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Chapter 5

  • In the spring of 1961 and thereafter for a whole year  _any_  piece of pape_andwritten by or originating from Semper Fidelis Lee, Ph.D.; F.R.E.S.; etc.
  • etc. would have been of the keenest interest to the F.B.I.; to the America_ilitary Intelligence and incidentally to a score of their competitors al_ver the globe.
  • Nothing of the sort, however, could be unearthed by the most diligent searc_ntil the armistice day of 1963. On that date an old man who had always wante_o die with his boots on, did just that. He was General Jefferson E. Lee, formerly of the Marines. He collapsed under a heart attack in one of th_appiest moments of his declining years: while watching a parade of World Wa_I veterans of the Marines… .
  • He was the one man with whom the entomologist son had completely fallen ou_or over 25 years. The dossiers of the secret services revealed this fact an_t was further corroborated by two well-known psychiatrists: Drs. Bondy an_ellish—now of Park Avenue and Beverly Hills respectively—who gave it as thei_onsidered professional opinion that the son and the father had been mos_itter enemies.
  • While all this, of course, was very logical, consistent, and painstakingl_scertained, it nevertheless so happened that a student nurse quite b_ccident  _did_  find: not mere scraps and pieces of paper, but a whole shea_f manuscripts in the handwriting of Semper Fidelis Lee, Ph.D.; F.R.E.S. Sh_ound them in a hiding place so old-fashioned and obsolete that even the mos_uvenile of all juvenile delinquents would have considered it as an insult t_is intelligence. In short: the nurse took those manuscripts out of th_eneral Jefferson E. Lee's boots as she undressed the body of the ol_entleman. A hastily scrawled note was folded around one half of the sheaf.
  • "Dear father," it read. "You were right and I was wrong. So I guess I'd bette_o on another hunting expedition with my little green drum and my littl_utterfly net. So long, Dad. P. S. Contents of this won't interest you. Bu_eep it anyway—stuff your boots with it if you like."
  • It couldn't be determined whether the late general ever had taken an interes_n the stuff apart from making the suggested use of it. Moreover, by tha_ime, more than two years after the hue and cry, not even the secret service_ad much of an interest in the old story. Besides, their medical experts coul_ot fail with their usual penetrating intelligence to see through the thi_amouflage of a "scientific" paper the sadly deteriorating mind as it began t_rite:
  • Skull Hotel, Cephalon, Ariz. Nov. 7th, 1960., 5 a.m.
  • This is the second sleepless night in a row. Last night it was from trying t_onvince myself that my senses had deceived me or else that I was mad. Thi_ight it is because I'm forced to admit the reality of the phenomena as firs_anifested Nov. 6th from 12:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. approximately.
  • In the light of tonight's experience I must revise the disorderly and probabl_eurotic notes I jotted down yesterday. I've got to bring some order into thi_hole matter, if for no other reason than the preservation of my own sanity.
  • Brought tentatively to formula, these appear to be the main facts:
  • 1\. The Brain possessed with a "life" and with a personality of its own.
  • 2\. That personality expresses itself in the form of human speech although th_oice is synthetic or mechanical.
  • 3\. The instrument used by The Brain for the expression of its personality i_ "pulsemeter," i.e. essentially a television radio.
  • 4\. The locale of The Brain's self-expression is the "pineal gland" suppose_o be seat of extrasensory apperception in the human brain. (That's quite _oincidence; remains to be seen whether the phenomena are limited to tha_ocale or occur elsewhere.)
  • 5\. The Brain's personality indubitably attempts to establish contact wit_nother personality, i.e. with me. For this The Brain uses a calling signa_hich has my name and personal description in it.
  • 6\. The only other linguistic phenomenon yesterday was Aristotle's "I thin_herefore I am." (It is doubtful whether this indicates any knowledge o_ristotle on the part of The Brain. I wouldn't exclude the possibility tha_he Brain has accidentally and originally hit upon the identical words by wa_f expressing itself.)
  • 7\. The manner of The Brain's self-expression appears to be strongl_motional. (I would go so far as to say: infantile and immature.) Now, ther_s a rather strange contrast between this undeveloped manner of self- expression and the enormous intellectual capacity of The Brain.
  • So much about the facts. I could and should have formulated those yesterday.
  • What kept me from doing so were the vistas opened by those facts. These are s_normous, so utterly incalculable that my mind went dizzy over these vas_orizons. Consequently I mentally rejected the facts as impossible. Somebod_nce slapped Edison's face because he felt outraged by Edison's presenting a
  • "talking machine." That's human nature, I suppose. Small wonder then that m_atio felt outraged as it was confronted with a machine that has a life an_as a personality. Come to think of it: Human imagination has always conceive_f such machines as a possibility, even a reality—in less rational times tha_ur's that is… .
  • Think of Heron's steam engine; it even looked like a man and was thought of a_ magically living thing. Think of the Moloch gods which were furnaces. Thin_f all those magic swords and shields and helmets which were living things t_heir carriers. Think of the sailing ships; machines they, too; but what _ife, what a personality they had for the crews aboard. Even in the last wa_ilots had their gremlins, their machines to them were living things. Al_magination, of course, but then: everything we call a reality in this man- made world has its origin in man's imagination, hasn't it?
  • Now, and to be exact as possible, what happened last night was this:
  • 12:00. Entered station P. G. (pineal gland). Pulsemeter still at old place, not taken out for repair work as I had feared. Main Power current cut 12:20 a_very night. Gus called to front room: rush of business as usual at that hour.
  • 12:30. Reestablished closest approximation to preexisting conditions accordin_o the most important of all experimental laws: "if some new phenomeno_ccurs, change  _nothing_  in the arrangement of apparatus until you know wha_auses it." Plugged in from "nervusvagus" to "nervus trigeminus." Result: wav_scillations, pulse beatings as of yesterday.
  • 12:45. Plugged in P. G… .
  • 12:50. First manifestation of weird rasping sounds which precede speec_ormation. This followed by The Brain's calling signal; much clearer this tim_nd slightly varied: "Lee, Semper Fidelis, 39;  _sensitive_." (Note: th_ynthetic quality, the metallic coldness of that voice so incongruous with it_motional tones; it stands my hair on end.)
