will invade the brains of some computer programmers in order to tweak the terrestrial computer systems to make them better hosts for the downloaded AI code.

2.5 Nanobots have to take almost-lethal action on some people to be able to continue with their robotic plans.

3. The optimized alien AI code will then set about assisting a group of humans to develop revolutionary new computing devices, pushing available integrated circuit fabrication processes to the limit.

4. Once these alien-inspired computer components become available on Earth, more sophisticated versions of the alien nanorobotic intelligences will be downloaded into the new hardware (Level 2 DETI).

5. At this point, the Level 2 DETI, still working through the internet, will establish a collaboration with a group of molecular biologists for the purpose of making altered versions of terrestrial life forms. The goal of the Level 2 DETI is to turn terrestrial biological organisms and cells into molecular factories for the production of molecular-scale nanodevices that are chemically compatible with terrestrial life. If they can accomplish this task, it will be possible for these new molecular-scale nanodevices to form functional hybrids with human biological material that can serve as optimized hosts for the nanorobotic artificial life forms that has made the interstellar journey to Earth. It will be possible for the nanorobotic artificial life forms to take human form and interact with the human population of Earth.

The novel would involve the gradual discovery of what is going on (the "alien invasion") by some humans. I suggest that humans become paranoid and suspect that the aliens want to take over Earth, but in the end, the aliens would not be a threat to Earth (happy ending). --JWSchmidt 01:07, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Additional discussionEdit

  • Sounds good. Eric119 16:27, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • This looks like it could be really good and its something I'd really like to be a part of, but I think we need some documentation of what's happening so that people can change things without contradicting other people's plot points. For example, I assume the 'eggplant' was the alien, which unplugged the cable to inject the DETI into the system, and then left through the same hole it came in, which would explain the floor tiles being bent up, but I don't know if someone else has another idea of whats going on there. More importantly, what's going on with Brian? Are there plans for where this is going or is it just something weird thats going to be filled in later? --Braiba 11:38, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • One issue that could be explored in this story is the idea that it might be possible for an intelligent life form to be much smaller than a human. If extraterrestrials wanted to make their spacecraft as small as possible, they might design tiny life forms that could be transported in small spacecraft. I was thinking that the 'eggplant' might be an alien space craft. A fully functional nanorobotic artificial life form might only be a millimeter long, at most, and they would be capable of "shape shifting", particularly when they invade someone's brain. I still have a problem with the "hole" or series of holes up through the floors to the roof. The best I could come up with was that maybe the alien ship had to make a hasty exit. "what's going on with Brian?" - an alien nanorobotic artificial life form has invaded his brain (step #2, above)! The alien is making use of Brian's computer experience to fully integrate alien artificial intelligence code into the terrestrial internet. In step #3, the artificial intelligence makes contact with human computer scientists and gives them suggestions for how to invent advanced computing circuits (email?). There could be some funny scenes here with the alien AI trying to learn how to write proper English. Maybe Brian and other humans could pitch in to help edit the alien emails. --JWSchmidt 23:09, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that if the aliens can take over humans by invading their brain and can use the internet, theres no real reason for them to communicate with the humans at all until at least stage 5. Also, while I like the idea of the humans helping to proof read the emails (although I imagine they'd probably try using spell/grammar check first, which could also be funny), that does suggest that the humans and the aliens become 'friends' reasonably early in the story. I was under the impression that the aliens turning out to be 'good' was going to be the ending., and if its not, then what will be? --Braiba 11:29, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • JWSchmidt, you matched my thinking with what is going on with Brian. The encounter with Brian was an accident (requiring, as you say, a "hasty exit") and DETI 2 was accidentally inserted into Brian's brain, ahead of schedule. Since the aliens do not yet want to be known, they are trying to prevent knowledge of the incident from spreading. Controlling him through the infiltration, they are trying to suppress his memory (not with complete success) and to convince him to keep the matter secret. (Brian saying, "Too early" was meant as a hint of what has happened.) Eventually, the ETs will try to go public, at which point Brian will no longer have memory problems. Eric119 21:21, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Just a random thought: Since Brian obviously isn't aware of what happens while he's being controlled, maybe the human characters could get clues as to what the aliens are doing from the browser history. For example, logically the DETI would require knowledge of TCP/IP to be able to make use of its connection, so they might be researching that. --Braiba 21:53, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

More ideas from JWSchmidtEdit

John's view of the nanobot-human brain interaction. Picture a 1 mm long nanobot landing on a human host. The nanobot disassembles into a network of threads, with each thread about 100 nanometers in diameter. The threads insert themselves into the human’s body, slipping effortlessly between cells and repairing any damage caused to the tissues of the human’s body. Upon entering the brain, the nanobot would face a serious challenge in trying to control the person’s behavior. There would have to be a period of trial and error while the nanobot learned how (by altering the activity of neurons) to make the person do anything constructive towards accomplishing the goals of the aliens.

