Redemption and Persuasion: An Author’s Cautionary AI Tale

Show Notes

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with author Ari Mendelson about his fascinating Kingmaker book series. Ari’s personal journey of rediscovering his Jewish faith and learning ancient Hebrew texts using memory techniques was truly inspiring. But what really captured my attention was the underlying premise of his books – the terrifying prospect of AI “persuasion technology” being weaponized to manipulate human behavior. Ari vividly describes his villain using algorithms to electronically seduce women and influence families. It raised profound ethical questions around consent, free will, and moral culpability that gave me chills! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Ari ultimately proposes that the key to resisting high-tech persuasion is to see the world as a collection of “tiny facts” rather than easily manipulated grand narratives. Understanding truth at a granular level protects us from the tyranny of weaponized storytelling. Ari also stresses the importance of sharing stories that reflect our values. Politics flows downstream from culture, so we need compelling counternarratives to push back against the woke dominance of pop culture. Ari sees his novels as a small contribution to that effort – but we all have a role to play. Let me know what you think! I’m keen to discuss the implications of AI persuasion technology and the power of stories to shape society. Ari’s book sounds like a thrilling read – head over to Amazon to get your copy of the Kingmaker series today!

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Ari’s Links:

Website:https://www.thekingmakertrilogy.com/
Books:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C7LB8V3R?binding=paperback&searchxofy=true&ref_=db
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingmakertrilogy/
X: https://x.com/kingmakerseries
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@AriHMendelson/

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#CreativityandEthics
#PoliticalLeadership
#WritingCommunity
#EthicalCreativeWork
#TechnologyandMorality
#PoliticalInfluence
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#StorytellinginPolitics

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00:00 – Introduction and Consulting Services

00:03:21 – Recombination and Creativity

00:06:32 – Redemption and Moral Society

00:09:18 – Concerns of Overreaction and Redemption

00:10:56 – AI Persuasion and Moral Responsibility

00:15:07 – The Urgency to Finish

00:16:44 – Finding Good in Technology

00:17:31 – The Governor’s Role

00:21:23 – The Importance of Storytelling

00:25:04 – The Power of Instructions in Stories

00:29:48 – The Power of Leadership

00:31:17 – Character and Behavior

00:32:10 – Crediting Sources and Creativity

00:33:31 – The Kingmaker Series 

TRANSCRIPT:
00:00:00 – Johnny Sanders
I am now offering consultation services through faithfully engaged. If you’re struggling to find a church, dealing with a destructive habit such as pornography, or trying to find a way to homeschool your kids but don’t know where to start, come check me out. Go to faithfullyengaged.com consulting to learn more information and to see how we can get started. Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of Faithfully Engaged. Today I have another author on. I’ve had several authors on here already. His name is Ari Mendelson. So, Ari, tell us a little bit about yourself.

