Thought +Language

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I am still reading Wittgenstein, albeit an intro level and it's fascinating. Antifacist, ren, and I touched on him within anti's 'Neoliberalism is touching us all' thread awhile back.

He teaches 'thinking about thinking', a derogatory comment on our thread by an outside observer was once made in exactly that phrase.

He is positing thoughts as a sort of ephemeral/metaphysical entity, they don't exist, they just are. That sent some zen triggers in my mind, but I'm still a student. Anyhow we have:

and the investigations are more than enough, Tractatus is supposedly indecipherable, though I have not tried. (a new bucket list entry for me, I think)
  • The language link is required to express your own thoughts, though maybe there is no language to express said thoughts, just a generality. Some things have no words to describe or explain them, but clusterfuck is broad enough for some experiences.
  • I think that's why metaphors are so handy.
  • btw, my source is John Heaton:

    Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis 15, 2000
    by John Heaton
    Paperback
    $2.77used & new(28 offers)

    Introducing Wittgenstein 5, 2001
    by John Heaton and Judy Groves
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    See newer edition of this book
    3.3 out of 5 stars 6

    FassifernNov 24, 2013
    by John Heaton
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  • douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Comments

    Republican Neoliberalism is Touching Us All. Started May 30, 2010 in reference to the Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe and all that goes with it. 1,544 replies, 83,634 views.

    Last post, June 13, 2015

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    By the way, this thought crossed my mind:

    I can relate this topic to environmental issues without much contortion, but it might take a few words. I was wondering how you see a relationship, doug? (Not that I doubt you do. But I can imagine some who will doubt. And then you get all that tiresomeness that goes with it. Kind of the shooting gallery effect, as one friend puts it.)

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    ren, I wanted the post on this thread because I wanted your take knowing your linguistic, anthropologic background I felt a tie-in. There are ecological genres other than environmental, ie ecology of mind, ecology of culture, and ecology of enquiry . I cast a wide net because I tend to see unusual tangents, even if they are only in MY mind and nowhere else.

    Witt (my nickname for him as I study him) posited that the simple act of thinking is hard to define. Someone looking like they are pondering, ala Rodan, may be just scratching. However an unusual tic, or pain, or sense of pleasure may open a door to a solution of a problem you didn't know existed, let alone one is actually wondering about.

    I never appreciated the power of language until I began posting here at Thoms. Yours and Chomsky's linguistics, combined with the late Howard's queries and grammarphobia., along with cjr.org/resources and polycarp's metaphor treatise awhile back all enhance my own problem solving ventures and puzzle solutions.

    Interestingly, my own set in stone premises are not in stone anymore. Not because I found alternative avenues, but because change is occurring faster than before in areas I ignored, so I opted for any platform to allow a more malleable path. btw, this mostly comes from being an engaged parent and observing my kids' paths. I guess one learns if one teaches, at least I do.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Think vs feel is another twist on language vs thought. Semiotics is a field dealing with graphic communication via billboard, tv screens, or print ads. /analysis/finding_empathy_online. is study in CJR evaluating the difference of print vs screen for emotional feeling or empathy (not horny).

    Hitchcock did a Cavett interview extolling the difference between an image of an old man viewing children, heartwarming grandparent of pedophile? only photographic of film image allowed to convey the premise. An old man in a trench coat is an obvious flasher, and old woman in a mini skirt is, hell I don't even know or want to know. Daisy dukes for grandma is a hilarious thought though.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    While not as adapt at it as you guys Doug, there are few things I find as fullfilling as coining a turn of phrase that precisely conveys a feeling or idea.

    I must have missed polycarp's metaphor treatise, can you point me in the direction on finding it?

    rs allen
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    Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

    For my own take, I see this topic related to my own thread on conscious apocalypse. And I welcome taking from that general concept and using a thread to examine with some refinement the relationship between thought and how we -- and I do mean the "we" that forms into society, and the consequent attitudes that rule society when members enter into that shared perspective -- perceive and mentally construct our environment. When we cram everything into one thread a lot gets emulsified.

    In that emulsification we can lose some of the precision that disciplined thinking offers as thoughts and feelings combine... or recombine as the case may be. That's where the emotion-baiters come in to disrupt. They bring their wiles to a kind of metaphorical fishing expedition. Their acts can be very predatory; meanwhile predation itself can be a thoroughly engaging and self satisfying life style and in its own way an submergence from consciousness, acting as a distraction from any potential for wisdom and awareness. Just watching trial attorneys who love the court battle one can grasp aspects of that. What is more thought-based than human-created law? And of course the traditional preparation for that battle is the formal debate "game" platform.

    Sundays are my big coffee klatch, social event days. Gotta go. More later... I wanted to talk a bit about how the verb "to be" forms those "set in stone" premises and how awareness of how we employ that verb can help to melt the stone; but I need more space, which of course also has to do with that ticking clock.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Most people told me "You think to much." One told me "You have a lot of thinking to do." Often people would see me lost in thought and offer me reassurances on the assumption that I was experiencing a bout of depression of some sort.

    If you don't mind my saying something about Nietzsche here, I would argue that the division of society into the "few" versus the "many" (as Alexander Hamilton referenced) is based not on the inability of the masses to think but on their inability to come to a consensus. As power corrupts, those that are chosen to be mediators do not necessarily execute their duties in the public trust. These leaders in pre-industrialized society were often deposed by and replaced with another member of the community or the person who was so designated according to whatever protocol that community had (usually the patriarch of another family from what I gather would be the next "king").

    That thread ("neoliberalism"), which I have yet to review fully and which I will not comment on if only for that reason, did appear to do a good amount of work toward resolving a lot of philosophical questions (especially the "existential" question plaguing philosophy today) but was also if I understand some of the arguments correctly also tipped at a lot straw men. But as far as change goes even though I don't adhere to a theory of dialectics I would start with something like this as an intro. to the problems:

    The dialectic and why it matters to Marxists
    Eric Ruder examines the dialectical method developed and deployed by Karl Marx.
    July 9, 2015

    By contrast, dialectics takes as its starting point that the social world is in a constant state of change and flux--and that capitalism, while it powerfully structures human relationships, is itself the product of human activity that emerges out of the material world, including the natural world.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    FOR THIS reason alone, it should be obvious why the people who run our society despise the very idea of dialectics. As Karl Marx put it in an afterword to a German edition of the first volume of his masterwork of dialectical analysis Capital:

    Quote Karl Marx:

    In its rational form it is a scandal and an abomination to the bourgeoisie and its doctrinaire spokesmen, because it includes in its positive understanding of what exists a simultaneous recognition of its negation, its inevitable destruction; because it regards every historically developed form as being in a fluid state, in motion, and therefore grasps its transient aspect as well; and because it does not let itself be impressed by anything, being in its very essence critical and revolutionary.

    ...

