“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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Google Is Tripping: An OOO Theory of Vision

Google searches mapped onto your images result in something quite uncanny: this isn't just a good approximation or representation of acid, this is kinda your computer tripping. Deep Dream.

A lot of visual data enters your thalamus through your eyes. But a far far vaster amount of visual data enters your thalamus from within your brain.

I hypothesize that “seeing” aka recognizing something is only possible because you are already hallucinating. Hallucinating is logically prior to seeing.

I think about this quite a lot because of my schizophrenic brother, but also because I'm interested in Paleolithic humans, aka our actually existing bodies, and human–plant coevolution, which is suggesting that thought is a result of interobjectivity between plants and humans. You know, those sorts of plants. It's quite true that there isn't a cannabis plant on the planet that hasn't resulted from a plant having been cultivated by a human in the last however many million years. The coevolution bit remains a hypothesis but it's interesting, no? Like a thought is a residuum of a plant...

There is perhaps a trace of this in the rhetoric of rhetoric, aka “flowery” language, the “flowers” of rhetoric, the notion of an anthology (aka a collection of flowers, since anthos is Greek for flower).

Some of this is in Dark Ecology, where I'm arguing along with Julian Jaynes--I think I have a simpler and more logical account of what he calls “the breakdown of the bicameral mind.”

Talking of plants, did you know that the only plant cell in your body is in your inner ear? It's a kind of solenoid-like pressure cell that responds to a pressure wave entering the ear canal. It sends out a pulse. The pulse interferes with the pressure wave. This creates an interference pattern that can be transducer into chemical signals...You hear because you emit sound that interacts with sound coming in.

So...maybe this is how you see. Your hallucination interacts with the visual input creating a pattern that can then be interpreted. Usually this process is happening in the background.

Tripping is where that system becomes vorhanden. With predictable out-freakage results. And insight into object withdrawal. You are not seeing a glass. You are seeing a glass–hallucination chiasmic pattern, and this chiasmus is asymmetrical (like Merleau-Ponty and Derrida love to argue).

My whole point being that the system from which some philosophy derives the notion of correlationism is way deeper than a “subject” interacting with an “object.” It's how objects as such interact. Like, before you know it's “you” your brain is tripping in this chiasmic interlock with visual data.

So Google sends out images that interact with your images, just like you do. And thus is born something quite weird: being able to see not just a picture of a hallucination, but hallucinating as such, with the obvious implications that algorithms could be people (and vice versa) etc etc. It's uncannily accurate, no? Look. Deep Dream:

Obviously you should turn the sound off or put your own ones on.

1 comment:

Rauue said...

Intriguing read Tim! Have you read 'Left in the Dark' by Tony Wright? It comes to conclusions very similar to ones you've expressed in this post.