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Glossary

     The following definitions are intended to help the reader through this book and are not intended to be a comprehensive definition of the terms. While all but four of the following definitions are mine, many of them were based on definitions found in the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing, or FOLDOC, which may be found at http:// wombat.doc.ic._ac.uk/foldoc/index. html. I thank all of the 1,100+ contributors to that project for their helpful site and for the four definitions of theirs that I used intact.

aesthetic fitness score
A number assigned to the image produced by an electronically evolved organism that determines the organism's likelihood to breed and have offspring (see aesthetic selection).

aesthetic selection
Natural selection is the built-in process by which Nature chooses survivors and hence the shape of future generations; aesthetic selection is the external process by which an artist steers the course of image evolution and development.

algorithmic art
Computer-generated artwork that derives from mathematical functions or programs, as opposed to being drawn or painted by hand or by scanning in photographs. In "true" algorithmic art, the artist does not retouch the image in any way, e.g. by using software tools to add or remove features from the image. The majority of the work is in setting up the process that produces the image.

attractor
n dynamical systems theory, the term "attractor" refers to the tendency of a system to return to a specific pattern of activity.

avatar
An image representing the user in a virtual space.

backbone
The top level in a hierarchical network.

bandwidth
The range of frequencies in a data transmission channel that determines how much data per second can be transmitted.

bifurcation
A division into two branches; or, the point at which such a division takes place. In dynamical systems terms, a bifurcation occurs when a system moves from one attractor to another.

bit
The smallest unit of information used by a computer and represented by one of two values, generally 0 and 1. Also used to denote the smallest unit of computer storage.

black box
Generic term used to describe complex technology whose exact nature is only understood by those who built it.

black hole
A region where matter collapses to infinite density, and where, as a result, the curvature of space-time is extreme.

Borg
A fictional race of beings who are cybernetically enhanced humanoids. Seen on the television program Star Trek.

bridge
A device that forwards data network traffic from one part (segment) of a single network to another part of the same network.

buffer
An area in a computer's memory used to store messages.

cache
To temporarily store computer files somewhere other than on the computer of their origination.

chat
A form of online communication in which users exchange typed messages in "real-time."

chat room
A virtual space in which electronic conversations are held.

click
The action of pressing one of the buttons on a computer pointing device called a mouse.

client
A computer program or system that requests a service from another program or system.

closed reality
A consensus reality in which it is agreed that time travel and faster than light travel is not possible.

command line interface
A means of communication between a computer program and its user, based solely on textual input and output. Commands are input with the help of a keyboard or similar device and are interpreted and executed by the program. Results are output as text or graphics to the terminal. Command line interfaces usually provide greater flexibility than graphical user interfaces, at the cost of being harder for the novice to use.

computer code
A program; software.

cookie
An electronic file sent from a web server to your PC and saved there for future reference by other web servers. Cookies often contain information about your behavior at the web site that sent the cookie. By reading someone's cookie files, it is possible to build a partial portrait of a person's most private thoughts. (See the "Help" file that comes with your Internet browser for instructions on how to block web sites from sending cookies to your computer. Additional information about Internet privacy may be found at the Matrix Masters web site, www.matrixmasters.com.)

CPU
The central processing unit of a computer.

cyberdelic space
The mental realm in deep cyberspace that coincides with deep psychedelic space and which provides a portal for entry into entheospace.

cyberspace
The limitless place one's mind finds itself in when using technology to communicate with others.

cyborg
A living organism that is part animal and part machine.

deep ecologist
Person whose view of life on Earth is ecocentric rather than human-centered.

download
To retrieve a file from another computer.

email
Messages, or letters, in electronic format.

e-mail server
A computer dedicated to the sending and receiving of electronic messages.

emoticon
A combination of standard typing symbols used to indicate an emotional state; e.g. smiley face :-) , frown :-( , wink ;-). (Hint: Tilt your head to the left if you are having trouble seeing them.

entheogen
A substance which, when ingested by humans, facilitates the realization that the divine infuses all of creation.

entheospace
The realm of divine mind. Entheo-"space" is actually the "sense of place" one has at times when an exploration of one's inner landscape leads to the realization that this is much more than just a fascinating landscape, it is the entire universe. At moments when this realization is so deeply interiorized as to be an essential part of one's being, one is said to be in entheospace. When the focus of one's consciousness is on entheospace, one experiences a deeply seated sense of being infused with, and a part of, divine mind.

Gaian mind
A hypothesized meta-consciousness, which is responsible for the regulation of all planetary systems.

gateway
A device used to convert the protocol used by one type of computer network to that of a different type of network.

geek
(Or "turbo nerd," "turbo geek.") One who eats (computer) bugs for a living. One who fulfils the dreariest of negative stereotypes about hackers: an asocial, malodorous, pasty-faced monomaniac with all the personality of a cheese grater. The term cannot be used by outsiders without implied insult to all hackers. A computer geek may be either a fundamentally clueless individual or a proto-hacker in larval stage.

grok
Robert A. Heinlein coined the word "grok" in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Essentially, "to grok something" means to understand it so intimately that it becomes a part of oneself.

graphical user interface
Contrasted to the "command line interface" defined above, a graphical user interface uses pictures and text instead of only text to mediate between a user and a computer. First developed in the 1970s at the Xerox PARC research facility, graphical user interfaces, or GUIs (pronounced "gooies"), make computers significantly more easy to use.

GUI
See "graphical user interface."

hack
To break into a computer system without the owner's permission; or, to have produced a high quality piece of work, often a computer program.

hacker
A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary to operate the device. In recent usage, the term has also come to describe someone who breaks into computer systems without the owners' permission.

hit
A request to a web server from a web browser or other client; or, slang for a link found by a search engine.

