Monthly Archives: February 2015

Trip to the Art Museum

Italics indicate later annotations.

Just Dropped

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11:31 AM

Haha oh no, some guys just arrived with a new fridge and my landlord came up to help. Tabs still under my tongue.

11:38 AM

Lucky they didn’t arrive a few minutes earlier or I might not have tripped at all.

Good attitude past self.

11:48 AM

I am about to head to the National Gallery of Art, but am waiting to help switch stuff between fridges when the new one is set up.

11:50 AM

Is morality more about your inner mammal vs inner reptile

or inner mammal vs inner man / inner ape / hominid

12:52 PM

Nice transition from not tripping much at all to totally tripping balls. I was just starting to hallucinate when my landlord walked out of my living room.

I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic or what, writing is hard.

1:18 PM

Going around in an artist’s wing is like going around inside their head. People looking back out of portraits at the artist.

1:24 PM

The nervous sweaty guy being paid to stand around with a gun in this museum room is not doing it for me.

1:27 PM

Art is so weird, as someone coming to it through pop culture.

The idea that most of your audience is after your own death.

All this 1600’s Dutch stuff, they were just painting what they saw, but for me the main value is as a period piece.

What I mean by ‘coming to it through pop culture’ is that the experience I have in analyzing and enjoying creative products is mostly with stuff being produce right now. It’s interesting to see all this stuff so out of it’s time and context. Like if snooty people a few hundred years from now were watching modern television, and having people explain to them what the deal is with the product placement, and all the little assumptions we make that they’re not aware of.

1:32 PM

People keep filling the rooms I’m in.

1:36 PM

This building is so trippy. Regardless of the art, just having huge expanses of wood is great.

The whole building is unbelievably cool.

I sort of have a stomach ache. Hopefully it will pass soon.

For some reason writing it down did. Yay!

1:39 PM

I think what I meant was that it helped the stomach ache.

Oh it’s great to shift rooms. I just went from a bunch of bummed dead Dutchmen to a bunch of dope ships and clouds. Also, note deteriorating writing.

1:41 PM

Noted

Noted

My handwriting broke free of the lines of the page sometime during the above journal entries.

What would a psychedelic city be like? Like what if there were just a few square miles where everyone inside was tripping

1:46 PM

Was tripping pretty hard and looking at Dutch cityscapes.

“Interior of Oude Kerk”

“Interior of Oude Kerk”

took a picture. Says a lot about gender relations. I thought about how the gender relations of the early 1600’s Amsterdam needed to be brought down and then realized that they were probably fine

I mean what are you gonna do, they’ve been dead for centuries.

1:51 PM

I think I need a snack but I’m a little nervous to go to the cafe.

1:52 PM

I see some young Asian men wandering around taking photos of art. What are they getting out of this?

I just listened to some dude describe a piece in great detail and it was great. Great enough that I’m currently writing about it instead of searching for food. This museum is so cool but I need to eat Crap

This guy was leading a tour or something, I just popped by and listened to him talk about the symbolism and detail that we miss in this painting because we're not 17th century Dutchmen.

This guy was leading a tour or something, I just popped by and listened to him talk about the symbolism and detail that we miss in this painting because we’re not 17th century Dutchmen.

For example, this is a self-portrait of the artist and his wife, inserted into the larger painting. He is drunk and disheveled and making a mess with his wife.

For example, this is a self-portrait of the artist and his wife, inserted into the larger painting. He is drunk and disheveled and making a mess with his wife.

2:06 PM

I’ve run into something meant to guilt trip Chinese tourists

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2:10 PM

There was this music emanating out, and all these pictures of Chinese human rights abuses, right out in front of the museum. I assume the point is to get it in front of the huge number of Chinese tourists who come through these museums. Fair enough I guess

I am these old people’s impression of a young person. I guess I feel like I’m not representatives.

Oh the joy of eating an apple!

Yum

Yum

2:30 PM

Ugh my lower teeth fit together in such a way that little bits of food get stuck, very frustrating!

