07 May 2023

Extended Mind

We are asked to believe that there is this inchoate thing called Extended Mind, already nascent. So, say, a pen and notebook (or ancient equivalents) are "technology" to help you remember things, and even becomes a separate mode of expression after a surprisingly short time after writing was invented. But they're not actually a part of mind, merely tools of mind. You have to go and find the notebook, physically, and decipher it using the extremely slow and inefficient frontal cortex. It's a big picture machine, but when it has to decipher symbols and such it's actually s l o w .  But, the idea is, digital technology is getting close to the point where it can update mind and memory in real time. Already if you are by a computer (phones are computers, just not very good ones), you can remember almost anything from general knowledge, and, if you're so inclined, you can organize for retrieval images and sounds from your life. I don't choose to do that, but one could. And the means to retrieve digitized data through some sort of neural link or digital/bio-analog translator may well be at hand, or nearly so. 

I dunno. I suppose so. Anyone who tries the impossible task of writing "hard" science fiction, meaning based on reasonable extrapolation of the way things really are rather than endless Deus-ex-machinae, will now I suppose have to take into account that human minds are on the verge of expanding exponentially; something that probably hasn't happened for, oh, a million years. Give or take. 

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