I have a problem. My thought moves faster than my hands, and ideas are often ephermal and lost almost forever in the storm of neurons. I’m often beating my brain by the time I finally reach a keyboard or grab a pencil. But there’s hope. For me at least.
The tantalizing prospect of totally discarding the ubiquitous keyboard and mouse has taunted me for a long time, and turns out, with Emotiv, it is a reality now… at least I hope. I have not seen it in action and am not sure of its complete capabilities. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement.
To kick off, in my own way, the debut of the first commercial thought manipulated device, I have written a small prediction—an euphemism for “science-fiction story”—suggesting its possibilities and dangers.
Mickey and Jacks are flipping through the brain channels.
But first, a history. ItsAllYou was established in the first decade of the third millennium and is based on its predecessor, the friendship networks popular at the turn of the century. ItsAllYou, if you choose, puts your life into the spotlight and allows you to share your inner landscape with friends and more!
ItsAllYou consists of personal pages that the user freely customizes with visualizations, sound, and text. The majority of subscribers use stream of consciousness text and digital voice. The more immersed individuals are connected 24 hours a day and their page boasts dramatic and expensive add-ons such as
The Mood Meter (reflecting the user’s moods using user-defined parameters. Ex: simpler models would exhibit basic color changes, red for angry, or green for peaceful, and the more complex models would have avatars, cartoonish or realistic. Inanimate objects could be used as well),
Digital Larynx (a digital reconstruction of the user’s voice box, thus allowing subscribers to the user’s page to hear the stream of consciousness digitally spoken in the user’s voice. Also useful in transcribing text to sound, an application certain disabled demographics found useful), and the
SeeAll Application (entire aspects of the user’s life displayed as is, spatially, temporally, and emotionally through real time digital representation, or if the user preferred, via a limitless selection of user-customizable avatars. This applictaion requires GPS chipping, extensive user definition of each variable: home, environs, city, etc).
Generally called BrainTV, ItsAllYou is only the tip of the iceberg. Privacy is a thing of the past as more and more people choose to become immersed, quickly blurring the line between real and network life.
Now, Mickey and Jacks are channeling BrainTV and watching the many lives of friends and strangers on the multiple monitor set up at their console.
Mickey, his cap on, changed the channels with slow, steady thought. Jacks played with a rubber ball, throwing it against the wall, ignoring the occasional angry expletive from the neighbor. Mickey channeled a brainbaby, infants who were hooked up by their parents to interact with other children and as a means of monitoring their child’s mental activity.
—grass green ba ba ba sing funny pretty televy tubby yellow bright white sky funny soft toy people candy head purple blue po po po yay po— “Geez, just what are their parents thinking?” Mickey complained. Jacks shrugged, banged the ball against the wall.
—bursts of colors pain stars look how I rip it redly until it drips and torrents a soft iron smell a sharp metallic tang o how she writhes skin strips like dress frills splashing salt sweet face this one is better than the others taking so long to live in that pain sweet pain I give so dearly and benevolently with the sweat on my brow—
—the merest suggestion contributing to social suction turning the situation into a miniature vacuum and historical incidents accounting for variables one and two and four reveal a forthco— “Jacks, look at this!” Mickey said, switching to the previous channel.
—her cries are songs to my ears her blessing of my sacrament and her sacrifice lies redly in my hand shh shh girl it’s almost over you’ll be freed from the cage of flesh—
The display screen streamed little black devils ejaculating blood on a gravestone (Death lies here…He died real good) under a green moon. “Jesus. What a nut.” A pale Jacks slipped on his cap and changed the channel. For all his energy, he was soft of stomach.
—go go go fragdoll bang pow yow girl power keep that gun oiled like rhythm in the game strafe that fucker shooting rails and rocket launchers sssboom! zap out the electric gun gotcha KthaiByeBoy your friend going down reeeeeel soon psshhhhhzow eat rocket #V@p0r# yer outta the game! and I’m the queen bee once more nobo— Heavy Metal tunes filtering through the larynxed stream of consciousness and a real-time display of the multiplayer stadium from any angle the observer chooses. Jack idly followed the queen bee before throwing his attention back to his ball.
