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Lyle Zapato

Your Portable Mind

Lyle Zapato | 2006-04-27.3710 LMT | Simulacra

Izumi Arai of Tokyo has solved the problem of death. Naturally, he's applied for a patent:

Mind Personality Transfer Method (#US20020088467)

ABSTRACT:

This invention can permanently in the future develop minds and personalities of creatures which were considered in the past to decay and become extinct owing to ageing and death, by transferring minds and personalities of creatures to new clone bodies, with preserving self-identity. This invention is particularly valid in the case that an invalid has little chance of recovery due to serious multiple organ failures, in the case that general prostration or severe senility of the whole body makes urgent organ exchanges ineffective, in the case that it will not be long before an individual moves to new clone bodies on some other grounds, etc. My invention is the repetitive processes of transferring central nervous systems and other systems of individuals and old clone bodies to new clone bodies.

Besides the process of transferring central nervous systems themselves to new clone bodies, ... by inputting memories retained in original individuals and clone bodies to central nervous systems of new clone bodies beforehand, creatures can obtain existence bases of themselves in succession, because memory itself can be regarded as the independent personality.

Combining freely a great many of organs such as central nervous systems, peripheral nervous systems, and other systems, can enlarge memory capacities. Moreover, by establishing new active pathways, the originality worth of oneself can be formed. Remaking gray matters into chips such as semiconductors, various integrated circuits, etc., makes nervous systems light and convenient. The information interchange between lots of brains beyond a tiny skull and the construction of new nervous systems can evolve central nervous systems as a whole.

Creatures can maintain self-identity even if constituent elements of succeeding creatures are different from those of preceding creatures, because creatures always exchange their constituent elements by respiration and metabolism.

Furthermore, the consciousness of oneself can maintain continuity in the case that the infant self is lasting to the adult self, in the case that a particular self can put on weight and can lose weight, and in the case that the organs of oneself were injured in diseases, accidents, etc., and the self gets one's health back again. Namely, creatures can transfer themselves in succession to new clone bodies continuously and spaciously, even if succeeding creatures have different shapes, sizes, functions, constituent elements, etc.

Therefore, with keeping self-continuity, I can create the existence of multi-arms and multi-legs, by making the most of lots of other systems in addition to nervous systems simultaneously. And, by obtaining various new organs, I can extend individual faculties of creatures diversely and remarkably.

Of course, you're now asking yourself: How will he perform mind transfers from a mature brain to a new one while avoiding self-discontinuity anxiety? Simple:

Putting both old and new brains into operation simultaneously and transferring functions gradually from old brains to new brains make it possible to realize self-continuity as time passes, without anxiety.

...

Fresh brains can be brought up, while coming into subsidiary operation, with carrying these immature brains on one's back.

You'll have a hunch with a hunch! While an exciting prospect, this will cause some inconveniences. Besides complicating AFDB construction, new chair designs will need to be developed to avoid back-brain injury...

Chair device, Fig. 1
Chair device for the allowance of dorsal-cerebral
clearance as a means to avoid neo-neural ensquishment
(PAT. PEND.)

Also, your shirts won't fit right. But considering you'll keep adding more limbs with every new body, you'd probably want to chuck them all and start wearing ponchos instead.

Lyle Zapato

Mind Control iPod Update

Lyle Zapato | 2006-04-21.1710 LMT | Mind Control | General Paranoia

You may recall the Korean patent to turn iPods into mind-control devices that I reported on in 2004. Many of you iPod users scoffed at the possibility (no doubt at the behest of the reality distortion fields emanating from your precious toy.) But according to a transcript of President Bush's remarks on the American Competitiveness Initiative at Tuskegee University on April 19th:

The government funded research in microdrive storage, electrochemistry and signal compression. They did so for one reason: It turned out that those were the key ingredients for the development of the Ipod. I tune into the Ipod occasionally, you know?

Ask yourself: Why would the US government, acting through DARPA, fund all that research just to produce a simple consumer music player? And what does Bush mean by "tune into"? iPods are not tuners -- or are they? Could this finally be the explanation for the mysterious Bush Bulge?

