User Interfacing

User interfaces, as I am understanding them, are akin to dendritic wormholes in the social brain.  In some way, these days, we use our muscles, even if they be finger flicks or eye movements (there’s also less widespread interfacing directly with nervous system), to connect our minds to this vast flow of information and meaning that is around us, willy nilly.

User interfaces facilitate the manipulation and navigation of information by consciousness.  As our user interfaces interface more and more directly with the central nervous system, the metaphors we use to interact with information will crawl and then jump to fly ever further away from the desktop.  We’ll be able to communicate in animated meanings without all the indirection of our technology-limited ways of communicating these past billion years.

That will be a stitching together of mind on a distributed scale.  It puts me in mind of the books Nexus and Crux by Ramez Naam.  Great books.

I already consider the global super organism to be real and manifestly existing.  But I can see how others are dubious of reifying a distributed processes.  But I think of how the atmosphere is solid when you smash into it, even as it’s ethereal when you move through it slowly, or the body from the perspective of a molecule or a cell.  I consider the resiliency of our economy, as it shuttles matter and services about.  I don’t consider telephone poles nor electrical wires to be inorganic.  I don’t consider stainless steel counters in restaurants to be inorganic either.  They’re evolving solutions to biological problems utilizing available raw materials.  That’s life to a ‘t’.

The natural/artificial world-split is artificial.

But I do wonder what “self-awareness” looks/feels like for the beast.  I doubt these words constitute it, even as they’re read.  It would probably be in evidence past a certain threshold and density of efficacious social interaction over the “www”.  It would exist as a vast conversation with great inbuilt context that had an onboarding process perhaps even measured in years.  As the internet enables networks of people to specialize and influence other networks stably, using these powerful CNS-integrated “languages”, we’ll see a brain-like vortex of activity form.

Well, we already have to a certain degree, and that conversation already exists, and you are a part of it as you read these words as I am by writing and maintaining them, but we’ll have better tools to visualize this reamalgamerging our births injected our layered selves within in real time.  Like Google Earth to the fifth power.

innerspace

Same idea from a different angle to help throw things in sharp relief.

One last thing.  In a certain sense, this is the most important thing going on right now.  This is because no matter what whiz-bang technologies are invented that exploit the laws of nature, if we can’t, as a species, develop a more mature conversation, we’re going to lose.  Efficacious conversation is a law of nature.

User interfaces to save the day!!!  Talk about an underdog.

 

*Check out Discourse if you’re interested in stepping down an inroad (has the pedigree of Stack Overflow and Coding Horror: Because Reading is Fundamental [I sincerely encourage you, if you’ve read this far, to give that last link a chance {please comment on the irony of this request below |and if you’ve got the time, reflect on how these hooks play a biological, proteanic role in shoring up that massive self-aware conversation I mentioned earlier <maybe you could drop a few breadcrumbs for someone else? /in such ways the avalanche snowballs!just saying!/>|}]).

Pattern mutating beyond measurement

A billion year evolutionary algorithm inexpressible outside the subtle molecular responses to stresses upon an emergent geometry

as it mutates beyond some vast assumptions about the measurement

looking at the way emergence weighs upon its roots

looking back through soil’s clouds’ rains

at the way ‘looking’ is characteristic

of geometries piling up on them selves

squishing them selves

according to geometries

them selves squished

by those also

squished

 .

Supraintellectual

Supraintellectual – experimenter’s attention to detail and likelyhood w/ a dash of intuition to round teleological corners

Emotive – embodied embeddedness

Whole – supraintellectually emotive

Yogic Dualism

Traditional Yoga is, philosophically, metaphysically, dualistic.  I don’t actually agree with the dualism of Yoga and its philosophical cohort Sankhya and I’ve spent most of my adult life exploring and elaborating nondualism, but hey, that’s fine: I think it keeps one on their toes to practice something that doesn’t entirely accord with their beliefs: helps protect against dewy eyed nonsense.  Yoga is a practice, not a philosophy.  I like Edwin F. Bryant’s description of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, pg xlv):

a psychosomatic technique of meditative practice

The nice thing about Yogic dualism is that it isn’t the same as Western Dualism, such as that of Descartes.  This post is about that.  Bryant writes (pg xlvi):