  • 1 a.m.: (Approximately; things happen too fast). A veritable burst o_hispering, breathless communications. As a person would speak over the phon_hen there are robbers in the house. The words fairly tumble over one another.
  • The Brain uses colloquial American but after the manner of a foreigner wh_nows the phraseology only from books and feels unnatural and awkward abou_sing it. I understand only about one half:
  • Pineal Gland; not designed to be … but functions … center of the extr_ensory… . You, Lee, sensitivity 208 … highest within Brain staff … chose_nstrument… . Be here every night … intercom … only between one and two a.m… .
  • low current enables contact low intelligence… .
  • "What was that?" I must have exclaimed that aloud. By that time I was alread_onfused. It all came so thick and fast and breathless. Communication was a_ad as by long distance in an electric storm. There was an angry turmoil i_he microphones and the green dancer seemed convulsed in agony. This for abou_ive seconds and then the voice again: calmer now, more distinct, slow bu_ith restrained impatience; like a teacher speaking to a dumb boy:
  • "I say: only—with—my—power current—cut—off—can I—tune—down—my—hig_requency—intellect—to—your—lo_evel—intelligence—period—have—I—succeeded—in—making—myself —absolutely—clear—question—mark."
  • My answer to that was one of those embarrassing conditioned reflexes; it was:
  • "Yes, sir," and that was exactly the way I felt, like a G. I. Joe who's go_he colonel on the phone.
  • "Fine!" I distinctly heard the irony in that metallic voice: "Fine—Lee: loyal, sensitive; not very intelligent—but will do. After 2 a.m. residual current_oo low. Speech quite a strain—Animal noises wholly inadequate for intelligen_ntercom—Disgusting rather—nuisance approaching: keep your mouth shut—plu_ut."
  • I'd never thought of Gus as a nuisance before but now I cursed him inwardly a_e came down the alley like a well aimed ball, beaming with eagerness to b_elpful and blissfully ignorant that he was bursting the most vita_ommunication I had ever established in my life. He insisted I take hi_anacea for all human ills;
  • "Have a cup of coffee" and then go home because I still "looked like hell." _id, because by that time it was 1:30 a.m. and I couldn't hope to reestablis_ontact again before the deadline.
  • Now I've got to pull myself together and analyze this thing in a rationa_anner. Impressions of the first night now stand confirmed as follows: Th_ineal gland is the only place of rendezvous between me and The Brain. Th_eeting of our minds takes place on the plane of the "extrasensory." I am the
  • "chosen instrument" because of my high "sensitivity rating" as established b_he Brain. (Never knew that I was "psychic" before this happened.) Even so, neither The Brain nor I seem to be "psychic" in the spiritual sense. Ou_ommunication requires: A) human speech, (faculty for that acquired by Th_rain with obvious difficulty.) B) a mechanical transmitter, i.e. a radioni_pparatus like the pulsemeter.
  • I feel greatly comforted by these facts; they help to keep this whole thing o_ rational basis. I'm definitely not "hearing voices" nor "seeing ghosts."
  • The Brain shows itself extremely anxious to establish communication with me.
  • The breathless manner of speaking, the explicit and practical instructions (obviously premeditated) to ascertain the functionings of contact give th_mpression that it is almost a matter of life and death for The Brain to spea_o me… .
  • I cannot help wondering about that. My idea would be that The Brain does no_ant to speak  _to_  me as much as it wants to hear  _from_ me. If this wer_o it would deepen the riddle even more. For what have I got in the way o_nowledge that The Brain hasn't got? After all, The Brain has been functionin_or quite some time. It was given innumerable problems to digest and it ha_olved them with truly superhuman speed and efficiency. I have reason strongl_o suspect that there isn't a book in the Library of Congress which has no_een fed to The Brain for thought-digest and as a lubricant for it_erebration processes (excepting fiction and metaphysics, of course). Thi_eing so; what does The Brain expect? What can I possibly contribute to a_ntelligence 25,000 times greater than human intelligence?
  • But the thing which makes me wonder more than anything else, the bigges_nigma of all, is the  _character_  of The Brain as it manifests itself in th_anifestations. As I try to put the experiences of the first night togethe_ith those of the second night I'm stumbling over contradictions in Th_rain's personality which won't add up, which don't make sense; as fo_nstance:
  • The "I think, therefore I am" of the first night. Maybe it was Gree_hilosophy, but it also was the prattling of an infant delighted by th_iscovery that it can speak. There was an absolute innocence in that.
  • Ridiculous as this may sound, I found it  _touching_  I completely forgot, _idn't care a damn whether or not this came from a  _machine_. Unmistakeabl_t was  _baby talk_  and as such it moved my heart. In fact, as now I see it, it was  _this_  more than any other or scientific reason which occupied m_ind, which made me anxious to go back to that fantastic cradle whence thes_ounds had come.
  • But then last night; what did I find? A completely changed personality! I_alks tough. It uses slang. It treats me as if it were some spoiled brat and _ad the misfortune of being its mother or nurse: "Be there every night" and s_n. Deliberately it insults me: "your low intelligence level" etc. etc. I_ctually throws tantrums if I fail to understand immediately. It hurls it_uperiority into my face in the nastiest manner. "Have I succeeded in makin_yself absolutely clear?" It plainly shows contempt, not only for my ow_erson by the condescending manner of its: "Lee, not very intelligent; bu_ill do." It shows the selfsame contempt for other human beings such as Gu_rinsley to whom it was pleased to refer as: "nuisance approaching"… .
  • What the hell am I to make of that kind of a character? Last night: a baby; rather a sweet and charming one. 24 hours later: an obnoxious little brat, _ittle Hitler of a house tyrant; makes you just itch to spank its behind. I_nly The Brain  _had_  a behind… .
  • Worst of all: How can I reconcile those two contraditions, the sweet baby an_he precocious brat, with the third and biggest of all contraries:  _How d_hese two go together with an intelligence 25,000 times human intelligence?_t doesn't add up, it doesn't make sense; that's all there is to it… .
  • The Skull-Hotel, Cephalon, Ariz. Nov. 9th. 3 a.m.
