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Cyber Novel Clip:..Neural Cybernautics..(254 lines)

Marc Anton ma2 at delta1.deltanet.com
Tue Jul 25 19:16:01 EST 1995


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          . The Neural Cybernautics of a Surfer Californicus
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                         .     .     by     . .    . .     .
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                                  Marc Anton      .   .   .  .
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                                                      (c)1995
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     At the fore of intelligent systems lie fundamental concepts of
neural nets whose essence engender artificial neural net emulations in
a digitized world.  In the future, science and technology's reductionism
of experience to digitized, or 'quanta', levels of understanding, finally
give way, and allow the California surfer Trino to ride the waves of
uncategorical worlds of experience found in the analog, or "real", VR
world of the future.

[For complete novel, or general description, see end of post.]

     Trino was nicknamed Neu-Trino, on account of the great deal of time
he spent in cyberspace.  The "neutrino" is a subatomic particle with no
measurable mass.  If one exists in cyberspace, as Trino has done, a
similar thing can be said of him, i.e., he has, as a cyberspacial
individual, no measurable mass, and is, as it were, a virtual individual.
     However, Trino was not always a cyber spacial adventurer, he was
otherwise quite a typical California cat.
    Trino grew up in the suburban town of Sun City California.  His
affections towards people were sunny-side up, as is the custom and
comportment of the people of the day and place.  We're talking about a
beach community in the suburbs of LA, we're talking of a place where
people - dudes & dudettes - believe life doesn't exist east of Pacific
Coast Highway - "reserved" isn't in the dictionary.  People say and do
as they feel and please; there isn't anything in the surface of the mind
that isn't taken to come out the mouth - some say there isn't even
anything besides the surface, or superfice, of the mind in these people
whom they say have neurons surfacing the brain only to encounter the
crippling, or mutating, effects of the penetrating radiation of the sun. 
The sun then either kills off the dwindling supply of surface neurons,
or, as many are inclined to believe, it mutates them to an entirely
different breed of cat, one of which gives rise to what's known as the
"Surfer Californicus".  Such a person doesn't look the same, talk the
same, or walk the same as an ordinary human being, he is, in all
respects, an entirely different breed of cat,  and proud of it too.
     Though there may not seem to be much more to them on the surface,
there is really much more to them than what the surface could show. 
Perhaps the brain cells only do mutate, as some believe, and undergo some
sort of photo-brain-synthesis, perhaps there is much more to the brain
than what is on the surface folds, for there really does seem to be much
more there than what comes to the mouth of these otherwise inarticulate
people, who find ways to make up for the deficiency by putting the burden
of communication at the other end with such statements as "You know, you
know - you know!", and by using terminology you wouldn't find in the
dictionary, designed to illicit the telepathic powers in all of us.  We
make grave mistakes in criticizing other cultures, or breeds of cat such
as these, by assuming that a communicative disjunction constitutes
content meaning deficiencies.  But nothing can be further from the truth,
for there is a great deal of merit in doing this very thing, for example,
by not buying in to the traditional modes of expression, they preserve
the right to develop as an autonomous group of human beings, or breeds
of cat if you will.  By not buying in to the tradition, they make one of
their own; they are, so to speak, cultural entrepreneurs.

    Trino was one of these people of the beach, and a beach bum to boot. 
Work wasn't a dignity of the human species among his kind.  Some had the
luxury of having to do less or none of it, while others had to bear the
pressure and insensitivity of that barbaric work ethic come westward from
the east, that ruthless anti-life force that disables the free easygoing
spirit of the sun worshippers and marks the stamp of seriousness in the
otherwise free-flowing nature of the California beach ambiance.  It was
a shame that the cold seriousness, perhaps brought about by the dark
winter seasons as found in the east, permeated even the sunny southern
California coast.
    Trino nevertheless worked, he worked in a local meat packing plant,
not packing, but as a Jr. Accountant, though he was beyond Jr. now, as
far as age goes, having graduated from college nearly 20 years back. 
Accounting classes at a local Jr. College allowed him to land this job,
which he'd been at for the better part of five years - he was running low
of cash you see so he had little choice but to work.
    When the term "get a life" hit the southern west coast thoughts of
getting a real job didn't come to mind, quite the contrary, thoughts of
letting the job go were more easily conjured by that phrase.  Perhaps the
phrase originally intended to mean that in the first place, i.e., get a
life - not a job.

    The beach always seemed to be a part of Trino's life, and it seemed
it would continue to be so for the rest of his life.  Skin cancer -
"We've all gotta go sometime." was the cliche for that one.  Trino loved
to surf, he was a real "Surfer Californicus".  His life on the beach and
sand was grand, his surface outgoing sun-loving care-free nature was
unmistakably local, his surfing stylish, fishing casual, tastes in art
trendy, in women bubbly but good natured, social relations many but weak
and superficial - were there any others?, music depended on the social
mood , he loved to go to nightclubs and have a few to drink, but he also
knew when to quit.  He was health conscious but not a health nut, yogurt
to snack, a veggy soup and sandwich instead of McDonald's now and then
kept him up to his own set of standards; his weakness? amusement park
rides.

