Carissimi Memory + Place People,
Congratulations everyone on a very illuminating reheasal of our variant of the Lenay Steiner experiment!
(sorry, couldn't resist that one) Compliments to Naomi, Noah, and everyone working on the protocol (Thanks Tristana!) Compliments to the glove makers Zohar and Patricia (Claire?). Special Thanks to Adrian Freed in Berkeley for device-level help, intricately sensitive to some phenomenological implications. (I'll forward Adrian's thoughts with his permission to share those implications.)
0. To set some working vocabulary, let's call the thresholded logic, the "on-off" or "binary" feedback, NOT digital. In many situations, a digital logic can be written to imitate a continuous response to a degree largely indistinguishable from a human's perspective. And an analog circuit can be made to imitate a binary logic. Viz. a light switch.
1. I agree that the most appropriate situation to try will be: (1) cloth-ring with motor; (2) cuff+velcro with amplified circuit (digital or analog + filters to make binary feedback); (3) nova: superbright compact LEDs in a diffuser container, not a beam; (4) option to stand and walk around, with spotters. (See comment #3.)
2. The interesting effect of binary feedback is that the person is sensing projective geometry: all rays from the target (luminous object) are identified to a single "on" by the binary logic; moving the sensor toward the object along a given ray does not change the intensity of the motor. "Normally," (we think that) the body equipped with stereo vision constructs range information from relative movement. It gets even more interesting. By approaching the object, the object subtends more of the your field of vision -- it looms larger. But in the case of the glove's "projective geometric" sensing: approaching the object, and sweeping your hand left and right, you subtend a smaller angle. By carefully removing all range information, including Clever Hans info from the spotters, the object may appear to recede or get smaller as you approach it.
I would like to try to see if this can be the case!
3. So obviously prosthetisizing the body by bold-facing the pointing finger may introduce overly cognitive scaffolding just as much as telling the person to mentally locate an object in a mental map of the room.
Two-handed accoutrement should elicit significantly different behavior from our one-glove situation: reaching for, reaching around, shaping, vs pointing to, indicating ... Behavior may be too loaded a term, but someone else can help suggest a less suggestive vocabulary here.
Hey, when's our next experiment? We should press on because the term is rapidly closing, and our supply of eager subjects may drop as final projects hit.
This is the one we'll try for the first time tomorrow...
z & p...............................................................................................
"We are simple-minded enough to think that if we were saying something we would use words. We are rather doing something. The meaning of what we do is determined by each one who sees and hears it." - John Cage
Canada Research Chair • Associate Professor • Design and Computation Arts • Concordia University
Director, Topological Media Lab • topologicalmedialab.net/ • skype: shaxinwei • +1-514-817-3505