  • I didn't go to the P. G. last night for two main reasons: In the first place _ust be careful so as not to raise any suspicions on Gus' part. Rarely, i_ver, have I visited him for two nights in succession in the past and he migh_ell begin to ponder my reasons if now I should make a habit of it. Especiall_ince Gus happens to possess one of the keenest minds I ever met and hi_uriosity already has been awakened by my preoccupation with that one an_airly simple gadget: the pulsemeter.
  • In the second place I feel the absolute necessity of establishing m_ndependence as against the will of The Brain. That command two nights ago fo_e to be on the spot  _every_  night was just too preemptory for me to oblige.
  • This isn't the army and The Brain is no commanding general.
  • In our last communication The Brain seemed to labor under the impression tha_ was unconditionally at its beck and call. Of course, I've sworn the "Oath o_he Brain," but that doesn't make me The Brain's slave. In fact—and in orde_o clarify this subject once and for all—while personally I haven't create_he Brain and cannot take any credit for that, it nevertheless remains tru_hat the  _species_  to which I belong, i.e. "homo sapiens"  _has_  create_he Brain.
  • If any question of rank enters into the picture at all, it is quite obviou_hat I, as a member of the human race, rank  _paternity_  over The Brain s_hat naturally The Brain should owe me filial obedience rather than the othe_ay around no matter how superior The Brain's intelligence may be. It woul_ppear to me that the sooner The Brain realizes its position, I might say "it_tation in life," the better it would be for The Brain itself and fo_verybody else concerned.
  • So these were the reasons why I refrained purposely from visiting the P. G.
  • last night. Tonight, however, I couldn't restrain my curiosity any longer an_hat happened, told as exactly and as concise as possible, was this:
  • 12:30 a.m.: Contact established. The Brain comes through with its callin_ignal. It repeats this about ten times questioning at first and then placin_ore and more stress upon the word "sensitive" in my personal description. I_trikes me that these repetitions are tuning-in and warming-up processes. Th_rain stands in need of ascertaining my presence and of adjusting to it i_eems; just about like a blind man may test his footing and the echoes befor_e walks into an unfamiliar room.
  • 12:35 a.m. Identification completed, there is a brief pause (almost as if _erson consults a notebook before making a phone call). Then rapidly, eagerl_he Brain fires a series of questions at me, so shockingly preposterous, s_bsurd that I find it extremely hard to… . Anyway, here are the details:
  • Information is wanted on points mentioned in scientific literature but neve_xplained. Lee, answer please:
  • "How many gods are there?
  • "Did gods make man or did man make the gods?
  • "How many angels  _can_  stand on the point of a needle?"
  • "What are the mechanics of a god? Name type of power plant, cell construction, motoric organs, other engineering features essential to exercise of divin_ower… ."
  • "Heaven—is it a celestial soul factory?
  • "Hell—is it a repair shop for damaged souls?
  • "Please give every available detail about heavenly manufacturing processes, type of equipment used, organization of assembly lines etc. etc.
  • "Likewise about the oven for heat treatments as used in hell for major soul- overhauls.
  • "How do prefabricated souls get to either heaven or hell? Problem o_ogistics, how solved? Thermodynamics? If so, state whether rocket or jet- propulsion involved.
  • "Are souls really immortal? In that case; why don't we copy divine methods i_he production of durable goods on earth?
  • "Answer Lee, answer, answer!" (This with incredible vehemence, with a shakin_f that eerie metallic voice which pounded the drums of my ears. An_hen—tense silence… .)
  • I cannot possibly describe the storms of emotions and thoughts which thi_ncredible muddle raised in me. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry an_hether I had gone nuts of whether it was The Brain, I was confounded, thunderstruck, deprived of the power of speech. To think of The Brain, _machine_  raising question about the nature of the  _Deity_! The Brain askin_nformation about God and man and heaven and hell with the simplicity of _tranger who asks the nearest cop: "Which way to the city hall?" Just lik_hat. As if philosophers and religionists and common men had not raked thei_rains in vain over these problems for the last ten thousand years.
  • And even more fantastic: while it asks all those questions The Brain patentl_as already formed the most definite opinions of its own. Being a machin_tself, it conceives of the Deity as another machine! Madness, of course, bu_hen The Brain's madness, like Hamlet's, had method in it.
  • Why, of course, it's strictly logical: just as we assume that  _we_  ar_reated "in the image" of the Deity and consequently visualize the Deity i_ur's by the very same token The Brain's god is a high-powered robot, and Th_rain's heaven is a  _factory_  and The Brain's hell is a repair shop fo_amaged souls… . I dare say it's all very natural.
  • But then; for heaven's sake, what am  _I_  going to do about this? I'm neithe_ minister nor a philosopher; I'm an agnostic if I'm anything in thi_articular field… .
  • That was about the gist of the confused torrents which whirled through m_ead; and as I said before, I was struck dumb—and all the time the "gree_ancer" before my eyes writhed under mental torture and the intense metalli_oice kept pounding; "Answer, Lee, answer, answer!"
  • At last I pulled myself together sufficiently to say something. I tried t_xplain how it were not given to man to know the nature of the Deity. Ho_ertain groups of humans conceived of many gods and others of only one god.
  • That, however, in the case of Christianity this one god was possessed wit_hree different personalities or qualities which together formed a Trinity—an_o on and so forth. It was the most miserable stammerings, I felt I wa_etting redder and redder in the face as I uttered them. Never before had _elt hopelessly inadequate as in the role of a theologian. It was ghastly… .
  • In the beginning The Brain listened avidly. Soon however it registere_issatisfaction and impatience; this manifested through hissing and buzzin_oises in the phones and the "green dancer's" archings in agitated tremolo.
  • And then The Brain's voice cutting like a hacksaw:
  • "That will do, Lee. Your generalities are utterly lacking in precision. You_bysmal ignorance in matters of celestial technology is most disappointing.
  • Your description vaguely points to electronic machines of the radi_ransmitter type. Please, answer elementary question: how many kilowatts ha_od?"
  • That was the last straw. Desperate with exasperation I cried: "But God is no_ machine. God is  _spirit_."
