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Void
23-03-05, 16:28
One question bothers me for the last few days. Well, not exactly the question, and frankly speaking it comes from time to time qiute regulary, but still...
I`ll try to recall the events what drove me to the current state of mind

Numeru uno
Recently with a friend of mine we were talking about languages and about poetry. I know some examples when the translation is definitly better then the original, and vice versa - when the translation failed (or the translator? LOL) So, we decided to pick out some small poem and translate it into English (mostly to practice the language). I took 'rubai' by Tahir Baba (not sure how to spell all these names). And while struggling to keep the rhime i realized that I was thinking in my native manner - in Russian. What i mean is not pronoucing words in Russian (no matter aloud or silently), but construction of the sentences, rythm, stylistics. All the language patterns (and therefore the thoughts) were quite different from English and
even more far from Arabian (that`s no doubt) I did my best, but yet lost some hews and inklings, and still have doubts about proper
usage of English phrases (not taking to concideration that the poem has already lost something after translation from Arabian into Russian)

Numero dos
After my complaints in JRef`s introduction section about my English i was advised not to worry - "as long as we understand each other..."
All of a sudden it made me laugh. How good do we understand each other? (Ecpecially, regarding those native patterns of thinking mentioned above)

Numero tres
i read here that it would be much better if people all over the world were speaking the same language (english, for example). But wuold it be for any good?
It`s not rare when people speaking the same language (the native one) don`t understand each other and can`t come up neither to the mutual agreement or to some compromise (and this is not the case of severe argument). Besides i don`t want to impoverish (is it the corect word?) the world and myself. Sometimes, when you catch the music of another language you even feel yourself absolutely different

Numer quattro
i have one little belief when two persons (maybe, more) understand each other in silence (no telepathy! LOL), it is worse the week of talking

Sharks! What a big and tiresome post! %\ I shall stop for now, and leave it vague and unfinished (just as my thoughts). When i will be able to verbalize what i feel, i`ll continue...
Perhaps, if someone will answer, it`ll draw me to any conclusion

lexico
23-03-05, 18:10
in translation, the poet Ceslaw Miloz said if the poem was any good, it was totally due to the creativity of the translator. Was he just being polite ?

In the physical world, an object is thrust in a horizontal direction, and it falls to the earth following a parabolic trajectory. Now if we wanted to understand the numerical properties, a study in differentiation and integration will give us a good idea as to the how and what. But going one level deeper, and asking how such a mathematical realtionship so beautifully aligned can exist, there is no answer but the simple feeling of awe. Piling up one theory upon another might make things look a little more orderly, and might even lead us to see some kind of certainty or necessity. But this is only an illusion.

Likewise, we see two persons facing each other, and no material exchange is happening, but only an exchange of sounds, alphabets, syllables, and kanjis. As a result of this non-material exchange, what was in one person's head is miraculously reproduced in the other person's head. All kinds of terminologies, definitions, and theories can be employed to make this interesting phenomenon somewhat intelligible. But this explanation is but a shade of what happens in reality, and does not explain why this should be possible at all.

Yet I could equally say that the difficulty of explaining things is due to the brilliant human capacity to question ad infinitum, as when the child asks question after question till the mother is without an answer. There is no necessity that language should allow thoughts to be moved accross space, but it simply happens. There is no necessity that a poem should be translatable, but the translator gives birth to a poem regardless of it; inspired by the sounds, syllables, alliterations, rhymes, breathings, and images of the primary poet. The translator's work is in essence largely uncontrollable, unpredictable, and unreliable. If at all the result gave a semblance of poetic effect parallel to the original, that was pure accident, thru a magic of words.

Void
24-03-05, 18:41
oh, is there any fan club of Lexico? I will be first to sigh in
:-)
But in any case, i both agree and disagree with you.

One our author who translated many books said that translator must look not only into the dictionary but outside the window as well. He has brilliant translation of english poem about royal breakfast, which seemed to me rather dulll in original.
And i have examples of such translations which, i think, were able to cacth the idea, the mood and the rhythm; and yet there are some that never will be able to match the original (and not for objective reasons)

Let`s start with physics. Beyond every law there is a langauge of mathematics. As far as i understood after five years of university, proof of
the theorems is based on set previously proved theorems, lemmas, an definitions. If one takes a definition and disassembles it downward to the very beginning he will find set of logic rules, number of axioms and ideal concepts... That`s the form we `ve chosen to describe the nature. This is a language of science.
But yet, there exists the concept of anthropomorphous princile, which states that if the values of fundamental constants were just a little bit different, our universe would also be another (and word 'our' is quite meaningless, `cause humanity might not exist in such case)
//sorry for lame explanation, but i`m not good at scientific english

