One of the hazards of

One of the hazards of working for a friend (and from home) is that they see nothing particularly wrong with text messaging you at seven in the morning, when you’re still comfortably asleep and warm having been up until 2am playing with code. This will have to stop.

But Danny isn’t the only one of my friends acting strangely this morning. The fact that many of my contemporaries have their own personal sites makes tracking their lunacies easier than ever. It’s like their affectations, mood swings and quirks are frozen in hypertext amber. Let’s see:

Michael has in the course of a month decided to give up smoking, take up yoga and have various parts of his body shot through with metal. It’s like he’s becoming the anti-Michael – completely different from the man I knew at University. And he’s decided to give up smoking by taking Zyban [Official site]. I’m confused by this turn of events – as a smoker myself I can see the attraction of giving up, I can even understand getting help to do so – patches, gum – these things make sense to me. But there’s something about taking medication to ween yourself off a habit that seems strange to me. Shouldn’t the remedy match the problem in some way? What happened to willpower?

While Michael’s becoming a highly medicated “my-body-is-a-temple” kind of guy, Matt is beginning to respond to the world as if it were one huge and continual head-trip. In his latest post he’s reading a book on the tube when he comes upon the Hebb Hypothesis. The text he’s reading goes like this, “Most viable theories of memory require some form of synaptic modification dependent on the correlation of pre-and postsynaptic neuronal firing (which we will denote as the Hebb Hypothesis).” This triggers a chain of intellectual association-making – a kind of magically synaptic corona – in and around Matt’s mind. And he launches into one of the trippiest pieces of writing he’s produced in months:

“Outside the feeling of claustrophobia hadn’t lifted. I looked up at the blue sky and the buildings and understood what I was seeing what the physical alteration in my machine. Suddenly everything reversed, my brain turned inside-out and instead of clouds and windows I saw the patterns of my brain — an inverted sphere, the whole universe of my perception as solid brain, and a hole inside, a gap in this solid the exact shape of my old brain, vacant, and me, reflected by the universe inside it, a hologram.”

So Michael’s become a pharmaceutical Buddha and Matt’s become Techie Jim Morrison. And this has all happened while I’ve slept. Someone seems to have slipped something into the meme-stream this morning. It’s having an effect on everyone.

I’ll end with David and Meg – two successful, well-paid, essentially sober individuals. Surely these two would be immune from any mass-mind-fuck that’s going down? It seems not. For they too have been exploring whole new states of being, by carefully detailing their respective experiences of their local mall – the O2 Centre. Now I too am a fan of this establishment – in fact Meg’s descriptions of the fake rocks, piped bird noises and plumes of lit water make me feel almost nostalgic. (Aside: the same effect could be acheived with fibre optic cables, keyhole surgery and a large quantity of beer.) But I’m awed by their desire to chronicle these experiences in such detail. It’s as if their senses have been enhanced in some way, and instead of seeing fibre-glass and escalator, they’re seeing patterms of light and colour – Acid-visions of modern life…

Is it just me? Am I the only one left with a mundane brain? Am I the only one who can’t see the music and feels it passing through me?