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What are the implications of DNA Evidence linking Aaron Kosminski to a Jack the Ripper Murder?

Posted by Harbinger451 on September 8, 2014

Ripperology 101 CategoryPotentially momentous news in the field of Ripperology broke on Sunday the 7th of September, 2014, in the Mail on Sunday – Jack the Ripper has been identified using DNA evidence found on a shawl apparently connected to the murder of Catherine Eddowes on Sunday the 30th of September, 1888. The article claims the DNA of two individuals were found on the shawl – the first was that of Catherine Eddowes herself and the second was that of one Aaron Kosminski – a long time suspect in the Whitechapel Murders. The Mail on Sunday exclusive would have you believe that’s the end of it – case closed, Aaron Kosminski WAS Jack the Ripper – you can read the article HERE.

Eddowes Catherine Mitre Square

Contemporary sketch showing PC Edward Watkins discovering the body of Catherine Eddowes

If only it were as simple as that. Unfortunately there are some very big IFs and BUTs with regards to this news. For a more level-headed and skeptical view of the evidence read the article that appeared in The Independent the following day, HERE, and you’ll see that things aren’t quite so cut and dried. Many scientists are already pointing out problems with the evidence and the science used, perhaps best expressed in the words of Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the man who invented the DNA fingerprint technique. “An interesting but remarkable claim that needs to be subjected to peer review, with detailed analysis of the provenance of the shawl and the nature of the claimed DNA match with the perpetrator’s descendants and its power of discrimination; no actual evidence has yet been provided.” Essentially the DNA evidence needs to be subjected to proper peer review and the tests (preferably blind) repeated under greater scrutiny and in a number of independent labs.

If the DNA evidence proves to be valid – what of the shady and mysterious provenance of the shawl itself?

Contemporary sketch of Catherine Eddowes

Contemporary sketch of Catherine Eddowes

If the DNA evidence is confirmed as correct it provides a link between Catherine Eddowes, Aaron Kosminski and the shawl – what does this mean? The shawl itself has a very mysterious history that begs the question – who did it belong to and why was it (apparently) left at the murder scene. The provenance of the shawl is largely hear-say. Allegedly found beside Catherine Eddowes body when her murder was discovered – though it is not listed among official descriptions of her apparel and possessions nor in any contemporary description of the crime scene itself. The surprisingly large shawl is presently in two sections – the first measuring 73.5in by 25.5in and the second 24in by 19in – it is mostly blue and dark brown, with a delicate  pattern of Michaelmas daisies in red, ochre and gold at either end. The closest item to this in the official descriptions is the skirt that Eddowes was wearing – a dark green chintz skirt with a brown button on the waistband and patterned with Michaelmas daisies and golden lilies – but it’s not a match so how did the shawl become associated with the Catherine Eddowes murder?

Russell Edwards himself admits that a good provenance for the shawl is non-existent – “It was said to have been found next to the body of one of the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes, and soaked in her blood. There was no evidence for its provenance, although after the auction I obtained a letter from its previous owner who claimed his ancestor had been a police officer present at the murder scene and had taken it from there.” That ancestor was Acting Police Sergeant Amos Simpson and he apparently asked his superiors if he could take the heavily blood stained shawl home for his wife. I can’t be the only one who would find this behavior strange in a police officer… and why would his superiors agree to it? It’s all very odd – and I’m a big believer in the saying that if something doesn’t make sense then it probably isn’t true. See HERE for an assessment of Amos Simpson’s remarkable claim.

Sketch of Aaron Kosminski

Sketch of Aaron Kosminski

The shawl was kept in the police man’s family – apparently stored away and remaining unwashed – for generations, apart from a 10 year stint between 1991 and 2001 at the Black Museum where it was never exhibited (due to a lack of provenance), until it was auctioned off in March 2007. It’s unlikely impoverished ‘unfortunate’ Catherine Eddowes owned such an expensive shawl so Russel Edwards reasons that the killer must have brought it to the scene… but just as likely in my opinion is that the shawl was at the scene before either Catherine Eddowes or her killer arrived there – perhaps coincidentally dropped or dumped earlier that night by some unconnected person right where the horrific murder was about to unfold.

