Daily Archives: September 8, 2012

The Mind and Its Double

xx_164_TheMindanditsDouble_Tullio_2012

Aided by machine
intelligence with computational speeds measured in thousands of trillions of
operations per second and software capable of analyzing petabytes of
significant data, we are codifying and digitizing the entire resource of human knowledge.

We use our
very curiosity and creativity to invent novel ways to map the myriad
connections existing within these matrices of information. Vast interconnected
databases reveal deep relationships between previously disparate disciplines, such
as biology, astronomy, physics, and neuroscience.

Our stupendously
powerful technological tools of art are used both to create imaginary virtual
worlds for diversion and the utterly real world of computer-assisted brain surgery.
In this way, we see the correspondences between the real and the virtual, and
we come to better understand the relationship between art and life. It is the
same as the relationship between culture and nature. They mirror each other.

Advances in
our ability to create intricately detailed three-dimensional images allow us to
see farther, deeper, and more precisely. When we can actually see complex physical
processes at both microscopic and macroscopic scales, we can conceive of new
mathematical relationships and physical processes. New knowledge yields novel ways to
create new materials, inventions, and world views.

We bring
our cultural knowledge and resources to the task of symbolically representing
nature and our place within it. This mirroring of the world and natural
processes by technology and its transformation into aesthetically satisfying
experience is the nexus of science and art. This is our culture. And now we are
programming it with supercomputers. Supercomputing power heralds a new age of
enlightenment, in which science, technology, and art comingle.

Spurred on
by networked media and the urgency of mass culture, our words, images, and narratives
evolve, advancing global repositories of cultural memes. Harnessed by economic
and political realities, their power to change us is magnified by rapid
technological advance. There is vast potential for good here. Exponential
increase in intelligence holds the promise of the rapid evolution of better cultural
memes, better minds…a better world.

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Image: “The Mind and Its Double” by Tullio, altered ink drawing, 2012

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