Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Neuronet

Technologies are extensions of human abilities. They make impossible tasks possible, easy, then unnecessary while becoming less visible.
Mental technologies are extensions of mental abilities, such as language, design, art, and computers.

(Fig. A) In your brain, there are thoughts. To put them in my brain (or store them for later), you have to (1) convert them into either a series of abstract representations (such as words) or exemplary representations (such as images), that are as closely associated with the thoughts as possible, then (2) create them in physical forms (such as writings or drawings). I (or you) then have to (3) convert the physical forms back into meaningful thoughts through my own understanding of their associations.
If instead we simply create a web of associations similar to those in our brains, we can skip steps 1 and 3 in almost all interactions, revolutionizing communication.

We will create a website or program on the internet that will do this, called the neuronet.
If the internet is a library, then search engines are the card catalog, and the neuronet is the shelves. It may look something like this:


(Fig. 1) If these differently shaded shapes represent all the information of perceivable reality, we can organize it (Fig. 2-5) in as many categories, subcategories, sub-subcategories, (etc) as possible, by specifying parts and generalizing wholes.

(Fig. 6) In reality, the neuronet will look more like this.

(Fig. 7) It will cover every concept conceivable by the human brain.

(Fig. 8) Each point (representing an individual concept, in this case a woman) will have numerous representations (in this case the mona lisa) (Fig. 9) and each representation will have a web of points that are represented. (Fig. 10)

(Fig. 9) Here, 3 windows are open and 3 are minimized.

(Fig. 10) Controls.

The neuronet will not require any new technology to be developed, just new a combination of the old. We already have a variety of open sourced structures(wikipedia, linux, etc) and tree graphing structures(xanadu, zigzag, nodebox, SGI Fusion, etc), as well as methods of scaling down large quantities of information. We simply need to combine them in the most open ended environment imaginable and embrace it as a culture of users.

This tool will make it possible and easy, to access and contribute large amounts of content, to the collective mind. Eventually, it will be less necessary to do so as the process becomes more automated and interface more direct, we may simply have a unified super-intelligence.

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