Just to let you know, I probably won't be posting many writing updates to any of the stories over the next few months as I prepare for the future ahead.

This will affect everything from Legendary Of Xarn right through to Butterfly Dragon and A Lady's Prerogative.

Sometime into September 2023 though, I should be back on track and getting updates posted at least once a week.

I hope that you've enjoyed what I've written thus far and its been interesting to say the least.

I hope that you have a good summer and I'll see you more frequently in autumn.

Brian Joseph Johns

I'll leave you with a short question and answers period:

Question: Given the colours of the Butterfly Dragon logo, are you a Nazi?

Answer: No. Not even close. 

I certainly don't associate Germany with Nazism, and I have a great affection for Germany. Besides, in this day and age, you'll find more Nazis throughout the world than you will in Germany.

Question: Are you a Marxist?

Answer: No. I believe in a system that has a social safety net and strong infrastructure, but also a focus on capital markets, business and economy. The two should compliment each other rather than compete. I support the proposal of a basic income, enough to ensure the most basic of needs, but there must be a strong business economy and GDP/c to support that, which translates to taxes rather than running a high deficit (through bonds) and getting overwhelmed by interest payments to the world bank. No, I'm not a politician. I'm just well informed.

Question: Do you read James Lindsay?

Answer: No. Someone anonymously subscribed me to his mailing list though, and recently I've been receiving his New Discourses email blasts. They sound interesting, and I certainly have some similar ideas, but no, I've never read his work or seen any of his lectures.

Question: Are you a Gnostic?

Answer: No. I've had run ins with people who use dualism to steal from other people. You know, where they set two people that have similar skills or interest to compete, and one of them gets all the credit for both of their efforts, while the other is often discarded as a fraud. I'm very opposed to cults that operate like that. There should be more security in society that investigates such activities and puts a stop to it. It's very destructive. Despite not being a member of any religion, I'm a big reader of and fan of Carl Gustav Jung, and he was a Gnostic.

Question: You write a lot about Asian culture and its connection to the west. How do you feel about the backlash (mostly politically) against some Asian cultures and the Far East of Asia currently underway?

Answer: I feel pretty strongly about it. I think that East Asia, especially China is being unfairly targeted by the west. Recent international policy reforms by some countries have even gone so far as to exclude certain countries from the global economy unfairly, or by the levying of tariffs against their trade exports. This is a noose that appears to be tightening thanks to further reforms by some western countries that if the trend continues, could trigger further pockets of war, and even World War III.

Remember that Japan entered into the war as a result of the fact that they were trade restricted from buying oil. That noose was slowly tightened around their economic neck by several industrialized countries as far back as the 1930s, triggering the Second Sino-Japanese war, which eventually led to Japan entering World War II. Motivated mostly by their growing dependence upon oil. 

The previous two centuries had seen the west show up at their doorstep, to offer the advantages of industrialization, without the resources to run it, as those resources would be sold to them by the west in the form of coal first, and then oil. Japan did not have its own supply of oil and coal (at first) and had to rely heavily upon imports. Stop that supply and their entire economy would come to a halt, possibly leading to death and starvation.

We might be witnessing the beginnings of World War III by the same means. I certainly do not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but I feel that there is more than meets the eyes, and that the public is not aware of the political chess game behind the scenes that might purposely stoke nations in Europe and Asia to go to war. 

We've certainly seen this in the Middle East before. This shouldn't excuse Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, but at the same time, there are things going on behind the scenes that forced that possibility to eventually occur in much the same way that the tightening of the resource noose around Japan's neck spurred them both into the Second Sino-Japanese war and eventually into World War II.

China is just at the beginning stages of this sort of treatment at the hands of the west, a resource constriction that is taking the form of more and more limits being enforced against them in global trade and in many areas, having been completely cut off from trading with many western countries in terms of infrastructure contracts (technology for instance). This is occurring as the western propaganda engine kicks into motion and begins publishing anti-Chinese news more and more frequently.

The recent news about their political interference in Canadian elections is one of many such cases, alleging their funding of Canadian political parties and their running of Police Stations locally. If it were big business that were funding political campaigns and lobbying for corporate tax cuts in their specific industries, there would be little or nothing published about despite the fact that its exactly the same thing. So there's a bias that is bringing news of this kind to the surface while ignoring other news that is equally as damning.

Insofar as the Chinese Police Stations are concerned, it seems hypocritical to point them out when organized crime has been running similar surveillance programs against citizens in Canada and North America over the last twenty years, yet there has been no investigation nor any action to stop that activity at all despite the fact that it clearly involves a lot of corruption and facilitates many of the criminal activities that occur on a daily basis all around us.

North America has long been in trouble insofar as democracy is concerned where it applies to the vote. The elective system has long since been commandeered by some groups in society, who do something called follow voting. These groups are made up of people who don't normally vote, either as a result of the rules of their belief system or based upon their personal stance. They collectively pick one person who they feel represents their sum interests. They figure out that person's preferred party and candidate and essentially follow their vote during elections, each of them casting the same ballot as the person they're follow voting, meaning that one person is getting the power of possibly thousands or even millions of votes, at the hands of such groups. 

This is likely the case in both Canada and the United States. So our electoral system is already being commandeered in this way, without outside interference by China or any other country. You'll never see headlines about that though, despite the fact that it far surpasses the wrong doing being leveled at China for political interference.