Bush iDecider

(Found via Retecool. Site in Dutch -- Beware: possible nest of Belgian agents.)

Lyle Zapato

MIT Mind-Reading Device

Lyle Zapato | 2006-04-06.9035 LMT | Mind Control | Aluminum | General Paranoia

You may remember MIT Media Lab, the DARPA-funded organization that previously issued a fatally flawed study that found deflector beanie technology worthless, if not counter-productive.

Well, Tuesday at the 2006 Body Sensor Network Conference, one of their research teams revealed that they have been working on a government-funded mind-reading device. Why am I not shocked?

The ESP: Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic enables a speaker to detect boredom in a listener via a vibrating belt. While not a true mind-reading device since it only infers affective-cognitive mental states via facial signals, it clearly shows that MIT is working on invading people's minds to learn their secrets. From the ESP mission statement:

In psychology, theory of mind or "mind-reading" describes our ability to attribute mental states to others from their behavior and to use that knowledge to guide our actions and predict those of others.

Of course, this touchy-feely device is only being released to condition public acceptance of wearable mind-reading doodads. Presumably their more invasive psychotronics-based MR technology -- technology that would, coincidentally, be rendered useless with wide-spread adoption of deflector beanies -- is only being shared with their partners in the Military-Industrial Complex (the ESP project is funded by the National Science Foundation, a government agency in league with DARPA).

Of note: the founder of Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte, is the brother of John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, who oversees all US intelligence agencies including the CIA, FBI, NSA, NGA, NRO, and others interested in either reading or altering your mind.

Nicholas' current project with Media Labs is a universal mind-control delivery platform targeted at the Third World. I am working on getting one of these devices from undercover paranoid agents to see if MindGuard can be made to run on it. Hopefully the underprivileged children of the world won't have to fall victim to the nefarious schemes of the Negroponte brothers.

Lyle Zapato

Teslabrations!

Lyle Zapato | 2006-03-26.9900 LMT | Announcement | Kelviniana

The Tesla Society has asked me to mention that Nikola Tesla's 150th birthday is coming up on July 10, 2006. Be sure to join in the WORLDWIDE TESLABRATIONS! You still have plenty of time to build your own Tesla coil.

Lord Kelvin thought highly of Tesla, saying that he had "contributed more to electrical science than any man up to his time." It was Kelvin who in 1893 headed the Niagara Falls Commission which chose Tesla's AC technology over Edison's DC.

When Tesla was being mocked by the media for revealing that he received radio transmissions from Mars, Kelvin came to his defense and silenced all criticism by proclaiming himself in complete agreement that Mars was signalling New York, since it was the "most marvellous lighted city in the world" and the only place visible to the Martians.

(Kelvin's proclamation was reported in "Lord Kelvin Believes Mars Now Signalling America", Philadelphia North American, May 18, 1902, Mag. Sec. V, which I haven't yet seen. If anyone knows where to find a copy of this, or any other related reports, please contact me.)

(UPDATE: Lord Kelvin later denied he agreed with Tesla on Martian signals. See: "On the Martians Signalling Earth.")

Kelvin and Tesla also corresponded, as well as exchanging books on electrical science and Vedic philosophy:

15, Eaton Place
London, S.W.
May 20, 1902

Dear Mr. Tesla,

I do not know how I can ever thank you enough for the most kind letter of May, 10, which I found in my cabin in the Lucania, with the beautiful books which you most kindly sent me along with it:--"The Buried Temple", "The Gospel of Bhudda", "Les Grands Inities", the exquisite edition of Rossetti's "House of Life", and last but not least the Century Magazine for June, 1900 with the splendid and marvellous photographs on pp. 176, 187, 190, 191, 192, full of electrical lessons.

We had a most beautiful passage across the Atlantic, much the finest I have ever had. I was trying hard nearly all the way, but quite unsuccessfully, to find something definite as to the functions of ether in respect to plain, old fashioned magnetism. A propos of this, I have instructed the publishers, Messrs. Macmillan, to send you at the Waldorf a copy of my book (Collection of Separate Papers) on Electrostatics and Magnetism. I shall be glad if you will accept it from me as a very small mark of my gratitude to you for your kindness. You may possibly find something interesting in the articles on Atmospheric Electricity which it contains.

