Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meeting of Minds

I always liked the whole "mind-meld" idea from StarTrek. It was especially poignant when Spock mind-melded with the mineral lifeform the horta whose children the miners had been harvesting on a mining planet.

What happens whenever we communicate is a form of mind-meld. An image in our minds is converted to a stream of words which we deliver as sound and those we are talking to hear the sounds and reassemble them into a version of the image now in their minds. We rarely reflect on how wonderful and mysterious this process is. The amount of shared knowledge which is required to give it any hope of working well is actually rather staggering. Yet everyday we communicate in this way and take it all very much for granted.

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