An Essay Attempting to Justify the Relationship
Between Code Cracking and Reality Cracking

(Why is Reality Cracking Important?)

by Curious George

(11 February 1997) reality cracking
Reality cracking
Courtesy of reverser's page of reverse engineering

Well, this essay is maybe, a little too theorethical: the question about what is reality brings us stright into a never ending philosophical discussion. I think that exactly as we understand the code cracking it, we will, in due time, understand better the reality cracking it.
That's the reason I believe that any reality cracking essay should cut some real mustard, that is, I believe that any essay in this section should try to tackle one of the (many) EXAMPLES of reality concealing (mostly for commercial reasons) that surround us.
I decided to publish George's theoretical essay nevertheless, because some theory IS indeed needed, because there are many interesting starting points, because I love the phrase "The crackers are the heroes" and, last but not least, because I hope that curious George will send either a complement to this essay (cracking 'real' reality examples, if you will excuse this pun :-) and/or other, more targeted and "useful" essays.
Besides, I agree TOTALLY with the thoughts expressed by George accompanyng his essay:
Dear Reverser:

...More than that, "Reality Cracking" can be accomplished 
by anyone with a critical mind.  You don't need hours 
of undisturbed time in front of the computer. You can 
practice your reality cracking skills all day long, 
everyday of your life! And you should, lest you be taken 
advantage of unknowingly...
...Having read all of the Reality Cracking section, and 
a decent amount of the rest, and being fascinated by the 
+ORC enigma, I felt compelled to write an essay that
covers two topics.  First, I discuss reality as a
whole.  Second, I tried to get into +ORC's mind (funny, 
me of all people, probably one who knows least about
him...) and find an overall motive... hope you enjoy!

Best Regards
Curious George
All about Reality ~ Appropriate for all readers ~ No difficulty level Why is Reality Cracking Important? An Essay Attempting to Justify the Relationship Between Code Cracking and Reality Cracking written by Curious George
Our view of the world is our own. The particular set of events that we experience over our lifetimes shapes what we see in the world. There are commonalities however.
They are large reality models that whole nations subscribe to. There are different models. Some conflict with each other. All are subsets of the true Reality. We must crack reality.

¿What is Reality Anyway?

Lets start from the very beginning. We talk of Reality Cracking, but we don't really know what reality is, do we?

I believe (with lots of other people too, like Plato, and Orwell to name two) that it is whatever you think it is. More specifically, there are the models ("Paradigms") that define reality for those who subscribe to them. These Paradigms have two properties: their strength grows directly with the number of people subscribing to them, and they are self reinforcing.

For example, there is the "western culture" paradigm that the once was centered in Europe, but now (unfortunately?) has re-centred to the USA is, and other nations follow to a greater or lesser extent. The Media (with a capital "M") both creates/ preaches/ and echoes this reality and the TV-zombies suck it in and live it. Western Culture and the Media are just two Paradigms. There are others...

Some Paradigms to be Aware of

the Media
Christianity (esp. fundamentalism)

#'s 2, 3, and 5 all are aspects of 1. I list these as separate, because for some people they are strong enough to become the principle model of reality with the others simply being general cultural factors. i.e. a MD has the strongest affinity for 3, and 1 contains 2 and 5 for him. A reporter on the other hand has the strongest affinity for 2, and 1 contains for him 3 and 5.

On That Elitist Group Who Declare to be Truth Seekers

What is "news?"

Most of it is FICTION believe it or not. You know all of those "scientific" discoveries /polls/etc. that They cite? Most of them are observations (correlational) rather than experimental (cause/effect) and they haven't been confirmed yet (and probably never will be). Also, the reporters are forced (through no fault of their own) to pick and choose what they report, which is determined by what they are interested in, and what they are interested in is what they believe, and they believe the news that they the set of what the Media reports is a biased sample of the true set of what is actually happening. Then we get to the problem of humans' inability to write objectively, as well as the dominant "view of the self," (60's American political liberalism mixed in with resurgent Puritan values stripped of religious significance and a healthy dose of materialism) an aspect of the Western Paradigm.

Other reasons why news is fiction? Well, forgetting the objectivity part, reporters PURPOSELY misrepresent the 'facts'. Yes that's true. I can't count the number of "moles" within the Media who've openly admitted this to me. One particular person related how by peer pressure the editors select bad photos of some people and good photos of others, sometimes completely out of context. They constantly manipulate the words, images, etc. to be artificial creations representing their own opinions, so much that when They are done, the result is far from what "really" happened...But many of them don't realize this (but the especially cynical ones do and continue doing it...) because they live within the reality model that They help create and reinforce. They think that They are being professionals objectively stating "the Truth". And of course we started this whole thing asking "what is reality?" For the people who share the "Western" paradigm, THE NEWS IS REALITY.

