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Holiday Tactics, Hylozoic Runecasting

So…I had a great Christmas with my family, one of the best.

I always have a little trouble staying calm during the holiday. I want to take control of events, I get overtired, I feel underappreciated.

Now that I’m a clean-living old man, I sometimes have wistful memories of how I’d deal with holidays in the old days, being in back rooms, basements, unused offices, drinking and getting high. Ducking responsibilities. Wallowing in raw sensory pleasure.

For this most recent holiday season, I formulated a notion of having a “basement in my mind.” A way of looking at things. Checking out for a few minutes, even though I’m there. Mentally letting go of responsibility and being a slacker. Staring off into space, drawing raw sensory pleasure from the reflections of light off objects. Being high.

And of course trying to be a kind, loving person helps too—the part of the equation I so easily forget.

On the literary front, I had two articles come out this month. My story “The Perfect Wave”, co-written with Marc Laidlaw in the January, 2008, Asimov’s SF, and a how-to article on “Gnarly CAs” in Make magazine #12, about using my Capow program for light-shows and art patterns.

Also I contributed an answer to this year’s Edge Question: WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT? WHY? It’s always an honor to join the illustrious thinkers at the World Question Center.

[NOFX plays Rancid’s song, “Olympia, WA]

Best album of the year? Easy. It’s NOFX and Rancid, BYO Split Series Vol III. My two favorite punk bands playing each other’s songs. “Olympia WA” rules. I love that place, too. The live video above has pretty bad sound, there’s better sound on another YouTube post where some guy just puts up the MP3 with a picture of the album.

And here’s Rancid playing the same song in Tokyo. Lars Frederidkssen looks great.

[Rancid plays “Olympia, WA”]

Nosing around Youtube, I even found a video of the Ramones onstage with Rancid… Seek and ye shall find.

In my spare moments (and always in my subconscious), I’m trying to fix the plot of Hylozoic. The problems I’m working on are, like, too complicated to explain. Not really a good sign in terms of the book’s appeal!

Just to fill out this blog entry, here’s an excerpt from my (increasingly desperate) recent writing journal notes

With the runes finite, I still need to find a way to achieve my prime desideratum:

Runecasting requires a special capability that only Jayjay has.

I should explain that runecasting is the ability to alter the programs of ten tridecillion atoms in a hundred-kilometer-on-an-edge cube of space so as to generate matter holograms tulpas in the shape of invading Peng. Jayjay acquires the capability during his trippy vision at the end of Chapter One—a vision which I keep rewriting as I change my mind about the capability.

Atom Charmer Option (Discarded)
This comes out of a question I never though of asking before: why do the silps of atoms (or the silps of larger blocks of matter) allow someone to reprogram them? Teeking is one thing—you’re just moving the object. But maybe reprogramming is more invasive?

I could just mention atom charming as a skill that people have. Like another form of teek. Or I could act like it’s a skill that only Jayjay has. Atom charming is a crisp, binary ability, either you can charm atoms or you can’t. Less fuzzy perhaps than whether you are enough of a zenohead to nuke ten tridecillion atoms.

Here I’d have to ask how Jayjay learns to charm atoms. I see him going under the Planck frontier, he’s looking up at atoms like a submerged snapping turtle looking up at ducks on a pond, he can grab them by the legs. I hear the shocked, outraged squawk of an atom as I grab it. Why can only Jayjay do this? Does he still go to infinity at all? Or is it really just a matter of getting subdimensional view of things.

And I’d have to ask how Chu and the Crownies’ version of runecasting in Chapter Six works if they can’t charm atoms? Maybe they spray out a fog of slave atoms that have somehow been zombified. Maybe the slave atoms are the sh*t and p*ss and exhalations and sweat of Chu and the Crownies [the Crownies are right-wing fundamentalists who are, of course, whole-heartedly supporting the alien invasion as it will reduce creativity and originality]. Nice symbol of pollution/exploitation. And their atoms infect the other atoms, but it doesn’t spread perfectly smoothly which means that the tulpas the create are a bit feeble and clunky. For this to work, we have to assume that you are able to charm your own atoms, so we have a kind of petitio principe, which is unsatisfying.

Zenohead Option (Implemented)

This approach is only a slight deviation from what I was saying when I thought runes were infinite. Instead of saying that Jayjay’s capability is that he can have infinite thoughts, I say the capability is that he can think quite fast. Call this becoming a zenohead, zenobrain, zenoteeker, a zenobrain teeker, a zenohead teeker—let’s go with zenohead.

Being a zenohead helps him speed up his mind enough to rapidly program ten tridecillion, that is, 10^43 atoms in a row. (Possibly being a zenohead also helps you understand the perhaps very large rune. (Later, Chu will round-off the large runes as well as chunking them onto larger sites.))

In earlier drafts, I’d been taking the zenohead ability for granted, but now I should make a big deal about it. Note that if I’m not using actually infinite runes or infinite numbers of atoms, we’re not talking about a qualitatively new power, it’s just a matter of having a still-more-powerful mind. Another step towards intelligence amplification. I can speak of the Zeno speed-up as a new technique that only Jayjay learns. Carrying out a Zeno speed-up, or even a lesser speed-up is done by taking advantage of matter’s infinite divisibility.

Note that if Jayjay actually has to touch all those atoms, there is some fixed cost q per atom, so he needs q * 10^43 units of energy. Suppose he’s siphoning it up from the subdimensions, and that’s another part of being a zenohead, the access to “subdimensional energy.”

A seeming problem with saying that uniquely Jayjay can think fast is that people are already doing very large tasks by accessing their lazy eight RAM (in principle it’s infinite). But we can suppose that they’re not actually using such very big data bases.

I had worried that using teep requires a Zeno speed-up, as you’re sending a teep signal the infinite distance up to bounce off lazy eight. But your mind doesn’t have to make the trip with the teep signal. Perhaps theoretically it’s known that the signal does the speed-up, and the extrinsic/intrinsic distinction is known, but actually doing it in your own head by utilizing your body’s endless number of levels is a new skill that Jayjay learns when he becomes a zenohead.

In order to make Jayjay a zenohead, the pitchfork took Jayjay into Subdee. At first the path into Subdee looked like a tunnel, and Jayjay is scared. The pitchfork reversed the figure and ground, and the tunnel looked like that vine he thought he climbed. But they only go partway up.

“What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

3 Responses to “Holiday Tactics, Hylozoic Runecasting”

  1. Gamma Says:

    re the chicken itza an egg or just the practice of the yolk – i mean the joke being practical & yellow – whose had an oeuf of this Babel – well if yu have a ring with the chicken chips or even Duck Soup perhaps?

    waiting for the Dave

  2. rs Says:

    Can robots see god?

    Interesting that you have switched positions on this. I would answer it quit differently. I would ask rather than answer, as I think you did in I&tM, if there is a real infinity anywhere to be found? Or better yet, how could a finite system ever discover if there were an actually infinite system? It seems to me that we will always being asking the question can machines see god, create art, enjoy beauty, etc. That is, I think these questions are fundamentally unanswerable, because I don’t think a finite system can prove that an infinite system exists. Coming from the other side I keep wondering how it is that a finite system, if we are indeed that, can dream of infinity?

    anyway happy new year. I just came back from an awesome trip to Tanzania.

  3. sukkurali Says:

    Why is itRudy, that we learn so slowly and so difficult all these things from thi universe?

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