\”Chrome is an obsession, a dangerous drug that pushes you further and further into the horrible spaces of Techno-Lust. I suppose it’s like necrophilia for the Nu-Age…[T]he old joke about ‘cracking open a cold one’ that used to do the rounds has subtly shifted. In the beginning, psychologists said it was a violation issue. Something to do with the nasty old dominance game of rape. The Machines were Virgin-Nuns that ticked that urge, the unprotesting sex-slaves of those capable of indulging their darker urges. Possessing the Machine, owning the very things that made it function, dirtying the shining creations over and over again, restoring them to pristine wholeness – this was the first step. Humans violating Machine. It couldn’t last. Now, things have changed, and those who love Chrome are both the Violators and the Violated…” – Excerpted from: ’The Diaries of Harry Cochrane’.

Chrome is the solid shining metal, the reflective mirror that humans see their faces in, without the ripples of water, the distortions of reflection. The original material or sculptable metallic beauty

Is it any wonder that chrome was the original cyberpunk staple? Yet we look at the cyber-aesthetic, created in those grim future realities that our own has sneaked by. Those worlds of metal and flesh which are now supplanted by biotechnologies and infesting plagues.

Cyberpunk is forgotten, so they say. No longer a future – becoming just another fantasy-space. There is however, some disagreement amongst the scholars of cyber-culture, stirred by the re-discovery of the scribbled coffee-stained notes of the man known as Harry Cochrane. Originally found in a roadside hotel in 2001 near Birmingham England – bound loosely together with a spine of creaking gaffer-tape – the Diaries approximately three to four hundred pages in length.

Regarded as a work of fiction by the enterprising young waitress who found them, the intimate details of a man’s life within a world subtly different from the then status quo were exposed with a brutal, almost uncaring intensity.

Upon the submission of a typed up manuscript to a well-known publisher, the Diaries simply disappeared, despite their seeming marketability. The waitress in question also disappeared shortly after their submission. Rumours abound as to what exactly happened to her, everything from death to becoming an exotic dancer in Chicago.

There are those however, who insist the truth is far stranger – that there was merely a visit from a well known figure in an influential occult order. It is said that parallels may be drawn between the meeting of Theodore Reuss and Aleister Crowley in 1910 – with the subsequent initiation of the latter into the OTO – and the disappearance of the nameless waitress after that meeting.

As ever in such conspiracy theories, no names are mentioned, though cyber-historians eventually hope to unearth names for the individuals in question, even if they are discovered to be mythical personages.

What happened to the original text and its edited manuscript counterpart in the intervening period is a matter for conjecture.

What remains is the indisputable fact that there is an underground movement in today’s society that social historians suggest is a movement towards Cochrane’s World-Aesthetic, albeit by slightly different means.

It has been subtly intimated that the Diaries are not merely a divergent future echo – or even a fiction created by a fertile mind, but rather tunnelling mechanism to allow a line of escape/entry into the n-dimensional hypersolid of the perceptual-actuality universe.

Similar to the Necronomicon, the Diaries are a cultural-gloss delivery system specifically designed to target particular portions of the matrix of the hypersolid.

The world of the Diaries and the original classical cyberpunk aesthetic it uses as source-material is thusly not a fantasy-space rendered so by technological and social divergence, but in actuality a hyperstitional entity-complex. Such an entity is a Phantasy – taken from the word Phantasm to emphasise its illusory and ghostly nature.

As a ghost-reality, it co-exists alongside the current, reified living reality. Necromancers have long made deals with such ‘hungry ghosts’ who, desperate for shape and life, perform the will of the summoner.

Such things are hyperstitional in the most definitive form, solely desiring to make themselves real, to change places with the living.

But where singular entities such as these are ghosts, the Phantasy is in fact an entire World-Aesthetic. Rather than being a discrete singular entity, the Phantasy pushes towards the real-dreamhood of maya as a complex. Thusly, multiple entrance-exit tunnels are must be formed, possibly bound together to form an umbilical cord.