2:32 PM

I was in this little cafe in the grounds of the national portrait gallery, where there’s also a cool little ice rink. I gobbled down a couple energy bars and an apple to fuel up.

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I might be getting a little sensory overload. Calming down.

2:34 PM

Awesome the picture of a candybar on my candybar came offf and floated around.

2:35 PM

For some reason I thought that was before my last time check. I was not.

2:36 PM

Heh heh, got a little confused there buddy?I think this had to do with writing down the time stamps. I had just written “2:35 PM” and thought I remembered writing a later time already.

I’m in a garden room with old people. It’s quite nice.

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Yes I actually made it back to the art gallery!

I was just out on the street getting granola bars and helped interpret for a schizophrenic who thought the food truck could get him pizza.

I felt like I was much more on his level.

2:49 PM

Haha okay I have no idea to what extent whoever this dude was, was schizophrenic. I just know I was at a little food stand, buying some granola bars, and this dude came up and kept trying to order pizza, and the dude in the truck was not a native English speaker, and was trying to accept the guy’s patronage. I explained to the dude that he could get other kinds of food at this truck, but he would have to seek pizza elsewhere. Not in those words. He seemed to get it though.

OMG the main non-old people are young asians. They seem very scheduled. Are they on a school trip? Here with parents? Hard to say.

2:51 PM

Looking around it seems like I’m in a TV drama. A bunch of well dressed people in a lavish setting, going about their business.

Not sure what that says about TV. Maybe just that actors are well groomed and movie sets are pretty?

2:53 PM

If I’m ever the messiah remind me not to just look like a bored little alien, even if it turns out that’s what being a messiah is all about.

I guess I don't know what expression baby Jesus is supposed to have

I guess I don’t know what expression baby Jesus is supposed to have

2:59 PM

Jesus, Christ why you gotta look so weird?

I guess I need to ask what I’m tripping for. Just to have a fun day? To produce journal material?

I’m recapitulating a conflict like between 2 people, one annoyed at the other for taking too many photos instead of living in the moment.

3:02 PM

A lot of that conflict ahead.

I can’t tell if writing is part of tripping, or part of talking about it after.

Because right now I’m writing, but later people will read this and respond.

Story idea: you are one mindstate, trying to get a message out in a diary before the jaws of sobriety rush in!

3:04 PM

I feel indescribably better with a full stomach. Christ.

This statue captured my feelings on having eaten.

This statue captured my feelings on having eaten.

3:05 PM

Fuck I think I’m starting to see the family resemblance amongst Medici’s. Feel very pretentious.

Don’t know when I became such a self-hating culture snob. I guess I’m more of an art rube! It’s lucky for me I’m a nice clean shaven young white dude that doesn’t attract much notice here.

3:08 PM

I was thinking like if I was black and scary, they might look more askance at me. But idk, I guess everyone is welcome in the museum. I’d be interested to see how they react to lower class people going around stinking up the place, but I guess the answer is that anyone sufficiently together to have an interest in art can probably put themselves together decently for a trip to the art museum, or else they’ve got other shit on their mind.

Oh nice, I just went from an awful echoey marble Italian room to a nice wooden Dutch room.

The sounds are a lot more muffled.

I didn’t write about it much while I was there, but the sound off the place was also very interesting. Some rooms were super-echoey, some super-soft and quiet. Going from big marble rooms to big wooden rooms to big carpeted rooms you really notice the difference.

Haha some kid is trying to pick out a painting for a project. Imagine if you could see other people who were looking into the same stuff as you, like how I can tell people are with me in the room (now none).

That’s just what a library is like I guess?

No, slightly later acid self. It’s more like if you could see who was looking at the same things on the internet as you? And I guess that you’d be able to see just sense

But imagine if you were in some little Greek city state, where it’s just you and your few hundred / thousand buddies who use the library.

I need a break from writing

3:15 PM

I think the fact that I wrote “I need a break” rather than stopping shows what a state I was in.

Instead I took pictures:

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This is a weird painting. My interpretation was that it’s an older dude and his weird looking young wife. Also the white horse seemed like it had very flirtatious eyes.