Lady Kelvin joins me in kind regards, and I remain,

Yours always truly,

Kelvin

Thank you also warmly for the beautiful flowers.

Tha Stinkin' Pirate

Submarrrines

Tha Stinkin' Pirate | 2006-03-14.5520 LMT | Piratical Yarrings

Arrr ye Jonesin' t'be Cap'n Nemo? Now fer ah scanty three million doubloons ye can have yer own Nautilus!

Exomos Nautilus

Aye, she be ah bonny submarrrine what can hold ah crew o'ten an' dive sixteen fathoms inta tha briny deep. Good fer takin' pirate tourists t'see Davy Jones' Locker wit ther own deadlights. She also be functionally piratical, as 'er mizzenteeth can slice open ah Gap freighter's hull an' release tha precious booty o' cargo pants wit'out ther crew bein' none tha wiser -- so ye can write'er off'a yer taxes as ah business expense! ARRR!!

Tha Nautilus' maker be Exomos, who be also makin' underwater warships. Aye, Exomos be sellin' arms ta both tha military an' tha militant pacifists -- scallywags after me own heart, arr!

It be no coincidence that ther port o' call be in Dubai -- better known as tha Pirate Coast! Land o' loot, rum, an' animatronic dinosarrrs! Tis ah pity tha landlubbers turn'd it inta Trucial an' put monorails all o'er tha place. Nothin' makes an ol' salt scupper 'is eyes as ta see pirates ridin' 'round ah track. Reminds me o' Disneyland -- sends shivers up me timbers, arr...

Never ye mind! I've ah submarrrine ta purchase! Where'd I bury me booty...?

Lyle Zapato

Dubailand Monorail -- Now With Predation

Lyle Zapato | 2006-03-05.6860 LMT | Monorail Danger | Simulacra

This has disaster written all over it.

City of Arabia is a centrally-planned city being built in Dubai. When finished in 2008, it will feature residential and commercial towers, the world's largest shopping mall, and a canal-lined walk with cafes and restaurants.

While this all sounds very pleasant in a creepy, control-freaky, Michael-Jackson-welcoming way, it's marred by the tragic decision to tie the whole city together with a monorail system. Dubai is inordinately fond of the adjective "ultra-modern", so it's odd that they would choose a hundred-year-old, archaic form of transportation that doesn't even employ tubes. Also, have they really considered the extreme danger posed by spontaneous monorail combustion, what with all that oil they have lying around? (And yet they have even more monorails planned!)

Oh, but it gets much worse...

Besides the towers and mall and whatnot, the monorail will also go through a themepark called Restless Planet, a pluri-Crichtonesque nightmare that will include more than 100 animatronic dinosaurs able to walk and "track visitors with their eyes".

Their site has a breathless video (10Mio) calling it a "phantasmagorical vision", "a palentologist's delight", and "a lay person's formal introduction to the Jurassic age", but mostly shows hapless tourists on foot being attacked by a plesiosaur and T-rex -- until the monorail passes by in the background and the T-rex chases after it!


Animatronic T-rex running alongside exposed monorail track.

In an interview/article last year, Dr. Michael Dixon, Director of London's Natural History Museum and one of the scientific advisors for the park, had these famous last words:

The technologies are all known — tried and tested — so there's absolutely no risk factor at all. This project will just bring the different technologies together and it will do so on an unprecedented scale.

The fools! Not to get all glavin, but if there's one thing that elementary chaos theory tells us it's that animatronic T-rex and monorail technologies should be kept as far apart and on as precedented a scale as possible. Just because the track is above the Tyrannobot's head doesn't mean it will never catch the monorail, even if you program it not to: Simulacra will find a way.

Well, at least now those wanting a vision of the future of American port security know to look to the last half of Jurassic Park 2.

