Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Right brain. Left brain. According to some, in order to develop one side, one must deprive the other. Yet, there are individuals such as Jaron Lanier, Ray Kurzweil, and Eduardo Kac. These are individuals who develop the two sides simultaneously. In fact, Kurzweil's definition of singularity would seem to allow that both would naturally be pushed forward through the natural acceleration of our species. Kac, in fact, produces his own singularity through transgenetic art such as Alba", the genetically altered bunny.

Of course, these people aren't necessarily in agreement. At times, Lanier takes aim at many of the ideas the Kurzweil promotes in The Age of Spiritual Machines. Likewise, I would suspect that both Lanier and Kurzweil may take issue with some of Kac's work. To those who are stuck in right/left brain paradigms, however, it probably all looks greek. It reminds me of that part of P.D. Ouspensky's argument in Tertium Organum - additional dimensions can exist simultaneously, they just may not be perceived. Moreover, what is seen is interpreted differently according to this perception.

Take a close look at these individuals and what they are saying. They are debating our future. A future where right and left brain may be fused, or relegated to history, through the possibilities of the machine. Whereas individuals such as Alan Kay, Alan Turing, and John McCarthy represent part of the past of human/machine interaction, Lanier, Kurzweil, and Kac represent part of the future.

This isn't science fiction, it just looks like it.....


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