All of these aspects factor into a growing pressure that will eventually push either North Korea or even China into a situation where if they don't enter into conquest for resources or their fair share of the global market economy, their economy will collapse and risk the deaths of millions of their citizens. They might also be played on the issue of Taiwan, which has already seen itself being used in this way to provoke military sabre rattling by both the west and China.

There are some in the west who will take advantage of this strategy, because if you can provoke someone into attack without it being detected that you were the cause, the attack loses the casus belli (a morale advantage that comes from citizens feeling that such actions are justified), and the defending advantage (a morale advantage that comes from soldiers in the defending country protecting their sovereignty), not to mention that the publication of news of such actions will undermine support for them throughout the globe. This is the trap they're setting for China.

I don't support the Russian invasion and believe they should immediately cede all captured territory back to Ukraine, but I do believe that Russia was played into the attack through a careful plan that will  eventually culminate in the westernization of Eurasia, and Asia including religion, possibly at the cost of many Asian countries' distinctive cultural identity (look what happened to the indigenous people of North America?). Awareness is the best way to avert this outcome and prevent further war, hence that theme often shows up in my stories either through metaphor or directly (as in The Butterfly Dragon: The Infinitely Complex Way Of The Two Folds And Five Elements).

Question: What's Your Education?

Answer: I'm a high school drop-out, with a fairly extensive Post Secondary education. When I was 17, I qualified for a Government Training Program that led to my first Computer Programming internship, coding in a Pascal-like language with a database backend. From there I was trained in C/C++ through another program and eventually landed a job working for a computer distributor in Markham, Ontario. I was trained by many computer vendors as a General Service Technician, qualified for laptops and desktops, and to a lesser degree CRT monitors, though I worked mostly as a Junior Technician for that company and for quite some time.

From there I furthered my education on my own (money) through programs at York University called Vectors And Calculus (two back to back thirty six hour courses which dealt with Vectors and Matrices and everything in between), and Iterative Fractal Systems (seventy-two hours), both of which were pretty obscure courses back then that were part of the larger Computer Science program, which I couldn't afford and likely wouldn't have qualified for given my status as a drop-out. 

So I took those specific courses because I qualified under special circumstances with a written mathematical entry test, and because I eventually wanted to focus on 3D coding and simulation. I had this idea where I was going to figure out a way to integrate the geometry pipeline into a system of iterative fractal compression. That idea didn't work out or was a lot harder than I initially anticipated so I focused on the 3D coding part. Between all of that, I did numerous gigs as a furniture mover and as a tech jobber, building computer systems for small retail and just barely scraping by. The world isn't always kind to people who try to make their own path, and sometimes they'll purposely get in your way. Beat you down to the ground with one hand when nobody's looking, all so they can be seen by the public picking you up onto your feet with the other, if you catch my drift.

I did a short stint in the Canadian Military as part of the reserves for the Queen's Own Rifles who are an airborne regiment, though circumstances got in the way and I wasn't able to complete my basic training and get my jump wings. I did get some military training that proved useful for writing characters like Brad Stanton and Foller though. I also learned a lot of neat stuff you can't generally learn anywhere else except the military. Still gotta find a way to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft and get my jump wings though before I die. Preferably with a parachute.

Between working as a tech for Southam A/V setting up Audio/Visual equipment and Translation Booths at hotels for conferences and gigging as a professional musician and composer (a MIDI keyboard player), I pursued several coding projects on the side. I also trained as a martial artist formally studying Tae Kwon Do (when I was 9), Goju-Jujitsu Ryu (my mid twenties and early thirties), Chen Style Tai Chi (from a Chen Master outside of Bridgepoint Hospital everyday at 6 AM) and more recently Aikido and Wing Chun, though I've been slouching in my training lately. That 55 year old man that's been chasing me my whole life eventually caught up with me. When I turned 55. How ironic.

My education record has always been an Achilles heel for me even though its pretty extensive minus the drop-out status, but my IT portfolio is actually fairly impressive given what I've achieved (and failed) over the last thirty eight years of my professional and educational life. The only problem now is that most of it is dated and keeping up is a full time job in itself. Not to mention, there are lots of cannibals  out there nowadays who will devour you if you and all of your life history to wear as their own if you let them.

Most of the background for my written characters I've fleshed out pretty thoroughly from my own personal experiences and education, though I have yet to buy a second hand Gearing Class Destroyer in order to covertly run the world by blackmailing the world's elite.

Question: What's In The Future For You And Shhhh! Digital Media?

Answer: I plan on relocating relatively soon and bringing Shhhh! Digital Media with me. Who knows where that might lead. It will definitely push me to my physical limits doing so, but I've done similar things in my life before and there's no blue to that at all. Besides, I tend to like red much more, and I'd prefer not to mix it or pair it up with blue. I don't really consider myself to be on the blue side of the fence, regardless of the fact that I'm with a "blue white" internet service provider called VMedia. I'm more of a red person. Hopefully, I can level up Shhhh! Digital from my new location, though its going to take some time. I think if I stay, then both Shhhh! Digital and myself will stagnate and suffer greatly as a result. As a matter of fact in the scheme of things, I believe I've already waited to long to make this decision.

That should be enough for now. To my readers, have a good weekend!