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Atelier - I've Changed My Mind
Écrit par Alex   
Mercredi, 26 Août 2009 00:23
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12. Security and Firewalls (Protecting against unwanted conditioning)


You may have wondered why I put such emphasis on control of input throughout the neurohacking process and beyond. This chapter is about why.

Sometimes, as you try to avoid dodgy input, the beast fights back...

Internal resistance is the most common kind. Fear, doubt, disbelief, form an inner voice, operating from whichever matrix you're stuck in, telling you that 'This is ridiculous; there's nothing whatsoever wrong with most people, and all this neurohacking stuff is a load of crap' (and too much trouble anyway). You will either believe that or you won't, but you can expect it. Either way, it's best to make sure where your opinion is coming from before you follow it with your actions and your words. Otherwise old habits and neural pathways will creep back, and you'll get lulled back into complacency or provoked into sentiment.

If resistance is external, it can be rather difficult, because if someone is trying to change you, you have to protect your own mind, whilst attempting not to harm theirs. Many people will try to change your mind whenever you get into anything even slightly unusual. We certainly encounter a lot of nutters, mad cults, fads, crazes and fashions and we're quite rightly sick to death of the endless stream of 'self help' systems and 'this book will change your life' con schemes, so much so that anything new runs the risk of being mistaken for a similar thing. Also, people will try to help you conform to the 'norm', 'for your own good'. Depending upon how damaged they are, and how skilled you are, it's not always possible to avoid harm. And reason won't help you here, either. It's no good trying to explain matrix theory to a religious fundamentalist, for example, because at bottom line you are concerned about the health of your mind and they are concerned about the state of your soul. Try to stick with people who at least have a similar worldview to your own.

If anyone with any computer savvy looked at a model of the human mind, cast in analogy to a computer system, one of the first things they would notice would be that the security is absolutely dreadful. Most people's minds are akin to a machine running live on the Internet without any effective virus checkers, filters or firewalls, uploading and downloading dubious shite of unknown origin with indiscriminate abandon all day long.... It would work just fine if there were no viruses, bugs or hackers in its world. Innocent, the mind is not expecting or prepared for accidental or malevolent interference, and it inevitably crashes or gets its software rewritten before it can figure out what's happening. Boy meets girl, or business colleagues collide, and suddenly everybody is trying to reprogram everybody else's subroutines, overtly or covertly.

Many parts of your brain are incapable of telling the difference between inner and outer input, as we've seen. We know we can exploit this, in learning enhancement, but what we must always remember is, other people can exploit it too, and it's not usually learning enhancement they have in mind.

We have incredibly gullible minds. We are designed to look for patterns and to copy and to fit in with expected behaviors, and we want to believe. We begin life, as we are meant to be, open-minded. Current society is not, as it is meant to be, honestly informative. Moreover, it is deleterious to mental health.

The main factor that hits our security, our self-esteem, and hence our personality and our mood, is of course anxiety; a chronic stress that knows no resolution.R5 Most people are operating under anxiety most of the time. Sentiments manifest as the outward, 'behavioral' forms of anxiety. All our lives we have been subjected to and given examples of subnormal minds to copy. From parents to teachers, from our boss to our girlfriend or husband, friends, acquaintances and relatives, and almost everybody we meet on the street. We can realize only by experiencing it as awareness, the fallacy of such things as blame or jealousy, anxiety about not fitting in, about losing, about what others will think, and just anxiety.

That is why we have to control input. It's part of our security system. The only difference between an average person's security system and a neurohacker's is, the latter has one.

First of all, let's look at the reality of what you are protecting, and what you are up against... You have this system; you may call it your brain or your soul or your mind or your self, as you please. On this system, is stored the only copy of your master program. Your master program is the optimal you; the you that you were designed to be, at your best, your most intelligent and the finest you could ever be, given your current limits. Your five-star quality of life hotel keys. Your gateway to the stars in the skies and the stars in your eyes. Your one shot at it, as far as you know, and you're currently mortal. What's it worth, your mind?

It is priceless. No value can be put upon it because it is the core of your very self; a blueprint for all you are and all you could be. Not just your mind now, but the future potential of your mind. Responsible for the quality of everything you will ever experience; all of your dreams, hopes, ideas, memories and creations.

This multi-program cannot be copied, as yet. You have no backup. Very little external storage (books, photographs, fragments of memory on film), and none of that fully interactive (i.e. that can be interfaced with the rest of your mind in real time).