Homo cyber
A symbiotic being, part human and part machine.

Homo faber
Latin, "man the maker."

host
A computer connected to a network.

hypertext
A term coined by Theodor H. Nelson during the 1960s that in Internet usage has come to indicate information that branches in multiple directions allowing the reader a choice of following different paths to related information in a potentially unending series of documents all of which are related to their nearest branching points. Essentially, hypertext permits the creation of non-sequential writing that allows readers to choose a line of thought they find most interesting.

hypertext link
Think of a web page as if it were a page in a book. Remember those school books that had footnotes at the bottom of the page? Well, you can think of those footnotes as a "link." Thus, if you are looking at a web page that is discussing ceramics and see a link (pseudo-footnote) that reads "Suzie's ceramic tips" you can click on that link/footnote and have Suzie's web page come up on your screen. In its most basic form, that is what a hypertext link is.

integrated circuit
A small electronic device. A "chip."

internet
(Note: not capitalized.) Any set of networks interconnected with routers. The Internet (capitalized) is the biggest example of an internet.

Internet
(Note: capital "I.") The Internet is the largest internet in the world. It is a three level hierarchy composed of backbone networks (e.g. ARPAnet, NSFNet, MILNET), mid-level networks, and sub networks. These include commercial (.com or .co), university (.ac or .edu), other research networks (.org, .net), and military (.mil) or government (.gov) networks that span many different physical networks around the world with various protocols including the Internet Protocol.

Internet Service Provider
Organization providing access to the Internet.

ISP
See Internet Service Provider.

Java™ technology
A computer programming language that is designed to enable a programmer to write an application that will run on a wide variety of computers with only slight modifications made to the original code.

killer application
A computer program generally agreed to be so important that it overshadows all other applications in its field.

LAN
See Local Area Network

layer
Networking protocols may be thought of as working in layers, with each layer providing services to the layer above it. This methodology makes it easier to change a part of a protocol without having to re-engineer the entire protocol suite.

link
Slang for "hypertext link."

Local Area Network
A data communications network that is geographically restricted, often to a single building.

lurker
Someone who reads newsgroups or is on a mailing list but does not post messages of their own for others to read.

multi-gigabit router
A router capable of processing several billion bits per second.

multimedia
Media, often in electronic format, which contains two or more elements such as text, graphics, sound, and video in a single presentation.

netiquette
Etiquette as it applies to communications and interactions on the Internet.

netizen
A person who considers herself or himself a citizen of the Internet.

newsgroup
An online bulletin board dedicated to a specific topic.

noosphere
As hypothesized: an organized web of thought surrounding the Earth's biosphere; a sphere of mind encircling the planet; the collective consciousness of the human species.

online
Accessible through the use of a networked computer; or, a person actively using a computer that is connected to a network.

open reality
A consensus reality in which it is agreed that time travel and faster than light travel is possible.

packet
A generic term used to describe a unit of data.

packetizing
Slang term often used in technical documentation to describe the process of breaking messages into parts and putting them into packets.

peripheral device
Any part of a computer other than its central processing unit or working memory.

pixel
An individual tiny dot of color in an image or on the computer screen; a good computer screen may have a million pixels, while a high resolution image reproduced on film or other medium may have several hundred million pixels; in some forms of Evolutionary Art a pixel is analogous to a single cell in biological organisms.

precession of the equinoxes
The apparent motion of the equinoxes along the great circle in the celestial sphere that lies in the plane of the Earth's orbit.

printer
A device used to make a paper copy of text and images from an electronic file.

protocol
Formal rules specifying how to transmit data across computer networks.

psychedelic
Mind manifesting, or mind expanding.

psychonaut
A person who deeply explores her or his own inner landscape.

real-time
Slang for computer processes that take place almost immediately, as opposed to processes that are scheduled to be run at a later time.

router
A device that forwards packets between computer networks.

routing functions
Processes used by network routers to move packets of information.

routing table
A matrix that gives a hierarchy of routers and which is used in determining and prescribing the best path from a given router to a remote router on the network.

search engine
Software that uses keywords to find specific information on the Web. Most popular search engines are provided free of charge at the web sites of their creators.

SEND button
The "button" on an e-mail application that activates the commands necessary to forward an electronic message from one computer to another.

server
A computer that provides a service, such as delivering the content of a web page, to other computers connected to it via a network.

shareware
Software for which the author requests a voluntary payment. Often such payment may buy additional support, documentation, or other service.

software
A computer program.

stack
A data structure in which new information may be thought of as being placed on the "top" or on the "bottom" of other information.

superstring theory
A single theory that, in principle, is capable of describing all physical phenomena.

surf the Web
Navigate from one web site to another.

TCP/IP
See Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol.

traffic
Term used to describe the flow of information over a computer network.

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
The suite of network protocols, or instructions, governing the technical details of transmitting information over the Internet.

tunneling
The encapsulation of a protocol within another protocol. Often used to encapsulate encrypted data for transmission over the Internet.

URL
Uniform Resource Locator. The Internet address of a specific file.

virtual community
A group of people with a set of common interests whose organization has no geographical boundaries.

virtual computer
A simulation of a computer that is running as a program on a physical computer.

Virtual Private Network
An effectively private data network created by using encryption techniques to transport information over an otherwise public network.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language
A computer language used by some of the artist-philosopher-programmers who build virtual worlds in cyberspace.

VPN
See Virtual Private Network.

VRML
See Virtual Reality Modeling Language.

web site
The Internet location of a collection of information.

World Wide Web
A portion of the Internet consisting of hypertext servers (HTTP servers), which are the computers that allow text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed and linked together.

WWW
See World Wide Web.


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