In the Yoga tradition, the dualism is not between the material body and physical reality on the one hand, and mental reality characterized by thought on the other, but between pure awareness and all objects of awareness–whether these objects are physical and extended or internal and nonextended [res extensa and res cogitans].  In other words, in Sankhya and Yoga, thought, feeling, emotion, memory, etc., are as material or physical as the visible ingredients of the empirical world (footnote A [see below]).  As an aside, in this regard, Yoga has a curious overlap with modern reductive materialism, which holds that the internal world of thought and feeling is ultimately reducible to neurological brain functioning and other purely material phenomena, as well as with the computational procedures of “artificial intelligence”.  It thereby offers an unexpected overlap with modern functionalist accounts of mind that merits further exploration (avoiding some of the pitfalls in the Cartesian view in this regard, while, simultaneously, unlike Artificial Intelligence, retaining consciousness itself as independent of cognition [footnote B {see below}]).  Pure consciousness, called purusa, in this system, animates and pervades the incessant fluctuations of thought–the inner turmoil of fears, emotions, cravings, etc.–but the two are completely distinct entities.

To use a common rhetorical device found in internet forums: THIS.

Bryant later writes (pg liii):

It cannot be overstressed that the mind merely a physical substance that selects, organizes, analyzes, and molds itself into the physical forms of the sense data presented to it; in and of itself it is not aware of them.  Sense impressions or thoughts are imprints in that mental substance, just as a clay pot is a product made from the substance clay, or waves are permutations of the sea.  The essential point for understanding yoga is that all forms or activities of the mind are products of prakrti, matter, and completely distinct from the soul or true self, purusa, pure awareness or consciousness.

And (pg liv):

More specifically, the soul [purusa] becomes aware of the outside world when images of sense objects are channeled through the senses, sorted by the manas [mind], the thinking and organizing aspect of citta, and presented to the intellect.  Although inanimate, the intellect, in addition to its functions of discrimination noted earlier, molds itself into the form and shape of these objects of experience, thoughts and ideas, and, due to the reflection of the consciousness of purusa, appears animated.  Since the soul is adjacent to (footnote C [see below]) the intellect (and the citta in general), the intellect is the immediate covering of purusa; hence it is through the intellect that purusa becomes aware of these forms and objects of the world.

Footnote A:

As Dasgupta notes, if the mind itself were conscious, then why would its states be sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious?  In other words, if the very nature of the mind were conscious, then all its states should always be conscious–there should be no unconscious or subconscious states in that which is, by definition, conscious.  The fact that this is not the case suggests that consciousness lies in another entity behind the mind, which is conscious of some states external to it but not others.

Footnote B:

Schweizer [Paul Schweizer, “Mind/Consciousness Dualism in Sankhya-Yoga Philosophy”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LIII.4 {1993}: 845-59] states as follows: “If mind and environment are held to belong to the same metaphysical realm, then mental content can both cause and be caused by other physical events.  This at least opens the door to explaining mental representation and the evolution of cognitive structure through appeal to the interaction between an organism and its environment, while it is not at all clear that this door is open on a Cartesian account” (1993, 854).  Along similar lines, he elaborates that AI adopts a computational paradigm, which assumes that all phenomena, whether artificial or natural, are founded on computational procedures evidenced in physical systems.  Since the citta in Yoga is an unconscious mechanism which manipulates the representational structures involved in perception, it can be characterized as computational (ibid, 854).  He further notes that, as in Yoga, “subjective experience is an element which is theoretically extraneous to the research programs of cognitive science and AI”.

Footnote C:

Since purusa is omnipresent, its adjacency with buddhi [intellect] is not spatial; conceptualizing their relationship is one of the main philosophical problems of Hindu thought.