And here's your position: there's this virus called Chronic Anxiety affecting billions of similar brains belonging to other people. Some of them it kills (suicides), most it just disables, often for life. It will rewrite your software and reprogram you as a copy of itself, destroying your original intended personality in the process. It will brainwash you and make you do all kinds of things that are highly dangerous to your well being. It will shorten your life, and seriously reduce its quality.R33 It will prevent you from using your higher functions in synchrony, causing you to miss many experiences and feelings you should have access to, and abilities that will never develop. It will take your mind with chronic anxiety long before it takes your life, leaving you at the mercy of senility and mental decline. It will assimilate you. Resistance is futile. You are greatly outnumbered. Stand down, and prepare to be boarded.

That's a fair view of your position, so, what do you say to just doing nothing and letting all that happen?

...If I were human, I believe my response would be, "Go to hell".

Resistance is of course not futile; it is fun, which is why I am here writing this. Let's see what we've got on our side in the security war.

1. Blocks and Filters

Forewarned is forearmed. We have the knowledge of what is dangerous and the memory and knowledge of what to avoid. Better, we can now learn to recognize the signs of something that might be dodgy and either pay attention to it and find out, or not pay attention to it just in case.

A spam filter is a thing many folks are familiar with. A common problem with such filters is their inability to tell what is spam and what is not, so you run the risk of either missing a mail that you actually wanted, or getting spam that you didn't; it's difficult where to draw the line. Sneaky spam spreaders disguise their wares as other things, avoiding spammy keywords, which makes it harder still, and in the end we have to settle for a reasonable filter or an expensive secretary (or both).

In a similar way, as we take in input, we can train our minds to filter out from whatever's incoming that they feel is dangerous to pay attention to and forward the rest. Some things will be considered more relevant than others will, like a mail marked urgent. Dodgy input may be recognized as such right from the start, (but usually isn't; and it takes experience to pay heed to warnings about viruses and damage, even if such warnings are given, which is rare.) Consistently paying attention to, and filtering, input is one of the hardest jobs in neurohacking. You really need to be determined to keep it together. Fortunately, you start to notice the difference and improvement at the same time as you start to keep it together, which is encouraging. This is called the Noble Art of Ignoring Things.

The noble art of ignoring things should now become a priority security project for you. This is real fun because it is your first 'taking control' after 'taking charge' (which you did the moment you decided to wipe sentiment). Our weapons here, are logic and reason. 'Irrelevant', is now a judgment that should be passed on all things which are not of any value to intelligence. So at first you will be spending your time observing what they are. After a while you will have noticed that in reality, not a lot of things are very important. Anything that isn't, shouldn't be taking up valuable attention space, so deliberately label it as 'irrelevant/spam' and change the subject of your concentration to something relevant. A very short amount of practice at this will surprise you at how efficiently discriminatory you are able to be.

If you can't figure out whether something matters, ask yourself why it might. If you can't think of a good reason it's probably irrelevant. Detach yourself mentally from problems and concerns (and people) that really have nothing to do with you. Stop viewing, or listening to, emotional spam. Free up the mind from trivia, and it actually starts to think. In every situation, try to look at what is really going on. Training yourself out of sloppy mental habits can seem tedious at first, but very quickly passes into adeptness if you treat it as a game. Every time you hear those soap opera sentiments, just sing to yourself, 'Spam, spam, spam, spam'...Once again, play, and the work will be done for you.

You should by now be starting to notice the differences between what most people perceive and what is really going on. Watch that space. Learn those differences. Remember which side of the 'reality fence' you live on and maintain your right to remain there. Sometimes it's hard coming to terms with reality at this stage, because it can feel quite stark and even lonely or as though something is missing. It's a transitional time, and is difficult because sentiment is going, but you're not yet used to using real emotion efficiently and may feel either a bit emotionally flat, or conversely, too moody. So be patient. Answers are coming.

2. Surveillance and Scanning

We have the ability to optimize or enhance our sensory input. But it's no good having a vast array of CCTV cameras if half of them are too filthy to give a clear image, or if the recognition software keeps mistaking your wife for a hat.

