Our Third Eye

The casual click of the mouse, the undetected electric currents racing through cyberspace, hosts of random images, image hallucinations (you think it, you see it), cyber-talk, surrealism, reality augmentation and controlled phantasmic experiences.  

If ever a mysterious brainchild has come along in the most recent years, the internet is that one.  The computer with the accompaniment of the massive, exploratory web of the Internet, this hyperreality begins to look like some other kind of exploration.  Generally used to augment human intelligence and explore the realm beyond the palpable world,  LSD seems to be an inspiration of the kind of experiences we have on computers when perusing the Internet.  In the 60’s, during the time when LSD had made its famous appearance, computers were also being birthed in the minds of creative entrepreneurs.  Silicon Valley and the psychedelic culture of the West Coast undeniably connected.  But whether the coupling of the two had a serious impact on the other is entirely debatable.

Steve Jobs was a present character during the counter-culture movement between the sixties and seventies.  He has been attributed to taking LSD to relieve certain anxiety he was experiencing in his youth.  His anxiety and later treatment with recreational LSD was a pursuit of peace, clear vision and a kind of transcendance that may have set off his vision to invent remarkable computers, tablets and other magic machines that have now become a part of our comfortable existence.  Our interactions on an Apple product (or most computing products as of now) and the Internet are a kind of intellectual transcendence.  This magical happening is what I imagine Jobs having hoped for.  Even Vint Cerf, accredited as being one of the fathers of the Internet, has talked about his experience with science fiction as a door to dwell and muse on ideas that weren’t quite possible at the moment but were certainly probable in the future.  Interacting with new, unexplored ideas sounds very much like the effect LSD would have had on Jobs’ imagination.  In fact, he is even quoted as saying that taking LSD was one of the top three things he had done in life that he did not regret.  So it becomes clear, that Jobs did hold his treatment with psychotropics as being influential and worthy as a muse.

The beatniks especially celebrated and embraced the use of psychedelics.  The list of popular faces experimenting, writing and creating during the peak of LSD experimentation are colossal.  The drug certainly allowed people to be uninhibited in some form.  Maybe that kind of uninhibited clarity was the kind of painless window Jobs needed to see into the future of computing.

 

Though Jobs may have or may have not been immediately inspired by LSD, the reality of him having treated himself during his days of creative stewing for Apple ideas is undeniable.  It seems that it would have had some effect on the creations.

But stepping back to the beginning, even LSD as a transporter and an inciter of hallucinations has a striking similarity to the faces of the computers we casually interact with day in and day out.  With computers, we can retrieve any information or media file before our eyes just by the mere thought of it.  A simple type into Google and voila! our consciousness (with the assistance of the computer) is able to produce kinds of hallucinations on the screens that we have never had access to without the aid of the electronic third eye.  The computer as an electronic third eye is an augmentation to human consciousness, human intellect and human development.  And when effectively used, it can enlighten the mind beyond imaginable lengths.

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