grace just is (gracejustis) wrote in mentalis,
grace just is


I am (very) new member...I posted this awhile ago in my journal, but I think it ties in with the mind/body discussion below - so I thought I'd post it here and see what you gals and guys think.

A what-if situation:

What if there really were life-like holographic simulators. Let's say you have one in your home - the size of small bedroom. You could meet 'others' in the room - holographic representations of the real person (who is in their OWN holographic room - looking at YOUR projected hologram). Now. If you are able to talk to this person - and they can hear you, touch this person - and they can feel you, look into their eyes - and have their holographic gaze look back into yours...Exactly how is this different from 'real life'? I've come to the conclusion that it isn't. Not at all. And so when we connect in 'real life' it's not really connecting with the actual flesh...not really hearing the actual voice with our actual ears...but it is the communication from one 'being' to another. And it raises the question of what exactly is doing the communicating...
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Well, first I'd like to point out the distinct differences between a hologram and the actual physical presence of the person. You would be interacting with the person, yes, but through a puppet generated by advanced electromagnetic fields or something of that sort. It would thus be as safe as a puppet. No biological exchange at all, no viruses, no pheromones, no exchange if it were on an intimate level. In a way, it is nothing more than an advanced phone call. Instead of just giving you audio it gives you tactile and visual information as well. No chemoreceptors would be activated though, no smell, no taste. If one could simulate those complex and individual marks... I would be very very impressed. As for connecting from one person to the next... I believe that you can be with someone IRL and still be alone, while you can talk to someone on the phone and have company. It depends on how you associate with the various stimuli you are presented with by a person. I take this to include sensory information as well as thought. The overall package is the communication. If you are having a deep conversation with someone and you like his or her voice, you must take that into account, because the conversation will stimulate you that much more. In person you have the maximum amount of ways to communicate, that is all, and each way affects the whole. Facial expression can alter the interpretation of the words that are said, or lend extra meaning to a touch. As for what exactly constitutes a 'being', different and fairly extensive opinions were presented in an earlier post... :)
Well, this hologram is a hypothetical hologram. Like the holodeck from Star Trek - only rather than interacting with a computer generator 'personality' - the hologram was "plugged" into a human being. It's not something that I ever see being possible - just a thought experiment.

But I hadn't thought about not being able to actually exchange...ahem...certain physical quantities.

Interesting thoughts about connection. Gives me plenty to think about...Thanks :)
When that comes about, I think it will be like IRC, so you can go into a room full of people and hang out with strangers. Stuff like that. I think people will stay in it so long they die of dehydration or starvation. There are so many people addicted to online chat right now, because they can't face the psychological dangers of connecting with real people, that when it is almost indistinguishable from reality we will have a lot of delusional people.

This does come back to a point I think I brought up a few posts back though--how do you know what is real? It can be difficult to distinguish dream from reality, because our brain doesn't know the difference. The only way we can consciously know the difference is by spotting errors in the interpretation of our right brain.

It's a very Matrixy question, but still valid, I feel.
The hypothetical hologram was actually an attempt at putting myself in a Matrixy (I like that adjective) state of mind.

I may be odd - I don't know, I've never spoken about this with anyone - but for some reason not being able to tell whether something is real or not doesn't bother me. At least in this case.

For instance - in the Matrix where you see that all the humans on "earth" are actually in little pods in a barren wasteland...part of me wants to ask - So, what's the big deal?

These people still have lives. They are interacting with other 'people.' They have hope, they have dreams...they have laughter and sadness and all that life is. If they never know their "true" state...does it matter? Isn't their life in the Matrix a life all the same?

Yeah, I guess I am odd. :)
I don't think it's odd at all... I've actually been thinking of the same thing much of late (as applies to emotional experience and interpersonal interaction), what does it matter if something is a simulation, so long as it is a convincing simulation? Remember, Cypher in The Matrix wanted to go back...
Okay - that makes us both odd ;)

I have to put aside a good chunk of time this week to read your work...I have a feeling I'll find much of myself in it.