Robert R. Rhodes – Bio
While pursuing a doctorate in Physics (with a specialization in Cosmic Ray Physics), I discovered the fun of computer programming for scientific research; in the mid-1970s, this was becoming a much sought-after skill, and lucrative as well – so I added Systems Science as a minor to my graduate program, and saw my GPA rise to 4.0 in the Systems Science courses I took – realizing that my innate skills exceeded any near-term professional demand in this new field, I immediately shifted my career direction to align with this exploding market.
For a few years I excelled at the HOW of programming, for geophysicists and ground mission control for satellites, but I really wanted to know the WHY behind the code: so I pursued a system engineering role where I wrote formal specs and algorithms for programmers, where my graduate-level education was essential to understanding “satellite science” (the sister of “rocket science”).
Over the 30 years of my career, I would shift my professional focus from system engineer to contract negotiator to network architect to business analyst; each job shift would give me a broader perspective on both technological trends and human needs that could now be addressed.
You can plow through an in-depth review of my career activities and associations here:
I am focusing my explorations on a new science: Neurophysics. I have ever been fascinated by the mind’s inner workings, and I am delighted to discover new theories and experiments in neuroscience every day now, just in time for my explorations.
Anticipating the arrival of Kurzweil’s singularity about 2045, I am engaging with scientists and artists alike to see how we can wake the collective consciousness of humanity to futures we, at present, can dimly imagine. Therefore, I participate in worldwide discussions held by online groups – here’s my current list of facebook groups where my musings can be viewed:
THE BRAIN CAFE
For a more focused discussion, you can also ask me questions directly (and others with professional qualifications) here:
See my daily discoveries and musings about anything in the universe at:
This page below is a constant feed of new developments provided by my own personal research staff (as I like to think of them):
My friend connections on this page are truly the most prolific investigators I have ever met.
Finally, the brand new website memera.net (future, no pages up just yet) will be my new research / corporate vehicle which I will develop in the near future as the online reference library for my exploratory research, ongoing projects, service offerings, and collaboration enabler. Probable focus areas on the memera website will be: consciousness theories, cognitive science, machine (aka “artificial”) intelligence, and artistic / musical / theatrical / cinema collaborations.
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY FIT INTO THE GRAND SCHEME OF YOUR LIFE?
Growing up right after World War II, I always regarded the timing of my life as most fortunate for a guy who wanted to know how EVERYTHING worked – science had taken center stage at the universities, new technologies were springing up everywhere to make our lives easier, our confidence for peace higher, our hope for economic mobility higher than ever – so when my parents discovered my curiosity, they fed it with books, with presents that taught me by building working models, by placing me in schools that surrounded me with challenges and avenues to investigate the world as much as I would want. By high school 2 technologies stood out for me as the ones I should pursue: the first was the most complex I could find, and therefore fascinating: atomic energy; the second was the most abstract I could discover, and beyond the ken of anybody around me then: computer science. While acquiring a couple of degrees, I kept finding opportunities to employ computers for my studies; my experience in graduate school steered my career direction into fast advancing computer technology. After first taking a programming job and then moving on to several others, my penchant for bringing the most advanced or well-thought technology, method, or process to my career greased my transition to yet other positions that broadened my perspective, and introduced me to more and more technologies along the way. I began to study how new science, new inventions came about, and developed a strong intuition about which emerging technologies would arrive first, and which would be more useful: though my predictions always seemed sooner than my colleagues would guess, I was always proved too conservative! Curious about what was up with that – as soon as I could, I investigated