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Propaganda Depository / Memebombs: Volume Aleph
« on: September 25, 2007, 04:30:04 pm »

Volume Aleph

This volume contains 14 pages of Grade A material from the One Line Meme Bomb thread. Wingbats and Dingwings have been added to make them more eye catching.

A one-page cover letter provides IMPORTANT PROTIPS for hanging and distributing meme bombs.

Print and Go!

Or Kill Me / Arte
« on: September 14, 2007, 06:48:47 pm »
- VS -

Are you Conflicted? Anxious? Doubtful? A Shadow of your Potential Self?

It's likely -- in fact, it's almost certain -- that your are living off balance.

There are two drives at war within each of us - the creation and maintenance of order, and the reckless breakneck chase of disorder.

Visualize a skinny nerd walking a big dog. The dog is trying to pull the nerd where he wants to go, and the nerd is gripping the leash with white knuckles. And you are neither the nerd nor the beast, but both at the same time.

Cut to:
Ancient Athens was a pretty hip joint. In its day, it was the central nexus of rational thought, a unique oasis in a world where most people were busy screaming and stabbing each other with spears. They had this word in Ancient Greece, Arte. Ar-uh-tay. It means Virtue. It means Quality. It means Heroism. And it requires balance.

Odysseus, the preeminent Greek Hero, was not a straight-laced do-gooder, a shield of righteousness and a spear of justice. He was kind of a bastard. He lied, he cheated on his wife, he insulted the Gods, and he killed more people than Rambo. He was both a man and a beast at the same time. But he was not weighted down by his personal Disorder, he made it into one of his virtues. That's Quality. That's Arte.

See, the Athenians believed that man has to romance his chaos. They spent most of the month worshiping Apollo, the God of Light and Reason and Harmony and Rational Thought. But for one or two days out of each moon, they ignored Apollo and worshiped Dionysus, the God of Drinking and Orgies and fantastic fucking Parties.

They had huge, unbelievable festivals which swallowed the whole city. Everybody in the Athens would put down their day-to-day selves and spend all night chanting and dancing and drumming and wearing strange masks. They really let their hair down. One might expect violence, human sacrifices, people fucking in the streets. Its not just about having a good time, its about experiencing those aspects of ourselves which we flee from, like fear and rage and sloppy drunkenness and uninhibited ecstasy.

Who participated in these festivals? Unlike the present day, it wasn't JUST the rebel kids: youths on the cusp of adulthood whose chaos hasn't yet been bled out of them by the Machine. The Bacchanal was attended by both the rich and the poor, the smart and the dumb, the old and the young. These festivals were what they needed - they needed to FREAK OUT and let the animal loose.

See the Athenians thought this was necessary for sanity. If they were going to get their Important Stuff done during the week, they knew they needed to kick out the jams on the weekend. A Greek Hero is balanced between Apollo and Dionysus. He's a warrior AND a philosopher. He's a good guy AND a scoundrel. He is a man, but he is also a beast. He is Apollo, but he is also Dionysus.

"Don't suppress your nature," the Greeks are saying to us. "Once in a while, party with no hesitation or regret. Let your beast loose."

Let yourself succumb to emotions like panic and fear and joy. Allow yourself to get lost in a riotous crowd all cheering at the same time. You'll lose your identify for a little while. Then when you put your Apollo back on, you'll be tempered.

And where are we now? I look around and I see very few people who know how to ride their beasts, let alone take them for a walk every so often. People are afraid of that aspect - they don't want to look in the mirror and see a frazzled, cracked out animal, bloodied and drunk, but still smiling. They'd prefer to see the guy with the neatly combed hair, confident and rational, comfortable and reasonable. The kind of guy who doesn't make waves. A go-getter with everything to lose.

You can't keep the beast tranquilized forever. One day it's going to leak out through your tension and anxiety. Its going to make your rational-self uneasy. And when youre loosest, it's going to claw its way out of your heart and murder all the philosophers and poets and innocent bystanders. It's going to hurt them and it's also going to hurt you.

