Thursday, February 25, 2010

Liberation as a form of imprisonment

We rely on our senses to perceive the world, and we are also imprisoned by the very senses of our own. As Kant argues, we can’t perceive the world without the concept of time and space --- simply because we as humans must perceive the world within our frames of perception. Various philosophers, starting with George Berkeley, have argued for the dependency of reality on perception. Philosophers of all time have already made the argument that “reality is perception”.

As technology advances, we feel more and more empowered by the explosion of information and the availability of images, videos, texts that are just a double-click away. We are able to have vivid, three-dimensional, and dynamic images of what’s going on in the world just sitting in front of our desktops and seeing through the “Windows”. The emerging technology of virtual reality even shows us a promising future of promoting our experience to an even more vivid level so that we can be immersed in the environment. These devices aid us in perceiving the world by providing an extra layer of perceptual senses: we expand our horizon to the range of the whole Internet and enhance our ability to perceive the world with the aid of the HiFi sound system etc. However, this extra layer of perceptual devices, at the same time of aiding us in perceiving the world, also brings about the danger of preventing us from the true world. Information is highly dependent on interface: the impression we are able to get is filtered by the characteristics of our desktops. We rely on these devices, yet they imprison us as well. Senses, language, and Windows: they are the imprisonment that comes in the form of liberation.

(Sorry about the late posting.)

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