the most disruptive technology I could find then (personal computers) – when I shared the opinion in 1982 that the computer on the desk would replace the mainframe in 10 years, I was laughed at! But since I bought my own PC and developed my skills with it at home, later I was seen as the one who should take an advisory role. I investigated the most impractical (nanotechnology), but have had to wait till now to see products; an interesting prediction about when it would arrive I thought reasonable: the cosmetic companies would deploy it first, since they had the most profit to gain from modest incorporation, then the medical field, where it proved expensive but amazingly effective; both of these predictions proved true. I investigated the most “difficult to understand” new mathematics (fractal geometry) in 1985; astoundingly, this new math provided ways to model the most complex, the most beautiful phenomena in nature; we didn’t even need to understand the physical laws behind them, but we now could model their appearance; the cinema industry had the deep pockets to hire the programmers who could put it on the screen; we still need new science here to understand how complexity arises from simple systems, and new technology to conduct experiments for such theories. In 1987, I agitated my employers to let me work on Artificial Intelligence, hoping that we were actually getting close to its implementation; they sent me to take courses at GW on learning theory, and I studied Knowledge-Based Systems (fancy terms for programs that employed flexible logic rules to solve specific problems – and that’s as far as these programs ever got). Although I was ready to jump in, it turned out that we just didn’t have fast enough computing yet to support either approach effectively; supposedly simple learning tasks were handled by our brains with what we now recognize as many orders of magnitude more processing power, using methods that we are only now starting to decipher. In the late 1980s, my PCs at home were accessing networks to send e-mail, post on “bulletin boards” (the ancestors of social sites like facebook), and by the early 1990s, exploring web sites with a new network protocol invented by Tim Berners-Lee at an accelerator lab in Switzerland to support collaborative research by thousands of physicists; this protocol was called HTTP and it was used by an inexpensive software package called MOSAIC that gave the would-be internet explorer a web page browser, an email client, and graphic image utilities. It was developed and distributed by an outfit in California that later gave us the Navigator and Firefox browsers; soon after I became one of the first Mosaic users, I realized that the “world-wide web” would eventually become the transaction processor of choice in nearly all markets. As a matter of duty to inform my colleagues at work about this inevitable transition, I encountered blank stares; a decade later, everyone with a credit card was using the net to buy almost anything at competitive cost. By 1995 I was building web sites, both at home for friends and at work for new tools we needed to perform on projects light-years faster than our competitors – we were inventing our own technologies, online database tools that later would be provided to every web-site builder for free by the open-source communities. My firm conviction that the net would soon be a formidable economic engine caused me to take my net expertise to companies that were building unique internet service frameworks; the main aspect of their domain in common with my old career world was that the web servers were to be built on satellites that could link to the home or business using antennas that were just like satellite TV. So I used one technology skill (satellites) to jump to the new technology (networks) with skills I had developed at home in anticipation of the need for people who had knowledge of networks.
Looking back it is clear to me now that my continuous tracking of technology trends enabled my professional life to move easily from one career domain to another; I mentioned above only a few of the most visible technology shifts in modern society; but there were many other trends that I observed and used to my personal advantage and my family’s; if I assess my intuitive sense about which would be significant and my accuracy in predicting which would arrive in the mainstream first, it occurs to me that I could pursue a CTO role for some company, although this is a role I was never formally assigned, but I would find it fun (see “excitement” in my answer to Question 10).
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY ENHANCE YOUR WORK?
