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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Direct Interface  
  A form of computer interface that inputs text into a computer by thinking.  

What I like about Varley's work is that you always get the real world view. It's not all clean and beautiful in Varley's universes, but then, it isn't in mine either.

What sort of computer interface do you use? A keyboard? A microphone? A stylus that writes directly on the screen of your computer? Try this one.

Looking around me, I saw that all my colleagues were busy at the same task. Eyes were rolled up, mouths hung open, here and there a finger twitched. It had to be either a day trip from the Catatonic Academy, or the modern press at work.

Okay, so I lied about the open mouths. Not all D.I. Users look like retarded zombies when they interface…

From Steel Beach, by John Varley.
Published by Ace Putnam in 1992
Additional resources -

This novel was written in 1984, when the idea that you could actually have an interface between your brain and a computer was pure science fiction. However, you might want to take a look at research done on the idea of a brain computer interface before you dismiss the idea. If it could be made to work, it would be a tremendous boon to disabled people.

For more on altered states while communicating, see sniggertrance.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Steel Beach
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Steel Beach
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Articles related to Input Device
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
Tongue Mouse Created By Valve Engineer
Skinput Uses Your Skin As An Input Device
AcceleGlove Open-Source Data Glove

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