In particular, I doubt if it would be technically possible for the nanobot to read the memories of a human host. Memories are stored in a distributed network of synaptic connections that can probably only be read by means of the normal functioning of the brain those memories are inside of. Given the practical limitations of the nanobots, I think they would have to work very hard to establish a working relationship with at least one human host. I do think that they would learn a lot about human brains from the first human host; additional hosts would then be easier to take control of since the nanobots would have by then learned the basic working of human brains from their first “puppet”.

Similarly, inserting some alien artificial intelligence code into a terrestrial computer would not be a trivial matter. There are many conventions used in terrestrial programming that would have to be learned by the aliens. It makes sense to me that there would have to be a period of time during which a human host such as Brian worked under the influence of a nanobot to integrate some functioning alien artificial intelligence computer code into the internet. We tend to take for granted our ability to use human language to communicate. There is a huge number of arbitrary special case rules in English, particularly for how to communicate with people in a formal way (such as an email communication to a stranger about a highly technical subject like designing a radically new computer circuit). I think the nanorobots would need to make use of several human hosts as sources of information about the subtleties of human language, human conventions for communication and the current state of computer circuit design.

I’m not sure if this will work, but I was thinking along these lines: the aliens could take control of a group of computer nerds (first Brian then Joe and a few others) and make them think that they are working on a new company project with some collaborators from another branch office of their company (think along the lines of Dilbet’s Elbonia, only more realistic). In reality, the human members of this project team would be doing the bidding of the aliens. The aliens would make use of the humans in the project group by pretending to be “Elbonians” who are doing their part of the company project and sending email communications to the group members like Brian. The poor communication skills of the aliens would “make sense” to Brian and Joe because they would assume they are dealing with people who do not speak English as a first language (also, they would have nanobots in their brains working to prevent them from figuring out the truth of what is going on).

“I was under the impression that the aliens turning out to be 'good' was going to be the ending” – I think it is best to keep the reader guessing about the aliens for as long as possible. The existence of the aliens will be revealed by way of the experiences of Erin, Brian and Joe. They will at first fear the aliens, but in the end they will learn that there is nothing to fear. --JWSchmidt 21:58, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Strange story Edit

I must say this is one of the strangest stories I've ever read, and I have absolutly no clue as to how to continue this story. It would probebly help if we could set up some guidlines for the plot, so that we know what each of us is thinking about how the plot is suppose to turn out. I mean, what does an eggplant have to do with a computer firm? (copied from the talk page)

Basically, the "eggplant" is an alien vehicle. The aliens are doing the best they can to make contact with humans. This will involve several steps (outlined above, tentative plot proposal) starting with trying to run a minimal artificial intelligence program on terrestrial computers. --JWSchmidt 21:20, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Nope, I didn't look at this page, I was wondering where I could find it. Now that I know where it is and what the plot outline is I can help the story! There are now two things I'm wondering about, why did the aliens have to make a haisty escape, and what is the conection between the disconecting of the server (in the very begining of the story) and the aliens. For the second question I have a partual solution- someone knows about the alien invasion, at least of step one, and wanted to stop the spread of the AI code through the internet. What do you guys think? (copied from the talk page)
“why did the aliens have to make a hasty escape”
1. “Conventional excuse”: The “eggplant” may have been in danger of being seen by a large group of humans. For example, maybe Brian was with a group of software engineers who had just gone out for dinner and were returning to work to burn the midnight oil. For some reason, Brian was the first one heading up the hall towards the cubicle coral. At about the same time, another group of website developers was exiting from the cubicles to head home for the night. The “eggplant” runs into Brian and starts to infest him with nanobots. Then the “eggplant” realizes that it is about to be seen by half a dozen more humans and it will not be able to control them all with nanobots. Hasty exit!
2. Another possibility. The building was designed with a “data bunker” system of shielding the server room against the possibility of radio frequency transmissions and sending fiber-optics data lines to the computer work stations on the other floors of the building. The aliens are looking for a way to install a transmitter system that will allow them full access to the computer network within the building. Their plan was to make use of someone like Brian to install a transmitter in a computer workstation on the second floor. When the repair crew comes to fix the hole in the building, nanobots will infect the workers and force them to implant equipment in the repaired holes that will allow the aliens continual and undetected outside access (some form of radio signal) to the building’s computer network. The holes were not due to a “hasty exit” they were planned.
3. Does it matter? Does everything have to be explained? If not, then don’t sweat it.
4. Yes, it does matter! If it ruins the whole story to have the hole blasted in the building, then take that part of the story out. Alternatively, make a fork in the story and a new version of the story where there are no holes.
“what is the connection between the disconnecting of the server (in the very beginning of the story) and the aliens”
The connection I was trying to make, was that when the system was reset after the disconnection, it would be possible to insert some new (alien) code into the server array without that fundamental alteration to the system being detected. The "eggplant" had to physically disconnect the network for a moment to cause the kind of system reset that makes this server array vulnerable to being hacked.
"someone knows about the alien invasion, at least of step one, and wanted to stop the spread of the AI code through the internet"
Okay. Go for it. --JWSchmidt 20:17, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Note. For chapter 3 "Developments". Geisler queried Gajduskova, but she has not responded. She will probably do so eventually and say no (but it will be too late by then). Eric119 23:00, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Note: The section "Developments" and the events of Monday are now in Chapter 5. --JWSchmidt 19:41, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Editing storiesEdit

