Proto-Virtual Reality and Social Media

Embodied in statements like “let’s take a break”, “perspective psychology”, and “a government of citizens” is a complexity which often escapes popular media. Yet as media develops with the convergence of social media and technology conglomerates which harvest the new-found knowledge of brain functions, genetic dispositions, and artistic preferences amongst other things equally related, there is also a new-found tendency to elaborate social media capacities to encompass something which is more cognitive, which has direction, or even a form of psychological function. By all meanings of the terms, these are not senses that are merely blasé.

The opportunity for the newfound convergence between chemical reality and technological reality, now in its infancy, but now also at a meaningful stage which I call the Visual Horizon or Informational Event-Horizon, is presently that of visual and other media—known sciences such as statistics and mathematics—which are nonetheless authentically integrated with aspects of the human mind. These media clic integrations or ‘impertures’ (a word I define as ‘implicit aperture or meaningful indentation’) have a potential for magic, not just because media offers what is commonly called ‘media-magic’ but because of the aforementioned convergence between the realms of media or media-chemistry—qua psychology—and brain science.

What I would like to do is open the door for psychological media, not as ardent film-making, or even cultivating media databases, or working on media-processing applications, but instead, the specifically magical application of highly specific usages of context for the sake of perspectival advantages. Furthermore, I will not leave it to your imagination to determine what I mean by magical media, perspective psychology, citizen-as-government, or taking a break. Instead these terms will be re-interpreted to connote something more meaningful for the media. More meaningful re-iteratively, upon their own context of perspective psychology, citizen-as-government, taking a break, or magical media.

First, consider open-endedness. To some extent it has been over-used. The media, by-and-large (I’m thinking of commercials during the SuperBowl) relies on a closed network of assumptions about what the consumer sees, hears, and interprets. This closed set of assumptions is a function of the open-endedness for the consumer. If it were not open-ended, if the consumer could not be by turns an Atheist, a bulemic, or the President, their specific approach to the SuperBowl would not have the same appeal. Clearly there are other options, but it is hard to reach for them. In the case of the expression ‘taking a break’ the SuperBowl offers one option, while determining a large fixed set of dimensions offers another alternative.

For example, in the context of complex media, what if ‘taking a break’ is a user-defined ‘location’? This offers the possibility of stretching the psychological imagination about what it linguistically means (and ultimately what it means to the consumer). Furthermore, what may be added to a concept of location is that it does not have to involve physically re-locating someone. It could be a change of information, visuals, or even chemistry. Additionally, these categories which replace location are interchangeable and inter-penetrating. If chemistry is a function of visuals, visuals can be used to cheaply simulate chemical location. These chemical locations then map not only to biological, genetic, and personality-testing quadrants of information, they also map to specific types of media.

Now let’s look at another example. “A government of citizens” can be translated several ways, such as “population”, “centralization”, and “government-as-citizen” and “citizen-as-government”. However, what does this say about media? This is not always obvious. But recently, social media has stepped in to provide a metaphor for social responsibility and public or citizen-consciousness. Clearly then, in this case there are three agents: [1] citizen, [2] technology, and [3] government. The interesting factor is that citizen might signify technology by offering specific applications which are a function of his or her own brain, and perhaps in that context he or she is the rightful authority over a specified area of intellectual property. This is like citizen-as-self-government. Furthermore, the corporatization of media institutes a kind of centralized government in highly mobile products, which may not even exist in the same country in which they were produced.

Interpreting from what I take to be the relatively dry context that I have described so far, the citizen-application-government paradigm can be extended further in the context of social media, when the media is a function of neurology, image parsing, and personality. I don’t mean a government role for media as much as I mean a vast relativism about what it means to be a media citizen. Clearly media not only alienates dysfunctions, but integrates functions, Thus there is an opportunity for government, media, and personal images to integrate in terms that are parsable by a computer. This in turn means more systemization in the standard and extended significance of images and other forms of media, not only to integrate within the context of media productions, but also to integrate in the context of computer functions. Beyond that, there is a recursive capacity to re-integrate ‘media-functions’ into functional concepts of citizen and government, presumably as agents-within-the-media.

The last term I mentioned initially was perspective psychology. Clearly the aperture here is through a convergence between variety-as-spice and the scientific advances which promote media and systems functionality. By turning this insight into a circle with ‘media-functions’ and ‘user-defined locations’ there is an implication that science itself is one of the standard apertures of media. There is also the implication that disciplines such as science will be open to a lot of user-generated content, along the lines of social media. There is an opportunity for the use of mass psychology combined with computerized interpretation to yield functional results.

Or, ignoring science for the moment, there is a direct potential between ‘media-function’ and concepts of psychology. Perhaps branding is not what I mean. Perhaps there is a different concept than branding which would serve a function for social media. For example, consider relativized brands. There have been signs of additional user-defined branding of personal products, particularly at that advent when users define entire systems for themselves (say, aesthetically, or etc.). These systems which the users define connote in their best form, actual authorities on media. Therefore, a number of conclusions follow: [1] Media will have localities of psychology, which are effectively user-defined. If users do not find they can own these locations, they will find a way to delegate the responsibility on someone else, including individuals, governments, or corporations. This is a real social psychology moment. [2] Emotions, under the authority of psychology, will largely define the nature of location, and hence information. Consequently [3] Systems will be a function of chemistry, and relatedly [4] Society will depend upon a meaningful science of media.

Here I have defined a number of distinct areas which may affect the future of media. These implications are metaphysical, but strangely localized. They are scientific, but highly personal. They are technical, but they implicate the world. Surely the future of media will benefit by considering this sort of tractatus that I have discussed, orienting the media towards those specific problems which affect the integration of mind, matter, and politics. It is these areas upon which the future of social media impinges.

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