You ask some questions of interest to me, as my own interest in
simulation is in engineering machines that _do_ magic (in the
ritual/paranormal/supernatural sense, although there is some overlap
with legerdemain and such). We can readily simulate many of the active
behaviors of magic (many rituals can be expressed algorithmically),
but how to simulate the states that those actions are intended to
invoke and evoke?
The trouble I see with simulating telepathy is of having a model of
how telepathy works. But it may do to realize that the experience of
telepathy as anomalous cognition or communication, is anomalous to an
observer. When a mentalist appears to read your mind by studying
various clues that you are unaware of, she appears to have some
uncanny access to your thoughts. That is, in a sense, a simulation (of
something truly uncanny, if such a thing exists), and it applies as
well to computer programs that seem to read your mind (e.g.
The situation is similar with EEG technologies such as the Emotiv
EPOC, NeuroSky/Mattel Mindflex. We can use EEG to intentionally
activate an actuator that moves a body at a distance, and so
experience some sense of telekinesis that may seem supernatural if we
are unaware of the underlying mechanisms, if we do not have a
"natural" model of what is happening -- we may generate/experience a
supernatural model. I am presently developing this technology to
simulate the evocation of a spirit into an artificial body (robot).
Getting back to telepathy, it is possible that what we experience as
tele-pathy (emotions over a distance?) and intuition is
sub/unconscious nervous activity, in which case the more we learn
about such activity, the better we should be able to simulate it. We
may imagine a robot that processes my subtle body "language" in such
as way that it seems to be able to "read" me, to intuit my state, my
intentions, etc. This I suppose relates to your comment about humans
sensing each other in a room, e.g., you may have a "feeling" about
someone which (by this model) means you are processing information
about that person, below your conscious threshold. The difference
between that and how computers communicate at a distance is that
computers do not yet have a conscious threshold in this sense; the
computer does not have a (self-)reflective gaze and cannot (genuinely)
say, "I feel something is good/bad about this situation, although I
cannot say [i.e. infer from available data] why I feel this way."
On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 5:20 PM, Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)
> Dear All,
> Hope you are doing well. Looking forward to another wonderful discussion! Every
> time we think something cannot be simulated, it turns out that maybe we
> can...so what is un-simulatable now? Imagination? Intuition?
> As we await the first reactions, let me put forward my personal questions as an
> opening teaser that you are free to ignore if in the meantime other interesting
> things have been posted :)
> Today I spent three hours in a meeting with people who have experience with
> hallucinations and delusions, diagnosed as psychotic or schizophrenic, as you
> might remember, as an artist I am trying to simulate the subjective experience
> of this extreme mental state with a kind of Digital LSD...here the sense of
> self, sense of time and space, and sense of reality play an important role, but
> shall we consider such senses in this discussion?
> One of the conclusions of the advisers who were present, was that I should aim
> to simulate Telepathy (the idea that you can insert thoughts into others and
> that they can do that to you). A phenomenon considered as a key symptom. In
> psychosis one often feels a connection to the world, and that all information
> comes in at a high speed on a kind of wired network. Now I ask myself and put
> this question forward to you. How might we simulate a so called 'six sense' such
> as Telepathy?
> And another murmur....computers can read the mind of other computers...and
> transfer over a distance. How is remote sensing by computers different than that
> of humans sensing each other in a room?
> Oh, and one more reference, there is a professor that seems to be able to
> simulate the sense of presence with what is often refered to as The God Helmet:
> Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)
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