Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Breaking In To The Elektrobank

Now this is what I have been waiting so long to see: A Palo Alto research scientist is proposing to implant an electrode into his own brain, in order to make emperical connections between collected data, and what he perceives as concious thought. The guy's name is Bill Newsome and he mentions the inherent difficults that he is likely to run into while trying to secure approval to do such experiments. This kind of pioneering spirit harkens back to the work that Dr. Alexander Shulgin has been doing for years, by testing hundreds of custom-made psychedelics on himself, as well as his wife and friends...excellent.

Read the full article/interview over at Technology Review:
"Big Brain Thinking"

" and ethics keep one another in check." --Anonymous

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My friend Frederic just said something to me in an instant message that has been on the tip of my tongue for sooooo long...I have been wanting to create a new computer "game" for quite a while now but have not been able to put the concept into words...Fred sums it up:
a shared world of dreams and imagined universes forming and unforming."

Basically what I want to create is a "lush internet" architecture for universe creation that is scalable to the current computer multimedia technology which is connected by a very high bandwidth internet connection.

Fred elaborates: "
...aand the worlds would be of incomprehensible difference. Consider: I could propose to a computer program a certain number of tenets. Like let's say I propose to it my fantasy world I've been developing in context of a novel and RPGs. In one second, it could create that whole universe...I'm assuming incomprehensible processing speed and storage."

But is this digital metaverse such a great idea? Imagine humans one day being able to accept the fact that organic existance is no longer necessery (or easily integrated and sustainable within a superior virtual architecture) and being able to integrate completely into such an architecture. Frederic asks: "
My question is: Would the body even be there anymore? Or would we just breed pure digital children and keep a stock of bodies for surface exploration?" Or would we have replaced our "traditional" forms with more ideal replacements of some alternate design?

...which brings us to the next issue:
"Addicts. Imagine the addiction someone would get being an omnipotent person, able to throw a star with their "strength", moving at a million times the speed of light, conjuring the gravity of a black holes. Every sensation could be simulated. You could feel a whole universe."

Would you ever want to go back?


Update @ 9:30AM, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006

Just saw this on Slashdot: This Saturday real people will hang out with virtual avatars at a gathering in D.C., combining the online world of Second Life with the real world.

When I was younger there was something quite similar to this set up at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation. Big screen monitors, which displayed a locally networked world similar to Second Life, were set up all around the campus. People could come up to a terminal, choose an avatar, and walk around talking to other avatars which were represented by the people using the other terminals. People would gather around these setups and marvel at the fact that somebody right next to them was interacting quite naturally with a "virtual person" (who was really just upstairs or in the adjacent room).

A commenter on /. said that this sounds like a conceptually weird which a response was given: "...yeah, but your kids will love it."

The Human Mind is a Bayes Logic Machine

"Back in 1995, when I was at Carnegie Mellon, a researcher did a project in the planetarium at the Carnegie science museum. He had programmed a "joystick" to receive reflections from a set of reflective paddles held by the people in the audience. Each paddle had two different sides (red and green); depending on which side you held up, a different signal got sent back to the main processor (positive or negative, respectively). The overall "direction" taken by the game was determined by the sum of the responses - so if everyone held up "red", it as a 100 ositive; but if everyone held up "green", it was 100 negative; and so on, with straight linear interpretation.

The first game was Pong. Up and down were controlled directly, if cumulatively, by the audience. You would think that control would be spotty, and that controls would overshoot. Instead, the audience was INCREDIBLY accurate in its overall response; even when the game got very fast, the audience played very, very well against the computer.

There were several games presented, but the last was a flight simulator, flying a plane through a set of rings. The left half of the audience controlled up and down; the right half controlled left and right. Again, you would think this would be nearly impossible to control - but the audience never missed a single ring, even when the game got fast.

Individually, it's doubtful that many members of the audience could have played any of the games as well as we saw the group play cumulatively. It was a clear and very effective demonstration that there was some sort of statistical model at play in the interplay of all those minds."

-text by Bob Gregg, as posted on

Sort reminds me a lot of how the blog world works, especially in relation to how news is disseminated. I remember reading something the other day about how a search on google for current news topics will net you a lot more results from blogs than from the general media or the New York Times...once the information is out, the blog-wide-web starts spinning this news juggernaut that overwhelms most of the conventional outlets. The blog world doesn't miss a thing I tell you...
Earth Coincidence Control Office

This is the first post here at the Earth Coincidence Control Office (E.C.C.O). If you are wondering where I got the title for this weblog, it was coined by the late Dr. John C. Lilly and detailed in his book "The Dyadic Cyclone". Lilly posited that human experiences were set up as a chain of "coincidences" , being played out here on Earth (and beyond), while being governed by some unexplainable force or set of rules. By defining E.C.C.O.'s existence Lilly was able to give a name to the seeming unfathomable connections and possibilities in the universe that man was, and often still is, incapable of grasping. Being such a scientific mind as he was, I believe that this was John's way of defining his own "god", making the concept into a tangible thing.

With this blog, I hope to discuss a few topics each day, and detail how they are often quite intricately interconnected. Seemingly mundane occurences that happen everyday can be shown in a magical new light once one sees their manifestations and repercussions throughout all of life. It is my goal to honor Dr. Lilly and carry on his ideas into this new age of technology and age where his ideas seem all the more applicable each day.

To read about E.C.C.O. in John's own words, please jump over to this page:
"Future Hi - John Lilly - E.C.C.O."

For more info on the life and works of Dr. Lilly, check out the John C. Lilly website:
"John C. Lilly Homepage"