I miss the Lone Ranger. When I was a kid I could visualize the Lone Ranger and Tonto chasing down the bad guys on the radio. I still remember the “thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver” accompanied by the William Tell Overture. My imagination came up with several possible definitions of Tonto’s name for the Lone Ranger, “Kemo-sabe.” I think it was a profane Indian epithet unbeknown to the masked man. Something like “pale-face horses ass.”
I could visualize the Cisco Kid and Poncho, the Green Hornet, and Spiderman stuck in a cob web. I could visualize all of those radio characters prior to TV. Sometimes the imagined characters were bigger than life and the later actors on TV didn’t measure up to the images in my mind. Television can usurp the imagination.
Sex in the black and white movies left something to the imagination too, but no more. Alfred Hitchcock was a master at creating suspense, thus stimulating the imagination. Gayle and I watched one of his old movies last night. As you know, Hitchcock always appeared in one scene, usually in a crowd. Part of the fun was trying to find him during the film. The suspense in his films allowed the imagination to amplify the tension, as in the 1960 film, “Psycho.”
Today computer games do all the imagining for the kids playing them.
I’ve written on how the brain processes humor, the encouragement of creativity, the impact of music on cognitive development, and other related topics, including how science is bent on putting our brains on a computer. Now scientists think they have discovered the source of human imagination. And guess what they want to do with this knowledge. Yep. Put it on a computer.
Without getting into how the brain manipulates imagery, suffice it to say that scientists think their findings move them closer to understanding how the organization of our brains sets us apart from other species, providing a playground for us to think “freely and creatively.”
You might think that all of this research is designed to better human beings, but the truth slipped out when it was stated that this information will help us design more intelligent and “imaginative” machines. Remember my article on the scientific attempts to put you, i.e. your brain, on a computer? This will be a new and improved computerized “you.” The computerized you will soon be given an imagination.
I guess someday we can own a robot that might cook more creatively than the best chefs and write more poignantly than Shakespeare. Maybe it can even imagine life as a human being. That is unless we humans have become so well programmed and controlled that we aren’t much different than robots.
But aren’t we seeing that now? College teaches kids what to think – not how to think. Laws teach us what not to do. Political correctness teaches us how to speak and act. Leaders even tell us what to eat and how much soda to drink. The media tell us what to believe. Now we find that the government can monitor our every move, as well as our communications. True freedom has become an illusion relegated to what’s left of our imagination.
So why do we need imaginative computers? Maybe we are being programmed so well that we need “imaginative” computers to replace what we are losing.
Kinda like trading places…