Thursday, January 21, 2010

Four Preposterous Devices

Metaphase Typewriter Hardware

But will she Lunarate on the first date?

The goal of quantum tantra is to open up new connections with Nature, using insights derived from quantum physics, to join human minds with one another and with the myriad invisible minds around us. There are hints of quantum tantra in the works of Schopenhauer, Wordsworth, and many science-fiction stories, but few have so concisely expressed the aim of the quantum tantrika better than deep ecologist Ted Roszak in his book Where the Wasteland Ends:

Suppose this ability we have to find something of ourselves in people should be expanded so that the same personal transaction occurred with animal and plant.

Suppose that ability began to reach out further still, discovering a reality of inventive pattern and communicative vitality even in what we once regarded as the dense, dead stuff of the world.

Suppose the whole of creation began to speak to us in the silent language of a deeply submerged kinship.

Suppose we even felt urged to reply courteously to this address of the environment and to join in open conversation.

Ah yes, what then? In my search for radically new communication channels with Nature, I have conceived, built and tested four Preposterous Devices, four real quantum machines whose premises are so silly that they almost certainly will fail to work. However, if even one of these devices strikes gold, it would change our concept of the Universe in a big way. I am encouraged in my quixotic quest by the fact that although we know a good deal about how matter operates, we know almost nothing about the way our own consciousness works and are supremely ignorant about non-human forms of awareness. And each one of my Preposterous Devices, which include the Metaphase Typewriter, the Quantum Metaphone, the Stellerator and the Lunarator, depends for its alleged operation on the X factor of consciousness.

The purpose of the Metaphase Typewriter (now retired due to decay of its radioactive core) was to provide a communication channel for discarnate spirits. The premise behind its operation is that quantum processes are so Heisenberg-uncertain that they can be manipulated by spirits. (Perhaps you too are a spirit manipulating your body via quantum processes in your brain.) The Typewriter consisted of a radioactive source, a Geiger counter and a computer interface. The quantum-random Geiger pulses were used to drive a typewriter whose operation was biased by second-order English language statistics. (We got these statistics from an unclassified NSA publication.) The Typewriter was tested in many "high-psychic-energy" environments--most notably an all-day event in San Francisco to contact the spirit of Harry Houdini. As one might expect when dealing with random events, several amusing coincidences occurred in these experiments but never any prolonged clear text from the other side.

The Quantum Metaphone uses the same quantum-random hardware as the Typewriter but is hooked to a Votrax speech synthesizer and biased with second-order English speech statistics. Robert Anton Wilson described the output of the Metaphone as sounding "like a Hungarian reading Finnegans Wake". The one psychic we exposed to the Metaphone (Matthew Manning) found it irritating and opted to influence (unsuccessfully) the quantum text generator.

Both the Stellerator and the Lunarator are attempts to quantum-entangle two human minds by exposing their eyes to coherent light. (The silly premise here is that quantum-entangled retinas might lead to quantum-entangled brains which in turn might entangle the associated minds.) The intent is to experience new forms of intimacy not accessible to those still mired in classical ways of thinking about the world. Since looking at laser light might be dangerous, I decided to use safer and more natural sources of coherent light, namely the Moon and the stars.

Visible stars possess a "radius of coherence" of several feet or larger so that when you and your partner look up at a star (and are close together) you are standing inside that star's coherence radius. But you are also standing inside lots of other star's coherence discs. The Stellerator is merely a hollow tube which allows you and your partner's retinas to be excited by light from the target star and no others. Does communal consciousness ensue when two or more people look thru tubes at the same star? The Stellerator was first tested by a gang of happy amateurs immersed in an Esalen hot tub on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean under the starlit sky. No huge increase was observed in our already high level of conviviality.

The alleged effect of the Stellerator depends on the LARGE coherence radius of visible stars while the operation of the Lunarator depends on the SMALL coherence radius of moonlight. The coherence discs from the Moon are small enough to fit inside the light-adapted pupil of the human eye. In the Lunarator, moonlight is split by a half-silvered mirror so that half goes into his eye and the other half goes into hers. There is a sense in which you two are both competing for the same photons. I have built a version of the Lunarator but have not yet tested it. One a priori reason for doubting the possibility of Lunarator-induced empathy is that even if the Lunarator only induces a common mood (no signaling), it is easy to show that the presence or absence of such a mood could be used for signaling, and that signaling could, in principle, be superluminal.

I present these brief notes on Preposterous Devices to give some notion of the direction of research at the Quantum Tantric Ashram and hope that others may be inspired to develop even more preposterous quantum machines that will succeed in changing the consciousness of the experimenters in new and entirely unexpected ways.

Could you be
my quantum mate?
Let's go outdoors
and Lunarate.

Sun and Allan test out the Stellerator

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