Zen? Yes, several senses, but we're going back to the original motivation and come forward. 'enlightenment' will an operative concept; those who paid attention in school know that the western world went through a pseudo-phase (with this as the name), about the same time as westerners started to flood over to these parts (as in, across the big pond).
Aside: And, ..., the muck-quamire'd next few weeks are a direct result of wandering down perdition-laden'd paths, but that's another subject.
We have a message for Google, but there'll be some bit about Mr. Jobs. Plenty in China do not honor his name. You see, folks, all sorts of insights from the eastern minds came here and were bastardized. Yoga's downfall? One example. There are plenty. Mind you. The message is not that the eastern way is better, just different. And, we see that conflicts continue due to lack of understanding, especially on the part of the master races (???, kidding, of course) in the western way.
Which way of life, by the way, was saved from the eastern flood by those on the east side of Europe. Kudos to the Poles (yes), Slavs, Croats, and more. Ever thank (or even think of) those who kept the western civilization alive. Looks like we might try to kill it from within, if the newest generation doesn't move the forward-looking vector somewhat (how? why? -- ah, we'll get there).
Essentially, whatever superior state a computer can achieve, it cannot best the human's grasp. What? Note, we're not talking about the computer's ability to derive knotted states (hell, we were doing that long before our artificial friends arrived). We're talking wisdom. Who demonstrates that nowadays? Surely, we cannot look to the politicians. Nor, can we look to the money'd crowd chasing after their dreams of dominance.
The issue, though, is whether a human can have an elevated level, using the artificial, that is beyond that which is naturally attainable. We'll get into that, and more. An example would be joint exploration of some type of hyperspace (for the most part, this would only be a map --- please, see map-territory issues as being important to the discussion). In practice, any computer-assisted discipline (of which there are myriads, CAX, computational mathematics, visualization, and much more) is an example, including robotics (which is how we get to Google, in part).
The minds in power, notwithstanding, we need to up the ante in this regard (this old guy states the challenge, mostly, for the younger, and emerging, crowds). How? To be discussed. Why? It is necessary in order to pull ourselves away from the domination that some seem to desire. The human spirit is too strong to allow this emergence; yet, it's probably implicit in many sci fi views and reinforced in games built upon those views.
So, back to the subject. The 'idiot boxes' that pull peoples' minds into some zoned state in which they, then, ignore their reality into which they are embedded (and its inhabitants) and act in other than desirable manners (zombies are only one way to describe the effect) do so since those encumbered essentially gave up their control. Did they ever have any? Do we know how to teach self-control? Do we know what it is exactly that we're trying to teach (ah, is there a pill that will help?)? ..., So many questions abound.
That notion, that there is an attracting force behind the mindlessness, was the motivation for saying that FB is a metaphor (somewhat facetiously) for something that demands attention. There are many ways to approach the necessary analysis.
But, calling attention to Zen (whatever it is) and its mindfulness pursuit seemed to offer one starting point. We'll see how this goes. Another reason is the huge amount of psychic energy, and human liveliness, that has gone into that thing on which we can hang a three-lettered label.
That all leads to questions, such as this one: do computers contribute to, or detract from, mindfulness?
Of course, other questions are around, such as: why mindfulness?
10/05/2012 -- IJCAI has a newer flavor. It, at one time, had a theoretic thrust, mainly. Need to re-acquaint myself with the conference (attended 1987 Milan, Italy 1991 Sydney, Australia 1993 Chambery, France 1995 Montreal, Canada). This talk from IJCAI-2011 relates to the theme of these posts: Homo heuristicus. Note that the real Zen would include development. In other words, "God grows his own" (Steve would have known what that means)! Again, we need to re-look at heuristics.
10/05/2012 -- Pause, for a moment, to remember Steve and his contributions. In hindsight, Mr. Jobs' foresight looks pretty good (if only we could understand 'reality distortion' a little better -- and its effects).
10/04/2012 -- Learned a new one: gamify. Seems that the market-leaning folks have already adopted this, albeit with games that have real (and largely negative) impact upon the lives of us all.
10/04/2012 -- 1B users, give or take.