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When NASA's Former Supercomputer Tripped on DMT
    #18569539 - 07/17/13 02:20 AM (7 years, 6 months ago)

It lasted a mere ten minutes.

Compared to the notoriously brief, if intense rush of a dimethyltryptamine trip, which will blast your brain from zero to infinity-and-beyond in as little as a half hour, 600 seconds might not seem like much of anything. But for Ralph Abraham, those ten minutes closed the circle of a yearslong, globe-spanning exploration of the relationship between computing, mathematics, and the logos, a realer than real, hyper-dimensional wellspring of insight, knowledge, and awe-inspiring beauty that the late psychonaut Terence McKenna called "the transcendent other."

It was 1989, two years before NASA decided to pull the plug on the Massively Parallel Processor, a short-lived supercomputer built by Goodyear Aerospace that was housed at the Goddard Space Flight Center. By that point, Abraham, who heads up the Visual Math Institute Chaos Lab at the University of California - Santa Cruz, had for decades been at the forefront of vibration studies (cymatics), chaos theory, and the computer and computer-graphics revolutions. To hear him tell it, these fields, among many others, were built on distinctly psychedelic foundations that were forged in the heady air of 1960s California. And they likewise ran alongside Abraham's own dabbling with both macro and sub-perceptual (mico) doses of various entheogenic drugs, specifically LSD and DMT.

The latter of which Abraham finds far and away more profound than acid, so much so that he'd model a memory of a DMT trip using CD, or cellular dynamata, an innovation of his suited for helping us understand why we see what we see when we tripping on psychedelics. In his words:

    They [CD] are an especially appropriate mathematical object for modeling and trying to understand the brain, the mind, the visionary experience and so on... Eventually, we were able to construct machines in Santa Cruz which could simulate these mathematical models I call CDs at a reasonable speed, first slowly, and then faster and faster.

When Abraham got an invite from "the only person able to program" something like a visual cortex CD model into the Massively Parallel Processor, then the world's fastest computer, he knew what he had to do.

Despite a somewhat forboding name and its racks upon racks of servers, the thinking behind the MPP was actually quite simple.

As with any parallel computer, the MPP was a tool used for breaking what's known as the von Neumann bottleneck. Which is to say, it chopped up computing tasks into a bunch of tiny pieces before solving each piece in parallel, and then compiling the results into a unified end. Think of it as the difference between, say, a single human manually digging a trench with a shovel and, in the MPP's case, a team of upwards of 16,000 workers, each wielding his own shovel, simultaneously performing the same task.

This sort of task management "was especially important for computers that processed images," notes Paul Ceruzzi of the National Air and Space Museum's Division of Space History, "which consist of thousands of picture elements, or 'pixels,' each of which needs to be manipulated, but each of which also bears a close relationship to its immediate neighbors."

Abraham knew as much, and in ongoing pursuit of the logos took up what in hindsight was a rare greenlight to take a supercomputer the likes of the MPP to new heights. (McKenna, a close friend of Abraham's, did not join him. But go here to listen to the two discussing the internet and the web back in 1998.) Seated at its terminal, Abraham was able to manipulate a bank of control knobs as he saw fit.

Gazing into the MPP's color screen, Abraham recalls (pdf), "was like looking through the window at the future, and seeing an excellent memory of a DMT vision, not only proceeding apace on the screen, but also going about 100 times faster than a human experience." 

The film, apropriately titled "Cellular Dynamata #1, Rev. 2," is available for viewing, but you'll have to pay to check it out. If stewing on that decision takes you ten minutes, don't trip.

Read more: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/when-nasas-former-supercomputer-tripped-on-dmt#ixzz2ZHUWe8op

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Re: When NASA's Former Supercomputer Tripped on DMT [Re: BlackWidow] * 1
    #18569691 - 07/17/13 03:09 AM (7 years, 6 months ago)

no way am i sending money electronically to view a dmt trip.

anybody got the pirated version?

I'm pullin' steel wires out of my eyes
they're 20 miles long tangled up with my all insides

DieCommie said:
cut off her nose to spider face

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Re: When NASA's Former Supercomputer Tripped on DMT [Re: jack_straw2208]
    #18570209 - 07/17/13 09:18 AM (7 years, 6 months ago)

3D print it!

Species List (Georgia): Psilocybe caerulescens/weilii, Psilocybe atlantis/galindoi, Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, Psilocybe caerulipes, Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe fagicola, Copelandia cyanescens, Panaeolus cinctulus, Panaeolus fimicola, Panaeolus olivaceus, Gymnopilus luteofolius, Gymnopilus aeruginosus, Gymnopilus junonius, Pluteus salicinus

(Ohio): Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, Psilocybe caerulipes, Pluteus cyanopus, Pluteus salicinus sensu lato..., Panaeolus cinctulus, Gymnopilus luteus, Gymnopilus luteofolius, Gymnopilus junonius, Gymnopilus aeruginosus

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Re: When NASA's Former Supercomputer Tripped on DMT [Re: jack_straw2208]
    #18571970 - 07/17/13 05:22 PM (7 years, 6 months ago)


jack_straw2208 said:
no way am i sending money electronically to view a dmt trip.

anybody got the pirated version?

I can't even tell you on how many levels this is dumb. (The situation, not your comment.)  Well, actually, maybe I can:

Being curious, I go to the article linked in the OP. Which of course ends with "but you'll have to pay to check it out."  "Check it out" is a link to this page:  http://www.ralph-abraham.org/video/

Which is titled at the top "Videotapes by Ralph Abraham."  Wait...what the fuck? Videotapes? Are you fucking with me? No one uses video tapes anymore. Well, almost no one.

Second, this page merely lists titles, for the most part. No prices, no "buy now," etc. But there is a link at the top saying "...may be purchased from Aerial Press" with a link to here:  http://www.aerialpress.com/

That is the "Aerial Press Current Catalog."  Perhaps I'm blind. Perhaps it's well hidden. Perhaps someone is just fucking with us. But I don't see any mention of this ten minute video that you have to pay for, anywhere on this page.

The fuck?

I am me. We are You.

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Re: When NASA's Former Supercomputer Tripped on DMT [Re: Hashfinger]
    #18571984 - 07/17/13 05:24 PM (7 years, 6 months ago)

Saving for later but this is pretty cool

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