In order for your mind to think, it has to coordinate, in parallel, the timing of masses of electro-chemical interactions, very fast. Fast for biology, anyway (a nerve impulse travels down a nerve fiber at about 20 meters per second). Thick, well-insulated fibers pass information faster than sparse badly insulated ones, so the hardware needs to be in good shape in order to run the software optimally. We cannot escape the fact that currently, most of our personal intelligence enhancement rests on a biological platform. It is wet, very complicated and still only partially understood. It is like an undiscovered country; a final frontier beyond which we must boldly go and stop watching so much sci-fi. Make it so.

If you want your senses to work properly, as they were designed to do, you have to set up the conditions for that. You have to avoid malnutrition (and I don't mean being thin -lots of obese people have malnutrition. I mean stop eating so much crap and eat more nutrients.) You have to avoid infection, which means having a healthy immune system and low cortisol. You have to avoid injury, by taking care of yourself. You have to avoid perceptual distortion, by avoiding drugs and chemicals that your brain and body don't need, and supplementing with those they do.

So first of all, when you get to this stage, you should be looking really hard at your diet, what supplements you might need, how much exercise you are getting, and your sleep patterns. It isn't very hard to make small changes that together make a noticeable difference. Use your biology to support and feed your intelligence, and the favor will be reciprocated. I recommend Omega 3 supplements, and if you can get it, Selegiline, for everybody on the planet, 20 minutes (yes, that's all) exercise a day, and 8 hours of sleep in every 27 hours. And I'm not even asking you to give up the burgers or the biscuits, I'm just suggesting you should eat some proper food as well. Your tastes will change naturally later on without having to 'diet'.

On top of this you need regular moderate exercise, which maintains the blood and oxygen flow to the brain and avoids spikes and surges, which can cause damage. You need sufficient sleep and dream time.

More difficult, you need quality interaction, to keep your attention and concentration as sharp as your reflexes.

Some of this may be impossible to achieve. Your sight is probably already damaged unless you didn't read until after age 10, your olfactory sense has probably suffered pollution damage. Your sense of taste will have been more than likely programmed to enjoy 'junk' food, and your neurochemistry probably needs all sorts of drugs to maintain its affability and poise.

The amazing thing is, this doesn't really matter at all. That's what neurohacking is for. We don't try to be something we're not; we offset the damage of what we really are and buy time to repair it. We gently nudge the chemistry towards its optimal state; where it is designed to be, and the rest of the work is done for us. And at some point, we just don't want some things any more; we've changed our minds about what makes us feel good. When we get there the task then becomes to stay in that space, to avoid damage, and to improve ourselves. But to get there in the first place we need a security system that will protect us from further harm, otherwise it's two steps forward and three steps back.

3. Knowledge as awareness

So use your senses consciously. In scanning for dodgy input, use knowledge as awareness. We know that the senses alone, and the brain, can be deceived. We can be distracted, and fooled by psychology or sleight of hand, as all victims of con artists and pickpockets probably know. Most people don't have any security to speak of. But having thrown a lot of junk out of your mind and started to repair the damage it caused, you tend to get a bit more security-conscious. You don't want any more junk to have to deal with...you don't deserve that.

Remain aware that nothing can really harm you unless it's in long term memory. You can pile as much crap as you like through short-term memory and it won't harm your intelligence (aside from atrophy in the time wasted doing that, or the dangers of repetition causing permanent change). Otherwise short-term memory is just like your mailer. There may be a virus in that there email, but you're safe as long as you don't open the attachment (don't allow any emotional weighting to occur).

All 'attachments' (emotional weightings) on input contain one of two things: a bonding-based map or an attachment-based map. (An interaction map or an action/reaction map.) The attachment-based maps all carry part of a multivirus, which can affect one module of the brain, or many modules, leading to a total change of your personality. Some behave like a Trojan; they subtly alter your software and set up the conditions for infection. Others are real biggies and hit you full on, causing you to crash and possibly never recover (severe psychiatric illness). You can get to recognize the signs of virus-bearing input just like you can in IT, and as every good security chief knows, one of the most important things is know thine enemy. Learn to recognize the signs of attachment behavior and avoid it as significantly dangerous.

So, the first thing you have to do is, run a check now to see to what degree you might be infected already, and start the repair work on that. And you need your security system up from the start, or all that work would achieve nothing; you'd just keep on getting reinfected every time you got infected input. So you have to be installing all this whilst still getting rid of the damage. For a lot of reasons that is easier than it sounds, and when you are in there it's obvious. The more time you spend doing things that are good for you, the less time you have to spend on things that are bad. It's that simple. Each task helps speed the solution of the other.

