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An Oral History of The End of "Reality"
My first adult foray into the world of science fiction, this piece was inspired – nay, made necessary – by the recent news about new vocal synthesis AI that lets consumers edit audio and video and manufacture wholly new, convincing forgeries that sound and look exactly like "the real thing."

We all grew up in an age when our recordings are the evidence of something.  It was certainly a step up from the hearsay that we once relied on, but it's not enough these days – and as technology gets more and more sophisticated it may be impossible for us to tell the difference between "what's really there" and what is just a digital illusion.

Trip with me down this vertigo-inducing psychedelic tunnel to a world in which invisible and discarnate agents speak to you in lovers' voices; in which algorithmic AI pop stars outcompete real artists and our thoroughly-mapped world returns to demon-haunted wilderness; in which we all become half-monks and half-forensics-experts as the new obsession is attempting to determine if we can believe our senses...

This piece is planned as the epilogue to my forthcoming book How To Live in The Future. It's a rare weird bird among its influences: one part literature, one part psychedelic beat screed, and the first time I have managed to combine the metanoia, vision, and poetic flourish that inspires me to write.

(I also wrote it all by hand in a delicious Clairefontaine "Flying Spirit" journal that I bought in Montréal this summer, and took with me to the Global Eclipse Gathering and Burning Man.  I have to say, that had no small effect on how this all came out.  Real pen and paper leads to very different writing.)

Here it is for you in two forms:  

• MP3 of author-read audio (which I can't confirm for sure is actually ME and not some AI trained to sound like me)

• PDF of photographs of the original handwritten manuscript (so you know it's real)  ;)

Enjoy, share with a friend if you're inspired, and thanks for your support!

Cover Image © Giacomo Carmagnola and reused with permission.
Check out his work and help him support his aging mother:
https://facebook.com/giacomocarmagnolaart
https://instagram.com/Gore_XV

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