(speculative) Consciousness, TEMPEST, and Video Games

I haven’t done the math to determine whether this is actually possible, so consider it speculation. Nevertheless–

In yesterday’s linked profile of Greenwald, Miranda, and Snowden, it’s fascinating to see that both Miranda (who inspired Greenwald’s aggressive entry into journalism) and Snowden derived their ethical systems… from long hours spent playing video games.

What happens when you play video games?

I would argue that the intense focus that occurs is a powerful form of monoideism… in other words, that the player goes into a hypnotic trance in order to perceive the on-screen world as reality, if only for the moment.

We’ve known for a long time that trance states — particularly monoideic ones — do not just render the mind much more amenable to change. They render the brain more sensitive to subtle influences.

One highly respected Polish psychologist and engineer named Julian Ochorowicz, writing 120 years ago, went so far as theorize trance states made it possible to pick up electromagnetic waves emitted by others’ nerves… and catalogued scores of experiments showing precisely this. [1]

In a similar fashion, a great deal of Dr. Persinger’s work has been focused on the brain’s sensitivity to extremely weak magnetic fields. He has even developed over several papers a theory that the human brain stores information in the Earth’s magnetic field, and that this is the basis for some of the phenomena previously unexplained by science.

Now, let’s think about how digital computers — desktops and video game systems alike — work.

A digital signal is inherently broadband. Depending on the clock speed, digital signals can have rise times approaching what was once considered the UWB domain.

Anyone who’s tried to mix digital and analog circuitry on the same board will understand… digital signals are an *incredible pain* to shield, they get into everything!

But, there’s more. More or less every consumer digital system these days uses DRAM for memory. In DRAM, tiny capacitors are rapidly charged and discharged in order to store data. This charging and discharging happens with a dV/dT measured in volts per nanosecond [2].

Remember your Maxwell’s equations? The displacement current of charging and discharging a capacitor generates a magnetic field that increases with dV/dT. What’s more, both Lord Kelvin[3] and Nikola Tesla — and maybe experimenters long before them too — showed that rapidly charging and discharging a capacitor produces a mostly unknown form of radiation normal to the capacitor plates.

This largely unknown radiation has the unique property that it completely ignores metal shielding, and probably any other kind too.

Unfortunately, it only appears in “impulse” charging situations. Living as we do in a world where too-broadband equals interference, it hasn’t been well studied ever since Hertz created narrowband radio. Nevertheless, this property has huge implications for compromising emissions (TEMPEST) attacks.

Getting back to our original topic, there are now many different ways that the electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic radiation emitted by a computer or video game system can affect the brain. And, significant evidence that the brain is particularly capable of picking up at least the magnetic component.

(And the structure of the nerves suggest they could be affected by Kelvin’s waves too, but nobody’s studied that. It’s just my speculation given that Flanagan incorporated precisely these waves into his allegedly consciousness-affecting Neurophone.)

Okay. So what are the implications?

Well, I’ve cited already articles noting that “baked in” to computers is a certain “gotta collect it all” ideology, dating back to Turing and the inception of the computer as a signals intelligence aid.

Persinger and McLuhan both indicate that on one hand, all our technology forms an “information field” through which communication may be possible — and on the other, that “secrecy is impossible at electric speed.”

Going even further into the realm of pure speculation,,, We can imagine that spending a lot of time in a monoideic trance, while tuned in to this “information field,” might have some consequences… like perhaps rendering the brain much more sensitive to the phenomena.

What happens when you link many minds together on the unconscious level, whether by an “information field” or any other means? The science fiction types will tell you — you get a collective consciousness.

But, since the linking here occurs through the filter of technology… one that was mastered by shadowy agencies long before it was first sold to the public… I have to wonder if there wouldn’t be unexpected and unforeseen aspects.

[1] https://archive.org/details/cu31924028953721

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_random_access_memory#Memory_timing

[3] https://archive.org/details/philtrans02950234

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