Next you have to look at how it is transmitted... Ouch! It's everywhere; there's no way you could have separate tactics for every occurrence, so you have to have a broad-spectrum solution based on common factors.

The biggest common factor is sentiment. It's the key symptom; every virus attack induces it. Sentiment is your alarm bell; particularly large fast rushes of it that have an immediate physical effect. Red alert! Something is trying to breach your firewall, and has just injected you with a pile of hormones to make you more susceptible. (More than likely it is yourself, indulging in dubious input from without or within, but sometimes it is other people, events or things pushing it upon you, most of which and whom don't know they're doing it. They're merely copying the virus, convinced it's how things are 'meant to be', because that's what the virus makes you think. Makes you believe.)

Nevertheless, we can use that rush of sentiment as a warning sign; the first line of defense, and learn to block the effects of it reasonably quickly by releasing other hormones on purpose. Biofeedback is a great boon for this sort of work.

Also in our first line of defense are logic and memory. If all the guys with pink hair we've met so far in life have been unpleasant, then we are quite right to feel wary of a new pink-haired arrival. This is not racist or prejudiced, it is sensible. We may revise our wariness after meeting a few nice pink-haired guys, and all is well. Our awareness is designed to look for patterns in things, and no amount of political correctness will change that, or does so at it's peril.

High risk areas:

Sex/relationships/family is one of the three main areas where the virus is transmitted. The other two are also conglomerates: territory/resources/money, and superstition/religion/politics. They are conglomerates because they are each operated from the same loci of consciousness; that is to say, the first in each group has as its locus of consciousness the 'old' brain, the second the mid brain networks and the third the frontal lobes, so depending on which matrix you're stuck in, you'll have a different high risk area. It's considered cool now, to be more interested in sex, and less interested in family, than was the case 100 years ago, when the opposite was in fashion. So one might suspect a decline; however more people now would rather have social control in the hands of politics than in those of superstition... (Or would they? Perhaps it all depends on what the president's star sign is?)

Watch out in sport or games. Competition, or rivalry, is a broad-spectrum catalyst for sentiment. (Never play a game of any kind against someone stuck in M2, unless you intend to lose on purpose).

Depending on what matrix you're stuck in, and where your own locus is, one of the three conglomerates mentioned above will make you more vulnerable. If you know you're stuck in M3, be aware that spiritual frauds and romantic liars, not to mention talk of 'destiny' will more easily fool your mind. If you're stuck in M4, remember that you could fall prey to those who encourage apathy, routine, and mindless toil or mindless obedience under the guises of 'order', or 'discipline' (and I don't mean Helga's House of Pain here either), or 'duty'. M4 people will be also susceptible to being conned, by unscrupulous managers, agents, and things that looked like lucrative opportunities.

Both these groups would do well to also watch out for an irrational hatred of the other, due to the subconscious 'uncanny valley' effect of confronting something called human but so utterly unlike them.

No part of the brain is meant to function in isolation. When we're stuck in a matrix that's often what's happening, as the connections are not sufficient for effective neural communication. We may recognize when someone is stuck in a matrix not the same as our own, but we don't see half so easily that ourselves and our friends are stuck...because there we are reinforcing each other's dodgy input all the time.

If our group is right, then all the other groups must be wrong...so we have these collectives of people, all stuck in various matrices, arguing over which matrix it's best to be stuck in.

Read the last paragraph again. It is what all political systems and religions are about.

Being stuck in a matrix is the same as if one bit of your brain decided it had the best way to think, so let's make all the other bits think that way too. That's how stupid it is, except these bits of 'brain' really are destroying each other. We cannot get a successful social system out of one matrix, just as we could not get a coherent mind from only one bit of brain. We cannot allow any of these choices to rule us; we must make a new choice. One with a whole working brain behind it.

Now we cannot do that to society at present, but we can do it to ourselves. We can start with the ideals of real independence and freedom, and like it or not, with the need to defend ourselves from enemies both foreign and domestic. And our actions must be similar; we must be vigilant and aware whilst being free from paranoia.

4. Firewalls, Keys and Codes

So, perhaps not surprisingly, attitude is another weapon against breaches of security. With self-esteem we find we value ourselves more highly and are more concerned about our own well being.

The degree to which a change in attitude towards justified confidence affects concrete physiology always takes people by surprise. That's another reason why we have to control input. With our attitude under control (and at first it must be conscious control) we are well and truly in the driving seat. Self-esteem, justified confidence, and freedom from anxiety are the strongest firewalls in the world.