(if you didn't see it on TV, it didn't happen. This isn't on TV. This isn't happening. You are dreaming. When I say "asparagus" you will wake and not remember anything that has happened to you in the last five minutes...)

Another One

Science is formed on some basic assumptions, and even though the scientists can point these assumptions out, they don't live them. We all know that there are things in the world that science can't explain (yet?). Some scientists are so involved in their model that they, from within the model, claim that nothing else exists! Well we know that's absurd. Almost everybody can point to an unusual experience and say that it happened, but they are afraid to because it isn't "normal" and therefore it is wrong. Religious miracles are one way of interpreting happenings unexplainable in scientific terms in an accepted Paradigm. We all know that there are other things in the Universe that we haven't begun to understand (at least in a scientific sense). A "miracle" may be a freak occurrence; statistically possible, but not may be a mistake in one's perception...such as experiencing REM sleep while awake..."miracles" can be explained many ways, one way being in a religious context...even the most tenacious scientist will admit that there are things that his theories can't explain (satisfactorily at least) and that describing these things with religion is valid at least until he can "disprove" that interpretation with scientific findings...take evolution for example.

Some people used to believe that every type of animal was created simultaneously by God... now we believe in evolution. Evolution disproved a literal interpretation of the Bible for that particular section. (Unless you are a fundamentalist, in which case you would argue that science is just a way of viewing the world, and if it conflicts with what the Bible says, science is wrong.) Until the theory of evolution came along, the previous notion was perfectly valid because they had no evidence to the contrary.

Don't misunderstand me, science is a powerful tool. The problem is that (at least so far) it can not describe everything in our world, and people are so intoxicated with its success thus far that they begin to think that they indeed have succeeded in describing everything...

We must remember that much of what we have are THEORIES. Even though we have stuff that works and is based off of the theories, the fact that the stuff works doesn't necessarily mean that the theory is a correct representation of an aspect of the Universe.

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the fact that your computer actually works? When you consider all the issues as a whole, it seems that it must be a ridiculous mistake. Microprocessors: the "wires" are so close together and so thin that the travel of electrons can actually make the wires start to move...electrons can jump...transistors don't have nice distinct spikes... it is more like a curve...when the voltage is reduced, this problem gets worse. Then we have fluctuations in the power source...what about hard drives? The data is packed so closely on the platter that it merges bastardize the problem, a 01110 could end up looking like 1 to the head...the computer must essentially puzzle out what is really stored there...if you look at it directly it would look like white noise...the new HDs will have their very own Pentiums to deal with this problem...

So, if you ask a physicist, he will say that our computers shouldn't work. But somehow, we've tricked the Universe into letting us make them...But I am on a tangent.

An Appeal to Authority

I mentioned Plato and Orwell above. Let me support those assertions.

Remember Plato's cave? Suppose there is a person who is sitting inside a cave and watching shadows dance on the wall of the cave. This is the only thing that he can perceive. For that person, because the shadows form the whole of his perception, that is Reality. But because his perception is false and limited, he fails to realize that just above and behind him there are other people dancing around a fire which casts shadows onto the wall below that he is looking at. This is not a direct support of what I'm saying, but it is pretty damn close. Basically he is talking about the Realization that humans can have that what we see is a product of what we think we know.

In 1984 Orwell explicitly mentioned the Paradigm concept. In the novel, he constructed a "giant conspiracy" in which the elite imposed their own Paradigm on the world. People who live outside the accepted Paradigms are in powerful positions...and consequently they have enemies...anyway, the story takes place a long time since the conspiracy was implemented. Basically the story is about the conspiracy's self-regulation method kicking into effect. There will always be humans who question, and in this situation they were betrayed and crushed. But the "big bad guy" (name?) tells the hero the truth about the conspiracy right before he is crushed. The hero learns that life wasn't always like it is now, and that the whole situation was constructed to keep the world in stasis. He learns that occasionally people like him begin to question Reality, but they are easily discovered by the Betrayer and his ilk.

Anyway, the ideas I present here aren't mine. I've gleaned them from other writers, etc. Possibly make take on the issue is new. There are all sorts of philosophers who are basically restating the same thing in different ways...

On Cracking

Below I attempt to unearth an underlying motive for why +ORC is so interested in Reality Cracking. Why did he wait for so long before bringing this topic up? Why mention it at all (as opposed to sticking with "pure" cracking)?

