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PS2 Note #4: Telepathy

More notes towards Postsingular #2, a.k.a. After Everything Awoke.

How Telepathy Works.

As mentioned in the lazy eight note a couple of days ago, there is a singular shared point accessible from each location, as if the vanishing point of a painting were in contact with each spot in the picture plane. This universally accessible point at infinity acts as an entanglement channel that connects every point with every other point in synchronicity. A router.

Animals, plants and objects are telepathic too, although I still need to figure out how this feels. I’ll call the intelligent, telepathic objects “silps.”

I’ll use “teep” for an all-purpose verb to mean “doing telepathy.”

How Telepathy Feels

This is hard. Thinking about it is like trying to stare into the sun.

William Burroughs, in his February 28, 1953 yage letter, describing the upper Amazon jungle near Mocoa, Colombia. “The trees are tremendous, some of them 200 feet tall. Walking under these trees I felt a special silence, a vibrating soundless hum.” What a wonderful image for how telepathy might feel. The vibrating soundless hum.

I’ve always thought of my science fiction as an extension of Beat literature.

As I mentioned in the omnividence section yesterday, lazy eight telepathy is going to be participatory rather than voyeuristic. Think in terms of our brains having empathy circuits that let us internally emulate someone else—it’s said that autistic people are weak in these abilities.

In Saucer Wisdom (Forge Books, 1999, pp. 78-84) I describe telepathy along the following lines:

You’re looking far away, but you’re looking inside your head. People can get into endless mirror-regresses, seeing each others’ images of each other inside each others’ heads, and it can lead to feedback with an unpleasant effect. Strong emotions bring this on, too. Whipping each other up, possibly to the point of having a seizure. One way to block the regress is to focus on a specific detail. Also, to prevent the emotional feedback, you try and project a low affect. “Just go, ‘I’m all boo-hoo,’ instead of actually slobber-sobbing.”

It’s easier to understand a stranger’s telepathy if you have a context for them, that is if you absorb a lifebox model of their mind.

The telepathic fields can feel like gnarly egg-white-stiffened dreadlocks or Mohawk spikes on your head.

Lovers enjoy skirting around the white hole of telepathic feedback, bopping around the fractal edges of overamplification.

It’s more than omnividence; you’re not just seeing through someone else’s eyes, you’re picking up shades of feeling.

Blocking Telepathy.

* Intrigue. It makes it easier to create a story if we can evade certain teep contacts, as plots depend on people tricking each other or surprising each other. Could I have intrigue in a world of perfect information? Maybe—I think of a game of chess between two masters who can very well deduce what their opponent plans to exfoliate from a given move. If I had perfect information about the plans and motives of everyone in my real life, and they conversely could see all my thoughts—then some outcomes would still be unpredictable. For instance, you know that I want to write a good book, but you dan’t predict if I’ll succeed. Or think of two male rivals courting ths ame princess and they know each others plans and schemes, but they still can’t predict whom the princess will choose.

* Offensive thoughts. A blogger is almost like someone who’s broadcasting telepathically. On my real blog, I don’t express my less attractive fears, worries and dislikes. If I did, I’d seem like a hot-head, a depressive, a pig. Everyone does have certain unattractive thoughts that they know better than to vent lest they become social outcasts. But if telepathy airs everyone’s secret seething, then maybe no one person’s seething seems like a big deal?

This said, on a one-to-one basis, arguments could really escalate, I see violent feedback loops flaring up. But perhaps after a period of adjustment, people would get thicker skins? Like in some subcultures, people yell at each other a lot without necessarily getting excited. Also it could be that we’d all become more accepting, as telepathy would be hipping us to the fact that we’re really all the same on the inside. Sometimes I remember to try this in daily life, to trying for empathy with fellow humans.

* How to Block Telepathy. In PS1 I had a high-tech substance called quantum-mirror varnish to block orphidnet “telepathy”. But in PS2, no spatial barrier is possible. For the telepathy is via a higher dimension (the eighth) and it hops over any three-space barrier. So the only way to get privacy will be to use jamming or camoflague. Help I’m a rock.