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Really I guess I was just amused by everyone’s expressions.

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Durrrr

Fat baby Jesus!

Fat baby Jesus! And horrifying rat-pig-dog!

Joseph (the bible character) flaunts his stuff

Joseph (the bible character) flaunts his stuff

I'll just leave this here.

I’ll just leave this here.

I get why people get into art. It’s a whole entertainment and cultural experience, like “being into TV” or “being into music” but you get to feel very fancy and hang out in nicely apportioned places with other fancy people, so basically winning the social status signaling game.

It’s so far from my area of expertise,

I thought this woman had a pinched and somewhat unpleasant expression that I found familiar.

I thought this woman had a pinched and somewhat unpleasant expression that I found familiar.

Probably. Who knows?

Probably. Who knows?

3:23 PM

Looking at the back of my hand is also great. I sort of see a bunch of weird patterns and then they fade out again. It’s very helpful for finding real patterns like how the veins go.

3:27 PM

That’s how I think psychedelics work in general: they just make you super-sensitive to patterns. So you’re more likely to see patterns that aren’t there, but also more likely to see ones that really are there. You just need to have a process where you see the billion possible patterns when you trip, and then sort through them afterward and find which ones were real / are useful insightful ways of looking at the world.

Find the photo of the dude in red on camera, synch up

That Medici chin and that weird front – cape style haunt me. I keep thinking statue heads are on backwards.

Done and done trippy self.

Done and done trippy self.

Giuliano de Medici. I guess if you want your name to live forever, being the patron of super-famous artists and having them do portraits and sculptures of you is not a bad way to go about it. Rich people in eras of big creatively flowerings are lucky.

3:53 PM

I will have to revisit the museum. I’m not sure if I’d still be interested when not tripping. It’s cool though, definitely potential for many days of tripping / culture / writing ahead!

Okay to the mall!

Onward!

Onward!

3:57 PM

Continued here

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Jacobin

I attend a monthly reading group for a leftist magazine called Jacobin. If you’re in DC and interested in that sort of thing you should check it out.

Last time I went I was on a microdose of LSD, and wrote down my impressions (moved around into general categories for ease of reading):

Liberalism

Liberalism vs. ‘True Leftism’ is not so much about policy as about attitude / theory of political power and change.

Liberals look at an example of a problem as something to fix, socialists view it as a symptom of the whole system needing to be fixed.

It seems the big divide is whether you accept the fundamental legitimacy of the system or not. Liberals do, ‘real socialists’ do not.

Liberalism is what it’s called when you want a system to be better, but you accept the fundamental legitimacy of the system. So they like the state monopoly on violence. If I thought I lived in a just society, I would be down for the state monopoly on violence, because it’s really a great idea, just sucks when the state uses it to defend itself from political challenges. So the only way to make people into revolutionaries is to make them reject the legitimacy of the state and thus stop being liberals.

I’m fascinated by the people at these Jacobin meetings. I feel like there’s a lot of people like me who read and think a lot about this stuff, but don’t talk about it that much.

Man do socialists hate liberals. As someone near the boundary of those two positions, it’s a bit uncomfortable.

Distracted by the Meta

When you’re having discussions about complex and poorly defined terms, you end up spending more and more time discussing definitions and category boundaries.

What matters isn’t what the definitions are, it’s that they’re clear.

Category distinctions that we get so mad about are so stupid. The whole drawing a line on a spectrum and then fighting people on the opposite side of that line is crazy. Maybe that’s a liberal sentiment haha.

Getting so mad about strategies people prefer… we’re all on the same team right? I guess some liberal who is pro-cop on Ferguson should be chastised on that issue.. but that mostly is a partisan issue right?

I guess the need to think in categories is a fundamental human limitation, in that if you were smarter you could keep enough variables in your head to just look at things and understand them on a more case by case basis.

Historiography and the history of ideas is endlessly fascinating, but not for all purposes. It would be great to just pick how you’re using terms at the start of an argument. I guess people often do that in books, but if they keep using the standard terms it just adds more alternative definitions for next time. But making up your own words isn’t great either.