I’ve been saying similar things in my posts (Yoga Sutras 1.2, Yoga Sutras 1.4, Consciousness, and probably elsewhere), but this is all a lot clearer than my jabberwacky.

Footnote A is a very interesting line of reasoning to me.  One could wonder how it doesn’t just move the same problem back a step, since, if purusa is pure consciousness, how can any form of unconsciousness be possible at all?  Basically, I think it is saying that the intentionality of consciousness, the about-something-ness of all conscious states, is not actually necessary to consciousness itself, but is simply a product of the conscious field witnessing or coming into contact with some material reality (measuring).

So, where does my non-dualism fit in?  What we are able to egoically relate to as “awareness” requires a certain density of intentionality.  Without a threshold density of contact with mental goings-ons, we aren’t actually aware of our awareness, like a mirror in the dark reflecting nothing.  Samadhi then is the result of focusing that awareness back on itself so that it is about itself.  Going with the mirror example, which I like, enlightenment, or samadhi, is a spherical mirror of in-angled reflections capturing some light and not letting it out.  Yoga is the technique of in-angling the mirror into a sphere.  At least in my terminology.  Technically, yogically, purusa is unchanging, and so isn’t itself amenable to in-angling.

Transcribing the Journals

I’ve begun to transcribe the massive amount of journals that I have.  I’m still working on the user interface, and frankly, I’m sick of that for a while, but I wanted to move forward anyway, so I began transcribing it in my IDE itself.  But wow, it is a lot of work.  I did just a few pages of one notebook and my arms were RSI-falling off.  I’m going to have to utilize the Mechanical Turk – I’ve already begun planning a workflow in my mind.  I wonder how much it will cost to get some 20,000 pages transcribed and double-checked?

In any case, for now here is an example I typed out from the very first journal I started writing when I was 17.  The journal is down below embedded in quotation marks – the stuff above is the code that organizes the journal entries by tagging them and saving it all to a database.  Obviously, WordPress is a crappy place to paste code, so for anyone who’s interested, I recommend copying and pasting into something else, preferably something that is c# aware, like Notepad++ (and for the observant, yes, there is code missing, this is just to give an idea of what the “API” is like to use [an API developed and used for one night, so it’s not necessarily refined either, just functional]):

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

using Jem.Core;
using Jem.Sutrapp;
using Jem.Sutrapp.Dtos;
using Jem.Sutrapp.Model;
using Jem.Sutrapp.Model.Controllers;
using Jem.Sutrapp.Model.Services;

namespace Jem.Sutrapp.Scratchpad {
         public class JournalSession {
                 public Guid UserId { get; set; }
                 public Guid JournalId { get; set; }
                 public string SessionDate { get; set; }
                 public bool IsApproximate { get; set; }
                 public PositionSeed Position { get; set; }
                 public string Name { get; set; }
                 public PrivacyLevel PrivacyLevel { get; set; }

                 public Content SessionContent { get; set; }
                 List<Guid> SessionEntries = new List<Guid>();