The beast is, by its nature, not comfortable. It's emotional. It's savage. It's unpredictable. The beast is what you're trying to escape with your breathing exercises and iPod. With your drive for homeostasis and your metronomic routine. Living the way we do, we've all learned and internalized dozens of techniques to keep the beast in its cage. But its going crazy in there, waiting for a moment of weakness to spring out and tear shit up. Your beast is a big strong dog, and your Rational Thought is a skinny nerd trying to walk him but barely in control. Who's in charge here? Who's leading whom? If you have mastered Arte, one checks the other but they move in unison.

So there it is. Arte. Its not a mastery one learns by living by the rules and being in control every day. Its not experienced by becoming the most rational, controlled, stand-up person you can be. Its found by tempering your brain with your balls. Its pouring your fire into a shot glass and drinking it
straight up,
no chaser.

Hail Eris

Bring and Brag / The Flying Ass Ghost Dance
« on: August 24, 2007, 07:56:48 pm »

In This Thread, call it like you see it. When these things come to pass we'll have a written record that I TOLD YOU GUYS THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN

Paris Hilton is going to reinvent herself as a tough, leather jacket wearing bad-ass.

When the Large Hadron Collider goes operational in May 2008, a lot of crazy shit is going to happen.

Moar nostalgia based movies -- Transformers and TMNT paved the way for mega blockbusters based on selling you your childhood, especially if you grew up in the 80s.

EDITED to change subject from "ITT: Call it in Advance"

Principia Discussion / The Roof
« on: August 16, 2007, 04:12:12 am »

Found a blog entry which may be interesting to you jerks. It's quite reminiscent of the Black Iron Prison metaphor.  X-Posted from here.

I DID NOT WRITE THIS. If it's tl;dr, then don't read it.  :p

Unplugging the Matrix: Generate Your Own Reality

Sooner or later the intelligent human mind realizes that reality is an illusion. This operates on many levels: perceptual, historical, political, molecular, spiritual. Depending on knowledge, circumstances and belief system our reality tunnel we will each have a preferred method and subject of investigation. The scientifically inclined may turn to quantum physics, string theory and holography for answers. The religious temperament may begin to unravel the outer allegories of their sacred texts to get to the inner mysteries of true enlightenment. The social historian may realize that realpolitik, the private military-industrial complex and supra-national globalist agendas influence world affairs more than any seemingly democratic government. In the end however, all roads lead to the same destination: pretty much everything around us is not the way we thought it was.

This epiphany is nothing new. The sages of old, the philosophers, scientists and mystics were aware of this thousands of years ago. Much of their knowledge was handed down and recorded for the benefit of successive generations, but as the sands of time blow across the ages, things can get obscured, lost and even forgotten. Changes to Earth and its ecosystem can further bury mans knowledge so it appears as if it were never there in the first place. But inevitably, some inquisitive mind will come along and rediscover the ancient wisdom for himself, and upon the quest, will realize that his attainment is indeed an unearthing rather than an original creation. It is a remembrance.

One fundamental principle of the illusion is the false impression of separation; the idea that we are somehow separate from the material things in our world. This is still the foundation for much of our thinking today. Well to distil a thousand learned books into one comment: we are not separate. At the deepest level everything is connected to everything else. Quantum physicist David Bohm (1917-1992) postulated that the ultimate nature of physical reality is not a collection of separate objects (as it appears), but rather it is an undivided whole that is in perpetual dynamic flux. Bohm was reinterpreting ancient knowledge and translating it into a modern quantum vocabulary. This was his remembrance: at a deeper level [matter and consciousness] are actually inseparable and interwovenĶ Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. We are not separate from the things in our world and we are not separate from each other. Bohm called this gigantic flow of energy and consciousness the holomovement.

Within this paradigm, neurophysiologist Karl Pribram suggests that our most fundamental notions about reality become suspect, for in a holographic universe, even random events are based on holographic principles and therefore determined. Synchronicities or meaningful coincidences suddenly makes sense, and everything in reality is seen as a metaphor, for even the most haphazard events express some underlying symmetry. As Pribram himself summarized: the descriptions you get with spiritual experiences seem to parallel the descriptions of quantum physics.

