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Here’s a short blog post that explains a little more about digitoneurolinguistic hacking. It seems to be a reference to a concept introduced by Neal Stephenson, one of my very favorite authors, in his novel Snow Crash, which is a phenomenally fun and thought-provoking read. As the Wikipedia entry says:
The book explores the controversial concept of neuro-linguistic programming and presents the Sumerian language as the firmware programming language for the brainstem, which is supposedly functioning as the BIOS for the human brain.
If that’s not enough to convince you to read the book, I should point out that it also involves post-apocalyptic skateboard kids firing grappling hooks at moving traffic.
Anyway, as the blogger above points out, neurolinguistic programming (NLP) is a pretty controversial idea. Stephenson’s concept of hacking the brain through language might have been inspired by NLP, but it was intended as a fictional thought experiment, not a therapeutic technique.
Any therapy that claims to be able to “program” the brain is suspicious to me. A connectome is not a computer – it’s a constantly changing living thing – and as such, it’s got to be consistently trained and cared for, like a muscle group or a dog.
But it’s still fun to hack.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the word “trochee” is a poetic term derived from the ancient Greek τροχαιος (trochaios, “running”), which carries an implication of rolling downhill. I think it’s a pretty helpful metaphor for the way trochees seem to roll off the tongue.