George’s February Newsletter

Hello Writing Friends

Trust that your writing efforts are gaining momentum as we move into March. I’ve heard that spring is just around the corner…we’ll see.

I suspect that we all have our favorite writing quotes. Here’s one that I will resonate with most of you…with apologies to my Australian friends:

“In America, only the successful writer is important, in France, all writers are important, in England, no writer is important and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.” Geoffry Cotterell

If you have one you’d like to share I’d love to hear about it.

Who among you has too much time to write. I didn’t notice any hands going up.

Here is something that I read that might provide some inspiration:

Most people who write yearn for more of one thing. No, it’s not inspiration, or an uber-quiet office, or a better agent, or a more fabulous publisher. It is one thing alone: time!

That is why I was drawn to a recent article by Ken Wells, “How I Wrote Five Novels While Commuting.” It inspired me to make time. Here is how he begins

When I took a job in New York City at the age of 44, I had work I loved, a growing family and a secret disappointment. I had always wanted to write a novel.

For eight years I’d dragged a manuscript around and fitfully pecked away at it. But mornings with my wife and young daughters were busy, and my job as an editor and writer at this paper was demanding. By the time I slogged home after eight to 10 hours at the office, I was usually too beat to write another sentence.

How would I ever find the time and energy to write?

My move came with a commute. I was captive to a train that shuttled me back and forth from my home in suburban New Jersey, to Hoboken, N.J., where I hopped a ferry to my job in lower Manhattan. The train ride was about 50 minutes each way.

A week or two into my commute, two things had become clear: I would be spending a lot of time on the train. And the ride was pretty comfortable. One day it hit me: Could I write a novel on the train?

I started doing calculations. If I subtracted, say, 10 weeks a year for vacation, business travel and sick days, that meant I’d have 42 weeks, or 210 weekdays a year, to work on my novel. If I could write two single-spaced pages a day, or about 1,000 words—which didn’t seem that ambitious—surely at the end of 12 months I could end up with close to a 400-page manuscript.

Okay, enough said on that subject. I decided that maybe I do have more time than I think I did.

Finally, I wanted to share some news on the book front. My co-author, Sam Tangredi have a book coming out on March 12. Here is the descriptive copy:

Algorithms of Armageddon: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Future Wars

It is unclear if U.S. policy makers and military leaders fully realize that we have already been thrust into an artificial intelligence (AI) race with authoritarian powers. Today, the United States’ peer adversaries—China and Russia—have made clear their intentions to make major investments in AI and insert this technology into their military systems, sensors and weapons.  Their goal is to gain an asymmetric advantage over the U.S. military. The implications for our national security are many and complex. Algorithms of Armageddon examines this most pressing security issue in a clear, insightful delivery by two experts. Authors George Galdorisi and Sam J. Tangredi are national security professionals who deal with AI on a day-to-day basis in their work in both the technical and policy arenas.

The book’s opening chapters explain the fundamentals of what constitutes big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.  The authors investigate the convergence of AI with other technologies and how these systems will interact with humans. Critical to the issue is the manner by which AI is being developed and utilized by China and Russia. The central chapters of the work address the weaponizing of AI through interaction with other technologies, human-machine teaming, and autonomous weapons systems. The authors cover in depth the debates surrounding the AI “genie out of the bottle” controversy, AI arms races, and the resulting impact on policy and the laws of war. Given that global powers are leading large-scale development of AI, it is likely that use of this technology will be global in extent. Will AI-enabled military weapons systems lead to full-scale global war? Can such a conflict be avoided? The later chapters of the work explore these questions, point to the possibility of humans failing to control military AI applications, and conclude that the dangers for the United States are real.

Neither a protest against AI, nor a speculative work on how AI could replace humans, Algorithms of Armageddon provides a time-critical understanding of why AI is being implemented through state weaponization, the realities for the global power balance, and more importantly, U.S. national security. Galdorisi and Tangredi propose a national dialogue that focuses on the need for U.S. military to have access to the latest AI-enabled technology in order to provide security and prosperity to the American people.

I’ve attached the flyer we use to share information about the book (You can click here to download the flyer). We think that this book clears away the hype about AI, a subject that has generated vastly more heat than light.

Finally, whenever I find an article online or in print that I find useful in upping my writing game, I put it on my website:  If you go to the site, you’ll see “Blog” at the top and the pull-down menu takes you to “Writing Tips.” These include these monthly missives. Perhaps you’ll find some of these useful.

Thanks for tuning in. I would love to hear about your latest writing project(s).

All the best – George