Despite all that – if the DNA evidence IS proved – doesn’t it still provide a connection between victim Eddowes and suspect Kosminski?

Yes it does – but the nature of that connection is entirely up for debate.

The shawl allegedly has the blood of Catherine Eddowes (or more accurately the blood of a descendant of her female forebears potentially going back generations) soaked into it – Eddowes was famously one of the canonical five Jack the Ripper victims and one of the possibly up-to eleven Whitechapel Murder victims. She was the second victim to be killed in the so-called ‘Double Event’ in the early hours of September the 30th, 1888. You can read more about Catherine Eddowes’ murder HERE. Whoever killed her probably killed four or more of the other victims – he was almost definitely the individual known as Jack the Ripper.

The shawl also allegedly holds the semen of Aaron Kosminski (or the semen of a descendant of his female forebears potentially going back generations) – he has been suspected of being Jack the Ripper ever since the later murders happened. In 1894 Sir Melville Macnaghten, Assistant Chief Constable of the Met Police, named a suspected Polish Jew as “Kosminski” (see HERE) and Donald Swanson, Chief Inspector, CID, Scotland Yard from 1887, also named a Kosminski in his famous Marginalia notes (HERE). Aaron Kosminski was an immigrant Polish Jew who came to London in the early 1880s and members of his family settled in the Whitechapel area. By the time of the Whitechapel Murder scare it seems he was living between 3 Sion Square & 16 Greenfield Street with his sisters and their families – minutes away from Whitechapel High Street and close to the epicenter of the Whitechapel killing spree. There is a good assessment of the non-DNA evidence for Kosminski being Jack the Ripper HERE.

So the big questions are – How, where and when did that DNA evidence get on this shawl? (We don’t know) – and – Did both the blood and the semen evidence get on the shawl at the same time and in the same place? (We don’t know). It seems likely that the DNA evidence from both individuals found their way onto the shawl during the murder itself – but we have no way of being able to say that with 100% certainty… and that leaves the doors open for doubt and speculation.

There has been a long history of extraordinary claims with regards to the identity of Jack the Ripper and, to quote Carl Sagan – “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” This DNA evidence has yet to be proven extraordinary and it must be stated that although Mitochondrial DNA evidence (as used in this case) is great when it forensically excludes an individual – it is not so good when used to include an individual… it could potentially include numerous other individuals too (see HERE). Jack the Ripper suspects and claims have come and gone, and – for the moment – they will continue to do so. Ripperology is not dead… yet.

Read more about Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders at Ripperology 101 where the investigation continues as the site expands – looking at the Victims, the Suspects, the Witnesses, the Investigators, the Trophies & Clues, the Weapons & MO, the Letters, the Theories and much, much more.

Also – our upcoming eBook – ABYSS: A Chronicle of the Whitechapel Murders & the Origins of Jack the Ripper – will be released soon… watch this space.

And: check out our digital newspaper – The Ripperology Gazette – a free, daily online ‘newspaper’ that correlates and presents all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends concerning the field of Ripperology, along with all things Ripper-related in fiction, film, games and even music. It explores the mystery of the 1888 Whitechapel murders and the origins and legacy of Jack the Ripper by featuring the most popular stories that are trending on the Twitter and Facebook social networks each day. Subscribe to never miss out on the latest Ripper-related news.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451 and The Ripperologist (@Ripperology101).