About knowledge. All forms of communication help us to gain some information, sometimes useful, sometimes not. But certainly not all of them bring knowledge. It`s born by some combination of inner content and outer, i still don`t know what triggers me to exclaim "I`ve got it!", but not just accept something as mere belief, because wit and logic failed.
(Gee, that reminded of of long forgotten discussion about information, entropy, communication and staff like that)

People do not understand each other for many reasons (even withot emotional ones). Sometimes we use the same words to describe different things, sometimes different words for the same subject, sometimes our vocabularies just differen due to many causes... and so on

well, what am i all about? :? .... as long as it`ll help me straighten my one mind i shall continue (am i too selfish?) :banghead:

lexico
27-03-05, 14:44
Language as a Tool vs. Language as a Toy

One our author who translated many books said that translator must look not only into the dictionary but outside the window as well. He has brilliant translation of english poem about royal breakfast, which seemed to me rather dulll in original.
And i have examples of such translations which, i think, were able to cacth the idea, the mood and the rhythm; and yet there are some that never will be able to match the original (and not for objective reasons)Poetic language is different from everyday language in its distinctive purpose of the transmitter and, or, by the way it is consumed by the receiver. By taking ordinary words out of their original, commonplace usage and by putting them in a different context; spacial, temporal, intent, and perception, a piece of literature is invariably more than the sum of its parts as it would have been if used in an ordinary setting.

By nature it distances, alienates, obfuscates, and blurs the common sense of the words. Whereas a saying or paragraph leaves no residual meaning once the whole transmission is properly understood (in the sense of mechanical decoding or deciphering), poetic language always leaves 'excess meaning' even after the basic sense is well understood. This is where poetic language becomes a toy that can be played with. If we follow this definition of the poetic use of language, not only the authoritative or popular books in print, but also the silly jokes, puns, riddles, triva, and any piece of saying that employs intentional obscuring schemes for the purpose of enjoyment, advertisement, self-glorification, praise, flattery, and seduction can all be said to have the poetic element to the extent that they are playful.

When translation of straight speech is difficult enough, "translation of poetry" is obviuosly an odd combination and an illogical, contradictory phrase, itself a poetic usage. In that sense, any translation of poetry should be considered an independent and serious exploration into the new langauge it is being written in rather than an import by means of appropriate substitution of word-phrases, clauses, and paragraphs. So looking out the window would definitely help, to remind the "translator" of the tools and materials of the trade in his/her own studio, whihc is, in essence, a toy factory.

The Dialects and Languages of Science

Let`s start with physics. Beyond every law there is a langauge of mathematics. As far as i understood after five years of university, proof of
the theorems is based on set previously proved theorems, lemmas, an definitions. If one takes a definition and disassembles it downward to the very beginning he will find set of logic rules, number of axioms and ideal concepts... That`s the form we `ve chosen to describe the nature. This is a language of science.
But yet, there exists the concept of anthropomorphous princile, which states that if the values of fundamental constants were just a little bit different, our universe would also be another (and word 'our' is quite meaningless, `cause humanity might not exist in such case)As far as I can remember from the history of science, there have always been a number of presuppositions that have guided and dictated what the scientists evaluate what is true and what is considered more scientifc. It is rare to find any point in history that a scientist was working in a logical setting totally devoid of any preconceptions that can be called unsicentific or pre-scientific.

In the age of Ptolemios the geogrpaher, astronomer, there was an unusual obsession for the geometric form of the circle and the sphere; these being the most perfect kinds of existence should, in the minds of his contemporaries, stand at the basis of all natural order and patterns. He assumed that a number of circular orbits with differing positions and radii, and in conjuction to one another, would explain the movements of the celestial bodies all revolving around the geocenter. Since Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, the geocentric model has been phased out, and the heliocentric model has become the norm for describing the wandering planets. The difference between Ptolemy and Newton can be said;

1) constants: Ptolemy- many, Newton- few
2) calculation: Ptolemy-lengthy, Newton-short
3) theoretical complexity: Ptolemy-high, Newton-low

Science historians observe the historical process as that of a complex scientific system being replaced by a more efficient & simple system. There seems to exist much gray area in the selection of what can be qualified as scietific in the absolute sense, or quantified as more scientific than another system in the relative sense. This arbitrariness that lies at the base of scientific systems of explaning the physical world should be ample cause not to consider science as THE non-evolving, non-dialectal, monolithic language of all times.

