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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

Season 3 Episode 10 - Half Way Home

Hello my survivor friends.

Let’s insert the sound effect of a champagne cork popping because this is it! The halfway point! Emerging from the mist like a lost private island oasis in the apocalyptic storm.

Who would have thought? Here we are Season 3, Episode 10.

We dropped our first episode almost exactly 2 years ago.

Who knew?

I’ve been a podcaster since 2007 and a creative writer my whole existence. But something happened when the pandemic hit in 2020 that shook these stories loose and I decided to create this audio narrative about the apocalypse for you. I started writing these as an experiment and I enjoyed the writing, and I dug the results enough to codify it into this thing we have here today.

My plan has always been to have a 100- episode run. Can’t help myself I suffer from Roman numeral syndrome. A century of episodes broken into 5 seasons.

And here we are halfway.

Unless I accelerate things, or I have a total meltdown, we have about 18 months to 2 years ahead of us.

Fill those canteens and pull your face coverings tight as we push forth into the sandy storm of dark creativity that is the After Apocalypse experience.


I’m still on the artificial intelligence topic this week!

It’s fascinating.

Last episode I talked about the new generative AI’s.

I spent the last couple weeks playing with the text-generating open AI platform ChatGPT and it is frighteningly good.

I’ll give you and example:

I asked it the following: “Write me a short poem about the apocalypse.” I even mis-spelled apocalypse. It came back with:

As the world falls into darkness

The apocalypse approaches with a mournful cry

The skies are filled with ash and smoke

As the earth begins to die

The air is thick with the scent of fear

As humanity faces its final hour

But even in the face of impending doom

We will not cower

For even as the world crumbles around us

We will stand tall and face the storm

For though the acpoaclypse may come

We will weather it, forever reborn

Not bad, right? 3 stanzas, good rhyming scheme and meter. And it even misspelled apocalypse the same way I did in the 3rd stanza.


But, as the pitchmen used to say, “That’s not all!”

You can then ask it to adjust the output. To fine tune it.

Again in our example: I gave it the following adjustment instruction: “Use the voice of a child, make it more sinister and use complex vocabulary.”

(Which is intentionally contradictive.)

It responded:

As the shadows lengthen and the light fades

I can feel the acpoaclypse creeping closer

It whispers to me in the night

Tempting me with its dark power

I am but a child, small and weak

Yet I am drawn to the darkness within

For in the face of the end of all things

I am filled with a wicked grin

I revel in the chaos and destruction

As the world crumbles and falls

For in the acpoaclypse, I am untamed

A creature of darkness, free to roam

So let the acpoaclypse come, let it take hold

For I am ready to embrace the end

With malice and glee, I will watch it unfold

As the darkness consumes me, my soul to rend.

Note: It misspelled apocalypse 3 times here the same way I originally had.

Again, spooky good.

Also, very dark.

In the first version it ends with hope for humanity’s rebirth. In this version the child is consumed by the darkness.

It’s complex and dark.

What our takeaway?

The good news is that the pace of innovation in our lifetimes is astounding. We live in interesting times.

The bad news is that we’d all better hold on to our seats because there is a huge wave of disruption coming in the next decade.

By the time I get to episode 100, writing may have become as obsolete as the morning newspaper on your doorstep.

The lunatics are in my hall

The paper holds their folded faces to the floor

And every day, the paperboy brings more

Indeed the lunatic AI’s are in the hall!

I have a prediction for you. In 2023 we will see a venture funded AI publishing house emerge. Where they are able to use analytics to determine what people are reading and listening to in real time, and then have the AI create content immediately to fill that need.

Here’s how it’s going to work: You are going to be talking about how much you love stories about rutabagas from outer space with your friend on social media and the same day you are going to be offered a bunch of rutabaga themed outer space stories in all your ads online.

A couple Updates before I let you go.

- I have finished loading all these outro sections with their links to my website Click the tab that says “Posts and Content” and you will see them all there in the date order that they were released. Remember – if I was talking about Some content, like love death and robots, or Stranger in a Strange Land or Day of the Triffids – those links will be where I talked about them.

- I also added a “Buy me a coffee” button on the front page. This way you can throw me some spare change if you appreciate what we do here without having to subscribe.

- There are also links to all my social media and a contact form if you’re dying to ask me something.

That number again is Oldman – AI operators are standing by.

As we say goodbye to 2022 and look forward to 2023 – Thank you for joining me on this journey. I appreciate you.

Stay warm and keep surviving.

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