Shall I be vague and fictionalesque for a moment?

So, there's this website that I've found that's really wonderful. There are some people who think like me and they're also computer experts. They "crack" things...but the cracking thing isn't the truly special part. Cracking is an awesome skill, and doing the exercises will certainly help become a better Reality Cracker in general, but I've never been one for doing why is this site so great?

Well there's this "entity" who is a master. His amount of skill demands that he hide himself thoroughly. He wants to share his knowledge with others (lonely to be alone?) so he gets some students. They are his most advanced and he only talks to them occasionally and sporadically.
They don't know who he is. So anyway this entity writes some tutorials for his students. They learn and become really good. They create a whole "virtual" (ack! Media word. :) academy where they discuss and feed off each other. He is happy with this but it is taking a life of its own.
What he really wants to do is get people to think like him.

How do I know this? Well he is writing/began to write letters to his (principal?) students (who published some of it) where he is talking about the same stuff. The cracking thing was just a way to get there. (a necessary way? I don't know.)

Why did the master choose cracking? Well computers/ Internet can be viewed as a metaphor for Reality. Say that what exists on the internet (the set of Omega) is the true reality. Say that what we see in the Western Paradigm is what is given to us through Yahoo, CNN, Micro$oft, and Pointcast (especially. The whole idea of push technology is especially revolting). Say that when one cracks one is performing the act of seeking the Truth.

For example, this web site teaches how to search the web well, more specifically, it shows the reader that there are other methods besides www search engines to do it. It doesn't actually TEACH you how to search. (that seems to be changing, however.) Why? Because the author is struggling with the question of how obvious he should make his material. He seems to have settled on the idea of a "brain activity pre-requisite" but that level isn't defined and thus it fluctuates depending on what you read.

Anyway, the results you get from each different way of searching the web are like different Paradigms. They all overlap somewhat and to find interesting results you perform "set operations" on the results. The only way this works is to be outside any particular Paradigm so that you know that the others that don't overlap with yours exist at all.

Now lets look at cracking more specifically. There are the creators of the program, there are the crackers, there are the programs themselves, there are the protection schemes, and there are the cracks.

Going back to the Orwell example, the programmers are the conspirators. Their program is the Paradigm. Their protection method is the self-regulation scheme (thought police). The crackers are the heroes. The cracks are what Orwell didn't have; the heroes were destroyed in his book. In his world, the heroes started off at a lower level than the crackers of the academy. The heroes had to first recognize that there was a Paradigm at all, then they had to crack it. But in this situation Orwell created the "uncrackable protection scheme" and the heroes were crushed before they began the actual crack.

Now back to cracking as a metaphor. Every exercise that is published, every essay written, and every strainer is a metaphorical exercise for cracking a Paradigm. You have to search through the various programs until you find a new protection method. Then you use the skills and intuition that you've developed thus far to crack this new method. The mentality required to solve these types of problems is EASILY mapable onto the real world.

IMHO this is why the master chose cracking as the way. (besides the fact that he is damn good at it and it is especially appropriate for our contemporary situation.)

On Those Who Seek the Truth

There are people out there who've completely quit the mainstream reality model and are living on the outside. (+ORC being one of them). They actively try to keep as open as possible, that way hoping the be in a receptive enough state to get a glimpse at the "Truth."

There are various established Ways to seek the truth that one may use. Many of the religions that have become Paradigms in themselves once were effective ways. Some still can be, but when the religion is part of the larger paradigm, it is pretty hopeless. Some methods include first breaking from the Paradigm before seeking the truth (like Zen monastaries), and others such as cracking + reality cracking only concern themselves with breaking away from that Paradigm.

Is it built into our natures to be limited so we can't see it and only catch glimpses and shadows, or can we actually get the truth? (There are people in the past who've gotten as far as we can get, say Buddha, Jesus, the Zen know, the founders of the great religions).

The true question that (I think) the master is leading them toward is to tackle the question, "Is it possible for humans to know the Truth?"

So, before beginning on this question, he must first get his students to remove the gauze from their eyes that humanity puts on itself, so that they may see with the maximum ability that humans can see with. It is like when a Zen student goes to the monastery and the brothers let him stay and mediate...that is us now, and when the brothers grant him fellowship, that is breaking from the paradigm...and when the brother reaches Zen that is the ultimate goal...for as we have seen before, all the philosophies and religions that humans come up with are just different approaches spawned from that culture/time which are ways of attempting to reach the Truth.

finis (c) 1998 Curious George All rights reversed
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