The Holomovement

You may be familiar with the holodeck from Star Trek. This is in fact, a mini implementation of Bohms holomovement concept. According to the Star Trek Technical Manual, the holodeck is an enclosed room in which objects and people are simulated by a combination of replicated matter animated with weak tractor beams, as well as shaped force fields onto which holographic images are projected. Sounds and smells are simulated by speakers and fragranced fluid atomizers, respectively. The feel of a large environment is simulated by suspending the participants on force fields which move with their feet, keeping them in one place (a virtual treadmill). Perspective is retained through use of sound damping fields and graviton lenses, which make objects, people, and sounds appear to be more distant. The effect is an ultra-realistic simulation of an environment, with which the user can interact.

Wow. Wouldnt you just love your own holodeck? Well, youve got one. And youre already in it. It is the holomovement. Bigger and better than the holodeck. However, both systems do have one very important thing in common: they require a program to function. Without a program, they dont work. There is only a blank nothingness. No program - no holodeck. And this is where we get to the crux of the matter.

We program the holomovement with our consciousness. Consciousness is the software behind everything. It follows then that if we create the holomovement, and the holomovement constitutes everything (all objects, places and people), then we co-create the entire universe, probably with many other beings and entities. What we call the soul is our little unit of consciousness that we get to work with. Sometimes we incarnate it on different planets and in different individuals. We call them lifetimes, people or experiences. When a 3D manifest experience is complete, the soul travels to a new destination. It is a constantly evolving piece of consciousness, indestructible and eternal. This is one of the great secrets of mankind.

Moreover, we can detect within the holomovement, evidence of a super-soul; an awesome quality of consciousness with an ancient evolutionary path that has existed for billions of years. This super-soul is responsible for nurturing and guiding the substructure of the holomovement and all the souls within it. Many refer to this entity as God. It is this super-soul that authored the holomovement programming language itself. It is my belief that God wants us to go through the holomovement, exploring, creating, enjoying and charting it.

A Virus In The System

When we dont realize that we are generating our own reality, our contribution to the holomovement is negligible. The reality field that we generate is weak. We feel unimportant and at the mercy of the worlds ominous, random and wholly impersonal events. We have no control.

Even in this unnatural state, our consciousness (our dream as the Australian aboriginals call it) is still programming the holomovement; we are still generating reality. The difference is that the contents of our subconscious and unconscious mind (so easily influenced by external forces) are more literally translated into what we create. What we see through the TV screen we actually program and manifest into reality. Without real mindfulness of our creativity, we simply serve as conduits for the programming instructions we get from the Control System outlets the TV, the media, the education system, the government and society as a whole. This is the virus that has crept into our section of the holomovement and is infecting our minds. It has contaminated most of the people on earth and corrupted their hard disk, causing them to forget their own infinite, independent, divine power. And sadly, the virus was released intentionally.

The creators of the virus have been around for millennia. They have remained well hidden and used third party agents to do their dirty work. Today we know their agents as The Globalists, The New World Order, The Illuminati, The Imperial Elitists etc. Whatever your prefer. All of them stretch back into antiquity in one form or another. Basic study consistently establishes that they have two main operational arms: the global political arm (Bilderberg, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Rockefeller Foundation, Club Of Rome, Tavistock Institute etc), and the secret fraternal arm (Freemasonry, Skull & Bones, Knights Of Malta, Knights Of Columbus, Rosicrucians etc). Information on these organizations is freely available to the reader for their own study. For now, in short, we may reasonably say of the fraternal societies that they are ancient, widespread and exceedingly influential in world affairs.

I have come to refer collectively to these groups and their methods of dominion as the Control System. This focuses the mind on the matter in hand and avoids any obscure cross referencing or unintentional intimations.

Unveiling The Control System

Naturally, the enquiring researchers studies will turn to specific events and mechanisms orchestrated by the Control System to provide the requisite level of evidence to substantiate the astonishing idea that our world is controlled by highly unpleasant forces. The initial shock that the government is most certainly not your friend, is actually one of the worst along the whole journey. Indeed it is here, at this crucible of realization, that most fail the preliminary test and instead opt out to follow a path of comfortable diversion.