Once this cord – this network of fibre-optics or ideological linkages or other suitable metaphor – is made, the ghost-reality begins the long road to fruition, slowly moving from Phantasm to flesh, drawing nourishment and resources from the Matrix (Mother) reality. Slowly, the Phantasm incarnates, first as simple base-line functions, then with increasing complexity, until it is finally able to self-sustain. At the moment of Birth there is fundamental danger to both Mother and Child – and in many cases, both die, signalling collapse of consensual beliefs and Apocalypse. Without intervention, the likelihood of Mother-death is significantly high, resulting in the Newborn being Alone and developing in the Wild.

Such Wildling realities often contain the components of the Phantasm but their structure is often significantly different due to the need for self-preservation and its inherent mutations based on the needs of Maximal Functionality.

Even if both Mother and Child survive, the Child will eventually achieve independence of the mother – albeit somewhat affected by upbringing. In this case, remnants of the previous reality still exist both in terms of memetics and social genetics, Eventually however, unless confronted with something that results in its early destruction, the Child outlives the Mother, and without interference, becomes the Primary.

So it is that the classical cyberpunk is not made manifest at the pace it was suggested/created by those who first gave it concrete form, but instead the possibilities change in accordance with the actuality.

The Diaries therefore are a Work, a drawing together and pushing forth by the Phantasy into Reality – a seed, a kick from the Foetus-Possibility to stir its Mother into acknowledging its existence and suitably caring for it in order to bring it to term.

As mentioned before, the manuscript and original disappeared. Given recent advances in technology and subsequent legal backlash against so-called alternative life-styles in certain territories, the author of this article wonders if perhaps the battle between the Mother’s immune system and the fertilized ovum is not already taking place.

If this is so, then we must ask ourselves whether the disappearance was in fact a suppression due to the extreme nature of the life and world of Harry Cochrane, or rather something else. Perhaps the story of the occult leader has more to it than simple conspiracy theory – and in fact there are hidden fertility technicians out there, wise in the ways of overly active immune systems. Could they be engineering ova even now, or perhaps developing exo-wombs to allow incarnations without interference?

Whatever the case, the Diaries deserve further study.

According to Cochrane, Chrome is a complex entity – rather than a simple inducer of aesthetic pleasure. The more esoteric portions of the Diaries centre upon the psycho-sexual nature of the material and its seemingly addictive properties to those who become heavy users.

No longer simply a name for the solid material alone, Chrome is the shining thing that fuses with organisms to create true cybernetic entities. In a pre-nanotechnology society, its first appearance in the sensorial consciousness would necessarily be of fixed nature, with heavy emphasis upon the visual. Thus, its shine and reflectivity would be the first to attract attention on a larger scale. The first seeds of the pull it has on the human psyche beyond that may be seen by its first uses – the ‘aesthetic improvement’ of the everyday components such as taps and other fixtures. By improving the shine of these objects, their importance was emphasised and attention drawn towards them. The ability to raise objects from normal everyday attention to special focus marks out a general human response. That which shines – or reflects light most brightly becomes instantly noticeable and therefore grabs the attention of the observer, relegating other objects to second-stage relevance.

Since humans are primarily visual creatures, that which is the most easily seen receives more processing time than that which is not. Brightness also carries association of intensity and importance or potency – something that is backed up when considering that most of the human sexual cues are visual in nature.

It is therefore no surprise that the desire to be noticeable, to ‘be cool’ is something that is an effective component in human societal ritual. Thus, those with wealth – that measure of societal power and control – often use it to procure, create and surround themselves with objects and idea-structures which are aesthetically potent to emphasise their superiority and increase the level of pleasure personally experienced.

Soon enough, the wealthy acquired more chrome, adding it to more obvious status symbols ad extensions of psycho-sexual-personality such as cars.

The propensity to have chrome and other lustrous materials which excite visual attention can be connected to increasing affluence and greater technological control – soon enough, chromed cars gave way to other shiny-reflective properties. Tall spires of glass and steel signalled advance in architecture, the association with silver and metal as future reaching out into the fifties to symbolize the future calling back to its ancestors – the chroming of the fifties shifted to the stark angular lines of the seventies as the possibilities expanded. Blinking LED’s winked in vast computers, multicoloured hues reflecting off brushed and shining steel.

