Archive for ECG

Brainspam

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by javedbabar

“Area O has 42% activity. Area M has 12%. Area H has only 4%. Area T has 9%. Area C has 14%. I am using these as the Rest State Benchmarks.”

Martin wasn’t sure that he was meant to hear these remarks, but the door was open and he hadn’t been drugged. It was a young female voice. He wondered what she looked like.

His experience so far was not interesting. After an hour in reception, they’d taken him up or down some levels – the elevator was strange and he wasn’t sure which – and brought him to this room called the ScanLab, where spots of gel, and then electrodes, had been attached to his head. He’d asked them how many; they’d said twelve. He’d sat here for half an hour with nothing happening. It was not a great way to spend a day, but he was getting paid a hundred bucks for two hours work, so who cares.

A tall lady with dark hair and brown glasses came in and said, “Hello, I’m Joyce, your researcher.”

“My researcher?” he said. Maybe she looked tall because he was lying down.

“Sorry, I mean the researcher. Thank you for agreeing to this. It took longer than expected to set things up, so we’re a bit behind. You can leave after two hours if you wish to. But if we need to keep you longer, and it’s okay with you, we’ll give you an additional hundred dollars per hour. How does that sound?”

“Keep me all day if you want!” This wasn’t a bad gig.

“Wonderful. Let’s begin.” She adjusted her glasses. “We want to show you some items and record your responses. That’s it.”

“And I presume you’ve wired me up for a reason?”

“Yes indeed. As well as your conscious behaviour, we would also like to test your unconscious behaviour. You don’t need to be sleeping for this; we just need to know what’s happening in your mind.”

Martin would have liked to see too, but the monitor was in the room next door. He wasn’t getting paid fifty bucks an hour, going up to a hundred for overtime, for watching TV.

Joyce passed him a card bearing mathematical symbols, which he realized were Greek letters. He noted Alpha, Beta, Theta, Gamma and Pi, but couldn’t make out any larger meaning.

From the other room he heard, “Look – Area T has hit 38% here.”

“What is this?” said Martin.

“It’s some early advertising. A lost and found poster from Ancient Greece. Can you make any sense of it?” He said he couldn’t.

She passed him another card, with hieroglyphs. He recognized the Ankh and Eye of Horus; palm trees, people and animals were easy; the blue curls must be water.

He heard, “Area C now, look… 48%.”

Joyce said, “This is a home rental ad from Ancient Egypt.” Martin raised his eyebrows. She continued, “Beautifully laid out, isn’t it?”

Before he could answer, she passed him a third card bearing Indian letters. He’d seen similar script on people’s tattoos. He recognized the curly 3-like letter as an OM sign, but that was it. He heard, “Area O is 68% and Area M is 34%. Area H is minus four.”

Joyce said, “These are personal ads from Ancient India – families advertising for marriage partners for their daughters. They were way ahead of us in dating!”

“Now try this one,” she said, pushing a fourth card towards him. It held Chinese letters, none of which he recognized, but which for some reason gave him a sense of great wellbeing.

“Woh!” he heard from the next room. “Area H is 100%! All other Areas are high!”

Joyce looked up suddenly. She’d lost her cool.

“What was that card?” he asked.

She hesitated and looked at the mirror, and then at him. “A poster for medicine from 3000 BC China.” She pulled out some other cards. “Now please look at these.”

There was a tortoise.

There was the sun.

There was the ocean.

There was gold.

His sense of wellbeing remained. That Chinese medicine must be a strong one. The images were harmonious, and all of long-living or imperishable things.

There was excited conversation in the room next door. A man said, “Is that it? Have we found the leverage point?”

Another man said, “That’s it! We’ll check the relevance of his surrounding content, and traffic received, but I think we’ve got it. Area H, the Hypothalamus, fully engaged with the Elixir of Life poster. That shows we can directly control biological functions with archetypal advertising. Prepare the Brainspam.”

When Martin went home he felt very different. Everything was wonderful, and would remain so as long as he kept taking his medicine.

HEARTH

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by javedbabar

Amy and David were excited by their new HEARTH home. An enhanced home had always seemed out of reach, so when they heard about “50% OFF” this January – making it as cheap as a regular home – they jumped at the chance.

