Member 2494
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Zachary De Santos
Immortal since Feb 15, 2010
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sonicport, team techfolder
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    Plural Thinking

    This is a first attempt at mapping in software, interfaced with a cheap homemade imitation of mind-control hardware using wii remote embedded in a cycle helmet, while improvising on the Viola.
    The field recordings were made on the Llyn Peninsular in Wales UK and on the tram in Vienna on the way to visit the grave of Gustav Mahler. Recorded this summer, intended for a prototype in audio maps for networked exploration of places in online virtual soundscapes and in performance. 2 simultaneous 'sound-maps' each containing 25 field recordings are mixed from Left Right Up Down commands from the head.
    I'm interested in the simulation of several thoughts at once and how mind control hardware ( ) can cope with plural thinking i.e the ability to mentally visualise impossible things and make them into controllers for digital art.

    Plural thinking from yza3.0 on Vimeo.
    Recorded at Risk of Shock on 10-10-2010, University of Wales Bangor.

    Mon, Oct 11, 2010  Permanent link

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    gamma     Tue, Oct 19, 2010  Permanent link
    Only possible things are possible to imagine, you know. The only allowed impossibility is the Einstein's general relativity theory, specifically the spacetime curvature. Some may object by saying that the quantum mechanics is entertaining when it comes to the strange interactions and fields, but the Relativity was never against it. It was merely above it.
    sonicport+techfolder     Wed, Oct 20, 2010  Permanent link
    Thanks, I need to learn to publish more clearly on here for sure, I see what you mean.

    At the moment mind control technology is quite primitive. It works by reading electrostatic from your brain over several sensors in the headset. A complex algorithm allows it to learn the signature of your brain. If you teach it the command left and the command right you can move your position in a digital reality left and right for example. If I were to think Left and Right together I'd need to teach the software to learn a new command, (left+right). I guess it is impossible for my physical body to go left and right at the same time, excluding the relationship between my body and the shape of the Universe. I find this interesting that technology could expand this cognitive repertoire for me. Obviously when using our limbs we can manipulate things in diverse combinations regarding spacial awareness.

    I'd like to aim to control independent poly-directions on the X,Y,Z axis along a trajectory, then adding other Axes to the nth

    in a digital reality a thick blue line moves east accelerating on the x axis, a thin red line moving west slower while the same line also goes up (north) along the y axis, at the same time in my physical reality, my body is running around in the streets at random. (to build fitness into the project) X,Y, and Z being relative to my personal viewpoint. The next challenge would be to change speed, intensity, energy, direction within this context in a digital space. I have no idea what this could be useful for sans brain training.

    I wonder if the human brain is able to improve with these challenges.
    BenRayfield     Wed, Nov 3, 2010  Permanent link
    Sonicport, your area of research and mine are very similar and we may want to work together on some long-term projects.

    The  mind reading game controller (which interprets electricity on the skin of your head) does offer the raw electricity data to software, but it costs a lot for the license to connect your software to it. Using a bayesian network (as I'll explain below), combined with the kinds of software we build for musical instruments, I'm sure I could implement "plural thinking" controls. Its just a matter of fine-tuning the timing and preprocessing of the inputs and outputs to a bayesian network. I could make the Emotiv Epoc detect when you're thinking about moving left and right at the same time, or any other combination, but I could do the same thing indirectly as a psychology software that interprets how you move the mouse when controlling realtime generated music (that's what I'm going to build eventually).

    If you research deep enough into what you call "plural thinking", you will discover a very important way of thinking thats missing from most people's brains, something that everyone expects is obviously there but nobody verifies it. It is best demonstrated with the following simple question:

    If I flipped 2 coins, both landed, and at least 1 landed heads, then whats the chance that both landed heads?

    Most people answer 1/2 or 1/4 chance, but that's the wrong fraction.

    The flaw in Human psychology is best demonstrated when people eliminate 1 of the coins from their thoughts and think about the other coin separately. At least 1 coin landed heads so they think they can choose that coin (whichever it is, or either coin if both landed heads) and say its a constant heads. Its not a constant. I did not tell you which coin landed heads, and it does result in a different answer. There are 4 ways 2 coins can land, and "at least 1 landed heads" only excludes "tails tails" leaving 3 possibilities which happen equally often. Then I asked what is the chance of 1 of those 3 possibilities.

    That is why most people do not understand which events are more or less probable in combination with other events. They eliminate 1 of the events when its not correct statistics.

    What you call "plural thinking" is very similar to  which is a kind of statistics software that always gets such questions right.

    My plan is to include bayesian networks and other artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in a peer-to-peer network of musical instruments, mouse movements, realtime generated sounds, and lots of other interfaces, and organize all those people and computers together in subtle psychology ways to form 1 much smarter mind across the internet.

    Its all open-source (GNU GPL, various versions), but I could make some exceptions to the licenses for connecting to your hardware, if necessary.
    The whole system is called Human AI Net and is at
    I've not connected the music parts to it yet. The newest version of them is in this software:

    To most people, the lack of ability to do "plural thinking" (or "bayesian" thinking) appears to be a small problem, something to ignore, but I think its the cause of most other problems on this planet. I think the global economy is becoming unstable faster each year because people do not understand the combination of any 2 events accurately. I think government complexity increases faster each year (and is now beyond the understanding of any group of people small enough that they can effectively communicate with eachother) because the "plural thinking" (bayesian) flaw in Human psychology results in handling every case separately instead of generalizing and simplifying. 2 laws becomes 4, and 4 laws become 8... and now its completely impossible to even count how many laws in USA there are, and USA's Congress doesn't even read them anymore (the Read The Bills Act was rejected, no time to read laws before passing them). This is all leading to World War 3. Nobody understands how these global organizations work or how to fix them, but you (Sonicport) somehow figured out that it was a good idea to use "plural thinking" to improve how brains think. You didn't know what it was useful for, but you found 1 of the many solutions. Using software to control the interaction of many musical instruments through the internet to teach people "plural thinking" (the simplest kind of bayesian thinking), we can fix the psychology problems that lead to other problems... that lead to World War 3.