I think, as with internet security, many people won’t bother to hone their jamming or cammo skills. And even those who do will have an ongoing struggle; there will be an arms-race akin to the spam vs. spam-filter co-evolution.

Entertainment After Telepathy.

* Food markets, restaurants. If we have telepathy we can really watch the chef. Maybe there’s someone with such a great sensitive palate that it’s pleasure to mind-meld with them as they chow down. You’re eating with the chef’s whole sense of the process, the preparation, and as you eat it, the chef’s eye guides you, he’s put teep-tags onto the food.

* “Sin.” Would people still get drunk and high? Sure. Imagine the havoc you could wreak getting wasted and “running your brain” instead of just email or phone or conversation. You’d really need to have a filter to block this. But maybe you forget to put it up. Some will be addicted to the high of intense feedback via mutual mirrorring.

With telepathy, peeping is unlimited and free, but, again, this won’t be so much of an ocular thing. It’s more like you merge with other minds, you can’t stand back and peep. If you find a mind that really welcome you in, that might be quite sensual.

* Art. A chaotic medium—an agitated tank of immescible fluids—senses what you want to see and shows you that. Someone finds a way to record mood snapshots. So we have objects that simply project the raw experience of transcendence, sense-of-wonder, geuphoria, mindless pleasure, a vision of actual infinity, a savor of sensual beauty.

This gets close to the “teep-tags” I talked about in PS1. How will teep-tags work? How do you create an object that is a copy of a mental state? I guess you mark it out on the eighth dimension of some object that will presumably be passive enough not to go changing the marks you made.

But even rocks have memories. I think of the beautiful memoreis of a rock that’s lain in a stream bed and you look at it and savor the years of lovely currents in the water.

* Books. Telepaths have language for superficial small talk, but they more often use teeped images and emotions. They barely use the written language. Books are now like very elaborate teep tags. Writing is like being a bas-relief sculptor. Or video-blogging yourself. A beautiful state of mind is saved into the a memory network, glyph by glyph.

* Ads. Things projecting vibes of paranoia to get your attention. Or anger or lust or ecstasy: the whole palette of extreme emotions.

John Walker’s Thoughts on Telepathy:

We want to imagine a world in which telepathy has high bandwidth, but people retain their individuality and sense of self. In other worlds we want a full-on mentally networked society, but without having it turn into a group hive mind where everyone speaks of “we” instead of “I”.

In order to retain individuality in the presence of high bandwidth telepathy, you need some kind of individualized filters. For if all the input reaches everyone’s conscious level, then everyone’s thoughts are in everyone’s head and everyone is be the same, and you have a hive.

But it’s natural for us to filter. The vast majority of what goes on in the brain is below the conscious level. Even for senses like hearing and sight, most of the input is filtered at a low level, and conscious attention is directed only toward things you are trying to concentrate upon or things which your low-level mental processes identify as important threats or opportunities. (Snakes, guns, food, nudity.) The influx of telepathic info will largely be processed at a subconscious level, and we’ll only become consciously aware of, like, things we’re looking for, valid threats and unusual opportunities.

Now kick it up a notch. You’re not necessarily ignoring the subconscious telepathic input. You might, for instance, be providing information and services to others at a subconscious level, but without your conscious attention and without detracting from your own work. I can think of this in a positive light as Mental Google, or in a more sinister light as Mental Slave Computers.

(Mental Google.) You’re supplying memory data to others. In this system, information requests are distributed among a pool of telepaths without the need for conscious intervention. This is an altruistic kind of sharing—the entire knowledge of the species is on tap for each individual. Searching the collective mind isn’t as fast as getting something in your own brain, but you have access to far more information.

(Mental Slave Computers.) In this more sinister form of mind sharing, it might be that you’re unwittingly performing other beings’ computations. When your mind should be contemplating or resting or dreaming, it’s doing work. Mental tasks are distributed among the pool of telepaths; it’s like everyone is a PC hosting some processes in background. Opportunistic individuals increase their own mental powers by enlisting “background computation” in the brains of others. They claim it’s a two-way street, but it’s not.

16 Responses to “PS2 Note #4: Telepathy”

  1. rs Says:

    I had another thought about awakening. On thing that seems to be consistently reported about awakening, as in enlightenment, is the realization that “I was always awake.” That it is not the personality that wakes up, but the connection to the All.

