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About Deviant Artist Premium Member Thomas Duffy39/Male/United States Groups :iconphysical-anthro: Physical-Anthro
The Origins of Mankind
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Deviant for 6 Years
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Given by Shadamachaeon
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What is your all-time favorite group of exotic (though not necessarily extinct) prehistoric pseudo-trees? 

10 deviants said Arborescent Calamites horsetails, soaring to heights of 100' (30 m) or more
5 deviants said Lycopods such as Lepidodendron, Diaphorodendron, Paralycopodites, and Sigillaria, reaching heights of 90' (27 m) to 130' (40 m)
5 deviants said Tree ferns in the group Cyatheales, achieving heights of 80' (25 m)
4 deviants said Seed fern glossopterids towering to heights of 100' (30 m)
1 deviant said Oo, oo, I know a better one [please do tell]


Thomas Duffy
United States
Current Residence: Washington State
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Macroscopic
Favourite genre of music: Thrash/Metal
Favourite photographer: Piotr Naskrecki, Art Wolfe, Andrew Zuckerman, Poul Beckmann, David Doubilet, Igor Siwanowicz, Melvyn Yeo
Shell of choice: Chitinous
Wallpaper of choice: Peeling
Skin of choice: Epidermous
Transitioning between prescription drugs right now, titrating off one and ramping up the other...One of them causes extreme vertigo and drowsiness, so I've stopped taking kava.  The whole thing has completely changed my sleep cycle, so that I drop into a deep slumber of densely cluttered and often exhaustively repetitive dreams, then wake up about 4 hours later feeling wide awake and completely unable to get back to sleep.  I've got nothing better to do at 3 AM, so I might as well start writing them down.  : |

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Started out almost like I was watching a movie.  Appeared to be somewhere warm, subtropical; building appeared to be kind of cobbled together of shabby materials, sheet metal and old wood, but didn’t look “bad.”  Reminded me of the kind of deliberately shanty “faux cantina” feel of a Chevy’s or something, but it wasn’t contrived.  Man in a white suit acting eccentrically, singing or speaking nonsense; there was this sort of simulacrum of a human figure that appeared to be composed of a gold dust or paste that was constantly morphing and deforming, and it was mimicking or emulating or simply synchronized with everything (the man) was doing.  Wandering around, seemed like everything was alive and communicative; typewriters hummed and animals could talk, though all communication had that same weird dreamy, sing-song quality of the man in the white suit.

Quickly became apparent from the limited interaction I was able to have with these different beings and environmental elements that I was talking to some sort of emergent distributed intelligence that encompassed a delimited geographic area and imbued all things within its range with both shared life and shared awareness, even inanimate matter, resulting in that odd morphic quality I had seen.  Communicating with it, though, was like talking with a toddler or with a very smart animal; it was aware, but its self-awareness and understanding of the nature of the world and of other living things was limited.  (Or perhaps its form of awareness was simply so different from “ours” that it had trouble understanding “us”?)  The entity had been given the name, or called itself, Brady.

It appeared that people moved to this region (“moved to this entity”??) simply to enjoy the benefits of this total immersive communion with everything around them and with the other people living there; they became part of” this entity but retained their own autonomy and individual identity.  Or most did; some people became completely consumed by or integrated into the “hive mind” and had their own identity subsumed to it.  This was especially true of the mentally disabled or compromised and people with unique conditions like autism.  These people couldn’t leave the region/intelligence; they would actually die if they were removed or isolated from it.  (Shades of Childhood’s End here, I guess—maybe also Solaris…?)

Dream took on a narrative quality revolving around this bright hip young idealist professional blah blah blah couple that had moved to this region temporarily not to study it but simply to enjoy the “networking” benefits.  They had youthful trendy urban jobs like Blogger/Journalist and Web Developer, and they would just sit there at their workstations smiling vacantly and humming the same tune and grooving with the whole organism, man.  The man had a theory that the Brady entity was still in its “birthing” stages and that when it was fully manifest it would withdraw from the environment and other living organisms and would become something independent and autonomous, a secondary or parallel terrestrial intelligence.  The woman took the darker (?) tack that this thing was going to grow and absorb all life and matter on Earth…Of course you could see this as either a positive or negative outcome; what’s wrong with the networked empathy of all the planet’s life and matter?  But she seemed to feel that its effect would not be benign as it (usually) was at this stage—it would end up “overwriting” all existing individuated human personality and identity, as it did with some human residents of the region.  And again, would this necessarily be a “bad” thing…?, and Childhood’s End revisited.