    It's important to point out that Hegel didn't reject outright the usefulness of non-dialectical classifications of the world. As British Marxist John Rees explains in his book about the dialectic The Algebra of Revolution:

    Hegel thought that the standard empirical procedure of breaking things down into their constituent parts, classifying them, and recording their properties was a vital part of the dialectic. This is the first stage of the process...It is only through this process of trying to capture things with "static" terms that contradictions emerge which oblige us to define something by its relations with the totality, rather than simply by its inherent properties. To show their transitory nature, Hegel called these stable points in the process of change "moments." Hegel said that the whole was "mediated" by its parts. So empirical definitions were not irrelevant. But they were an inadequate way of looking at the world and so in need of a dialectical logic which could account for change.

    ...

    On the other extreme, there are any number of theories about the social world that are materialist, but reject the dialectical method. Such approaches lead to what Marxists call a mechanical materialism, which is at best one-sided, suggesting that human beings and their behavior are a mostly reflexive reaction to their surroundings. For example, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology seek out biological explanations for various social problems and inequalities.

    ...

    In the fields of sociology and economics, a number of theorists insist on the approach of methodological individualism, which requires that all social phenomena, including structure and change, be explained in terms of individual properties, goals, beliefs and actions. Methodological individualism is the underlying assumption of social theories that rely on game theory to explain how the rational choices of individual actors can explain all the key elements of societies and social change.

    nimblecivet
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    Not really a fan of game theory though.

    nimblecivet
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
    Quote nimblecivet:

    That thread ("neoliberalism"), which I have yet to review fully and which I will not comment on if only for that reason, did appear to do a good amount of work toward resolving a lot of philosophical questions (especially the "existential" question plaguing philosophy today) but was also if I understand some of the arguments correctly also tipped at a lot straw men.

    I don't take threads like that, or for that matter, any thread on this board, seriously. At best it offers participants an opportunity to introduce ideas that happent to get stimulated. The thread was wide ranging and touched on many things, but I don't see any depth in much that was explored. I don't see any potential to resolve issues in any of these threads. I see doug's mention of it merely as that: as a source that stimulated him to look more deeply into something, in this case, Wittgenstein. For the most part, it has been a discussion amongst acquaintences who have known each other on this board. Nothing more dramatic. A discussion somewhat in the tone and spirit of a Bohmian dialogue -- at least as far as my participation went. I'm sure everyone involved has their perspective.

    I've enjoyed many of those kinds of discussions with Antifascist since he came to this board in 2005. I can almost always count on a near complete absense of a certain tiresomely annoying element. I can't think of a single one of our discussions that resolved anything for me.

    These days I'm not very much interested in Hegel, Marx, the dialectics they each took so seriously, versions of which each struggled to make into some sort of fundamental reality that would stand the test of philosophical time, and all esoteric entanglements that go into trying to understand each of them in their own context and light. I was once invited to take a graduate seminar on Hegel mainly because of the interest I'd shown in various existentialists, but that was in another galaxy, far, far away. So I don't have anything to add to those thoughts at this time. Hopefully someone will.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    rs, I'm still searching because I'm not sure of the header we used. laborisgood and I used song titles as metaphors or phrases in a thread we were on and then we have used cooking before too, when addressing the creation we were jointlysharing, which was a thread. ren and I used Chess terms and pieces, plus defenses and attacks, but that turns our thread into esoteric, whereas music and food are most often exoteric.

    I Never-Metaphor I-Didnt-Like-ebook is in my kindle cloud but if you look there are used ones and "Look Inside" to show Shakespeare's metaphors and links to puns too.

    A metaphor in reference to puns: "Puns are a three ring circus of words: Words clowning, words teetering on tightropes, words swinging from tent tops, words thrusting their heads into the mouths of lions." That's from "Get Thee to a Punnery", also in my cloud or as Mick might sing "Hey you come into my cloud" 'but, but, but, clouds are just air' "Yes little Mick, but when they rest on earth they are fog, and not to be raced through, but illuminated with whatever tools one has at hand...and another set of eyes are tools specific to the one seeing, and thus unique"*

    The misuse of unique was a peeve of poly's if not drc2's as well.

    I'm a perpetual student, and references are my toys. I'm allowed to play in class now, I cannot flunk. I'm not a republican, so I share my toys.

    phrases.org.uk/meanings note it is UK centric, so old ones that make no sense are explained, too.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    Usually the interviews of authors are under 'Art of Fiction' header, The Art of Translation is in this issue. The archives have interviews with a lot of dead authors, before they were dead as far as I know. 50s' writers are in the mix.

    .literatureandlatte.com/links skim them if you like. One site I found had Vonnegut input. He was forced onto a sports article about a racing horse that did something out of character for a blood line traced to royalty(triple crown winner or something) Anyhow, he sat for over half the day trying to construct a narrative and then typed for his submission to the editor "The fucking horse jumped over the fence". So some sites are worth a scan, or skim.

    "Last words" is one of the links. "I'm going on the toilet and read" Evis. (opiates cause constipation, trying to force a turd with a weak hear or blocked blood vessels is not a good idea. Now I am always remined of that, I do not want to be found dead with my pants down and half a loaf) That's a metaphor, but very fitting.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Quote douglaslee:

    I never appreciated the power of language until I began posting here at Thoms. Yours and Chomsky's linguistics, combined with the late Howard's queries and grammarphobia., along with cjr.org/resources and polycarp's metaphor treatise awhile back all enhance my own problem solving ventures and puzzle solutions.

    Just to flesh this out, I don't tend to think of our ability to create and use language as acts of power... not that it can't be, that's just not how I think of language. Language, or what we refer to as language, is nothing to me but an abstract form until someone uses it. "Power" seems an odd way to consider using it, but I guess I can. After all, power in electricity is measured with volts. Voltage is a kind of mathematical measurement of difference in potential. (The word "potential" stands out for me there.) Until we construct a circuit, that Voltage is just sitting there, inert, waiting for its potential to be put to use. With a circuit and the energy from that difference of potential coursing through it, you can get a measurement of power.

    I think of language more as a key to opening secrets we don't otherwise look into. I don't really want to measure that. If someone uses those secrets to manipulate others for some ulterior motive that puts others under their dominance in some way, then... I suppose that's an expression of power being put to use with a circuit. But language as a grammatical form is just that. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" exemplifies form: A grammatical construction. We English speakers have no trouble seeing it as grammatical. A three year old could independently construct the form.

    Quote Wikipedia:

    "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical. The term was originally used in his 1955 thesis "Logical Structures of Linguistic Theory" and in his 1956 paper "Three Models for the Description of Language".[1]

    Can I make meaning of that grammatical construction?

    Yes. Being primarily poetically inclined and only secondarily scientific, the first time I read it in one of Chomsky's tomes I thought to myself that it conveyed meaning. Green, for instance to me is a metaphor for jealousy. I can then envision all sorts of nightmarish results "sleeping furiously" in someone's subconscious from those jealous ideas that are invisibly (or colorlessly) taking place in that someone's mind while they are asleep.