To get them we have to stop internal dodgy input, the enemy within. The most dangerous time for our internal input is when our neurochemistry slips out of balance and we feel depressed or 'down'. The choice of memories we can access at any given moment depends upon our mood, and inevitably whenever we are anxious or afraid, unpleasant thoughts and memories will arise. There are two ways to deal with them.

1. Stop thinking. No, I mean it. Use the noble art of ignoring things, take in some light external input like an amusing book or movie, and distract the mind from paying attention to gloomy thoughts until the mood has lifted (and it will, with time). Drink or smoke enough not to remember the mood.

2. Change the mood by hacking. The internal input will then automatically change with it.

Whenever you use memory, you use a series of different hormonal triggers for keys or symbols to access neural pathways correlating with former associations, all related to your sensory input both past and present (input from within has the same effects as external sensory input on the mid brain). All of these are based on one master key; control of perception. It can be the key to absolute freedom, or a ring to rule them all, so watch it. If you control someone's perception, you control them utterly. Best make sure you're controlling yours.

Question: Why does a newborn human intelligence have the ability to recognize a face?

The presentation of a face at birth is an input trigger, for hormonal keys that bring our sensory networks online. The evolution of intelligence in us personally is about the selective opening or closing of neurochemically active gateways, allowing access to new networks as they develop. At every matrix shift we are given a window of opportunity to bring new networks online with greater ease. They develop anyway, in preparation for use, but access is not granted without the correct chemical key (and if the key is never found, or is destroyed by cortisol, access is never granted). If the key is there, and we have constructed, as intended, the half of the network on our current side of the gates, we are able to use the neurotransmitter keys produced there to release the electrochemical locks and join the networks together or increase the thickness of the connection. Chemical messengers will flit back and forth looking for points of similarity, and associated memories will be strengthened. Keys must fit locks, for gateways to open and networks to connect.

A newborn's hard-wired face-recognition program, on presentation of the correct input, triggers the hormones (keys) to open the chemical gateways that engage the reticular formation's connections for visual processing networks. Any face will do, but only if the input is a face will the external trigger enable the key to fit the internal lock. Once it's in, other keys will follow through and the newborn will smile; a signal to biology that all is well. Nothing else will activate the sensory networks except for the correct input, in this case, visual. For every gate there is an optimal input, and knowing what these are is therefore important.

Exactly likewise, but on a varied scale, we can establish anything from a new habit to the triggering of a matrix shift by establishing new connections, by deliberately and repeatedly triggering the biological keys to access the gates we require open. Some of the networks they lead to may be a little wrinkled and small but if the keys fit, they won't stay small for very long. The beauty of intelligence is that the networks sit there for as long as they do; they literally take years to give up waiting for the keys and die on you, unless some other activity hijacks their memory space.

Changing internal dodgy input, fortunately, is merely about changing habits. We can work with habit or against it, because ironically, the trick is merely changing one (deleterious) habit into another (beneficial) one, but there are ways to do this which work and ways which don't, (as anybody now addicted to both nicotine patches and cigarettes can testify). Changing a habit, really, is testing your ability to change reality.

A habit is a behavior program, running on a frequently used and usually long-established network. Gates to and from those networks are more or less permanently open. To change a habit we need not merely set up new pathways and open new gates, we usually need to close down the old ones. The 'familiarity' part of habit is an aspect of addiction. Once a network is used, the pattern of action etches in as a memory, a pattern of recognition. If we do something regularly, the brain clocks it, begins to learn when to expect it, and serves up a dish of the relevant hormonal keys right on time in anticipation of the input.

The easiest way to make a change to habit is to make a really noticeable change, establishing a strong memory of the new network patterns right away and not letting the old stuff get a word in edgeways. To do this you need multiple input. (Three triggers). You need to let the whole brain know what you are up to, throw an all-departments party, with free beer for the unbelievers. Neurosignalling gateways and connecting busses occur between all major brain modules, but for multiple input we need three different kinds of input code.

The old brain requires muscular movement to give emotional weighting, or 'importance' to an experience. micromovements are always present, and their effects can be amplified with concentration on the subject and close attention to it, but we can make muscular movement a trigger by deliberately using any muscular movement in association with other triggers during the learning process.

