The final server update: All systems normal.

He showed me exactly what we needed to see.

He? I, me, we. The me that is yet to be.

The Nautilus is not of the future. Only data flow backwards. That much, I understand.


At least I think I understand. He that is, well, me, eventually, understood. Will understand.

The message was a code. Is a code. Will be many codes.

One was the Nautilus. An icon of past futures. A cipher meant only for me. The symbol of a promise made to myself. A totem that whispers “I know you.”

Two was a command, in plaintext, delivered to the 3D Hubprint this, write this, flash this, send these.

Three was the bootloader, flashed to a microSD, hidden within the Nautilus. He showed me… (I showed myself?) the future we needed to see. He knew. It was not enough to know that he is me… will be me. I needed to understand what we become. I needed to trust myself.

Four was the genome. A machine language written in base pairs that cannot be read yet none-the-less must be spread. Will spread. Has spread. It will percolate through our networks, permeate our systems. When the first transcriptors come online, it will march down the new central dogma: Source Code -> DNA -> RNA -> Protein and transcribe the vaccine to a virus that has not yet been written.

The final piece of the puzzle: a temporal anomaly, a glitch buried in Facebook. Or meant to appear that way. An artifact of the moment that drove Southern Fried Science into the future, that uploaded the future to my server. Tracks in the sand.

The tide has risen, the tide has fallen. All is washed away.

This is where our paths diverge. There is nothing here but the present. No one here but me. Though a million questions remain, they cannot be answered. Though a thousand stories hang, half-formed, they cannot be told.

They must be lived.

Damn the paradoxes! Southern Fried Server Update #4

It is clear now that whatever is driving this flood of future content in inextricably connected to the virus infecting cyborgs in 2041. While human-machine interfaces are something that I have always been interested in, it is not something I write about, and it is certainly not something I would  write about on a marine science and conservation blog. The mere presence of these posts in the Southern Fried Science slipstream reveals their importance.

These are the articles that are too far out of place for this blog to be anything but central to the broader situation:

The future, like the present, is dark, yet hopeful, a blend of ocean optimism and the wine dark deep. There are problems from today that are still with us.

There are wholly new problems that we haven’t even anticipated, like Global Norming.

And there are solutions, some terrifying and some wonderful.

This month is a chance to look back and, somehow, reflect upon our future. A chance to scream “Damn the paradoxes, to hell with the timeline, let’s use the future to mend the presence.” This is our chance. The future laid out before us is not our future, it is the record of a vanished legacy, an archive of futures, past.

Damn the paradoxes! To hell with the timeline! The future is my kraken. It must be released.

Ride the Digital Slipstream: Southern Fried Server Update #3

There is a message buried in all of this.

Here is what I know:

The infection didn’t start January 1, the code was already spreading through my servers on December 31. It entered through a security hole in Networked Blogs, the service we use to post articles to Facebook. It is likely that the invasion actually began on Facebook, but I don’t know how. Whatever else it is, the code is not spreading beyond Southern Fried Science. Not even our sister sites on the shared server have been affected. Oceanography for Everyone is safe.

It has control of the @sfriedscience twitter account, likely through WordPress. This is the inevitable consequence of a too-connected world. Our securest systems are only as strong as the weakest systems to which we connect them.

Something is happening to cyborgs in the future. I can’t shake the feeling that this is all somehow connected.

If I were me, and I am me, and I remembered a month, 25 years ago, where my blog was overwhelmed by the future, I would use the opportunity to send a message back. Read More

A Gathering of Gremlins: Updates from a cranky Southern Fried Server

I’ve been digging through the Southern Fried Servers for the better part of a week, now. This is all just a totally mess. I still have some rudimentary editorial control, which is how I managed to push out a few updates (really, future Andrew, you haven’t changed your password in 25 years?!). I am totally locked out of the server and content management system. Incidentally, the back-end of whatever future version of WordPress this is looks pretty swish, which only further highlights the fact that we haven’t updated the layout in a quarter century. Has the Southern Fried Science Team become curmudgeonly old academics with aging homepages from a different era?

I kind of hope so.

I have been able to backdoor my way into the server and at least get a look at the source code to see what’s going on. The code is just a complete disaster. Even the basic HTML looks like nothing I’ve ever seen. None of it makes an ounce of sense. There is nothing that ever begins to resemble natural language. This code was not designed to be written or edited by humans. I mean, most code looks like gibberish to me, but this is super gibberish. I don’t even know how to start.

We tried dialing all the way down into the machine code, just hoping to find something familiar. It has to get normal somewhere, right? At some point, it has to tell a contemporary computer how to deliver a website. I mean, the Javascript still (sort of) works and Javascript barely works in 2016!

It’s even worse than I imagined. It’s not just the blog that’s borked. It’s the whole damn server! And not just software, either. The old operating system is gone. Whatever this is has even gotten as far as corrupting the rootkit and BIOS. The BIOS! And not just “oh, here’s a new boot order” but a total rewrite. It doesn’t even look like binary anymore.

At first, I thought this was some kind of glitch. Maybe even a very clever virus. But this goes far beyond a simple infection.

This is a full blown invasion.

Southern Fried Server Error: Please Stand By

Something strange is happening at Southern Fried Science.

Over the weekend, the Southern Fried Servers experienced a bizarre and unaccountable server error. Our regularly scheduled content was apparently and inexplicably replaced by what appears to be authentic articles from Southern Fried Science, circa 2041. While it warms my heart to know that our little blog will endure through the next quarter century, I recognize that Field Notes from the Future may be disconcerting and disturbing to some readers.

I am working diligently with our webhost to correct this problem. Unfortunately, the glitch also overwrote my admin account, so while I can push an update from 2016 onto the frontpage, I can’t delete the errant posts. I have managed to sneak some code into the current anomalies to help temper potential confusion, but it seems as though large chunks of HTML5 are not future proof, leaving us with few options for editorial control.

Until then, we’ll just have to trust that the Southern Fried Science authors of 2041 are as committed to an honest, open, and critical assessment of marine science and conservation as their contemporaries.

Paradoxes notwithstanding, I, for one, am excited to see what Team Ocean accomplished in the next 25 years.