DIRECTED RESEARCHReal and SpectacularModern Life and the Classic Universe Michael Silber | Professor Tom Klinkowstein
HypothesisI hypothesize that the screen-world and technologically-mediated experience will never supplant the classic universe.Our five senses engage and ground us in the pleasures andpain of the physical world, asserting our mortality and thewonder of life. Technology cannot match the alluring tactilityand thrilling volatility of the classic universe, and thereforecannot alone satisfy our human wants and urges. We breakboundaries in pursuit of our desires and we challengewhat exists for the possibility of what could be. Althoughtechnology has become deeply integrated with our lives, itcan only simulate these risks and rewards. We will neverbecome machines, because our wants and urges–our desiresand pleasures–lead us to impulsive illogical action; the thrillovercomes our rationality.
1. Image Processing and Cognitive Activity What is happening in the brain as we receive sensory information? How is this information processed? A. How the Brain Receives Imagery Through Vision • Gregory, R., 1966, Eye and Brain, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. • Spivey, M.J., Richardson, D.C., Tyler, M.J., and E.E. Young, 2000, “Eye movements during comprehension of spoken scene descrip- tions,” Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Meeting, 487–492. • Milner, D. and Goodale, M.A. (1995). The Visual Brain in Action. New York: Oxford University Press. B. How the Brain Processes Information i. Areas of the Brain and Their Cognitive Function • Block, N. (1983). Mental pictures and cognitive science. Philosophical Review, 92, 499–541. • Hirschfeld, L.A., and S.A. Gelman, 1994, (eds.), Mapping the mind: Domain specificity in cognition and culture, New York: Cambridge University Press.
ii. Neuroscience / Cognitive Psychology • Anderson, J., 2010. Cognitive Psychology and its Implications , 7th edn., New York: Worth. • Clark, A., 2008. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cog- nitive Extension, New York: Oxford University Press. • Lakoff, G., and M. Johnson, 1980, Metaphors We Live By, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. • Garson, James, “Connectionism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philoso- phy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato. stanford.edu/archives/win2010/entries/connectionism/>. • Von Eckardt, B., 2005, “Connectionism and the Propositional Attitudes,” in C. Erneling and D. Johnson (eds.), The Mind as a Scientific Object: Be- tween Brain and Culture, New York: Oxford University Press • Pascual-Leone, A., and R.H. Hamilton, 2001, “The metamodal organiza- tion of the brain,” Progress in Brain Research, 134: 427–445. • Thompson E., 2007, Mind and Life, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. • Smith, L.B., and E. Thelen, 2003, “Development as dynamic system,” Trends in Cognitive Science, 7 (8): 343–348.
2. Physical World – The Classic Universe How do we engage with the physical world and the objects and people within it? A. Conceptions of Time B. Real Imagery C. Social and Physical Engagement • Rizzolatti, G., Fogassi, L., and V. Gallese, 2001, “Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action,” Nature Neuroscience Review, 2: 661–670. • Rizzolatti, G. and Sinigaglia, C. (2008). Mirrors in the brain: how our minds share actions, emotions. Oxford University Press. • Tsakiris, M., Hesse, M.D., Boy, C., Haggard, P., and G.R. Fink, 2007, “Neural signatures of body ownership: A sensory network for bodily self-consciousness,” Cerebral Cortex, 17: 2235–2244. • Waller, D., Lippa, Y., and A. Richardson, 2008, “Isolating observer- based reference directions in human spatial memory: Head, body, and the self-to-array axis,” Cognition, 106: 157–183.
D. Reception/Perception of Sensory Information i. Sight ii. Smell iii. Touch, iv. Hearing, v. Taste vi. Tactile experience. • Pecher, D., and R.A. Zwaan, (eds.), 2005, Grounding cognition. The role of perception and action in memory, language, and thinking, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
3. Screen World / Observed Experience What kind of experiences and relationships do we have in our online and technology–mediated experience? • Rizzolatti, G., Fogassi, L., and V. Gallese, 2001, “Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action,” Nature Neuroscience Review, 2: 661–670. A. Conceptions of Time. B. Screen Imagery C. Exploration - Information Retrieval and Data Consumption D. Online Experience - Expansive not Immersive E. Online Relationships and Socialization • Virtual Friendship,” Ethics and Information technology, DOI: 10.1007/ s10676-012-9294-x
4. How Technological Advancements and Modern Society Impact our Processing What is the impact of modern and future technology on our relationships and our position in the world? A. Social Changes i. A Newly Connected World a. Urban Development–Larger Groups Living Together ii. Transportation Systems Allowing Global Travel b. Impact of Fast Delivery Systems c. Global Reach of Online Media B. Artificial Intelligence • Christian, Brian. 2011. The most human human: what talking with computers teaches us about what it means to be alive. New York: Doubleday. • Gelernter, D., 2007, “Artificial Intelligence Is Lost in the Woods,” Tech- nology Review, July/August, pp. 62–70. http://www.technologyreview. com/article/408171/artificial-intelligence-is-lost-in-the-woods/
• Simon, H.A., 1995, “Machine as mind,” in Android epistemology, K.M., Ford, C. Glymour, and P.J. Hayes (eds.), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 23–40. • Simon, H.A. (1983). Search and reasoning in problem solving. Artifi- cial Intelligence, 21, 7-29. • Turing, A. M., 1948, “Machine Intelligence”, in B. Jack Copeland, The Essential Turing: The ideas that gave birth to the computer age, Ox- ford: Oxford University Press.C. Augmented Reality Transhumanism/ Posthumanism and Genetic Modification • Singularity Hub: http://singularityhub.com. • Kurzweil, R., 2006. The Singularity is Near, New York: Penguin Press. • Bedau, M. and E. Parke (eds.), 2009, The Ethics of Protocells: Moral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory, Cambridge: MIT Press.D. Interaction Design Implications
5. Human Folly–Risks, Thrills, & Misbehavior Why do we take risks? And how does our irrational behavior define our human experience? A. Risks Philosophy/Psychology • Prinz, J.J., 2004, Gut reactions: A perceptual theory of emotion, New York: Oxford University Press. • Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G.L., and A.H. Jordan, 2008a, “Disgust as Embodied Moral Judgment,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulle- tin, 34 (8): 1096–1109. • Shrader-Frechette, K., 1991, Risk and Rationality. Philosophical Foun- dations for Populist Reforms, Berkeley: University of California Press. • Thomson, J.J., 1985, “Imposing Risks”, in To Breathe Freely, Mary Gibson (ed.), Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld, 124–140. B. Thrills/Misbehaviors i. Adventure Sports: Sky-Diving, Base Jumping, Bungee Jumping, Running with the Bulls, Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol, Promiscuity, Overeating, Marriage..
