December 11, 2008

Time to buy a tin foil hat?

This is unbelievable! Scientists have announced that they have been able to view images from the fMRI of a person's brain. While it may not be time for a tin-foil hat just yet, we need to reminds ourselves of just how quickly technology improves over time. One scientist stated that soon he'd likely be able to see the images in color. I can just imagine the possibilities for something like this; of course, not all of them necessarily welcome. But can you imagine that we'd be able to communicate easily with autistic people? Hook this technology up to a blackboard, and Stephen Hawking could give visualized briefings just by imagining what he's thinking about. The possibilities of analyzing how dreams work, being able to communicate with people who don't have the ability to express themselves... eventually even high definition criminal facial recognition... It is news items like this that make me realize just how COOL technology can be. Of course, this'll make a hell of a lie detector, torture device, etc.... but at least for now you'll need to consent to an fMRI and we can't do those remotely (yet).

December 04, 2008

Writing What You Mean - Reading What Was Written

When I write a blog comment, an email, or a letter or written communication, I spend a lot of time writing, editing, modifying the words that I've used to ensure that they get across the intent that I meant. I saw a video today saying there are 540,000 words in the English language, 10x more than were available to the language in the time of Shakespeare. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Shakespeare, and I'm lucky if I know 5% of the entire English language, but at the same time, I like to think that I am fairly well versed in how to write down my thoughts in accurate terms.

The problem comes when people read what I write. They read my emails and my blog postings, but the words that they are reading are not my own. No, instead, I find that people read what they want or expect to hear. They ignore my carefully chosen phrases and the innuendo of my chosen words. Differences in syntax and word choices are lost in their own intentions.

I'm probably the same way. I most likely read what others have written in terms of what I believe they should be saying. As I sit here blogging about it, I am thinking about researching possible ways for changing that, so that I can become a better listener and a better reader.