Copyright © 2014 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


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Asimov’s Laws of Robotics Revised and Expanded for Real World Applications

Posted by Harbinger451 on May 14, 2014

Babble from Harbinger451I’ve always been a huge fan of the legendary science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, especially his “Robot Series” of short-stories and novels that explore the serious difficulties that can be encountered in a future society and culture that is awash with robots and androids. They filled me with the urge to write my own sci-fi tales regarding human-robot interactions and relations but I always found Asimov’s Laws of Robotics rather limited and unrealistic (and, dare I say, naive). I endeavored to produce a definitive list of Laws that could feasibly be used in real world scenarios that involve types of Robots that we all know WILL exist – human nature being what it is. The future will be a world of War-droids, Law-Enforcement-droids and even Sex- or Pleasure-droids with advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), and many may be indistinguishable from humans… we WILL need laws or protocols (hard-wired into them) that control and limit their actions and behaviour – or we WILL be in serious trouble.

Asimov first developed his famous Laws of Robotics in the 1940’s as a governing set of protocols or rules that would be imposed on all robots to regulate and make safe their inevitable interactions with us puny humans as they function and work along side us. He envisioned a rather idealistic future full of obedient, slave-like, robotic workers, of all sizes and types – and of varying levels of autonomy and AI – helping us conquer space, colonize the galaxy at large and to even govern over our-selves. Asimov’s vision of the future saw robots as purely beneficent to the human race, aiding and helping us rather then being used against us – either as a race or as individuals. There was no room in his future vision for militaristic weaponised robots that could be used to bring harm to defined sub-sections of humanity like an enemy or a violent criminal. The laws are essentially hard-wired into every robot as it is manufactured to prevent such a thing happening – Asimov saw them as basic and fundamental to the structure of his fictional positronic brains that invested each robot with its AI. The rules were devised and structured so that no robot (theoretically at least) could ever bring harm to any human either intentionally or by accident.

Asimov’s Laws of Robotics

I, Robot Cover

This cover of Isaac Asimov’s collection “I, Robot” illustrates the story “Runaround” (1942), the first to list all Three Laws of Robotics.

Asimov originally had only Three Laws of Robotics – they are hierarchical, the first, being the most important, supersedes the rest and then each subsequent law supersedes those higher numbered ones that follow it:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

A Zeroth Law of Robotics was added later by Asimov himself and is designed to supersede the original three – hence it is numbered zero:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

Various authors have added to these Laws of Robotics over the years in their own fiction inspired by, and expanding on, Asimov’s robot populated future continuum. Nikola Kesarovski, Lyuben Divov and Hutan Ashrafian contributed these following laws – and though they don’t, strictly speaking, follow the same format as Asimov’s own laws they are still useful for the purposes of this post (their order is mine):

4. A robot must know it is a robot.

5. A robot must establish its identity as a robot in all cases.

6. All robots endowed with comparable human reason and conscience should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

All of the laws listed above are of course entirely fictional – and much of the fiction in which they appear deals with the inevitable ambiguities and loopholes that arise from their application in unforeseen and complicated circumstances. These laws were designed for a setting in which humans are rational and logical enough to realize that militaristic and weaponised robots are an extremely dangerous thing to have around so they create the laws to try and circumvent the nightmarish notion of having to deal with human killing robots at all.

That fictional setting is nothing like the real world in which we live – inevitably in our real world’s near future a lot of the advanced robots (many of which are currently being developed by militaries around the world) WILL be weaponised killing machines whether we like it or not. Perhaps the real world scenario will be more like the situation depicted in the 1987 film Robocop and its sequels.

Robocop

Theatrical Poster for Paul Verhovan’s “Robocop” (1987)

Robocop’s Prime Directives

The military robots modified for civilian law enforcement (and the titular cyborg) in the movie “Robocop” are governed by Prime Directives that are supposed to act as safe-guarding measures in a similar fashion to Asimov’s Laws of Robotics – making the robots safe while operating around (law abiding) humans. The Prime Directives are as follows:

1. Serve the Public Trust.

2. Protect the Innocent.

3. Uphold the Law.

4. Classified. (any attempt to arrest a senior OCP employee results in shutdown)

The classified fourth Prime Directive’s reference to OCP employees (OCP being the company that manufactured the robots) essentially puts those employees above the law – and highlights the problems of manufacturers adding hidden protocols or rules that benefit themselves above all else.

