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What's Going On

Okay, it's time for a confessional. I'm well aware that I haven't been blogging as frequently I used to, and too much of what gets posted here simply points to stuff I've done elsewhere. While I have made the occasional foray into blogging more, and do still get some new stuff unique to OtF up here, Open the Future circa mid-2009 simply isn't what it was even a year ago.

Here's why.

I'm busy, yeah, and I've been doing a lot of traveling, yeah, but what it comes down to is that my health sucks. I was diagnosed with a form of rheumatoid arthritis ("palindromic rheumatism") back in 2001 (at 35, fun), but managed to control the occasional flare-ups with relatively simple treatments. About a year ago, the flare-ups started happening more often, regardless of the treatments; about three months ago, the flare-ups started hitting multiple joints at the same time, something that hadn't happened before. This would leave me literally unable to walk, and in constant pain. If you haven't had the pleasure, constant pain is not very good for the thinking process. Moreover, the drugs that I take to beat down the flare-ups just make me want to sleep all day.

I'm going through one of these episodes right now.

I'm shifting to a new treatment regimen, but that will take a couple of months to settle in. In the meantime, I'm doing what I can. This means that some days I'll get stuff up, but many days I won't. It doesn't mean I don't want to, it just means that I simply don't have the energy.

I am not posting this in a bid for sympathy. If you choose to reply, in comments or email/twitter, I would be much more appreciative of a simple "thanks for letting us know" acknowledgement than of well-intentioned words of comfort. This is an incredibly frustrating experience, but I just felt that it was important to talk about what was happening, rather than just shutting up and disappearing.


Very best wishes that the new regimen will allow you to get back to a routine of your choosing. I have been a great fan of your work for last few years, it has always been optimistic, compassionate, and thought provoking. Any absences or decline in your work output will be noticed and missed be many people. I wish you a speedy improvement in your current condition and an overall change for the better in the future.

David Harper

Hey man

Fingers crossed for the new regimen. Give me a call sometime soon
... future can't get here fast enough... where are my damn stem cell treatments! Here's to uploads, full body replacements, and dismantling the moon into computronium.

I'm sure you can think of more constructive activities than enduring episodes of chronic pain.

(And don't be a goose! Useless sentiment it may be, but of course we wish you well!)

Thanks for letting us know.

Is this affecting your outlook on the future of medicine? An essay about that perspective could be interesting :)

Try to keep your chin up and not worry about the blog. A close friend of mine has battled rheumatoid arthritis for years and the flare ups are no joke. Get some rest and we'll still all be here down the road.

Last night I had dinner with some friends, and met a relative of theirs briefly visiting from halfway around the world. Much of the conversation revolved around futurology, and in particular the question, "who is the new Alvin Toffler?" was posed. But earlier in the conversation, I learnt that this visitor had a medical condition I didn't recall hearing about before, one which had catalyzed her move to the UK: palindromic rheumatism.

Today I visited this blog for the first time in a while, and saw this post. And then later in the day I ran into her unexpectedly, one more time, and was able to convey what had happened.

The coincidence is profound enough that I am going to have to dust off, and give serious consideration to, all those classes of world-model in which it would be possible for this to be something other than coincidence.

Jamais, she said she might get in touch with you, with some tips on how to manage the condition. I'll encourage her to do so.

bummer! glad you've not just disappeared on us

Jamais, I'm really sorry to hear that you're in so much discomfort!

Last year, during a very bad episode of carpal, I invested in MacSpeech software, which comes with a headset that has an excellent mic. I still use it regularly to lighten the load on my hands and wrists.

It takes some steady effort to get used to organizing my thoughts while dictating rather than while typing, but I have learned to draft whole articles with it.

I know this does not answer all your problems right now, but perhaps it will offer some relief, help you to get work done.


Let me see if I can cheer you up with some speculative futurology.
(it is worse than bad Sci-F ;-)

Reel Movie Magic

August 20 2013

It is a great day here at Cornucopia Inc as we are introducing our new and improved Reelizer II ® graphene fabber.
Each frame in the assembly cassette is bigger(25 cm²) and more precise (+/- 1 micron in X/Y plane) yet the Reelizer II ® is still able to run at 60 frames per second.
To fab an object you will need a roll of 5c1u graphene oxide ribbon from a GrOx 2012 Ribbon Maker® and insert it on the side of the Reelizer II ® in the slot marked GrOx ribbon.
You insert a Conucopia Assembly Cassette® on the top, just as before. (A fifteen minute assembly cassette contains over 100 trillion bits information that specify each cubic micron in a 5 cm high fabbed object.)
We have added a video screen on the front of the Reelizer II® so you can watch a simulation of the object being built as it is being built.
The fabrication process remains the same:
1) a segment of graphene oxide ribbon enters the stack and flash zone.
2) above the GrOx ribbon a frame from a film strip (in the assembly cassette that contains a frame for every 1 micron thick cross section of the object you are building) moves into place.
3) a light flashes from above the image in the frame, in the exposed areas below, the flakes of graphene oxide turn into a polymerized graphene composite that binds with the layer below.
4) the GrOx ribbon is cut, the stack and flash zone is lowered 1 micron, and film strip is advanced 1 frame.
The process repeats until you finish making your stack (~15 minutes for a 5 cm tall object)
The stack can then be taken to the wash box. Inside 36 jets of water hit the object from all angles washing away the bulk of the un-reacted graphene oxide (that fills in the negative space when making the object). Then a five minute sonication bath to remove the remaining GrOx flakes and you are all done. The water and graphene oxide mixture that is left over can be put into the "pulp" box for making more GrOx ribbon.

We here at Cornucopia Inc. are dedicated to being the supply of choice for the local fabrication movement.
With nearly zero waste of basic raw materal, and the use of only light and water in the fabrication process makes the Reelizer II® the greenest fabber in existence.

Come to our web site for pricing on:
The Reelizer II ®
The GrOx 2012 Ribbon Maker ®
GrOx Water Dispersion®
A wide assortment of designs on Cornucopia Assembly Cassettes®

Note* As a service we can transfer your CAD designs to Assembly Cassettes and sell them in our Cassette store.

Thanks for letting us know!

Just wanted to say how genuinely useful your blog posts are. I've only just started looking in to future forecasts etc, and your blog and book have been the best possible introduction (and continuing study).

Thanks for keeping up this blog despite everything else that's going on.

Anyone with any autoimmune disorder should get a blood test for celiac (no, you won't know if you have it.)

Also, check the research on ipRGCs, and the photoperiod effect on the immune system.

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All comments go through moderation, so if it doesn't show up immediately, I'm not available to click the "okiedoke" button. Comments telling me that global warming isn't real, that evolution isn't real, that I really need to follow [insert religion here], that the world is flat, or similar bits of inanity are more likely to be deleted than approved. Yes, it's unfair. Deal. It's my blog, I make the rules, and I really don't have time to hand-hold people unwilling to face reality.


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