There Is No Spoon
We tend to think of search as something prosaic. A piece of code on the web crawls across it (hence the name spider) indexes what it finds, brings it back, catalogues it and the presents it to us. At the level of our finding the nearest Round Rock Donuts place without which no Sunday Read should be contemplated this works well enough to require no deep noodle-twisting rabbit-hole tumble (http://goo.gl/JU7E5E
). But take the Red Pill and things change drastically.
Consider the fact that semantic search is predicated around entities (http://goo.gl/SX8M9v
) and entities rely on attributes, qualities and characteristics to exist. And that means we really have no choice, the Red Pill it must be (http://goo.gl/vv7qKE
) and down the rabbit hole we go, because the moment you consider that you also consider the fact that everything which is fiction, everything that has been thought of and uttered and considered by someone is also real. (http://goo.gl/ojE1cx
This is a trip into Wittengsteinian philosophy where words acquire meaning that exists through their relationship with concepts and their use. This, so-called anthropological perspective (http://goo.gl/h5xSmh
) places us at the center of everything with the simple assumption that something (anything) exists because we are there to observe it (and I use the term “observe” loosely here). For those of you looking to productively spend the rest of your life here’s a link to Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations
Before we get too deep into Ludwig’s mind (and lose the way out) consider that search (and even our connections in Google+ the results of which surface the Sunday Read
for many others) supply some of the mental building blocks of what we consider to be real. +Teodora Petkova
(whom I know is more than just a two dimensional pixel-formed picture on my screen because I have been on a HOA with her) shared a post about Quantum Mechanics (http://goo.gl/RxXNki
) and the possibilities of Augmented Reality.
Digital (and search is an integral part of it) informs everything. The very notion of having Augmented Reality suggests that the reality we know is somewhat deficient, that it can be improved. That very thought unfolds new origamis of possibilities. A +TED
talk shared where neuroscientists Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu talk about the difficulty of hunting down memories (that kinda lack a corporeal existence but which are real) and editing them (http://goo.gl/4E1N8I
For those of you already doubting your existence right now and looking for a way out consider Kellog’s modal realism (http://goo.gl/QrhpzI
) the idea that all possible worlds exist; possible worlds are not different in kind from the actual world; possible worlds are irreducible entities
. Entities (again) come into play as well as the fact of indexical realities - http://goo.gl/3uJli9
(what Google’s spider can index sufficiently to create an entity out of could be argued to have an existence).
Saul Kripke has proposed a relational semantics model (http://goo.gl/fTZXiU
) of reality that I had to keep out of my book Google Semantic Search
) after the editors decided it was too heavy going and tangential (you have no idea just how much had to be cut out :) ) but which is worth keeping on your horizon. And since we’re talking Kripke and relational reality it’s definitely worth examining Meinongian Objects (http://goo.gl/KRVRY
) and intentionality (which also comes up in semantic search). And for a quick primer on them just dive in here: http://goo.gl/fKAjsd
How do you cope with all this? Where do the boundaries lie? This is new ground and maybe some sense could be made by the Steve Mann of the University of Toronto who argues for a mediated reality (http://goo.gl/mb6J0B
) that allows us to find practicalities for it all in our everyday life.
Personally I have a coping mechanism for dealing with reality (http://goo.gl/stZxQi
) that is not that far removed from Samuel Johnson’s reaction to some of the possibilities raised by subjectivity in science (http://goo.gl/8p6oja
). Quantum Mechanics, of course, have blown the trapdoor of reality wide open and even though Einstein had serious problems with the implications (http://goo.gl/lH0BXf
) arguing that “God does not play Dice” Wheeler’s many-worlds theory (http://goo.gl/TWXgdz
) has been gaining ascendancy as of late.
The mind has indeed got so much power and the body cannot live without it (http://goo.gl/28yYG
). Quantum mechanics, of course, argues that creating our own reality (http://goo.gl/W1Kc8Z
) is neither delusional nor a lie. There is an incredibly fine line between having in your mind, for a brief moment the power of belief to such an extent that you can perform the impossible (http://goo.gl/xNt9Vu
) and deceiving yourself: http://goo.gl/0ZBafL
So, where do we draw the line? Information is the key. And as the video on reality showed the Matrix is information. Search (1s and 0s delivered on a flat pixel screen in front of us) becomes the conduit through which information flows from the digital and ethereal to us where it can be felt to take effect, produce results and lead to actions.
Perhaps nowhere is this felt so powerfully as when we play games (and +Jeff Jockisch
shared a link that shows the impact of gaming on our brains http://goo.gl/u8XIgp
). Games are a verisimilitude of our reality but have many different points of impact as +Martin W. Smith points out http://goo.gl/NLwWRg
or as +Craig Chamberlin illustrates: http://goo.gl/HUXptD
We are all information apparently, code and programming as +Kath Dawson
's share suggests with a simple exercise: http://goo.gl/Mrf49o
. Now for the record this is not
impossible. It is just hard to do. I can do it and so can thousands of martial artists who have been exposed to some of the training methods of the Shaolin School of martial arts (http://goo.gl/REru29
) that ultimately demonstrates that we can reprogram some of our own code to help us perform better.
This has been a rather twisting, winding, plunging, deepening tumble down the rabbit hole. My particular interest in all this lies in the sense (and the hope) that our digital connections, our sharing of ideas, thoughts and suggestions is leading to a reprogramming of some of our understanding and expectations. We are edging away from the notional heuristsics of nationhood and strict tribalism and are making tiny steps towards a much wider acceptance of each other. The realization that collectively we actually create the world we live in, define its functions and alter its workings and it really all starts with ‘simple’ things like search and Google+.
I hope you took my advice and stockpiled coffee, donuts and cookies. Have one awesome Sunday, wherever you are.
PS. For those of you looking for past Sunday Reads here is their retirement ground: http://goo.gl/bbz9iR
. There is a time lag in my archiving. If you want to be informed of the latest ones please ask me to include you in my Sunday Read circle. #davidamerlandsundayread