Books and time
12 years ago, when my first book, ‘Course of events’, came out, I would answer with ‘If you can write, write.’
Since then, I have published more books, written scientific articles, and presented lectures, and also got an experience of developing a digital platform, which came to be a part of a new symbolic communication system and artificial intelligence. Now, society has radically altered its attitude to texts, and when I try to find a reason to publish texts, which would satisfy the masses, I cannot find one. Nevertheless, I continue to write books because writing is a realm of free-thinkers. Nowadays, this category of individuals is quite scarce. Although, everyone seems to now be writing and making videos on social media rather than through publishing houses.
At the same time, every time my hardcover books would be published or presented, I noticed changes. I don’t mean the sales or the state of the shop’s aisles, but rather the influence of my texts on real life, history, and society.
From the very beginning, the creation of my first book, ‘Course of events,’ became a social experiment for me. The moment of the presentation became the moment of truth, followed by an event of enormous social power and intensity that engendered new horizons and problems. Some talented individuals spend their entire lives solving these problems. I was gifted with the opportunity not to solve but to live.
There were no special literary pilgrimages. There were just pilgrimages. Trips to different countries. They had a specific goal to tune the body, the will, and the emotions for cognitive learning. They were a specific form of living and experiencing things through oneself, which could not be compared to academic education or other learning practices. All the more so nowadays, when the modern education system is in a time of crisis. My first book was ‘notes on my shirt cuffs’ and my lastest one, ‘notes on my smartphone.’
Your questions about literary pilgrimages should be motivated by the book ‘Course of events.’ This book was filled with my (youthful) impressions about oriental countries and photos of the before-digital era. At that time, we didn’t yet have the phones merged with cameras (later, many professional photographers started using them, and kids became the most influential providers on Instagram).
I was lucky enough to make my pilgrimage at a time when not many people there knew of digital technologies. I would say that the spirit of the age was still present in all its authenticity in some places there.
If you ask about my dream pilgrimage, to my great regret, I wasn’t able to make it. It was a pilgrimage to Dalai Lama XI. I intended to interview him as a leader who tried to combat the political situation in the world. It didn’t happen. But I carefully observed his life story. And my last blog post in the role of an expert was about his resignation from the post of the administrative head after the revolt in Tibet and about the influence of the ‘Non-Resistance to Evil by Violence’ concept.
The history of my travels has become a part of the text of my book ‘Ukraine, G spot,’ written in Russian. This book is about the peculiarities of electoral technologies in the post-Soviet space in the last 20 years. The readers of ‘Ukraine, G spot’ ended up remembering these stories as more than fun tales.
So, you can conclude that I had to undertake a life-long literary pilgrimage. (laughs)
I never tried to deliver to readers what they wanted. I always thought of conveying my message on the different stages of my life’s journey.
I will try to explain it, starting with my background. I am a Woman with some Chapters. But for the world, I am just a Woman who reached success in a man’s world and brought to life many projects in spheres of management, politics, and society. I started as a TV journalist, by the way.
The thing that inspired me to create books was a saying of Michelle Pfeiffer from the film ‘Up Close & Personal.’ This film is entirely focused on the principles of civilian and military journalism. In the final part, she says that journalism is simply a job of brave people. It stuck with me. I made an effort to reflect on the things happening to me and others in real-time while working on a text – this intention is really important.
For me, the most difficult genres are action and love stories. I was thinking about my own genre when the idea for the third ebook ‘Transition Keeper. Monologies of the New Babylon’ came out. I believe that I have successfully realized myself in the male world. I left political consulting for high tech and big data analytics. My latest developments in the field of high technology and analysis have become the prototype for the General’s self-learning machine and Hoffmann’s developments in the field of games. I called my own genre anti-scientific, meaning that the text is only partly based on fiction. Such a text cannot be published in scientific journals or discussed at conferences. But over time, it can be used to create a good movie or a new game.
The role of a pseudonym
Ali Blank is a universal pseudonym for a universal story. In our world of social media and social roles, a pseudonym is a necessity. What is more important is choosing the right pseudonym, as it will determine the life of the text in the real world.
Be courageous and create Big Stories. ‘Big stories create angel wings,’ said one of the characters in ‘Transition Keeper. Monologies of the New Babylon’. Only big stories can cut through material and physical space, touch a person, change their minds, and change the space around us. Professionalization in this sense does not matter.
Answering the questions that you don’t know the answers to. Writing ‘Transition Keeper, Monologies of the New Babylon’ about a Woman that gets AI abilities for a week to prevent a global threat seemed like a relevant way to start this dialogue. For me, the last text is about what each of us would do if we were given absolute power. How do we correctly use time, space, and technologies that become the main resources in the modern world of global threats?
It is quite symbolic that the same day when we published the first version of the book on Amazon, the world heard about the emergence of a new real threat to human existence – COVID.
When I thought of how to finish my novel, I had a few tempting ideas. First, I was thinking of writing about the risk of AI having power. Professor Bostrom raised this topic many years ago. AI intelligence is more effective than human intellect, which means that at some point in the near future, we will have to face this issue. Then I was thinking of writing about the announcement of creating an organization that could compete with the Authorities in protecting humanity from global threats. Another option was writing about a girl who, having received AI’s power, decided to become a dictator.
Uncontrollability constitutes a huge risk for humankind. There is also a risk that a Dictator in charge of a big country with huge resources may apply AI to make his rule limitless – in terms of time and space.
This is why in the end, I chose to write about love. In the Postscriptum, the last chapter of the new edition of my book, the woman gives up opportunities of Super-Power and chooses ordinary love. As a woman, I think that the only thing that can compete with absolute power is absolute love. To me, choosing love over power could be either a Great Sacrifice or a Great Act that would undoubtedly lead to some profound changes in the power landscape of our world.