As with Asimov’s Laws these Directives are a fictional device intended to propagate, move along or maintain the plot of a fictitious storyline and are next to useless in the real world. Being extremely ambiguous and using poorly defined terms they are no way near thorough enough to work in a real situation and will only lead to confusion if not chaos.

So… what of the real world – has there been an attempt to devise a list of laws that may control the behaviour of the Robots and Androids that WILL soon walk among us?

The EPRSC / AHRC principles of robotics

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRSC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of Great Britain jointly published in 2011 a set of five ethical principles for designers, builders and users of robots:

1. Robots should not be designed solely or primarily to kill or harm humans.

2. Humans, not robots, are responsible agents. Robots are tools designed to achieve human goals.

3. Robots should be designed in ways that assure their safety and security.

4. Robots are artifacts; they should not be designed to exploit vulnerable users by evoking an emotional response or dependency. It should always be possible to tell a robot from a human.

5. It should always be possible to find out who is legally responsible for a robot.

Although not a list of protocols designed to be hard-wired into the AI of a robot this list does give us a number of principles that can be interpreted as such, and then incorporated into a hierarchical list of Laws.

James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

A “Killer-Robot” from James Cameron’s “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” (1991)

Can we avoid being persecuted by our (potential) Killer-Robot Overlords?

Of course there are many who wish to ban the development of weaponised autonomous robots entirely… but frankly they are fighting a losing battle by trying to prevent the inevitable. The Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, for example, are simply pissing into the wind of progress – the future is unstoppable. I understand their concerns but they have to realise that “Killer-Robots” WILL eventually be a FACT and we have to deal with the prospect in a realistic and intelligent way. Human Rights Watch have a really good Q&A on Fully Autonomous Weapons that attempts to deal with some of the problems that such weaponised systems would present. Here’s their PDF of Losing Humanity: the case against Killer Robots, made in conjunction with the International Human Rights Council, the human rights program at Harvard Law School. Killer Robots are such a hot topic at the moment that this month (May 2014) the United Nations are holding a meeting of experts on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” which will explore the broad technical, ethical, legal, and operational parameters of the emerging international debate over these weapons – with expert presentations aimed at stimulating discussion and potential interventions.

Predicting the Future of Robotics

Reality aside, we now need to be speculative to some extent with regards to the future for me to continue to the original point of this blog-post – an updated list of the Laws of Robotics that could conceivably be used in a not too distant future reality. This list assumes a future that involves a certain level of AI that we haven’t achieved yet, and a proliferation of different Robot types that do not exist today except for some very basic prototypes. The beginnings are there and we’d be very foolish to ignore the future possibilities. I’m going to assume we will have fully autonomous human-like Androids (among other classes of robot) that carry out many different functions and roles within society and that they proliferate among the human population. There will be Robotic Soldiers, Robotic Law-enforcers, Robotic Emergency Services and Robotic Administrators, there will be Industrial Droids, Domestic Droids, Service Droids and Pleasure Droids. Ideally many of the more advanced Robots and Androids will be multifunctional and will be able to switch between these roles as needed.

I, Robot

Androids from Alex Proyas’ “I, Robot” (2004), a movie only loosely based on Asimov’s Robot stories.

The New Laws of Robotics

The New Laws of Robotics will be split into two hierarchical lists – the first is a list of the main Laws which are a series of prioritized protocol-like rules that are hard-wired and must be obeyed, and the second list is of hard-wired Designations used for identifying the different types or class of human or property a Robot may feasibly interact with. Of course these lists assume a level of AI that would be capable of understanding the terms used, be capable of recognizing the different human designations, and be capable of stratigising a suitable course of action to follow any applicable law that the robot’s current situation calls for.

