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   Chapter 16 No.16

Ong's Hat - The Beginning By Joseph Matheny Characters: 6140

Updated: 2018-04-10 12:02

Two more scientists — already residents of Ong's Hat — joined with Fard and the twins in founding the Institute of Chaos studies. By sheer "chance" their work provided the perfect counterparts to the Dobbs' research. Harold Acton, an expatriate British computer — (and reality —) hacker, had already linked 64 second-hand personal computers into a vast ad-hoc system based on his own I Ching oriented speculations. And Martine Kallikak, a native of the Barrens from nearby Chatsworth, had set up a machine shop.

Ironically, Martine's ancestors once provided guinea pigs for a notorious study in eugenics carried out in the 1920s at the Vineland NJ State Home for the Insane. Published as a study in "heredity and feeblemindness, " the work proclaimed poverty, non-ordinary sexuality, reluctance to hold a steady job, and enjoyment of intoxicants as proofs of genetic decay — and thus made a lasting contribution to the legend of bizarre and lovecraftian Piney backwoods people, incestuous hermits of the bogs. Martine had long since proven herself a bricoleuse, electronics buff and back-lot inventor of great genius and artistry. With the arrival of the Dobbs twins, she discovered her true 'metier' in the realization of various devices for the implementation of their proposed experiments.

The synergy level at the ICS exceeded all expectations. Contacts with other underground experts in various related fields were maintained by "black modem" as well as personal visits to the Ashram. The spiritual rhythms permeating the place proved ideal: periods of dazed lazy contemplation and applied hedonics alternating with "peak" bursts of self-overcoming activity and focused attention. The hodgepodge of "Moorish Science" (Tantra, sufism, Ismaili esotericism, alchemy and psychopharmacology, bio-feedback and "brain machine" meditation

he first) involves practical instruction in a variety of "hard sciences", especially evolutionary biology and genetics, brain physiology, Quantum Mechanics and computer hacking. We have no need for these disciplines in any academic sense — in fact our work has already overturned many existing paradigms in these fields and rendered the textbooks useless for our purposes — so we have tailored these courses specifically for relevance to our central concern, and jettisoned everything extraneous.

At this point a Fellow of the ICS is prepared for work with the device we call the "egg." This consists of a modified sensory-deprivation chamber in which attention can be focused on a computer terminal and screen. Electrodes are taped to various body parts to provide physiological data which is fed into the computer. The explorer now dons a peculiar helmet, a highly sophisticated fourth-generation version of the early "brain machines, " which can sonically stimulate brain cells either globally or locally and in various combinations, thus directing not only "brain waves" but also highly specific mental-physical functions. The helmet is also plugged into the computer and provides feedback in various programmed ways.

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