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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Because the world belongs to words - A sci-fi ultrashort

    It didn’t go wrong, not exactly wrong that is.

    I mean, c’mon, who could have predicted the consequences of a technology that seemed on face value so straightforward, so logically consistent with what we know, or as it turned out, thought we knew, of the way the world works.
    The point, you see, is that whilst the tech was straightforward, or so it seemed to us at the time, the ontological implications and the ensuing derivations were far from clear to us.
    Actually we weren’t really aware that there was an ontology to speak about, not on this level of quantum deterioration at least. Of course we talked about the high level philosophical implications of mapping brain activity to specific words, we even joked that what we were doing was creating the first techno-telepathy device and we will read other minds just as we read books.
    And of course we discussed the ethics and meta-ethics of applying such a tech to a world that was largely Neolithic, and the implications on the justice system, on morality and even on love and personal relationship.
    Seriously though we were really only measuring differences in blood flow when the mind was listening to different kinds of words, and then we mapped the neuronal fluctuations and then the synaptic correlativity to verbs and adjectives.
    Nothing serious, really.
    One of us, I think it was Wilbur, said in jest, that he would like to map himself whilst meditating and reciting the sutras, and no, before you ask, no one took him seriously and we never got to map the OM thingy..
    What we did was quite simple when you think about it, we used magnetic resonance, magneto encephalography, applying a wide array of squids , and no, we didn’t take into consideration that measuring such low and extremely weak magnetic fields will interfere with the substratum of coherent reality.
    Look, I cannot take full responsibility for all that happened, also because we really do not know exactly how things will turn out, maybe all will be well at the end, if we learn the language..
    At any rate, at first we simply, took to mapping the plain correlation of neural activity to undemanding nouns, like ‘chair’ and ‘door’ and so on, after that we showed the subjects certain simple noun phrases, like ‘ brown door’ and ‘green chair’. Now the first thing we discovered was that there was no association with commonly correlated brain areas that process complex language expressions, Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas seemed to play no role, we were surprised but not shocked, and we continued like this for a while, until of course subject X, came into our life.

    I am telling you all this because as you might have guessed by now, I am going to try and utter the ‘word’ and see where it leads me, so I thought you as my best friend, would like to know a bit about the ‘why’ of it all.

    Truth to tell, none of us really understood the deeper correlation of words to neural activity to intra-cellular communication, to neuro-chemical encapsulation, but more importantly to the deeper layer of intersubjective interference of the conscious linguistic mind to the construct of computational reality.

    We were somewhat aware of Konrad Zuse work especially with what we assumed we understood (and found to be wrong !) concerning the computational space and as I know what you are thinking, my friend, let me correct you, quickly computable universes are NOT more likely than others, and simple Turing Machines are extremely rare and maybe non existent, I truly do not know.. but I digress

    Subject X was a poet, at least that is what he wrote on his application form, and of course we enjoyed immensely the idea of checking the brain correlations of someone who was well acquainted with language, with the immense complexity of word manipulation, and also, I forgot to mention, with someone that claimed to know a number of languages, so with much gusto and high spirits we went to work on him.
    Do take into account that at the time we didn’t even know that such a concept, as a ‘warrior poet’ exists, how much less the possible implications of incoherent poetry on reality. I have an unfounded theory, a speculation really, that minds that operate a number of languages simultaneously, and they are a rare phenomenon indeed, are a mutation of the lateral thinking paradigm, somehow these minds sustain a continuous diversification of parallel dimensions, because in a sense they cannot forget the word they are looking for, it is as if the terms they are looking for in immediacy keep on mutating, or morphing if you like, one into the other, using in each instance a different language, and thus they never lack the appropriate term, and because of this simple fact the coherence of their thought stream is an unremitting flux that never sleeps but only fluctuates in intensity and density.

    Which brings me to the crux of the issue, what we know now and didn’t know then was that our commonly held assumption that the whole is greater than its parts is totally mistaken and fundamentally wrongheaded, what we discovered is that the intersubjective relation of whole to parts is of a completely different nature and magnitude. To put it simply we realized that parts inside wholes could be greater than the whole in which they take part, under certain circumstances. These circumstances as you might have guessed by now, involve the layering of different languages using slight variations on a particular sense perception.