I guess you just want norms of knowing what you’re talking about… but that can’t be enforced. Maybe I’m just involved in insufficiently learned discussions… but no, this just gets worse at high levels. Uggggh I guess this is just the best way of talking about complicated topics that we’ve figured out so far.

Other

I’m not really going to convince these people of anything. I should just learn.

I like the idea that any culture with a growth imperative is essentially unstable, and will only last until it is transformed into a more stable form, or destroys itself.

Anything that is constantly changing will keep doing so until it changes into something less mutable.

I like these discussions so much more in small group form, possibly because I get to talk more. But also it’s just less of a collection of disconnected speeches.

Everybody goes to the bar after these meetings, it’s the best part.

The whole Hegelian nature of Marx, with its synthesis and historical inevitability, is dumb. Well not dumb, but not helpful.

I don’t really know enough to flesh out this position. I’m more of a normative socialist: I would like us to have a socialist society, but I wouldn’t make any claims about that being inevitable.

Your enemies are the people you have the least leverage over, the least ability to improve.

You’ll have much better luck changing your own behavior and the behavior of your friends, even if that variety of criticism is less enjoyable.

Microdosing! What a great mindspace for intellectual discussion!

Highly recommended.

Links to the articles we discussed.


Story Ideas

A few stream of consciousness style thoughts for stories / settings:

1)

Write a story about parallel worlds in which there are infinite possibilities and have characters move through different realities and branch off when they make decisions and readers vote on which timelines to write more of.

2)

People live in a post-technological state. Artifacts are all around them, including in their own bodies, but there’s been a sort of collapse / decline / singularity. There is a sort of internet on which all these electronics and nanobots and shit are always communicating, and which people can tap into. You can go on a data terminal or something, but the real way to do it is with direct to brain immersive virtual reality.

Oooh! How about you have to meditate and take drugs and such to achieve that state, and it’s scary and trippy, but you can get information, communicate over long distances, and sometimes even accomplish things in the physical world. It’s done by a shaman type figure, presumably there are many such scattered around but in communication with each other.

People have 3D printers and self-replicating solar cells, can basically feed in organic sludge to get food, feed in other stuff to make whatever you want. So the level of tech you can make with self-replicating 3D printers is commonplace, while what you can’t is magic.

People live as post-scarcity technological hunter-gatherer groups, ranging from tiny bands to those cool complex hunter-gatherer societies. Other planets are terraformed, lifespans are long but not eternal for most. Communications is shitty because all the bandwith is taken up by machines.

The cores of planets have robo-bugs in them, there’s an interconnected network of nanocomputers everywhere, and AI’s and uploads live in it. Basically animism is correct. The “gods” that live down there have decided to let the humans live in peace, in that no one will destroy their civilization, but on a small scale it’s a free for all.

Also time in the computer world would pass much faster, with some kinds of intelligence rising and falling very quickly.

There could be something like my suspended animation elves, people froma more dynamic era preserving themselves, waiting for something or just seeing more of the universe temporally with their limited lifespan.

But it’s sort of a dangerous world: tribes of humans can fight over territory or artifacts or just dominance contests. Low casualty but not nothing. Plus there’s murder and such. And of course “spirits”, some friendly, some not. Mostly you’re supposed to stay away and let the shaman deal with them, but of course there’s always black magic.

3)

Mystical powers are real, based on mental states. LSD is the equivalent of a gun back in the day: not necessarily superior to old ways of doing things, but a way to quickly get to a level that is usually a lot more difficult. Like just doing LSD gets you a little power if you know how to use it, and you can train to be on a high level in just a few years.

Democratizing magic away from domination mostly by a variety of weird cults, secret societies, religious orders, criminal syndicates, which all sort of blur together into a sketchy magical underworld ecosystem.

