Hacking Wetware

Imagine yourself in front of a manual typewriter having to write a paper with only a short period of time to do it. Manual typewriters, for those who have never played with one of these devices, are rather tempermental beasts. One doesn't have any ability to correct errors, and one has to observe appropriate timing delays between hitting keys as otherwise one has a tangle of keys above the platen since one has to ensure that the key one has hit comes back to its rest position before hitting the next key. Also, one has to deal with right margins and breaking from ones typing rhythm to move platen to new line and one has to also break to insert new pages of paper.

The usual pattern people would use with a manual typewriter in 1969 was to write out the paper by hand and then make corrections in the handwritten copy. When this handwritten copy was acceptable, one sat down in front of a typewriter and copied the text from ones handwritten copy. I never liked this method much since, even in 1969, I was able to type faster than I could write. I found typewriters liberating since they were closer to the speed of thought than handwriting was and I would work by dumping out streams of consciousness to typewritten output and then marking chunks of text I liked and retyping them onto new sheets of paper. Some people who used my method would use scissors to cut out the paragraphs they liked and paste them on sheets of paper -- cut and paste editing was literal in those days.

I've never been happy with things as they are and what I envisioned was a system in which I created the complete document in my head and then I would put my motor system into a state of perfect synchrony with my brain and print out an error free document utilizing my hands as a manual print driver. To get the perfect document I envisioned, I needed a means of visualizing the final text and performing editing operations. I was well aware at this time that during dreams I experienced a state indistinguishable from reality, and the visual hallucinations experienced by classmates of mine under the influence of psychedelic drugs suggested to me that artificial realities could be created (I still hadn't done psychedelics at this point in my life). It appeared clear to me that there was a self (I used the inappropriate metaphor of a homunculus sitting inside my skull looking out through my eyes in my musings at this time) which could experience either an external reality, or an internally generated reality. Any wetware process that could generate the vivid and detailed dreams that I used to experience on a nightly basis should, I reasoned, be easily modified to handle the details of producing the illusion of ones ideas in print, and then one could use virtual scissors and glue to edit these ideas until the result was pleasing. Once the final form of the text was decided upon, then my motor system would be slaved to the virtual reality generating process to "print" out a perfect copy of the final document on a manual typewriter.

My thought processes at this time were quite different then. I was far less verbal than I am now, but much more fluent in Ukrainian and Croatian, languages I learned before English. My primary mode of thought was non-verbal consisting of a mixture of visual images, emotions and other sensory representations. Ideas would present themselves to me in this non-verbal form and the most difficult work I had to perform to record them was to translate the idea from this "assembly language of the mind" to written text. The fact that "assembly language of the mind" springs so quickly to mind indicates that the realization that this was how my brain worked dates to approximately 1969-1970.

I had just turned 16 in 1969 and this age is particularly significant since only at this point can I say that I began to experience the world in a similar fashion to how I now experience reality; a fixation of the weltanschaung occurred at this age. In Piaget's terminology, I became fully capable of abstract thought. This was imperceptible since the majority of my development had been subconscious; an independant consciousness was increasingly asserting itself in 1970. Subconscious processes are the brain's primary way of implimenting various algorithms; this continued to be the case when I became more self-aware, but the illusion that an individual self was more in control of areas mediated by these subconscious processes became stronger and stronger from 1970 onward. Fortunately I have retained links to my subconscious processes throughout my life since this is where the bulk of wetware processing takes place and only a small fraction of wetware CPU time is devoted to maintaining the illusion of reality.

It appears that I have always had the intuitive knowledge that reality is an illusion and that the subset of the perceptively sampled external space that is displayed to the self-object is reality. I find it hard to believe that I never clued in on the idea that the experiencing self must be generated by the reality generating mechanism (although my concept of what constitutes a brain is far different now than in 1969). At that time I viewed the self and body as separate entities which was an interesting production of the reality producing organ.

To the unimaginitive mind, the world appears as if the individuals reality producing algorithm fixed the time of last change in their reality producing algorithm at some early stage of development in their lives. These individuals assume that the minute subset of sampled reality that the reality generating algorithm (RGA) choses to present as the whole of reality really is what it purports to be, are trapped in their self-generated corner. To imagine anything outside of their world is of an order of difficulty such as imagining a number greater than infinity, or contemplating how ones reality is bounded but that other universes can exist outside of these boundries.

The vast majority of people I have seen seem to be unaware of the abilities they have to change their generated reality. Of those people who have attained reality transcending abilities, the majority have used various psychedelic drugs to facilitate thought processes proceeding in this direction. In my case, the path I have taken through the world of logical algorithmic computation leads me to where I now am in attempting to apply the lessons of the world of algorithmic computation to the wetware algorithm that produces what I percieve as reality at this moment (Red Hot Chili Peppers Parallel universe at this point, coincidentally).

Man uses external means to create his reality if he can do so. Movies and TV were increasingly successfull means of creating an external reality to challenge the baseline created reality. I just had the occasional TV related show like Star Trek to create approximations to alternative realities. What I proposed was to use the wetware subunits of brain to produce alterntive percieved realities which would be utilized by the self to produce the appropriate generated reality from the lower brain areas. If I can create a reality which allows me to listen to music while I sip from a glass of Alize and create the illusion of self, why should I be unable to create a reality which fits any preconcieved plan?

Dreams were the primary window I had to this level of hacking the RGA; they are so real but they aren't real. Attempting to instantiate the self algorithm during dreaming is very difficult and it is very rare that one achieves the state of being able to alter percieved reality at will in the dream space. The dream space was where I proposed to run the wetware word processor which is the subject of this digression.

How does one produce waking dreams? The closest one comes to this goal is through the ingestion of various psychedelic drugs. although these wetware algorithms are also accessible, albeit with considerably more difficulty, in the undrugged state. That one could produce waking dreams, suggested that I could consciously control the content of those waking dreams.

If the development of the word processor had proceded along the lines I was going in 1969, then if one were to buy a word processor program today, the product would likely consist of various combinations of psychedelics which would be taken before the performance of various wetware programming operations which would be specified on external media (like paper). Once one had finished editing the document and the final format was floating before ones eyes, one would proceed to the word processor package, and after laying out and snorting a couple of short lines of a concentration enhancing pharmaceutical, one would sit at the manual typewriter and in a state of transcendental bliss tap out a perfect copy of the document.

That a word processor now happens to be a physically exteriorized process is of no consequence. The physically exteriorized process and internal reality representation are quite isomorphic and it is often possible to generate the appropriate reality with existing algorithms, utilizing the brains internal RGA only. This is most likely to happen in individuals who actually wrote the word processor code, or those who think in similar ways.

This thread is quickly becoming difficult to follow. It is probably due to the aattempt to unify emotional and rational components.

This is a premature end to this thread, but I've hit a brick wall when it comes to expressing what I'm experiencing in English. There's enough here to implant the meme of a purely wetware word processor in the reader. Anything further might be up to others. T:=01:42 on 7/7/2001