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Workshop - I've Changed My Mind
Written by Alex   
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 01:00

Start (Introduction)

What this is, and what it isn't.

This is not a neuroscience primer. Many excellent introductory works to neurology are out there, in book form and online, some of which are listed in the references.R1 Neurohacking, or neuroengineering as it will more than likely end up being called, is not of course covered in such texts, but if you are that keen you will need the basics anyway so enjoy.

Nor is this a psychology book, although human psychology is at the core of Matrix Theory it is the nature of intelligence itself, and not merely one aspect of it, which is the issue here.

This is a specialist's textbook for neurohackers.

It is also the story of a journey. In one sense it is a personal exploration that I am undertaking, but on another, larger scale it is the story of the journey which human intelligence tries to make, from its very beginnings in the womb to its ultimate maturity and potential.

It is through the formation of Matrix Theory that I have come to understand why it so very rarely gets there.

...Stick this in your hard drive and byte on it...

I use a lot of computing/engineering terms sometimes in my essays and this has led some to believe that I think of the brain as some kind of glorified PC. This is not the case. I do think of the brain as a 'computer', but not comparable to the models with which we are familiar. A connection machine (parallel processing) would be closer, but still not similar enough to make a direct comparison. However, neurohacking is perhaps the area where computer/brain analogies can be most useful as models of a situation to facilitate understanding. We may eventually have to invent new terms for things, like the explorers of quantum physics. For now, if we set definitions clearly at the start we can outline the function of a thing in context without having to retain those definitions out of it. I know they are not literal in the same way you know that atoms aren't really little balls, and light isn't really just waves, okay? So please accept the following definitions for the purposes of this theory/paradigm/map whilst bearing that in mind:

Emotion... A tool in the service of intelligence

Anxiety...Unresolved stress

Sentiment...Feelings and behavior based on attachment or erroneous programming

Interaction/synchrony...Any situation in which both parties experience a net gain of energy

Action...Any situation in which there is an equal and opposite reaction

Reaction...Any situation in which one party or situation benefits at the expense of another

Matrix...Any situation where the three needs for the emergence of intelligence are met

Bonding...Building a conceptual and physical bridge between the known and the unknown

Networks...Brain modules or systems

Attachment...Dependence on something or someone for pacification of anxiety. Similar to addiction. The default behavior for a damaged intelligence

Other terms you may not be familiar with are listed in the glossary at the end of the book.

Please note: I do not consider the terms 'mind' and 'brain' to be interchangeable in this system and I deliberately try to avoid using the term 'sentience'. Ever since Star Trek got hold of it, the meaning of 'sentience' has undergone so many transformations that I now find it impossible to decide on a definition that is universally accepted amongst sentientkind.

Question: How far do you want to go?

Lots of people these days have tried out various drugs and techniques to alter consciousness, whether for self-help, development or just for the experience. This book is mainly for those who want to go as far, or to know as much, as possible. Those who don't, will more than likely be put off by not only the dangers of side-effects of neurohacking (i.e. possible death, brain/psychological damage or insanity), but also by the large amount of initially apparently unconnected material they have to wade through that will only come together and make sense towards the end. Many times in this work's construction I have found myself thinking, 'What does this have to do with neurohacking?' only to answer my own question in the next chapter. In my journey thus far I have found myself pulled along the paths of various tangential subjects, and unfortunately anyone who wants to learn about this sort of thing seriously is going to have to go there themselves, or come with me on what is, essentially, now a shortcut, built from the relevant parts of those subjects. Don't go there if you want to feel safe.

Tangential issues, in particular human brain/mind development, are the main minus-factor which prevents most people who are keen from learning about or indulging in neurohacking full-on: the enormous amount of background information necessary just to begin. It should make sense that if you're going to hack a machine this complex, it's essential to know how it's supposed to work before you start trying to mess with that. So, here's your last chance; be honest. If you just want to experiment a bit with drugs, or try a bit of light/sound or biofeedback, this is not a book you can use; go on down the rave and have a good trip, tell us all about it and enjoy. If you haven't the motivation and interest necessary to get to know the machine, you'll get bored, and if you're not enjoying it, you probably shouldn't be messing with it. Don't go fighting dragons or following white rabbits, unless you really want to see how deep the goddamned rabbit hole goes1. It's a hole to hyperreality, and in hyperreality, terminal velocity is not a constant. It's not like it is in the movies. This is real life, and sometimes, the dragon wins.

...Pause for thought...

1. This line contains an example of 'synchronistic linguistics', a psychology term which several loonies have recently gotten hold of and built a cult around, and that's about all you'll find on the Internet. The original study of synchronistic linguistics (in the 1950s) was as a section of 'allegorical language' or 'analogical language', and the symbol of the day for it was the white rabbit from 'Alice in Wonderland'. The white rabbit is allegorical/analogical language. I shall be using synchronistic linguistics throughout this work, and if you'd never read this footnote, you wouldn't have known that, would you?

...So, you gonna follow this damned bunny down a hole? You're gonna hack a matrix? For real? Are you out of your mind? Do you know what a matrix is?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 01:01