I detect / EI-DE-TIC

Fri, 08 Aug 97 18:53:20 0

I'm developing this loose theory and wanted to run it by anyone

Running roughly parallel to Chomsky's theory on universality of
language and ending up at St Ignatius de Loyola:

Given that eidetic imaging has been found much more extensively in
children and given Chomsky's theory that children are born with some
kind of potential for language let's suppose:

Our minds are constantly producing images. Whether we look at them or
not is a matter of choice.
How to look at them is a matter of choice and training.
Certain training and philosophies most definitely open our "inner
eyes" (massive quote marks - please note) to conscious perception of
these images. What interests me is the threshold at which these images
become eidetic (or at what point (subjective) I becomes eidetically

I don't know about you, but I find that my emotional reactions tend to
be in response to mental imagery. Is this "natural" or is it just
something I learnt to do from watching soap opera? In any case I find
that I react emotionally to mental images, (day)dreams rather than
formula's and concepts. My excitement at an inspiring concept comes as
soon as that concept becomes an image, my level of excitement is
directly linked to the clarity of the image. So the concept becomes
image by some as yet unclear mental process.

It seems to me that imaging is a process of emotional sublimation. The
associated feelings are there but detached, still somehow active
within the mental image. Sublimated.

For the sake of simplicity I'll borrow the left brain / right brain
model. I don't know or much care whether this theory is accurate,
measurable or has in fact been disproved. Let's postulate that left
brain means parameter setting, isolating metaphor and lexicon
juggling. Let's say that right brain means image generation from
emotional stimulation and pattern recognition. I say pattern RE -
COGNITION carefully.

Right brain constantly produces images.
Left brain constantly "reads" these images, or tries to.
Left brain being what it is cannot process entire images which the
right brain deals with exclusively. So the left brain looks for
particular bytes it can articulate, usually simple comparisons. The
better the co-operation between left and right brain the more complex
a thought can be conjured. The left brain is scanning this
indescribable right brain image when suddenly a comparison model leaps
out - this is how we get metaphor. It is the bridge between image and
words, right and left. It's a lot like saying like, it's like, man,
you know, like wow.

This would explain two things:
1. Children experience "eidetic" imaging more frequently simply
because their lexicon takes up less consciousness or computational
resources (cheers Anders!) than densely programmed adults. The hard
wiring of image processing without the software of particular
language. Even the comparative process impedes eidetic experience
(terms such as software to describe mental process). This hard wiring
of image processing may be a peek into animal consciousness.
2. The popularity of psychedelics. Augmenting image production or
inhibiting metaphor iconisation starts to look like pretty much the
same thing. (Now there's a debate)

Things get interesting for me when looking at where our present (nano
and AI) technological development seems to be taking us: further into
the mind. It strikes me as a likely fantasy of coders (to coin Douglas
Coupland - microserfs) would be to jack into a global neural net and
depart the body. This fantasy often seems particularly resonant when
the neural net is a visual experience. "Shockwave" is an exciting
piece of software, isn't it? The fantasy strikes me as a wish to
revert to the mental landscape of childhood, to return to a reality
defined entirely by the flow of images and the play of imagination.
What I find interesting is that the attempt to actualise this desire
is enacted via left brain coding facilities augmented by technology.

So if I'm right and the unconscious motivation of cinema, TV, video
gaming and (future) neuro surfing is the realisation of an eden
reclaimed fantasy then two things bear consideration about all this:

In the 16th Century St Ignatius de Loyola (I do believe) invented the
term technology to describe language. This was core to his treatise /
tractate / book "Powers of Imagination". If we accept that imaging is
our mental connection to emotion then eidetic or on going, self
supporting visualisations could be considered as glimpses into the
mirror of our souls (loose definiiton of soul: sum of emotional
causality. Emotion I find harder to define.) Here's some geek theory:
"coders" are obsessed with transforming mental experience into
mathematical code, to be actualised in silicon, visualised on screen.
NOT the same as saying "coders" are fleeing the mirrors of their
souls. It's what makes fractal imagery and geek theory in general so
fascinating. Let the coders out to play! Just bear in mind that there
are multitudes of humans who access their personal cinemas directly
and expertly. The mountains are peppered with them. (Upside of
buddhism #1)

The images generated by neural net being corporate generated, not
emotionally generated, thus thwarting the escapist motivation, in
exactly the same way that noticing the formula of a Hollywood plot
thwarts todays escapist motivation, only worse. What exists in our
minds has power because it is us, our full emotional beings
experienced first hand. Think carefully before allowing McDonalds to
set up a billboard.
What interests me me is the (direct) exchange between individuals of
mental imagery, which by it's very nature would be of primarily
emotional content. Much as lovers exchange dreams and interpretations
in the morning. Accelerated and with more freudian slips than you
could poke a stick at.
I would become very worried by developments leading towards a one way
corporate to individual communication. Berlin wall or not,
corporations are still committees and my demand for three humped
camels is very low indeed.

Enough ranting. (psychedelics will be legalised as soon as
corporations realise they can make money out of them and bring
pressure to bear on governments via slush funds and the sugar sweet
sound byte - then we'll have some FUN - a Las Vegas for Psilocybin

PS: What's the difference between describing one's fascination with an
object and describing the object itself?