                  public JournalSession(Guid userId, Guid journalId, string sessionDate, bool isApproximate, PositionSeed position, string name, PrivacyLevel privacyLevel = PrivacyLevel.Public) {
                          UserId = userId;
                          JournalId = journalId;
                          Position = position;
                          Session(sessionDate, name, privacyLevel, isApproximate);
                 }
                  public JournalSession Session(string sessionDate, string name = null, PrivacyLevel privacyLevel = PrivacyLevel.Public, bool isApproximate = false) {
                          using (var controller = new ContentController()) {
                                   Name = name;
                                   PrivacyLevel = privacyLevel;
                                   SessionDate = sessionDate;
                                   IsApproximate = isApproximate;
                                   var session = controller.CreateContent(UserId, Name, "", "", PrivacyLevel, "journal session");
                                   session.Tagit("date", UserId, SessionDate, controller.MyDc);
                                   session.Tagit("is date approximate?", UserId, IsApproximate.ToYesNoString(), controller.MyDc);
                                   controller.MyDc.SubmitChanges_ResolveAll();
                                   SessionContent = session;
                                   return this;
                          }
                 }
                  public JournalSession Entry(string fullText, PrivacyLevel privacyLevel = PrivacyLevel.Public) {
                          using (var controller = new ContentController()) {
                                   var entry = controller.CreateContent(UserId, "", fullText, "", privacyLevel, "journal entry");
                                   entry.Tagit("date", UserId, SessionDate, controller.MyDc);
                                   entry.Tagit("is date approximate?", UserId, IsApproximate.ToYesNoString(), controller.MyDc);
                                   entry.Tagit("position", UserId, Position.ToString(), controller.MyDc);
                                   entry.Tagit("session", UserId, SessionContent.ContentId.ToString(), controller.MyDc);
                                   controller.MyDc.SubmitChanges_ResolveAll();
                                   SessionEntries.Add(entry.ContentId);
                                   Position.Position++;
                                   return this;
                          }
                 }
                  public JournalSession Comment(string commentText, string dateOfComment, bool isApproximate = false, PrivacyLevel privacyLevel = PrivacyLevel.Public, Guid? userId = null) {
                          var lastEntryId = SessionEntries.Last();
                          using (var controller = new ContentController()) {
                                   var comment = controller.CreateContent(userId ?? UserId, "", commentText, "", privacyLevel, "journal entry comment");
                                   comment.Tagit("date", UserId, dateOfComment, controller.MyDc);
                                   comment.Tagit("is date approximate?", UserId, isApproximate.ToYesNoString(), controller.MyDc);
                                   controller.MyDc.SubmitChanges_ResolveAll();
                                   return this;
                          }
                 }
         }
         public class PositionSeed {
                 public int Position { get; set; }
                 public PositionSeed(int seed) {
                          Position = seed;
                 }
         }
         public class Journal1 : JournalBase {
                 public Journal1(Guid userId) {
                          UserId = userId;
                 }
                 public void CreateJournal() {
                          JournalId = CreateJournal(UserId, "2/17/1999", "9/14/1999", false, "Journal 1", PrivacyLevel.Public);
                          var positionSeed = new PositionSeed(1);
                          new JournalSession(UserId, JournalId, "2/17/1999", false, positionSeed, "")
                                   .Entry("[...missing pages 2-3]Is it possible to die without your knowing it?  Since death is simply the end of conscious (unconscious too?) thought which is caused by the ceasing of electrical impulses being created and whatnot (I don't understand these processes).  Can you die, these electrical impulses be disrupted before (they)? realize what is happening?  Can you know when you are about to die and can you inwardly trace your death?  Can you feel your hearing go, your sight leave you, etc...  Or does consciousness go first then maybe senses then unconsciousness or opposite on those last two?")
                                            .Comment("Is consciousness created through the assimilation of data obtained by these 'senses'?", "3/24/99")
                                   .Entry("I am quite sick of writing in this thing tonite and only wrote in it so I would know that I was sick of writing in it later.  I almost didn't add this tonight.")
                                   .Entry("A certain amount of disorder is necessary for each person.  The level varies from person to person.  Any perfect (without disorder or below that level for each person) requires that person to tumble, not only in the physical \"room\" sense, but also in the psychological \"mind\" sense.  Everybody has a certain level of self-destructiveness.  I have physics due tomorrow that I haven't started.")
                                   .Entry("Does that mean we all have a part (albeit small for some) in our deaths?  I am very disordered.")