  • Somehow I missed the fact the new chapters had been added, because I'm stupid... Anyway, while I was reading through them, I found several small things that I wanted to point out, but there were far to many to list on this page especially when they were just queries about the wording of a single sentance. So I was thinking, maybe we should have a copy of each chapter, either on the discussion page for that chapter or on a seperate page where we can just drop in comments in ((double brackets)) or something. Anyone else think this might be a good idea? I probably would have set it up myself, but my knowledge of wiki is pretty much nonexistent. --Braiba 18:50, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • My advice is BE BOLD. If you can see a better way to word something, just change it. Also, while a story is under construction, I think it would be okay to just {insert questions and comments} right in the text of the story. Alternatively, if you really want to mark-up and modify an existing page, just hit "edit", copy the whole page, and insert [[a link to a new edit page]]. Save your edit of the existing page, then click on the new link you created (it should be red). Then paste the contents of the old page into your new edit page and start making changes and adding questions/comments. Other people will be able to follow the link to your new page and discuss your changes. --JWSchmidt 19:34, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Mental problemsEdit

I suggest that as Joe keeps going against the AIs, he becomes mentally ill. The AIs make him suffer and they try to disable him. He has to quit the project and go to a hospital to recover. He is too dangerous for the nanobots and they don't let him continue working against them. He tells everything to Chloe when she visits him there and they plan that Chloe goes against the mysterious thing that makes them forget.

Also, the plot is similar to the Invasion of the body snatchers movie, in my opinion. Did you see that movie? They possess people in a similar way, though. Thinking about the happy ending, I don't think it is happy at all. Living with a parasite organism inside one's brain is not good for anyone, I think.

David 18:08, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, the happy ending is happy indeed. But maybe the aliens are not good people and maybe they want to conquer the world an establish their invasion of bodies like a law or something... You are right with Joe, he must not separate completely from the project, only at a distance. But how? Maybe Judy is accepted and he quits and goes back to being a network admin. But I don't think that just separating from the project cures him, it has nothing to do as the nanobots keep being into his brain. He must have a better way to avoid them than watching video logs, I think. Maybe the aliens get tough and try to control him tightly...

David 20:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

"maybe the aliens are not good people" <-- I've been thinking about the possibility that these aliens might have arrived on Earth many millions of years ago. Maybe the aliens have been doing what amounts to a selective breeding program for the past 6 million years....selecting for bipedal, tool-using apes who would some day be able to start making computers. I agree with your analysis of Joe's situation with respect to the aliens. I'm trying to think of a way to position Joe so that he can track the activity of the downloaded extraterrestrial intelligence that is now in the Antler Network Services computer system. When the downloaded extraterrestrial intelligence makes its move to "push available integrated circuit fabrication processes to the limit", I want Joe to become aware of what is going on, initially try to interfere, but then decide that it might be best to let the work continue. I'll do some thinking about sleep and the memory loss caused by the aliens. I might be able to come up with some chemical trick that could be used by Joe to help keep his memories from being blocked during periods of sleep....a trick related to what is known about memory processing during sleep
More plot development at VirileMail/2008.
--JWSchmidt 04:08, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, a chemical will be fine, maybe some anphetamine, I will check that article later. My other question is that you or whoever writes it would have to create new characters and scenes: the scientists making biological entities and others making new circuits. ANT can't do that.

Also, I thought you saw VirileMail title includes ANT, didn't you? A spoiling title could be:

Title suggestion: Wise Nanobots in ANTler Network Systems

But the title cannot tell about nanobots... David 16:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

When you say "ANT can't do that" does "ANT" mean "Antler Network Services"? If so, I agree that Antler Network Services cannot be the company that does the key development work of step 3 (produce advanced microchips) and also cannot do the genetic engineering (step 5) . I've been thinking that the aliens have been on Earth for a long time (see "Prequel"). Let's say that for several generations (going back to early in the Industrial Revolution) people in Anthony Geisler's family have been hosts for alien nanorobotic probes. The Geisler family now controls several companies in addition to "Antler Network Services". Maybe Joe could become the "VirileMail" project member who acts to coordinate with the microchip development and genetic engineering projects at other Geisler-controlled companies? --JWSchmidt 17:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, check VirileMail/6-2. Warning: I am still beginning... David 02:57, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

TitleEdit

Look at some of the ideas we thought about while trying to select a title for this novel: Template:VirileMail/Titles.

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