“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Translation Translation

Someone speaks. The speech vibrates a packet of crisps (as I still prefer to say).

Behind a soundproofed window, an algorithm translates the packet's translation of the speech back into (intelligible) speech.

A very elegant--and nicely mundane, yet extraordinary--demonstration of how how causality is aesthetic.

Speaking, making-vibrate, causing excitement in an electronic lens, analyzing each frame like sorting the laundry, making the analysis sound.

It's the window that interests me. It puts an inviolable aesthetic frame around the packet and the voice.

It's very similar to what happens in your actual ear. A pressure wave activates a tiny cell, the only plant cell in your body. This cell's vibration is translated into electrochemical signals interpreted by your brain. The process of hearing is also a double translation. Technically, this is called transduction.

There need to be one or two other entities involved. Yet the translated translation isn't that different from what actually happened. It's not Beethoven's last string quartet or Sueno Latino.

Which is what OOO likes to say about causality.

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