                                   .Entry("Can we change that disorder level?")
                          .Session("3/10/1999")
                                   .Entry("What is society?  Seems ants and humans have it.  They aren't conscious, we are headed for disorder through our intelligence.")
                          .Session("3/16/1999", "**************", PrivacyLevel.Private)
                                   .Entry("*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************", PrivacyLevel.Private)
                          .Session("3/17/1999")
                                   .Entry("There seems to be two main callings in life, Money, Personal Satisfaction (helping others, helping yourself)... Getting Stuff (Money)")
                                   .Entry("BEING HAPPY")
                                   .Entry("Happiness is essentially caused by these things.  What is happiness?  Some chemials (hormones, chemical reactions) in my body that do stuff... How do these chemicals efect my consciousness?  Feelings... All chemicals... How do they effect my consciousness?  Our consciousness is caused by other chemical reactions... interactions... whatnot... are feelings comingled with consciousness,. or are they something completely different?")
                                   .Entry("What is the point, I ASK YOU?  Where does this intense feeling to conform come from?  Why do I want a house, wife, kids, dog?  WHY?  All these things will bring me happiness, comfort, security... _All feelings_... How?  Why do I like them?  LIKE?  WHAT IS IT?  If you like something that means if given the chance to go back in time and change what you did, you probably wouldn't.")
                                   .Entry("How can we assume an alien race would be anything like us?  They will most likely \"like\" completely different things.  Things... what are they?")
                                   .Entry("I was thinking a minute ago that our interpretations of things are what make us \"sane\".  That a desk is a desk whether or not we interpret it to be a desk.  If no humans existed to see the desk, to realize the desk, it would still, universally, scientifically (our own reality based on our axioms, logic), be a form of matter that, if humans were to exist again, could be recognized as a desk.  But is this true?  Since to say this is true relies on science, and science is something that we created.  Something that was borne of our minds, our consciousness.  OUR WAY OF SEEING THINGS.")
                                   .Entry("ANOTHER thing is __time__.  What the fuck is it?  How do we interpret it?  This simple fundamental thing governs our entire lives.  What if, universally speaking the human way of interpretting time, a way that developed over time, over our development or evolution, was incorrect.  We interpret time as the 4th dimension.  We have three spatial dimensions and time;  combined you get an event with coordinates.  If you have a reference pt. you can \"measure\" distance from it using the three dimensions then use that fourth, time, to describe other interesting properties.  Movement requires time.  Thinking requires time.")
                                   .Entry("_Moving_ on, how do we think? (by the way, what the fuck is the pt?) I mean, right now I am thinking things.  I am teaching myself things.  That is what thinking is, isn't it? You are, to be vulgar, larning yourself something.  It is just like having a teacher teach me that thinking is teaching yourself something, except I just thought of it.  How do I think of it?  I didn't know it (or did I?) before I started thinking tonight, yet now I do. (just like...) can we ever teach ourselves anything.  Is everything we learn just an extrapolation of data.  For instance Galileo.  He had data and interpretted it.  Copernicus.  Heliocentric universe.  Had data interpretted it.  Interpretted it how?  He had A, B, C... and linked them together. thus learning for himself that our universe (in fact solar system, until 'X' teaches himself and consequently us, otherwise) is heliocentric.")
                                   .Entry("Is it possible to learn anything from \"pure thought\"?")
                                   .Entry("Speech, linguistics, language... need them for thought?  can a baby discover that the solar system is heliocentric?")
                                   .Entry("No, first of all he needs many other advances, telescope, etc... or could he 'pure thought' up that the universe exists, that it formed somehow (big bang, plasma, ...) and that a solar system exists, that the sun should exist, that it is at the center.  Is it possible without observing to 'divine' up truth?  Can logic dictate the world?")
                                   .Entry("That I guess is the question.  Could I possibly, without any knowledge whatsoever, in a closed room discover everything, given time?  Even telescopes, though i would have no use for them in my dark (resourceless) room?")
                                   .Entry("GOOD NIGHT!")
                                   .Entry("Could I stop questioning things?")
                                   .Entry("Could I see my own death?")
                                   .Entry("One thing I feel pretty sure about is that if someone went insance, than they wouldn't know about it since time references would slip by, memory seems non-existtent, nothing to base things on, just one long _blank_ period until you come out of it and your body starts working right, mind...")
                          .Session("3/20/1999", null, PrivacyLevel.Public, true)
                                   .Entry("we will never be able to fill the hole (materialism) so we my-as-well stop trying.")