—za zoo zoo zoolerooni loo roo roo lootooroolerotoo o-o-rooni— Rhythmic jungle syncopation bulging and jangling. Jazz jungle avatar, zoot suited tribal mask prowling dark smog streets lighted with slow oil flames. Mickey surfed on.
—run run run run run run don’t stop don’t stop don’t stop run don’t stop keep the beat don’t stop run run run gotta get ready gotta get ready run run only tomorrow so soon keep fit don’t stop ten kilometers run run almost there don’t stop run run your last marathon don’t blow it run run run don’t stop run—
“Man, I like the bassline in this one. Like an entire stadium stomping their feet ba ba pow!”
“Shit, Jacks. Flashbulb moment!”
“Oh do so tell me, your idea must be so fab!” Jacks in falsetto, camping around the console with an invisible boa.
“Jacks… could we re-route feedback into these caps?” Mickey giggled, eyes flashing. “Think about what we could do!”
“Turn ’em into our zombie slaves?” Jacks was getting excited too.
“Yes, and even better! We could get Sasha upstairs to take off her clothes!” Sasha was this tight number enigmatic in her dark shades and confident strut. Pale blonde hair framed her face and from it she would jag a cruel grin at Mickey and Jacks whenever they passed her on one of their rare forays into sunlight. They had tried to access her, but she was heavily guarded with the intraweb equivalent of junkyard dogs and automatic machine guns. High-tech security systems. Mickey brooded on this. Sasha was rarely on the intraweb, but she sometimes pinged them on ItsAllYou. “That’d be crazy!”
“Yeah, she would kill us! See the laigggs on her!? Swishpow!” Jacks air karated, leaping and roundhousing. Something crashed. Jacks grinned from the floor. “Let’s go for it!”
Mickey and Jacks were chipheads. They had transistor thoughts and code streamed in their dreams. They plied the intraweb at age one, and were writing their own sub-routines at five years old. They were of a different generation, but even then they were unique among their own. They dove into the project with a focus that found them blinking blearily five days later at their completed construction lying on the table, looking very much like a B-movie prop.
Crushing the remnants of a Crash Cola down his gullet Jacks said, “Let’s fire it up! You test it out.”
“No way. You’d make me drop my pants and run outside wanking.”
“It’s not like you never did it before! Pansy. I’ll guinea pig.”
“I had too much Crash Cola… but never mind that.” Mickey sat at the console. “I’m not gonna argue.”
Jacks fitted the cap on his skull, strapping it around his chin with a piece of shortened belt. He sniggered. He had carefully removed it from Mickey’s pants while he napped. As far as he knew, Mickey was still oblivious to the fact. He gave the component plugs to Mickey and waited as Mickey set up the programming. Hardware was his specialty, and Mickey played with code like it was clay. They had their strengths.
“Here we go,” Mickey said, eagerly adjusting his own cap.
“Don’t make me do anything stupid,” Jacks grinned. “On a count of one.”
“Of course not, my friend. Who do you take me for?” said Mickey through lying teeth. “One!”
At first nothing happened then Jacks’ face slackened slowly, a tic overtaking his left eyebrow. A tremor filled the right side of his face, and Mickey felt panic lurking in his stomach. A caustic shudder seeped through Jacks’ body and spittle began to trace glinting saliva down his chin. Mickey had watched an old-style video of an electric chair execution and this was so much alike that he opened the dams of panic and thought ABORT ABORT ABORT in great wide emotion-red lettershapes. Mickey hadn’t realized he was screaming the words too.
“Ha ha ha ha!” Jacks was bent over with mirth, clutching his stomach. “Should have seen your face! It doesn’t work. I guess it’s back to the drawing bo—”
Mickey bowled Jacks over with a tackle. He pulled himself up slowly and faced a wall, fisting the tears from his eyes. He said between sobs, “Oh, you fuck! You fucking fuck…”