Consciousness – Charlie Rose S2E2

Creativity is more a function of the unconscious; wisdom is more a function of the conscious.

If a character is being assertive, but auditors have been (even subconsciously) exposed to negative terms, they may see the character as a bully and not self-asserting.  Can we embed/project words of a particular tone on each of the tables in the venue and see how they change auditor’s perspectives on each character?

Often occupying the conscious mind with an absorbing task will result in quicker decision-making or problem-solving than focusing on the problem/decision at hand.

Most of our function is unconscious.  Consciousness is the tip of the iceberg.

Once shouldn’t rely solely on the unconscious, though, because that is where prejudices or preconceived notions can negatively impact decision making.

Here’s the link to the full episode:


Subterranean Back-chat

Today I watched the Deciding Brain episode of Charlie Rose’s the Brain Series.  In it Kandel references an essay by C.P. Snow called Two Cultures about the mutual distrust of the humanities and the sciences. Snow states the issues as this,

The non-scientists have a rooted impression that the scientists are shallowly optimistic, unaware of man’s condition. On the other hand, the scientists believe that the literary intellectuals are totally lacking in foresight, peculiarly unconcerned with their brother men, in a deep sense anti-intellectual, anxious to restrict both art and thought to the existential moment. And so on.  Anyone with a mild talent for invective could produce plenty of this kind of subterranean back-chat.

It goes further to discuss the essential language barrier between the two cultures.  Snow was both a writer and a working scientist who spent time in both arenas.  As he became more aware of the wall between the two fields he began to ask his colleges questions.

when one tried to probe [scientists] for what books they had read, would modestly confess, “Well, I’ve tried a bit of Dickens”, rather as though Dickens were an extraordinarily esoteric, tangled and dubiously rewarding writer

He goes on to say

Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the
company [of literary intellectuals] how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of Have you read a work of Shakespeare?

I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question, such as, “What do you mean by mass, or acceleration?” which is the scientific equivalent of “Can you read?”  not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language.

As we discuss the why of this project it seems important to keep in mind that posing questions like “How does brain process the totality of stimuli generated during a live performance?” and attempting to answer them through a piece of art is step toward bridging this gap.

Snow’s view seems to be that science cannot just be plugged into art, but that

It has got to be assimilated along with, and as part and parcel of, the whole of our mental experience, and used as naturally as the rest.

Let’s see if we can do just that.

Some notes/musings while watching Charlie Rose Brain Series: The Perceiving Brain

The eye is not a camera.

  • How do you present visual images onstage for the eye and not the camera?
  • How to you simulate other parts of the brain through the eyes?

Faces are not easily recognizable upside down.

  • Possible uses, reduce a face to a b/w 2D image and flip it, slowly rotate back to reveal a familiar face.

Places (ie: locations, landscapes), Faces and Bodies have specific, localized receptors in brain.

  • Man with damage to both places sensors can get around in the world, but never knows where he is.

The brain makes guesses, as result it can be deceived.

  • Brain brings to the forefront, discarding the incidental.
  • Could we purposely deceive the beholder’s brain (play with time lapse photography with shifting, processed images)

The elementary beginnings of the creative process is at work in everyone’s brain every time we see.  We constantly “create” our world.