The novel Slow Up has a lot of things going on. While knowing these is not a necessity in enjoying the story, a deep background in the possible technologies and techniques involved will make it a much better read.
10. Rapid Serial Visual Representation
It’s a speed-reading trick where text is parced into single point. Some speed readers like it, others do not.
Here’s an online tool to try it out.
9. Most of the IT Scenes Are Inspired by my Own Job at Wind Telecommunications HQ
The scenes have nothing to do with real persons and situations. But the feeling of an uphill battle, that Sisyphean task of fixing hundreds of computers every day is there in Galene’s job.
8. For More on Nootropics, Check Out Reddit
Nootropics are real and have measurable effects. If you want to try them out, consult an expert. There is a lot of info online, but don’t push yourself too hard. Again, consult a doctor, not the marketing brochure.
Nothing is like the movie Limitless of course, that was a magic pill with insane powers. Real nootropics help you focus, help with creativity, memory.
Read up about Nootropics on Reddit.
7. Polyphasic Sleep is Real But You Should Take it Slow
We’ve all heard about geniuses who simply skipped sleep like Leonardo Da Vinci. That is not actually possible, of course, they only took short naps, powernaps as they call them now, to help their brain recharge.
My opinion is that getting good sleep is more important that gaining a few drowsy hours. I’ve seen that sleep deprivation cuts down on creative thinking. And there are serious medical risks involved.
Again, Reddit has a nice beginner library on polyphasic sleep.
6. The Cybathlon is a Sports Event for Augmented People Where Doping and Pushing the Limits is Kind of the Whole Point
Credits: Angel Giuffria, Bionic Actress. Cybathlon. The Spartan Race. Oscar Pistorius.
The logical next step in athletic events is to have augmented races. Some augmentations actually give an advantage over other athletes, like in swimming. Especially with world-powers sending out troops at stupid wars and having young veterans come back disabled all the time, the day where augmentations are common-place is today.
The Cybathlon is not quite an Olympic-level event yet. But it showcases what can be done, and it won’t be long before augmented athletes can compete side-by-side with regular ones, like Pistorius did in the Summer Olympics of 2012. Yes, we know what he did afterwards, that’s not the point.
You can watch the scene mentioned by Gregoris in the novel, where the winner shows unprecedented evgenis amilla (fair game spirit) and swaps out his number with Oscar’s so he can be the winner:
5. Humans With Amplified Intelligence Could Be More Powerful Than AI
Artificial intelligence is all well and good, but there are those who believe that we can expand the limits of our intellect and reach amazing levels.
Frankly, a merge of mind and machine where a trained user can hook up and amplify his intelligence for short amounts of time is what we consider most plausible.
Another archetype of this is the Mentat from Dune. Human Computers that crave information and can help with decisions.
From David Lynch’s Dune, we got the Mentat Mantra (It’s not from the Frank Herbert novels but fits so well it got adopted instantly):
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
And now you’ll say it too.
4. Mean Girls is a Must Watch
Nuff said. Watch it.
3. Unlike Wanted’s Turning Bullets, Turning Arrows Are Real
It seems crazy but it’s true. An expert archer can shoot turning arrows around corners.
2. You Can Speed up Online Videos, Audiobooks and Video Files for Faster Input
It might seem weird at first, but the mind adapts very quickly.
Here are some tools with pitch correction:
Chrome plugin for online videos.
Video file speed control with VLC
Audible Narration speed control
1. The Tech is Real: Artificial Wombs
External wombs are being researched and seem to work just fine. There are many real medical conditions where external wombs would be suitable. Of course, that opens up a can of worms, since humans could be raised from prime genetic material without people knowing. It’s almost like a dystopian sci-fi story.
Slow Up is Available to Read Now
Limitless meets Black Mirror in this novel that pushes the limits of a couple’s minds.
When Galene meets a man who’s only goal in life is to make his mind go faster, she ends up falling for him. But will she manage to keep the relationship going at the top of the glass tower, when in reality she’s too much of a slob and is bogged down with all her unfinished goals, when their age difference becomes too much of a problem, and when his work places them in the sights of an unforgiving huntress?
Do you want to know what’s next for the computer geek Galene? Do you wanna meet Artemis? Then read this bittersweet story in a world where thinking too swiftly can get you killed.Read Slow Up
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Bonus: Galene went at AthensCon, which is happening right now: http://www.athenscon.gr/en/