ch 2, p 1, The Sorath Algorithm
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The airplane was flying over the Atlantic Ocean , but because it was night all he saw outside the oval window was an expanse of blackness; like a heavy mist, the blackness obscured his view of the ocean while leaving a vague, gray emptiness in the upper air. The night was clear and the constellations so bright and intense that the stars looked like vast hieroglyphic symbols. Sagittarius hung high in the Southern Sky.
He had stopped reading but the thoughts and images inside Billy Bayber's journal were very much alive within him and, at times, merged with the blackness into which he gazed, half-asleep. The blackness seemed purely mental, for his thoughts rose and fell through the blackness as though it was a vibrating mind substance, not empty space. What the doctor saw were dreams---huge half-word, half-picture, mental hieroglyphs---forming and re-forming themselves in his mind, building themselves up and annihilating themselves where his subconscious touched the element of Space. Out of the Etheric Realm arose an enormous beast, half-man, half-computer, emerging from the oceans of thought underlying human existence. To Judah , it was a thing of sheer beauty. Digital 1's and 0's wove and surged through the beast's ultra-blue umbra, filled with tiny burst of energy and swirls of electrically-coded thought.
He didn't realize that he was dreaming until the jet touched down on the runway; his head pulled forward with a jerk, and his eyes burst open. Out the oval window were blue blinking runway lights. It was 5:50 AM, Paris time. Yawning, he closed the journal and shook his head in disbelief. The power and clarity of the dream was overwhelming and his nerves were still thoroughly shaken.
Since it was too late in the morning to sleep he drove from the airport to his hotel room merely for the purpose of showering, changing cloths and making a phone call. The hotel was in the Donsoire area of Paris , and provided him with a gorgeous balcony view of the Chonteeloise and the National Museum . He made the call on the balcony, with the cold wind in his hair. Rather than mentioning the Kansas City Mafia by name, he used the code word "dogs"; and instead of Billy Bayber, he said "the sleeper." Many people, now, wanted "the sleeper" dead. Judah didn't, however---not after reading the journal. During the telephone conversation he pleaded with the party on the other end to "call off the dogs."
Somehow Billy Bayber's awareness of Quantum Technologies operations went beyond their quest for the Sorathian prototype; it extended to their earliest experiments. The journal presented a complete history of their operation, down to their early work testing crude 1 Mb model-2 biochips in small rodents and amphibians. One sketch in the journal showed the model-2 protruding awkwardly like a domino from the brain of a white laboratory mouse; the caption underneath the sketch correctly identified the mouse as the first recipient of a neural transistor capable of establishing two-way communication with a brain. The ionic currents emitted by the brain interacted with the transistor and produced an electronic signal that told the laboratory technicians when the mouse wanted food. Essentially all the mouse had to do to receive food was to think of getting food, with the intention of feeding, and this intention would produce an audible signal. Upon hearing the signal the technicians would fill a receptacle with either peanut butter or cheese.
The ability to detect intentions inspired future experiments that sought to translate intention into mechanical motion. When Quantum Technology hired Judah Sabur an experiment was conducted on a dismembered frog that had prosthesis in place of its missing back legs, and a model-3 bio chip implanted into its brain; engineered by Dr. Sabur, the implant was composed of more than 14,000 electronic transistors and nearly a thousand capacitors into a silicon chip 1 cm wide. Although, at the time, it was state-of-the-art, the implant was capable of identifying only 10 different frequencies, which left thousands times that many un-identifiable despite the simplicity of the amphibian brain. Once the technicians isolated the frequency associated with leg movement, they were able to program the implant to send electronic signals to the prosthesis every time this frequency emanated from the brain. Within weeks they had mastered the technology to the extent that the frog was able to swim freely through an underwater tank, using the prosthesis to propel itself through the water. The frog thought of swimming and it was able to swim.
From then on Quantum Technologies essentially provided Sabur with limitless resources to develop ever more advanced neuromorphic technologies. He was given a $10,000/month retainer fee, private space at their prestigious Karl Orff Laboratory, plus the dues he made on commission. In return he provided consultation services and third party oversight on all projects, while being able to practice medicine at KU Medical Center. It was at KU that he performed the first implant-surgery on a human being using algorithms devised to translate brain frequencies into intentions. The patient was an eighteen year old quadriplegic male confined to a wheel chair after a severe auto accident lacerated his spinal column in 10 places. Before the sensors were surgically implanted, the patient was unable to communicate beyond simple gestures made with his head or eyes, and was unable to speak. After the surgery, the sensors allowed a few, very simple neurological intentions to bypass the central nervous system and directly influence the nerves in the right hand. The patient thought of moving his index finger and it moved.
The algorithm, designed by Dr. Judah Sabur, was over 1000 pages long in type-script---very complex and very powerful, consisting in thousands of mathematical formulas entwined together like interlocking webs. Quantum Technologies code-named and later copyrighted the algorithm under the name Sorath and programmed it into all their biochips since June 5, 1998. Sorath served the dual purpose of translating inflowing nerve impulses entering the brain from the five senses, plus the vibration-producing intentions created by the brain. The ability of Sorathian biochips to detect an intention and translate this intention into mechanical motion was proof of the power of artificial intelligence. For the first time in history, artificial arms and legs could be created to operate on the neurological level---powered by thought.
