Wetware (brain)

Wetware is a term drawn from the computer-related idea of hardware or software , purpose applied to biological life forms. quote needed ]


The prefix “wet” is a reference to the water found in living creatures. Wetware is used to describe the elements of hardware and software found in a person, especially the central nervous system (CNS) and the human mind . The term is used in both fiction and scholarly publications. quote needed ]

The “hardware” component of the bioelectric and biochemical properties of the CNS, specifically the brain . If the sequence of impulses traveling across the various neurons are thought of as symbolically as software , then the physical neurons would be the hardware . The amalgamated interaction of this software and hardware is manifested by the changing physical and chemical connections that spread across the body. The process by which the mindand the brain interact to produce the collection of experiences that we defineself-awareness is in question. quote needed ]


ALTHOUGH the exact definition HAS-shifted over time, the term Wetware and Its Fundamental reference to “the physical mind” has been around at least since the mid-1950s. Mostly used in relatively obscure articles and papers, it was not until the heyday of cyberpunk , however, that the term found broad adoption. Among the first uses of the term in the Michael Swanwick novel novel culture is Vacuum Flowers ( 1987 ). quote needed ]

Rudy Rucker References Wetware :

… all sparks and tastes and tangles, all its stimulus / response patterns – the whole bio-cybernetic software of mind.

Rucker did not use the word to simply mean a brain, nor in the human-resources sense of employees. He used wetware to stand for the data found in Any biological system, Perhaps Analogous to the firmware That Is found in a ROM chip. In Rucker’s sense, a seed, a plant graft, an embryo, or a biological virus are all wetware. DNA, the immune system, and the evolved neural architecture of the brain are further examples of wetware in this sense. [1]

Rucker describes his design in a 1992 compendium “The Mondo 2000 User’s Guide to the New Edge”, which he quotes in a 2007 blog entry. [2]

Early cyber-guru Arthur Kroker used the term in his blog. [3]

With the term getting traction in publications trendsetting, it became a buzzword in the early 1990s. In 1991, the Dutch media theorist Geert Lovink organized the Wetware Convention in Amsterdam , which was supposed to be an antidote to the “out-of-body” experiment conducted in high-tech laboratories, such as experiments in virtual reality . quote needed ]

Timothy Leary , in an appendix to Info-Psychology Originally written in 1975-1976 and published in 1989, used the term wetware , writing That “psychedelic neuro-transmitters Were the hot new technology for booting-up the ‘wetware’ of the brain” . Another common reference is: “Wetware has 7 plus or minus 2 temporary registers.” The numerical allusion is to a classic 1957 paper by George A. Miller , The magical number 7 plus or minus two: some limits in our capacity for processing information , qui later gave way to the Miller’s law . quote needed ]

See also

  • Biohacker
  • Grindhouse Wetware
  • biopunk
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Cybernetics
  • cyberware
  • Intelligence amplification
  • Liveware
  • meatspace
  • Neurotechnology
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Wetware computer


  1. Jump up^ Rudy Rucker (1988). Wetware (Print (Paperback)). Ware Tetralogy . Joe Devito (cover art). Avon Books (USA). p. 183. ISBN  0-380-70178-2 .
  2. Jump up^ “Blog: What is Wetware?” .
  3. Jump up^ Kroker, Arthur (1993). “RU wetware?” A text on his “ctheory” web site. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ctheory.net.

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