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Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Seldom Plan

I am indebted in much of my work to Science Fiction and, on a day to day level, to the late Issac Asimov.  Not because my writing is obviously influenced by his (it largely isn't) but because one of his ideas has come to life as a way of assessing my work and the relative success or failure of it.
Asimov wrote a series of stories which were published as the Foundation trilogy.  In the Foundation trilogy and the various other books that followed, he expounded upon the idea of Psycho-history - the idea that in a future where there are countless billions of humans on thousands of planets it is possible to predict the future, a future history, which can be used to steer human progress.  The scientist who came up with this science of prediction instigated a plan to mould future history to steer civilisation away from total collapse.  This was called the Seldon Plan, after said scientist.  (Sadly Asimov's original stories came about prior to modern notions of chaos theory which renders this idea as mostly bunkum, but it made for some interesting reading.)
The plan was mapped out in mathematical equations and this would be worked upon, refining the shape of the future.  This map was called the Prime Radiant.
Why have I gone through the details of a fake science from a fiction of the future?  
Well, there is a place on my computer I call the Seldom Plan - it's where I put all the ideas, the projects, the plans I have made in the past and the future into one long timeline - my own personal Prime Radiant, if you will.  A timeline of events past into events future, all labelled in differing colours.  Events past labelled in blue have happened, events in red haven't; events future are left in black, or marked green if green lit (i.e. if the space is booked), or red if they have been already abandoned.  As time marches on the green and black it turns either blue or red, and as such I can see the rates of success and failure.  It's about 60 to 70% red, 40 to 30% blue.  Hence it is called the Seldom Plan, as the plans seldom happen.  One day I will exhibit my personal prime radiant as a work of art in itself.
Why do I bring this up now?  Because already my plans for this year have shifted.  Not massively, but enough to warrant a telling.  I like to think aloud and to some degree this blog acts as a sounding board for my plans and, as they're a good ten months away, I don't care if they cease to exist.  This blog is the voiced extension of the Milk Bottle Prime Radiant.  Looking back over my blogs from 2011 I can see several plans and actions that came to nothing.  And 2012 is no exception.
Storyteller 2012 has changed already - firstly, as detailed in the last but one blog, the readings of The Pickwick Papers is definitely and completely out.  It's just not working.  So, in with Nicholas Nickleby which is working.  Really nicely. Sorry to anyone who was looking forward to Pickwick, you can't persuade me otherwise.  Look, I've even changed the poster! [This production was, ironically, never produced - Rob 2013]
Also gone, or at least postponed until next year, is The Examiner of Beauty.  I'm not in a position at the moment to produce this show in the way I want, as the schedule for the winter run at Barons Court won't fit it.  It is an odd one out of the schedule.  So it will appear in 2013.  Probably. [It didn't - Rob 2013]
This means that the layout for the Christmas schedule has changed, stories being moved around and a new Selection Box show for Sunday nights, for which I'll be hunting for storytellers and material very, very soon. [This also never happened - Rob 2013]
I'll publish a full schedule for Christmas in a little while, as I don't want to create too much deviation in my Prime Radiant.  But an exposition on these changes can be heard on last weeks vlog, which appears here.  Till next week: ta, ta.

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