The Diagonal Relationship 10, 1979
Alas, I have noted that in my letter in DR 9 I use the word "numismatic" where I meant "numinous." I guess all that fucking dope has finally fucked up my head.
Oh, well, even Homer nodded; jeder macht ein kleine dummheit; and the function of our mistakes is to remind us that humility is endless.
Do you realize that almost everybody is a member of a minority now? The Civil Rights Commission, which investigates complaints of discrimination, said in a recent news story that 86% of the population can have their complaints investigated since they belong to one minority or another.
Actually, since women are 51% of the population, and Gays are estimated between 12% and 37% (depending on whose figures you believe), and Blacks are around 11%, I'm surprised that only 86% of the population qualify as minorities. There are also Jews, Chicanos, Buddhists, atheists, Orientals, eighty dozen unpopular religious sects, Arabs, etc., etc. On second thought, I'm sure the 14% who don't presently qualify as minorities would qualify if the bureaucrats looked into the matter more closely.
Concerning your debate with Tony Parker about robots: I suggest that it is amusing and profitable to regard all of us as robots. Some of our programs are hard-wired via genetics. Others are softer and more flexible, since they are due to imprinting or conditioning. Conditioning, of course, is softer than imprinting.
Obviously, if this metaphor is accepted, we are presently in the process of derobotizing ourselves, becoming self-programmers or even metaprogrammers in Lilly's sense. We began to learn deconditioning with Pavlov and have learned more from Skinner, Wolpe, and Co. We learned, or some of us learned, reimprinting from the psychedelic revolution. Current work on genetics opens the possibility of rewriting the genetic Code and really becoming free masons, cocreators of our destiny.
If this is plausible, then any use of such sciences for other purposes, i.e., for more efficient conditioning, for more rigid imprinting, for the production of genetic drones, etc., is part of the general trend to increase our robothood.
Moral: Today is the first day of the rest of history. Are we becoming more efficient self-programmers or are we drifting along in our old programs or passively allowing the many skilled Head Mechanics around to program us into their trips?
Which brings me to Buck Coulson's question in DR 9: What do we do with all the dumb people? As a libertarian, I find the only acceptable answer is: give them a chance to get smart. Fortunately, the chance to get smart is becoming more pragmatic and operational. The current OMNI has an article about intelligence-raising drugs already known; the majority of psychopharmacological researchers, in the latest McGraw-Hill poll of expected breakthroughs, believe the intelligence-raising drug industry will be in full flower by the 1990s.
In passing, quietly as it were, I might mention that this subject, and my previous remarks on self-programming, and the general H.E.A.D. Revolution (Hedonic Engineering And Development--using the brain for fun and profit) are the main themes of my next book, The Illuminati Papers, to be published by And/Or Press in December. End of advertisement
What about those who won't nohow noway never do nothing to increase their intelligence?
Perhaps they will be seduced by the general trend toward brightness that I foresee in the next two decades. After all, intelligence is the most powerful of all known aphrodisiacs...