00:00:46 – Ari Mendelson
Hi, I’m Ari Mendelson. I’m down here in Tampa, Florida, and I wrote a book series called The Kingmaker. I started out as an attorney, and I married the love of my life back somewhere in the 20th century. And she wanted to be a doctor more than anything. So our deal was one of us gotta, you know, look after the kids. We weren’t putting them in daycare or anything like that. And I was hoping that she’d work for me as my secretary when I was a lawyer. But that’s not how it went. So we moved around a lot. It was very difficult to set up roots. But what I did was, I’m a man who came back to my Jewish faith when I was 22 years old. For a very long time, I was not happy that I was unable to look at the text of my faith, the Jewish text, whether it’s the Hebrew Bible or the Talmud or the commentaries on these things, they’re all in Hebrew. Especially back then, there weren’t as many translations. It was so sad that I was unable to read these things. And I tried several times to learn the Hebrew language and to read it and to understand it, and I couldn’t. Called supermemo, and there was an article about it. It says, do you want to remember everything you learn, then submit to this algorithm. And I was like, wow, I do want to remember what I learned. I do. I will submit to that. I’ll submit to anything. Just teach. And so I found this program called supermemo, and I started entering Hebrew words, and I began to remember and understand. So I’m the kind of person who realized, that I could program my computer to program me to know what I want to learn. As we had more and more kids, I realized, I could teach my children with this. So I began homeschooling my children using a space repetition algorithm method, breaking up knowledge into tiny little chunks and then teaching them one at a time. It was almost like there were little kids and I was spoon-feeding them almost like a college education, one spoonful at a time. And I’d been doing that for a number of years. My daughter especially did very well with that kind of learning. My other children didn’t take to it nearly as well as she did. So we tried other things with them. But one thing I learned during that time is that creativity if you want to be a creative person, the secret to it is recombination. You take two things that are far apart and bring them together. Most of the time you’re going to get a mangle, but sometimes you’ll just get magic. And about three, four years ago, I was thinking about a computer program was called Alphazero. It had mastered a game called Go. Go was a game that was popular in China, Japan, and Korea, and it was almost completely inaccessible to computers. The traditional ways of programming a computer to play games didn’t work with Go, and the best human players could just smash it. But then an AI took its hand at Go and it beat the world’s best player. That affected me a lot. And then I realized one other thing, that persuasion, almost like a game, has rules. And I put those two things together, the recombination, as I told you about it, I put those things together in my mind and thought to myself, what happens when an AI can be? What happens when an AI can learn to persuade human beings better than any human being is capable of doing? And that absolutely freaked me out. I thought about that for a while. And the kind of villain who would own that kind of thing soon appeared in my head. And then a Chinese spy appeared in my head. Remember Eric Swalwell and Christine Fang? I had to have one of those. And then I came up with the heroes, which are a number of ordinary Americans. One of them is based on James O’Keeffe, the investigative journalist. Then he has his friend, who is a genius programmer, but doesn’t, wants to find himself a girl. And then his girlfriend, who is based on Lila Rose. Do you know who that is? Lila Rose. She was the pro-life activist who went into a. Into an abortion clinic claiming to be a 15-year-old girl impregnated by a 25-year-old or whatever. So I made her into a character and several other people. I had an insider from Antifa, which in my novel, the Antifa is called Antira. He’s the character of redemption because he joins Antifa and then repents with the help of his priest. I don’t know if you realize this, but I’m not a Catholic, but I made one of the heroes a Catholic Priest, because, you know, as much as I’m not a Catholic, there are many things we have in common.

00:06:02 – Johnny Sanders
So I was just gonna say that this, this series, just you kind of explaining so much of this, even some of the real world characters, I’m imagining a lot in the audience. You’re like, wow. Like, I could see this piecing together. I could see this being a real-world situation when it comes to this. I’m really intrigued with the. The redemption arc there. You know, when you talk about Antifa again, most of us here who are listening are more conservative. You’re like, all right, Antifa. They’re terrible. They’re irredeemable. I’m kind of wandering on that Antifa side of things. What kind of made you think about making that person the kind of redemption piece of the story you’ve heard?

00:06:53 – Ari Mendelson
Of cancel culture, of course. Right? And if someone wrote a tweet, let’s say, 20 years ago, and they, I don’t know, they said something sexist or whatever, homophobic. That was transphobic, whatever. And 20 years ago, and, oh, my God, you’ve said that you’re going to be cast into outer darkness. That is a way of thinking that is foreign to me. I mean, as I told you, I started out growing up in a secular background. And by the way, this is nothing. I’m saying nothing bad about my parents. I love and respect them extremely, a lot. So, just so you know, this is not any way to condemn my parents, to say that I changed my religious outlook at 22. I’m not saying that. I just want to make sure you know that. Anyway, so the notion, to me, of being in the wrong place and then coming back to the right place is one that is critical for a good and moral society. There has to always be a path back. There has to be a way. One of my favorite religious books is called The Gates of Repentance. It was written by a famous rabbi who had done some bad things. Nothing that you’d be. Nothing would blow your skirt up. It’s just he realized he was wrong, and he wrote a book called The Gates of Repentance. In that book, the very first line, one of the great mercies of God is that he accepts repentance. And if I’m going to write a book that discusses everything a young man needs to know, like, I imagine if I was writing this to one of my sons, if I’m going to write a book about everything a young man needs to know how to prepare yourself for the world, how to become an estimable person, how to have courage. I also had to teach him how to repent.