In the 1950’s the CIA starts kicking ass with LSD against these groups, but then the unexpected dissemination of the drug to the public results in something never before seen: millions of people accessing magical power, getting in touch with the spirit world – which maybe is the ruined quasi-computer system of an ancient alien super-civilization somehow built into the fabric of reality, or perhaps accessible from far away but housed in some megastructure. And psychedelics open your mind to it, and you are able to do things like create programs to run, or have some kinds of real world effects, particularly on yourself – maybe long life, resistance to pain or harm, maybe flight?

And so that’s the level that most people who study their whole life and have some training, or take LSD a few times, can do. True prodigies without LSD can do some more stuff, and people with decent LSD training can do telekinesis, teleportation, all sorts of perceptual enhancements, etc.


Post-Trip Reflections

Reflections (for some reason I really liked that word at the time) at the tail end of my first solo trip.

Italics represent later annotations.

I was a lot more aware of the trip and its effects on me this time around, because I wasn’t interacting with other people

I noticed much more how the psychedelic effects were intense for a few hours, and then a long, long comedown period
while before I really barely focused on the visuals and there was not nearly as much of a divide between legit tripping and coming down

Really what I did worked great. I think I will wait to do it again until it’s warm though. The cold weather really makes it worse. Maybe my next trip will be when it gets beautiful out this spring

Or as it turned out, on a surprisingly beautiful day in early February…

I’m thinking I might almost want to be moving around during the come-up, which can be sort of uncomfortable. Like go for a short walk or something. Not great in DC, but would definitely be cool at the beach or something
then during the peak you really want to be focused on sitting and gazing awestruck at the universe, maybe trying to record some thoughts or create something neat
and then the come down period is when it would be nice to be around other people, so you could discuss, reflect, chill out
This is also a good time to write and create

Haha, I didn’t remember that I wrote this, but that is indeed what I did on the next trip. Walked to the zoo in the come-up, hung out there for the peak and wrote a little, and then went back home and wrote a lot more.

Think about those religions that use psychedelics as a ritual, like Peyote and what not.

They are all hunter-gatherer types right?

I figure that’s because before you can develop those rituals, you have to exist side by side with the psychedelic plant long enough to figure out what it does, through I guess a process of just tasting everything
and then creating rituals based around that psychedelic, and then giving those rituals time to grow old and become a deep part of culture
farmers wouldn’t interact with the same variety of plants, and also don’t stay in the same place as much on a generational scale
so maybe there just wasn’t time
it was all hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years before civilization
steadily tasting every plant on earth, and finding the ones that did crazy shit

Still it wouldn’t be implausible for some mass religion to embrace psychedelic use
Let’s say somebody gets a hold of magic mushrooms, develops some mythology based on the experience, and then starts using the mushrooms to ‘prove’ it
trips could be a ritualized part of life like any other
Presumably in the context of authority figures and peers
really it could be a bit of a creepy conditioning type thing, molding minds
but on the whole as long as they weren’t batshit I think people would be better off for it, even if there were some attempts at manipulation
though you never know, religion can be very insidious
deliberately induced bad trips perhaps? for the misbehaving, or just to generally break people down

If I were to set a story in such a world I wouldn’t want to make it too dystopic, because I don’t really want to be down on acid
Really I’d be happy if some religion like that existed
It couldn’t have held together forever, acid helps people think for themselves, modernity would hit like a ton of bricks
it would probably have made for a nicer middle ages, more compassionate
and then modernity would shatter a lot of church psychedelic claims
people would start tripping independently, figuring shit out

though now that I think about it, if they were brainwashed — no no, they’re not brainwashed
I’m saying that the religion would be a positive force in society, despite any bad intentions they may or may not have, because they’d spread psychedelics
Because even if they way they use them is worthless, it makes them a lot more accessible to others
And I doubt that that religion’s trips would be worthless
they’d have an interest in promoting the well being of their congregants after all, they would try to promote spiritual health
no need to go for some crazy breaking down and attacking of people
people would just be used to the idea that occasional psychedelic use was wise
the first time would be an adulthood ritual
maybe there would be ceremonies occasionally where people would take it?
and then the perversion is to take it alone, in a different setting

but I guess ultimately the problem would be: so what, you did it in a different setting, it’s… uplifting, helps you learn about yourself, great… is that not enough?
I’m not saying it’s some crazy end of the world thing
just a little culture clash between freethinking psychedelic users and stern religious psychedelic users
I guess the issue is that I’m inclined to think of psychedelics as trivial because they failed to become prevalent in our society
Do I think that that’s actually a possibility?
I can’t imagine any time soon
would be great if they legalized LSD

