Men of yoga.
Consider the future.
Are you there yet?
Where do we even start?
What a mind f**k.
We don’t even know where this blog post will end up, never mind the future of humanity. Jeez!
However, one man who does have his finger on the pulse of tomorrow’s thinking is Professor Andy Clark. Andy’s research centres on – get this – artificial intelligence, artificial life, embodied cognition, philosophy of mind, technology and culture.
Crikey, this fella has serious creds. What a hero.
Whilst here at your favourite men’s yoga clothing brand, we’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on, Andy has some genuine insights that are freaky, eye-opening, kind-of-scary and well cool all at the same time.
Here’s what he has to say.
‘There are philosophical, socio-technological and ethical reasons to believe that cognition doesn’t end inside the brain,’ argues Andy, ‘There are complex interweavings and entanglings between brain, body and world, and we have to attend to how it all works together.’So, our minds are webs that cast beyond our skull – so roll on the ESP and third-eye omnipotence, gents.
‘Give someone Botox and they’ll find it harder to understand and read emotionally expressive sentences,’ Andy says, ‘Likewise, administer a chemical that increases facial fluidity and it works the other way around.’Mind, it seems, is not only what the brain does, it’s what other parts of the body do too. Andy calls this phenomenon, ‘Embodied Cognition’. With this in mind, is the face on the side of Henry Vacuums just the start of the takeover?
‘Bio-technological unions’, Clark argues, ‘Are evolving with a speed never seen before in history. As we enter an age of wearable computers, sensory augmentation, wireless devices, intelligent environments, thought-controlled prosthetics, and rapid-fire information search and retrieval, the line between the user and his tools grows thinner day-by-day.’Read Andy’s book, ‘Natural Born Cyborgs’ to understand that the man-machine merger is entirely natural. Join the dark side Luke! Go go Yogi arms.
‘Self-estimated sensory uncertainty’, argues Andy, ‘Combined with what we know about world, creates our reality.’He goes on, ‘We generate a virtual version of the world from the current waves of impingent sensory input.’ Everything we see and hear is basically a projection. We make it up. So, blue pill or red pill?
‘Humans made objects from their own capacities. Our bodies became objects that we could think about rather than simply act through. Our minds have become objects we can think about instead of just think through. When this happens, we have the opportunity to design environments and redesign ourselves.’How would you like to feel tomorrow, Mr Jenkins
Can we upload consciousness to a USB key and live forever inside a robot, Andy? ‘As we move forward I believe we’ll see more and more technologies for preserving elements of the information patterns that we think of as us.’ Andy asks, ‘Is this a little tiptoeing towards the realms of virtual immortality?’This begs the question, what kind of computer game super hero do you want to be…forever?
So what does this all mean for us yogis?
Well, if our minds extend beyond the brain, we should surely be careful about how we train our minds, because we’re interacting with more than we know. Have some bloody consideration, man!
And if movement helps us think, then surely us yogis will be top of the class when the Martians arrive.
So keep moving.
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