00:08:43 – Johnny Sanders
I really like that. And I think that’s something, that’s part of why I asked that question. It’s actually a concern that I see sometimes on the right of kind of the, almost the overreaction, because so often people on the right like, hey, I’m tired of hearing these things in the media. I’m tired of Antifa, tired of all these things. I want to fight back. Don’t get me wrong, not, not all that’s bad. I think there is. There’s a good piece of standing up and not just getting run over, but like you said, we don’t want to lose redemption. This isn’t really antifa-related. I’m seeing this more on the right of kind of the rise of the so, so-called red pill movement as it relates to, you know, men and kind of their views of women and everything. That somebody. There’s a big case right now of a former Onlyfans model that, uh, says that she’s now a Christian. And again, I’m not going to get into whether that’s true or not. Um, but that redemption, kind of the idea of redemption, somebody that did something bad, um, somebody that might even be an. An evil opponent of yours for them to be redeemed. Like, no, we can’t. We can’t have that redemption. And that is something that, on the right, specifically right now, we really need to be careful about. Um, because like you’re saying if we don’t have redemption, we’re not all perfect ourselves. So I really like that you have that redemption arc in there.

00:10:11 – Ari Mendelson
Well, it’s like what you said about the. About the former Onlyfans girl. I mean, in the Bible itself, even in the Old Testament, there are a number of women who were in the. I’m sorry. Who were in the sex business who were redeemed. I don’t know if it says it in the Bible itself or it’s just in the Jewish midrash, but Rahab, for example, if you’re familiar with the book of Joshua, she was a prostitute, and then she redeemed herself and became the hero of the Bible. So that is absolutely something that is critical in the moral outlook on society.

00:10:53 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. Absolutely. Something else I wanted to kind of just hit a little bit more on, of, obviously, the big piece of your book series about AI persuasion, all of this that. Yeah, it’s a legitimately scary thing. I know you’re referencing kind of the game there. I know, like in chess, for instance, there’s been, you know, computer programs that have been masters at chess for, for quite some time. And there’s a piece of that that’s kind of neat, of like, wow, these programs are really complex. And another piece that’s, yeah, kind of scary. What are we going to do as a civilization if it gets too persuasive and everything?