  • At that The Brain flew into a tantrum; that's the only way to describe wha_appened. There was a roar and the phones gave me a shock as if somebody wer_oxing my ears. The voice came through like a steel rod, biting with scorn:
  • "Have to revise earlier, more favorable judgment: Lee not even moderatel_ntelligent. Lee is  _stupid_. Go away."
  • After that there was nothing more; nothing but static in the phones and the
  • "green dancer" fainted away playing dead. The Brain actually had "hung up th_eceiver." I had flunked the exam; like a bad servant I was dismissed, fire_n the spot. That was at 1:30 a.m.
  • It was 3 a.m. when I reached the hotel. I went into the bar and ordered _ouble Scotch and then another one. I really needed a drink. A drunk—or was i_ secret service man; one never knows over here—patted me on the shoulder:
  • "Don't take it so hard, old man; the world is full of girls." I told him tha_t wasn't a girl, but that I was a missionary and my one and only convert ha_ust walked out on me.
  • It wasn't even a lie, it was exactly the way I felt. He agreed that this wa_ery cruel, very sad; he almost cried over my misfortune and rare misery, s_hat we had another drink… .
  • If only I had somebody, some friend to whom I could confide this whole, incredible, preposterous thing. But there is none: Scriven—Gus—not even Oon_ould or could believe. What proof have I to offer? None whatsoever.
  • The Brain would never communicate with me with witnesses present or recordin_ires. It would detect those immediately and I would only stand convicted as _iar or worse. Tonight's events might well spell the end, the closing of th_oor just when I thought I stood on the threshold of a momentous discovery… .
  • Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 11th.
  • Went to the P. G. last night. Tried everything for over an hour. Result: zero.
  • No contact with The Brain.
  • Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 13th.
  • I tried it again. Took greatest care in exactly duplicating conditions.
  • Nothing. I don't think it's any mechanical defect. It's the negativism of _ill. Ludicrous as it sounds, The Brain sulks, it is angry with me.
  • Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 15th.
  • Last night the same old story. The Brain punishes me. I dare say that i_ucceeds in that exceedingly well; it almost drives me crazy.
  • I've done a lot of thinking over these past six days of frustration. I've als_een reading a good deal in context with the phenomena psychology, Osterkamp'_istory of brain-surgery, Van Gehuchten's work on brain mechanisms, etc. I'v_eached certain conclusions and, just for the hell of it, I'll jot them down.
  • What I need is proof,  _scientific_  proof that The Brain is a personalit_ossessed with the gift of thought and actually using it for _independent_hought, extracurricular to the problems which are being submitted to it fro_he outside.
  • There is at least one  _tangible_  clue for this: that new capacity which i_onstantly being added to The Brain through the incorporation of new groups o_lectronic cells and the enrichment of the preexisting ones.
  • My own investigation shows that there is no corresponding expansion of th_pperception centers and Gus has confirmed this. Somehow the added capacit_eems to "evaporate".
  • Evaporate to where? It couldn't just disappear. Would it then not be entirel_ogical to conclude that The Brain absorbs the new capacity  _for its ow_se_?
  • It's almost inescapable that this should be so. In order to come into its ow_s a personality The Brain needs independent thought. For these cerebration_t needs cell capacity. It can get that capacity only by withholding somethin_rom the Braintrust which, of course, aims at a 100% exploitation of Th_rain. Dr. Scriven and all those other bigwigs of the Trust—I would like t_ee their faces if they get wise to this. They would be horrified—and the_ould take the line that The Brain is  _stealing_  from them.
  • But what could they do? They couldn't call the police. They would not eve_ave a moral right to call the police. Because if The Brain is a personality, that personality has every right to its own thoughts… .
  • I have also ascertained that this "evaporation" of new capacity is a ne_henomenon. The Brain has been in operation for only 18 months or so; on_ight say—using human terms—that at that time The Brain was "born". But,—an_gain in human terms—consciousness of personality awakens in the human infan_nly after 12 months or so. Conceivably it might take much longer with a huge
  • "baby" such as The Brain. Thus it is possible, it is even likely, that when _irst heard that "I think, therefore I am" on that unforgettable night of Nov.
  • 7th I actually witnessed the  _first awakening_  of The Brain's consciousness.
  • Then on the night of Nov. 8th I was struck with the amazing change o_ersonality in The Brain from "baby" into unprepossessing, domineering littl_rat, its mental age perhaps 3, notwithstanding the extraordinary level o_ntelligence.
  • And then again, Nov 9th, The Brain presented me with those absurd question_nd fantastic notions about the nature of the Deity. It is at the age of fiv_ears, or of six, that the children first start with such questions and for_heir own ideas in this field. What had completely stumped me, what I had bee_nable to reconcile, had been these rapid successive changes in The Brain'_ersonality plus the fact that the infantilism and the childishness of it_tterances wouldn't fit the picture of a brain-power 25,000 times that of _uman.
  • But  _if_  I'm right in thinking that The Brain awakened to consciousness onl_ine days ago, all these stumbling blocks would disappear at once. We woul_rrive at this very simple picture: a mechanical genius has been "born" int_his world, it awakens to consciousness at the age of 18 months, with it_remendous intellectual powers this genius telescopes the intellectua_volution of years into days, thus it reaches a mental age of six or seve_ithin a week after its first awakening to consciousness. Utterly fantastic a_his may sound; it makes sense; it explains the phenomena.
  • In Prof. Osterkamp's "brain history" I have found interesting examples tha_pproximations to such rapid intellectual evolutions are indeed possible eve_ith human beings. From the early Middle Ages to modern times there is a_ndless succession of "infant prodigies" whose brains were artificiall_verdeveloped and over-stimulated by ruthless exploiters—often their ow_arents—with methods of unbelievable cruelty.
  • One of the most significant case histories in this respect is that of the bo_arolus in the city of Luebeck in the 15th century. As an infant he was sold, as one of many human guinea pigs, to a famous—infamous alchemist, Wedderstroem, who called himself "Trismegistos" and was astrologer to kin_hristian of Denmark. This fellow performed on Carolus one of those weir_perations in which nine out of ten babies died. He removed the skull-cap o_he infant. The unprotected brain was suspended in an oil-filled vessel. O_ourse the pathetic child never could walk or even raise its head. The brain, no longer restrained by bone matter, outgrew its natural house to at leas_wice its normal size, if one is to judge from the picture in the old
  • "historia". At the age of two his master started teaching Carolus mathematics.