    So Chomsky, in creating his argument about the nature of language and how it might reside as a genetically derived grammar constructing organ in the human brain, called his grammatical phrase a perfectly possible construction of meaningless nonsense. It appeared as such in his famous publication of a doctoral dissertation with a construction of thoughts that were to change the very course of linguistics and neuropsychology; but I can find it meaningful, even though Chomsky insisted it wasn't so he could make his argument...

    ...However, I also believe he is in an important way correct about what he was trying to say. What he is referring to is the potential for human independent agency in thinking with language that the inherent biology in our brains for constructing grammars offers. Without some biologically inherited meaning we have no choice but to be subject to, we are then free to create meaning from the present context as we move through life, and as the process that is life itself changes. This is much more in tune with the reality of the Earth's environment we've learned so well to adapt to, thanks to language. The power is in our ability to create meaning if you will. He's talking about our innate capacity for free agency (i.e., free will) in the use of language, which may be where the word "power also applies. As in, I, the individual actor and thinker with language, must to create meaning out of the phenomenological context in my own mind. With this marvelous tool I can share that meaning. Culture is possible. That, by the way, was my path into existentialism.

    Absolute meaning is not embedded in the grammar. We do not inherent meaning from our ancestors, we constantly create it, or, RE-create it. Story telling is a form of recreation, isn't it? The grammar, the words we incorporate into that grammar, are just our tools.... or toys, if you will.

    And if I can connect with that narrative, I can also connect with Chomsky on his various riffs about human freedom of thought, which was how I discovered him in the first place, reading everything I could find on the topic of freedom after having mine squelched in the military hierarchy. First I encountered Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity which diminishes the importance of my language creating agency, and it really set me off, offset by Chomsky's thoughts in Language and Freedom. The latter was, for me, an introduction to Chomsky and the basic nature of his version of anarchy. And he often says his work on linguistics and his extensive works on human politics aren't related... I think he's better at compartmentalizing than I have ever been. I don't pretend to be a scientist. Science is just a tool. I don't even want to be a tool.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    What is more thought-based than human-created law? -ren

    Sometimes I see law and the language that defines it as a puzzle, maybe a jigsaw puzzle. Constructing the boundaries to define the picture (or confine more accurately), is also framing, a term we know in our propaganda observations, utilized in media for propaganda, but on display in the courtroom for the jurors. Semiotics would be in use for the admitted evidence, especially if variations are possible in presentation*.

    *The most ridiculus example being the Zimmerman team asserting the sidewalk is a weapon, complete w/a chunk of concrete. I thought the prosecution could've used a bowling ball substituting as weapon for Zimmerman, as a proxy for Zimmerman's head. Trayvon could not pack a sidewalk, but Zimmerman does have his head (for levity a courtroom plant could shout "Hearsay" upon the premise of Zimmerman using his head or even having one. Was his head loaded? Does he have a brain? Or is he carrying blanks?)

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Quote douglaslee:

    Sometimes I see law and the language that defines it as a puzzle, maybe a jigsaw puzzle. Constructing the boundaries to define the picture (or confine more accurately), is also framing, a term we know in our propaganda observations, utilized in media for propaganda, but on display in the courtroom for the jurors. Semiotics would be in use for the admitted evidence, especially if variations are possible in presentation*.

    Well, puzzle, yes. I can see that. Jigsaw puzzle, on the other hand, invokes an image, a picture cut apart into pieces. I consider that a bit presumptuous of whatever law might represent. And the codified, invented "civilized" law that you are talking about there, is to me, anyway, the law intended to maintain a system of institutions, each constructed with their own versions of codified law that must somehow fit the basic "universal" (irony, joke alert) law construct. The goal of those who don't want the institutions to collapse is to have everyone go along. I have my doubts about any such creation coming from a coherent picture.

    If you want to get out of jury duty, here's a little trick I've used with success. In the selection process you will be questioned, and during that questioning be sure to make the point that you will retain the right to think for yourself and you will refuse to allow orders from the judge or anyone about the law to override your own sense of right and wrong. Essentially you are refuting the implied ascendency of institutionalized law itself and asserting your free will as a evaluating agency in the process of coming to some final sense of justice.

    How can you not find ridiculous examples in the human created "ecology" of our court system? The whole endeavor is a misbegotten attempt to preserve the unsustainable in the face of ever relentless environmental change processes we only barely ever understand, and undoubtedly only at some superficial level? If only there were some absolute power that understands it all and could tell us what it means!

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Quote .ren:... the codified, invented "civilized" law that you are talking about there, is to me, anyway, the law intended to maintain a system of institutions, each constructed with their own versions of codified law that must somehow fit the basic "universal" (irony, joke alert) law construct. The goal of those who don't want the institutions to collapse is to have everyone go along. I have my doubts about any such creation coming from a coherent picture...

    Interesting. Having everyone go along was apparently at work within the relationship between Bush's DOJ, the CIA, Pentagon, and the American Psychological Association, a collaboration in service of the government's torture program. And the manipulation of language was central to their purpose.


    ...Behnke [Stephen Behnke, director of ethics at the American Psychological Association] was a mastermind at wordsmithing, among other things, so that as critics tried within the association to modify, to come out with anti-torture resolutions, he systematically worked with DOD officials to nuance the wording so that it would actually not constrain the military psychologists one bit, so that they would have these nice-sounding anti-torture things that actually did not mean a word. There were some of us at the time who were saying that. Of course, we were always described as "those who will never be satisfied." Well, the report shows that those of us who would never be satisfied were right, that those nice-sounding statements were just that, nice-sounding statements, but had no bite...

    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/7/13/psychologists_collaborated_with_ci...

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    The judge in my example gave selective instructions omitting the part that automatically disqualifies SYG if the gun wielder initiated the conflict. NRA:"SYG was not used, so those instructions not pertinent" The judge is beholden to NRA, if that organization is at the table, law goes out the window. Laws do not apply in USA when corporations are one of the parties, by proxy or cited as such. Law is a joke in the US.

    Existential in a n & adj =A proposition that something exists covers the 'be' verb in an existential there when 'there' is a dummy word followed by be. For example: There is a lot to do. Can there be life on other planets? There has been nothing in the papers about this. All of those are there existentials and the most common. Without 'there'- Can life be on other planets? Nothing about this has been in the papers. "A lot is to do" makes no sense to me. So in the first two there is no there there (literally).

    There can be followed with other verbs- There comes a time (come is a verb and a noun, esp. in porn. In that example 'there' is masculine because it comes first...sorry that was just too easy to pass.. ), Once upon a time there lived a town idiot.

    btw, the source is Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar. It didn't reference porn and coming, and it used a princess where I used a republican. I bought it when I was taking Swedish. Grammar references were involved so I felt I had to know grammar officially as a base. Both are Germanic languages, so similarities were apparent. I use it now for my kids' English classes when the teachers have some unusual queries. e.g: "If I were a boy" song instead of "If I was a boy". The students knew the song, but not ...ready for this? A 'Past subjunctive', which is also called the 'were subjunctive' and used in clauses of hypothetical condition as in a girl hypothetical being a boy. Or, 'if I were you' and differs from the past indicative of be only in first and third person singular, which popularly replace it. Now I knew 'If I were you' is proper and better than if I was you, but I had no idea why, so Oxford to the rescue. It is still damn complicated.