6. Philosophical Explorations Phenomenology, Embodied Cognition, Bodily Awareness, and Transcendentalism all seek to understand and define our place in the world and how we interact with it. How do we define the self? And how do our perceptions of the world define us? A. Phenomenology • Bachelard, Gaston, and M. Jolas. 1994. The Poetics of Space. Bos- ton: Beacon • Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and time. New York: Harper. • Hildebrand, Grant. 1999. Origins of architectural pleasure. Berkeley: University of California Press. • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice.1962. Phenomenology of Perception, Colin Smith (trans.), New York: Humanities Press. • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice.1964.The Primacy of Perception, J.M. Edie (ed.), Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
B. Embodied Cognition • Clark, A., 1997, Being There: Putting Mind, Body, and World Together Again, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson, 2003, Metaphors We Live By, 2nd ed., Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. • Lakoff, G., 1987, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Catego- ries Reveal About the Mind, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. • Rupert, R., 2009b, Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind, Oxford University Press. • Shapiro, L., 2011, Embodied Cognition. New York: Routledge. • Varela, F., Thompson, E. and E. Rosch, 1991, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Wilson, R.A., 2010, “Extended Vision,” in Perception, Action and Con- sciousness, N. Gangopadhyay, M. Madary, and F. Spicer (eds.), New York: Oxford University Press.
C. Bodily Awareness • de Vignemont, Frédérique, “Bodily Awareness”, The Stanford Encyclo- pedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2011/entries/bodily-awareness/>. • Berlucchi, G. and Aglioti, S. (1997). The body in the brain: neural bases of corporeal awareness. Trends in neuroscience, 20 (12), 560–564. • Bermudez, J.L. (1998). The paradox of self-consciousness. Cam- bridge: MIT Press. • Bermudez, J.L. (2005). The phenomenology of bodily awareness. In D. Woodruff Smith and A. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 295–316. • Brewer, B. (1995). Bodily awareness and the self. In J.L. Bermudez, T. Mar- cel, N. Eilan, (eds), The body and the self. Cambridge (Mass.): MIT Press. • Carman, T. (1999). The Body in Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. Philo- sophical topics, 27, 2, 205–226. • Feinberg, T. E. (2009). From axons to identity: Neurological explora- tions of the nature of the self. New York: WW Norton. • Legrand, D. (2006). The bodily self. The sensori-motor roots of pre- reflexive self-consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sci- ences (5), 89–118.
D. Transcendentalism • Walden; or, Life in the Woods, ed. Jeffrey Cramer, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Originally published in 1854. Parenthetical citations indicate with roman numerals which of Walden’s 18 chapters is the source of each quotation. • Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1993, “Nature,” in Essays: First and Second Series, ed. John Gabriel Hunt, New York: Gramercy / Library of Free- dom, 282–297. Originally published in 1836.E. Other Philosophy • Descartes, René. 1965. Discourse on Method, Optics, Geometry, and Meteorology, trans. Paul J. Olscamp. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. Origi- nally published in French in 1637. • Freud, Sigmund. 1994. Civilization and its Discontents. New York: Do- ver Publications. • Sartre, J.P., 1943, Being and Nothingness, trans. H.E. Barnes. New York: Philosophical Library .
7. Project Proposal A. Questions B. Goals C. Exploring Modes of Intervention in a Technologically Dominated World i. Meditation/Introspection ii. Tactile Experience iii. Non-Programmed Time/Going Off the Grid iv. Creative Exercises - Writing, Drawing, Making, Building v. Social Interaction - Experience/Experimentation
D. Implementation/Applications i. Interactive Design ii. Sensory Deprivation/Enhancement/Distortion iii. Optical Illusion iv. Virtual Reality Simulation v. Revisioning of the Self - Voice/ Image Alteration vi. Explorations in Sensory Documentation a. Biological Signals -heart-rate, brain-waves, perspiration, stress level, mood b. Writing/Drawing about Sensory Experience c. Rating/Charting/Graphing Experience d. Cognitive Performance Tests8. Conclusion