Because I was always early to see a new technology coming on, I stepped into the training necessary to make use of it, long before my colleagues were made aware of it by management – thus it was that in every job, I identified new technologies in the form of architectural methods, design methods, database programming tools, management process innovations and brought my newly acquired skill to the attention of management => I can’t remember an occasion when they denied me the chance to continuing using it; they were pleased that I discovered it, and soon gave me the responsibility of training others for it. When my ideas were well outside what was currently understood, I was able to publish my techniques in system engineering journals and present them to my peers at national conferences. Once in a while, someone would challenge my credentials to present my approaches, because I was not formally recognized for being the corporate go-to guy for that particular technology, but when I asserted that I had perfected the skill in practical use on the job, instead of being the guy with just academic understanding of the theory behind it, they went away with the conclusion that I must know what I was talking about. In this way I became the go-to adviser for others in the company to consult about adopting many technologies for which I never attended formal training; my private opinion was that most of the formal training was too time-consuming and you often “graduated” with only vague notions of how to use it effectively on the job; so I always presented my own real-world examples where in fact, I had proved to myself, at least, that the new technology was worth the trouble to adopt (some weren’t – like KBS rule programs – see answer to question 2). My constantly improving skill meant that I could cite any of a dozen skills to entice a new employer to consider me for that job for which they just couldn’t locate the guy with the right experience. But not always: in 1990 I remember interviewing with a different division of my company (wanting to move to Colorado) where they laughed out loud at my claim that relational databases would be more effective than flat files for the problems they handled; “never gonna be fast enough”, they said. Well, tell that to Larry Ellison, whose company Oracle returned such profits that he took up world sailboat competition often enough to take the cup more than once or twice. I didn’t take the job (privately, I suspected that none of them could understand Structured Query Language (SQL) for databases, and they thought anyone with such an arcane skill a geek who spent his weekends programming in LISP or wiring up neural nets to recognize printed characters); but I soon deployed relational databases in every web site I built (I promise, it’s actually easy!). The ability to write effective code in SQL today still occurs in 1 of 100 IT guys brought in to manage “our computers”. Most companies will hire an outside contractor at twice the rate of the IT guy to deal with their databases (and every company with a customer web site has one, even if they don’t know it).
So I could work now if I really wanted to, but having reached social security eligibility, I employ the internet now to explore the exploding field of neuroscience. I see it as just the latest lucky coincidence that all this new science, these new technologies, and the experiments they permit is starting up with light-speed just as I am permitted take in just enough income to survive without working for somebody who wants an insane quantity of my precious, remaining time on earth. No, I see a fantastic opportunity to become acquainted with new technologies of the mind now, on the way to the Singularity(!) – which is becoming a favorite study area of mine in off-hours, now that I can use ALL my time and energy to explore my lifelong obsession: how our minds work. And who knows? Maybe I can convince crowd-funders to help me build my dream platform (see my outrageous answer to Question 7).
BTW, Coni, thanks for the opportunity in this interview to review how I used technology in the past; and you may just have been a partner in conceiving a new technology as disruptive as AI will be; the more I think about it, I believe it’s doable in 15-20 years if not less! I really don’t think I have seen anyone else propose such an interface, but if posting this interview results in somebody suddenly wanting to call me, I will welcome their interest. So don’t hesitate to post all this; I wouldn’t put it out there to waste anybody’s time, especially not mine in writing it.
WHEN YOU STEP INTO THE WORLD OF CYBERSPACE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS? (EXPLAIN)
From my first explorations of “ARPANET” in the 1980s (using work connections that I’m legally bound to not talk about much), I saw the unique opportunity to find others with similar technological interests, then others with similar beliefs about where all this net stuff was going, and soon was using my website skills to get others in view of a public that otherwise might be hard to find. So it was in 1995 I convinced my brother, with no experience whatever with net technologies, that he could expand his audience 100-fold, presenting in simple yet attractive pages the non-dualist teaching he had refined from years of traveling and meeting his students personally. He knew that he was doing what was right for him, but didn’t mind the idea that he could reach even more. It would also allow him to start collecting a modest income, enough to survive at least, while he continued his itinerant mission to free minds and hearts from previous exposure to views of the world that prevented them from accepting WHAT IS, from guidance from everywhere that placed barriers to enlightenment (e.g., learning at the feet of a master, spending years in a Zen monastery, etc.). He just wanted to let everyone know what he had discovered: enlightenment is immediately available to anyone, anywhere who is willing to let go ALL their assumptions, preconceived notions about what is happening right now, about the person you’re next to, JUST BY ADMITTING that you really don’t know ANYTHING about what is happening, and if you can allow your eyes to open and just take it in, take it to heart, open to whatever is there. So we did build that site in a few weeks, and discovered his message hit home with more than a hundred thousand the first year it was up. I was convinced more than ever, no matter what you bring to the net, there is somebody else interested, and new relationships can start in minutes. Where else can this happen?