    Republicans and tea partiers say "I seen" instead of "I saw", but to explain it is useless because they know everything, and saying "I saw" is snooty. Just like black folks that say ask instead of ax are speaking white English. (Note the italics, that's satire, and an insult that I'll toss in whenever I can) ftr, ax IS old English for ask, according to many sources. Masters used it and it stuck (imo). If that fact was spread, ask would likely wipe out ax in black dialect. /why-Chaucer-said-ax-instead-of-ask-and-why-some-still-do Ax goes back over a 1000 years. I find it irritating, but it's probably just me.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Quote douglaslee:

    Existential in a n & adj =A proposition that something exists covers the 'be' verb in an existential there when 'there' is a dummy word followed by be. For example: There is a lot to do. Can there be life on other planets? There has been nothing in the papers about this. All of those are there existentials and the most common. Without 'there'- Can life be on other planets? Nothing about this has been in the papers. "A lot is to do" makes no sense to me. So in the first two there is no there there (literally).

    I was using existential more in line with this:

    Quote existentialism:

    noun, Philosophy

    1. a philosophical attitude associated especially with Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre, and opposed to rationalism and empiricism, that stresses the individual's unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices.

    On the verb "to be":

    Quote General Semantics:

    is a program begun in the 1920s that seeks to regulate the evaluative operations performed in the human brain. After partial launches under the names "human engineering" and "humanology",[1] Polish-American originator Alfred Korzybski[2] (1879–1950) fully launched the program as "general semantics" in 1933 with the publication of Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.

    ------>

    Language as a Core Concern

    .....Language considerations figure prominently in general semantics, and three language and communications specialists who embraced general semantics, university professors and authors Hayakawa, Wendell Johnson and Neil Postman, played major roles in framing general semantics, especially for non-readers of Science and Sanity.

    Connections....

    The concept of "silence on the objective level" attributed to Korzybski and his insistence on consciousness of abstracting are parallel to some central ideas in Zen Buddhism. Korzybski is not recorded to have acknowledged any influence from this quarter, but he formulated general semantics during the same years that the first popularizations of Zen were becoming part of the intellectual currency of educated speakers of English. On the other hand, later Zen-popularizer Alan Watts was influenced by ideas from general semantics.

    and a further linkage:

    Quote E-Prime:

    E-Prime (short for English-Prime, sometimes denoted É or E′), a prescriptive version of the English language, excludes all forms of the verb to be. E-Prime does not allow the conjugations of to be—be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being—the archaic forms of to be (e.g. art, wast, wert), or the contractions of to be—'m, 's, 're (e.g. I'm, he's, she's, they're).

    Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing.[1] For example, the sentence "the film was good" could not be expressed under the rules of E-Prime, and the speaker might instead say "I liked the film" or "the film made me laugh". The E-Prime versions communicate the speaker's experience rather than judgment, making it harder for the writer or reader to confuse opinion with fact.

    History

    D. David Bourland, Jr., who had studied under Alfred Korzybski, came to the idea of E-Prime as an addition to Korzybski's general semantics in late 1940s.[3] Bourland published the concept in a 1965 essay entitled A Linguistic Note: Writing in E-Prime (originally published in the General Semantics Bulletin). The essay quickly generated controversy within the general semantics field, partly because practitioners of general semantics sometimes saw Bourland as attacking the verb 'to be' as such, and not just certain usages.

    ----->

    Korzybski (1879–1950) determined that two forms of the verb 'to be'—the 'is' of identity and the 'is' of predication—had structural problems. For example, the sentence "The coat is red" has no observer, the sentence "We see the coat as red" (where "we" indicates observers) appears more specific, and describes light waves and colour as determined by the human brain.

    Korzybski pointed out the circularity of many dictionary definitions, and suggested adoption of the mathematical practice of acknowledging some minimal ensemble of primitive notions as necessarily 'undefined'; he chose 'structure', 'order', and 'relation'. He wrote of those that do not lend themselves to explication in words, but only by exhibiting how to use them in sentences. Korzybski advocated raising one's awareness of structural issues generally through training in general semantics

    I can attest to a greater sensititivity to my own highly dubious and utterly hypothetical proclamations as a result of practicing E-Prime in my self awareness before I blurt out my blatherings. Whether I began way behind others and have been able to rise to the normal level of other mortals is of course both possible and questionable. But I feel this practice has helped me, at least, to become a little bit more sensitive to language and thought, which are not necessarily totally overlapping Venn diagrams in my mind.

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    .ren
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    It might be worth my mentioning as a footnote that I'm not a fully empathetic supporter of the supposed correlations between "blind" justice and legal rulings in our, ahem, legal system.

    I also remember (about ten years ago) when this issue of psychologists being recruited to take part in these shenanigans actually occurred, and the ethical "problem" that raised for the institution known as the American Psychological Association. Those birds are perhaps at last coming home to roost. As we notice, Democracy Now! was also aware:

    Quote Democracy Now!:

    We begin today’s show with a story Democracy Now! has been closely following for about the past decade. A new independent review has revealed extensive details on how members of the American Psychological Association, the world’s largest association of psychologists, were complicit in torture and lied and covered up their close collaboration with officials at the Pentagon and CIA to weaken the association’s ethical guidelines and allow psychologists to participate in the government’s so-called enhanced interrogation programs after 9/11.

    "Recommendations for reform are expected to be made ahead of the APA’s annual convention in Toronto next month."

    Well, that's nice.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    I'm going to read your post again ren, but seeing Zenzoe participating and the underlying influence of corporate dollars/MadMen post war, a relevant article: hunky-virile-consumers-and-other-news/ or Playboy and Esquire defined the man. If other men thought so, must one agree and conform?

    • In postwar America, magazines like Esquire and Playboy helped to shape our concept of the bachelor: an unfettered man, a man in complete control of his life, a man who helped to preserve conventional masculinity even as he fretted over his appearance and his home decor. Bachelorhood became the paragon of manly existence—even though most of Esquire’s readers were married. “Because Esquirerelied on corporate advertising to continue existing, overthrowing corporate hierarchy and stratification didn’t factor into their discussions of masculine rejuvenation … women were presented as an obstacle to men’s success at entertaining, which reinforced the theory that women were ultimately responsible for men’s inability to control their lives.”
    • People love to hate the Middle Ages—such benighted centuries, those were, full of blood and swine and religious drudgery! Well, people are fools: the medieval era was every bit as culturally rich as any other. They gave us “castles, cathedrals, Italian and Flemish and Byzantine art, printing, plainsong, and parliaments, not to mention universities. Yet the black propaganda of Voltaire, Hume, Kant, and Mark Twain remains suspended in the air like soot in the old factory towns, while intellectuals crow over the birth of ‘modernity’ like fancied fighting cocks.”
    • James Salter had been corresponding with Sally Gall for more than a year, working toward an extended interview—the final edits were en route to him when he died a few weeks ago, and now the transcript has a new resonance. “Style is really more than a particular voice or way of writing,” Salter says. “It presents an entire subjectivity. In a sense, it determines what can be written … Style is the writer.”
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    douglaslee
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    Style, the author's last entry to Sally, his interviewer:

    8. Manhood. To keep the definition simple I would say it’s courage and after that strength. Virility in its several meanings. The love of woman and womanliness is a masculine characteristic, and the love of man and manliness a feminine characteristic— so wrote Isak Dinesen. That’s more or less where I am.

