כ״ה באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״ד (March 27, 2014)
By Yonatan Gordon
Few days ago I tweeted that I was going to try and spend more time working on books rather than articles. But from the fact that you are now reading this, it seems this thought was not to be.
This is the tweet that I wrote right after the tweet about spending more time on book writing. From this screen shot, you can see that the company that Favorited my tweet was Expect Labs, makers of the MindMeld app. Although it wasn’t mentioned in the tweet or the links, I was actually inspired to write this tweet after reading an article about MindMeld. Not being able to withstand the irony of a predictive technology company favoriting the tweet that they themselves had covertly inspired, I decided to go ahead and write this article.
But this article is not about the probability that my tweet would be favorited by Expert Labs given that it include the keywords “predictive technology.” Instead, as this technology is selling us on the future, then will also be the focus of the article. Not about the events of today, but of the possibilities before us tomorrow.
Since we are focusing on the future, while you can read about the app here, what is important to mention for this article is that the present-day version of MindMeld is probability based. Since you have done W, X, and Y, then the program assumes that you will be interested in Z.
As we discussed in “The Kabbalah of Predictive Journalism,” the problem with this approach is that while Z may be the most likely result to pique our interest, there is no telling what will actually interest us. To use the example in our article, while a suggestion was given as to what the concept behind Andrew Mason’s forthcoming business is, since humans are unpredictable by nature, there is no telling what he will actually do.
But unlike the present-day MindMeld app, the concept of a “mind meld” has nothing to do with probability. As mentioned in the articles about the app, the name derives from Star Trek’s Vulcan “mind meld,” or technique for sharing “thoughts, experiences, memories, and knowledge.”
Marketing Mind Melds
What then is the marketing concept behind a “mind meld”? Since we like to think of ourselves as unpredictable beings, the possibility of a probabilistically accurate app doesn’t appear to be the primary marketing message. This is not to say that the MindMeld app won’t increase productivity. But since a name was chosen that doesn’t relate to probabilities and statistics, from a conceptual standpoint, there is still more to explain.
It seems then that Leonard Nimoy (may G-d grant him a complete recovery) and his Spock character hit on a most potent idea. Namely that there is an essential hope and dream we all share that sometime soon, all good-natured and benevolent people of the world will be able to share and communicate naturally with one another. Without barriers of language, culture, background, socioeconomic status, and so forth. This time when “thoughts, experiences, memories, knowledge, etc..” are freely interchanged, is what Jewish tradition calls the time when all nations on earth will speak in one clear language.
The marketing concept behind the MindMeld app then is essentially a hope and dream for humankind. A time when good thoughts will telepathically be shared naturally between us for the benefit of all.
The prophets have already promised that in the future there will come an era of peace on earth in which all nations will speak one language. In Hebrew the term the prophet uses is safa berurah, a clear language. Language is something far broader than mere words. As we can see from the term “body language,” the actions we perform and the way we move our hands is all a form of communication. In the future all the nations of the earth will speak, think and act out one clear, rectified language. This language is the Hebrew language, which we are taught in the Torah and in Kabbalah is the language that God used to create the world.
Predictable or Telepathic?
The thought I would like to end this article with is that while today it seems like Expert Labs has come out with something, and I am writing about it, in the future, the two will be indistinguishable from one-another. In the future, ideas will be freely shared and there will be no one person claiming ownership of an idea that we can all consciously access. So while today that are technology companies and users of that technology, the ultimate hope, the marketing message behind the MindMeld app, is that we should all merit to graduate beyond apps and technology, to a world of clarity and clear telepathic communication.
For those interested, the groundwork for developing a computer programming language based on the Hebrew Letter, was explained several years ago by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh at UC Berkeley during a class entitled, “The Hebrew Language – An Ideal Model for Information Processing and Management.”
For more on this topic, please read “Hebrew Letters and the Future of Language.”
Yonatan Gordon has spent most of his past 13 professional years in the world of Jewish publishing. He was the Marketing Manager at Kehot Publication Society (publishing arm of Chabad) for the better part of six years. He is founder of the website CommunityofReaders.org.
LEAVE A NOTE