They knew that they were the man and woman of each other’s dreams, and their next step was making a home together. But everything was so expensive – how could young people afford anything these days? Well they could if they were happy to live in debt for 30 years. David said that they shouldn’t have a mortgage. He invoked the symbolism of Jesus upturning the money changers’ tables at the Temple. People didn’t realize that everyone borrowing money simply meant that everyone had more money available, and supply and demand – basic economics – ensured that prices went up. So ultimately, borrowing money was worthless. In fact, with inflation, it was less than worthless.

They used their savings to buy a plot of land, and lived in an RV there for three years. Their house fund built up quickly, and they were set to self-build, so visited the Ideal Home Show for ideas. That’s where they saw the HEARTH home.

“Darling, let’s go in there,” Amy had said. “I like the look of it.”

“Doesn’t that one look better?” said David, pointing to a glassy structure with pronounced, angled timbers, which gave the effect of ascending and expanding.

“It looks like the Transparent Temple’s unwanted child.” said Amy. “You know what happened to the budget of our beloved community centre. Let’s not go there.”

“I just don’t see the attraction?” said David. “It looks like a shiny black box to me; hardly West Coast architecture.”

“Darling, I’m drawn to it,” said Amy. “Can we go see?”

They were dazzled by their walk around the HEARTH home, and booked a full demo at the City factory, which was followed by a bubbly sales lunch. This was where the salesman had mentioned the “50% OFF” promotion for “selected customers” like them. The only condition was that they had to choose from an existing model. They were allowed minor modifications, but no structural changes, or they would be back to “50% ON”.

Amy and David were the first people in the Village to own a HEARTH home. They required a month to lay the foundations and get utilities primed. The HEARTH home was delivered on the Monday after. Its components came on four tractor trailers, and the eight-man construction crew completed it by Friday.

They were told to stay out for the weekend to allow adhesives, paints, and varnishes to cure. The HEARTH home would require a further month of commissioning, giving time for the structure to settle. “There will be thumps, cracks, snaps, creaks, ooh’s and aah’s,” said the salesman by video call. “The house needs to get to know you. It needs to understand your physical movements, and your personal behaviour. Our structural work is the easy part. It is the house that does all the hard work.” He beamed hugely. So many teeth, thought Amy. “It is filled with components that you’ll never see – there are heat, sound, respiration, odour, electromagnetic, and tension sensors, plus as a bonus to my favourite customers I’ve authorized ECG and EEG feedback loops, that pick up your heartbeats and thoughts, which become the house’s heartbeat and thoughts. Can you hear them?”

“The sensors pick up our thoughts?” said David. “How do they do that?”

“I don’t understand the details myself,” said the salesman. “Only the principles. Once your personal pattern is established, the house identifies key emotional stages of your desired outcome, and then works through them progressively. It’s all very subtle though, very natural. You won’t even know. In Ancient Persia, every house had a hearth at its centre, a holy place for offering sacrifices and prayers. This is what we have recreated in this modern house. You are its hearth.”

Even within its first few days, the house functioned beautifully. Rooms lit up as they approached them; just the right music played; beautiful fragrances created delight; micro-cleaners didn’t allow a speck of dust or a stain to remain; the water’s temperature was perfect always, both in the kitchen sink and in the bath. The HEARTH home ensured that their dinners were awesome, their conversations sublime, their yoga divine, their work productive, and their sex out of this world.

The HEARTH home never got in their way. It took them to where they wanted to be, and left them to continue alone. “Darling, this is perfect,” said Amy. “This is how I wanted our life to be.”

“I guess you were right about the house,” said David. “It’s helped us to become more ourselves.” He kissed her passionately, causing classical guitars to play, and roses to scent the room. “Our neighbour’s houses have taken over their lives. They live for their houses. They spend their weeks working to pay their mortgage, and their weekends scrubbing and fixing them. Here we can just be ourselves.”

But one day they had a silly argument about cheese. Amy said that it was still alive, and David said it wasn’t. And because it was a silly argument, the house didn’t know how to behave. Rather than reason, its response was passion. Red colours flashed, whisky smells filled room corners, rap music thumped harder, the air became hotter and steamier, and chilli tastes heightened their emotional disharmony into physical distress. Amy grabbed the cutlery nearby. The HEARTH house played The Ride of the Valkyries, and she became a winged maiden choosing slain warriors. “God help us!” cried David. Both his and their home’s heartbeats stopped together.