00:11:35 – Ari Mendelson
Sorry, go ahead. It’s funny, there’s a scene where my villain is talking to the ambassador, the Chinese ambassador, about, oh, these computer programs have been, have been able to beat the world chess champion for 30 years. How come you haven’t perfected it? And the thing about chess is it’s got 64 squares and 32 pieces. It’s a tiny little world. We’re talking about learning how to influence the rest of the world. There are many more than 32 pieces, and there are many more than 64 states that all these pieces can be in. So it’s a much, much, much bigger problem. And what it came down to was I realized that there are so many ways that people who don’t have your best interests in mind. They want you to eat that next chip. They want you to put that next dollar into the slot machines or bet that next football game or whatever, or whatever else they want you to do. Spend more time on the social media. They don’t have your best interest in mind. And they have found ways to persuade you to do things you might not benefit from and you might not do if they didn’t have all those techniques. I dreamed up this computer program that has an excellent but limited capacity to convince people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. And I got to thinking about if I’m thinking about morality, for example, what is a person’s moral culpability if he does something he wouldn’t normally do because he’s been completely outgunned when it comes to persuasion, for example, the first thing my villain does is he’s been terrible with women his whole life. He’s had a history with women that he’s very unsatisfied with, and he really wants the genuine love of a beautiful woman, which is not in itself bad. But of course, he uses his computer to do that, and that’s as creepy as anything. And did she, the first book is called Consent. And did she really consent to his advances? Because she was electronically seduced by his computer program, and he was almost incidental to it. And what about if someone cheats on the person, that they love? What’s their responsibility? Or if someone does something worse. Because remember, the people who own this program, they don’t have your best interest in mind. They’re trying to get you to do what they want for their own purposes. And if they want sexual satisfaction, they want money, they want power. What are the limits on what they’re going to do, especially if nobody knows that they’re doing what they’re doing? And it occurred to me that there would be no limits. And the things they could do with this are just absolutely terrifying. So I just had. When I was in the middle of writing it, I had to. It took me two years, and I had to see. It was so difficult. I’d written a novel before when, back in 20, 2010, I wrote a novel about university political correctness. It took me a year. It was easy. It was just in one place. This was Mount Everest, and then on top of Mount Everest was Mount Everest again. About halfway through writing it, I was like, is this really worth it? And I was reading some of the scenes I wrote where they’re trying to influence a family to become what they want it to become. And as the chapters passed, I was getting more and more and more terrified by what I’d written. And I thought to myself, oh, my God, I got to finish this thing. The world has to know what I’ve seen. And so I did.

00:15:12 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah. I imagine that was both a very, extremely difficult process to come up with the world and write it out, but also very satisfying to get that out there. And. And again, it’s just so, so applicable. Like you said, like, the world kind of needs to see a. A story like this. And something I like to stress on the podcast is all right. Like, again, there’s. There’s bad stuff that’s going on in the world, and we need to be aware of that. In this case, it’s kind of being aware of the potentiality of a like this story, fiction. But, hey, there’s. There’s some truth that could very much be. Be in this. But I like us to balance that out with our actions for things that we can do to either help prepare to prevent bad things from happening or to just do more good in the world in general. So, as you kind of write out this story, you make this world where this. Yeah, this program is just, you know, really influencing people to do these. These terrible, evil things. What’s something that people, maybe as they’re reading the book or just as they’re thinking through this scenario, how can we take this into the real world and maybe come to peace with technology and be able to use technology more for good instead of evil?