Factual knowledge & Understanding

About knowledge. All forms of communication help us to gain some information, sometimes useful, sometimes not. But certainly not all of them bring knowledge. It`s born by some combination of inner content and outer, i still don`t know what triggers me to exclaim "I`ve got it!", but not just accept something as mere belief, because wit and logic failed.
(Gee, that reminded of of long forgotten discussion about information, entropy, communication and staff like that)In the anthropocentric sense of the word, your distinction between the plain knowledge of pieces of facts (which can also be long and voluminous in quantity) and the special knowledge of more layers of meanings on top of the obvious is understandable. Notwithstanding that I too am one of the human population, I would like to propose a non-human-based (abtract, detatched, unsympathetic, non-empiricist) theory. "The accumulation of a knowledge of isolated facts, under the right settings, gives rise to a knowledge of higher order facts that relates the isolated knowledges which we call understanding."

Not having enough personal knowledge, vocabulary, or model directly bearing upon information and understanding, let me draw an analogy from a more developed field of science. Although still in the stage of development, the idea of your dear comrade Oparin presented called chemical evolution as the origin of life would be an apt point of departure. Simply put, a physically and chemically active environment containing the inorganic elements, compounds, and mixtures will give rise to organic material such as glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, nucleic acids, phosphoric acids, chlorophyl in time. Although the first possibilites of self-reproducing nucleotide strings have yet to be modeled and demonstrated, thermal energy itself would have been enough to try all the necessary, numerous, intermediate, even spurious combinations given enough time, which we understand to be around 1.5 billion years.

Quite a few nucleotide sequences good enough for self-reproducing must have occured initally, sporadically, and then more profusely, with the greater instances failing in one way or another in making their way into the acestral community of the current life forms. The simple principle of natural selection, given the limited nature of natural resources at any given point in time, more efficient, or rather adequately competetive variants would have emrged from the predecessors. It does not require a special, magical 'life force' for either simple life forms to emerge, nor for more complex life forms to evolve out of primitive life forms. Although this chemical analogy of vision, reflexes, sonsory perception, memory, and higher order reasoning may or may not suffice to explain our cognitive-to-symbolic reasoning capability, the model of simple patterns giving rise to more complex, higher order patterns should work with proper logical adjustments.

Going back to the human-centered point of view, it may also be said that the human brain is constantly excercising many processes of combinatorics and alignment of symbols representing the physical world and other symbols. The brain storing a vast amount of sensory & symbolic memories, such moments of inspiration are not always predictable, but can be assisted by various means, which may or may not be universal, meaning there may be general guidelines that worked for other people, each person will invariably have one's own quirks and idiosyncratic ways of solving problems. Some people work better surrounded with people; some in secluded concentration; some in a drinking frenzy of hallucinogeic substances. For Archemedes, it was a warm bath, for some the smell of a rotten apple, for some a refreshing gaze out the window.

Socrates describes the philosopher (himself) as one ugly person (referring to himself) in pursuit of the beatiful (sophia=knowledge, wisdom). The simile refers to the fact that he was constantly aware of a stangeness of certainty that made him wonder about the true nature insead of what's been fed him by tradition and the Homeric bards. The mind will fall asleep when not challenged, either by others, some outside stimulus, or by oneself thru continuing self examination. What gives you the inspiration to be able to say, this is it, would be hard to nail. But it could be a perfect match, a similarity, an analogy, or vastly simplifying alignment of the amassed facts. Or it could be something else, whatever fits your fancy under the given settings.

Code, Conversation, & Machine Translation

People do not understand each other for many reasons (even without emotional ones). Sometimes we use the same words to describe different things, sometimes different words for the same subject, sometimes our vocabularies just different due to many causes... and so on. This is an interesting point you make, for it is often thru the study and understanding of an anomally that we understand the normal. What does it mean that a communication has succeeded or failed ? This may sound a bit mechanical, but let me borrow the analogy of a radio signal transmitter.
Do correct me if I'm not giving proper attention to the heart of the matter. Why does a coded radio transmission fail ? There can be many possibilities.

1. The code tables on either side of the channel are different.
2. The message is too short to exclude impossible readings.
3. The message contains ambiguous words. 1-to-many definitions.
4. The originator knows more than the receiver, and is withholding that info.
5. The originator assumes the receiver knows more than (s)he actually does.
6. The receiver assumes more than (s)he knows as a fact.
7. The originator has lied before; the receiver does not trust the originator.
8. The assumed genre of the communication is misunderstood.

