Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're Going To Need A Lot More Emoticons

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We can't imagine 4-dimensional space, we can't see the color infrared, neither do we have the sense or sonar, but we will via technology, and with these gains in perceptions our emotions will change too...

To set the stage for what I'm going to propose I will first give 3 examples of perceptions humans currently can not experience.

1. Computers can think in 4-dimensional space, we can't. The image below is sequential 3D slices or shadows of a 4D cube, or hypercube. Since we can not perceive or display 4-dimensional space the best representation we can do is slice a 4-dimensional object into 3D plains, much like slicing a 3D potato into what appears to be 2D slivers. This is how a hypercube would appear if it were to slide through our 3-dimensional space.

2. We only have 5 sensory imputs : touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight. While a 6th sense or "3rd eye" is commonly fabled, we are generally limited to the basic five. Some animals however do have a 6th sense. Dolphins and bats have mastered the sense of sonar. Sharks have electroreception and can detect even the weakest electromagnetic fields given off by all living things. Humans are starting to gain sensory inputs via technology. Crude body modifications such as magnetic implants allow for detection of strong electromagnetic fields.
the 5 human senses

3. Our eyes can only see in color. We only can see into the visible light spectrum which goes from violet to dark red. While ultra violet and infrared are just out of our spectrum many insects see into these spectrums of light; ultraviolet flowers attract certain insects, while other bugs see infrared as a night vision. Our technology can detect the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared night goggles, radiographs, radio receivers, microwave radar, and radiation detectors are all rather old technologies. Some have peered beyond the visible light spectrum using just their biological eyes. During World War II the army conducted successful tests by altering soldiers' diets so they could see infrared, however this project was dumped because of technological advances. Seeing ultraviolet is just scratching the surface, see the chart below.

electromagnetic spectrum

As technology advances and we transcend biology our abilities to perceive the world directly will expand. New sensory inputs and intelligence levels will go far beyond that of biology. How will these changes shape us, as we are able to think in multiple dimensions and sense the universe in unimaginable ways? Just as reptiles are only capable of primitive emotions such as fear, humans are only capable of the emotions which we have evolved up to. New emotions will be discovered as we transcend biology. Some people today will fail to understand this possibility and say that the known emotions are all encompassing. Those critics should look at a color wheel and try to imagine the missing colors. We can't even imagine 4 spacial dimensions, the dimensions of emotions that are yet to be discovered are even more unimaginable. This is the essence of the singularity.