For those resolute souls who forge ahead, deep study of the Control System leads to an even more profound unveiling. It becomes clear that even the Control System itself is merely camouflage to obscure a grander and much older strategy: what we now know as the virus in the holomovement. The awesome magnitude of this strategy, once conceived, indicates a total unlearning of all official personal, national, human and planetary history. The resultant cognitive dissonance at this point will stretch the researchers belief system to its limits. Even those who have fully unraveled a mysterious event that proves government complicity in some terrible act of violence, will be tempted to simply re-examine another aspect of the Control System. Find another project to pour themselves into. Better to be consumed in their own study than face the prospect of a total rebuilding of their personal belief system from the ground up. Thats a hard thing to do.

The Sleeper Must Awaken

You can only examine the Control System for so long. You can only investigate the inside jobs and the setups so many times. Yeah. They perpetrate this stuff all the time and the game has been rigged from the very beginning. So where are you going? Whats next? Sooner or later we must face up to our own spiritual and metaphysical reality. This is the real destination. Only from here can we begin to dismantle their power structures. It is time to get spiritual. It is time to suspend your belief system while you download a major upgrade.

We are infinite. We create reality.

Without true knowledge and internalization of this information, the Control System successfully manufactures reality for us by controlling our consciousness, our dream, our imagination. If the human consciousness is manipulated through fear-based and trauma-based systems (entrenched in our media, entertainment and news broadcasts) then the Control System can implant a reality of its own that keeps us self-limiting and passive. We are not required to be actively creative in their reality. We are just cabling for their network.

But something is changing at a fundamental level. It is accelerating events. Something that was predicted a long time ago. A natural spiritual awakening is occurring planet wide, as our galaxy moves back toward the galactic core where its unique frequencies begin to vibrate at higher levels. More and more people are waking up to their own spiritual potential and divine human identity. We do not need anyone elses programming. The year 2012 marks a key energetic crossroads where a quantum leap in human awareness and a polarization of belief systems is likely. The Control System is well aware of this and is pulling out all the stops to consolidate its authority. Massive fear-based control events are planned - alien landings, plague, comet, world war, economic collapse. All attempting to nail down human consciousness and make it incapable of shaping its own destiny.

The Control System has one major disadvantage though: it does not possess something very important that we all have. Something very special and possibly rather rare in the universe.... what is this thing? It is our divine spark, our piece of the super-soul, our lineage to God. Did David Bohm feel this when he said: in some sense man is a microcosm of the universe; therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe. We are enfolded in the universe.

We must start generating our own reality again. Begin programming the holomovement with our ideas, our love, our intent and our infinite creativity.

The Control Systems holomovement virus is weak. It is dependent on our ignorance and disbelief for it to function properly. Awareness of its very existence begins to instantly erode it. Full comprehension of our own creative consciousness attacks the virus. When we begin to generate our own powerful reality fields again, the virus is eliminated. So we must get natural. No more implanted reality. No more Control System programming. We generate our own reality from now on.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Booklet Template
« on: August 02, 2007, 02:04:11 pm »
One of the best ideas I've heard around here in a while was Vex's suggestion that we should develop or find a standard template for our distribution projects. This way we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time someone slaps some text together.

I thought I had mastered Mistress Word's formatting, but she is a temperamental and tempestuous biatch. During the Black Iron Prison edit I wanted to put my fist through my monitor. Why does it keep relocating my images if I place them too close to the corner? I swear to Goddess that if Ms. Word were a real person I would strangle the life out of her. But other than Word, what else is there?

Vex said that openoffice can dump into PDF without changing layout, and that sounds really sexy. I might even be able to install openoffice at work without drawing too much attention from IT.

Optimally we'd be able to copy&paste text into a half-page size template, so we could print four pages per 8.5x11 sheet (front & back).

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? or existing templates we could gank?

Or Kill Me / The Spiritual Fridge is Full of Leftovers
« on: July 31, 2007, 03:49:25 pm »
I felt hungry
But not hungry for food.I was spirit hungry, soul hungry.

It was midnight. Wearing naught but a bathrobe and a five o'clock shadow, I opened the spiritual fridge and squinted in its its fluorescent glow. My nipples hardened at the chill.


There was some glazed and oversweet Christmas Ham taking up most of the fridge. I had gotten sick of it but couldn't bear to throw it away. Pushing it aside, I spotted some wafers from the tenth century. Blech.

On the next shelf there were some Chakras sealed away in tupperware. Kind of weird, and I didn't really want to get into them. I had ordered them from this Indian place as an experiment, but they didn't really suit me.