Stripping away the analogy, and reducing the list for inter-personal communication, we get

1. They are speaking two, mutually unintelligible idiolects.
2. Not enough talk.
3. Lazy talk.
4. Not talking straight.
5. Originator overvalues receiver.
6. Receiver is presumptuous.
7. Receiver mistrusts originator.
8. No pilot signal.

I would say most of these misaligned communications can improve with a better understanding of communication and an improved protocol. But the case with no. 1 would pose great difficulty to good, noise free communication. Two brains that do not share the common experience, or a coomon interpretation of that experience will have a different set of logic, and hence would face constant misunderstandings.

The following example from the 1970's demonstration of machine translation would serve as an interesting example of communication failure. An excerpt from The Gospel according to Matthew's 26.40 "(Jesus) found them asleep, and said to Peter...'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is unable.'" When translated to Russian and back, this became, "The vodka is fresh, but the meat is rotting." In this case, the communication breakdown can be attributed to errors of 2., 4., 6., and 8.

Void
28-03-05, 17:03
Oh, lexico! "Have i told your lately that i love you?" :D

I really like the idea of your formula "Toy vs Tool".

Not long time ago I met with one lady who told me few interesting things.
She was working on her dissertation, it related to the new forms of
education, methods of explanation and things like that. She said that we
shouln`t draw attention away from any word until it has not revealed all
of the possible information hidden within it.
It is all layers of word`s semantics, its relation with other words in a
phrase, emotional colour, major idea and slightest hints. Even single
standing word can give a lot of information (especially with word-building
of our type).

What am i leading to is

1) poetry (and prose as well) does not only toys with the language. It is
also a powerfull tool to express oneself. To deliver the message about
inner experience triggered by some extraneous object or event, information
about this object and... gees, i lack the words in any language...

There can be involved any functionality:
- just as a toy,
- just as a tool,
- toy-tool with all possible combinations of prevalence one over another

How can my heart express itself?
Be understood by others well?
Can they perceive what makes you life?
Thought verbalized is quite a lie ...

Pushkin, if i`m not too sclerotic, in my lousy adaptation (hope, not too
incorrect grammaticaly)

2) another purpose of poetic language could be this: to deliver great amount
of information in rather small message. Since we dont transmit any technical,
scientific or any other information that requires precize understanding by
other side, we can let another mind to wander, to recreate the untold, to
imagine the unseeable ...

When you paint the landscape you can`t be sure that your picture will
raise the same fellings in a visitor of a gallery. But you can hope

-----------
with others 2 parts of our discussion i`ll come up later, need time to think it over
:note:

Void
03-04-05, 16:11
I shall continue with a part 'Ptolemy - Newton'

I guess, again i disagree with you, lexico.
System proposed by Newton is not simple for many reasons. I`d say that Ptolemy`s model was simple, just overstructured and bulky. It fitted ancient ideas about Perfect, this is what the language of science of those days could handle.

Newton`s model has simplisity of a form, but not of a content. In fact, to shape his idea, he had to develop new mathematical tool which neither geometry no algebra could provide. Simultaneously with Leibnitz he established the basic ideas of differential calculus, foundation of a big building to grow. It`s not simple, but brought new ... elegance (let there be it :) )... to the math language, new grammatics, new 'word-forming' rules, constants and ideal concepts (such as infinitely small, for example)


This arbitrariness that lies at the base of scientific systems of explaning
the physical world should be ample cause not to consider science as THE non-evolving, non-dialectal, monolithic language of all times.


sorry if i didn`t make myself clear, i don`t think that the language of science is non-evolving. At least my education does not let me to claim so, neither common sence does ;)

// Just recalled Geizenburg citation "Every tool has the influence of a Spirit it was
created with"

here, some primitive genesis:

every theory covers some part of a nature. But no matter how well proven and confirmed the theory is, there always can appear facts what are absolutely contradictory. This does not necesserely mean that the theory is all wrong (but it happens). So, on those facts a bunch of hipotheses can grow. They all can have quite strong math base, but they are verified by number of experiments, by reality. The 'survivor' (sometimes 'survivors') becomes a theory (the new one). It can cover facts that theory #1 couldn`t handle (laws of 'electricity' and 'magnetism' complement each other - not a good example, but i failed to come up with something else... maybe, should`ve think about thermodynamics), or it aplies almost the same ideas to another layer of reality (such as Galileo`s Principles of relativity and general theory of relativity)

Spiral of evoluton, huh?