  2. Steve H Says:

    Rudy, seems as if someone would come up with a bit of brain software to prevent someone leeching off your calculating ability by subtly distorting the data as it was processed – the leech would need more and more redundancy to make it worthwhile, and your brainware might even be able to give them viruses. If leeches couldn’t trust the data they cribbed, they’d give up. More likely that stuff would be by subscription – you’d join a search committee and give them permission to use your downtime for SETI or MP3-uploading or whatever. Members-only brainsharing?
    The RIAA would want to prevent us from teeping songs back and forth without paying the artists, or thinking about movies other people haven’t seen yet. Madcap hijinks might ensue.

  3. gamma Says:

    as yugnosis shutoff occurs on occasions when the bush ain’t burning bright & clear what next Zappastrasse a holiday in Berlin already
    love yu Prof

  4. Joe Ardent Says:

    Is there a threshold of size or complexity for an object to wake up? Are your body’s cells awake? The molecules that comprise them? The atoms of the molecules? The quarks of the atoms? What grants objects (like people!) volition, or, why are the laws that dictate how they behave so gnarly and unpredictable (unlike, say, the stars in Olaf Stapeldon’s THE LAST AND FIRST MEN, whose vast and inscrutable will was to move through the cosmos exactly according to the laws of gravitation, and who considered dead stars’ orbital motion to be as like the grotesque motions of a corpse in a stream)? Might there be disciplines devoted to communing overtly and directly with our cells or atoms? Mindful meditation to the max!
    How is individuality preserved? Because of course, the gnarliest behaviors come from just that right mix of boundries and merging. People are really anthologies as it is: our seperate cognitive modules have really high-bandwidth interconnections inside our brains; a group of people is really just a single cognitive entity whose higher-level cognitive modules (whole brains) communicate via low-bandwidth channels (language and other expressive mechanisms). There’s probably a formulable inverse relationship between level of cognitive ability and maximum speed of data transfer between peer-level modules, and that relationship has evovled over millenia for maximum gnarliness (and hence adaptibilty). The lazy eight telepathy seems like a way around that: a high-quality, high-speed channel between two or more really giant, sophisticated cognitive machines (brains). A lot of effort might go into techniques for maintaining and defining inter-brain boundries, much like the discipline of cultivating Zen non-attachment in the face of the overwhelming material richness the world provides. Increasing the data flow could easily degrade the gnarliness of the computation space, like a flash flood overwhelming a whirlpool in a stream. It might be hard to restore the flame of an individual mind after too deep a merge.
    This is just a fascinating thread. Very tough, very deep, very wide. The implications are both profound and subtle. I can’t wait for the ride 🙂

  5. Guru Says:

    I have doing Sex with Telepathy, If u dont believe I can prove it.

  6. rodolphe Says:

    ok; guru; PROVE it for us

  7. shailendra panwar Says:

    some persons are telepathys me. how i can block without medcine.
    please suggestme as soon as possible.

    thank you

  8. Radhe Says:

    can you suggest a jammer, as most of then are only for mobile jamming

  9. Rudy Says:

    Mantras work for telepathy jamming, or just singing a song to yourself, such as “Ten sir, said the tensor,” or making yourself transparent by merging into Nature.

  10. shailendra panwar Says:

    rudy how mantras can block/jamm the telepathy please explain me. can a jammer made for this.

  11. Rudy Says:

    Shailendra, you should keep in mind that I’m a science fiction writer, and that often the things I write about are not be literally true. They are more like ideas for SF stories in imaginary worlds.

    If you are tormented by what seems like teleptathic communications, or voices in your head, it would be prudent to see a doctor or a psychologist for advice about your condition. Possibly you could cure it with counselling and not medicine, although in some cases medicine can be a good idea.

    The idea of using a mantra to block telepathy is just the notion that if you are repeating some phrase or prayer or song to yourself, it can distract you from unwelcome thoughts.

    I hope you can get some help soon.

  12. Zeb L. West Says:

    Man! The comments section on your blog is fascinating! Do all Science Fiction writers get questions like these?

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