From: Gordon Mohr (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 23:40:36 PST
Matt Jensen writes:
> On Tue, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:18:49AM +0000, Tony Finch wrote:
> > Neal Stephenson wasn't the first author to use that idea -- I think it
> > dates back to an 80s short story who's name and author I can't
> > remember right now and my books are 6000 miles away.
> If the trigger pattern can be aural rather than visual, how about Arthur
> C. Clarke's 1956 short story, "The Ultimate Melody"? That blew my mind
> when I was a kid. The connection to Snow Crash has been noted by
And wasn't there a Monty Python skit about a joke developed by the British
Army during WW2 that was so funny that it killed anyone who heard it in
its entirety, including some of the initial researchers and translators?
> But I also stumbled across this course description:
> "THE CULTURAL HISTORY OF CYBERSPACE (graduate course)
> The thesis of this course is that the history of cyberspace reaches back,
> not to 1984, when William Gibson coined the word, nor to when ARPANET
> first came online in 1968, nor even to 1945, when ENIAC's tubes first
> heated up, but rather to the 4th century B.C., when Socrates was
> discoursing on Ideal Forms. Indeed, it can go earlier than that: the
> tropes of bodilessness, abstraction, modeling, and immortality that so
> characterize cyberspace today can be found in the Gilgamesh legend of 3000
> B.C. " 
Hmm. I read 'Snow Crash' years ago. I just heard about the "Bicameral Mind"
theory of consciousness  in the last few months.
I hadn't connected the two until seeing your forwarded course description,
which reminded me that both 'Snow Crash' and 'Bicameral Mind' posit a
major change in language/consciousness about 4-5K years ago.
Turns out the connection is not a coincidence; a paper written in
1992 says "Stephenson wrote Snow Crash partly under the sway of Edward
Jayne's The Orgins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral
Don't anyone try to use my latent bicameral mind against me, with
metaviruses, hypnosis, or even an advertising jingle!
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