Tag Archives: human



this year for Thanksgiving ( and why not also for each and every day ) take some moments to simply appreciate life

life is such a mysterious experience

one which i hope we’ll never Scientifically truly understand in the least

to try and understand life too much is to miss out on: the actual experience; and actually tuning in well enough to appreciate that experience of human ( among other forms of ) life

see if you can appreciate, too, all aspects of our experience together

up and down

good and bad

we are wed to life in all of its wonder and chaos, in all of its highs and lows — so try and appreciate and accept all that life offers us, even when it feels unfair or broken or wrong

this year i appreciate life — i choose to tune into that channel of human energy in a personally meaningful way


we almost lost our mother this year

i have a lot of questions for her, about her behavior, about her constant struggles with mood and escape and negativity and then manic joy

not all of these questions will be exactly smooth or supportive

i can feel ( in an unfortunately negative and low / sad way ) the immense power of our socially collected energies as a human organism — my mother’s purposefully-chosen attempts at the ultimate escape can be nothing but a dark and dreary ripple of hopelessness and confusion — a horrific example to ‘put out there’ for anyone in the world

it shows a lack of appreciation for life, for people, for anyone and anything beyond herself

my empathy for her obviously wanes at this point in the aftermath

but, for the rest of us at least, let’s hold on to life

we are all very vulnerable and life can escape us all on its own at any moment

there are no logical systems or reasons, either, that death needs to adhere to

so let’s appreciate life together

let’s set a good example for the world and the people we love

let’s appreciate each other with a new sense of closeness and humanity

tune into little things when time gets dark

tune into life

a theory about thoughts and feelings

Body 4

contrary to what popular scientific, mainstream belief tells us — i am convinced that we think and feel with our entire body

thoughts and feelings are not simply
processed in our brains

to think that our brain acts like some strangely mechanistic one-hour photo development lab for the way we experience and relate to the world is extremely preposterous, but this is the only way we as human beings can understand it because we are incapable of thinking beyond our current, known toolset

its got to be far more complicated than that, dontchya think?

we hate to admit it, but we’re far less advanced in our understanding of ourselves, each other and the universe than we’d like to be

we tend to oversimplify everything

because we know how to design and build machines that supposedly think, we also believe we can figure out the mysteries of the mind and the way everything in the universe works, but why bother?

i mean, don’t get me wrong, its all super-interesting to learn about — or at least to theorize about and then test to see how close we can get to some level of commonly acceptable belief system around these rather intensely amazing phenomena in life

and we don’t like to admit, i guess,
when we don’t know or understand something

but let’s just be fucking honest, now, okay?

maybe if we just accept the knowns and the unknowns — and if we also fully accept and appreciate the existential sense of being human and experiencing the world within the given found systems we’ve inherited — we might be far better off

let’s stop trying to explain everything to its ultimate, inevitably science-bled death and just enjoy it all, let it all soak in, and then see how we can live in a more interdependent and inclusively healthy and happy way together as a living, breathing collective organism of humanity

we think with our entire bodies

we feel with our entire bodies

and we also collectively think and feel as little batches of social presence in different pockets of the world



i guess we could do both

we should do both — both investigate and examine the world and try to figure it out while also enjoying the experience of these sometimes ungraspable areas of natural phenomenology embedded within our human experience

as long as we remember to come back to this sense of enjoyment, too

i guess then we don’t necessarily need to club every little thing to death with the Big Data stick

after all, i don’t think its our job as human beings to necessarily be able to explain everything in the universe — that’s a rather big and impossible job, right? 

it is, however, our purpose to live and breathe and enjoy our existence, to live a little and enjoy each other, and to potentially leave a few stories behind for the alien race that will eventually come down to Mother Earth and inevitably take us all away beyond the sky


a return to Turing ::..


i just took a look back at my very first post to this blog, and there are some rather interesting aspects to it that seem to hit right at the core of what i’m most concerned about as a transitional

looks like i wrote it at the very beginning of my graduate research and work through Dynamic Media Institute @ Massachusetts College of Art — it must’ve been one of the first weeks of class and we were looking at The Turing Test as part of our weekly readings and in-class discussions

Wikipedia describes Alan Mathison Turing as:

a British mathematician, logiciancryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner

and as one of the founding fathers of computer science he seemed to be a natural-born philosopher, intrigued with not only the vast power and potentials our computing machines would afford to all of humanity, but also, interestingly enough, really beautifully aware of the intrinsic ethical matters embedded directly in the extra-human capabilities of these wonderous new machines

alan turing

With his test, Turing asks us:

Can we create a machine with interaction capabilities that would trick us into thinking it is, in fact, human?