In 1988, I encouraged my wife, who hated the IDEA of PCs, to explore online communities. Soon she was recruiting people for her own bulletin boards, with a unique social bent, and making connections with new friends in the NorthWest who shared her interest in a pain-relieving herb (she suffered from a chronic condition that doctors were unable to treat, and unwilling at that time to address her pain issues).
By the late 90s, I had joined several online groups in the form of specialized social networks, replacing bulletin boards, and engaging in real-time chat. Finally my interactions went from remote, asynchronous exchanges that either party could decide to ignore, to vibrant conversations on topics that both my work friends and my current social web found dis-interesting, but my new net friends were enthusiastic about finding me! They too had “thought” the web might result in hoped-for discussions and eventually real-world connection, but it had been a long wait.
In the late 1990s, my sister began to think I might have something after all, and opened her own site to sell her unique offering…now she has left both her jobs in favor of managing this site, which has relieved her of the need to work for someone else for pay.
So I became a longstanding member of many obscure communities, and found that I could always find the person willing to talk to me about anything at all, and it was then I realized that being completely open about myself and my opinions was THE best way to find someone who would tolerate, if not share some of them. This belief, about which I was at first skeptical (my “default reality” had frustrated me into silence), did not take long after that to banish my fears, defuse my defensiveness, and I just took as a working presumption that needed to be refuted if it didn’t work for me…but indeed it has without fail (see my answer to Question 5, where I relate how this “openness” became the foundation for what I now see as my life mission). HUH. I remember now that it was only through my connections on the net that I gained the confidence to tell my truth. A “disruptive” technology that has probably now granted millions permission to display who they’d like to be, if not who they are….
HOW IS THIS CONNECTION DIFFERENT FROM YOUR 3D REALITY?
As conscious beings through which this universe is now expressing itself, I believe that it is our sacred duty to create the meaning of our lives, for our culture, and for our presence on this planet, for whomever we encounter. The cyberspace connection provides me with an audience larger, some of them more receptive, than any I ever imagined possible before 1990. In accepting this extension to my local “3-D reality”, I feel a responsibility to present as simply and as clearly as I can the facts I know about meaning, about our lives, so that everyone may see how to free themselves from all demands from others “to believe the truth”. This “truth” is most often found out as an attempt to control others, to maintain a power imbalance, to manipulate others for personal gain of the supposed divinely informed bearer of the truth, or just seeking reassurance that they have actually “found the truth”. Whatever the intent of the “truth-bearer”, the sincerity is irrelevant; it is only the effects on the mind that matter: to limit, to fear, to be unable to see that which they might see, if they allow themselves, to be self-evident. Because the internet connection allows me such wide exposure, and association with others who think like I do, I think it just simple courtesy to show how I define my identity, in the hope that anyone who considers my conviction for even a few moments can think about it long enough to realize what their own conclusions could be: the top of this page shows what I consider to be a self-evident fact:
I mean nothing abstract, spiritual, or mystical about the statement posted there: it is simply the conclusion I have drawn from my recognition that WE are not just “in” the universe, we are the only known part of it that is capable of defining meaning – and so follows my assertion, at the beginning of this answer, about the sacred duty of every human being to create that meaning: if a holy approach can be taken to find truth, it must be that we each seek it with our whole being. To cede this responsibility to any other human being, is to lose the opportunity to bequeath your own unique reasons for staying here a little longer, and to ignore the murderous intent of past (and 1 present!) religious conversion movements; could we think of stronger evidence to think of ourselves as only vehicles for these memes to dominate our societies, to imprison human minds, potentially forever? But we don’t have to: by accepting the duty to create the meaning of life for ourselves, NOT to hand this determination of truth to ANYONE else, is to grant our own minds COMPLETE freedom to know reality as best we can. My head was turned, and my heart converted, by what Thomas Jefferson left as his most far-reaching statement to future generations: what I saw inscribed around the inside top of that memorial rotunda sitting in the middle of the Potomac, shaking me to my inner-most core: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal vigilance against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man.” I have concluded from my own study of history that others asserted divine revelation of what they then compelled others to accept – or die; but today, more than ever, we each have the power to observe, conclude, believe and share our contribution to the truth about us; the opportunity to share it on the internet affords us the greatest chance to influence; for me there exists a moment of truth happening every time someone sees my page or my postings. Thus I strip my persona on the internet to my inner convictions, as though my body were invisible – yes, out there I choose to be “invisible now”, bringing to that virtual realm my reality of what Bob Dylan said: I “got no secrets”, in the hope that I can free at least one more mind.