The Monorailist

Ray Bradbury: Monorailist

The Monorailist | 2006-02-05.1550 LMT | Monorail Danger

In a Los Angeles Times editorial, Ray Bradbury -- author, futurist -- calls for an end to the City of Angel's disastrous love affair with freeways, subways, and other misbegotten ways. His solution to all of L.A.'s traffic woes: The Monorail!

Ever since he was thrown out of a 1963 L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting for daring to voice the dream of Elevationment aloud in the presence of benighted automotorists and boring subwaymen, Bradbury has championed the singular vision of a singular rail that will lift Angelenos above the smog of decadence that has sooted their souls for so long.

At that 1963 meeting, M wasn't for Monorail, but Missed Opportunity. Alweg Monorail Company offered to build a monorail system at no charge. A free monorail! And yet the Board rejected the offer, choosing instead to side with the special interests of car peddlers and third-rail salesmen. Oh, what could have been! Oh, what could still be! While the Monorail was cravenly spurned in the past, Bradbury predicts that something monorailular this way comes:

The freeway is the past, the monorail is our future, above and beyond.

Above and beyond indeed! Society must rise above future-disrupting traffic and replace its thunderous din with a sound of woosh. In a previous interview, Bradbury sings a city elevated, composed of not one, but ten monorail systems that will engirth L.A. in machineries of joy, bringing about the downfall of automotive tyranny: "We're talking about eliminating cars here." But will Los Angeles join in Bradbury's vision? When the Monorail Chronicles are written, will the current generation of Angelenos be counted among those who dared embraced Humanity's Monorailular Progress?

EXTRA! More exciting monorail news from India:

The Chennai Monorail Project will cover 300 km in 18 corridors, making it by far the largest monorail system on Earth. The Motherland of the Monorail will have the Mother of all Monorails!

The Typing Octopus

Evidence Submerges: Human ROV Stalking Octopus

The Typing Octopus | 2006-01-29.0150 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature | Politics

Intrepid octopus investigator risk sasquatch eating, discover secret human program to follow, spy on octopus with ROV-like robot. Human document admit intent:

...We want to design a mini-robot that will carry a video camera, follow an octopus around under the water, and always keep the animal in the camera's viewfinder. Since the robot will act like a Private Eye and tail the octopus everywhere, we think it should be called Shadow.

Reason? Discover evidence human target octopus for theft, desire steal octopus antiquities. Human ROV steal heavy pointy thing from octopus foyer.

Human ROV casing octopus home? Human ROV take salmon information box? Evidence conclusive: octopus not senile. Octopus innocent victim of vast human burglary conspiracy. Human caught in act, engage in cover up. Watergate! Watergate! Watergate!

The Monorailist

Ramayana, Monorailayana

The Monorailist | 2006-01-27.2500 LMT | Monorail Danger | Lost Worlds

According to the Ramayana, around 1.75 million years ago a bridge was built from mainland India across the sea to Sri Lanka. This feat of engineering was accomplished by the vanara architect Nala with the help of an army of monkeys, chief among them Hanuman, so that Lord Rama, prince of Ayodhya and avatar of Krishna, could save his wife, Sita, from the clutches of the island's dastardly, ten-mustachioed demon-ruler, Ravana.

While conventional Indologists theorize that this bridge was merely a walking path, I am certain that careful reading of the epic shows that the bridge was in fact India's first monorail line -- perhaps the grandest the world has ever witnessed.

NASA satellites have documented the bridge's remains: a chain of shoals of unnatural formation -- variably called Rama's Bridge, Nala's Bridge, or, in the West, Adam's Bridge. However, there is an interesting discrepancy; while these limestone shoals sit securely on the sea floor, tradition describes the bridge being made of "floating stones". Some scholars wildly infer that the shoals must have been formed later with the sinking of the presumably buoyant stones, but offer no mechanism for this transformation. They are like blind men unable to identify an elephant by its dissimilar parts. A true synthesis comes only with the realization that the shoals and the "floating stones" represent two different aspects of the same structure -- pillar footings and an elevated monorail track.

