Tichy, for you I’ll do it. I’ll break a professional secret. Everything you’ve complained of is known to the littlest child. And how could it be otherwise? For progress was destined to travel this path the moment narcotics and early hallucinogens were replaced by the so-called psycholocalizers, drugs whose effects were highly selective. Yet the real revolution in experiential engineering took place only twenty-five years ago, when mascons were synthesized. These are psychotropes whose specificity is so great, they can actually influence isolated sites of the brain. Narcotics do not cut one off from the world, they only change one’s attitude towards it. Hallucinogens, on the other hand, blot out and totally obscure the world. That you have learned from your own experience. But mascons, mascons falsify the world!”
“Macons…’ I said. “I seem to know that word. Yes! Those mechanical dogs they used to have at football games. But how does that tie in with this…?”
“It doesn’t. The word has taken on – excuse me, tasted on – an altogether different meaning. From mask, masquerade, mascara. By introducing properly prepared mascons to the brain, one can mask any object in the outside world behind a fictitious image – superimposed – and with such dexterity, that the psychemasconated subject cannot tell which of his perceptions have been altered, and which have not. If but for a single instant you could see this world of ours the way it really is – undoctored, unadulterated, uncensored – you would drop in your tracks!”
Lem, The Futurological Congress (from the memoirs of Ijon Tichy), Futura Publications Limited An Orbit Book, pp. 113-114.
What is it?
– An egg.
– No, a chicken.
– No, a peak.
– No, the truth you need!
A simple question, but the answers are not obvious…
What does perception depend on? Look for the answer.