HOW DO YOU SEE TECHNOLOGY HELPING SHAPE THE FUTURE OF HUMAN CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS?
I see 3 aspects to this question because I believe (1) we can now choose which technologies should be pursued and to what ends; (2) we will soon be able to develop virtually any technology about which we can dream; (3) managing technology evolution for humanity’s benefit has become imperative since we have both benefited and suffered from previous technological waves which give us insight into how to manage it; (4) foreseeable technological waves will come at us much more rapidly than before, and prove much more disruptive than previous waves. I am concerned about the common tendency to see technology advance as unstoppable, a force that shapes us, rather us directing it. So the 3 aspects that I want to address in my answer to this question are:
a) How should technology evolution be directed to increase the chances of survival for human beings on earth, so that technology evolution for other ends will even matter?
b) What are the most immediate creative purposes that technology evolution should be directed to broaden the consciousness of all human beings so that new technology resources can bring their promises to life?
c) What aspects of human creativity or of human consciousness are prime targets for technological enhancement?
How should technology evolution be directed to increase the chances of survival for human beings on earth, so that technology evolution for other ends will even matter?
Several serious issues that have been ignored for decades threaten to terminate our presence here on earth within the next century; without numerating them here, any one of them could suddenly blossom into unstoppable event chains before our leadership recognized imminent danger. Some of these arose because specific technologies were pursued with malice aforethought – to eliminate significant numbers of human beings; others arose from single-minded pursuit of monetary gain without concern for our tenuous balance with earth’s ecosystems. I have watched these issues fester over my short lifetime, while our leadership directed almost none of our money and time to practical solutions for these issues. So when my favorite cosmologist, Max Tegmark opened his new foundation, The Future of Life Institute, as a channel carrying both science and solutions to the public and to our leadership, I volunteered my services for its mission (keeping us all alive), which will in the very near future identify and promote the technologies we need to survive. The website for this foundation is:
What are the most immediate creative purposes that technology evolution should be directed to broaden the consciousness of all human beings so that new technology resources can bring their promises to life?
Immense resources provided in the form of technological advancements have become available to humans alive today: these resources have empowered us to connect and collaborate with any other living human being, to learn about events in the distant past, at universe-spanning distance, in realms far beneath what we can consciously perceive – and beginning with this century, deep within our own individual worlds that have eluded all past attempts to comprehend or even explore. From my own life experience I am certain that dry science must partner with heat-raising art (theater and cinema being the modern form of story-telling) to unleash hope, the compass that directs our willingness to contemplate and work towards the amazing future that I now believe is reachable.