    I'd like to work with you to use software and musical instruments. We can combine our existing projects to get it done faster. I know you started on this research path just because it was interesting or fun or for curiosity, but because of the specific things you've chosen to research, I think you are one of the few people with the state of mind that can help me avoid the extinction of Humans. All we have to do is use our research to get people to understand why the answer to the following question is 1/3, and for them to understand it at an intuition level so they get it right even if its asked in many different ways:

    If I flipped 2 coins, both landed, and at least 1 landed heads, then whats the chance that both landed heads?

    If you teach people "plural thinking" (as you call it), then they will gain intuition that causes them to get that question right, and from that small change, the whole world starts changing at very very slow but exponentially increasing speed. Its similar to the  except not as hard because we know how people think. We know most of them can't answer that simple question right. A society built on such a fundamental misunderstanding of the combination of any 2 events must eventually fail. Lets fix it at the core of the problem.

    I can help you with the software parts. You can do more of the hardware parts. This can also make us lots of money. I've been planning for a long time to compete with the Guitar Hero video games which had over a billion dollars in profit. As open-source, we would not get as much of the profits, but the market for such musical instruments is big enough it doesn't matter. We can work together to build musical instruments and software systems that are more fun than that game, and simultaneously solve the lack of ability to do "plural thinking". We can get rich and avoid an extinction level event. You want to help?
    sonicport+techfolder     Thu, Nov 4, 2010  Permanent link
    Thanks Ben, this is exciting!

    I'd love to contribute to something with you and share your vision of an amalgamation of minds. Incidentally I came up with 'plural thinking' as a title to that piece of music in the video and I don't know if I chose the correct syntax as it may not be strictly plural scientifically. I'm interested to find out more on this.

    It's definitely the time to get moving on these things, where would you like to begin Ben? Thanks!

    BenRayfield     Thu, Nov 4, 2010  Permanent link
    Music works best with analog inputs. If you categorize things into X or Y but not both at the same time, then the music will not sound good. Gestures and music don't go well together unless the gestures are defined gradually between the other gestures.

    If you learn what bayesian networks are, you could use a similar software design to make the music work with varying amounts of X and Y together, whatever X and Y are.

    I can use lots of strange music controllers, like kites, but the most important thing I need is a connection between Human psychology and bayesian thinking, like to measure or cause how much a person is thinking about moving left and right at the same time, 2 things that would normally never be thought together. The music controllers would be a user-interface to do that more effectively.

    Where to begin? The links above are what I've been designing for years, and I'm only starting to add the parts I've written about here to the main system. You could wait possibly some more years for me to finish those parts, or you could build those parts into your system and we could connect it that way, or both. Its not a lot of things to do, but it has to be done very accurately and fine-tuned. This has never been done before. You could start by learning what bayesian networks are and why most people get that 2 coin problem wrong that I wrote above. After you understand that you will be closer to knowing how to build a music system where you can think about left and right at the same time, and its also important for the system to be able to cause those thoughts in the musician (the opposite direction of information flow).
    sonicport+techfolder     Fri, Nov 5, 2010  Permanent link
    Some thoughts and connections

    Many people are learning the implications of gesture driven projects in the arts at the moment and I believe the gesture module is a nice one, but one of many. An Artificial Inelligence driven module may be new ground. Take a look at  by Ben Rayfield. I have begun to collaborate with Ben at

    Software mapping is my learning area of growth at the moment and am thinking about interchangeable mappings, inputs, and outputs to be used in a range of smaller projects. I can think of some artistic implications to an intelligent mapping which allows the software map to fit any stimulus and acts as a sieve so that complexity can be manipulated artfully.

    I'd like to see others communicate using this advancement, not necessarily musicians, dancers etc. A friend showed me this open source energy monitor platform;

    Here any sensors, in this case environmental, can be absorbed into a network's identity. So we can have bio-feedback using our brains and equally some readings from our environment which we can share.

    I hope to go outside into this environment with minimal external hardware to think about and create elements of a language in a real-time digital reality from out there using wifi. I'm looking at the latest dual-core pads for a solution, one that run safely inside a backpack.

    I'd like to see a project flourish, this one- I need to invest money into my main project which is called tech:folder kite-ballet team. Kite-ballet is where a number of delta dual line kites perform their choreography with music and it converges into a artful sport. I need to employ a clever engineer to build my design to bridge the kites and the digital reality. The outcome is kites that create digital art down to micro-level detail, to perform on the beach in kite season. I will scientifically categorise the movements of a sport kite performing tricks and use the categories as a musical palette.

    "Flying the kites significantly improved my technical ability on the viola in this area, I am able to transfer haptic kite control information through the way I play the viola and back the other way through sound, again "plural thinking" with feedback. The kite project is a significant way of conducting this new research."

    I was lucky enough to visit IRCAM Paris this summer for a meeting on the latest update on recording multiple time-coded gestures to a file. I told them about the augmented kite-ballet and they invited me to perform at the NIME 2011 festival for new musical interfaces in Norway. I have to submit a proposal soon but don't have the funds for an electronics engineer at this time. They did give me the chance to test some gesture recognition software and in January I will test a gesture recognition algorithm with the emotiv headset. I hope to employ it to learn my sleeping gestures so I can make sound design in my sleep. I have a meeting with the software designer in January if I can afford the headset at the price that gives me raw data. Raw data is that which gives me the exact electrostatic readings that the sensors provide.