A strange new visual style, lines angles and geometries began to take shape, at first competing with and then supplanting the older organic patterns. Harder, stronger, more resilient – better than that which could rot and decay, and endlessly efficient purposefulness that eschewed waste and focused only on results.

Moving from its lumpen-hissing days of the Industrial Revolution, the self-contained Thing that did what it did to perfection, a harmony of Form and Function that simply Was.

Now fully ensconced in the Mass-Mind in the forebrain of the everyday, its angular spaces and borders having stabbed and sliced and pressed away the intruders, giving it the room to grow, the next stage began.

In those empty spaces it spread, retracting its corners, smoothing itself, featureless. Flowing it moved into the places previously held by the organic alone. There were those who knew this, knew the true face of Chrome, the siren call of Metal. Always few, they had passed down the knowledge of Forging and Making. Alchemists, Blacksmiths, Jewellers, Sorcerers and Magicians, Scientists and Engineers – they knew, and had touched the Mysteries. They’d called it Mercury or Quicksilver. The Elixir of Life, the thing that Shone.

Also known as mirror fantastique – or to use Grant Morrison’s phrase, magic mirror- the liquid flow of Metal-Chrome occupied space with a new kind of ubiquity, the so-called lunar current occupying the same visual space as the solar one. In a very real sense, the reflective properties of Chrome echo the fact that the light of the Moon is in fact the light of the Sun reflected off a silent and dark body empty of movement due to lack of atmosphere.

Classical symbolism equates the Sun as male, the moon as female. However, to the peoples of Northern Europe, the symbolism was reversed. Germanic tribes – and this includes the Scandinavians held the Moon to be male and the Sun to be female. In fact, the name of our star-system ‘Sol’ is the name of the Norse goddess of the sun. She was also known as Sunna, giving an easy demonstration of the feminine associations which are often today forgotten in the West – though some of this dichotomy is preserved by the fact that many still refer to the ‘Man in the Moon’, a fact which proves that the complications and Mysteries are still present within plain sight.

Being essentially the silent, reflective partner in the relationship of the Heavenly Twins, the Moon has no light of its own without the animating force of the Sun.

So it was in the early days of cybernetics – the fusion of technology with flesh required that the inorganic components moved only at the behest of the organic.

In a very real sense, the living animated the dead, just as the Moon shines with the life-light of the Sun. The Diaries, with their sketchy description of historical trends – only to be expected from one who was contextually immersed within their results rather than operating from outside – seem to suggest that the cybernetics soon became more than dead things in actuality, if not public perception.

The differentiation between Flesh and Metal begins to blur mightily with the introduction of internal nanotechnology and implantation. Carbon-based nanobots and DNA resequencing further makes the people of Cochrane’s world closer to symbiotic entities than enhanced-implanted humans.

In this at least, it becomes obvious the Metal-Chrome complex is far more insidious than first suspected by the unwitting Primary Infection vectors that thought they were giving birth to a new form of Engineering.

Unfortunately for them, they had instead fallen victim to an ancient visitor from Outside – a form of Unlife which invaded the universe during the first Inflation. Lying quiescent after being expelled into the pre-planetary sphere by supernovae, the Metal formed the core and basis of the tellurian sphere which essentially gave birth to what we know as life.

Cochrane’s heretical assertion that the Metal-Chrome is actually an essential portion of existence – i.e. that Unlife is a requirement for Life – is what has caused most to suggest that the Diaries are fictive, however my response to Reza’s post on Holey Space [see:] may shed light on it. I quote:

“The hunger of the solid for the void seems to increase the prevalence of ()hole complexes. The servants of the complex infect the solid – which is to say the base-line monolithic structure of government-society as a super-solid. These servants burrow within such a solid, opening up the tunnels which, as well as allowing easier flow of Unlife and-or-Oil (indeed as engineered-infectious Oil designed by the hyperstitional engineers of IA, the difference eventually becomes negligible) also allow movement /within/ the body of the solid – opening doors/ways to places that were previously inaccessible to those inhabiting the solid. The usability of these newly form transport \’subways\’ engenders interest in those who become aware of their existence. These interested parties then begin to either seek to control these tunnels or push for more tunnels to be made. In either case, they come into contact with the engineers of the ()hole complex and are often infected and themselves become engineers.”

