Searching for Philip K. Dick’s Signal

What if extraterrestrial life is trying to contact us through laser beams?

In his later work, the great science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick speculated that an alien intelligence had transmitted information to Earth via laser beams or other forms of light.

The $100 million Breakthrough Listen project aims to search one million stars for signals, from “the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane.” It will broaden our search to include laser transmissions, testing Dick’s theory. Continue reading

Welcome to the True Pictures Community

TruePics_CompBground-02True Pictures invites you to join our new community of moviegoers, storytellers, readers and thinkers.

On this site, we will lead a conversation about life-changing ideas from the disciplines of science fiction, psychology, physics, philosophy and theology.

Our readers will be fellow-travelers, helping shape our movies from the first moments of creation.

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Writing With Artificial Intelligence

Will artificial intelligence write compelling stories someday?

Over at the Literai, a community of writers and programmers build neural nets to write “artificial fiction.” Check it out:

“Artificial fiction is now possible, mostly through the use of modern neural networks that can learn how to write in English (or any other language for that matter). Generally the writing from these neural networks isn’t very good, but it can be remarkably insightful into the patterns and styles of the genre it is taught to imitate. It is possible for anyone with a laptop to easily train neural networks and create their own artificial fiction.”

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Gravity & Your Cosmic Journey

sun

What if you could follow your own gravity field and travel millions of miles?

Scientists at the Ligo Collaboration project have twice detected gravitational waves from the interstellar collision of two black holes, confirming Einstein’s predictions about gravitational waves.

“It seems we’ve officially entered the age of gravitational wave astronomy,” wrote Gizmodo.

The project’s executive director explained: “It’s the first time the Universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves. Up until now, we’ve been deaf.”

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Storytellers of the Future

computer610What kind of new narratives will 21st Century storytellers create for our changing world?

Over at deviantART, you can explore a curated gallery of art dedicated to the future of storytelling–some end of the month inspiration.

Brain Games host Jason Silva tackled that question in a two-minute video called “Lucid Dreaming,” outlining the tremendous opportunities (and challenges) facing 21st Century storytellers. As our relationship to technology evolves, the stories we tell each other will change as well.

 

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Wikipedia Dystopia

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svgWhat if Wikipedia merged with a major corporation?

The massive online encyclopedia depends on donations from users, and is compiled through the dedicated work of unpaid contributors, editors and volunteers.

Over at the Writing Prompts section of Reddit, one writer imagined a grim future where corporate sponsorship supported the amazing resource.

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Superman & the Comanche

kansasWhat if a superhero lived among the Comanche tribe in Kansas in the 18th Century?

In an epic answer that question, one Reddit user imagined what would happen if the comic book hero Superman grew up among Native Americans in 1775.

The post answered a hypothetical question posed in the AskScienceFiction section: “How does it change/affect history in North America and the world?”

 

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The Music That Ray Bradbury Loved

bradburybioWhat music inspired the great Ray Bradbury?

We went searching for clues in old newspaper profiles, biographies and his immortal short stories. We built a list of classical and classic music that the great science fiction novelist loved.

Now you can listen to our free Ray Bradbury playlist on Spotify. If you have more songs to add, just mention them in the comments section…

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