//i must be condemned for mispelling the names of greate scientists, but ... one day i`ll force myselfe to use at least search engines to find the proper spellings :D

lexico
05-04-05, 21:26
Oh, lexico! "Have i told your lately that i love you?" :D Void, I believe I'm the one who said it first. And thanks for bringing so much tasty bread for thought into the linguistics forum and such. :happy:
I really like the idea of your formula "Toy vs Tool".

Not long time ago I met with one lady who told me few interesting things.
She was working on her dissertation, it related to the new forms of
education, methods of explanation and things like that. She said that we
shouln`t draw attention away from any word until it has not revealed all
of the possible information hidden within it.
It is all layers of word`s semantics, its relation with other words in a
phrase, emotional colour, major idea and slightest hints. Even single
standing word can give a lot of information (especially with word-building
of our type).That (underlined) is an idea the significance of which any leixicographer would and should understand readily although context may be different from your friend's. I can also see it happening in a class preparation for a historical / classical literature where language has become detatched from the spoken, and therefore difficult to decipher. A foreign language class would also serve as an example where your friend's idea would find a close parallel. btw who is the author of that dissertation ? Is there a school of education dedicated to such an idea ?

To quote the case in Chinese etymological studies, in the transitional period from late Zhou to Qin to Han dynasties China, the study of words in the sounds, the senses, and the graphical forms of each "word" was pursued with vigor in two different ways. The burning of the Confucian Classics by the first emperor gave rise to the New Script School of the Confucian classics 今文學派. The rediscovery of certain Old Character texts in the walls of Confucius' temple between 150-80 BCE brought about the Old Script School of the Confucian Classics 古文學派.

The two distinct schools of language competed with each other for imperial favors, and left two strong trends of text interpretation. Some were sometimes extremely fruitful by employing scientific approach to language, while some were quite meaningless word plays expounding on one character (3 character phrase) on end resulting in a 20,000 character commentary. What should be considered a successful study of words and what should not ?

The idea of word building on existing words not only governs the interpretation of text, but also the formation of new words based on old words. Spoken words should be one class following this pattern, and written words also has a class of their own. In the 2nd century etymological dictionary Defining Simple Graphs and Analayzing Compound Graphs 說文解字 is said, "Simple characters 文 are the base forms of the images of many objects, whereas the compund characters 字 refer to the ones that bred and became numerous. 文者物象之本, 字者言孶乳而寢多也."
What am i leading to is

1) poetry (and prose as well) does not only toys with the language. It is
also a powerfull tool to express oneself. To deliver the message about
inner experience triggered by some extraneous object or event, information
about this object and... gees, i lack the words in any language...

There can be involved any functionality:
- just as a toy,
- just as a tool,
- toy-tool with all possible combinations of prevalence one over another

How can my heart express itself?
Be understood by others well?
Can they perceive what makes you life?
Thought verbalized is quite a lie ...

Pushkin, if i`m not too sclerotic, in my lousy adaptation (hope, not too
incorrect grammaticaly)As much as Pushkin exaggerates the difficulty of conveying meaning thru language, I must admit that the toy analogy also underestimates the basic sense that is being conveyed, but I'm not very knowledgeable in that area. It appears that when language is in full force, it exceeds either tool or toy; I am without a word that conveys the strength of the powerful, expressive language.

It is almost like, or even surpassing, reality itself; what would you call that ? Are humans such symbolic beings that reality, no matter how extreme, remains in its nebulous meaninglessness, while language, often mundane and routine, can be more clear and powerful than reality itself ? When reality is clearly perceived, langauge also becomes clear and communicative. When perception is muddled, so is language. What is a good analogy we can borrow from ?

What I can say is that your idea of 1) inner experience 2) external triggering by an extraneous object or event 3) verbalization 4) delivery of information about the object deserves more attention. Are these in temporal sequence, or did you list different aspect of knowledge and communication without considering time ? Whichever the case, what is a good way to model these components of meaning, knowledge, and communication ?
2) another purpose of poetic language could be this: to deliver great amount of information in rather small message. Since we dont transmit any technical, scientific or any other information that requires precize understanding by other side, we can let another mind to wander, to recreate the untold, to imagine the unseeable ...