    9. A short story is like a T-shirt. A novel is a suit and tie, sometimes overcoat and hat— it simply has more amplitude and ambition, larger, with more implication. Almost all the writers we’ve been interested in have written both equally well: Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Isaac Singer, O’Hara, Welty. O’Connor, Bellow, Updike, Roth.

    10. All I meant is if your book is a success, you become a different writer.

    We all have a style even in our snippets of entries, our posts. The disrupters have a style that they know disrupts and they bait with it.

    re: short story as t-shirt, thurber was more than a t-shirt, for me.

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    douglaslee
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    Thurbers quotations book is free on Kindle. "With 60 staring me in the face I have developed inflamation of the sentence structure and definite hardening of the paragraphs"

    "That's the trouble with us, we number everything.Take women for example. I think they deserve to have more than 12 years between the ages of 28 and 40"

    Thurber has more style than a t-shirt, and a cheney in a 3-piece tux is still something I would try to scrape from my shoe.

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    douglaslee
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    Lest one think the thread a wondering, the middle ages link to NYBooks.com can be supported further by some of the great minds pondering such esoterica as the ether, and not religious fairy ether. The language and thought were intertwined, the newly arrived printing press brought middle age internet to the masses, slowly, but accepted as beneficial and not a threat (as some elite fear the ascent of scepticism and critical thinking...cue home schooling).

    We are seeing anthropological strides, not mere steps. How they are chronicled is important.

    cont'd:

    Contrasting elements then coexisted in close proximity and on fairly equal terms, until a tendency to “de-hierarchization” began to predominate in many fields during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Popes and emperors still claimed universal authority, but with decreasing success. Marsilius of Padua was arguing that sovereignty lay with bodies of virtuous citizens. Other clerics held that in spiritual matters the whole church in council trumped the authority of its now duplicated heads at Rome and Avignon.

    Fried traces this invigorating lack of consensus back to Charlemagne, king of the Franks and emperor of the West, who died in 814. His learned courtiers instigated a new Age of Reason by copying classical texts, both Christian and pagan, and by disagreeing over points of doctrine. It’s not clear why Reason starts there, when Irish, Anglo-Saxon, and Hispanic scholars had been copying classical texts and discussing doctrine long before Charlemagne was born. To be assured without explanation that he invented something called the feudal system will annoy most medievalists and mislead others, even at Frankfurt on the Main. However, the development of rationality is the theme of Fried’s book, and it is traced through the application of Aristotle’s logic in the twelfth- and thirteenth-century schools to the spread of its influence in ways that make it possible for Fried to postulate a “thought collective” among educated Western Europeans by the end of the period.

    Rationality is now challenged by at least 40% of Americans, so this 'back to the past' might be back a 1000 years not just a century. The link is from the Voltaire, Twain reference a few posts back.

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    douglaslee
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    ren, I forgot your logic background. Another figure, L._E._J._Brouwer contested Russell and Frege as he introduced intuitionism and had input in the fledgling field of semiotics. (I assume it was in its infancy).

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    douglaslee
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    That guy, Brouwer, was a founder of /Significs, related to semantics, semiotics, and semiology. This is an unusual field, a study of significance. Nonsense can be significant, we see that every day in the USA, and fox. The world sees insignificance in such nonsense, but in the hands of boobs, it becomes significant.

    Maybe there is no such thing as insignificant. If so, filters will forever be learning, or changing. This was a 100+ years ago, before radio.

    I drifted again, reining in other strands that seem related.

    Intuitionism sounds like quackery on one level, esp stuff is nonsense, kreskin was a magician, as was uri geller and psychic surgery. However, if it sells, like the poacher on fox that got gun nuts from across the country to hold police, and park rangers in their sniper sights, a slew of dumbshits were entranced. He was significant, for his 15 minutes.

    The rubbish that the SC mass shooter saw, and believed, was nonsense, but significant as we now know.

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    douglaslee
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    Quote .ren:

    "Recommendations for reform are expected to be made ahead of the APA’s annual convention in Toronto next month."

    Well, that's nice.

    Really. Nothing like too little to late.

    I have to wonder whether the DSM has a category for the mental disease that accounts for such lapses of judgment (to put it mildly) that result in language that permits torture of human beings. How does a psychologist with his or her mind intact come to the conclusion that it’s not torture unless it causes “severe and long-lasting harm” or if the “interrogator” intended to cause severe mental pain? How, unless that health professional writing the language is mentally disturbed, severely so?

    It’s a rhetorical question, I’m sure you know.

    Quote douglaslee:

    I'm going to read your post again ren, but seeing Zenzoe participating and the underlying influence of corporate dollars/MadMen post war, a relevant article: hunky-virile-consumers-and-other-news/ or Playboy and Esquire defined the man. If other men thought so, must one agree and conform?

    In postwar America, magazines like Esquire and Playboy helped to shape our concept of the bachelor: an unfettered man, a man in complete control of his life, a man who helped to preserve conventional masculinity even as he fretted over his appearance and his home decor. Bachelorhood became the paragon of manly existence—even though most of Esquire’s readers were married. “Because Esquirerelied on corporate advertising to continue existing, overthrowing corporate hierarchy and stratification didn’t factor into their discussions of masculine rejuvenation … women were presented as an obstacle to men’s success at entertaining, which reinforced the theory that women were ultimately responsible for men’s inability to control their lives.”…

    Don’t laugh, but when I was in school and taking an anthropology course, one awkwardly named Aesthetics of Non-literate Peoples, I wrote a term paper on Playboy Magazine, with the idea of analyzing its “culture” according to the same methods as the anthropologist might analyze an indigenous culture (back then). I can’t remember the exact title, but I was interested in looking at the covert meanings of their symbols, specifically the rabbit symbol, and compare those with overt meanings. (If I remember correctly. It’s been awhile). That’s when I concluded that females in that context were less sex objects (overt meaning) than they were status symbols (covert meaning). No big revelation there, especially if you consider the obviousness of Hefner with his babes’ decorating the context of his life. However, the dear professor gave me an “A” for it, and for the class, and he made me read it to the class, a very scary thing to a shy girl.

