Wildcat     Fri, Jan 8, 2010  Permanent link
Thank you for a very good and important post, we definitely share some of the insights you have elaborated upon. I think this is an overwhelmingly underappreciated state of affairs at present and the propagation of these thoughts should be a paramount activity.

You wrote that:” Different types of narrative patterns become intermingled in this huge dynamic jigsaw puzzle, in which every piece can change in form, style, meaning and function.”

The question in this respect concerns the different types of narratives, and more specifically the coherency of these narratives, if a change in form , style, meaning and function occurs, what keeps the narrative together? In other words, in a multilayered, multilinear existence what is the glue that holds this vortex of information together? (if at all)
When describing the future self machine on your site you write:” FutureSelf creates future simulations using the digitized information about the individual and her surroundings (e.g. social data). The system utilizes automatically the available information that is stored and processed in digital networked environments.”

If you could elaborate on how these simulations are created (reminds of Caprica- the movie) and to what extent can the user integrate these simulations as a tool of self-reflection on possible future actions. The analysis part appears to me to be the most difficult issue here, are there any metrics for this?

klaitner     Sun, Jan 10, 2010  Permanent link
"In other words, in a multilayered, multilinear existence what is the glue that holds this vortex of information together?" (if at all)

The rest of us. Using the tools at our disposal to enhance collective memory (oral tradition, records, digital representations over history).

A human being is an expression of the ephemeral self-reflective universe.

Posthumously, a named conscious existence (a person) becomes nothing more than a grouping function, to the extent that it is useful to retain. While alive the label is incidentally tied to a piece of flesh but useful as a label for its predictive qualities due to the constraints of our current existence (per Xaos: "influenced at each stage by the finite composition of possible paths").

The technium is currently allowing the fragmenting of identities, culminating in the singularity proposition, whereby human conciousness transcends its physical form and becomes thereby infinitely fragmented. In this case hopefully my first answer holds.

Now from the point of view of the information. Artifacts now can be disjoined, co-opted, reinterpreted, recontextualized and inspire something entirely different from what they began as. In this infinite recomposition with multiple actors, does the continuing use of a self make sense at all? Or as in chaos theory do we replace self with attractors, representing stable forms in an otherwise chaotic system?

Ilparone     Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link
Wildcat and klaitner, thank you for your insightful comments and questions. Thanks for all of you who have had time to read this brief collection of my thoughts considering the multilinear existence.

I see a self as an ever-changing and virtual "center of a narrative gravity". As thus the self can be seen as an entirely abstract entity which is not located (or even tied) into any specific organ or neural structure of an individual, or any other connected natural or artificial structure or system.

In my interpretation, the self becomes aware of itself through a conscious introspective dialogue that has both personal and collective, internal and external consequences and manifestations.

An unprecedented amount of traceable personal narratives - created, generated, modified and shared both by the individual as well as others - are "preserved" in digital environments. An individual, as a self-aware interpreter can access her personal narratives and thus she 1) will be able to process and affect them, 2) connect her personal narratives to a larger whole and 3) use the multilinear narratives for the benefit of herself as well as her environment.

In the process, an individual becomes conscious of the various instances of her existence. An individual, a self, as a social construction, can thus become an active nexus of the multilinear narratives that are attached or somehow connected to herself.

Regarding the Futureself system: We generate and create an accumulative amount of qualitative and quantitative personal data. Our life patterns are digitized. Due to their digital format these personal life patterns can be accessed, processed, analyzed and interpreted in an unprecedented manner. This creates a possibility to process and analyze personal patterns (as a system) as a part of a larger social, cultural, political, economical and ecological whole (other systems). Through the analysis of rich personal digital patterns and related systems (e.g. an individual's social sphere) it becomes possible to create personal future narratives or simulations.

Naturally, the analysis, interpretation and extrapolation of contextualized human behavior requires very sophisticated algorithms and data models. But as our understanding of the qualities and characteristics of digitized life patterns evolve, we will be able to develop such algorithms and digital instruments. Currently, I'm researching this specific domain and I hope to be able to share my insights and results in the near future.

In my following post(s), I will continue to develop my ideas considering multilinear existence as I will focus on the processes of self-expression and self-reflection enhanced and intensified by the digital presence/existence and our emerging multilinear existence.
klaitner     Fri, Jan 15, 2010  Permanent link
if we are processing artifacts into selves, do we end up with the same set as that of physical selves? if such a self reflective machine existed would it make a physical self irrelevant? what use to the physical person is this awareness of irrelevance?