Thursday, July 17, 2008

Being John Malkovich, literally

Recently I watched 'Being John Malkovich' (BJM) and one scene which intrigued me the most was when JM enters into his own mind through his own portal. Presto .. he sees himself in everything, including the people, the talks, the menu.. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich everywhere.

In CS terms, we can model this as an infinite recursion with the non-existance of a terminating point. Of course this results in stack overflow and hence no further 'function calls' are possible. At this point, we can assume that the OS takes over control and then what ? Is the OS the well discussed 'soul' thing of Hindu philosophy ? According to Vedas, one can achieve enlightenment (freedom from bondage) in two ways: (1). Moving towards emptiness- by disintegrating the mind (techniques such as Vipassana meditation) & (2). Moving towards fullness- by integrating the mind with the all pervading cosmic continum. The above scene in the movie looks closer to the second technique.

Anyways, I was thinking of a method to simulate this scene and here it goes. Assume a person sitting in front of a big, big screen (which is so big and is 3-dimensional such that the person cannot see anything else but the screen). Now assuming we are in the hold of Maya (a.k.a Matrix)this is the situation most of are in: believing the world as we see it (actually there is another explanation for the world as we see it- according to the Vedas, we see what we want; lets leave that for another post). So now coming back to our setup, there is a person in front of a real-life screen as above. Now if there is a camera capturing this scene and projecting this scene itself onto the giant screen in front of the person, we can simulate entering one's own portal. On this giant screen, the person will see himself looking at the screen; and in this 'inside' screen, the person is looking at the same thing and so on...