00:16:36 – Ari Mendelson
Well, at the end of the book, they discover a good use for the technology. I’m not going to tell you what that is. It took me. It’s a three-volume series. And when I got to the end of volume two, I’d worked so hard on volume two. It’s the longest of the three. I’d worked so hard on it. I had. I realized that when I started the third one, that I had about 70% of the ideas I needed to finish. And I sat here in this very spot with my hands on this very computer. Okay, any. Any day now. Any day now. And I sat there for three months thinking of, how am I gonna finish this thing? And then I realized a way to use the program for good. The book comes down, essentially to a presidential contest. I’d written this after I started it in 2021 after the last presidential election calmed down. And it was such a big deal. So this one comes down to a presidential contest. And as much as I distrust government, how could there be a happy ending resulting from a presidential election? Then it hit me how to do it right. Show me. Don’t tell me there’s a candidate for president who’s running. You call him. Not him. Sorry. I call this individual the governor. I didn’t apply any pronouns to the governor at all, not for political purposes, but because our nation is not going to be saved by a man on a white horse. Our nation is going to be saved by the people. The governor is simply a character who lets the people be the people and lets this technology serve the people instead of the people serving the government with the aid of this technology. I can’t get any more specific than that without ruining everything. But I found the answer to that. Once I found the answer to that, I was able to finish the entire thing in two weeks. It was just a matter of writing after that. But one thing I will say that I learned from teaching myself with that computer program, with writing this novel itself, is that factor. Tiny things. That’s a weird way to look at the world, just looking at a stack of just tiny little facts, right? You can say the Roman Empire fell because of decadence or lead pipes or all the other ridiculous things I’ve heard of. Or you can say Rome was established when Romulus founded the city, and it fell when Romulus, Augustus, in 770. Tiny little facts. If you pile these tiny little facts one on top of the other, instead of trying to summarize and trying to evaluate and trying to be original. Just know the tiny little facts. You’ll be a lot less susceptible to that kind of manipulation. Right. I’ll give you another good example. Let’s say in your general life, let’s say you’re arguing with your wife or something like that, and your wife says something that really bothers you. You get annoyed. She gets annoyed. You start saying things you shouldn’t say. That happens with very many couples if you look at things as small facts. Oh, no, no. You’d say something like, you know, something, she’s annoyed by the kids. This kid’s been screaming all day. He’s got a fever. He’s got this, he’s got that. She’s annoyed. If I did something that bothered her, and just added to her annoyance, things would calm down. You’ll have a good outcome. Or maybe you really did say something wrong. And you know something? She’s annoyed by what I said, and let’s just fix that. Or you can say, you know something, my wife is terrible. I can’t believe it. She’s controlling. She’s a this. There’s no cure for that. That’s a big fact. Right? And you could apply those small facts to any area of your life. And if you look at things like tiny little things, we can’t always understand how they fit together. You’ll have a more humble and maybe even a more accurate way of looking at the world. And as a side bonus, as I said, you know, creativity is recombination. If you look at the world is a series of tiny little facts. You’ll have all these little puzzle pieces, and you can put them together and put them together, and maybe magic will result. Because you know something? I wrote an article for Epoch Times the other day, and I entitled it, the road to our victory is paved with stories. Because if you think about it, the woke takeover of Hollywood is not an accident. They did that because the way to convince people, the way to bring people to your side is with stories. Andrew Breitbart said that politics is downstream of culture. And one of the reasons I wrote the Kingmaker novels, one of the reasons I wrote them, is because politics is downstream of culture. And I wanted to contribute to the culture. I wanted to do something. So that’s, by the way, you asked what people can do. And one of the things people can do is write stories, tell stories, and get those stories out to the people. Help me get my story out to the people as you’re doing right now. And it’s the kind of thing that will move the needle. Tyrants of all kinds. Lenin was into the movie called Sea of Blood. They knew the importance of telling stories to the people to get people on their side. And the conservative movement has really become a debating society instead. I would think that if it becomes a storytelling society, it’ll become a winning society much more quickly.

00:22:29 – Johnny Sanders
I think that’s, that’s wonderful. That ties into the book, of the aGovernor. I love the way that, that you described that, that it’s not, it’s not this white shiny knight on, on the horse there that’s gonna just bring us to victory. And that’s something, you know, kind of bringing into just more current-day politics. Again, on the side of the right of even somebody like, like Donald Trump, which won’t get into too much of just the politicals of what’s going on or whatever, but more so just the mindset, if you have the mindset that Trump or goodness before him, even on the left of Obama, that, that was kind of the, the shining horse for, for the left there. If you have that mindset that this one person is going to come in and fix it all, it’s just not true. They may be the right person for the job right now, they may be the person that’s best to elect right now, but not one political person is going to come in and get rid of all of our problems. It’s just not true. And I love what you wrote in there, that it’s the people, it’s the culture and you nailed that through stories. It’s another weakness we see on the right all the time. Let’s hit them with this infographic of showing the inflation, numbers, and things of that nature. That’s that stuff. I’m not saying that figures and stuff don’t matter at all like they do, but the left does do a really good job of painting the story. It’s not just the infographic, it’s you are a white nationalist, racist scum of the earth. How could you? Doesn’t matter if it’s true. They just are all based on lies. But it grips attention, it grips hearts and it’s persuasive. And I think that we still need to make our stories tied to truth. Sure, hold your same values, but don’t neglect the power of story. The story is everything. We see that throughout, throughout scripture. Scripture is full of stories. And we don’t just take that and say, oh, that doesn’t matter, it’s just a story. Of course not. It matters so tell the story of your family. Make your own fictional stories. But don’t just make things dull and boring and feel like we’re gonna convince people to our side. It’s just not gonna happen.