Here is why I think this partnership MUST occur: the realms of the mind, the heart, and the soul have been regarded as in a sacred territory, protected from human understanding by ineffable spiritual powers or just beyond our physical world (a separation first proclaimed by Descartes). There are now many of us who suspect that we have or will soon have the proper tools to not only prove that this widely accepted “truth” is a misconception supported only by our lack of tools and of “thinkable” theories. The availability of such tools will enable us to verify principles that challenge both our perception of reality and every spiritual view now held dear by most: known as the “truth” beyond our ability to confirm or deny, and therefore must be accepted on faith. Only the most frustrated or courageous of us will rise to reveal themselves willing to conduct such investigations in the face of those who will perceive the development of such new science as useless at the least and downright evil at the worst. We cannot blame these holdouts since our findings will force a complete rethink about the meaning of our very existence, and must be incredibly frightening to those who see it as an earthquake or even a demonic assault (long predicted as the coming apocalypse) that demolishes every deep conviction that holds their world together, that threatens to remove every boundary, every barrier to human creativity – and in this their fear is completely understandable – but as a result, they cannot even consider the new models required to propose experiments, nor will they soon accept the experimental results that confirm the new theories. So there will be many human beings that will not pick up the new tools, that cannot enjoy the opportunities in mental exploration promised by the new theories and afforded by the new tools – UNLESS we can appeal to their hearts, engage their passions and hopes by SHOWING them what life can be like in a new world by those unafraid of that quantum jump from our current notions of human experience to whatever it will be like without the barriers we each perceive now and and the gulfs between us that will no longer exist – and if we are honest, this new existence IS currently beyond our ability or at the very least our willingness to THINK about – so that jump will require faith in our ability to adapt to that new world, or a desperate escape from inconsolable despair over continuing to live within our current boundaries, which a few of us now recognize as the source of all our suffering! Only when our mental grip on those old barriers releases will we be able to grasp the possibilities revealed by the new models. So with science arguments alone, we will not enlist those who cleave steadfastly to their beliefs – we must reach them by stories, by the character of people living beyond what is considered possible, and (currently) unbelievable experiences they can relate to us.
Thus one of the very first missions, taken up by the unbridled human creativity afforded by these new tools and thought models, will of necessity be to convey a “new gospel” to all of us, with the purpose of fore-shortening the period of suffering that might well occur if these new science, these new technologies are feared by large numbers of people. The sheer numbers of singularity enthusiasts, and their excitement, awakes my intuition that we may already be engaged in the deepest religious conflict that humanity has ever experienced.
SO, when Coni Ciongoli-Koepfinger requested my services as her Science Adviser on her science-oriented plays and musicals, I immediately embraced this role: it will allow me to add necessary mental connections for emerging technological trends in the minds of people whose hearts are awakened by her passionate and stirring stories of our future.
What aspects of human creativity or of human consciousness are prime targets for technological enhancement?
I think it must be clear by now that I firmly believe we must abandon the notion that mindless technology should shape anything in our future; instead we must decide, we must plan, we must manage the evolution of technology to our benefit. Technological trends are NOT unavoidable; we have allowed them to disrupt our lives and our society only because we didn’t comprehend how we could control their evolution.
Pre-empting my last statement in my answer to Question 10 – about the best use of technology – here is my recommendation for technology evolution to enhance human creativity: add a new dimension to how we connect and communicate with each other, one that has potential to unite us in a revolutionary way. Today, connection technology only extends our existing human senses, allowing us to reach more people, with words or pictures or stories that allude to our inner experience that we consciously choose to share. Soon, with fast advancing neuroscience, we may be able to add an entirely new human connection technology, giving us a “new sense”: enabling deep-brain interfaces that will open up our emotional lives in real—time for others to experience. => See my answer to Question 7.
IF YOU COULD INVENT A NEW PLATFORM VIA TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR SPECIFIC WORK – WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE?
My dream platform will enable the “deep-brain” interface – transmittal of our emotions in real-time to others. This interface will not transmit spoken words, created art, or written thoughts, but only raw emotion, providing us with a revolutionary way to learn about each other. This new sense could be added to both remote and in-person interactions. Seeing, hearing, or touching another person, while actually “feeling” the “true” emotions that today we experience separately will then become part of the joint experience. With this a few questions come to mind…
1.-This new connection technology is not just a spatial extension to a current human sense (viewing or hearing someone far away), but is actually a new sense. There are many that believe that our current consciousness derives much of its model of reality from our five senses, which themselves exert a “push” force on our emotional transitions; the reception of emotional flow from another person could be a “pull” that tugs the emotions of the receiver; how will this experience affect our conscious model of reality?
2.-With this new sense, we will connect with another in absolute emotional nakedness; both filters on the outgoing side and mis-perceptions on the incoming side will be stripped away when we can perceive emotions directly; will assumptions about “types of people” vanish from our vocabulary? Will arguments about our “differences” cease immediately, without recourse?
