The Cyberbrain

You just proved to your bodies through your minds that you could push yourself further than you thought possible.

Welcome to the world of mental conditioning. Welcome to the world of the Cyberbrain.

The world of Ghost in the Shell is the world I think we’re fast approaching, which can be either a very good thing or a very bad thing. In the introduction to the Stand Alone Complex novel series, we are told that computing began outside the body, then gradually moved closer to it. Big devices became “wearable terminals,” and wearable terminals then became computerized implants which led to the creation of the first Cyberbrains.

This is what we are seeing in the real world, right now.

The Cyberbrain allows the user to access the net internally, as well as other cybernetic enhancements. Cyberbrain users can download something akin to “apps” directly into their brains and bodies, customizing them as they wish. One example was found in this episode of 2nd Gig:

Basically, people can program their brains to do things at will. You won’t be surprised to find that one of the chief sources of inspiration for The Matrix was Ghost in the Shell (the original manga, in this case).

But is the Cyberbrain entirely fictional? What if its use was essentially the same in the real world?

If you’ve read Gorilla Mindset, then you know a lot about mental conditioning. What we think (and what we feel), is in the end, a choice. We can’t control what thoughts or emotions enter our brains, but we can control how we interact with them and how much weight we put on them when it comes to making decisions. Acknowledging the presence of those unpleasant emotions, instead of trying to get them to go away, will allow you to manage them better.

For many years now, many scientists have likened the human brain to a computer. While that’s somewhat misleading, we can certainly think of our brains as being akin to one. Thinking this way allows you to program your mind at will, to castigate thoughts that you don’t want to enter your head and carefully select the ones that you do. In other words, you can filter the thoughts that you want to dwell on. This is especially important to consider in the age of outrage. Dwelling on thoughts that we want to get angry at alienates us from one another, and doesn’t let us follow Aristotle’s advice of using anger in the right way. Arguably, the insanity witnessed in so many corners during this entire decade is precisely because too many people have failed to adopt the Cyberbrain model of the world.

Why seek outrage? That will only get you angry and sap your productivity. You don’t have to deliberately let things that anger you enter your head. Why would you want to program your brain that way?

By actively choosing what thoughts you put into your head, you’re giving yourself greater control over your emotions, and also actively programming yourself to take the actions you desire to take. Repeat thoughts can lead to repeat action, which lead to habits. Cultivate the right habits and your chance of success will increase with each one.

Cyberbrain Ghost in the Shell self-improvement

You build your brain from the bottom up, programming it as you see fit. You first develop thoughts as the basic code, program them into sequences of code in your actions, and then create the finished software, or “app,” with the related habits. Give yourself multiple productive habits, or “apps,” and you now have a well-oiled machine that gives you a wide number of skills and options.

You may notice (if you’ve read any of Scott Adams’ work) that the concept of a Cyberbrain is a systems-oriented approach to life, as opposed to a goals-oriented approach. You choose to put the software that you want to put in your Cyberbrain that will improve the entire brain complex. The entire Cyberbrain is then an intersection of multiple systems to form one cohesive whole, a brain that you can program and develop useful systems on at will. You can see that this relates to the concept of the “talent stack” that Scott Adams talks about.

Your Cyberbrain, the hub of information, is the source for your talent stack. It’s the operating kernel from which the systems of the talent stack deploy. Program the systems that you want, little by little, thought by thought.

The Navy SEALS certainly understand the concept. One of the key “apps” that they put into their Cyberbrains is “in the moment” software. This effectively allows successful SEALS to cast off fear, doubt, worry, and just stay in the moment, to never let other thoughts, often illusory ones, pollute what actually is. Essentially, this SEAL Cyberbrain app, forced into all recruits by harsh training, is a blinder app, a focusing app.

First of all, I do not want you to give in to the pressure of this moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One evolution at a time.

Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you. – Rear Admiral Joe Maguire, Lone Survivor, pg. 124

And Marcus Luttrell continues:

I later learned that when a man quits and is given another chance and takes it, he never makes it through. All the instructors know that. If the thought of DOR enters a man’s head, he is not a Navy SEAL.

I guess that element of doubt forever pollutes his mind. And puffing, sweating, and steaming down there on that beach on the first night of Hell Week, I understood it.

