Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Wire

A long time ago I read a Science Fiction story that started with the hero sitting cross legged on the floor of his apartment with a wire plugged into the top of his head. There was some form of electricity in this wire and however it was connected to him it was keeping him entertained, or hypnotized, or maybe stoned. He had been a secret agent or an assassin, but now he was idle, maybe between missions or possibly retired. There was not much going on in the outside world that interested him, so he spent his time plugged into the wire. He may even have been addicted to it. Things were calm, peaceful even, and then a couple of dumb clucks materialize in the entry-way, Star Trek transporter like. He quickly becomes alert and kills them both, as they were obviously assassins sent to kill him. I mean, who else would materialize in his entry like that? Especially since in this universe you couldn't beam someone to a remote location unless you had a a transmitter AND a receiver, and since to his knowledge, there was no receiver installed in his entry-way, someone must have done it surreptitiously so these two alien hoodlums would have access to his apartment. That's how the story started. I vaguely remember that our hero went on to have a whole boatload of adventures in the rest of the book, but this beginning is the only part that I remember clearly.

I have spent the week at Optimize Me! with a bunch of wires plugged into my head, so to speak, getting my brain "optimized". Hopefully it is going to alleviate my chronic insomnia. The wires connect electrodes placed on your scalp to a computer which takes the signals (brain waves) it gets from the electrodes and turns them into sound that are played back through ear buds. The sound I hear is like random musical notes: high, low, medium, long, short, all together, spaced out. Does not seem to be any pattern. They run for 15 minutes, and then the technician comes and rearranges the electrodes on my scalp, and we start another session. The notes for the first session sounded like a string bass, except some of them were too high pitched and some were too low, but they had that tone. Each 15 minute sessions sounds different. All the notes in each sessions are similar, but still random. Another session sounded like a xylophone, another sounded like music being played backwards. Some were melodious.

I was expecting to hear continuous tones, maybe going up and down in pitch and volume, but that's not what happened.

It makes me very tired. Monday was understandable as I had to get up a oh dark thirty to ferry Kathryn to the airport. But last night I slept well and I still drowsed through most of today's sessions. Sessions run from 11AM to 1PM and then again from 3PM to 5PM.

It could be that the musical notes are really random, and the computer and the electrodes are just a smokescreen, but they go to a lot of trouble to make it convincing, so maybe it's for real. It might be that it is just a form of enforced meditation. In any case, something is going on, as it is extremely wearing.

We shall see how I turn out.


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