                          .Session("3/21/1999")
                                   .Entry("a good question: if we were able to download a person's thoughts (consciousness) into electronics, then this person died... was killed, but his double... thoughts downloaded still l ived... should the killer feel bad... did the man really die?")
                          .Session("3/22/1999")
                                   .Entry("Build a machine that allows us to live in user created worlds for as long as we want while little to no time passed in this universe... can experience anything... fantasy etc...")
                          .Session("3/23/1999")
                                   .Entry("is any break in consciousness... conscious thought death?  do i die when i sleep? if my consciousness is being transferred, not duplicated, and there is a break in my thought... then i exist in the machine and not in my brain... am i dead, did i die?  we are alive only through our memories.  do we remember existing?  then?")
                                   .Entry("3d computer... 3d computer architecture.  [drawing of sphere] sphere.")
                                   .Entry("to learn something, to create new kowledge you have to first create something... some statement then perform memory traces to see if any conclusions that particular statement assumes contradicts anything you can remember... know that it shouldn't.  this particular statement said above is new and so far contradicts nothing that i currently know about learning and discovery.")
                                   .Entry("similarity between conscious and conscience")
                                   .Entry("interestingly enough, it makes some people's inability to learn certain things quite understandbale if things they learned before are wrong.")
                                   .Entry("sometimes to teach people new 'correct' things we must reteach them things they already thought they knew, give them different memories to perform the memory traces against.")
                                   .Entry("What the hell am i thinking?")
                                   .Entry("Are our minds inextricably attached to our bodies?  A conscious transfer thus dictated by the link to our bodies?  Do we die by being separated from our body?  is our mind separate?  this all sounds quite stupid really.")
                                   .Entry("to exist is merely to remember existing and to forge ever onward through the dark mist of time, creating new memories.")
                          .Session("3/23/1999")
                                   .Entry("Problem of the duel consciousness: what if we were able to duplicate a person's consciousness somewhow.  One off them died, is he really dead?")
                                   .Entry("******************************************", PrivacyLevel.Private)
                          .Session("3/28/1999")
                                   .Entry("Can we have memories specific to days?  like my seventh bday, can i remember what else i did that day by having some sort of stimulus?  how would memory be organized if that were possible?")
                          .Session("3/13/1999")
                                   .Entry("society as we see/experience it is just an intermediary step, so that humans may build a foundation on which they can truly exist, as one with nature.  Darwinian really, Survival in mind here.  Evolution is complex, don't underestimate it.")
                          .Session("3/24/1999")
                                   .Entry("There are so many problems with the world today, society, that one could quite easily spend his whole life wanting to fix them all, working on one and accomplishing nothing.")
                                   .Entry("What is the origin of my free thinking?  why do i question things more than other people?  or do i?  do many other people, teens or not, look at their fingerprints... observe the majesty and wonder to the origins... the future of such an odd faculty?  am i really as different as i think i am?")
                                   .Entry("on the subject of education... if no better, substantially better alternative to the current method of education is found, one that inspires students to free thinking, or a majority of them might it be possible that we do not need to learn?  might that be for some of us, while the others 'play'?");
                 }                
         }
}

 

Although…

…there are lots of impressions roiling around in my head, they seem to wish to keep at what they’re up to, for a while yet.  Who am I to dictate their readiness in words?  Not words: meaning – meaning that wishes to adventure {but hasn’t (found the write raiment yet)(finished packing its bags [of those things which will comprise it during its journey <away from its fountainhead |…|>])}.

Retired this Blog

So, I have taken the plunge and begun publishing my real and actual blog as a replacement for this placeholder.

You can check it out at: 

http://jeromeyers.com

Of course, that thing is heavily under construction and you, my fellow blog readers, may not be happy with its feature-deprived state.  For now, I’ll leave the content that is here, here.  But soon, I’ll put this content there and then eventually, I will remove the content from here.  However, that’ll be a while as that website is a single page javascript application that cannot be indexed by Google.  Getting that search indexing aspect working is what dictates how long this site will be here.

You can check out the code that drives the above website at:

https://github.com/jeromeyers/psychlotron

Have a great day,

Jeromeyers