Member 185
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Patrick Tierney (M, 34)
Princeton, US
Immortal since Oct 7, 2007
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    An open question to the SpaceCollective community concerning a Polytopia
    Project: Polytopia
    I think that notthisbody's post on the current state of a Polytopia shows how promising the notion of a Polytopia is Today. I would expect to see software embodying some of Wildcat's criteria in the next several years. This got me thinking about the relevance of discussing, researching, and brainstorming the details of what the Polytopian environment will be like. Since a Polytopia is an environment where millions of people live, it follows that it will need many of the same things we have in our non-virtual world. A Polytopia, in my mind, would still have content, and what follows are my notes and thoughts on what this content will be.

    Architecture and Structures
    — Will still be needed to maintain privacy, provide spatial focus, and to enhance an environment's utility.
    — How would we define the new architecture? Walls do not have to be constructed according to the to structural or economic rules.
    — I think that transparency into other people's thoughts, interests, and actions will be very crucial to this new architecture. Humans are social animals, and we learn tremendously from each other. I doubt these social desires will fade as we become enhanced or digital.

    Film and Television
    — Can the 2D media survive in a virtual realm. My intuition is that once we move to an immersive digital environment, any media that doesn't allow you to touch, rotate, zoom, push, pull, talk to, and otherwise interact with will seem quaint and frustrating.
    — At the same time, many people that TV provides them with a near meditative means of relaxation. The lack of obligation to interact with the Film and TV genres is often quite appealing. But, perhaps the very idea of a mood-altering media looses meaning in a Polytopia, when specific programs can program our brain into whatever mood one desires.

    The written narrative
    — What is the future need of sharing narratives if thoughts and experiences can be transmitted instantaneously. Will narratives still have a purpose?
    — Joseph Campbell wrote a lot of the persistence of myths and narratives throughout human history. In short, ever since the emergence of human consciousness, humans have been telling stories and creating myths. In The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil frequently asserts that even as Polytopians move to a digital environment, we will maintain our "humanity," since our digital software/circuits will be based off of the same patters as the human brains. It seems logical that even Polytopians will still desire narratives, stories, myths, fantasies, and heroic characters.

    Traditional Media
    — In a Polytopia, will traditional media get pushed aside into the category of nostalgia, when we loose our biological bodies and may not even have a physical embodiment?

    SpaceCollective is in a good position to contribute to this field; it is filled with artists, designers, musicians, architects, programmers, writers, and above all creative futurists who each can offer insight into the shaping of this new world. With this in mind, I pose a question to the SpaceCollective Community:

    How do the members of SpaceCollective think that their respective medias and mediums will change as we move towards a Polytopia, in terms of content, construction, and importance?

    Sat, Sep 13, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    notthisbody     Sun, Sep 14, 2008  Permanent link
    I agree with what you said about transparency and the ability to see the "contents" of other people's mind habitats. And also a way that those can connect effortlessly. I think this can be based off a semantic system. I'm doing some thinking on that, and it'll be up on this wall soon.

    About the medias and mediums changing, I think they definitely have to transform. But we're still being born and kids are growing up going to the movies (sometimes). I'm in film, and I see a not-so-old establishment resisting adjusting to the change that's coming (these same people who just got used to the last one). Participatory experiences - a transformation of the collective experience. I believe that there will not just be a virtual one - the physical will hold its importance. I also think there's still importance for the passive experience. I think there's a mix of those desires in most people.

    The Polytopia, it seems to me, will encompass all existing mediums, or rather, you will have access to them through it. I do not think they'll be left behind - just absorbed, added to, expanded upon, mixed and blended.
    Wildcat     Wed, Sep 17, 2008  Permanent link
    Internet evolution magazine reports:" On the stage of the recent TechCrunch50 conference, startup Imindi, which offers a service involving the mapping of thoughts and associations in a database for use in social networking, received a hostile welcome from Silicon Valley. This does not mean that the Imindi service lacks innovation. On the contrary, Imindi might just be too novel for many people .

    The Imindi founders have challenged the world to think of artificial intelligence not as making computers smarter because of human beings, but as making humans smarter because of computers. "

    Ok so Imindi is still in private beta, but obviously the net semantic projects are on the way, this is one of the tools that we need check.
    notthisbody     Wed, Sep 17, 2008  Permanent link
    I like to see a company like this talking along the lines of HI (humanistic intelligence). This pathway definitely needs more thought and exploration. It feels like the right use for the technology that's arising - instead of pouring effort into making computers smarter than us, we pour effort into making ourselves smarter with computers.