And a means to see if it were, in fact, possible to trick us, Alan set up a little trick through simulation — a psychological experiment, if you will, whereby he simulated a conversational machine vis-à-vis a bit of theatric and nearly-prankish Allen Funtery

i’m not going to get into providing a full description of the actual Turing Test here in this blogPost, feel free to read some surface material about the test on Wikipedia — for me, the most important challenge i would like to present is the fundamental modernday irrelevance of The Turing Test

i’ve conducted a LOT of experiments over the years that implemented technology and even, more often than not, simulated technologies that i am simply not expert enough to program at this point in my coding abilities, and i can confidently report that the truth of the matter is that people are rather easy to trick — and they are not at all fascinated by what it might mean to be human anymore, which is a bit unfortunate and disappointing — but, instead, they are fascinated, almost mesmerized, by what we can accomplish with our technologies and they are willing to believe that even the most absurdly superhuman, unprogrammable interactions and intelligences can actually be designed, developed and embedded in the digital-machine experiences we create

now these are very vast and general oversimplified conclusions derived from some rather silly, gallery-based prototypes and experiments i’ve set up over the course of my curatorial career while working through DMI — but i’ve seen the dynamics between some very smart people and some very dumb prototypes and i seemed to always come away surprised, delighted and simultaneously disappointed in how easy it was to simulate and trick a gallerygoing audience into believing what they experienced was actually a computer application built on database, algorithm, interface, interaction, sensors and, ultimately, the magic of human ingenuity through programming

at this point i suggest we take a look at the flip-paradigm of The Turing Test, following the good example presented in this quote from a very famous, if not infamous, psychologist:

“The real problem is not whether machines think
but whether men do.”
B.F. Skinner

Hey, keep your hands off my chicken!

i don’t think we should care about tricking each other so much anymore — like i said, i think that’s rather easy to do most of the time — the biggest, best example of how easy it is to trick and even fully-influence people can be witnessed on a daily basis by simply turning on a television or listening to the radio and then witnessing how much personal opinion is shaped, formed and twisted by these outdated, mass media propaganda machines — even the internet, with all of its freer access to a broader set of information and opinions, tends to still feel a bit of information steering from the topics that come up on the first screen prior to driving the second screen in the modern American living room

i do not think that the original measures for the success of The Turing Trick still apply in this day and age — a recent report from The LA Times claims that a computer program actually did pass The Turing Test:

For the first time, a computer program has officially passed the Turing Test, which measures a machine’s ability to think for itself 

of course, the headline for this article indicates a bit of a trick behind the trick itself, right? the Times article, entitled, ‘Bot passes Turing Test; judges think it’s a 13-year-old boy,’ seems to vastly reduce the age of dialogic return in the simulated conversation to re-contextualize the ‘human’ aspect of the interaction — and so, at least from my perspective, the simulation need not feel as sophisticated and human as we once thought machine intelligence should be — in fact, the human age of the computer-conversant is now a teen that probably misspells words, if even using words in the English language at all, right? LOL … aight, TTYL ;]

but reducing the intelligence of the machine simulation of a human, this modern twist on The Turing Test seems to have increased the key performance indicator measures of success for the test itself

this raises some rather important and interesting questions

first off — what are we actually trying to test here? are we testing people? machines? our ability to program machines? our ability to trick people and their perceptions and beliefs about our intelligent machines?

second off — if we actually achieve the goals of the test — that is, if we can trick a person into thinking an interactive experience with a machine feels human { whatever that is } — what does that actually prove? how does that benefit actual people? or is that simply an implicit goal of computer scientists? to somehow trick people?

third off — isn’t it counterproductive to humanity and to human intelligence to have one of the ongoing side-project goals of computer science be based on a trick? as our machine intelligence supposedly grows, expands and extends on an exponential basis according to Moore’s Law, does it not somehow continue to sabotage and weaken actual, wetware, human intelligence?



a monument


recently ERP/PLM Administrator at NDS Surgical Imaging Chris Ciraulo asked the following question up on LinkedIn Answers …

What would your monument be?

The Pyramids of Egypt, the Roman Colleseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China…

If you were given the task of creating a new monument to stand the test of time and unlimited resources, what would it be and where would you put it? Be creative!

As much as I know my recent thoughtworks veer toward nature … both natural elements from the woods and from the oceans … items like pinecones and seashells, acorns and sea-polished stones … I was nicely surprised by my answer to Chris’ question ( see below ) :

the willow heart of human hope

I would create a concrete tree … a very large tree … concrete or marble … some sort of stone … leaves and all … a tree of North America … lights, there would be lights inside the canopy of the tree … maybe a huge willow tree … something you could go into and witness together with others … you could look up into it and it would be like an internal constellation of sorts … it would represent the human heart of hope … light … joy …

It would represent enlightenment and protection. Shelter. Natural shelter. The sort of comfort you can only feel when embraced in the arms of nature Herself.

Not the tree that they nailed Jesus Christ to. Not the tree of eternal suffering. Suffering of the child. No, no … nothing of the sort.

The tree … this natural willow heart of human hope … she would stand alone, larger than life … offering comfort … the tree would have a halo. A tree that somehow achieved martyrdom … a saintly status in the form of a weeping willow. Perhaps the tree Herself is also a fountain. A fountain tree of hope and light and trickling streams of joy … warm water. A true symbol of growth and healing. Growth, healing and comfort.