    What led us astray at the beginning was the fact that we took language to mean verbal languages only, it was in fact very difficult for us to continuously need to remember that when we spoke about languages, what was meant was different kinds of languages, means of communication of different dimensions, meant for different purposes.
    It wasn’t simple to remember that a visual representation of a chair and the term chair and the vocal verbalization of that same term ‘chair’ are not one and the same. So that may explain to you why when we did our first experiments we did not understand how we got those strange results, namely the de-coherence effect of immediate reality.

    The language of chemicals and molecules, the language of magnetic fields, of shapes and coordinates of spaces and times and the language of energy, all these and many, many others we came to understand, exist continuously and in a superimposed manner, only part of which surfaces and parallels the others. Therefore what is normally perceived is only superficially and apparently translated into another language, the difference therefore was not only of kind, and thus of quantity but also of quality.
    You could say that what we discovered amounts to a sort of bleeding dimensions, these dimensions, manifolded as languages bleed into each other, same bleeding allowing apparent coherence.
    So, yes, of course, reality branches and re-branches in an iterative manner and if I was a philosopher as you are, I might have reminisced on Deleuze’s lines of flight, but then I am not and thus I will not, though you must give the philosophers their due, they were on to something..

    So let me jump right to the point when it became really interesting, so subject X sat on the chair and was all hooked up and we sat and watched the monitors and I had my cup of morning coffee still warming my somewhat freezing fingers and just as a warm up we asked him to recite some poetry in whatever language he deemed most fit, you see we were just tuning our instruments at that point, so of course we were not ready, I mean, how could we have been ready for what happened next?

    Do you remember a discussion we have had years ago about computronium? Yes of course you do, but do you also remember what we came to at the end of that evening when we pushed the idea to its limits, remember that we talked about the probability that computation in itself is not the ultimate measure of reality but what the computation was about? In other words what we said then and I for one did not understand but I understand now was that the computation depended on the arrangement and the arrangement depended on the task specified, what we wanted to compute.
    But what happens when the very task that we set to compute is an iterative branching of meaning?
    What happens when the arrangement itself of matter re-coheres itself continuously to fit the desire of the task at hand which is a non-given in chaotic poetry?

    I’ll tell you what happens, because I saw it with my very own eyes, and heard it with my very own ears..
    What happens is that all dimensions open simultaneously and all meanings break loose, time dissolves, space explodes, and the door of perceptions become transparent and suddenly you see..

    To be shortly continued..

    part of the Ultrashorts project

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    Phyllotaxis     Wed, Mar 16, 2011  Permanent link
    In other words what we said then and I for one did not understand but I understand now was that the computation depended on the arrangement and the arrangement depended on the task specified, what we wanted to compute.
    But what happens when the very task that we set to compute is an iterative branching of meaning?
    What happens when the arrangement itself of matter re-coheres itself continuously to fit the desire of the task at hand which is a non-given in chaotic poetry?

    I believe you adeptly describe human action, and will find that this touches on some of the concepts in your missive.

    For epistemology, the theory of human knowledge, there is certainly something that it cannot help considering as permanent, viz., the logical and praxeological structure of the human mind, on the one hand, and the power of the human senses, on the other hand. Fully aware of the fact that human nature as it is in this epoch of cosmic changes in which we are living is neither something that existed from the very beginning of all things nor something that will remain forever, epistemology must look upon it as if it were unchanging. The natural sciences may try to go further and to study the problems of evolution. But epistemology is a branch—or rather, the basis—of the sciences of man. It deals with one aspect of the nature of man as he emerged from the aeons of cosmic becoming and as he is in this period of the history of the universe. It does not deal with thinking, perceiving and knowing in general, but with human thinking, perceiving and knowing. For epistemology there is something that it must take as unchanging, viz., the logical and praxeological structure of the human mind.

    All—apart from zoology—that has ever been scientifically stated to distinguish man from nonhuman mammals is implied in the proposition: man acts. To act means: to strive after ends, that is, to choose a goal and to resort to means in order to attain the goal sought.

    I very much enjoyed your writing- I look forward to your further thoughts—

    Wildcat     Fri, May 6, 2011  Permanent link
    the first part of this sci-fi ultrashort has been translated into Portuguese and Published in the Novafantasia online Magazine here:
    Porque o mundo lhe pertence às palavras (I)