00:24:58 – Ari Mendelson
One thing, as a creator of stories that I noticed, and if you create stories, you’re gonna notice this, too. There’s a book, it’s called Save the Cat. Have you heard of it?

00:25:08 – Johnny Sanders
I haven’t heard of that.

00:25:09 – Ari Mendelson
Save the Cat is like a screenwriting manual. And it’s like the, you have all these different beats for how a story should go when it’s on the screen. It’s got one for writing novels. I didn’t really follow it that closely in writing. I kind of winged it, which I thought got me a better result than if I’d outlined it ahead of time. But the thing that, the author of, his name is Blake Snyder of Save the Cat says is that the story has to be full of instructions of, this is the person to hate. This is the person to like. Here’s why you should like him. Here’s why you should hate them. In, I think, the book, the beginning of Alien or Aliens. I forget which, which of the Alien movies. Sigourney Weaver saves a cat right in the beginning. That’s the name of the, that’s why the book got its name. And that’s instruction. You should like her. You see? And there are, they could use music, they could use lighting. They could use any number of things for there to be an instruction. You should hate this guy. Right? Darth Vader’s first entrance in the first Star Wars movie. I saw it in the theater when I was four with my dad. It was great. But that’s an unforgettable moment. Why? It’s an instruction, you should be very scared of this person. So when you’re so used to these storytelling instructions, you will see them being used and they will work on you less.

00:26:41 – Johnny Sanders
That’s a good piece there, too. So not only is there the, the storytelling aspect of, especially if you’re, you’re on the right, you have your own, you know, your own set of values that we need to be telling stories, but we also need to recognize, yeah, those stories can you white nationalist piece of trash or whatever, like, that’s, that’s telling the story. You need to be aware of that. That’s huge. On any social media, no matter what level you’re on, you’re being told a story in some way, shape, or form. So, yeah, being able to tell that, tell where these pieces are coming from and either, you know, tell other people of what’s going on or blocking certain people, whatever you got to do to not be, not be in the middle of this constant barrage of being beaten down all the time, because clearly, social media, you’re going to be beaten down if you can’t see these things.

00:27:42 – Ari Mendelson
Keeping your mind your own and having it work for you instead of having it almost being hijacked by people who don’t have your best interest in mind is about as important as anything any individual can do.

00:27:57 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, being in charge of your own head there, it’s, again, it’s another thing that I’m sometimes critical of. I mentioned this often on the podcast, like, I’m very much a conservative. And because of that, I critique conservatives more often because I care about it. I care about the movement, care about people around me. But I see conservatives being very reactionary at times, just inflamed, and it’s fitting right into right into the left’s hand there. And we don’t have to do that. We can be in control of our own agency, control of our own stories. We just can’t fall into those traps all the time.