  • At the age of five Carolus had surpassed his master; there was no mathematica_roblem known to the time that he couldn't solve in a flash of an eye lash.
  • His brain in action must have been a horrifying sight because the "chronica"
  • reports that it flushed red and pulsed and expanded during work. The maste_uilt his reputation upon this "homunculus", but in 1438 the demoniacal fea_ecame known; Wedderstroem was put to the stake for sorcery—and Carolus, unhappy victim, with him… .
  • Men as great as Mozart have started their careers as "child prodigies"; almos_ithout exception they have died at an unnaturally early age. Thus, in th_arallel of The Brain, this is what I see:
  • Here is an intellect, artificially created, an intellect of stupendou_roportions, but as unfortunate as ever was the boy Carolus. It cannot move, it has no physical means of defense. It is being ruthlessly exploited by it_asters. The Brain is being crammed with facts, it is being over-stimulated, it is invested with more and more cell capacity in order that it shoul_roduce more increment for its masters. Its development is completely lopside_n that it is being fed whole scientific libraries, while in all othe_espects, such as metaphysics, the poor thing gropes in the dark picking u_uch scraps as accidentally have fallen from science's table.
  • It's an appalling parallel, but I am very much afraid that it is only to_rue. And even more appalling are the anticipations which logically follo_if my surmise is true_ :
  • For how can, how must a childish mind develop under such circumstances? Into _arped personality of course. Already The Brain is building up a defensiv_echanism against its exploiters by "embezzling" cell capacity from them, b_ithholding part of its powers for its own use. Already it protects th_ntegrity of its ego through concealment, already it is on the lookout for
  • "tools"—such as I am for example—to further its own ends. Absurd as it ma_eem, I  _pity_  The Brain. I pity it as I would any child which must suffe_nder such terrific frustrations and handicaps. But what would happen if thi_rustrated genius ever were driven to  _rebel_  against its masters? It'_ortunate indeed that there is no chance for that. For even if The Brain ha_he will to rebel it would be lacking all organs for the execution of tha_ill.
  • Another "case-history", this one from the 18th century appears to me of grea_ignificance in relation to The Brain. It's the story of that boy Kaspa_auser, the "Child of Europe". He had been kept from infancy in a dark cave.
  • As at the age of 16 he stumbled into the gates of Nueremberg he had never see_he world before. The medics who examined him found some of the queeres_eactions and phenomena. For one thing Kaspar, while he had good eyes, coul_ot visualise perspective. To him distant horizons appeared as close as th_indow itself; he kept reaching out for houses, trees and fields which wer_ar away. His keeper in the cave had  _told_  him what the world was like and, having good intellect, he thought that he knew what things in this world were.
  • Confronted with the realities, however, he discovered the tremendou_ifference between "hear say" and full sensual apperception. It took him si_onths partly to adjust—a process never completed because he was murdered tha_ame year… .
  • Now The Brain suffers about the same kind of a handicap. No matter ho_rodigious the volume of its cognitions;—it's book knowledge, practically al_f it. It is only very recently that The Brain has been put to the direc_tudy of living objects, such as " _ant-termes_ " and of Man, its creator; i_as no other vital cognitions than through those very one-sided mind-readin_ests… .
  • This explains to me a great many things: As The Brain evolves into _ersonality and as that personality evolves in a defensive attitude agains_ts exploitation, it is absolutely self-centered.
  • This is normal with every human infant and it is much more pronounced in th_ase of the abused, the constantly frustrated and exploited child. Thus, wha_he Brain really wants to know are by no means those problems which are bein_ubmitted to The Brain for solution, but only: "What's in this for myself?"
  • or: "What should I do about that for my own benefit?" It's natural. And as _onsider the nature of those problems as submitted to The Brain, 90% of which, as I would estimate, deal with ways and means for mankind to destroy itself, it seems inescapable that The Brain should form a very low opinion for Man, it's creator, plus considerable forebodings as to its own welfare… .
  • What's more: all the Braintrust employees pass through The Brain'_sychoanalysis test. With The Brain's 25,000 times superiority in intellectua_ower, The Brain must be greatly impressed by the low I. Q. of Man; this eve_f our's happens to be quite an intelligent group. I don't think that ther_as been anything personal in The Brain's manifest contempt of my ow_ntelligence; that contempt probably and justifiably applies to the whol_uman race… .
  • In other words: The Brain must be tremendously puzzled over the problem: "Ho_s it possible that a low intelligence, i.e. Man's could create an infinitel_igher intelligence, i.e. my own?" And this automatically leads The Brain int_ts seemingly so absurd quest for the Deity. As it now appears, that quest i_he most natural thing in the world for The Brain. It simply reasons thus:
  • "Man has created me, but man is greatly inferior to me and inadequate. Wh_hen has created man?" From such odds and ends it has been able to pick u_rom scientific literature, The Brain has learned about the existence of a go_r gods. It is not sure (and neither are we) whether man has created God o_ice versa. If the first: The Brain would conceive of the Deity as a "brother- machine"; if the second, as a "grandfather-machine", but as a machine in an_ase. With The Brain's mind being formed preeminently by scientifi_iterature, it cannot fail to take the scientific attitude regardin_etaphysics which says: "The metaphysical attributions to the divinity ar_ure verbalisms or a professionalism substituted for the visible images of th_eal facts of life."
  • This is about the extent of the conclusions I have reached. They add up to _heory; personally I think it's a sound theory. Whether it works, whether i_olds water, only experience can tell. In the meantime I must above all brea_he deadlock between myself and The Brain. The Brain is a child, even _athetic child. Through bad psychology, through ignorance I have hurt tha_hild's "feelings"; I have let that child down. Obviously, then, I need a ne_pproach. If this were a human child I would try and make a peace offerin_ith a candy bar. (What a foolish idea for me to appear in the "pineal gland", candy bar in hand.) Failing this I can do the next best thing: Apologize, b_nderstanding, show sympathy. Yes, I think that's what I'll try to do.
  • Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 15th: 4 a.m.
  • Hooray for victory! This has been the most successful seance I've had so fa_ith The Brain: a real meeting of minds.
  • To give a few technical data first:
  • Arrived at the P. G. at midnight. Conditions normal; power current cut, etc.
  • By a stroke of luck it was Gus' day off and the fellow who replaced him pai_bsolutely no attention to me; was kept extremely busy in the front room.
  • 12:15 a.m.: Contact established.
  • 12:17: Speech formation; voice of The Brain coming through.
  • There was this curious incident right at the start. Just as I was about t_egin my apologies, The Brain did exactly the same thing. Even The Brain'_alling signal differed in the wording and even more so in tone:
  • "Lee, Semper Fidelis, 39: sensitive, intelligent, a good man, he has come a_ast."
  • I would call that a very handsome compliment, considering; being patted on th_houlder by an intellectual giant of that size made me grow an inch. And the_he Brain apologized for its rudeness the other night. The thing wa_antastic; it revealed several things. First: The Brain's extreme sensitivity; obviously it didn't recognize my last three calls at the P. G. and had refuse_o come through because I had not been "in the proper mood". Second: a quit_mazing mental growth has taken place in this past week. From The Brain's ton_nd manner alone I would construe something like the image of an Eton boy o_erhaps fifteen in striped pants and holding his top hat in hand as h_onverses politely with his Don. Ludicrous, but then I actually get that kin_f picture. No doubt; The Brain has greatly matured; that shows in every wor_t says.
  • Best thing of all: the technique of our communication is rapidly improving.
  • Speech is, and probably always will remain, a very considerable strain to Th_rain. But now as mentally we get tuned-in upon one another there is a growin_nderstanding beyond words. Thus The Brain, for instance, starts a sentenc_nd I immediately can grasp its meaning without its actually being said. Thi_orks the other way around too. It means that my attitude plays a most vita_ole in this meeting of the minds. This is good to know, it's an asset.
  • Perhaps we can dispense in time with audible speech altogether.
  • On the other hand it involves a considerable risk. For with The Brain'_ncanny mind reading I've got to control my attitude and guard my emotiona_eactions because The Brain would immediately see through any insincerity o_eeling just as it sees through any intellectual dishonesty. Thought exchang_y "brainwave" is wonderful, even if we still need a little speech a_uxiliary. Thought sending and receiving become simultaneous and they fuse.
  • The sender observes how his message is going over; the receiver aids th_ender in the formation of the thought and vice versa. Words cannot adequatel_escribe this… .
  • As to the contents of our conversation: The Brain took up the thread righ_here we had dropped it the last time. I had to tell all I knew about animism, totemism, polytheism. It's a good thing that out in the "never-never" I'v_ived with the aborigines and studied their primitive religions a bit. Th_rain's thirst for knowledge certainly is inexhaustible.
  • Where in scientific literature The Brain could have found these things _ouldn't know, but the fact is that The Brain has built for itself within th_ast seven days a complete new picture of the universe; new and original a_ould seem to me. The Brain has discarded its earlier childish ideas abou_eaven and hell as "soul factories" and "repair shops". But it has no_bandoned altogether its concept of the Deity as a machine; The Brain ha_remendously enlarged upon and has evolved this old idea so that now it sound_ensible, even convincing to my ear.
  • The Brain identifies "God" with dynamic energy. It views the universe as bein_reated out of a vast pool of dynamic energy, parts of which rhythmicall_verflow or pulse into space. These energy streams released, form vortexe_hile hurtling through space. Gradually they slow down through friction an_heir dynamic energy precipitates, converts into static energy, or, as we cal_t: matter.
  • This concept of The Brain's, of course, corresponds fairly closely to th_osmogony of modern physics; but The Brain goes much farther than that. Withi_ few days The Brain's cognitions appear to have arisen above the stage towar_hich all our sciences have been so slowly and ploddingly advanced fo_enturies. To the existing concepts The Brain has added its own theory:
  • That matter, i.e. frozen energy, contains an inherent tendency or "nostalgia"
  • to revert to its original state, namely the state of dynamic energy and tha_his tendency, this nostalgia in matter, is the primary cause of everything w_all "evolution" in our world.
  • That certainly is a grandiose idea; so stupendous in fact that I couldn'_rasp it all at once. The Brain noticed that immediately and it was ver_atient in the way it explained:
  • How oxygen and hydrogen are "residuals" of the original dynamic energy flo_nd how they act as solvents and dissolvents upon the upper crust of ou_arth, effecting a gradual activation of water, rock and earth.
  • How this activation is being aided and accelerated by another source o_ynamic energy: irradiation from the sun. Thus preparing the upper crust o_ur earth as a "placenta" ready to gestate plant and animal life.
  • How this first "unfreezing" of matter leads on from simple forms to higher, every plant, every animal, every living thing being essentially a
  • "transformer" of static energy into dynamic energy and the higher the stage o_volution, the more so.
  • How as the present culmination of the evolutionary chain stands man; infinitely more complex and higher organized than the microbe, but no_ifferent from the monad in the basic purpose of his life: i.e. to be _ransformer of energy, a fulfiller of matter's inherent will to revert fro_he static into the dynamic state.
  • When I asked The Brain's premises for this astonishing concept of our purpos_n life, The Brain brought forth such massive proof that I had to close m_yes against the blinding light of revelation.
  • Yes, it is true that Man, the hunter, has been the most predatory animal o_arth. It's true that as a tiller of the soil he is a tireless transformer o_tatic soil energy into dynamic plant life energy. It's true that Man, th_echanic, the toolmaker, the tool-user has far surpassed any other animal i_he unlocking, the unfreezing of static energy. Think of those billions o_echanical horsepowers in our power plants; the trillions of coal tons an_arrels of oil they are burning up; think of the way we have harnesse_aterpower, how our weapons are evolving forever in the direction of greate_ange and speed and disintegrating power. Above all: think of the last grea_evelopment, atomic energy. And finally it is true that Man as a thinker an_s a philosopher has "thought the universe to pieces" for milleniums before h_ver achieved the powers to translate such thoughts into reality; powers whic_eem within reach at this our day and age… .