    Ever since he began to stand outside and cautiously watch the rides
that "took you inside", that is,  those amusement rides that took you in
a building or cave, that led you in one end and took you out the other,
ever since then the sense of awe and wonder at the noise, the sound, and
lights, turned the reckoned reality he had always known and put him on
the edge of it.  Those purple UV lights that shone a fluorescent luster
on the artificially created surfaces that brought an almost cartoon
quality to the encounter took him on a trip that only the imagination
could make, one which could unfold all the odd things of the universe. 
As he grew up though, he went past the initial fear he had had of going
through these things.  He loved the altered sense of reality, the
different textured glows of UV illuminated walls, boards, and media of
all types.  He loved the dark dark black black skies, which in the beach
cities where he lived, with all the smog, fog, haze, and lights, was
seldom seen in that purity.  What a reality, and a reality indeed, not
even an imagination, for in the end, these rides were as real as could
be, i.e., they were real rides.
    Every chance he could he'd go to these rides; it started out in
Disneyland with Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland, then The
Guts and Gore Ren & Stimpy Mosaic, The Mario Brothers Electronic
Marionette Train, the Virtual Reality Virtual Reality Tunnel, The
Projections of Pirates of Old in Days Anew Voyage, The Big Bang Buggy
Ride, The Tron Trojan Traffic Transit Ride, the Peter Pan Pandemonium
Vesa Bus, etc.
    He tried putting together such rides in his house with cut out
cardboards and fluorescent paint, but he saw the limits of such
painstaking endeavors.  Later, he even saw the limits of the amusement
parks and virtual reality computer animators. 'There's no way!' he
thought that such projects can compete with the imagination.  But what
was there that can?
    Barring dreams, there clearly was a limit to what the imagination
alone could do for him, i.e., there was only so much he could do sitting
still without the excitation of the senses to guide him.  He had ruled
out psychedelics, as artificial means, as catalytic drugs, which cause
more chaos than the proper course he'd envisioned.


    There were great improvements in the technology of the day.  However,
traditional improvements in computer animation and virtual reality were
falling behind to new analog based operating systems brought about by way
of cyber neural plantations which were gaining tremendous ground on the
computer chip, and would replace it in the area of cyber space VR.
    The idea of a neural net no longer meant digital silicone based
electronic neural "emulators", now, a neural net actually contained the
real live neurons in an electronic network - literally linking neurons
with electronic analog and digital hardware.  The neural nets were neuron
cultures grown from live brain tissue.  These cultures were grown in
layers on thin membranes, i.e., micro cultures, ideal for the growth of
brain tissue or neurons.
    Raw brain tissue in and of itself was not enough to bring anything
useful to the cybernetics of the time.  These cyber neural plantations
needed an interface - and this is where the developments were.  It turns
out that raw brain, or neuron tissue, can only produce recognizable
patterns of electronic activity at specific macroscopic levels.  Here
these patterns only seemed to emulate certain geometrical patterns
(fractal in nature) very similar to what you see when you close your eyes
and rub them.

    The value and usefulness one puts on ones eyes goes far beyond the
other senses. The eyes can be said to be the part of the senses closest
and most directly connected with the brain; seeing is analogous to
understanding and knowing, thus seeing goes far beyond the senses, and
thus far beyond what the eyes can physically or sensibly see.  When we
THINK, we are seeing, maybe not with the external senses, but with the
seeing which goes deep into the heart of our thoughts and imaginations,
that which is part of the thinking mind itself.

    With this understanding in mind the next step was to come up with
something that would interface with those deeper patterns beyond the
immediate sensory receptors.  The immediate sensory receptors turned out
enough sensorium, but not enough of the understanding and imagination to
make it work out into true and fuller seeing.  The pure senses are not
really the raw material from which we can say we work out our link to the
world, and simple seeing, i.e., the raw senses, are so raw that they're
almost useless to us unless we can make something out of them in a
similar manner that the 26 letters of the alphabet and the resulting
words we use are meaningless in and of themselves unless we can project
meaning, symbol, and metaphor, from their meager beginnings.
    Once the mapping of the sensorium was worked out, with laser beams
focussing images directly on the retina, there was much wondering about
what the next step was.  Clearly nothing was coming of the developments
as they'd been thus far.

[Rest of novel snipped - for complete novel see end of post]


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******************** General Cover Description: ***********************
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                         CYBER RIDES
           The Neural Cybernautics of a Surfer Californicus

               Where alternative worlds, are now.

     Cyber Rides takes you through an adventurous, yet thought provoking
and reflective, journey through the CN (Cattle Net).  You'll see how the
move toward protein synthesis of "real" organic neural nets, i.e., real
neurons, paves the way for a space of unimaginable dimensionality, and
gives the take to "reality" a whole new meaning.
     The dreams, passions, and thirst for adventure, of the California
native Neu-Trino, take him, and his new friend Borged, on an
unforgettable adventure through cyberspace via the travel cell the of
future, the NIM (Neural-net Interspace Mobility) module.
     Our characters will surf waves the size of mountains, and trailblaze
the future frontier of the Texas Cattle Net domain, where astrodome sized
virtual tumble weeds tumble across the giant, and virtual, lone star
state.
     Hitchhiking ex-sysop philosophers, and other eclectics of the CN,
explain to Borged the plight of the Fundamental Realists, and Borged is
introduced to the legal, practical, as well as metaphysical, dimensions
of cyber reality.
     The lovely Christina, while never in the CN herself, nevertheless
manages to affect the course of events.
     Through the carrier wave of adventurous fiction, this work comes
through as a revealing inquiry into the philosophy of cyber realism,
among other thought provoking expositions.

***********************************************************************
**************** To Get The Complete Novel: ***************************
***********************************************************************
 
  There are several ways to receive this novel.
If you're running msdos you could fetch it right now
via ftp from ftp.dungeon.com /incoming/cyberbk.zip,
or from ftp.demon.co.uk /pub/ibmpc/vr/cyberbk.zip.

  Also, you can reply to this post and in the body
include "robot cyber rides uuencoded" in one line,
and you'll receive the uuencoded novel via uuencoded
e-mail (the novel is built-in to a viewer which you'll
receive as one .exe file). If you'd like to order the
printed book send an e-mail reply to this post and
include the line "robot cyber rides book" in the body
of the message to receive information.
 
                                                            




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