I understood it, because that thought could never have occurred to me. Not while the sun still rises in the east. All the pain in Coronado could not have inserted that poison into my mind. I might have passed out, had a heart attack, or been shot before a firing squad. But I never would have quit. – pg. 136

As seen in the video and in these words, mental toughness and fortitude, guided by the “in the moment” software, is a foundational app for being a Navy SEAL, and those who can’t program that app into their Cyberbrain fail in training and don’t get the gold trident. The SEAL instructors make sure of that.

One time during Indoc while we were out on night run, one of the instructors actually climbed up the outside of a building, came through an open window, and absolutely trashed a guy’s room, threw everything everywhere, emptied detergent over his bed gear. He went back out the way he’d come in, waited for everyone to return, and then tapped on the poor guy’s door and demanded a room inspection. The guy couldn’t work out whether to be furious or heartbroken, but he spent most of the night cleaning up and still had to be in the showers at 0430 with the rest of us.

I asked Reno about this weeks later, and he told me, “Marcus, the body can take damn near anything. It’s the mind that needs training. The question that guy was being asked involved mental strength. Can you handle such injustice? Can you cope with that kind of unfairness, that much of a setback? And still come back with your jaw set, still determined, swearing to God you will never quit? That’s what we’re looking for.” – pg. 102

The SEALS are on to something. Whether it’s with approaching women or anything else, you need to have the mental fortitude to take the setbacks, which can often be simply maddening, a result of the snickering of fortune more than anything you did wrong, and accept them, and continue on. That’s a trait of most successful people.

Yet too many people treat this trait as something otherworldly. I remember a few years ago, when I did. It’s always a struggle, but the grit to cast off doubt, the fortitude to take setbacks and complete a task – ranging from the very small of the daily workout to the very long of a years’ long effort to glory, is the foundation upon which the rest of your talent stack is built. Fortunately, this “app” is something you can actively program in your Cyberbrain. It’s not otherworldly or out of your reach. Gorilla Mindset will go a long way to teaching you how to program the code for this app into your brain.

Navy SEAL training hell week

What should you program into your Cyberbrain? What software do you want to operate on? That’s largely up to you, though Mike Cernovich has advice on talent stacks when discussing his mental model of the world. Consider the Cyberbrain my own mental model of the world. Here are a few of the general apps that I think everyone should program into their Cyberbrains. The more specific “apps” (or skills) will be up to each individual, based on his own path to True Glory.

Libertas’ Guide to Optimum Cyberbrain Programming:

You’ll notice that much of my work on the Masculine Epic has been devoted to these subjects, in effect, helping you (and me) to code these thoughts, actions, and finally, habits (which become the “app”) into your Cyberbrain. Laid out below, in succinct form, are the following 10 general purpose apps which will help you on your path to greatness.

  1. The Kleos app (your overall guidance system which also keeps you on the path of your Great Work – you can get my guide to programming your own Kleos app if you sign up for my email list).
  2. The “In the Moment” app (acts as a source of discipline, a motivator, a focus-agent, and a doubt remover).
  3. The Confidence app (acts in concert with other software in your Cyberbrain system as a whole to reinforce motivations and the overall guidance system, also programs itself and grows more robust with experience, in effect, motivating you to do more and get more experience. and hence, confidence).
  4. The Appearance-Improving app (acts as a system that seeks out and finds new ways to improve your appearance, and is also a self-learning app).
  5. The Kinetic app (acts as an exercise routine that adapts as the body demands).
  6. The Plate app (acts as a food and portion-control app which adapts as your body demands).
  7. The Entrepreneurial app (acts as a filter that helps you focus your Great work into a coherent business model).
  8. The Associative app (a filter program that makes sure you associate with the right people and thoughts, living or dead, and keeps out bad influences).
  9. The Seduction app (teaches you how to meet and seduce a desirable mate, with the software code varying for male and female users).
  10. Finally, your Cyberbrain will need an Influence app, which will cover the dynamics of marketing, power, and persuasion. There are many ways to program this code into your Cyberbrain, but the best way to do so would be learning from a case study. Though my political enthusiasm about him has waned (for complicated reasons), Donald Trump operates on the Cyberbrain model. You can learn from his own powerful Influence app by reading Stumped, which will tell you exactly how to program his app into your own Cyberbrain.