Cyberpunk, Spirituality and Technology - The Voidspace Blogspot

The strange and deluded ramblings of a rather odd person. Hello Dude - It's Me

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These pages are all my own work. Unfortunately that may be a terrible admission. In these pages are various writings of mine, from the first part of my life story, to poems, to mad ramblings without excuse. Below the links to the articles is my blog. Not to be confused with the Techie Blog, this is random ramblings from life.

Rambling Rumination

Diving or Drowning Part I. The first part of my Autohagiography... up to the point where I first take ecstacy. The tale of how a polite, well mannered middle-class child became such a ruffian.....

Diving or Drowning Part II. The second part of my life story - the further fall....

Life in Romania. An article about living in Romania. This follows two visits in 2004 and 2005 to visit my wifes parents. Life is very different in Romania than it is here in Britain.

A Random Assortment. A short collection of my poetry. There's one or two gems buried in here.

HumanOS v1.3. Subtitled baby crocodiles, computers and the human personality. This is an article that compares the human mind to a computer operating system. It touches on artifical intelligence and the ages old Nature versus Nurture debate.

Christian Meditation. A short piece on Christian meditation - exploring living Spirituality with God.

Imagine Paradise. No its not about a large network of computers, its actually about Christian Community..... and why we bother.

The first is an article on the spiritual power of symbols and sacraments. The second one, is on what sort of truth we can expect to find in the bible - with a brief section providing one possible reconciliation between modern science and Genesis. They should both be understandable by 'beginners' to the subjects.

Quick 'n' Dirty HTML. Need to get a webpage up quick and never done any HTML before ? This article will get you up to speed with the basics, using a TABLE for layout. Not for those who want nice, standards compliant, XHTML and CSS...

Voidspace Story. My cyberpunk short story. Lovely imagery but very short *sigh*. Come and play in the Void !

Beginners Guide to Atlantis. My beginners guide for new players of Atlantis - the computer 'Play-by-eMail' game. Very useful if you`ve just started to play.

#23

Weirder than Real Life

emoticon:lighton Venturer posted the following as an article a few days ago. I find this sort of thing fascinating. It's about experiments done by a Japanese and American researcher. It demonstrates that it's possible (to an extent..) to tell what a person is thinking [1] about by examining their brain waves.

Between the lines

The pair showed patterns of parallel lines in 1 of 8 orientations to four volunteers. By focussing on brain regions involved in visual perception they were able to recognise which orientation the subjects were observing.

Each line orientation corresponded to a different pattern of brain activity, although the patterns were different in each person. What is more, when two sets of lines were superimposed and the subjects were asked to focus on one set, the researchers could work out which one they were thinking of from the brain images.

In a separate study, also published in Nature Neuroscience, John-Dylan Haynes and Geraint Rees at University College London, UK, showed two patterns in quick succession to 6 volunteers. The first appeared for just 15 milliseconds - too quick to be consciously perceived by the viewer.

But by viewing MRI images of the brain, the researchers were able to say which image had been flashed in front of the subjects. The information was perceived in the brain even if the volunteers were not consciously aware of it.

The study probed the part of the visual cortex that detects a visual stimulus, but does not perceive it. "It encodes what we don't see," Haynes says. He thinks that, further along the visual pathway, brain regions consciously take note that there has been a stimulus. But this does not happen for the "invisible" stimulus.

Virtual Life

So although the brain patterns caused by individual stimulus are different per person - they are consistent in the same person. This means if you know the responses of the individual, you can tell what they're looking at. There are two questions that spring to mind.

  1. Is it just an autonomic response in the visual cortex - in other words, is it just a 'reflex response' of the visual part of the brain - or is it actually linked to consciousness and perception ?
  2. By creating the response in that part of the brain (whether through ultrasonics or electrical waves or whatever) - would you experience the corresponding perceptions ? (Would you thinking you were seeing the object ?)

Whatever the answers to those two questions, it's certainly another step forward in harmonising man and machine. A computer ought to be able to tell what you are looking at and adjust what it's displaying. Bizarre.

[1]Or at least looking at.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-04-29 08:53:55 | |
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#22

Voidspace is On the Syllabus

emoticon:noise It's always nice when people link to your website - somebody out there likes you ! Not only that, but it improves your google ranking; so even more people are likely to find their way to your corner of the World Wide Web. It's not often however, that you [1] become recommended reading for a college course.

Check out Dr Peever - Cultural Studies. Not only are a couple of pages from Voidspace part of the syllabus [2] - but it means we're officially cultural as well. Surprised

[1]Or at least it doesn't happen to me very often.
[2]See weeks 13 and 14 for the pages from Voidspace.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-04-25 12:41:30 | |
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#21

Guests are from Mars

emoticon:exclaim Hey - today I have two pieces of good news Laughing .

First of all I've made some major improvements to my guestbook - hurrah. It now features funky smilies, it allows some html inside entries, and it also uses a piece of javascript that checks your entry is right before you send it. This is me making forays into javascript.

The second bit of good news is about Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. My avid readers [1] will remember that the copy I had for download was corrupted, a shame because it was one of the most popular books at Voidspace. Well Venturer has come to the rescue, and found an uncorrupted copy lurking in some dark corner of the internet. This means it's now available again. Two hurrahs in one day, will you all cope ? Rolling Eyes

[1]Both of them.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-04-25 11:16:47 | |
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