What's a picture worth?
Scientists have developed a computerised mind-reading technique which lets them accurately predict the images that people are looking at by using scanners to study brain activity. Apparently, the technique relies on functional magnetic resonance imaging, whatever that is.Prof Marcel Just, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh said, "It's much more exciting than mind reading and police interrogation ... These
[scientists] are finding how the brain codes naturalistic scenes. They understand what the brain is saying."
Today, the Balinese are celebrating the Hindu "Day of Silence", Nyepi
, a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. Perhaps the time will come when reading a brain scan will be an aid to contemplation, much as than-kas
are visual aids used by Tibetan Buddhists.
Not many of you will know that my original university qualification was as an art teacher, and that for my first ten years here I struggled to capture on canvas my impressions of Indonesia. When Our Kid arrived and started crawling, I put away my oils because I didn't want him emulating Affandi
(1907-1990) who from the simple art made by his own hands over the canvas, he had made the whole world amazed
Although my creativity is now channeled through my writing, I remain visually-orientated, even though I am visually impaired. I have long admired the photographic prowess of fellow Jakarta blogger, Brandon at Java Jive
, who has achieved international approval for his work over the more than five years he's been here. Many of his images could serve as stimuli for when (if?) I resume my painting. Indeed, I regularly use them as desktop backgrounds for my computer.
Another photoblog that newcomers should regularly visit is the Jakarta Daily Photo - here
(old site) and/or here
(new site). Santi seems to get around more of Jakarta than the rest of us.
Now there's a new kid on the blog who's doing something really original. Dekisugi's new site
which he calls No Comment is a comic blog - as in a comic strip. I believe it's the first in Indonesia.
He says, "The idea of this blog is that I don’t write in each post. The pictures will say everything about something, well something about Indonesia.
His cast of characters includes Mr. John, a native British speaker, who "can also speak in English
... an idealistic person who opposes any pecuniary corruptions when he deals with official matters.
There's Tarsan, an Indonesian boy who lives in a jungle and doesn't like Encik Wan
(a Malaysian?) who runs many palm oil plantations in Sumatera
. Another recurring character is Koh Liam, a Singapore businessman expanding his business in Indonesia
Given that his picture stories are worth many of their words, I wonder how long it will be before Tempo
offers Dekisugi a regular slot.