An example, and a warning: back in the ancient days when I was in high school, a bunch of us in an attempt to alleviate the boredom, thought up a set of keywords/reactions and linked them together to see how long it would take to respond to a given signal automatically. One of these was to jump to our feet and salute any time anyone said the word 'Enterprise' (we were all Trekkies). This formed a habit so fast, we'd find ourselves doing it by accident in situations where it was sometimes embarrassing, and what we hadn't thought of was how easy it wouldn't be to stop. Over three decades of trying to stop it later, my mind still hears 'Enterprise' and thinks, in seemingly innocent surprise...'isn't there something urgent I should be doing'? Muscular movement is a very strong trigger to establishing keys for 'habit' memories because a part of them are in procedural memory; the strongest memory there is.

Another kind of input needed is midbrain language and imagery for emotional weighting and storage in eidetic memory. Midbrain language, where one thing can represent another thing or many things, is very compressed. It needs the input relevant to emotion and imagination; these may be inner, visual, auditory, or more rarely relayed through the other senses. Music, poetry and art are all powerful midbrain triggers. (We'll have a look at this in greater depth in chapters 14 and 15.)

Input for the 'new' brain focuses on intellect and creativity, ideas and logic are likely to form the most useful input here, which is stored in semantic memory.

All of these kinds of input when synchronized can give a very powerful effect, more so when enhanced by any other means. Movement, keywords, and association are a shortcut to establishing new patterns of thought and new network connections. And we can use allegorical language to set up an encryption scheme for self-protection (more later).

The basics: we form a habit of never allowing access to certain areas we do not wish to use again and which we do not wish to be controlled by others. We use a trigger to remind ourselves but that trigger is encrypted; nobody else can ever know what it means or what it is doing, even if they see it happen, because they can never see the part that is inside our mind. Our trigger is a multiple password, which interrupts a habitually associated train of memories and redirects input along an alternative route of our own designation. The acuity of the interruption is the vital part in successfully using this, and the actual keys remain out of sight, as do the contents of the doors we have locked.

Let's hack: Wonko the Sane's Anti Stupidity Software

Think of something you want to change, the rules will be the same, whatever it is...Just for the example, let's say we decide to permanently close a door leading to reactions/irrational arguments and strong negative emotion. For years, whenever somebody has said things we think are patently absurd, let's say we have thought, 'this is garbage', and said, 'that's a load of garbage', which statement has often led to us being punched in the teeth; plainly not an interaction unless we are a specific sort of masochist. Now, instead, we want to stay in 'overview' mode instead and look at the reality, untouched by anxiety, and not make that habitual response. Let's use a fast method to achieve that change.

The next time you find yourself thinking 'this is garbage', attach to that thought a multiple password consisting of a keyword, a movement and an image to remind you that something has gone wrong.

Keywords are important. The more memorable they are, the more likely they are to be effective. The more frequently they are used, the sooner they will become automatic, so in a way the more different mistakes you make, the faster you learn. (Tell that to your schoolteacher.) Used together with midbrain input and sensory motor input, they are pretty infallible.

Keywords should be kept secret not for reasons of deceit but for reasons of interaction. They help us remember something is important, private, and give it more emotional weighting. This is a concept most medical people find easier to grasp than most... because they have awareness of the 'placebo' effect.R34 If you pull a long face and tell someone they have almost no chance, you reduce their chances. If you tell them they're going to be fine, they stand more chance of getting better. (From intelligence's point of view, what could you say? You say the truth as you see it... The better their immune system is the better chance they stand, so it's important to stay optimistic and help the medication work better. And, there is always hope. The more positive they are, the more hope there is, so their fight now is to stay cool and light hearted and really enjoy our chance to kick that disease's ass, sister. That's what you say. You respect their ability to fight with you, and, if they're intelligent, they do. Not all patients can do this, not even most, but enough to make it worthwhile giving them a chance to.)

All that really matters about a keyphrase/word is that it jumps out at you, jumps you out of idly sitting back absorbing dodgy input without noticing. It may be that you are unable to interact, or that you are in danger from the examples of other's behavior (e.g. outnumbered by nutters), it may be that you are becoming confused about what to do, or distracted by gloomy thoughts, but a keyword should basically catch your conscious attention on purpose and be linked to a whole set of associated memories which change your perspective; make you aware of what is going on. Triggers are meant to give you a sudden access to overview. To make you aware that in reality, a virus is probably present and you had better beware. Firewalls up! Access denied.

