Monthly Archives: March 2011

Speak With Conviction

Speak with conviction and authority instead of the interrogative style that ends with an inflection in your voice, as if everything you said was uncertain!

Unlocking the Key to Consciousness Empirically

In this Horizon BBC documentary The Secret You, Marcus du Sautoy works with Dr. Marcello Massimini utilizing Transcranial magnetic stimulation to demonstrate the difference between waking and sleeping consciousness. The data shows that waking consciousness is characterised by the networked interconnectivity between brain regions. Perhaps, in light of this data, it may be posited that the interconnetivity we are experiencing through the internet will cause awakened consciousness in the Global Brain.

Question for the Director: Preparing for a Singularity

The Imaginary Foundation recently asked our fans (a.k.a. "imaginarians") for questions that The Director will answer in an upcoming article in Juxtapoz Magazine. This is a preview of one of those Q & As. We will be posting a new Q & A every Wednesday to our Facebook page.

Toussaint Egan:
What attitudes, practices, and precautions should people adopt now in preparation for the technological singularity that will better ensure the sustainability and security of the planet and future generations, without curtailing our drive to transcend our limits and realize the impossible?
The Director: We must be mindful of our current trajectory and the fragility of the moment in history that we now occupy. It may be argued that science and technology have already outrun our morality and we are on an inevitable path to extinction. Indeed, in 1966, Carl Sagan and Boris Shklovskii suggested that technological civilizations will tend to either destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales. The time in which we find ourselves is certainly full of unique challenges, but there has always been struggle when facing new paradigms—it’s how we deal with these upheavals that matters. As my dear friend Marshall McLuhan noted:
"It is how we perceive [cataclysmic changes] and react to them that will determine their ultimate psychic and social consequences. If we refuse to see them at all, we will become their servants. It’s inevitable that the world-pool of electronic information movement will toss us all about like corks on a stormy sea, but if we keep our cool during the descent into the maelstrom, studying the process as it happens to us and what we can do about it, we can come through."
I believe we can influence events. Yes, there are powerful forces that can determine the direction of the future, but I truly believe the future doesn’t happen only passively and inevitably. The future is CREATED—it is imagined and realized by visionaries who work and sacrifice for it.
"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality—and then there are those who turn one into the other." –Douglas Everett
So let’s become entangled in empathy, absorbed in altruism, deified through diversity, and cajoled into cooperation. Let’s coalesce reason, knowledge, logic, data, metrics, intuition, passion, romance, poetry into a single note, and sing it in the key of synergy. It will be these qualities, and more, that will help us take the next perilous step into the journey of our collective destiny, allowing us to gaze into the mirror of naked self-truth and know that we can be wonderful. 

Next week, The Director will answer this question from Donald Maynard: "Who creates reality?"

Brennan’s Hierarchy of Imagination

This diagram is the result of a conversation between designer and computer scientist John Maeda and health care expert Patti Brennan on the nature of creativity and imagination, that was inspired by Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs. Maeda was impressed with how Brennan had a clear mental model of why "teaching creativity doesn’t work but expanding their imaginations might work better" in the context of some of her work in patient healthcare. Her basic thought was that in order to get patients to take control of their health, they need to imagine what it looks like to be more healthy.

Autistic boy of twelve develops his own theory of relativity.

A 12-year-old child prodigy has astounded university professors after grappling with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics.

Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170 – higher than Albert Einstein – and is now so far advanced in his Indiana university studies that professors are lining him up for a PHD research role. The boy wonder, who taught himself calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a week, is now tutoring fellow college classmates after hours. And now Jake has embarked on his most ambitious project yet – his own ‘expanded version of Einstein’s theory of relativity’.

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