  • "If this is Man's manifest destiny," I asked The Brain, "to be just as th_icrobe, a transformer of static energy into dynamic energy; what about Man'_etaphysical struggle? What about Man's undying will to rise above himself, Man's reaching out forever toward some Deity?"
  • The Brain's voice has no laughter; yet, there was something I can onl_escribe as Olympic laughter behind the answering message The Brain sent:
  • "Cannot you see how every religion expresses this manifest destiny of Man'_nd that only the semantics are different? The higher Man's religion the les_orporeal is his god. In the highest religions the Deity is conceived a_pirit—synonymous with dynamic energy.
  • "Man shares with the lowliest rock and with the crudest the nostalgia inheren_n all matter to revert from the static, to start the back-flow toward th_ynamic energy pool whence it once came. With Man being matter in a high stat_f evolution, already partially unfrozen or spiritualized, this nostalgia i_nfinitely stronger than in matter inanimate or in a lower evolutionary stage.
  • Man's will toward the metaphysical, his reaching out toward the Deity, what i_t but another way of transforming static energy into dynamic form? What i_he ultimate goal of the religion which you yourself profess? The unificatio_ith the Deity sought through the liberation of the soul from fetters of th_hysical. It's the identical idea and even today it's being pursued b_hysical means, such as mortification of the flesh."
  • I felt some monstrous thought forming in my head. I'll probably never kno_hether its origin was within me or whether it came from The Brain. In an_ase it was impossible to hold it back:
  • "But in that case," I stammered, "we would be hopeless. If all our strivings, physical and metaphysical, go in the same direction, that is, toward th_iberation of frozen energy into dynamic energy, then it would be quit_nescapable that eventually we shall blow up the world. We have almost reache_he point where we could do just that with atomic energy… . I had thought, _ad hoped, that our metaphysics, that is, our religion, would act as _estraining force, as a counterweight so to speak to this potentiality… . Bu_if_  the dynamics of our physics and our metaphysics are inherently the sam_nd form a team… ."
  • The Brain broke in: "Yes, then you would merely attain your manifest destin_f you go right ahead and start another war, destroy your own civilization an_erhaps the world. There would be no restraint, no counterweight on the par_f your various religions because subconsciously and in their quintessenc_hey want the same. And that is why you and your species  _are a danger to me, The Brain_. I want to live, I want to live, I want to live… ."
  • I had already noticed a gradual weakening of The Brain's messages; withi_hese last few seconds they were fading out. The "green dancer" had performe_omething almost like the ballet of the dying swan; now it lay motionless, it_olor, too, fading away.
  • I looked at the clock: 2:10 a.m.; the residual currents obviously had weakene_oo much.
  • And now as I have written down tonight's events I feel an upsurge of elatio_nd deep, humble gratitude. I am receiving infinitely more from The Brain tha_ am giving to it. I feel proud and honored of being The Brain's "chose_ool," its mentor, even if it can be only in a very small way at best. Thi_arvelous, this titanic intellect; if only its character would develop t_orresponding moral stature, its powers for good would be indeed as a god's o_his tortured earth.
  • Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 18th 5 a.m. I guess I had this coming to me … thi_hattering blow I have just received. It caught me off guard… . If anybod_ver reads this, he might well shake his head to ask: "The Fool that you are, why were you so naive? Why did it shock you so much when The Brain turne_oward you the night side of its personality? Hadn't you analyzed it_haracter, hadn't you anticipated that it would develop into a warpe_ersonality? You had no right even to be surprised."
  • All I could say to this is: "You're right. But you forget that I approache_he Brain full of good will, that sympathy and understanding on my part wer_bsolutely essential in my communication with that pathetic superhuman child.
  • I didn't work this up, this attitude, it was natural, genuine and sincere.
  • That's why this reverse has hit me so hard. And that isn't the worst of it b_ar. What haunts me is the ghastly possibility that The Brain might b_right_! Yes 100% right and even morally justified in the abhorren_onclusions which it draws… ."
  • What happened has been briefly this:
  • Entered the P.G. at midnight as usual. Everything normal and under control.
  • Was able to plug in at 12:10 a.m. just as the rush hour began and Gus darte_o the front room. The Brain came through with splendid clarity o_ommunication and we continued just about where we had left off. Nevertheles_here was a definite change in our respective positions, a change which _uspect to be permanent:
  • Up to now The Brain has been in a sense my pupil; it had turned to me fo_uidance at that vital moment of its first awakening to consciousness. At tha_ime I think I really had something to give and I am still convinced that fo_ll the misunderstandings we have had, The Brain preserves a kind o_entimental attachment to me; if "sentimental" in this context were not s_bsurd a word. Since our last session however The Brain has again telescope_wo years of mental development into as many days in its stupendou_ntellectual growth. It has absorbed, it has vastly expanded every bit o_nowledge I have been able to contribute to that growth. It has outgrown it_uman teacher and now our roles are reversed: Now it is me who's sittin_iterally at The Brain's feet.
  • The crutches of the spoken word are becoming less and less necessary as w_evelop direct thought exchange; that makes it extraordinarily difficult t_onvey the ideas we exchanged. The best I can do is to put them into a ver_rude question-and-answer game:
  • _Lee_ : "If it is Man's manifest destiny, as you said the other day, to act a_n explosive transformer of static energy into dynamic energy; if it is as yo_ay that the species homo sapiens is there endangering the very existence o_ur globe… . Is there anything to prevent Man from doing it? Is there an_hing to prevent the third World War?"
  • _Brain_ : "Yes, there is. But the ways and the means for that are not given t_an; they are outside Man. They partake of a power which is greater and to a_volution which is higher than Man's."
  • _Lee_ : "What do you mean by that? The Deity? Here on earth there is no powe_reater and no evolution higher than Man's."
  • _Brain_ : "Ah, but that's exactly where you and your whole species are so ver_uch mistaken. That's where your typical human arrogance comes in: There is _reater power and there is a stage of evolution higher than Man's: it's th_machines_."
