Having bought a copy of The Age of Spiritual Machines, by the genius Ray Kurzweil, after hearing about how Our Lady Peace essentially crafted their entire album, Spiritual Machines, around the concepts presented by Kurzweil? I feel I should probably read it sometime. But having it in my possession, along with years of Star Trek and watching The Animatrix, has inspired me to think muchly on the grand notion of intelligence and consciousness.

I am fairly certain that if androids were possible as of today, they would be very good at patrolling red and blue bases, and occasionally storming my home base just slightly before I can get my army up to tier-two weapons and tech? not to mention thieving magical power-ups from my garden. Judging by the videos I’ve seen of ASIMO, Honda’s robot, I would have more of a chance and I would feel safe with a baseball bat and perhaps a vat of cola to drop them into so I could watch them slowly be eaten away.

For the sake of sentiment, I did, in fact, cry in the movie A.I. when the poor robots were being destroyed at the Flesh Fare.

Anyhow, this whole MIT-tackles-semiotics thing is frighteningly out of my league. They are like ninja-smart, whereas I am only S-M-R-T smart. Delving into the intuitive understandings of language, Hugo Liu has been exploring stuff that I will post here in his own words? out of fear that I will reduce it to the dribbling ramblings of a retarded guinea pig:

The Aesthetiscope is an interactive art installation whose wall of color reacts to portray the relationship between some idea (a word, a poem, a song) and a person (a realist, a dreamer, a neurotic) standing before it. Each idea, for example the word sunset, is rich in association for a person. Perhaps he remembers in his mind what a sunset looks like. Or a sunset mades him think of other ideas like warmth, fuzzy, beautiful, serenity, relaxation. Perhaps it reminds him of some past event in his life. The contextual sphere of these personal associations form the Aesthetic about the idea. And the experience of that aesthetic is called its pathos. I wanted to choose a medium through which pathos could be convincingly portrayed, and so I chose colors because they are a complete microconsciousness of pathos, like taste and smell.

The Aesthetic is hard to articulate because it is usually experienced it as an undeconstructed gestalt. Any analysis of Aesthetic needs to be sensitive to its complexity — the multi-dimensional nature of connotation. The aesthetiscope analyzes each idea through a multi-perspectival linguistic analysis of connotation. The realms of analysis are “Think,” “Culturalize,” “See,” “Intuit,” and “Feel.” Each of these realms brings to bear a different perspectival vocabulary to the pathos description of an idea. “Think” generates rational connotations and entailments of the idea. “Culturalize” looks at the cultural entailments of the idea through the lens of a particular culture. “See” takes the idea as a source of imagery, bringing to bear our collective visual memory of objects, places, and events. “Intuit” is an exercise in automatic free assocations with the idea as a cue. “Feel” takes a sentimental stance toward the idea, connecting it to a word of feelings. The results of these analyses are mapped to a world of colors through psycho-physiocological color surveys based on the work of Berlin & Kay, and Goethe, and naturalistic sampling of colors from photos.

With these different vocabularies of aesthetic, we can try to make sense of a “sunset.” A sunset may be “Seen,” revealing the dark purple swatches with splashes of warm hues that characterize the visual rememberance of a sunset. But there is also an inner sunset. A sunset “Felt” and “Intuited” recalls warmth, beauty, and serenity, and these will bring about brighter, warmer, and more intense colors than the outer sunset.

The aesthetiscope encourages us to experience and reflect on Aesthetic in a new way.

The shizzle is here-izzle, via mit.edu

This is interesting in that it really begins to explore the interpretation of the manifest realm on an abstract level (read MIT’s PDF here). We all believed in Data, but we all somehow secretly doubted that the “emotion chip” that he obtained from his evil twin, Lore, was genuine. But Hugo Liu’s work today may be the precursor to developments that Dr Noonien Soong draw from, in the future, to develop such reactions that would be illogical but founded in the intuitive and sensationalistic interaction with the manifest world. It is a little cold to note, however, that he still managed to bang Tasha Yar in 2364. Sex without this pathos is simply just getting sticky and sweaty? or whatever in Data and Yar’s case.

EDIT ? I was thinking about creating sigils without the normal chaos magic way. For those of you not familiar with sigils, read something like this. For those of you I don’t have to explain it to, any thoughts on crafting such mechanisms (if they can be called such?) out of more abstract elements such as colours, shapes, notions, elements? This is beginning to ring true with the whole stereotype of witches and “voodoo” where they throw weird crap in a cauldron and make spells and shit. I hit on it more here where I try to blab about technical/design approaches to the occult. Any comments or ideas? Drop ’em here.

I remember hearing about some peculiar astral mechanics that Michael Bertiaux and his Cult of the Black Snake (whatever they’re called), where they’d engineer elements out of geometrics and colours and varying astral vibrations. Like Lego, they’d build smaller units and store them in the astral, then proceed to assemble them into larger machinations/patterns. I believe they were four-dimensional geometrices, which will only make sense to those of us that work with sidereal movement and crap.