A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abB0S-22h-E
Happy Anniversary! It was exactly three years ago that the internet discovered my project, Imagining the Tenth Dimension, which continues to draw an audience from around the world. I still find it kind of amazing that typing the words "tenth dimension" into google returns so many pages related to my project as the top results - thank you to the almost four and half million unique visitors who have been to my website, triggering an ongoing average of almost 2 million hits per month. You made this happen!
As most of you know, I have been selling my book and Gevin Giorbran's book Everything Forever from my store, along with T-shirts and DVDs. From the digital items store, I have been selling pdfs of the books, as well as mp3s of my songs related to the project and high-resolution flash and quicktime versions of the original animation which continues to catch new people's attention daily.
The pdfs I have been selling have always been non-copy-protected, and I realize this means people have been free to share them with their friends ever since they were released. To celebrate the third anniversary of Imagining the Tenth Dimension, I am now posting these eBooks to bit torrent. Why? Because these are important ideas that need to get out into the world. I think that the success of iTunes has shown that even when something is available for free, there are lots of people in the world who would still rather buy their own copy to support those who made the content. Plus, reading a book on a screen is okay, but there's a lot to be said for a having a book you can hold in your hand, so if some of you like the pdf enough to want to buy a hard copy, that's great!
So: for those of you who use bit torrent, here are the links to the seeds for the non-copy-protected pdfs of these two books:
Imagining the Tenth Dimension (3rd Edition, Revised and Expanded)
Everything Forever - Learning to See Timelessness
Now, on with today's blog entry.
The following video was forwarded to me a few days ago by my new friend Michael P. Gusek, who is also attached to Syntience, the Artificial Intuition project I've talked about a few times lately. The video features Gerd Gigerenzer, a respected German psychologist from Berlin's Max Planck Institute discussing human consciousness, the psychology of decision making, and the importance of intuition over logic in the processes humans use to reach their most important decisions. His book "Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious" is about the same set of ideas.
A direct link to the above video is at http://fora.tv/2008/02/08/Intelligence_of_the_Unconscious
Since my own project also places a great deal of importance on intuition and the creative process (as we just discussed in Logic vs. Intution, and also touched on in Creativity and the Quantum Universe), the idea of an algorithm that allows computers to include intuition in their toolset to help them process complex and sometimes contradictory data appeals to me immensely. I can't wait to see some demonstrations.
My new friend Mariana Soffer, a natural language programming (nlp) researcher from Argentina's Avatar S.A. has been providing me with much food for thought lately on similar topics to those I've been exploring with my project: Sing Your Own Lullaby, her free-wheeling blog has (in a demonstration of the wonderful mysteries of synchronicity) been exploring an often parallel set of discussions to my own, with her blog most recently touching upon depression, social networks and the big picture, placebos, and The Stream.
Mariana also connected me to Thoughts on Thoughts, a blog on consciousness by Janet Kwasniak: another excellent blog for wide-ranging discussions of the question of just what I mean when I say "I".
Likewise, my new friend Chuck Salyers of California has been providing me with a huge number of fascinating tangential connections to these discussions, a number of which have found their way into my blog over the last couple of months. Isn't life interesting when you can talk to people around the world who are thinking about similar things, working towards the same ends? In his novel "Cat's Cradle", Kurt Vonnegut called this a "karass". In his "Dark Tower" series, novelist Stephen King talked about a similar word, "ka-tet" to describe groups of people who seem to be bound together towards a common goal. In these modern, increasingly connected times, it's easier than ever for us to find our karass, to be drawn forward by our ka-tet.
There are numerous other people who I've had wonderful and challenging conversations with, and valuable input from, over the last three years, you know who you are. In comments here at this blog, or at the tenthdimension forum, or on my youtube videos, or contact through facebook, twitter, email... I've learned a lot from you all. For me, this is all part of that growing feeling of connection that people around the planet are starting to wake up to, and I'm very excited to be participating in my own way with this huge explosion of knowledge and awareness.
Which returns us to an idea I've explored a number of times in the last couple of months: humans are not so unique, and in a recent blog we discussed how there are many other lifeforms on the planet that can duplicate the feats of memory, logic, intuition, and empathy which we are capable of. Meanwhile, computers are being moved steadily closer to algorithms which will endow them with similar sets of reasoning and observation capabilities to those of a human.
As I mentioned last time in Computers and Consciousness, the subject of anthropomorphism will therefore naturally come up in these discussions of connectedness, and there will always be a certain part of humanity who want to convince themselves that we are somehow unique and special, placed in a position above the rest of the universe. The more we learn, the more we can see that we are part of a fabric which extends to all living things, to the entire planet, and ultimately to all particles in our non-local universe. The sooner we can embrace this, the better our collective decision-making is going to become.
Like predictions of the end of the world, predictions that change is happening more and more quickly are really not unique to today, people have been saying such things throughout history (this is where we can cue a sound montage of parents through the ages complaining about "kids today, where do they get these crazy ideas"). This is not to say that accelerated change is not happening now, but rather to say that this has been an ongoing process of slowly accelerating growth for thousands of years which we may or may not see the culmination of within our lifetimes. Still, as I've said many times before, embracing Everett's multiverse requires us to accept that there were already times when the most extreme predictions (for a sudden shift to a new awareness, or an event that ends it all) came true, we just haven't happened to be on one of those particular timelines up to now. We're going to discuss some of the more challenging extensions of this idea in our next blog.
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Suffering in the Multiverse