Everything took this excruciating straight-fiction-style betrayal drama sort of turn—notably of the kind that has put me off contemporary sci-fi—when there was this big Relationship Crisis between the happy young white couple.  The woman appeared to be hung over one morning and one of the “absorbed people” or anthropomorphized environmental elements was sitting there clutching its stomach and rocking miserably back and forth, muttering something to itself about “don’t feel good, shouldn’t have done that”—this behavior being totally out of character for the Brady entity or for any of its happy, harmonized components.  Then came the big confession that the woman had decided to “experimentally” sleep with one of the absorbed people or emergent beings because it’s not really cheating when we’re all part of the same entity, right, man?  And of course the whole thing had turned into this big drug-fueled orgy with these temporarily networked kids that were just travelling through and had already left the Brady region and were having breakfast somewhere down the highway.  (If everybody’s networked then why wasn’t the man aware of it?  Maybe he was out of Brady for the weekend or something)

So there was the big frowny “we gotta work through this, what’re we gonna do” relationship drama but this was surprisingly brief, as they just sort of conveniently “forgot” the whole thing or pretended it didn’t happen and returned to their usual state of vapid synchronized Bliss in Brady.  The dream ended with the woman dressed in this ridiculously demure floral ensemble, smiling and humming as she mixed flowers and vegetables into a steaming kettle of potpourri, and could the stereotypical symbolism of immaculate and pristine feminine purity be any more heavy-handed??  “This is why I don’t read science fiction anymore,” I thought, and then I woke up.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also oddly relevant, though I’m not sure exactly how—emergent life and sex, I guess.  :shrug:…

  • Mood: Irritated
  • Listening to: Desert Rain
  • Reading: Louise Hay
  • Watching: The nocturnal picture show
  • Playing: Nothing, just absolutely nothing
  • Eating: Reuben sandwich, or "pastrami on rye" in the PNW
  • Drinking: Lemonade iced tea


I'm doing pretty good with the out-of-body experiences; it's more the "in-body" experience I'm struggling with....
Sat Sep 6, 2014, 7:17 PM
I just saw a recipe for cuttlefish. COOKED IN THEIR OWN INK
Sat Sep 6, 2014, 7:16 PM
Sapient Cuttlefish with power armor? Gosh I think my thoughts may be interfering with your dreams : P
Tue Aug 12, 2014, 5:57 AM
I'm having recurring dreams about sapient cuttlefish in powered armor. WHY??
Wed May 7, 2014, 6:11 PM
Wed May 7, 2014, 6:11 PM



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harikenn Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow your monster concepts are incredibly inspiring

I hope to make some wicked creatures like you some day
thomastapir Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014
Aw, thanks for your kind words, I'm glad you like them!  : D
mr-author Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014
>search for "organic buildings"
>fifty pages of half melted boxes
>give up, flip to tapir's devart
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Professional General Artist…

This is relevant to our "visible colors of mammals" discussion...
thomastapir Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014
I did see that one, freakin' awesome!  : D

Surely you've heard of the "sea gypsies"?…

Hell, combine the two genomes and you're halfway to mantis shrimp!
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
Truly interesting stuff...
Na-Komete Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great work!  I especially love the dinomantids you've been doing.  Also, what's with the "Hidden by Owner" tower dominating your first page?
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Thank you, sir!  re:  hidden comments--OH, it's just the usual "hey man thx for the fav lol" "no worries brotimes ur awsum lololol" kinda stuff, once I've replied and people have gotten the response I hide them to reduce clutter on the front page.
Na-Komete Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
o i c

Well, good luck with your dinomantigramoidial keloid-frappes!
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