Monday, May 05, 2008

In this clip, Terence McKenna discusses cephalopods, chromatophores and the potential of creating an information-rich visual communications medium to replace our addiction to spoken language.

The possibilities are dizzying to consider; it's no particular surprise that the idea of fundamentally altering our primary mode of communication is among the most neglected of transhumanist propositions (usually taking a backseat to body augmentation).

Interestingly, we seem to be on the brink of making some meaningful strides in the direction on McKenna's scenario. The clip posted here, for example, invites us to consider autonomous subdermal animation as a platform for erotic expression.


Anonymous said...

I find the idea that language is or has been a limiting factor in human development to be a an odd one, to say the least. McKenna was an off the grid thinker and I appreciated that about him, but while it might be possible for us to improve our language, or maybe just our usage, I don't think we will find bright flashy lights a good substitute any time soon.


Mac said...

McKenna's visual language isn't likely to replace oral/aural communication anytime soon, but it's interesting to note our increasing reliance on "emoticons" and other technology-dependent efforts to communicate electronically. Ultimately, I think he'll be proven surprisingly presient.

dad2059 said...

In Greg Bear's 'Eon', the citizens of the Hexamon used pictographic 'glyphs' that flashed over their shoulders to accompany spoken words, or to take the place of whole phrases.

Bear's very prescient also.

Mac said...

I've read "Eon" (good book!) but don't remember that particular detail. (It's been about ten years.)