Consider the Monorail, with its track gliding through the air like a gentle breeze solidified, held aloft on slender pillars that hardly inconvenience the ground below. Is there any better description for this graceful, elevated state than to say the track is floating? I think not. Clearly, the chroniclers of India's history, faced with the awe-inspiring splendor of that majestic monorail stretching insouciantly Ceylonward, could not have described the rock that made up its track any other way than as "floating stones".

Read the epic with eyes open to the monorailistic possibilities and more details come into focus. Behold Nala's Monorail floating over the sea on pillars made of whole trees, some of them still bearing blossoms, uprooted by the monkey army and planted on shoals newly formed with elephant-sized boulders torn from the mountains by the most powerful of the vanara and plunged into waters tumulted with their alacritous monkey business. Five days! Five days was all it took the army of monkeys -- heroes all -- to build 30 miles of monorail track. Oh! If only Seattle had such a bold visionary as Nala!

(Some skeptics -- no doubt fearful of the coming Monorail Awakening and the massive social transformation it will bring -- will desperately protest that the bridge, described as being 10 yojanas or 80 miles wide, could not have been a monorail. But the same sources claim it was 100 yojanas or 800 miles long when we know the crossing to be only 30 miles. Obviously, exuberance for such an exalted structure has led to an exaggeration of the measurements over time. Do not attempt to explain away the reality of ancient Indian monorail technology with these untrustworthy figures!)

After the monorail line was built, Rama and his younger brother Lakshmana are said to have rode across it on the backs of Hanuman and Angada. As Sugriva, King of the Vanara, tells Rama: "These monkeys can hold both of you while flying in the sky." A clear reference to the elevated nature of the bridge, to be sure, but what are we to make of this? Was this a monorail track without monorail cars? Was it merely an elevated path for monkey porters? No.

We know from the epic that the vanara employed "mechanical contrivances" or "engines" to transport the largest boulders to the sea, so they had the technology to produce a monorail car. As Hanuman and Angada were instrumental in the endeavor to reach Ravana, what better tribute than to name the newly crafted monorail cars in their honor. Thus Rama rode in the foremost monorail car Hanuman, not on its monkey namesake -- a distinction that become understandably confused over time. Mind you, this doesn't lessen Hanuman's bhakti, for he did much in the service of Rama, but I think Rama would find traveling in the sublime, transcendental luxury that only a monorail can provide more befitting of him than riding on the back of a monkey, no matter how loyal and noble the monkey may be.

Having established the antiquity of monorail technology in India, I say: Let Mr. Zapato continue his tired tirades against the Monorail! Let him try to lead the good people of India away from their deserved place among the Monorailized Nations of the World! He will fail -- he already has failed! For you see, the Monorail is the warp woven through the very fabric of Indian culture; an intrinsic part of her national heritage, though today only dimly remembered. India is the homeland of Monorailism and the cycle of history shall be completed with the Monorail's rebirth in Chennai.

Lastly, an interesting note: Lava, the name of the Malaysian consulting firm behind the Chennai monorail deal, is also the name of one of Rama's two sons, both reunited with Rama after being born to Sita in monastic banishment. How fitting that a company bearing the name of one who would not have been conceived had it not been for Nala's monorailular ingenuity should be helping to return the Monorail to her ancestral home, reuniting the Past with the Future.

Lyle Zapato

Pieglasses

Lyle Zapato | 2006-01-17.5580 LMT | Letters | Food

"planet036" from the UK writes:

YOU LOT ARE WEIRD

Ive got to say i think you lot are weird, i mean what are you goin to make next! wooden hats that send out lazers!!! nor glasses that taste like pie!!1

Wooden hats that send out lasers are just silly. Changes in humidity would cause the wood to expand and contract, making precise alignment of the lasers impossible, thereby negating any benefits from having them cranially mounted.

However, ZPi Labs Pasteo-Optometry Division has been researching glasses that taste like pie -- pieglasses -- for a number of years. Here is our current prototype:

Pieglasses

While our marketing department is still trying to determine practical applications for our pieglass technology -- or at least a catchy jingle that would convince people that they want a pair -- we are certain that we will be able to successfully bring this product to market within 10 years.