Monday, May 04, 2015

It IS all in my head

Typically when someone tells you something is all in your head they are implying that you are delusional. But if you think about it (in your head), everything you experience is technically all in your head.

This post was inspired in part by an article I just read about Microsoft's new hologram product HoloLens. It is essentially a virtual reality headset that projects 3-D holograms directly in front of the user in a "seamless blend of fantasy and reality." I am going to be so bold as to posture that creating a "seamless blend of fantasy and reality" is redundant. The human brain does this everyday.

The fact that the brain creates each of our realities via chemicals and electrical impulses is pretty darned impressive. So I guess I'm less impressed that Microsoft is trying to mimic the brain with holograms (a grossly oversimplified generalization I admit). Also, isn't this kind of what GoogleGlass does, too?

I'm going to back off on the technology discussion and focus more on the reality the brain creates or channels in each of our lives. I was thinking about memories as I stood on the platform waiting for my train this morning.  Because I often get the vague feeling that all of my memories or periods in life are happening simultaneously in a multiple universes kind of way. And every now and then, I wish I could tap into the feed and view the memories directly. But then it occurred to me that it would be kind of like watching reruns of a television program you're very familiar with. Part of you kind of wants it to end differently, but it can't because it was shot once and viewed many times. It will never change.

I think we do this anyway when we dredge up moments from our life and rehash them over and over again, wishing we could change them.

But what if memories were more organic than merely old videotapes of various periods of our life? What if each one of them is freshly occuring outside our linear definition of time. Instead of watching the memory remotely as an observer, we could tap into the memory and reshape it. And we could do this over and over again until we get it right. Or at least right in that we are comfortable with it. Wouldn't that be cool?

Maybe that is the direction HoloLens can take. Rather than being a holographic virtual computer screen projecting 3-4 images of pie charts and apple pie recipes, it should tap into our memories and allow us to relive and revise them.

I think I'd buy that product. Though being a Microsoft product I would spend 90 percent updating and asking me if I really wanted to edit that memory.


1 comment:

Helen Baggott said...

Hmm. Not sure about reshaping memories. What if you changed something that affected something else? You'd have to reshape something else to compensate for that change, and so on.
Although... maybe I could reshape my gym attendance?