Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mind Design

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We are at a point where there is a need to consider what it will require to more fully
humanize the engineering, technology, and science involved in mind/brain
research. We are on the verge of virtualizing our experience, so thoroughly, and
completely, that we risk losing essential aspects of our very humanity because
we do not fully understand or appreciate them.
Successive iterations of so-called “human-enhancement technology” threaten to render us less human,
notwithstanding their intended effects. The more immersive and far-reaching are the virtual realities we create, the more we can come to lose crucial parts of
ourselves. Because we fail to identify them, they are absent from our
cybernetic simulations.

Ray Kurzweil on Revealing the Secret of Human Thought

Science and technology are delivering new systems of artificial intelligence at a pace
which is bringing our brains and machines toward a point of no return. Because
we inhabit our technology, and it transforms who and what we are, it is
imperative for us to comprehend the difference between the physical connections
comprising the brain and nervous system and the embodied, extended, and
networked intelligence of the human mind.
Most of what we experience is a creation, assembled from internal states of memory
and association. This rich texture of experiential knowledge suffuses our
sensorium and comprises the texture, tone, timber, and resonant qualities of our
conscious awareness.

 
More information flows from within us to our sensory centers than information from the outside
world. As little as one-tenth of the neural responses to a visual experience
actually originate in the object in the perceptual field – the rest flow from
pre-formed memories, models, and stored “engrams’ of experience. And many of
these patterns originated in the DNA of other, long-extinct species and
individuals.

 
Living minds are rooted in the ancient past experience and genetic intelligence of
millions of years of earthly evolution. And these lives are similarly enmeshed
in the biosphere, with which they share many interrelated functions.

 
We are involved in a field of endless looping feedback. Our minds contain vast interlocking
chambers of consciousness, most of which are operating below the level of
awareness. As such, studying them, in order to reproduce them, is a massive
undertaking. We are at the threshold of this kind of understanding, and it is already
clear that the root causes of our behavior and the vast majority of our mental
processes are unconscious, and perhaps beyond our ability to decipher.

 
Entwined within binding cultural ties, we are also entangled with each other in our
actual lives – echoing, magnifying, experiencing, language, body rhythms, and
emotions, while mirror neurons reflect our own states of mind back to us
through the eyes and minds of others.

 
The kind of one-way communication of much artificial intelligence, computer simulation,
and virtual reality, creates a shallow simulacrum of human mentation and
experience. This does not reduce the significance of the machine mind, but it must
be described in its own terms – not those of human, animal, or other forms of
living intelligence.

 

We are all needed here…all of our human ways of knowing the world, our rich texture
of physical experience and visceral emotion, all the associative, poetic,
metaphorical, symbolic, aesthetic energy we bring to our world is responsible for
making it appear to us in just the ways it does – specifically, uniquely, a bit
differently for each of us. There is a great need to humanize the design of our future.

 

It is far too important to be left only to technicians.

 

You’re needed here…with all the positive, emotive,
associative, poetic, metaphorical, symbolic aesthetic energy you bring.
Again, there is a great need to humanize these endeavors. This is what art and
artists do.

*
Image: “MindFormation” – Tullio, ink drawing, 2012
Sound Program: Futurist Ray Kurzweil interviewed on the Leonard Lopate show

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Dreamwaves

Each
item in the vast inventory of my experience shimmers with reflected meanings, chains
of association, connections. Particles move and spin, waves of energy
interpenetrate, all in some vast synchronous orchestration of sight, sound, and
sensation. Waves of photons, cosmic rays, vast energies from the edge of
existence penetrate my being. Transfixed by the ineffable trajectories of time
and space, the multidimensional interconnectedness of every instant – being
alive, the astonishment of sensory awareness, pure consciousness – overwhelm
me. I am impelled to make things that contain it, transform it, to communicate,
to inform, to send messages encoded with the patterns of intelligence and emotion
inspiring my life.

*
Click here for iTunes access to ARTologyPOD sound piece: “Dreamwaves”

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Intersection 02 – Patterns of Intelligence

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Vibrating in every dimension, matter
and energy form patterns, which are in alignment with universal fields of
force. Pushed, pulled, and spun at sub-atomic scale, waves and particles of electromagnetic
radiation coax elemental materials into crystals of increasing complexity. Giant
molecular proteins coalesce into great chains and spiral through time, carrying transmittable codes of the complex information they contain.

Patterns persist and spawn other,
more extensive, patterns. Early sparks of life emerge and reenact the push and
pull of physical forces in the pulsations of their very biology. The place
where life resides is a kind of inner amplification, a concatenation, a locus
of physical forces. From the tropisms of plants to the myriad urges of animals,
life forms adapt to environments and to each other. They learn and change in deep unpredictable ways. And the entire ecosystem is transformed. Coevolution occurs.

Cells to neurons, from the analog flow of chemical reaction to the digital transmission of neuronal spikes, particles and waves of biological information transferred from
generation to generation are living islets of stability amid the chaos of
incessant environmental flux. Nervous systems learn to achieve states of
resonance with each other across the distances separating them. Synchronizing
sound and visual cues, living beings set up complex patterns of
interrelationship. Intra- and inter-species communication creates invisible linkages
between individuals, resulting in a vast arc of transcendence crossing space
and time, and uniting the entire biosphere.

From matter and energy to life and
thought, the complexification and interiorization of the universe evolves at an
exponential rate. Intelligence emerges and the universe becomes aware of itself.

This interconnected matrix of interiorized
experience, moving through time, becoming us…is us. This web of life and its
inner surface – the universe of conscious experience, these patterns, this intelligence – is who and what we are.

*
Image: “Pattern of Intelligence” – Tullio, ink drawing and digital image
2012YouTube Video: “Harvard Cell Animation”

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