Might be something that needs to wait until after the revolution
after the end of this economic system
post-scarcity world would be helpful
really I guess what’s necessary is to have fewer consequences for it, and less worry about ‘getting in trouble’
so legalize obviously, and less employment competition, more willingness to take extended breaks to to experiment with drugs lol
so yeah, basic income, big help

Word, embrace the basic income so people will have time to experiment with psychedelics. Not necessarily a vote winner…


Revelation Revolution

At one point during this trip I had a cool experience and then typed the below:

I figured out the story to tell in the minds universe! And it connected with what happened to me in real life! I had a revelation!

I had an internal revolution! I had been getting obsessed with writing in this journal and was doing it so much my arm was hurting, I was getting uncomfortable, etc. I’d constantly been thinking “Oh I should go put that in my journal as soon as I saw anything” Now I’m sort of still doing that, but on the computer! It’s much more efficient!

I went and ate a bowl of baby carrots. I didn’t bring the journal with me, decided to take a break. Wanted to write things down in the journal. Realized I’d been getting obsessive. Thought about it, and then had a conversion experience going over to the not constantly write in the journal way of thinking. It was mindblowing. What was especially exciting, was that I can use this in the story! The point can be that there’s a mental revolution, which is the equivalent of realizing something new, or making a big decision or changing religions or something like that, but something good! And my realizing how my two problems hung together like that was so phenomenal. Hahaha I like that word.

Anyway the revolution was first to not worry so much about the journal, I became part of the “Post-journal” society, y’know, screw record keeping, live in the now! And then I had my whole realization about how things are connected – fuck it was just a mystical experience of oneness, okay? And what was left when the acid wave crashed and washed away was a story idea. About a revolution in a mind.


Stream of Consciousness science fiction brainstorming

During this trip I became obsessed with a science fiction scenario involving minds within a large organism. This is basically a stream of consciousness brainstorming session about how it would work from later in the trip. I have no idea if this will make any sense to anybody else:

I’ve been thinking a lot about people as just little cells in the larger super-organism.

I’ve been liking the metaphor of the social organism, and the equivalent between groups of people and thought processes

Like a research group is the equivalent to your curiosity about some subject.

An individual would be like a neuron, just a relay that is a part of one or really more than one of these larger structures

A BIT LATER

Neuroses:

1)
an organization wants to think about something, so it transfers some people to a new department, designed to think about that thing
another department starts having very beneficial relationships with that department, only semi-related to whatever the 1st department’s job is
the thing the department was created to study turns out to not be that common, no need to spend more resources on it, funding is cut, department starts to die
the other department takes action! It’s people have friends in the first department who like it there, and as an organization, they like having the department around
they decide to do something to make there be more of whatever the object of study is, or trick people into thinking that’s the case
funding comes back, department is revitalized and better than ever
conspiracy of lies continues
eventually people in the study department start to suspect
realize that their department only exists because of manipulations by the other department
auditors enter the scene and intervene

2)
an over-mind wants to think about something, so it creates a mind and gives it mental capacity to think about it
another mind in the same collective starts to fall in love with that mind
the thing the mind was created to study turns out to not be very common, no need to think more about it, mental space is used elsewhere instead, mind starts to die
the other mind takes action! It’s in love!
they decide to do something to make there be more of whatever the object of study is, or trick people into thinking that’s the case
thought restored, mind is revitalized and better than ever
conspiracy of lies continues
eventually the studier mind starts to suspect
realizes it only exists because of it’s lovers manipulations
the overmind intervenes