Sensing the enormous profit potential, their technicians worked round the clock at their Paris laboratory in hope of producing a practical, light weight, fully-functioning neuro-prosthesis within 10 years. Profits were estimated to reach into the billions, if the project proved successful. Therefore top neurologists, computer scientists and engineers were hired at obscenely high salaries; Doctor Judah Sabur was given oversight while he worked on offshoot projects designed to test and develop neuro-technologies. Their stated mission was to create a type of neuro-implant device that could be incorporated directly into the brain, instead of working externally upon the brain surface. Tens of millions of dollars were poured into the project at the onset and Dr. Sabur was provided with a 20 person staff.
The difficulty they faced with internal microchips was keeping the neurons and the silicon intact consistently enough to generate a permanent electronic circuit; the neurons kept slipping off the silicon and breaking the connection, or the substrates simply decomposed into the brain fluid. Judah and his staff developed solutions to the problem, but all entailed the use of "glues" and none were powerful enough to sustain the connection while retaining ionic conductivity. The Billy Bayber diary listed hundreds of compounds that were used until Quantum Technologies virtually fell upon the protein they wanted. Using naturally-occurring brain proteins, surgeons managed to permanently join their X2 microchips directly with the neurons of a test mouse. The proteins acted as a kind of glue, chemically binding the semiconductor material with the live brain cells, but also acted as an excellent transmission medium.
Their first test subject for the X2 microchip was a twenty-three year old Parisian woman suffering from heroin addiction, and currently resided at Quantum's Karl Orff Laboratory in Paris .
The woman's head was shaved. Sensors were adhered to her scalp. Then a technician accompanied her into a comfortable living-room environment, furnished with a couch and a lounge chair, and decorated with plants and artwork. A one-way mirror that was hung on the wall allowed those in the observation room to secretly watch the woman. Almost immediately upon her entering the room and sitting on the couch she broke out into blissful crying---a reaction noted by the technician.
The sensors adhered to her skull fed important data into a computer on Dr. Rabsu's side of the one-way mirror. He was standing in an observation room, secretly observing the woman while keeping an eye on the sine wave patterns on the computer monitor. The waves moved harmonically in conjunction with the millions of data-filled coded impulses he remotely streamed into her brain, via the computer, through the X2 implant.
The woman was swaying side to side and humming as if hearing a silent symphony.
"I can see the music," he heard her say through the two way mirror.
"You see music?" the technician in the room with her asked.
"It's streaming from somewhere. Everywhere." She spoke as if in a cloud, saying: "This is trippy."
"You need to be more concise," said the technician in the room.
"It's like a slow dance of golden light in my brain. My brain seems to be every where. Are you creating this music in my head?"
"We're merely generating the illusion of music."
"It sounds totally real! You're actually piping music into my skull, or something?"
The technician wrote on his notepad: Although the frequency has weakened her internalizing capacity, it has strengthened incoming stimuli and intensified her sense of feeling. She thinks she sees music.
The woman was sitting cross legged on the floor, still swaying. He said:
"Earlier, you said classical music represented imperialism. I found that interesting. Do you still hold this belief?"
"Music is music. It's universal."
"Would you prefer something else? We could encode your brain with different types of music, blues, jazz, rap, R and B. . ."
"Whatever, man, whatever. Music is all the same, man. It all comes from the same source. Beethoven. Paul. John. Hendrix. They're all geniuses. They're all connected."
"If everything is relative, then there is no good or bad. Correct?"
"No good or bad?"
"Or right and wrong?"
"Maybe, man. Maybe." Her eyes fell half-shut, as she repeated: "No past or future. All is all. No good or bad."
"Then what about imperialism?"
Her eyes burst open. "If that's your thing!" she said, her eyes showering him in a look of universal innocence. "I'm a free thinker. But we're all brothers and sisters, man. We're all one. You get what I'm saying? I'm open to the brotherhood idea. You do your thing. I'll do mine."
"If everyone did this kind of thing, there would be no wars. There would be no imperialism. We'd all be one happy family."
"Sure. If everyone got stoned, the world be at total peace."
"Yet there probably wouldn't be any civilization."
"If everyone was stoned all the time, there would be no civilization. Everyone would be too happy. Civilization requires tremendous amounts of work."
"What do you mean?" The thought seemed to irritate her, and she stopped swaying.
"Happiness is good, dude! What are you saying? I don't like your vibes, anymore. You can never be too happy. All you need is love, man. Love! Love! Love! Aren't you getting it? Haven't you been alive for the last fifty years? It's about love."
"Fuck your hate!" she yelled.
"I can tell you're getting angry, Ms. Kurtz." He closed his notepad, as if reprimanding her.
"I hate all you fuckers! and your bombs and your guns, and your wars and your borders, destroying nature. . ."
The doctor left her sitting there. In the observation room was Dr. Judah Sabur. He had not moved from the mirror. "Who is this new subject of ours?" Sabur asked, in regard to the woman, whom he gazed upon in concentrated thought.
"Our agents found her at a methadone clinic on Nordinrich Street . She's proving to be an excellent subject."
Her drooping eyes, fixed upon the mirror, regained their look of cosmic benevolence. "Hey you guys," she said as she waved at them, her high, girlish voice coming through the amplification system. "I know you're in there, hiding. Are you talking about me? Huh? Are you analyzing me? tearing apart who I am?" Then in another abrupt change of mood, she assumed a benign and triumphant pose that represented the exaltation of her higher will. Her shaved head covered in probes and wires, she tilted her head back and threw her arms out into the Jesus Christ pose. Yet she screamed: I am the Anti-Christ.