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For Newbies (and for others too; it will do no harm)
Well, well, well... My friend, I know it might be a painful experience, but if you've just arrived here, we all must surrender to the burden of proof: you are a newbie, or even more affectionately, a newb!
But right from the start, let's throw away any anxiety about that fact: not only have we all gone through that stage, but moreover, we have good reason to envy your position. As a matter of fact, all of us would have loved to find such a place as this site, at the time when we were in your current shoes.
So, welcome aboard! Relax, forget all the bullshit, assume a comfortable position, take some lembas*, you don't need to switch off your laptops or mp3 players during take off, you don't even have to extinguish all smokable material, although... maybe you might want to fasten your seat belt, and be sure to enjoy your flight...
This site is the new headquarters of the Neurohacking Association (and hopefully the final one), which is an international community of lighthearted friends dedicated to Intelligence Augmentation (IA), and whose main objectives with this site are:
Okay... maybe you’re smiling, dude. You probably think “fun and playing” sounds a bit childish, as a "not least" objective for such a list. Well, we will address that issue, I give you my word.
What's Different About This Site?
We're very aware that a lot of diverse publications appear everyday on the net and off it, about subjects that we study here. The thing is, you have to understand that we are not exactly like most people or even like most researchers in the field.
Within the kind of techno-economico-politico-financial societies we're living in, all mainstream searchers' research is, at best, "well-meaningly guided" by technical, economical, political and/or financial purposes, and at worst, strongly driven and controlled by them. Therefore searchers are quite rarely – if ever - completely free to determine what direction their research should take, or what should be the top priorities. As for other independent research, it is rather systematically driven out, suppressed, discredited or denied for as long as possible wherever it threatens these systems.
And in most cases, even when some publications contain truly vital information for us all, there is still much that is outdated and so many myths about the brain in general (and this includes among neuroscientists and neurologists themselves if they haven’t kept up). So often we find these (however brilliant) pieces of work are "embedded" in an obsolete paradigm about the brain or mind, or old false beliefs about the nature of intelligence.
Our approach is different in the sense that we are collecting "what is vital information" about how the mind works, how the brain is wired, and so on, with very careful selection, and we use this information to build a model of "what really happens" in our little heads, based upon incontrovertible evidence from discoveries about human brains in interaction. Here we assemble data, from which we draw the most obvious conclusions; not the conclusions we are paid to draw.
Here, we are primarily committed to the blunt truth about reality; to seeking that truth in whatever shape it may take, even when it may piss us off. And we are seeking this truth in total freedom; we have no investors to whom we have to report about our research, no sponsors, no commercial ventures whatsoever, and no other masters than our own minds. We do not sell anything, we have no hidden agenda, no top-secret control plan for the masses, we don't even contrive to “set you free”, we just give you all the latest relevant scientific information, that we consider it your right to know and that is vital for you as a 21st Century Earth citizen, to do neurohacking yourself safely if you feel like it.
To summarize: mainstream research on the whole doesn't chase the truth in itself because you don't get funding for doing that. We're free to research whatever we please and follow the path to truth wherever it goes.
"Any way the wind blows..." - Freddie Mercury - Queen (Photo by Roger Noguera Arnau)
The Truth Is Out There, But So Are Lies
A part of what we do here is going through all the latest science publications and picking out the truth (thus making it easier for people to find - like a truth filter if you like). We filter out anything that’s inaccurate, deceptive, vague, misinformed, or promotional bullshit In the same way the TV news ignores everything that doesn't have financial incentives (eg sex or violence) in it, we ignore everything that doesn't have truth in it. Most other sites aren't doing that (partly because of the fast rate of discovery), knowledge of what the truth actually IS about the brain and intelligence isn't very common yet - certainly not as an overall picture - and in that we think we are rather unique. We have a unifying paradigm for brain and mind, and that's extremely rare. We actually have a working brain theory. And the more that is discovered, the more accurate it keeps proving to be! (To get yourself quickly up to date, read: “Intelligence: The Basics” in the Basics section of the library.)
This is an issue for all neurohackers (in particular when you start your journey on this path of discovery) because the big contradictions, between recent great discoveries and what many people still believe is true about the brain, can be very confusing and slow your progression. Now, above all don't get me wrong here. We're certainly not saying that we are the only ones to have found the truth, and that everyone else is badly mistaken, far from it. Searchers are facing a huge territory, folks, that had previously been badly charted, and you can’t blame the navigators for getting lost if the map is wrong. The whole field is currently working on improving the accuracy of our “navigation charts”, and making mistakes... nobody is exempted from that! We also assure you that we are not in any way into censorship. We are the very opposite of sectarian people; we are integrators, super-adaptors, collators, synthesizers of science, art, spiritual vision, and wisdom.
Our members are people like you, and you'll benefit from their experience if you interact (politely) with them on the forum. However, one of the main goals for a growing intelligence is autonomy, and it's important you learn to evaluate the relevance and reliability of any information by yourself, including here. We must all understand how to distinguish the truth from hype and discard inaccurate or obsolete info.
'Cause you know, first we won't be behind you all the time when you'll face real life situations, or surfing on websites, or reading magazines, or watching some footage on television, and stumbling upon "new stunning data" about the mind, the brain or anything else related to those issues. And second, since we intend to provide the most truthful and correct information possible, we need your vigilance, and we want you to be ruthless with us in order to optimize the quality of our material, avoiding as much confusion as possible for everyone. So be polite, but ruthless...
Set Your Own Pace, Follow Your Own Path
Now if you want to, you can progress here in small steady steps, looking at all the evidence for yourself so you understand the proof behind each thing as you go along, and that is one good way to improve yourself. Or you can take an intuitive leap and proceed as though our ‘map’ has got most things right because most people here experience noticeable changes for the better when they follow our tutorials (See: What is Neurohacking).
In any case, the fastest way to progress is to approach neurohacking with the attitude you would approach a really cool game. The most exciting, fun, inspirational, educational, mind-expanding, rewarding game you could possibly imagine. A game that is so cool the objective becomes to keep playing, because there is always something new to enjoy or wonder at and things never, ever get boring.
I know, I know... this might sound "too simple" to be true, right? Well, as a matter of fact, it isn't. I mean, it's true, but it's far from simple...
So, What's Next?
Well, this is your call, dude, as always. On the next page, you will find a collection of testimonies, commentaries, definitions and reports about neurohacking by our members, that hopefully will give you 'The Basics' about it.
Then, you'll find a page called 'The Details', where you'll find a map of the site and information about how to use it.
The 'Practice & Variations' page will guide you to determine what is the best way for you to approach the material on this site, in line with your own way of learning new things.
And if you're curious about it, the last page will give you more information on 'Creative Play', and show you how and why we consider it as our "Ultimate Objective".
*: lembas: Elvish bread, well known by striders and wanderers to keep you out of hungers claws while on a long journey; even the smallest bite of it can sustain you for a whole day.