Larry Kilham is today’s guest author at Writers Pay it Forward and he discusses “addiction” as well as his latest novel “Free Will Odyssey”. Don’t miss this insightful blog stop.
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“Free Will Odyssey”
- Title: Free Will Odyssey
- Author: Larry Kilham
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Length: 158 pages
- Publisher: FutureBooks.info
- Publication Date: August 27, 2017
GUEST POST by Larry Kilham
There’s a lot of recent material about the how and why of addiction—especially drugs. A focus is on the mechanisms of dopamine stimulation in the brain’s “pleasure centers.” (See an excellent and beautifully illustrated article on this in the September 2017 National Geographic.) The general approaches are chemical such as methadone and even marijuana. For my new book Free Will Odyssey plot development I thought, “Why not use VR and other digital techniques to alter the dopamine allegiance to drugs?” I did some research and found that there is research along these lines with promising results.
Addiction starts with the victim’s attitude, not with the drugs. He or she may experiment with opioids, for example, to escape grim realities. Economic despair, personal loss, loneliness, joblessness, friendlessness, no way out. Drugs appear to bring the victim to another place, a happy land, or at least an escape from the old realities.
How to get out of that self-imposed trap is another problem. Traditionally, counseling is a basic approach. It would combine helping the patient solve his or her psychological issues relating to drug addiction as well as addressing their many needs beyond detoxification. Drugs, such as methadone, are also used to wean people off drug addiction. Marijuana has been used experimentally.
Yet another approach is to give people renewed control over their behavior and to take responsibility for their actions using media equipment. Immersing them in a virtual reality environment to reignite their free will is a promising way to do this. The technology for the VR environment is still in the developmental phase so it is still clunky and expensive. Media companies like Samsung and Facebook are making it available for the consumer. I explore this new approach in my new novel, Free Will Odyssey. The story is told by an inventor who has perfected a free-will machine for treating drug addiction. His prize client is The President.
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the schemes of a secretive industrialist.
About The Author
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.