These words, movements and images are your triggers to stopping dodgy input regardless of its origin. They turn on a genuine immune system against the virus. After a short time of practice, we are no longer so easily infected. And that gives us a heady sense of freedom so watch out. I've associated the triggers deeply with a switch of attention; suddenly, I focus on what's going on in my mind, in real time, here and now, and I take control and change my neurochemistry midflow. And I think that's absolutely marvelous. As we shall see, everything has its price, but I find that degree of control a worthwhile compensation.

Coping with an attack in real time

So far we've looked at some ways to protect ourselves, mainly from harmful input which is unwittingly spread around us in everyday society and by the majority of people. Dodgy input is not a deliberate evil in this context; it is almost always an accidental one.

Sometimes, though, it isn't.

If people are chronically anxious, they sometimes start being stupid on purpose. They don't call it stupidity of course, they call it any number of things, but whatever it is, it will be 'for your own good', to 'bring you to your senses', and the word 'should' will be used a lot. Some people quite deliberately try to manipulate your thoughts and your behavior, to make you more acceptable (to them).

All idiots are well meaning idiots, even the ones who want to stone you to death to save your soul, or wipe out half the population to save the other half. Such people may well think you are actually mentally disturbed if you disagree with them, and some can become more unbalanced and violent if you try overtly to resist.

Our aim here is not to get you to dodge bullets. Our aim is to enable you not to have to. The best way to avoid cot deaths is to avoid cots. Don't get into friendships with nutters. If it's happened already, get out as soon as you can. Just don't go there. Anybody trying deliberately to manipulate your mind without your informed consent is not an acceptable companion.

Unfortunately in our society things have gone a bit awry. Many people in anxiety use fear conditioning as an unconscious strategy without really knowing what they are doing, or through deliberate deceit. They'll use sex, drink, drugs or emotional blackmail to try to program you to behave as they wish you to behave. This means programming your will to serve their desires, usually for the pacification of their own anxiety. (Many people are, admittedly, sitting targets). It's amazing what some people will do for sex, for example, or indeed, what drink can do to an audience. Fear of losing something will drive people to extremes, including amateur or even subconscious neurohacking, so be aware of that.

Usually, the type of interference we encounter is not too serious, short term, and happens whenever we encounter someone stuck in M2 or 3 with an over-inflated idea of the validity of their world view as applied to others. Open disagreement with such people only causes them to assume you are mad or stupid or both. So if you have to encounter such dodgy types in your daily life, work etc., think seriously about changing your circumstances in order to exclude them. If you're stuck with it for now, you'll need to use security techniques. You don't want people of this nature messing with your mind. Therefore, you will have to get used to the fact that whenever someone you are talking to is too stupid to handle the truth, you will have to use these two techniques: You will have to translate your words into those of a map they can understand, and you will have to self-censor.

This latter isn't very easy for some people because it raises an ethical issue due to two considerations: (1) they believe in the right to free speech without censorship of any kind, and if their words upset others, tough. (2) They believe in creative freedom of expression of their truth as a part of overall freedom and justice, they don't want to upset anyone but are prepared to argue whatever it is out with logic. These considerations arise at some point for most people. ..."Why should I censor my words and actions?"... "Censorship sucks!" I can only agree. If we lived in a sane society and if everyone could handle the truth without 'throwing a wobbly', that would be great! And indeed you can talk openly like this with anyone in the same matrix as you. The thing is, if you're out there at either end, there aren't going to be many people in the same matrix as you. As far as is possible we should strive for free speech and open expression, but we use self-censorship as a means to control our external situation, in order to protect intelligence, not to restrain it. It means we have to be creative in order to find the right way to say things, but that's no problem for a working mind.

We are of course really capable of doing and saying anything we want to, including running through the streets of Nazi Germany shouting, 'Look at me, I'm Jewish, and Hitler is an asshole!' Some would go this far to protect their rights to freedom and I applaud their integrity, for we are all ultimately free to do as we please as long as we are prepared to accept the consequences. In a sane world the consequences of free speech would be an ongoing series of very interesting discussions and discoveries, but currently our society is not that sensible, and 'freedom of expression' usually results in arguments, anxiety, aggression, more stupidity and the odd gunshot wound.

