Prayas Abhinav

We are always on the verge of connecting with our twin selves. Our twin self is an imagined entity to whom we are directing all the force of our expressive outputs. The imagined reader, the imagined listener and the imagined viewer are all part of our imagination of our twin self. We have never possessed an ability to actually connect with this imagination. Someone or something has always controlled our access to this imagination. Hoping for a free or unmediated access is impractical but developing some alternative to the current channels is necessary.

Currently, either our expressions are curated, or parsed by robots or celebrity culture. Each of these have specific advantages but each of these have a common flaw. Each of these systems is setup to be biased against the unknown (to create what has been called a ‘Filter Bubble’ by Eli Pariser earlier). The trained filters of robots and systems piloting our search engines and social media are built to exclude and punish the non-compliant, unknown and strange. Our digital media is built to respect, enforce and promote standards. That by itself is not a bad thing, but when examined in relation to the human urge to constantly grow, learn, discover, innovate and invent it seems to be a limiting constraint.

If our twin self is our imagined reader, imagined listener and the imagined viewer – we shouldn’t nestle any hope of connecting with it either. The situation is becoming more controlled and more limiting as each month goes by. Organising lingual and other knowledge resources is increasingly being delegated to machines and code. As a result of this, the body and the functional meta data of the text written for a personal and communicative process on the Internet is written for simple minded robots rather than humans.

This equation does not work. Those of us who are Internet content publishers are forever torn between expression, communication and accessibility. The last two are always prioritised and respected. This creates a generally stifling and inhibited environment. As publishers, we learn to cater to the readers who are train themselves  to solicit information from machines. Content is held hostage by algorithmic meta data parsers. Instead, we should have algorithms which can successfully parse the reality field.

Unless we move in that direction, we will forever remain separated from our  twin self. Living as if we are incomplete is wasting half the opportunity of being  alive and able to create new meanings. This process is many parts art, many parts science and many parts sorcery. The rationalistic, machine-compatible direction we  are heading towards will not intersect with this process.

For the time being, we need to try to make the information space of the Internet as messy as possible. A messy space at least does not convey the confidence and arrogance of an entity which feels it is in total control. Any agent in a messy space would exhibit vulnerability and a desire to learn and that is a better environment for all of us to be in.