RE: [-empyre-] neurolinguistics and programming..

> id be interrested as well to see the structures that make up the brain of a
> differnt langauge groups.. right to left writers. top to bottom writers
> etc..i am imaging gorgeous patterning and webs of interaction..

Yes, it would be wonderful to get a travel grant and tour with this technology to other lands
and test it out on unsuspecting exotic alphabets. I'll post more about this medical
breakthrough, including the URL, shortly.

> i know from
> attempting to learn jepanses last year  that i feel like a different person
> speaking a different language as i didnt know what was happening untillthe
> end of each sentance.... so the whoel feeling fo expectation and rhythm of
> interaction changes.. and i wonder if the patterning has any relation to the
> artmaking of particular cultures.. eg the fabulous negative spaces in
> chinses art, or the intricate patterning of arabic works ..
> or maybe an example from last topic of dot art of australain indigenous
> cultures.

I wonder if there are any good books about such things. How the alphabet and the typical
typfaces/scripts reflect the architecture, if at all, for instance. I suspect it would not be a
matter of alphabet/script causes architecture but would lead to a study of re-emerging cultural
patterns that occurred throughout the arts.

> >We internalize the phenomenology of
> >what a computer is and how to work one, ie, somewhat consciously, somewhat
> unconsciously, and
> >the more we shape with it, the closer we come to the intersection of
> programming and, relatedly,
> >mathematics.
>  i have returned to writing by pen recently..which is a totally wierd
> experince as my muscules have mutated to type or use my tiny palm stylus..
> and feel very uneasy now  with a pen.. but what has struck me is just with
> this little bit of difference is the lagg between thought and execution.. th
> e realtime processing of the brain is pretty speedy compared with how we
> actually articluate it.. (which i know exists in typing as well but im not
> as aware of it) ..

Yes. I've had the feeling, when writing, that I'm constructing something different from my
thoughts but my thoughts are what i've been trying to express but in the process of construction
sometimes the more interesting thing to write is not one's thought but the directions the
construction process suggests. Often I don't know what I think about something before I write it
through. Some stuff you can think through. Other stuff has to be written through. WC Williams
said "a poem is a machine made out of words" a long time ago, probably in the forties or

> so  isn't why we liken computers to us because we built them in owr own
> image.. to be extended parts of us.. programming thern is just anoterh
> langauge executed realtime through different organs.. hardware organs..

Did we build computers in our own image to be extended parts of us? An interesting question. In
a certain sense, the answer *must* be 'yes': the same could be said of other machines we make to
do our bidding and extend our powers.

> and coming back to us isn't the  brain | body  programmed by our cultural
> machine language?

Sure we are. But we are soft machines and outrageously tricky.

> or do you see the human here as uniquely individual , on top of the pile
> directing the show..

Which show? The pile of what? Flesh and silicon?

Do I "see the human here as uniquely individual"? An interesting question. At first glance, the
answer would appear to necessarily be 'yes' because people have biological bodies and
people-made machines don't. But since people made machines to make x, people-made machines to
make people may arise. They already have. Because the question becomes 'in what ways are these
machines human?'

It isn't hard to make software so that when you interact with other people, you don't have a
clue whether you're interacting with other people or just the computer. For instance, if all you
can do is click on objects, and that results in some action that the person you are
'communicating' with sees, then depending on how random the consequence of clicking is, such
actions may be indistinguishable from what the computer might be able to do. In this situation,
an odd variation of the Turing test, we are not necessarily compelled to grant the machine human
qualities because the interaction has been almost like talking to a brick wall. We get no
patterned information from the interaction, just random noise. One cannot even communicate in
formal language since the message sent to the others is randomized. One might resort to Morse
Code, for instance, formally encoded in clicks. That also could be interrupted by changing the
order in which the messages are sent. This is more a machine to defeat the possibility of
language altogether than a human-qualitied thingy. But I like it. It has spunk. And, ultimately,
if it could be reverse-engineered, one might manage to pump a signal through it in a mutually
understandable language.

Deep Blue defeated Kasparov. He was stunned, the poor man. I wrote a poemy poem about it at . Kasparov was not so much stunned by the defeat as
by the contradiction between what he thought had to be human and what he experienced in the play
of Deep Blue. That experience unsettled him and he attributed more chess-playing ability to it
than it actually had; it's next move would have been a mistake if Kasparov had pressed on under
the assumption that he could beat it.

There's a classic by Marvin Minsky called The Society of Mind. That book has hidden depths.
Hidden because it is sketchy. But the fundamental idea about the processing architecture of the
mind is reasonable. It doesn't try to do more than ruminate productively on issues, questions,
and admittedly sketchy algorithms and data structures, but it approaches what it is to be human
in a book that contains his hand-drawn diagrams, a book in 8.5x14 page size, lots of white
space. Poetical in its own way. Elliptical at times. After I read that book, it seemed to me
that one could create machines that reacted 'emotionally' with human similarity. But he doesn't
tackle the problem of the creation of a world view very well. I don't think it's one he dwells
on in the book, undoubtedly he has written on it elsewhere.

I think Maya penetrates all the way through. Is Maya mind or is Maya the world? The world of
illusions or the machine of creation and what relation does our mind have with the programming
of the machine of creation? There can be no illusion without a perceiver, for an illusion
presupposes a distinction between what is seen and what is. What is human and what is machine
becomes confused at certain levels of talk about machines. Are humans machines? It depends on
one's notion of what machines are. It isn't hard to imagine humans as biological machines.

It's probably important to point out that such a world view doesn't necessarily diminish
humanity. Or even religion. Because the point of such a view can be not to diminish what is, but
acknowledge what is in a different conceptual frame.

hmm...i don't know if i've explored what you wanted to explore; the question was perhaps sketchy
to be engaging.

One can imagine a 'thinking machine' in a dramatic situation where it is made to realize the
existential moment of being alone and entirely thrown back on its own powers, painfully aware of
its own limited existence as an individual in a somewhat uncaring world. A moment of
self-discovery, perhaps. And then our own pity and terror would do the rest.

This has been going on for years even on TV. But the death scene in Bladerunner was the best
machine-existential-moment I've seen in film.


Interviewer: "Must an artist be a programmer to make truly original online art?"
John Simon: "Truly original? You Modernist! Whether you make art or not,
understanding programming is an amazing understanding."
from "Code as Creative Writing: An Interview with John Simon"

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