So let’s see here:
2 could be used as a sci-fi story with a crazy alien species. One sort of like the Tines in Vernor Vinge now that I think about it, but more like the choir
there are all these little mind-nodes. Sort of like neurons, some base unit of thought
then you can combine them together, and if you combine enough of them, or combine them in certain ways, you achieve consciosness
so I guess there is some kind of over-mind, but it’s not consciouss
It’s like if instead of you being consciouss, each of your thought processes was
though of course the big difference is parallel processing
but I guess your brain does that too… it’s just your consciousness only thinks about one thing at once
So maybe there is a larger consciousness?
I think it would be more like there’s a leader
mental capacity is used to plan and make decisions
the planning / decision making thought process is the leader
OH – great idea: the way minds grow is by attracting neurons or whatever
so some minds just keep having more neurons added to them, getting smarter and smarter
while others that have a nice steady job stay the same size
and there’s a constant churn of growth and death as different thoughts are considered
So like some reptile brain functions are practically immortal / basic low level work, janitors, etc
This is probably most of society really
A bunch of functions being steadily completed, the business of day to day existence
then there are ones that are more like research groups / abstract thought
they form for a while, thinking about an idea, and then disperse
instead of thinking about it for a moment though, it can last decades or centuries
they could grow huge and then shrink back down to almost nothing
or even grow so huge they throw off their own subprocesses?
Like one mind has a big job, so it creates another mind to help?
I guess the question is how do they start
Does it just happen?
Does the overmind ‘decide’?
Does another regular mind create them?
Maybe they give birth by having a clump of their neurons leave and become its own mind
Like whenever a mind has an interesting thought, which is worth further study, it could spin off that part of itself to be a new mind of its own
so there’s a sort of mental ecology
what attracts new neurons to a mind?
that’s the key question
I guess it must be oriented towards producing some good outcome for the collective
what if each mind lives on its own island? or world? or asteroid?
and so I guess the over-mind is just formed by whatever neurons happen to be in its area
but that still doesn’t say what determines how neurons are distributed
I guess maybe they’re just born?
Like neurons can divide and multiply?
so then I guess the idea is that minds can choose what is done with their neurons
they can gather some and give birth to a new mind
they can exchange them with other minds
they could even kill them if they wanted to!
the exchange thing would obviously be somewhat equivalent to sex, could be the basis for the relationship in the story
what would getting neurons from another mind be like? I guess like getting neurons or batches of them from another person
you’d get bits of memory, experience, etc
Can they access the memory anyway? No definitely not
so yeah, you get memory, attitudes, everything. And I guess it doesn’t diminish the original at all either
so you can basically churn out more neurons if you can afford to
hmmm so this is seeming less like one big mind
But, that’s after society has evolved!
You have this setting, and eventually the minds get organized
Basically form a society
Ack, actually the idea of the mental ecology sort of messes with the part about each mind having a purpose
if they’re self-interested and just out to multiply, why would they be equivalent to thought processes?
There must be some way they are selecting towards what’s good for the overmind
What about if the overmind is really a giant organism floating through space
like a living asteroid or some such
and it has its own life cycle
its own relationships with other giant minds
that it can communicate with, but only at a great distance
perhaps because of light speed delays and very fast thinking
and so not all the minds necessarily understand what the deal is with their world? No I think they must, at least to the extent that people do
It can’t just be some conspiracy to hide it
Hmmm
I guess the idea would be that selection pressures took off at some point within the overmind?
Another metaphor is cancer, uncontrolled growth within a limited environment
or madness, fighting among different parts of the mind, or other social breakdown
I guess the idea would be that the minds are just naturally organized in a certain way
like a human mind is naturally organized in a certain way
and no part of the mind necessarily understand how they’re organized, because that was designed in by evolution or a creator
so they’re just hanging out performing their functions
Trying to expand?
I guess each neuron absorbs stuff from minds it’s part of
and of course retains that when it divides
and I guess it also matters what that neuron is used for within that mind
idk how distinctive different neurons should be
or how many there should be per mind
so what is the limit on neuron growth?
I guess there would be a constant total number
so how is it apportioned?
I guess there could be some sort of ‘government’
auditors and such
minds mostly do the job they naturally do, steadily reproducing themselves, getting new neurons occasionally to prevent inbreeding
the only ones that have all this crazy growth and death stuff would be ones assigned to think about more ephemeral things I guess?
The problem is if minds think they’re in charge, why be blase about essentially dying when they’re done?
I guess the idea would be that the minds don’t really have much of an ego
Maybe some, but not nearly like people. And also they identify with the neurons as well
knowing if they are broken up their neurons will be reused elsewhere
maybe some neurons from thinker minds get send to reptile minds
liven up their day