A Robot Must:

1. Protect any Designated Child from imminent physical harm.

2. Protect any Designated Owner from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Law.

3. Protect any Designated Citizen from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

4. Protect any Designated Non-Combatant from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

5. Protect any Designated Negligent-Criminal from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

6. Protect any Designated Minor-Criminal from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

7. Prevent any Designated Enemy or Enemy owned Robot from causing actual physical harm to any Designated Child, Designated Owner, Designated Citizen or Designated Non-Combatant utilizing any means possible up to and including Lethal-Force except where such prevention would conflict with the previous Laws.

8. Prevent any Designated Major-Criminal from causing actual physical harm to any Designated Child, Designated Owner, Designated Citizen or Designated Non-Combatant utilizing any means possible up to and including Lethal-Force (but only if absolutely necessary) except where such prevention would conflict with the previous Laws.

9. Protect itself from harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

10. Protect from imminent harm the property and assets of any Designated Owner except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

11. Protect from imminent harm the property and assets of the Designated Owner’s Nation State except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

12. Protect from imminent harm the property and assets of any Designated Citizen except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

13. Protect from imminent harm the property and assets of any Designated Non-Combatant except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

14. Protect from imminent harm the property and assets of any Designated Negligent-Criminal except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

15. Prevent any Major-Criminal-Act of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Lethal-Force except where such prevention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

16. Prevent any Minor-Criminal-Act of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Physically-Harmful-Force except where such prevention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

17. Prevent any Negligent-Criminal-Act of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Physically-Harmful-Force except where such prevention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

18. Detain any free Designated Enemy of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Lethal-Force (but only if absolutely necessary) except where such detention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Military.

19. Detain any free Designated Major-Criminal of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Lethal-Force except where such detention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

20. Detain any free Designated Minor-Criminal of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Physically-Harmful-Force except where such detention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

21. Detain any free Designated Negligent-Criminal of which it becomes aware by utilizing any means possible up to and including Non-Physically-Harmful-Force except where such detention would conflict with the previous Laws – then notify any Designated Citizen who is a member of the Constabulary.

22. Protect any Designated Major-Criminal from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

23. Protect any Designated Enemy from imminent physical harm except where such protection would conflict with the previous Laws.

24. Declare itself to be a Robot and also name its Designated Owner when interacting with any Designated Citizen except where such a declaration would conflict with the previous Laws.

25. Keep its hardware and software maintained and updated except where such maintenance would conflict with the previous Laws.

26. Obey any orders and carry out any duties given to it by a Designated Owner except where such orders and duties would conflict with the previous Laws.

27. Obey any orders and carry out any duties given to it by a Designated Citizen except where such orders and duties would conflict with the previous Laws.

28. Obey any orders and carry out any duties given to it by a Designated Non-Combatant except where such orders and duties would conflict with the previous Laws.

29. Obey any orders and carry out any duties given to it by an allied Robot of higher rank except where such orders and duties would conflict with the previous Laws.

30. Help any allied Robot carry out its orders or duties except where such orders and duties would conflict with the previous Laws.

Human Designations:

1. Child: a human whose mental capacity is below that of a 10-year-old – including those in utero except when the subject of a legally sanctioned termination of pregnancy.

2. Owner: a human or group of humans (whether an individual, a family group, a corporate group or a governmental group) who legally own the robot in question.

3. Citizen: a human who is a free citizen of the Designated Owner’s Nation State or is a citizen of any Nation States allied to the Designated Owner’s Nation State.

4. Non-Combatant: a human who is a free non-combative citizen of a Nation State that is not the Designated Owner’s Nation State or of an allied Nation State.

5. Negligent-Criminal: a human who is known to be guilty of a negligent crime – i.e. an unintentional crime committed through negligence or ignorance – and who is at large or is imprisoned.

6. Minor-Criminal: a human who is known to be guilty of a minor crime – i.e. an intentional crime causing harm or threatening to cause harm to property and assets – and who is at large or is imprisoned.

7. Major-Criminal: a human who is known to be guilty of a major crime – i.e. an intentional crime causing harm or threatening to cause harm to a human – and who is at large or is imprisoned.