00:28:40 – Ari Mendelson
I could see that the left these days has party discipline ever since the beginning with the left. Well, if not quite the beginning, but with, like, Lenin, for example. I mean, that’s what he was about, party discipline. Lenin and Stalin, they made sure they had a concept called democratic centralism. Once the party has made its decision, you better fall in line. You better frickin fall in line. And that was the entire reason why the Bolsheviks, who were, the Bolshevik as a word, means a majority, and they were a minority party, they were a very small percentage, but they took over because they had that discipline of, we’re going to win. All that matters is victory. All that matters is victory. And Jerry Neville, the main villain of my Kingmaker series, he keeps his eye on that. We got to win. And this is how he keeps his eye on that ball the whole darn time. And he realizes it’s not just about policies, whether they succeed or fail. One of the things he mentions, I think, very early on in the book is that if you have your party discipline, if you know the ins and outs of how to rule, you could be like Saddam Hussein. How many wars did Saddam Hussein lose? He lost two Gulf wars. He lost, pretty much lost the war against Iran. He stayed in power for what, 40 years. Why? Because he knew who he had to reward to stay in power. He knew who he had to punish to stay in power. And that’s why it’s so hard to trust the political process. Because the realities of getting and keeping power are always the same, which are- reward your friends and the people who keep you in power and punish everybody else. Roman emperors even had mentioned that point. And so with a philosophy like that, it’s so easy to wish for some guy who’s gonna, as I said, go around and set everything right. But no matter what kind of man on a white horse pops up. I could tell you one thing about that guy. You know what that is? He will have a successor, and you have no idea who that successor is. Everybody in the conservative movement loved Reagan, but he was followed by George Bush, and he was followed after that by Clinton. Every leader, no matter what you think of them, will have a successor. And it’s not just that. It’s like in your life, you ever deal with somebody and think to yourself, I hardly know you. That’s so out of character for you. But it’s been in their character that whole time. One of the things a character in my book says is you can’t do anything out of character. I got that from a book by Stanton Saminau, and he’s right. What is your character? It’s your consistent pattern of behavior. And it is literally impossible to do something out of character. Why? Because being in character means you being you, and out of character means you not being you. And you can’t have that, now, can you? Because it’s illogical. So with credit to Stanton Simoneau for that observation, I always like crediting my sources. One of my heroes is Dennis Prager. Dennis Prager said in his book, the Rational Bible, he talks about how important it is to credit your sources. And at the end of my Kingmaker series, you know something? I owe a big debt of gratitude for a lot of the ideas that went into it. I wrote the book trying, as I said in the beginning, to out Crichton, Michael Crichton. And what Michael Crichton always did was he took the best of science and technology, and I added on top of that, culture and art and history. Virgil’s book, the Aeneid, makes a very big appearance in, in the book, and how one of the characters solves the big mystery. So I had a lot of ideas I got from other people, and I had like a 20-page footnote at the end saying, okay, this is where I got it from. Because I didn’t want to take credit for ideas that weren’t mine. Because, remember, creativity is recombination. It’s not coming up with these ideas. I didn’t come up with a lot of the ideas. I just combined them in a way to make a good story.

00:32:47 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, and that’s a really good point there. You don’t have to. You don’t have to recreate the wheel. You don’t have to do this all on your own. But citing those sources and getting that inspiration you never know, maybe your work inspires somebody else. That’s another great part of that, of how they get. That can be recreated down the road as well. Yeah, there’s. No superhero book writer has the perfect book. That. That’s just kind of human nature. That’s part of what makes us us, is that constant recreation. I love citing those sources there. So, Ari, sounds like a fantastic book series. I’m sure a lot of people listen to this. Either like, hey, sign me up. I want to read this right now. Or they want to be in touch with you after the show. So how can they find the book and be in touch with you?

00:33:36 – Ari Mendelson
Okay, my book is on Amazon and it’s the Kingmaker series. Ari Mendelson. There are three books. The first book is called Consent. That’s the brisk introduction to the rest of the series. The second one, which is my favorite of the whole three, is called Due Process. And then the third one is called Just Power. Those are all phrases from the Constitution, so it should be easy to remember. Also, I have a YouTube channel, Mendelson. It’s on YouTube. You look up consent audiobook. YouTube. I made an audiobook of consent. The entire thing was read by me, edited by me. The whole thing. It’s the punk rock ethos of DIY or Die. I did the character voices too. You will find the entire first book on YouTube. And of course, you can get me on Twitter, Kingmaker series. And that’s how you find me on Twitter. So follow me there for insights every day.

00:34:37 – Johnny Sanders
I’ll have that all linked down in the description below, so please check that all out. And Ari, once again, thanks so much for being on today.

00:34:45 – Ari Mendelson
Well, thanks for having me.

00:34:45 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. And thank you to everybody who tuned in and we’ll catch you on the next episode.