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Philip Ronald Dutton
independent
Columbia, SC

Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 172

Biological Eye

Your first NKS eye experiment: (Please respond if you can replicate this. I can replicate it everytime.)

"See your receptors"

(Please do not do this too often)


With normal room lighting (in the evening with no external sunlight intruding) open your eyes wide as possible. Keep that state of facial muscular tension but allow your eyelids to close. (your eye lids are now closed but your eyebrows are "opened" wide).

Now place the palms of your hand against your eyelids and apply pressure to your eye sockets (pressure within limits of course). "See" the specs of light and then start to focus as if you are trying to peer at the specs. After a few seconds (in my case) the light patterns became more uniform and indeed patters and grids begin to emerge. In my case I could see what looked like a 2D ca being "run" on a "computer screen".

Maybe this should be in the NKS humour thread but I dare say that the eyes make some use of a CA like 2D structure (unless my brain is just imagining it).

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Old Post 11-23-2005 05:09 AM
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Guy Birkin
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham, England

Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 20

The eyes and The Doors

I tried it, but had little succes. It's not very comfortable, so I won't attempt it again. I do know what you mean though Philip, having seen similar stuff infrequently under unusual lighting conditions and/or unusual states of mind...

NKS says that class 3 patterns of complexity appear chaotic or random to us because we are unable to discern the structuring processes (CA rules) at work. This human factor in NKS is one of its (many) strengths, I think, and provides avenues for some interesting research on complexity, cognition and perception.

Is it possible that psychedelic substances do indeed open wider the 'doors of perception' and thus enable us to 'see' more of those structuring processes than we would normally?

OR are such visual patterns are not so much dependent on the object of vision as they are on the structures and functioning of the eye and the brain?

The latter is more likely, I suspect, although the visual effects of this awareness are not so apparent in the absence of complex stimuli such as clouds and trees. Either way, I think NKS could help our understanding of these phenomena since simple programs are more than likely to be involved in each case.

Has anyone else with a knowledge of CAs and NKS experienced the same?

N.B. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
(try it outdoors instead!)

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Old Post 11-23-2005 05:11 PM
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Jesse Nochella
WRI

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 132

This thread is related to another thread on this forum.

NKS in Antiquity

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Old Post 11-25-2005 11:22 PM
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Tara Krause
Atelier 1599
Los Angeles

Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 16

Hi, Jesse.

This may be off thread, but as always, I'm scratching around the ineffable, trying to practice and study Class IV aesthetics in painting -- Descriptive qualities of generative, emergence, ambiguity and paradox sparked by Rudy Rucker's ideas of high gnarl and low gnarl literature/novel writing. The whole quixotic goal of being able to produce Class IV patterns directly.

This morning I read Richard Taylor's article for the Art and Complexity book. He proved out the fractalness of Pollock's paintings and discusses the visual preference for fractal art of a D measure between D=1.3-1.5.

I gotta admit, I have total math envy: Is there a parallel measure for detecting class IV purpose, something akin to the D factor? I know that it is usually here that I get trapped in irreducibility, turn off the computer and just go paint.

Yours in the Gnarl,
Tara

Atelier 1599

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Old Post 11-26-2005 06:57 PM
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Jesse Nochella
WRI

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 132

Tara,

Not sure. Read the article attached. It seems to me easy to determine whether something looks simple, beautiful, class 4 etc.. We never seem to ever need a lot of time to determine something like that. But why that is I don't know

In the Pollock article, aren't the results just saying that there are scale-free distributions in the detail of his drip paintings; Two kinds found in particular, one for his standing drips and another for his movements around the canvas.

I remember watching and listening to a clip from ICCS2004 about power law distributions in motor movement capacity and development over time.

Here is the link.

Labeled "Multiple Time-Scale Landscape Models of Motor Learning"

There are some other references to scale-free distrbutions. But I am not sure that the article actually implied anything about. I just thought that those things might be related.

But how can we see these things? Could you measure something as simple as a kind of gradient from some diversity of states to another to determine whether it may be doing this in a way that is complex?

I don't know.

Attachment: nature1.pdf
This has been downloaded 1182 time(s).

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Old Post 11-28-2005 05:56 PM
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Tara Krause
Atelier 1599
Los Angeles

Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 16

Jesse,

Thanks for the link to the ICCS2004.

I ask these questions not just for experimenting and the quest of mastery in my art, but also because of my fascination and sense of wonder in the whole phenomena. It seems to go to the core of discovering computation at "the edge of chaos": How do we recognize and then in turn learn to generate that Class IV edge of behavior?

What I liked about Taylor's approach was his analyzing Pollock's paintings using the D factor throughout Pollock's own development of his technique (which varied over his periods) and how it related to visual preferences of his viewers (maybe neural sensing of beauty). Intuitively, this seems to parallel Christopher Alexander's 15 pattern principles of harmony-seeking computation.

But to my biological eye, there remains some inherent qualities that are different in the beauty of Class II and Class IV patterns.

As a thought experiment, I would love a tool akin maybe to Andy Wuensche's Z parameter, or Langdon's lamda... I would paint a painting informed by some collision-based logic fitness function produced by the simple program of my vision, brain, body and materials. Then I could turn around and analyze the painting to see if I am approaching that Class IV transition. And if so, where is it and what shape grammars, attractors and trajectories produce it?

I liked the boldness of the Journeys in Non-classical Computation by Susan Stepney et al (May 2004): "How can we hold a system at the edge, far from equilibrium, to perform useful computations? How can we make it self-organized to the edge?"

But then, of course, there is the humility of irreducibility. Yet more and more, if I integrate Rudy Rucker and Semir Zeki... seeking the gnarl becomes the (an) artist's la forza d'Arte.

Thanks,
Tara

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