    Anyway, all that language surrounding “hunky” virility in the media is all about the status of being male, and status has an infinite lexicon to draw from, eh?

    Not that one would want to erase virility from the landscape. It can be such a lovely thing.

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    (#6 - rs allen)


    "While not as _adept_ at it as you guys Doug, there are few things I find as fullfilling as coining a turn of phrase that precisely conveys a feeling or idea."

    I hear you, rs - and please, do not discount your own natural talent - clearly alive, with buds on the vine.

    Just relax and flow - let it go ... like a river, expression finds a way through - one way or another.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    k. allen
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    Nov. 19, 2012 10:57 pm

    From James Thurber, I see: "crotchet," which Google defines as "a perverse or unfounded belief or notion." From The Night the Bed Fell by Thurber: "Briggs was not the only member of his family who had his crotchets."

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    E-Prime is interesting, I've begun checking my speech for instances of 'to be' and where I can filter it. An app similar to a spell check program would be a help.

    Jeb's war on syllables is interesting. He trounced big syllables but I think he meant multi syllables, unless he was bitching about all caps, that could be thought of as a BIG syllable.

    Jeb was the brother supposed to be bright

    But attacking syllables looks mighty trite

    His party or tribe says he Is a good guy

    So maybe the tribe is what's gone awry

    Playing dumb must be to hide that he's still a sybarite.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    A couple of thoughts.

    Oh yeah, + language.

    I'll give you an example of how E-Prime fits into my thinking and writing process.

    I've always reacted to assertions of facts. Even my own. Perhaps it's the anti-authoritarian in me that never got squelched when I was a two year old. "Wow," I might say to myself, "Is that a fact?" or "Is that really true?" or "How would that be a true statement?" Looking at how I use something like "is" offers a quick way to see that reaction and how grammar plays a role in it. So both an emotional gut feeling and an intellectual, word-involved evaluation kind of work together for me.

    For instance, if I were to assert: "E-Prime is interesting" I would immediately ask myself: interesting to me or is it an absolute fact that simply and obviously IS interesting like a tree is a tree or a bird is a bird, and everyone IS interested in E-Prime, the way a mountain is a mountain? Quickly, since I am well aware I don't know what other people find interesting, I would reorganize the sentence to "I find E-Prime to be interesting." I might go on to elaborate why I do. After awhile it becomes almost second nature to do that.

    That takes a one sentence blurb and opens it up into a potential discussion. It also involves engaging brain cells that could easily lie dormant. Imagine how that would function for newscasters on the evening news, or many places where we are passively observing other people talk?

    On Jeb. This gets complicated for me. Sorry to burden anyone, don't feel any obligation to bother going beyond this point if it's a burden.

    Jeb who? :-)

    Oh, that guy. The politician who I've heard entered the pack striving to become the next president. Unfortunately I've yet to tune into all the talk about that. When's the election?

    Everything you wrote about Jeb and syllables went right past me. No tacit understanding there for me. So what do I do?

    I could type a question into a search engine... and I bet something would come up:

    Jeb Bush War on Syllables

    Ah yes, I see a huge list of "news" blather sources, mostly tit for tat topics related to Jeb Bush criticizing Obama's language usage for, I can only assume now that I am aware of this, being seventh grade level instead of fifth or sixth grade, I forget which level the Republican machine targets in the population. I should do another search.

    Ok, so we have a big news issue. Gotta have a big news issue to get everyone's attention. That's how the machinery works, I've noticed.

    With that I can sort of grasp at your limerick. But I'm sure I've killed it because my understanding did not begin tacitly. So this is more like an autopsy. Yeah, I'm that guy sitting there with the dumbfounded face while everyone is laughing. All that to get to sybarite, lol.

    Beyond that I find it really hard to see a real live cultured person inside all that carefully scripted, Luntzish-designed superficiality we get from the well greased political machinery. Sybarites indeed. Now that I've looked into it over the years, I see that each of these expensive automatons that come out in these early shows are programmed, crafted and molded into an image that plays like a hologram in hopes of getting the measure of various defined segments of the population. Ahhh... but sadly there IS no there there for me anymore. But I guess that's what your limerick says to the well informed. And all these words I had to go through, for what? Thoughts + Language, I suppose.

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    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    E-Prime, eh? Granting that glaring gaps in my education embarrass me from time to time, I have to wonder if my unfamiliarity with that particular term reveals yet another gap, or if I can feel relief that at least my education included a discussion about the passive voice vs. the active voice in writing.

    I suppose I could search for the answer, to see if "E-Prime" makes a stronger case for eliminating forms of "to be," than PV vs. AV does, but if it does, I would complain, most bitterly. Sometimes, dammit, it is grammatically sound, even for clarity sake, to use whatever form of "to be," or "to have," feels natural, at least when one wishes to convey a state of being. For example, "Dick Cheney is a prick." There, no confusion arises as to my meaning— and he is what he is, just like Popeye, but without the charm.

    According to my info on PV vs. AV, the passive voice only becomes an issue if the writer puts the object of an action in the place of the subject, so that the action comes with a past participle. For example, "Rick Perry was embarrassed by his lapse of memory during the debate." Or, please forgive the vulgarity, "Donald Trump was immortalized as a butt plug." Better to say "Rick Perry's lapse of memory embarrassed him during the debate." And so forth. I'll leave it to you to work the Trump sentence into grammatical propriety.

    I also think a sentence such as, "It is difficult to be grammatically correct at all times," makes sense and will not be misconstrued, as long as the context tells the reader "it is difficult" for the writer writing the sentence, and not for everyone, or for polar bears. One can infer meaning, without a clobbering on the head by the active voice.

    Enough. Back to real life.

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    The neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks, wrote of a patient born blind that was granted sight through medical intervention. The good doctor wrote of the patient's challenge with all this new information, so challenged that he sometimes donned his dark glasses to filter the bombardment. Once he was presented with a picture of an apple and he asked "What's this?" 'It's an apple', "No, I know an apple, I've felt apples for years, I've eaten apples. That is not an apple". He was right, sometimes the blind see better than the sighted.

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    douglaslee
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    A Spanish speaking friend once pointed out that American English speaking people tend to express feelings more as what we _are_ (i.e. "I am afraid" or "I'm hungry").

    According to my friend, in Spanish, the expression might more likely be "I have fear" or "I have hunger".

    I was deeply impacted by the thought. "I'm in so much pain" turned to "I have so much pain."

    That allowed me to distinguish myself from pain, inviting greater flexibility and mobility to breathe/move around/through pain rather than being shackled by/to it.

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    Quote douglaslee:

    The neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks, wrote of a patient born blind that was granted sight through medical intervention. The good doctor wrote of the patient's challenge with all this new information, so challenged that he sometimes donned his dark glasses to filter the bombardment. Once he was presented with a picture of an apple and he asked "What's this?" 'It's an apple', "No, I know an apple, I've felt apples for years, I've eaten apples. That is not an apple". He was right, sometimes the blind see better than the sighted.

