Tuesday, August 17, 2010

where are we going and how will we know when we get there?

I thought I would start off with a good left brained title for today's post. The right brain might be noticing that we are here now, you sitting at your computer and I sitting at mine and finding some pleasure in the shared exploration of hands-on reality.

I have been reading Jaron Lanier's Manifesto You are Not a Gadget which explores human consciousness in light of what we are learning from computers and our relationship with them. Computers, it seems, thrive on the creation of infinite amounts of information, confined (locked in) though they are from very early programming decisions and we, as human beings, work best on less, using metaphor as a means of engaging reality and resolving sensory and intellectual overload and conflict to allow working within it. Lanier describes his experiment with V.S. Ramachandran using only 4 words, bouba, kiki, Juliet and sun to explore the ways we derive meaning. He concludes:
If we had infinite brains, capable of using an infinite number of words, those words would mean nothing, because each one would have too specific a usage. Our early hominid ancestors were spared from that problem, but with the coming of the internet, we are in danger of encountering it now. Or more precisely, we are in danger of pretending with such intensity that we are encountering it that it might as well be true.
Today, I have teacher meetings to plan out the coming year. Consequently, I'll have little time for the woodshop.

No comments:

Post a Comment