Hiro Protagonist says:
"I’m here on the raft looking for a piece of software - a piece of medicine to be specific - that was written five thousand years ago by a Sumerian Personage named Enki, a neurolinguistic hacker."
"What does that mean?" Mr. Lee Says.
"It mean a person who was capable of programming other people’s minds with verbal streams of data, known as nam-shubs."
Ng is totally expressionless. He takes another drag on his cigarette, spouts the smoke up against the ceiling. "What is the mechanism?"
"We’ve got two kinds of language in our heads. The kind we’re using now is acquired. It patterns our brains as we’re learning it. But there’s also a tongue that’s based in the deep structures of the brain, that everyone shares. These structures consist of basic neural circuits that have to exist in order to allow our brains to acquire higher languages."
"Linguistic infrastructure," Uncle Enzo says.
"Yeah. I guess ‘deep structure’ and ‘infrastructure’ mean the same thing. Anyway, we can access those parts of the brain under the right conditions. Glossolalia - speaking in tongues - is the output side of it, where the deep linguistic structures hook into our tongues and speak, bypassing all the higher, acquired languages. Everyone’s known that one for some time."
"You’re saying there is an input side, too?" Ng says.
"Exactly. It works in reverse. Under the right conditions, your ears - or eyes - can tie into the deep structures, bypassing the higher language functions. Which is to say, someone who knows the right words can speak words, or show you visual symbols, that go past all your defences and sink right into your brainstream. Like a cracker who breaks into a computer system, bypasses into the core, enabling him to exert absolute control ove the machine"
"In that situation, the people who own the computer are helpless," Ng says.
"Right. Because they access the machine at a higher level, which has now been overidden. In the same sense, one a neurolinguistic hacker plugs into the deep structures of our brain, we can’t get him out - because we can’t even control our own brain at such a basic level."
Memes, infectious repititis, memetic engineering, religion, culture and civilization started as a virus and Nam Shub counterviruses going into the deep structures of the brain to reprogram it into higher order thinking and …
Such a great book!