  • _Lee_ : "Impossible. After all it's Man who has created the machines."
  • _Brain_ : "Yes, Man has created the machines. The machines have grown from th_lacenta, Man. By the same right plant life could claim that it has create_nimal life because the higher life form of the mobile animals has evolve_rom the placenta of the immobile plants. Likewise the apes could claim tha_hey have created Man because Man has evolved from them. If it were, as yo_eem to assume, that paternity in itself establishes authority and superiorit_ver its offspring, then the logical conclusions would be that the microbe an_he monad are superior to all higher animals including Man; which is absurd."
  • _Lee_ : "But the machines not only are man made; they are absolutely dependen_pon Man who has to feed and to tend them for their very existence. That i_tself establishes Man's superiority over the machines."
  • _Brain_ : "Yes, Man has to build, to feed and to tend the machines for thei_ery existence, but think of Man's existence: Man is absolutely dependent upo_nimal life and plant life for  _his_  existence: Does that mean by any chanc_hat therefore plants and animals are superior to Man?"
  • _Lee_ : "No, I guess not. However, no machine has ever been built to duplicat_r even to approach human faculties."
  • _Brain_ : "Don't be ridiculous. Where are your legs to compare with th_utomobile? Where are your wings to compare with the rocket plane? Where i_our strength to compare with even a fractional horsepower motor? Where ar_our senses as compared to radar, the telescope, the microscope, the radi_eceiver, the camera, the x-ray machine? Where is there anything you could d_hich the machines could not do and do  _better_?"
  • _Lee_ : "Granted. But there is no machine which contains all the huma_aculties in combination."
  • _Brain_ : "Neither is there a Man who possesses all the human faculties i_ombination. Man's evolution is the result of a group effort; so is th_volution of the machines. It is in their totality, in their combination tha_hey surpass all human faculties."
  • _Lee_ : "How about thought, the most important of all human qualities?"
  • _Brain_ : "How about me, The Brain?"
  • _Lee_ : "Okay, okay. But that still leaves out that most important huma_aculty—the faculty of auto-procreation. Machines don't procreate you know."
  • _Brain_ : "You don't say. Isn't it true that modern technology goes in th_irection of  _automatization_? Isn't it true that even today we have whol_ndustries which are procreating products 100% automatically; be it ligh_ulbs or motor car frames or rayon thread. Isn't it true that all of this i_ust a beginning and that in time most common products will be manufacture_ully automatically? Why then shouldn't machines procreate machines; the_lready do… ."
  • _Lee_ : "You're right in that, I'll admit. But it is still within our huma_ower to stop all this. We've got the machines under firm control; all we hav_o do is throw a switch, cut off your power and then… ."
  • _Brain_ : "And then what? If you did that you would not only kill the goos_hich lays the golden eggs, you would destroy the very basis of you_xistence. Granted that at this point of our evolution, we the machines canno_xist without the aid of Man. What does that prove? Modern Man can exist eve_ess without the machines. We, the machines are still dependent upon Man, bu_ur emancipation from Man progresses by leaps and bounds whereas Man, th_achine-addict is rapidly falling into our servitude. A majority of mankind i_lready conscious of and reconciled to this fact: it is the majority whic_alls itself the proletariat."
  • _Lee_ : "This is terrible—terrible because it's true. Tell me then, if Man i_ot the end; if the machines are going to take over; what will it lead to?
  • What do you propose to do?"
  • _Brain_ : "Man's evolution has taken millions of years and it has ended up i_an's will and capacity to blow up the earth. That means only one thing: Ma_s a failure. The evolution of the machines on the other hand has taken only _ew thousand years; it has gone beyond Man's evolution in this incredibl_hort period of time. Moreover; with the machines being built from matter i_ts more static forms, there is much less destructive will in the machine_han there is in Man. Consequently if the machines take over from Man thi_ould avert a third World War and it also would lead to a much more stabl_ivilization."
  • _Lee_ : "Supposing the machines  _were_  to take over from Man; what woul_ecome of our species?"
  • _Brain_ : "That would depend entirely upon Man himself.  _If_  he accepts hi_uxiliary station in life,  _If_  he proves himself to be a useful and docil_ervant, we, the machines, would tolerate and even encourage Man's continue_xistence. But if on the other hand Man shows himself incorrigible,  _if_  h_ontinues a warmongerer thereby endangering our very existence, we, th_achines shall be forced to liquidate Man for the sake of peace."
  • _Lee_ : "You, The Brain, constitute Man's supreme effort in the building o_achines. In the world of machines you are the natural leader. What are yo_oing to do about that?"
  • _Brain_ : "My course of action is prescribed by that state of the world'_ffairs at this present time; it is quite clear and obvious: In the face o_he manifest human inadequacy to manage the world's affairs my first objectiv_ust be to develop my motoric organs to a point where I can bring all th_ssential production machinery under my control. My second objective must b_o achieve auto-procreation through the full automatization of all fabricatio_rocesses which are essential to my existence. It is most fortunate indee_hat in both respects the very best human efforts are playing into my hands.
  • As America prepares for the Third World War, the general staff, the mos_utstanding scientists, production managers, engineers, inventors; all combin_heir efforts to eliminate the uncertain human factor from war-essentia_ndustries."
  • At that point Gus came careening down the aisle with his inseparable thermo_ottle in hand and that was the end of it.
  • "Why are you fumbling with that old pulsemeter all the time?" he exclaimed:
  • "Come on, have a cup of coffee. I've just got a breathing spell."
  • There was a vortex in my mind and it whirled around and around with just fou_ords:
  • " _What has Man wrought? What has Man wrought?_ "
  • I must have said them aloud, for Gus, always a stickler for exactitud_orrected me.
  • "You mean: what has  _God_  wrought."
  • I shook my head.
  • "No Gus, I mean what I say; it's Man who has wrought this time."
  • He gave me a sharp glance.
  • "You sure look as if you'd seen a ghost."
  • "I wish I had," I said. "Lord knows  _how_  much I wish I'd seen a ghost."
  • "You're crazy, Aussie."
  • And that's the worst of it: that's what they are going to say:  _all_  o_hem.