    Or you could say, sometimes an accurate picture of a thing, a fact, puts those attached to questionable notions of that thing in a poor mood.

    Or, better, the blind, once granted sight, will often refuse to believe their eyes and will respond with denial. Republicans do that a lot:

    “Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): Sen. Jeff Sessions was more than surprised when informed by Sen. Barbara Boxer that roughly 98 percent of climate scientists accepted that anthropogenic warming was real and serious — he was outraged:

    “SESSIONS: Madam Chairman, I am offended by that, I’m offended by that — I didn’t say anything about the scientists. I said the data shows [sic] it is not warming to the degree that a lot of people predicted, not close to that much…

    “BOXER: The conclusion that you’re coming to is shared by 1-2 percent of the scientists. You shouldn’t be offended by that. That’s the fact.

    “SESSIONS: I don’t believe that’s correct.”

    . . .

    I’m sure, with time, Sacks’ patient eventually calmed down, and, with more experience eating apples that looked different from his imagined version of them, came to accept the dissonance. :-)

    K. Allen, the French do the same thing— "I have hunger," etc. I suppose we get to do both, if we like. To have is a state of being too.

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    Language can (not deterministically will) help us to shift perspective. I suspect each of us must employ a certain amount of intentionality to the effort of shifting perspective.

    Going from feeling an apple as a tactile knowledge to seeing an image of an apple and making a correlation they are the same involves that mental shifting.

    I've observed dogs who encounter mirrors in which they are reflected. At first there may be some curiosity at something, who knows what for sure. As a rule, I notice they seem to quickly dismiss the phenomenon after they sniff and or touch with their noses. I would not attempt to anthropomorphize a dogs experience beyond my observations, however.

    Thinking "I am pain" or "I am anger" then shifting from the verb "to be" to the verb "to have" can also help engage that magic of shifting perspective, and all of our human intentionality that sort of synergistically goes with it. Again, the non deterministic operative: can, not will. I believe so many variables within individuals make any results uncertain, and then we all have the wild card to play: our very own, mysterious intentionality.

    Anyone even idly interested in writing fiction has probably already found literature. In discovering literature on finds a playground of opportunities to study how other writers have shifted their point of view while creating characters. Discover in this playground, perhaps, rules to follow, and in following, ways to move around in conceptual space that can make some kind of "sense." Sometimes it may take a little work to do so if at first that poetic sense violates an already seated sense of how things work. Yes, the dark glasses may come out to shield. But moving from that feeling of threat back to play, In playing for oneself, violate those same rules. Discover in violating options to create even more interesting possibilities. Play for oneself, anyone can try it. I found it to be like an infinite game, a kind of playful magic.

    "There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite.

    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play" Finite and Infinite Games: A vision of Life and Play as Possibility, p.3, James P. Carse,

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    .ren
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    Ren wrote: "A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play"

    Yes, and also the misconstruing of playful intention as hostile kills the spirit of play. 12-year-old Tamir Rice played with a toy pellet gun. The cops thought they saw a real gun. Now he’s dead.

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    I have been looking for the Enlish version of Witt's Philosophical Investigations and am still coming up empty. Then, duh! I have Google translator:

    #100It's not a game, if there is a vagueness in the rules." - But it's not a game then? - "Yes, maybe you'll call it game, but it is certainly not a perfect game," That is: it is but then defiled, and I am now interested in for what was contaminated here.. - But I want to say that we misunderstand the role of the ideal in our language. That is: we would call it a game, only we are dazzled by the ideal and therefore do not see clearly the real use of the word "game
    Having a word game with the word game is ...ready for this? Witty. I emboldened the dazzle.

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    cont'd:

    109. Right was that our considerations could not be scientific considerations. The experience,> that the thinking or the leave, contrary to our prejudice '- whatever that might mean - could not interest us. (The pneumatic conception of thinking.) And we can not establish any theory. There may not be anything hypothetical in unsem considerations. Any explanation must go, and occur only description in its place. And this description receives its light, di its purpose, by the philosophical problems. These are certainly not empirical, but they are solved by an insight into the work of our language, in such a way that this is recognized: a contrary impulse, to misunderstand it. These problems are solved, not by Teach new experience, but through compilation of long acquaintance. Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
    Bewitchment was covered by one figure I linked quite awhile back, and it does represent language and thought intertwined. I suppose a chicken and egg premise could be offered, such is propaganda, dazzled or bewitched with the ideal [never having existed as far as I know] thus embarking on paths or ventures of folly. Skepticism is an antidote for me. Voltaire had the ideal, and presented it in Candide.

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    douglaslee
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    Philosophical Investigations with commentary on the right by Lois Shawyer

    Quote Wittgenstein:

    100. "But still, it isn't a game, if there is some vagueness in the rules". -- But does this prevent its being a game? -- "Perhaps you'll call it a game, but at any rate it certainly isn't a perfect game." This means: it has impurities, and what I am interested in at present is the pure article.

    -But I want to say: we misunderstand the role of the ideal in our language. That is to say: we too should call it a game, only we are dazzled by the ideal and therefore fail to see the actual use of the word "game" clearly.

    Quote Lois Shawyer:

    And so, let me ask you, must there be exact rules in order for us to have a "game"? Or is this just an illusion of our logocentrism? The mystified voice responds, well, you can call this game without precise rules a game if you wish, but it is not a perfect game. But, now, as I think through this, finding my way out of the fly bottle, Wittgenstein says, I want to say that we misunderstand the nature of our task here. We are far too dazzled by the dream that increased precision will show us clarity to see any other prospects clearly..

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    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    Witt introduced 'Depth Grammar' and this guy addressed it:

    American Philosophy: A Historical Anthologyhttps://books.google.com/books?isbn=143841160XBarbara MacKinnon - PhilosophyThus Noam Chomsky, a linguist, has not only raised philosophical issues, but ... our sentence-forming capacity Chomsky introduced the idea of depth grammar, ...

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    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    The Map is not the territory

    The map is not the territory metaphorically illustrates the differences between belief and reality. The phrase was coined by Alfred Korzybski. Our perception of the world is being generated by our brain and can be considered as a 'map' of reality written in neural patterns. Reality exists outside our mind but we can construct models of this 'territory' based on what we glimpse through our senses.