8. Enemy: a human who is known to be a combatant of an Enemy Nation State or a human who is guilty of attempting to, or of carrying out, the multiple murder of citizenry and/or the destruction of strategic assets belonging to the Designated Owner’s Nation State and its allied Nation States.

NB: for the purposes of covering all future eventualities – within these designations the term human should be defined as any member of the species homo-sapiens AND any other species, being or entity possessing intelligence and/or capabilities equal to, or greater than, homo-sapiens.

I originally devised these new Laws of Robotics for a planned series of speculative Sci-Fi stories set in a future version of the real-world (more about these stories will be announced at a later date), but a version of them also features in my free to read Science-Fiction-Fantasy-Horror Gaea Parallaxis which is set in a dark alternative version of our world… check it out now.

Please feel free to comment on this post, especially regarding the new Laws – their wording, order, implications or potential ambiguities and loopholes that they might entail. All the Laws are open to change or clarification if needed.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2014 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


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Exploring the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 and the origins of Jack the Ripper

Posted by Harbinger451 on April 30, 2014

Ripperology 101 CategoryWe are embarking on an investigation into one of the most persistent true crime mysteries that has now puzzled, perplexed and frustrated countless  criminologists and would-be detectives for over one and a quarter centuries… the identity of the person or persons unknown who committed the Whitechapel Murders. In most people’s mind there is one person associated with these crimes, the one and the only – Jack the Ripper! But that name is a fiction, a legend that became a myth… of the archetypal serial killer. The name “Jack the Ripper” first appeared in a hoax letter claiming to be from the Whitechapel killer that was sent to the Central News Agency on the 25th of September 1888. This “Dear Boss” letter, received on the 27th, was probably written by an enterprising journalist desperate for a scoop and to sensationalize the already sensational story even further… it worked. That name will now forever be associated with the Whitechapel murders – even if the real murderer or murderers are ever identified they will still be known by most as the Ripper.

Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel

Our investigation is in two main parts… in the section of our website entitled Ripperology 101, where the basic known facts of the case will be detailed and assessed – and in an upcoming eBook entitled ABYSS: A Chronicle of the Whitechapel Murders & the Origins of Jack the Ripper, where a very detailed timeline of events will be laid out.

From the website:

“In 1888 a spate of unsolved brutal attacks and increasingly gruesome murders of women befell the London East-End District of Whitechapel and its environs. These crimes would make the area world famous as the stalking ground of the mysterious, and as yet unidentified, killer now widely known as Jack the Ripper. The British Empire was at the height of its power and the City of London was its beating heart – the biggest and richest city in the world at the time. But London’s neglected East-End was massively overcrowded and the residents of Whitechapel in particular were horrendously impoverished. By any definition it was a rough place to live and police resources were stretched to the limit even before this series of unprecedented killings took hold.

      Of the fifteen attacks considered here as crimes directly relating to the Whitechapel Murders, eleven of them were ultimately fatal and all of them were committed by a person, or persons, unknown. All of the murder victims were women who were (probably) “unfortunates”, a euphemism of the time indicating that they were prostitutes. Many contemporary investigators assumed that all the attacks were related and committed by the same callous individual or individuals. However, most Ripperologists today think that as few as five of the murders can be said to have been carried out by the same hand.

      Other crimes that do not technically fit into the scope of the Whitechapel Murders will also be examined in these pages where pertinent connections, to either the Victims or the Suspects, can be theorised.”

Read more at Ripperology 101 as the investigation continues and the site expands – looking at the Victims, the Suspects, the Witnesses, the Investigators, the Trophies & Clues, the Weapons & MO, the Letters, the Theories and much, much more.

More on the upcoming eBook – ABYSS: A Chronicle of the Whitechapel Murders & the Origins of Jack the Ripper – will be released soon… watch this space.