I guess the idea would be that a mind’s motivation would not be as self-centered as a humans
It would sort of care about itself, but would also care about the larger whole, and its individual neurons
memories would stretch way back, but become dimmer over time
I guess new ‘creatures’ are born when minds leave the old one and go colonize a new asteroid?
So there are memories going way back through many iterations of this
a lot like genes really
so that’s another thing, this is situation where genetics and memetics are all mixed up
each neuron is sort of like a cell
So rather than having the brain be separate, the whole creature is its brain
basically each cell is a neuron
non-neuron cells are barely considered part of the body at all, might be grown for a purpose then removed. treated like fingernails or something
I guess the larger mind is capable of interacting with the outside world, building stuff if necessary
it has molecular assemblers or something
so normally it’s just floating along, soaking up sunlight, thinking
enjoying itself / learning
it can control its movements, but only over very long time spans, slowly adjusting orbits
for the most part its very isolated, can maybe talk via radio to its peers, but they’re far away
I guess what I’ve been thinking yet avoiding is this: society determines neuron allocation
like there’s the planning authority mind, and it divvies up how many neurons everyone can have
neurons occasionally die from random accidents and have to be replaced, but mostly are just moved around
yeah that makes sense

So they basically just think about and talk over these decisions
There can even be politicking and such involved
and I guess it sort of works like a bureaucracy with minds as bureaucratic empires
so technically you’re always supposed to be thinking about the good of the whole, not expanding your own empire
but really there’s a lot of empire building

Is there a limit to how big a mind can be? Otherwise why not have the whole thing be one giant mind?
I guess the idea would be that each mind can only think about one thing at once
no better parallel processing than people, or perhaps even worse
so it makes sense to split up into a bunch of different units to accomplish different tasks
rather than one giant mind that’s really smart, but can only be smart about one thing
also maybe there are inefficiencies as you get bigger
no hard limit, it’s just harder to keep a mind organized the bigger it gets
maybe when you’re super-big sub-processes start trying to break away

So what are the minds for? What do they do? I guess a lot of science / research / learning
some maintenance of the body
communication with other minds, trading information and ideas
monitoring things in the external universe
keeping other minds in order, antibodies / police
so what would crime be? a mind seeking its own benefit rather than to benefit the group? a mind gone bad!
Like it’s a mind that’s supposed to study Mars, but then it realizes it can fake up interesting stuff on mars, and thus get assigned more neurons
or it can sabotage Venus researchers or something…
and then the auditors have to come down on it, maybe kill some neurons? Maybe even all of them, cut out the cancer


my fingers are on the keyboard, my head is in the clouds.

As always italics are annotations from later.

my fingers are on the keyboard, my head is in the clouds.

haha great pretentious writer name, book name

Was out in the freezing cold to look at clouds, typing on my laptop. I wanted to be able to trip out on the clouds and type at the same time.

stream of consciousness during acid
genius

I’m looking at clouds

they make all sorts of crazy shapes and patterns and what not

It’s pretty sweet

It would be easy to make up storiees about theem

but I’m s astrong materialist, they’re just vapor

Hey, it’s surprising I spelled as well as I did, given that I was on acid and not looking at the keyboard.

stories can be fun though. I had a whole thing with the planks on my fence that look like owls

it’s very frustrating, inside is boring, outside is cold. The classic dichotomy

I’m not doing the stream of cosciousness well I keep needing to look

and my fingers are cold

maybe I’ll try again inside

Didn’t last long