Security is always for our own protection, but also for the protection of intelligence per se. You may not care if your words or actions upset somebody; serves them right for being stupid, you might think, or 'maybe they're just too sensitive'. This may well be true, but it is not the point. The point is, whenever you cause stupidity, things get worse and the virus proliferates. It is therefore part of the problem, not the solution. Remember that there is something wrong with most people's brains. Now if it were something like epilepsy, you wouldn't go showing your groovy psychedelic flashy-light video when they were around, for concern over causing a seizure. You can watch it yourself whenever you like, and you wouldn't moan about this restricting your freedom of expression, you'd be aware that your attempt to share it would probably result in illness, because the guy with epilepsy's brain cannot handle that sort of input. ... Now you're getting it. The same consideration applies to stupidity. If people's brains cannot handle some sorts of input without getting ill (and I count stupidity as illness) then you do not present that input when they are around.

But, you may think, that's just pandering to people's fears and insecurities; how on earth can that help to grow intelligence? This is only fair enough if the person involved has the potential to overcome their fear, and until you can judge that efficiently you don't risk being wrong. Every time you cause an attack of stupidity it affects your well being for as long as you have to stick around it, and the well being of everybody around that person for some time. By self-censoring you are protecting yourself from the effects of the stupidity of others, and you have to do this at first. You have to get 100% professionally competent at not upsetting people by accident, before you can move onto the much more complex pursuit of upsetting people on purpose (chapter 14).

Worst case scenarios

If people are trying to condition you and break your will and they are honest about it, (1) they're not amateurs, (2) they're going to be using something like a multi-input biofeedback system with subliminals, a selection of specific neuroactive drugs and something basic but expedient with an electric plug at one end and anything nasty on the other, and (3) run like hell.

Anybody trying to manipulate you against your will in any way is unacceptable, even if they don't really know what they're doing. Intelligence is still violated. 'Breaking the will' necessitates sensory and emotional overload, piling psychological stress onto physical stress, pushing the brain chemistry into such imbalance that eventually the mind escapes into insanity or retreats into a survival mode where we stop thinking and go through the motions of whatever is required of us like a robot. This is the required result for the programmer, of course, because in this state we can be programmed from a bottom-up, sensory motor set of basics, trained like an animal through fear and reward. What has been 'broken' (or rather, disengaged, abandoned and boycotted) are connections in the neural pathways between the hemispheres themselves, in favor of the old pathways of childhood being strengthened, back in the midbrain. You're regressed to the mentality of a seven-year-old. The change to different areas used shows up on fMRI. What happens to your personality when you 'break', is the abandoning of intelligence's morals and values in favor of biology. There are degrees of severity in this, obviously; most people experience brainwashing effects in school, which is the bottom end of the scale, or emotional blackmail at some time in their lives, but very few meet the professionals. At the top end of the scale, it gets quite spectacular. You snap into what you see unconsciously as 'reality'. You admit your fear both to yourself and anybody who wants to listen, and you admit, in your mind, your failure to overcome biology, You admit defeat, and consciously or otherwise you admit you'll do anything for release from facing that fear. Those who can't face admitting this go crazy or they die, usually from suicide. Which one you do depends on your current wiring. If you've got a healthily wired mind and a reasonably high pain threshold you won't die or go crazy, but you will still break under pressure. This pressure happens on a small scale any time that you allow yourself to be controlled by someone else's behavior. It happens on a larger scale with emotional blackmail and an even larger scale with emotional and physical abuse. You don't have to be a professional to drive a human to suicide, as we see so repeatedly in our news media.

That there are some people in the world who will cheerfully hurt others 'for their own good' is quite bad enough, but when it gets to the stage of being once removed from the personal and becomes 'for the good of the party', or 'god's will', I'd advise you to run your ass off.

Take a hard stand on this from the beginning. Remember what really matters and what doesn't. Set your boundaries clearly for what you find it acceptable to be around, and for how you expect to be treated. Don't allow them to be transgressed unless you want to know what it feels like to betray your own mind, and figure out why so many people choose suicide after the experience.

Once you figure out the places not to go and the people not to hang around with, things get a whole lot easier. In the meantime, and in new situations where you do not yet know people, you'll need to take precautions.

Finally, if you do have any information in your mind that people would kill each other for, I recommend you put a copy of it elsewhere and wipe the original. What you genuinely cannot recall, cannot be got out of you. Such extreme measures are rarely necessary, and they won't prevent people from causing you harm; they'll only protect the information. There is very little information worth dying for, in my opinion.

Mise à jour le Mercredi, 26 Août 2009 00:24