Distance? Proximity? What’s even possible?

Synapse Illustration showing component parts
See any connection? Yes and no.

Interesting things always happen, when I invest quality time in exploring the Web. I find all sorts of fascinating material to ponder. And Twitter has been a real boon, in that regard. My thought process would not be the same without it, it’s fair to say, since I’d have access to a lot fewer ideas that are normally well out of reach of my solitary life.

About a year ago, I was on Twitter and caught sight of a call for papers for a conference in Antwerp entitled “Perceiving at a Distance“.

It looked fascinating. They had a great website (perceiving.at – find it now at the Wayback Machine). And there was all sorts of intriguing thought-material to “chew” on in my spare time (commuting, washing dishes, waiting for SQL queries to resolve).

I’d already been working with some ideas around perception, proximity, and distance, myself, so naturally I was intrigued to discover that — indeed — there’s a whole flock of folks who are engaged in philosophies of perception. And there was a whole conference about Perceiving at a Distance. Woot!

It got me thinking some more. A lot more.

It seemed to “conceptually bolt on” to another object of my contemplation, which has practically haunted me, since I first realized it, a few years back. Namely:

In all the 150 trillion (give or take) neural synapses we have in our brains, there’s actually no direct connection between the axons (presynaptic terminals) and the dendrites (post-synaptic terminals). In fact, synapses by their very definition, are not direct connections, rather a sort of “chemical bridge” for data to cross. In the illustration above, you can see a very small gap between the two parts of the connecting neurons. It’s minuscule, but it’s there.

And now there was a conference of philosophy about perceiving at a distance.

It got me thinking…

And it got me writing.

There’s a book in the works about this — and there’s even more to it, than I initially thought.

Lots, lots more.

So, watch this space.

Author: Kay Lorraine

Poet, publisher, programmer. I still like PHP.

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