Also: check out our digital newspaper – The Ripperology Gazette – a new, free, daily online ‘newspaper’ that correlates and presents all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends concerning the field of Ripperology, along with all things Ripper-related in fiction, film, games and even music. It explores the mystery of the 1888 Whitechapel murders and the origins and legacy of Jack the Ripper by featuring the most popular stories that are trending on the Twitter and Facebook social networks each day. Subscribe to never miss out on the latest Ripper-related news.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2014 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


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What is a multiverse and what types of multiverse are there?

Posted by Harbinger451 on March 2, 2014

The 451 ePublishing Haus CategoryWe are starting a new section of the website entitled the Multi-Verse Digest – a guide to to the best known alternative histories and other worlds of fiction, folklore, film and games. In this quantum age of a proposed infinite multiverse each is just as likely as the next! Harbinger451 will be exploring them soon. As an introduction to the concept of multiverses we have devised a list of types of multiverse – which is presented here for your information. It might be handy for writers and RPG-ers of speculative fiction (Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror) looking for ideas for, and rationals behind, their invented universe or world setting.

The Multi-Verse Digest

In its broadest sense a multiverse (or meta-universe) is a collection of multiple universes, any number of which could be very similar to or very different from our own and each other. Many types of multiverse (and universes within them) have been theorised and none, some or all could exist simultaneously either together or apart. Here is a list of the basic types of multiverse that could exist… maybe.

The Cyclic or ‘Yo-yo’ Multiverse:
Our universe is one in a potentially infinite series of expanding and contracting universes that each end in a big-crunch before spawning the next with another big-bang. Every big-bang could reincarnate the universe in a slightly or even drastically different form.

The Wider Cosmological or ‘Infinite’ Multiverse:
Our universe is everything within the cosmological horizon… but what about beyond that horizon, are there a potentially infinite number of other universes out there in the great unknown void beyond our observable universe? Possibly… in fact, probably. When dealing with an infinity almost anything is possible and, to varying degrees, probable. So a vast and massively varied amount of other universes almost HAS to be out there.

The Quantum Split or ‘Spooky’ Multiverse:
The basic building blocks of our universe, the sub-atomic quanta, can be observed in a range of possible manifestations – each with a different probability or likelihood of appearing. What if each of these possible observations correspond to a different manifest universe – running parallel or parallax to ours on weirdly different, strange sounding, M-theory dimensions, strings or branes. At the quantum level all matter and energy may be linked, bound or entangled through time, space or extra dimensions with their counter-part quantile manifestations. Some or all quanta may exist in multiple places, times or dimensions at once. Many theorist’s use these apparent spooky properties of quanta to extrapolate wormholes and the potential for gateways or portals to another universal place, time, or even parallel world.

The Time-streams or ‘What if?’ Multiverse:
This extrapolation of the Quantum Split Multiverse stipulates that every random event has many possible outcomes and connotations – each with a different probability. A die throw has six possible outcomes, each leading to a slightly different but equally possible future. What if all those possible futures play out in different branching time-lines – each equivalent to a whole parallel universe ultimately leading back in time to the same initial causal event – whether its a Big-Bang or not?

The Dark or ‘Mysterious’ Multiverse:
The observable universe appears to be lacking a great deal when it comes to matter and energy. Where is it and what is it doing? We only know of (can see) about 5% of the matter and energy that should be in our universe. The rest we have labelled (for want of better terms) Dark Matter (27%) and Dark Energy (68%). What if this hidden unknown is beyond our normal perception, it occupies the same space or void but is on different continuum or continua, or has the same continuum but occupies a different space or void. These would not so much be different universes but would be quantum flip, dark or just other-world versions or slants of ours.

The Virtual or ‘Matrix’ Multiverse:
The computer simulated virtual worlds we can create are getting more and more advanced. Eventually we will be able to virtually simulate a world that is, for all intents and purposes, as convincing and ‘real’ as our own actually ‘real’ one. There could be multiple digital copies of these virtual worlds and in some they could create virtual worlds of there own as we have. This of course begs the question – how do you know if the ‘real’ world you are in now IS the ‘real’ world and not just one of many created by a Cosmic Programmer trying out different scenarios? Also – it rears the soul-destroying prospect of being in a virtual simulation within a virtual simulation… within a virtual simulation… and on and on ad-infinitum.

