Random Thoughts



Is the world the way it looks to us?  Well yes, by definition, if we define the "world" as that which we see and understand.  But exactly how screwed-up is our understanding of the "world"?  This question is connected with questions about how our minds work.  And there's a connection between mind and technology, too: Is technology supposed to "improve" human abilities by mimicking them, only better?  (A steamshovel does this.)  Or is it supposed to mimic the "world" for our benefit? (A pair of headphones does this.)

This distinction between human-mimicking and world-mimicking technology gets very blurry when the technology in question is a computer.  That's because the computer mimics the mind in some ways (it appears to "think") and the world in some ways (it stores and recreates music, for example).  Technological advances will depend to a great degree on an understanding of how our "mind" understands the "world".

Mind-Altering Drugs

Since the beginning of time, we humans have enjoyed altering our state of mind using, well, "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll1", as well as some other methods.  Why do we find altering our mental perception so enjoyable?  It's because to us the "world" is our mental image of it.   In that sense, mind-altering drugs change the world.


1. Music changes my mental state.  It seems to make me more patient.