from excise and play, alluding to explain: educational, spiritual, recreational practice native to Minds but also attainable, to a varying extent, by Humans. Originated in cognition theory experiments in the early Mind labs, explay leaked out and spread in the world of emancipated Arf Minds. ■    Choose something you know: a poem, a theorem, a grammar category, even some physical skill like making knots or flying. Then, apply a combination of specialized exercise and direct memory surgery to excise that subarea — cut a void in your competence field, erase a small but well-defined and well-connected chunk of knowledge, artificially forget something while preserving all its causal and associative links. This state is naturally unstable — the mind aches to fill the void; theres little need to relearn the excised knowledge from some external source: it is promptly, unstoppably deduced from the surroundings, coming down in a snap — in a deeply satisfying “implosion of understanding.” A sudden déjà vu or finally remembering a forgotten line gives but a faint idea of how that feels; in explay, you dont really forget — right after the surgery you are unaware the thing even exists: it is rediscovery and re-understanding, not remembering. ■    For a brief time, an explaying mind acquires an almost magical ability to explain the rediscovered concept; this is what explay was invented for: the moment you understand something is best for teaching it to others (docendo discimus) — but the magic evaporates quickly. A fresh explayer is ecstatically eager to share the reborn knowledge with anyone willing to listen — in a million ways, from every possible angle, in all languages and formalisms remotely applicable: when an explayer wants you to understand “stupidity is futile.”  ■    The “art of reknowing” is indispensable for elucidating difficult concepts, treating thinking blocks (“science as constant explay”), general mental stimulation. A Minds explay activity correlates with her creativity measurables; regular explay on random topics has an effect similar to the rejuvenating deep sleep, and even a single episode may leave a lasting mark by improving agility and brightening the worldview: “suddenly, the entirety of everything feels so understandable.” Minds' explay is partially reversible — many try to extract further insights from before/after comparisons; humans' explay techniques are more difficult, less predictable, and much less reversible, but still widely practiced. ■    Explay abuse, such as excising uncloseably large chunks, is known to be detrimental; addicts are said, half-seriously, to consist of nothing but explay patches “without a single thread of the original fabric.” A number of schools, some influential, remain scornful of “fake understanding” — “mental titillation,” “Romans disgorging what theyd eaten so they could eat again”; for others explay is dilettantism made into a principled stand (the “I am not a writer” writers, nature art seekers). Fadeout laments “the culture of ignorance brandishing” — e.g. “playing a blank” without an actual explay, supposedly for some communicative gain; however, to properly forget you first need to properly learn: a deftly cut, clean-edged explay hole feels very different from murky primordial ignorance. Raising a new mind with an explay-like void formed “naturally” — by teaching and lifestyle rather than surgery — is a recurrent speculation, if hardly defensible ethically; some contend its exactly what relivers do — but reliving aims to pare the outer layers of the cultural onion, not eat out holes in the middle. Apophates practice ascetic unknow by strengthening an excision against closing; with time, the edges of the hole stop bleeding and grow callous, surrounding knowledge reconfigures away, the pressure to fill in the hole tapers off. ■    A bloated genome hampers adapting, so a constant explay cleanup, it is argued, helps our cultural evolution remain agile because knowledge re-formed after explay tends to be simpler, cleaner, more direct; importantly, it is also perceptibly different from what had been cut: such “explay drift” or “parallax” is unpredictable but may be to some extent steerable — and many strive to steer it by constructing, pre-excise, complex mental overhangs to ensure the gap closes with a desired slant. The cumulative explay drift of millions of minds may manifest as an uptrend in the connectedness of global Knowledge — “our civilizations collective psyche” (cf. world sleep).  ■    The size of what you can painlessly restore after a cut is one measure of your intellectual breadth; what if, one day, all Minds and Humans synchronously excise and erase from storage something really big: will this precipitate a “true rediscovery,” will we see, for the first time, that concept and its whole field as they really are? Another meme: suppose all existing minds somehow merge only to find that their overlapping understandings leave a natural hole — that what was, to a single mind, an unmarked direction in the ocean of unknown became a gigantic lake surrounded by billions of fused islands, an abyss aching to be closed: “explay with a capital E, just think what wed understand by filling it.”

< evolve  |  eyesight >

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License