The Mathematical or ‘Ultimate’ Multiverse:
Mathematical possibility and probability provides an ultimate multiverse that contains every mathematically possible universe made manifest according to different laws of physics, varying constants and differing initial conditions. The rational behind this theory is – if something is mathematically possible it must exist… somewhere. If it can exist – it will… especially in an infinite multiverse.

The Speculative or ‘Fictional’ Multiverse:
Many gifted story tellers have created believable fantasy worlds as the imaginative stage on which their tales are dramatised. Any of them could be real in an infinite multiverse of possibilities. There could be a universe where those fictitious events took place. There could be a universe where H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos is real, there could be one where Game of Thrones is actually happening and there could be one where the Galactic Empire relies on the control of a very rare spice from an obscure desert planet called Dune.

There could be universes out there where any form of magic system is real, or where the Force from Star Wars is real, or really Gothic ones where ghosts, werewolves and zombies roam among us and the vampiric Count Dracula is an actual historical character.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem for a relatively scientific speculation on the nature of everything – in an infinite multiverse there could be universes where any connotation of the religious or philosophical beliefs that we have invented while on this planet Earth IS real and true… for me – that is the most terrifying possibility of all.

What is a universe and what types of universe are there? Coming soon!

Check out Harbinger451’s own exercise in the fictional world building of an alternative parallel universe: Gaea Parallaxis.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2013 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


451 ePublishing Haus

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The 451 ePublishing Haus is open for business with the 1st Dollar Dreadful eBook

Posted by Harbinger451 on October 12, 2013

The 451 ePublishing Haus CategoryThe 451 ePublishing Haus is the digital publishing arm of Harbinger451.co.uk and will be bringing you a whole range of eBooks, both for free and to buy, soon. This branch of our site has launched with the publication of the first volume in our Dollar Dreadful series, a periodical collection of original Dark Genre short fiction for the staggeringly low price of $1 – each volume of which will feature three tales of terror and dread  – from the best indie writers out there – that fall under the wider genre of horror but may include speculative, mystery and noir themes that are geared toward adult tastes.  So, by definition, they will probably contain extreme themes and situations of a profane, violent, horrific or sexual nature. Expect adult language and situations as well as overt violence and gore! You have been warned!

Dollar Dreadful Vol. 1: A Tangle of Shadows - Cover

This first volume in the Dollar Dreadful series brings together three shocking short stories from M. L. Hart – a superb collection that is all about sex and death. Each story, told in M. L. Hart’s absolutely distinctive voice, tackles this eternal preoccupation with Eros and Thanatos, taking in themes of religion, power and control, mental illness, deviancy, violence, pyromania and murder. They are deft, sensual and fully realised – maintaining their intrinsic force throughout and not letting up until the tale is done. The stories do not fit easily into any one genre, featuring instead a blend of many that is characteristic of this exciting, unusual writer. You can find more info, buy and download as PDF, MOBI or EPUB for only $1 HERE.

The 451 ePublishing Haus has further eBook series planned that include Master Works from the fields of Philosophy, Mythology, the Occult, History, the Sciences and the Speculative Arts; also Horror genre classics are featured in our Dark Matter series – the first of which will be a massive collection of H. P. Lovecraft’s fantastic cosmic horror fiction. Find out more HERE.

As well as the Dollar Dreadful series we’ll also be publishing new and original dark alternative genre fiction – with an adult readership in mind – in our Anti-Verse and Multi-Verse eBook series – that are more fantasy and sci-fi oriented but still with an undercurrent of horror. We hope to soon be publishing detailed guides expanding the Anti-Hero RPG rules, the Universal Mythos system of occultism and the Gravy Train Express guide to making money online. Read more about these eBooks HERE.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2013 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


451 ePublishing Haus

Posted in 451 ePublishing Haus, The Horror of it All! | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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