Maybe a glass of wine would help me sleep? Eh, all I had was some manischewitz - also too sweet for my taste. I was lost in the fridge, not the desert. My toes were gripping lenolium, not hot sand and sharp rocks.

Hungry for substance, meaning. Hungry for something fulfilling and worthwhile. Something that would taste good but not leave me feeling guilty.

Something was mummified in plastic wrap. I unwrapped it and sniffed. Ancient. Smelled like it would have been tasty thousands of years ago, but it had gone bad. The modern palette has trouble reconciling this old fashioned stuff.

There was a lot of condiments, but nothing substantial. Fire and brimstone goes well with anything. There were some preservatives like mysticism and dogma. Some cooks think Eternal Rewards should be applied generously to any dish. Personally, I think they're best used in moderation.

The freezer wasn't much better. What wasn't overcooked to begin with was scorched by freezer burn.

Sometimes I like complicated, rich dishes. Sometimes I want simple, minimalist affairs. Maybe I could make a gumbo from all the stuff in here. But somehow I didn't think all those tastes would get along well.

What else was in here? Soda, but that wouldn't help me sleep. Some sort of sacrifice, but that wouldn't fill me up. Butter. Cheap beer - hey, beer might be a good start!

I was sick of take-out. And no one delivers this late anyway. The spiritual fridge is full of fast food, condiments, and leftovers.

My eyes drifted to the dusty cookbook lying on top of the fridge next to the phone book. If I wasn't so tired, maybe I'd cook something. Maybe after a beer or two. I wondered if anything good was on TV.

I yawned. I picked my nose. Hmm, in fact, didn't taste bad at all. As I opened my beer, I shut the fridge. The kitchen was dark again.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Anatomy of a Meme
« on: July 24, 2007, 01:10:42 pm »
We've been talking a bit about memetics and the properties of memes. So from what I know of memetics, here are some concepts which may make it easier to talk about this stuff. (The terminology I use is from Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin, in which he's talking about memes in terms of marketing. He calls a successful meme an Ideavirus.)

Velocity - a measure of how fast an idea spreads from one party to another

Hive - a network of people who exchange information. Information travels very easily within a hive, especially when regard each other as credible sources. is a hive. A class of third graders is a hive. Friends who talk about HP Lovecraft are a sort of hive.

Sneeze - a sneeze is a transmission of a meme between two people. If I see a cool commercial, and then I ask my friend if he's seen that commercial, that counts as a sneeze. Basically any time you mention a product, you are sneezing that meme.

Smoothness - how easy it is for someone to sneeze the meme. Sports trivia is very smooth in regards to sports fans. Really boring or complicated topics are not smooth.

Another factor influencing smoothness is whether or not the meme presents a risk or reward to the sneezer. For example, the iPhone is considered cool. You might seem cooler for knowing about the iPhone or mentioning your friend that has one. If you're attending NAMBLA meetings you'd probably want to keep a lid on that. So NAMBLA membership isn't very smooth.

Promiscuity - One's likelihood to spread a meme. Really promiscuous people sneeze a lot. Marketing teams twist their brains in knots trying to figure out how to get the cool guys and the hot girls to start using their products. Trendsetters and people of authority tend to be very promiscuous.

frankly, I think all those choices are pretty sweet

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / The Black Iron Prison - v2
« on: July 18, 2007, 05:00:00 pm »
The Black Iron Prison
Professor Cramulus edit

presented in PDF format, .doc available

comments, meme bombs, additions, art, edits, et cetera
all appreciated

« on: July 16, 2007, 11:45:15 pm »
APPLE DATE Confusion 51, Year of Our Lady of Discord 3173

It's a great time to be a Discordian on the internet.

I just realized that yesterday was Confuflux. It's the height of Confusion, right before the dawn of Bureaucracy. So it's a great time for Discordians, a point of balance between order and disorder.

and it's a great time to be a Discordian in general.

This weekend the Yonkers contingent met up with some of the Boston cabal. Members of the Wrath of MSPaint Cabal met face to face for the first time. That One Guy, who I didn't really know that well prior, ended up being a super-cool dude. Suu is just as hot and awesome as I had hoped. Richter is the MAN and his swote has no bounds. Everybody had a fricking blast and I can't wait to road trip up there and hang out with them again.