    The metaphor is useful for illustrating several ideas in a more intuitive way:

    • Scribbling on the map does not change the territory: If you change what you believe about an object, that is a change in the pattern of neurons in your brain. The real object will not change because of this edit. Granted you could act on the world to bring about changes to it but you can't do that by simply believing it to be a different way. For example, you could send a ball to the other side of a field by kicking it but you cannot send the ball across the field by believing it is on the other side of the field (unless you are connected to a machine that scans your brain an kicks the ball when you believe it's on the other side, but let's not be pedantic). The strategy that normally gives most control over reality is one where the 'map' is aligned to match the 'territory' as closely as possible. This way you can create accurate models and predict what will happen as a consequence of your actions. eg: If you know where the ball is, and you know what will happen if you kick it, and you want it on the other side of the field you can decide to kick it to achieve the desired end state of ball being across the field. Wishing the ball across the field would be futile. For some strange reasons (but explainable at least in principle, nothing is strange if you truly understand it), humans are wired to sometimes let their beliefs slip into what they would like to believe instead of what the evidence suggests. That is like erasing a mountain off a map because you would like to pass there or drawing an oasis on the map in a desert because you would like some water.
    • The map is a separate object from the territory and the map exists as an object inside the territory: The analogy encourages us to look from a frame of reference other than from the inside outward and hopefully realize that not only do we cause things to happen, and things cause other things to happen, but also things have caused us to be the way we are. For example, Why is the sky so blue and beautiful? It must have been made like that just for me. It was made beautiful so that I would enjoy looking at it. Except it's the other way around. The sky was not made to fit our sense of beauty, the sky was here before us, we have a sense of beauty that evolved to fit the sky because the sky happened to be blue! In a sense the sky caused us to be what we are (creatures who mostly agree that a blue sky is beautiful).
    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Wittgenstein Dictionary Project - Voidspacewww.voidspace.org.uk/psychology/wittgenstein/lwref.shtml

    Surface grammar and depth grammar - The sentence, "Would you bring me a cup of coffee?" spoken in a restaurant to a waiter has the surface grammar of a ...

    Surface grammar "Please call me a taxi" 'Ok, you are a dirty yellow taxi unless you want to be a checker cab'.

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    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    Yesterday I asked the idiot who stocks the vegeables at the supermarket if he had any leeks. He said he had one under the sink then laughed hysterically.

    Never did find any leeks for my bouillabaisse. They actually didn't have any, not even under the sink.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Quote .ren:

    Yesterday I asked the idiot who stocks the vegeables at the supermarket if he had any leeks. He said he had one under the sink then laughed hysterically.

    Never did find any leeks for my bouillabaisse. They actually didn't have any, not even under the sink.

    See, I would have laughed, but I'm an idiot too, happily so. Call me The Happy Idiot. Anyway, it's a good thing you weren't in a hardware store seeking a "little screw."

    My favorite song about language, specifically about clichés: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZACwVOJXpn0

    Do You Wanna Play with Me, too? Extreme wish.

    Zenzoe
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
    Quote douglaslee:

    Witt introduced 'Depth Grammar' and this guy addressed it:

    American Philosophy: A Historical Anthologyhttps://books.google.com/books?isbn=143841160XBarbara MacKinnon - PhilosophyThus Noam Chomsky, a linguist, has not only raised philosophical issues, but ... our sentence-forming capacity Chomsky introduced the idea of depth grammar, ...

    This issue was the substance behind Chomsky's critique of Skinner's Verbal Behavior. It remains controversial.

    Chomsky versus Skinner on Verbal Behavior

    The Case Against B.F. Skinner

    Twentieth Century Philosophy in America

    Quote page 574:

    Chomsky's positive contributions to linguistics involve two aspects that should be carefully distinguished. To explain our sentence-forming capacity Chomsky introduced the idea of depth grammar, a linguistic structure that lies beneath and explains why surface grammar or linguistic patterns are the way they are. This notion precipitated a conceptual revolution in the science of linguistics. Secondly, Chomsky, as a philosopher, attempted to explain our innate capacity to handle depth grammar through a revival of the older rationalist doctrine of innate ideas. Though this revival has won little philosophical support except at Chomsky's home base, M.I.T., it has certainly stimulated a renewed interest in the old problem of the relation between thought and language.

    I don't consider that entirely accurate, but I can see that's how a committee of philosopher's writing a generalized history of philosophy might view it.

    Skinner was a behavioral psychologist coming from an empiricist lineage that produced the logical positivist school that Wittgenstein all but destroyed with his Tractatus. A school of empiricism which attempts to restrict itself to what it considers a scientifically objective observation of behavior. The very notion of human capacity for objectivity is what Witt addressed in his formal proof. What Chomsky therefore also kicked off was a revolution in psychology that led to some searching questions of the validity of behaviorism itself as a foundation for understanding the human mind.

    Innatism

    Innatism is a philosophical and epistemological doctrine that holds that the mind is born with ideas/knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a "blank slate" at birth, as early empiricists such as John Locke claimed. It asserts that not all knowledge is gained from experience and the senses.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
    Joined:
    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
    Quote Zenzoe:
    Quote .ren:

    Yesterday I asked the idiot who stocks the vegeables at the supermarket if he had any leeks. He said he had one under the sink then laughed hysterically.

    Never did find any leeks for my bouillabaisse. They actually didn't have any, not even under the sink.

    See, I would have laughed, but I'm an idiot too, happily so. Call me The Happy Idiot. Anyway, it's a good thing you weren't in a hardware store seeking a "little screw."

    My favorite song about language, specifically about clichés: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZACwVOJXpn0

    Do You Wanna Play with Me, too? Extreme wish.

    And you think I didn't laugh and play along.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
    Joined:
    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
    Quote .ren:
    Quote Zenzoe:
    Quote .ren:

    Yesterday I asked the idiot who stocks the vegeables at the supermarket if he had any leeks. He said he had one under the sink then laughed hysterically.

    Never did find any leeks for my bouillabaisse. They actually didn't have any, not even under the sink.

    See, I would have laughed, but I'm an idiot too, happily so. Call me The Happy Idiot. Anyway, it's a good thing you weren't in a hardware store seeking a "little screw."

    My favorite song about language, specifically about clichés: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZACwVOJXpn0

    Do You Wanna Play with Me, too? Extreme wish.

    And you think I didn't laugh and play along.


    Oh, did you? Sorry. I missed that part, given that you only indicated your mood, here, by referring to him as an "idiot." Perhaps if we knew the whole story, including his, we might come to some different conclusions about everyone involved.

    Zenzoe
    Joined:
    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    The guy's actually a friend of mine and I don't think of him as an idiot.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
    Joined:
    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
    Quote .ren:

    The guy's actually a friend of mine and I don't think of him as an idiot.

    Wonderful. So, does that mean I can trust that if I were to overhear a person refer to me as an idiot, without qualification, behind my back, I could assume I still have a friend in them, regardless? To be honest, I sometimes find such incongruities incomprehensible. Mostly, though, I do tend to trust movement, more than I trust what people say, even to my face.

    Zenzoe
    Joined:
    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    I'd have offered him a fennel to direct the leek to a buttercup

    stwo's picture
    stwo
    Joined:
    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    "The map is not the territory."

    .ren's picture
    .ren
    Joined:
    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    Trump Briefs His Buddies at Mar-A-Lago but Not Congress - WHAT?!

    Thom plus logo Donald Trump refused to brief the only branch of government that has the power to make war about his attack on Iranian General Soleimani.
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