wetware (wet'wâr) noun
Living beings and their brains, as part of the environment that also includes hardware and software.
wetware /wet'weir/ /n./
[prob. from the novels of
Rudy Rucker] 1. The human nervous
system, as opposed to computer hardware or software. "Wetware has 7
plus or minus 2 temporary registers." 2. Human beings (programmers, operators,
administrators) attached to a computer system, as opposed to the system's
hardware or software. See liveware, meatware.
- _The New Hacker's Dictionary_ by Eric S. Raymond
book _Wetware_ by Rudy Rucker
Mass Market Paperback - 183
pages Reissue edition (May 1997)
Avon; ISBN: 0380701782 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.55 x 6.89 x 4.21
Humans created the sentient
robot "boppers," but now it's the boppers who have started
creating humans. Clones and DNA-splicing have spawned the meatbop, a human body infused with the software (the mind and personality) of a bopper. The meatbops are interested in propagating down on Earth, but that might not be so good for humanity (the boppers have a nasty habit of enslaving humans, actually). When a couple of (reasonably) innocent humans get tangled up in the bopper's machinations on the moon, it's time to drag out the stored mind of bopper-creator Cobb Anderson and see if he can help.
"Life is not life, but rock rearranging itself under the sun." - Dorion Sagan
On land, direct physical connections become essential." Water is no longer ambient, the medium in which life is immersed, but instead an irrigation system which connects and passes through all land life. Now the "biota has had to find ways to carry the sea within it and, moreover, to construct watery conduits from 'node' to 'node.'" Land life is literally pleated and plied, complex It has effectively "taken the sea beyond the sea and folded it back inside of itself," aseembling itself as a network of molecular arteries and veins, a hydraulic system keeping life afloat. "Acting over evolutionary time as a rising tide, the land biota literally carries the sea and its distinctive solutes over the surface of the land" forming a "terrestrial sea" of "countless and interconnected conduits" which "expands with every increase in the volume of tissues and sap and lymph of the creatures that constitute it."
"The land biota represents not simply life from the sea, but a variation of the sea itself," and living, land-life fluids "are not a mere remnant or analog of the sea; they are actually a new type of sea or marine environment: Hypersea." This continuity of ocean and land is supported by the fuzzy zones between plants and less complex forms of life: bacteria, algae, fungi, lichens.
- Sadie Plant - _Ones And Zeros_
Every computer consists of two aspects, known as hardware and software. (Software here includes information).
The software consists of programs that can exist in many forms, including the totally abstract. A program can be "in" the computer in the sense that it is recorded in the CPU or on a disk which is hitched up to the computer. A program can also exist on a piece of paper, if I invented it myself, or in a manual, if it is a standard program; in these cases, it is not "in" the computer but can be put "in" at any time. But a program can be even more tenuous than that; it can exist only in my head, if I have never written it down, or if I have used it once and erased it.
The hardware is more "real" than the software in that you can always locate it in space-time—if it's not in the bedroom, somebody must have moved it to the study, etc. On the other hand, the software is more "real" in the sense that you can smash the hardware back to dust ("kill" the computer) and the software still exists, and can "materialize" or "manifest" again in a different computer.
(Any speculations about reincarnation at this point are the responsibility of the reader, not of the author.)
In speaking of the human brain as an electro-colloidal biocomputer, we all know where the hardware is: it is inside the human skull. The software, however, seems to be anywhere and everywhere. For instance, the software "in" my brain also exists outside my brain in such forms as, say, a book I read twenty years ago, which was an English translation of various signals transmitted by Plato 2400 years ago. Other parts of my software are made up of the software of Confucius, James Joyce, my second-grade teacher, the Three Stooges, Beethoven, my mother and father, Richard Nixon, my various dogs and cats, Dr. Carl Sagan, and anybody and (to some extent) any-thing that has ever impacted upon my brain. This may sound strange, but that's the way software (or information) functions.
Of course, if consciousness consisted of nothing but this undifferentiated tapioca of timeless, spaceless software, we would have no individuality, no center, no Self.
We want to know, then, how out of this universal software ocean a specific person emerges.
What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.
Because the human brain, like other animal brains, acts as an electro-colloidal computer, not a solid-state computer, it follows the same laws as other animal brains. That is, the programs get into the brain, as electro-chemical bonds, in discrete quantum stages.
- Robert Anton Wilson - _Prometheus Rising_ (1983)