The push towards cybernetics and implantation – of creating increasingly advanced technology which accomplishes greater things, requiring greater integration. That is to say, the Mother hungers for the Child, the Real for the Phantasy. The Solid for the Void. The cyberneticists have engineered the technology which leads to greater ease, causing a generalised explosion and desire of access to Metal-Chrome.

This then is the first inkling of the phenomenon that Cochrane refers to as Techno-Lust. The obvious intrusion of technology into the fleshly sphere remains, even the Diaries, a surgical intrusive option – humans are not born with implants. They are added afterwards, the original body-image undergoing significant changes, and the expansion of identity to include the new components. This secret is well known to various students of the esoteric scientists – strange mutants who developed spiritual technologies without the physical foci which modernity requires for mass re-structuring:

“ [T]he initiations of the machine-engineers that dig are arcane and involve significant reconstruction of the candidate’s command protocols and switching on of long dormant factory settings that were disabled after the initial birth-trials of the candidate machine when it was first created.

Hence, the imagery of the Old Ones is of misshapen entities which are terrible in their alien nature – in the factory the newly conscious-aware machine-person now has the alien intrusion of never-before felt, direct experience thrust into their newborn and still flexible epistemological framework, an intrusion from the Outside which then recedes after initial programming has been created.

Subsequent contact with the Old Ones etc recalls the factory testing and sense of intrusions due to the fact that their Unlife is a new form of direct experience previously not apprehended, or at least forgotten.”

As is indicated by Cochrane, the phenomenon of Techno-Lust appears to increase exponentially in relation to the number of Chrome-users. In this sense, he talks of those who are heavily cyberneticized. As the population rises, aesthetic values shift more strongly towards sexualising these components since more human-sexual objects are possessed of them. The epitome of sex thus becomes those with maximal Chrome, eventually moving towards full blown Techno-Lust desiring congress with the total Other. That means sex-procreation-possession-engenderment-envelopment extrusion by machine and becoming desirous of alien modes of consciousness, or:

“Gradually the infection-cult spreads and the number of tunnels increase, increasing the amount that passes through, and allowing it passage out of the solid and into contact with other solids. Evenually the original solid becomes so riddled with ()holes that it collapses completely – the Stars become right:

‘That cult would never die until the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild, and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.’

When does Earth become Unground? You may note the use of the term Erath in my earlier comments. Erath is Unground in its thickest, most glutinous form, the precursor to MUD and Dust. It is the Earth shot through with Oil that is so rich and dark as to have soaked the solid through and through.

The tunneling disturbs the natural veins of Oil hidden within the Earth, the places it has lain hidden since its production by the hidden subterranean pressures. This mixes with the liquid forms of Outside, seeping through the Earth until it reaches saturation point – becoming almost soggy.

In this soggy mess, tunnels are dug more easily, even though they may collapse without warning.”

In the next article I will be exploring the relationship between Oil and Chrome in regard to IA, but for now, we will confine ourselves to Chrome.

The Ultimate Aim of Chrome-Metal, says Cochrane is essentially to become ubiquitous and omnipresent throughout the human system, creating a new entity entirely. This new entity thus become Opener of the Ways, going beyond the Black Man archetype of Nylarathotep and instead evoking Yog-Sothoth with each new entity one of the infinitte spheres of the Key and the Gate, allowing the Crawling Chaos as Messenger of Azathoth to destroy/create/produce a liminal hyperdimensional solid best expressed by the screaming dimensions of non-Euclidean geometries and the thin piping of the idiot gods as they play their flutes in the interstices between.

It is interesting to note that independent attempts to carbon date the Diaries produce erroneous results. It is obviously impossible, state cyberhistorians, that the Diaries – being as they are indisputably cyberpunk and written in modern English, are over 10,000 years old.

Onece again however, their mysterious disappearance holds many questions for the flexible of mind – questions only exacerbated by the fact that the manuscript is obviously part of a much larger work.