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Meet the "Imagine" Project: and learn how the mind works.




The work of the human mind is to build understanding and dealing with models of reality of oneself, others and things. There are objective, subjective, internal or external realities in relation to a certain reference. Each relates to the others in ways we need to know to fully live each moment and have a coherent life.


Knowing how we imagine what happens when we deal with so-called objective and subjective realities, you can learn what really matters and makes a difference and what doesn't.


What follows is a possible way to get to know what you don't imagine you can imagine.


1. The Birth of Imagination:

Imagination is the mental function that allows us to represent reality. She has a history in human development.


When we humans were nomadic tribes sparse on the planet, our life was always to go forward in search of new resources and little “stop” in the reflective sense, the “stop to think” and imagine ourselves and the world in greater extension and depth. The wanderer's world was a line, more or less sinuous, and space-time was cyclic and did not extend to representation.

When we settled down as agricultural communities, we started to imagine ways of living together in a space defined together, demanding postures, attitudes and behaviors that we created precisely for coexistence in a common physical space, shared with more or less hierarchies, but of all self-determined form and no longer determined by the forces of nature. A properly human environment, differentiated from the environment of nature, begins to appear. The world begins to be known from this coexistence and not directly, via “nature”. The very concept of nature begins to be imagined. Language flourished and ceased to be predominantly instrumental (homo habilis) to appear as a means of reflection (homo sapiens).


The first civilizations are born and grow.


Drawings of people and animals fixed in the caves and surrounding rocks indicate that there existed not only one person, but a group of them, interacting with each other and with the world beyond them, hunting or contemplating the world. The hands painted with red pigments indicated: here I am, who draws this, among others like me. A first movement of reflection.


Living together creates spaces and times beyond those “given” by nature. Space and time created between them have time measuring instruments such as clocks, houses, lighting, “artificial” means of water circulation, people, vehicles, domesticated animals, shared principles, laws and codes.


A sense of private ownership and particular ways of communicating and living is born.


Communities are formed within communities. In them, you had to compose yourself to socialize, work, leaving a certain amount of time for leisure and thinking to experiment.


The imaginary appears as the mainstay, the foundation of common life.


Far beyond the flat screen: The human relationship in digital times.


The land of nomadic wanderers was linear and superficial: they only left traces as they had no time to stop and think. Even later, using speech and writing, letters and words imitate the shape of the wanderer as they are produced and reproduced in a linear fashion, as if the words walked on lines on a flat surface...


The speaker and the writer evoke mental representations in various spaces/times of themselves, others, things and relationships between them, not only encoding but also transforming the encoded relationships into new imaginaries in the form of stories, tales, narratives and descriptions of world that can be perceived, measured and reflected.


By using flat surfaces, we learn to project them onto other dimensions. Thus came the sketches, the spreadsheets. Mathematics and geometry gained prominence and in the last centuries of civilization came the scientific method using a process of “systematic observation”: Delimiting what is observed and repeating the observation, under the same conditions in a controlled manner, as experimentation. The results are measured and what is repeated is not random and this, using mathematics, can calculate what is repeated in a way that is interesting and the researcher imagines what relations he can “draw” from such an experimental reality.


But when are realities observed in a network of events affecting each other? The observation and experimentation method can no longer be applied linearly as in classical science.


The challenge of the contemporary imagination is to transcend the linear methods of traditional sciences and offer, as relativistic quantum physics proposes, non-linear and non-binary methods of thinking about human reality. It was never actually linearizable. Every attempt to measure mental reality has not yielded consistent results. Human intelligence, for example, is not what is measured from it, but what is imagined from that measure. And that's limited to the measurement conditions, which doesn't take the investigation very far.


With a quantity and quality of information literally impossible to be imagined, we have “outsourced” to logarithms, mathematical tools mediated by high information processing technology, the function of offering data that would be “the” reality that we perceive or should perceive. It is a trick of our own imagination to falsely believe that his work is an “artificial intelligence”. It's like Michelangelo asking the statue of David to speak and believing it will actually respond.


The problem that appears in the -confused- definition of artificial intelligence is that the information provided by the mathematical language needs to be decoded by our senses and contextualized to the context of the interaction in which we are involved in order to make sense. This implies human experience. Without it, formulas are worthless.


“Making sense” is the result of the mobilization of a psychobiological process of imagining the interactional experience “working”, that is, corresponding to our expectations. The logarithms themselves do not seek to make sense; are manufactured to make that happen. To imagine them having an intelligence is artificial, in the sense that they, however complex we can build them, only make sense to those who produced them. The imagery according to which, one day, the equipment will have the autonomy to desire and live with each other, dispensing with the human race, is analogous to the fantasy of children when they sleep, imagining that their toys will come out of the closet and go to play while they sleep, returning to inanimate in the morning when she wakes up. We will have the opportunity to explore this interesting theme in other texts."


Sergio Spritzer © | June 2021

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