The Black Iron Prison forum has a fresh coat of paint and is buzzing with very exciting activity. There are some great new ideas over there - the Shrapnel Project, which now has a home on the BIP wiki. We've also seen some very large steps in revising the Black Iron Prison pamphlet. This is how diamonds form.

And Ratatosk you mischievous squirrel bastard, that passage - the beginning of the Occultus Forma Discordia - is excellent. Had I read that back before I found this board (when I was very enamored by those pinealist memes) I would have dove in here head first. I think that it's a great leap in bridging the gap between your Discordians and your Erisians. Can't wait to see how this develops.

And Cain, one of our favorite fearless leaders (perish the thought!) it looks like you've been through a lot and rather than it weighing you down, you've been charged by it. Cain's willingness to put human drama aside and try to form a bridge with EB&G feels like a breath of fresh air.

I'm excited
and over-hyped
to ask And Now What?

Rock on                     
my sons and daughters
                 go rock on

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Forward Progress
« on: July 16, 2007, 03:19:41 pm »
split from the From a BIP reader thread.

Cramulus' Suggestions for forward progress

1. identify the specific sections of the BIP which are considered too dark or too preachy (the two most common complaints about it).
2. modify them on the wiki.
3. take all this stuff and put it in a new PDF-book. In this book the BIP metaphor is mixed in with humorous stuff such as meme bombs, Discordians in History, the Parable of the Gong, a lot of Vex's stuff, and other more "high content / high humor" passages. Add art ranging from crazy cutups to WOMP nonsense to actual art from Fred, Syn, Vex, Silly, and the numerous other skilled artists on this board.

5. profit

Which specific sections of the BIP do you think are too dark or too preachy?

Provide links to the wiki. (hm, seems to be down at the moment)

Literate Chaotic / Nonbiological Thinking
« on: June 28, 2007, 03:40:35 pm »
some interesting stuff to chew on... I know it's long, but I found it really cool

Tinker Toy Brains
Computer scientist, IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center; Author, Calculus and Pizza

If we believe that consciousness is the result of patterns of neurons in the brain, our thoughts, emotions, and memories could be replicated in moving assemblies of Tinkertoys. The Tinkertoy minds would have to be very big to represent the complexity of our minds, but it nevertheless could be done, in the same way people have made computers out of 10,000 Tinkertoys. In principle, our minds could be hypostatized in patterns of twigs, in the movements of leaves, or in the flocking of birds. The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz liked to imagine a machine capable of conscious experiences and perceptions. He said that even if this machine were as big as a mill and we could explore inside, we would find "nothing but pieces which push one against the other and never anything to account for a perception."

If our thoughts and consciousness do not depend on the actual substances in our brains but rather on the structures, patterns, and relationships between parts, then Tinkertoy minds could think. If you could make a copy of your brain with the same structure but using different materials, the copy would think it was you. This seemingly materialistic approach to mind does not diminish the hope of an afterlife, of transcendence, of communion with entities from parallel universes, or even of God. Even Tinkertoy minds can dream, seek salvation and blissand pray.

Half-Man, Half-Machine: The Mind of the Future

Raymond C. Kurzweil is the author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990, and The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, published this year. He is the founder and chairman of Kurzweil Technologies in Wellesley Hills, Mass., as well as five other companies that still bear his name or are still operating under new ownership. He spoke with Business Week Senior Writer Otis Port about the separate and joint futures of human and artificial intelligence.

Q: Do you have any doubts that a superior intelligence will emerge in the next few decades?

A: No. It's inevitable. For example, nanotubes would allow computing at the molecular level. A one-inch cube of nanotube circuitry would be about 1 billion times more powerful than the human brain, in terms of computing capacity. That raw computing capacity is a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieve human-level intelligence in a machine.

We also need the organization and the software to organize those resources. There are a number of scenarios for achieving that. The most compelling is reverse-engineering the human brain. We're already well down that path, with techniques like MRI. But we'll do better because the speed and resolution -- the bandwidth -- with which we can scan the brain are also accelerating exponentially.

