Title taken from a muslim belief, that there’s a high name for god, and by knowing it you can do anything.
A Vision for the Future
let’s get all the technical difficulties out of the way. what would we use to communicate?
What if the technology from 200 years later is here. We have VR technology that can seamlessly and effortlessly create the immersive world we ask of it. Let’s say we’ve had this technology for centuries. We can recreate anything we want for anyone we want to communicate it with. Okay, WHAT do you want to communicate? If you want to show people what happened, what are you exactly thinking about? Is it what really happened, or is it what your think happened?
Well if you want to recreate what happened, objectively, it wouldn’t really be possible. Let’s say you want the depict “i was sitting under an apple tree”: How were you sitting? what were you wearing? were you on grass or on soil? What color were the apples? What color were each individual apple? How did the sky look like? were the sun exactly where you think it was?
Let’s make it easier, depict me an “Apple”. It was the most beautiful apple you have ever seen. Okay, can you describe it for me? Can you describe it so accurately that i can make an accurate enough 3D model out of it? How would you go about describing an apple if i have never seen one?
You can’t describe the world accurately. You can hardly describe anything accurately. You don’t even have the capacity to store/digest all the information about anything in the objective world. It took us millennia to be able to describe ANYTHING accurately. You might have learned about things that can be accurately described, maybe a Triangle which has a very definite description (vertices, angles, etc) and anything that doesn’t comply 100% with those descriptions, is definitely not a Triangle. But you had to LEARN that description or spend years to figure it out on your own. And it’s just a triangle.
You were made in a world which defies description, and it’s not like your evolution never faced that problem. It’s no mystery that we chunk information into easily storable packages that are vague enough to include all the detail and accurate enough to be different from other packages. But there’s an infinite amount of information, and therefore infinite ways to package a subject. How do we determine how much information is “just enough” information? Because we inevitably do away with most of the information about something because we don’t seem to able to store all the information about it, so we do away with the less important information. So how do we determine which data is important to store and which is not?
Evolution has a weirdly simple answer to that: whatever information that is important for your survival.
Have you ever thought of being able to communicate with other creatures? Let’s say you want to communicate with a bee. Knowing what we know about storing and processing information, what do you think we have to say to a Bee?
I think by now it’s safe to say that we’re trying to recreate perception, not reality. You are inevitably immersed in the subjective world. So it makes sense for you to tell the story from the subjective perspective. And when we do away with reality, it’s becomes a choice to how much of your perception to include and exclude. Even when the event is happening right here and now, and i ask you to “look”, what i’m essentially saying is “turn away and exclude other things that you can turn towards, and focus on perceiving what’s happening there”. I’m asking you to remove unnecessary chunks of reality from you consciousness and include the ones that i think are necessary.
Well how’s that different from using words and ultimately telling a story?
I think words are our best invention to mirror what really happens in our heads when we chunk away the objective world in order to be able to operate in it. Words are exactly in the sweet spot and when necessary, they enable us to add suffix and prefix to further narrow it down to the benefit of our story. Narrowing the criteria further and further down might seem like a good option, but is it?
There’s a story in Quran (i’m not sure how it’s told in the Bible) when some murder happens among Israelites, and Moses asks God to help them out and God tells Moses to sacrifice a cow, then the truth will be revealed. Israelites asked Moses to narrow it down, what cow? what color? Male or female? how old? etc. So they keep asking and Moses kept answering until the demand was a very specific golden colored female cow that had such and such attributes. They have a hard time finding that cow, but they finally will and the sacrifice works out and the murderer is found. But things would’ve gone fine if they weren’t so picky about the cow for it the be the “right” cow.
In many ways, when we’re communicating with someone, we’re engaging in a sort of pretend-play. In that realm things are reduced to their functions and related actions, not the objectivity of it. You can play house with your childhood friend and non of you are actually a doctor or whatever, but you function as one and do actions that represents that objective reality. So you rely heavily on imagining and simulating and suspending disbelief.
It doesn’t have to be a child’s game. It’s a sort of logic in its most simple form. You can think of a mathematical equation even (and that’s a deep rabbit hole), a universally accepted thing like “1 + 1 = 2” . Well what you’re really saying 1(thing) + 1(same thing) = 2 * (things). So 1*apple + 1*apple = 2*apple.
But wait a second, those apples aren’t the same thing now, are they? You’re practically engaging in pretend-play at many levels for such a fundamental equation to be “true”.
So, a wrench here: What if we end up communicating in this future world, exactly the way we communicate in… our world? Look, you have everything you need to create in this world we live in. What does this world lack that you need to be in the virtual world to communicate with others? Wouldn’t we resort back to using the most efficient way to tell a story? Wouldn’t we end up using… words?
So maybe we’re getting ahead. Maybe finding the word of future.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
- What do i want to communicate? what happened or what we think happened?
- You can’t communicate what happened, because you don’t have the capacity to digest and store all the information about… well anything.
- doing away with the details is just what we do.
- To an autistic, one way to describe it, the whole room changes if you move an element, because in all reality the scene is NOT what it used to be.
- let’s say you can communicate with every creature in the world. What would you have to say to a bee or fish?
- well, what is “just enough” information?
- are you truly creating or you’re just remixing?
- how much of it is thought?
- okay so you can’t communicate what happened. so we live in the realm of what we percieved that happened.
- do you want to communicate your perception fully? well, words seem satisfactory.
- but as an image? are we in the realm of logic and relationships anymore?
- A mathematical representation of things, bears nothing with reality. but it’s no less truthful.
- But the reality itself, two apples are not identical. 1*apple != 1*apple. things aren’t one thing in the real world.
- what are we communicating with then?
- in many ways, i think all our communication is pretend play. Let’s say, is Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend all these apples are actually equal.
- are you responsible for the information you didn’t percieve?
- understand that we’re not creating art here and leave it to the reader to interpret. It’s easyeasyeasy to jump there. But you’re COMMUNICATING. You are doing your best, hopefully, to make sure you are both on the same page. on the same page enough.
- Dawn of a new potential
- Improvement of the tech as a driving force
- Developing storytelling methods in the new mediums
- Democratizing creation
- Eisenstein/Kuleshov/and every movie you’ve ever seen
- Super8/DV Cam/HD DSLR/Smartphone/Non Linear Editors/Online Education
- Rebirth by Mark Bolas/Oculus
- Lighter/Faster/Higher Resolution/More Biometrics