3.-The momentary intimacy that we experience now and then, could become a simple act of will. Curious, will we engage many others in such communication, or will we flee in terror at the thought that all our inner-most feelings will be “out-there” for others to know?
4.-Presently, there are scenarios when a group of people experience the same emotions in concert with others: for example, religious meetings, sports events, mob action, political rallies. Not just emotions are shared; memes, tied to a deep emotional base often silence competing thoughts, and have been found to drive many of the most destructive movements in human history. Will there be some that seek to leverage the power of synchronized emotions for their own gain? Political leadership? Advertisers? Religious leaders? Financiers? Anarchists? With this in mind, I propose that this technology be developed by an open source community to ensure it is available to everyone.
TELL US ONE HUMAN ATTRIBUTE OF YOUR OWN SPECIFIC PERSONALITY THAT HAS GROWN IN SOME WAY DUE TO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ONLINE.
It is my willingness to become completely open about what I really think, how I really feel, what I really want…perhaps strange that I went this way, when the internet provides anonymity to so many…but after being on the net since 1988, I have found that the opportunity to find someone who thinks, feels like you do, wants the same things, is just not to be missed. My viewpoint continues to shift away from the norm, reducing the chances that I will physically run into a person of similar mind. After all, one of the big advantages that I saw early on with the net was its wide reach combined with its population diversity.
This willingness to “lay it all on the table” has since invaded my approach to my “default life” – if it can help me find “like-minded” people online, it may also help me discover such people in person, who I might miss if I kept my views to myself. A basic principle of human interaction, proven daily, is that being open brings out the same behavior in the person you interact with..and overcomes common reluctance to reveal the viewpoints that I am now actively seeking with my openness.
One side effect of my adopted openness is that people often find me funny, when I am completely serious and honest about what I see. I take the laughter as evidence that people who disagree with my viewpoint are unable (as result of some mental boundary that limits their perception) to endorse what I assert, so it has become my duty to offer a non-challenging way to reconsider the reality of that boundary. Some walk away chuckling, but now vaguely unsure about the boundaries of their world.
Another side-effect is that my responses in every conversation are instant, since I require no time to filter or rephrase to render them “appropriate”. I take the ensuing silence as evidence that they are taking the time to submit what I said to this useless thought process on my behalf. Imposing such filters takes only seconds, but seconds add up, so I am zealous in protecting my most precious (and ever dwindling!) resource – my time – from my own waste of it!
WHY DOES MAN CONTINUE TO CREATE ART?
I have seen that artists tend to believe they experience reality in a unique but valuable way: if the painter or sculptor can bring to the canvas or out of the stone the beauty they see; if the musician can perform so that the audience will hear what they feel; if the actor can transfer his pain to the audience; they all know down deep if they pass their experience to another, it becomes part of the receiver’s life: this is the first step to immortality.
WHY DOES MAN CONTINUE TO INVENT TECHNOLOGY?
Having taken in the emotions that the artist wanted to convey, or having suffered the ravages of a disability, or enduring an inability to change their circumstance, or just knowing that they possess a skill that can bring to others significant changes to their circumstance, technologists want to share one common emotion: excitement. Even if the technology does not change lives in a significant way, the inventor may still share the excitement of broadening their lives, making a skilled person faster or more effective than ever before, or something not even predicted. What’s curious about this motivation is that sharing the excitement is the prime enabler that allows the technology to propagate: it is as if we become driven by the meme-shift carried by the technology, vessels of its journey to the next mind. You could say WE are not the point of our activities; the idea IS; we are only its transport. But I don’t; I am not ready to concede that we are only hosts for memes that will use any route to dominate consciousness; and in my answer to Question 6, I explain why we should be the managers of technology, not its victims caught in a mindless flood. I believe that we are the creators of meaning; the best use of technology is to facilitate that creative act within our minds or to enable or speed its sharing with another.
THE GAP (Global Artistic Pulse)
©2014 Coni Ciongoli Koepfinger