One means of scanning the brain would be to send small scanners in the form of nanobots into the blood stream. Millions of them would go through every capillary of the brain. We already have electronic means for scanning neurons and neurotransmitter concentrations that are nearby, and within 30 years we'll have these little nanobots that can communicate with each other wirelessly. They would create an enormous database with every neuron, every synoptic connection, every neurotransmitter concentration -- a precise map of the human brain.

So we'll have the templates for human intelligence, and by then we'll have the hardware that can run these processes. So we can reinstate that information in a neural computer.

Once we can embody human thought processes in a nonbiological medium, it will necessarily soar past human intelligence -- for several reasons. First, machines can share their knowledge electronically. With humans, you spend years teaching language to each child. [But] once any one machine has mastered something, it can share that knowledge instantly with millions of other machines over the global wireless Web, which we'll have by then. So a machine can become expert at any number of disciplines.

Secondly, machines are far faster. Electronic circuits are 10 million times faster than neural connections, and machine memories can be far larger and much more accurate. However, machines do not yet have the depth of pattern recognition or the subtlety of human intelligence. They can't deal with emotions and humor and other subtle qualities of human intelligence.

Once their complexity matches that of humans and they are able to master the skills at which humans now excel, and those abilities are combined with the ways in which machines are already superior -- that will be a very formidable combination. It'll get to the point where the next generation of technology can only be designed by the machines themselves.

Finally, while the complexity of the biological computational circuitry in humans is essentially fixed, the density of machine circuitry will continue to grow exponentially. By 2030, a $1,000 computer system will have the power of 1,000 human brains; by 2050, 1 billion human brains.

Q: Won't we end up feeling like pets?

A: Those same nanobots that can scan the human brain will also provide a type of neural implant to extend human intelligence -- expand your memory and improve your pattern-recognition capabilities. Ultimately they will augment human intelligence quite profoundly as we go through the 21st century.

We are doing this today, after a fashion. We now have neural implants for Parkinson's disease patients that actually reprogram their neural cells. The implants literally turn off the symptoms of Parkinson's as soon as you throw a switch. It's very dramatic. These patients are wheeled in, their bodies frozen. Then a switch is thrown to activate the neural implants, and the patients suddenly come alive -- their symptoms are suppressed by the implant.

With microscopic nanobots, we'll be able to send millions or billions [of them] into your brain. They would take up key positions inside our brains and detect what's going on in our brains. They would be communicating with each other, via a wireless local-area network, which would be linked to the wireless Web and intelligent machines, and they could cause particular neurons to fire, or suppress them.

This will enable us to artificially boost human intelligence dramatically. Ultimately, the majority of thinking will be done in the nonbiological parts of our brains.

Q: If nanobots are sitting inside our heads and controlling the brain, how will we know they're not fooling us with false signals?
A: Well, actually, another thing we could do with this would be virtual reality. If we had nanobots take up positions by every nerve fiber that comes from all of our five senses, they could either sit there and do nothing, in which case you'd perceive the world normally -- or they could shut off the nerve impulses coming from our real senses and replace them with simulated nerve impulses representing what you would perceive if you were in the virtual environment.

Q: So we wouldn't be able to tell the difference at all between the real world and a simulated world?
A: Right. It would be as if you were really in that virtual environment. If you decided to walk, the nanobots would intercept the signals to your real legs and send back all the sensory signals of walking -- from the changing tactile pressure on your feet to the air moving across your hands as you swing your arms. It would be just as high-resolution and just as compelling as real reality. You could actually go there and meet other real people. So you and I, instead of being on the telephone, could be meeting on a Mozambique game preserve, and we'd both feel the warm breeze on our faces and hear the animal sounds in the background.

Eventually, anything you can do in real reality -- business meetings, social events, sex, sports -- could be done in virtual reality. As the technology gets perfected, we'll be spending more and more time in virtual reality, because it'll be more and more compelling. Going to Web sites will mean going to a virtual reality environment. Some will emulate real environments, so you'll visit the Web to go skiing in the Alps or to take a walk on a beach in Tahiti. Others will be fantastic environments that don't exist, or couldn't exist, in the real world.

