Something I posted
If I understand the idea correctly – that is, if there is enough of the
idea which is not private to Ludwig Wittgenstein that it can be understood
by anyone in general or myself in particular, then I think that he may have
mistake the concrete nature of experienced privacy for an abstract concept
of *isolation*. From Philosophical Investigations:
The words of this language are to refer to what can be known only to the
speaker; to his immediate, private, sensations. So another cannot
understand the language.
To begin with, craniopagus (brain conjoined)
do actually share sensations that we would consider private.
The results of the test did not surprise the family, who had long suspected
that even when one girl’s vision was angled away from the television, she
was laughing at the images flashing in front of her sister’s eyes. The
sensory exchange, they believe, extends to the girls’ taste buds: Krista
likes ketchup, and Tatiana does not, something the family discovered when
Tatiana tried to scrape the condiment off her own tongue, even when she was
not eating it.
There should be no reason that it would not be technologically feasible to
eventually export the connectivity which craniopagus twins experience
through some kind of neural implant or neuroelectric multiplier. There are
can be controlled directly through the brain.
Brain-computer interfaces that monitor brainwaves through EEG have already
made their way to the market. NeuroSky’s headset uses EEG readings as well
as electromyography to pick up signals about a person’s level of
concentration to control toys and games (see “Next-Generation Toys Read
Brain Waves, May Help Kids
Emotiv Systems sells a headset that reads EEG and facial expression to
enhance the experience of gaming (see “Mind-Reading Game
All that would be required in principle would be to reverse the technology
to make them run in the receiving direction (computer-brain) and then
imitate the kinds of neural connections which brain conjoined twins have
that allow them to share sensations. The neural connections themselves
would not be aware of anything on a human level, so it would not need to be
public in the sense that sensations would be available without the benefit
of a living human brain, only that the awareness could, to some extent,
could incite a version of itself in an experientially merged environment.
Because of the success and precision of science has extended our knowledge
so far beyond our native instruments, sometimes contradicting them
successfully, we tend to believe that the view that diagnostic technology
provides is superior to, or serves as a replacement for our own awareness.
While it is true that our own experience cannot reveal the same kinds of
things that an fMRI or EEG can, I see that as a small detail compared to
the wealth of value that our own awareness provides about the brain, the
body, and the worlds we live in. Natural awareness is the ultimate
diagnostic technology. Even though we can certainly benefit from a view
outside of our own, there’s really no good reason to assume that what we
feel, think, and experience isn’t a deeper level of insight into the nature
of biochemical physics than we could possibly gain otherwise. We *are*evidence
that physics does something besides collide particles in a void.
Our experience is richer, smarter, and more empirically factual than what
an instrument outside of our body can generate on its own. The problem is
that our experience is so rich and so convoluted with private, proprietary
knots, that we can’t share very much of it. We, and the universe, are made
of private language. It is the public reduction of privacy which is
temporary and localized…it’s just localized as a lowest common denominator.
While It is true that at this stage in our technical development,
subjective experience can only be reported in a way which is limited by
their local social skills, there is no need to invoke a permanent ban on
the future of communication and trans-private experience. Instead of trying
to report on a subjective experience, it could be possible to share that
experience through a neurological interface – or at least to exchange some
empathic connection that would go farther than public communication.
If I had some psychedelic experience which allowed me to see a new primary
color, I can’t communicate that publicly. If I can just put on a device
that allows our brains to connect, then someone else might be able to share
the memory of what that looked like.
It seems to me that Wittgenstein’s private language
argument<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/private-language/>(sacrosanct as it
seems to be among the philosophically inclined) assumes
*privacy as identical to isolation*, rather than the* primordial identity
pansensitivty* <http://multisenserealism.com/glossary/> which I think it
could be. If privacy is accomplished by the spatiotemporal masking of
eternity, than any experience that can be had is not a nonsense language to
be ‘passed over in silence’, but rather a personally articulated fragment
of the Totality. Language is only communication – intellectual measurement
for sharing public-facing expressions. What we share privately is
transmeasurable <http://multisenserealism.com/glossary/> and inherently
permeable beneath the threshold of intellect.
Said another way, everything that we can experience is already shared by
billions of neurons. Adding someone else’s neurons to that group should
indeed be only a matter of building a synchronization technology. If, for
instance, brain conjoined twins have some experience that nobody else has
(like being the first brain conjoined twins to survive to age 40 or
something), then they already share that experience, so it would no longer
be a ‘private language’. The true future of AI may not be in simulating
awareness as information, but in using information to share awareness.
Certainly the success of social networking and MMPGs has shown us that what
we really want out of computers is not for them to be us, but for us to be
with each other in worlds we create.
I propose that rather than beginning from the position of awareness being a
simulation to represent a reality that is senseless and unconscious, we
should try assuming that awareness itself is the undoubtable absolute. I
would guess that each kind of awareness already understands itself far
better than we understand math or physics, it is only the vastness of human
experience which prevents that understanding to be shared on all levels of
itself, all of the time.
The way to understand consciousness would not be to reduce it to a public
language of physics and math, since our understanding of our public
experience is itself robotic and approximated by multiple filters of
measurement. To get at the nature of qualia and quanta requires stripping
down the whole of nature to Absolute fundamentals – beyond language and
beyond measurement. We must question sense itself, and we must rehabilitate
our worldview so that we ourselves can live inside of it. We should seek
the transmeasurable nature of ourselves, not just the cells of our brain or
the behavioral games that we have evolved as one particular species in the
world. The toy model of consciousness provided by logical positivism and
structural realism is, in my opinion, a good start, but in the wrong
direction – a necessary detour which is uniquely (privately?) appropriate
to a particular phase of modernism. To progress beyond that I think
requires the greatest 180 since Galileo. Einstein had it right, but he did
not generalize relativity far enough. His view was so advanced in the
spatialization of time and light that he reduced awareness to a one
dimensional vector. What I think he missed, is that if we begin with
sensitivity, then light becomes a capacity with which to modulate
insensitivity – which is exactly what we see when we share light across
more than one slit – a modulation of masked sensitivity shared by matter
independently of spacetime.
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