Q: Let's go back to machines that design new machines. Doesn't that open the potential for them to evolve a nonhuman intelligence -- utterly different ways of thinking?
A: Sure. Once we have intelligent systems in a nonbiological medium, they're going to have their own ideas, their own agendas. They'll evolve off in completely unpredictable directions. Instead of being derived only from human civilization, new concepts will also be derived from their electronic civilization. But I see this as part of evolution -- a continuation of the natural progression.

Q: But couldn't it pose a threat to the human race?

A: I don't see an invasion of alien machines coming over the horizon. They'll be emerging from within our human-machine civilization. We're already quite intimate with our technology. If all the computers stopped today, essentially everything would grind to halt. That was not true just 30 years ago. At that point only a few scientists and government bureaucrats would have been frustrated by the delay in getting printouts from their punch-card machines.

Today we've become highly dependent on computer intelligence. It's already embedded in our decision-making software much more than most people realize. That's going to continue to accelerate.

Next, we're going to be putting these machines into our bodies and into our brains. So it's not going to be humans on one side and machines on the other. There's not going to be a clear distinction between humans and machines. We'll be using nanobots to expand human intelligence, and over time, the bulk of our thinking will be done in the nonbiological parts of our brains, because that part of our brain will continue to grow as technology advances. But the biological part is not growing.

Q: There won't be a clear distinction between us and them?

A: No. Ultimately, you're going to have nonbiological entities that are exact copies of biological brains. They will claim to be human, because they will have all the memories of the original brain. So there won't be a clear distinction between what's human and what's not.

But remember, this will be emerging gradually from within our own civilization. It's the next phase of our own evolution. It's only a threat if you believe things should always stay the same as they are today.

That's not to say there aren't any dangers. An obvious one is uncontrolled growth of these nonbiological entities in your body -- nonbiological cancer.

Or Kill Me / The Parable of the Gong
« on: June 27, 2007, 04:56:51 pm »
The Parable of the Gong
As told by Professor Cramulus, OBNOXIOUS JERK cabal

There was once a young Discordian called Golden Rod. Early in his illumination, he wondered what season his country was in.

Perhaps it was in the season of Discord, on the cusp of Bureaucracy. Surely, Order was rising to noxious levels.

Or perhaps it was already Bureaucracy, on the cusp of Aftermath. Surely, Disorder was rising to obnoxious levels.

So in his quest for An Answer, Golden Rod sought out the Discordian monk Nopants. Nopants dwelled in a basement because it would be obscene for him to go outside. Golden Rod freed himself from his leggings and descended the stairs. Below, Nopants sat on a cushion in a gross lotus position.

"My wise friend Nopants, I have come to ask you a question, said Golden Rod, What is Bureaucracy?"

In India, said Nopants, they tie elephants to trees using thin cords. An elephant could easily snap the cord, yet they remain tethered in place. Why do you think this is?

Golden Rod itched himself and shrugged.

When the elephant is young, intoned Nopants, she is too weak to break the cord. She tries, but eventually she gives up. When the elephant grows up, she does not try to escape her puny bonds because she believes she will fail.

So the cord isnt the thing keeping the elephant in place, said Golden Rod. He squinted at Nopants, Thats very interesting, but what does that have to do with Bureaucracy?

Bureaucracy, said Nopants, is waiting for a red traffic light in the middle of the night when no one is coming.

    Across space and time, a gong sounded.

Golden Rod left the basement and returned to the real world, thoroughly confused. As he drove home, he ran five red lights. His mirth rose with each light. By the end of the voyage he was giggling like a ninny at his newfound freedom.

Years went by and Golden Rod continued drive towards Aftermath. He ignored stop signs, blew through red lights, and opened his moon roof despite danger of falling rocks.

Sweet Merciful Ass! cried out Bung-Fu the Fool as he clawed at the dashboard. Youre gonna get us both killed!

Nonsense! I am self-emancipated from these mundane traffic laws, cackled Golden Rod.  I am a harbinger of Aftermath!

Do you always drive like this? said Bung-Fu as he buckled his seat belt.

Golden Rod nodded. "Always."

Meanwhile, the monk Nopants was wheeling his gong across the street towards his basement. He patiently waited for the light to turn red, then pushed the ponderous percussive instrument upon the pavement.

     The collision made the exact sound of enlightenment.

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