When you paint the landscape you can`t be sure that your picture will
raise the same feelings in a visitor of a gallery. But you can hope.What amusing thought; a message in a bottle so to speak. Humans are by nature hardwired to help and to cooperate with another in such a way that given even a slim chance of comminication, that would probably work anyway. On the other hand, the degree of resonating or rejecting a message is not fixed as in the following;

"We played wedding music and you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!" (Matthew 11:17)

Hence a successful transmission of an inner content is not directly determined by (the skill, arrangement, familiarity, novelty of) poetic language alone but also by the receiver's willingness to participate. Otherwise how can you explain my eagerness to interpret your message ? What drives a man to decipher a message in an ancient language ?
with others 2 parts of our discussion i`ll come up later, need time to think it over
:note: Do take your time while I work on the leftovers ... :-)

Void
06-04-05, 14:51
Since i can`t beat you on a lexical ground, i`d better use some armor.
Went to the library, got some books... we shall see, we shall see...
:D :D

Void
07-04-05, 18:27
something rings the bell, but i can`t figue what. Yet, i`ve already been thinking for too long, that felt hte risk of losing the idea...
Therefore, i desided to start and whatever i should miss, i`ll correct later on :)

Something can`t emerge from nothing, that was known for long ago. Your reply, lexico, suggested me to look for analogies between the self-organizing systems and a process of understanding. Here i use term 'understanding' as an equivalent of 'knowledge'. Knowledge that emerges from numerous bits of infomation, pieces of another knowledge and something else, what i can`t distinguish yet.
How does new and stable complexity appears? One gathers information by portions, some of them seem to fall into non-retreivable (or shoul it be un-retreivable) depths of memory, others keep slowly crawling, stumble on each other, merge and blend with each other, spawn new bits and pieces.
After some time their exceed some critical amount and slightest touch from an outside will make them move simultaneously into one direction and to create new idea, which possess almost all their attributes and functions, and some others which can`t be inferred as a simple summary of system`s
parts.
(There also exit a possibility that they fall apart, 'covering' the brain with their crooked remains :D)

So, that`s the one of the way this could be. But, still, i does not answer the question of understanding. This process requires some time (and quite long), but the time of the conversation often might not be suitable for such flow of mind... something i can`t grasp, got to think more... (will get some
butterfly-net to catch the ideas :D)

----------

Well, let me tell you another story of misunderstanding (though it deals more with punctuation and homonymy)
Panda enters the bar, orders some food an drinks and takes his time. When panda is thru, he pulls out a machine-gun, brings everyone down and walks to the door Thrusted bar-man raises his head and whispers: "Panda, why?"
Panda just takes out an encyclopedia and reads: "Panda - chinese bear, ... bla-bla-bla ... Panda eats shoots and leaves"

Void
11-04-05, 19:50
Language Vs. Reality ;)

1st. I think you contradict yourself. Or should i say that you just answered your own question and hasn`t noticed?

You propose


Are humans such symbolic beings that reality, no matter how extreme, remains in its nebulous meaninglessness, while language, often mundane and routine, can be more clear and powerful than reality itself ?


and then you go:


When reality is clearly perceived, langauge also becomes clear and communicative. When perception is muddled, so is language.


I guess, it`s about time to distinguish two 'constituents' of a language:
1) sensualy conceived phenomenon, and
2) tool to reflect reality (tool as a result of development (history) of human society, result of its historical experience)

The cognitive process always supposes the presense of trinity:
1) object of perceving activity (real world and human as a part of it)
2) person performing the activity
3) system of common knowledge of the means to exteriorize the ideal.

Ideal is a reflection of real world what appears to be not a result of a passive
meditation, but a product of active transformation of the nature (external and internal as well).

You can have wonderful, priceless violin, made by Straddivari, for example. But if you have hands which are growing at a wrong place, this masterpiece will be useless for you. And on contrary gifted one and persistent can draw heavenly sounds out of a regular instrument

...

Void
15-04-05, 21:56
Back to Pushkin (or whoever that was)
* and keepeng in mind another thread :D *
oh, yeah, and one more thing to keep in there:


1. The code tables on either side of the channel are different.
2. The message is too short to exclude impossible readings.
3. The message contains ambiguous words. 1-to-many definitions.
4. The originator knows more than the receiver, and is withholding that info.
5. The originator assumes the receiver knows more than (s)he actually does.
6. The receiver assumes more than (s)he knows as a fact.
7. The originator has lied before; the receiver does not trust the originator.
8. The assumed genre of the communication is misunderstood.


so, people transform the world through their activity. But communication is also a kind of activity. When you are delivering your message, what do you transform?
Or better say: whom?
Can one readily and easily change the state he is in? Especially, regarding case number 1 of your quote?
it`s not a big problem to talk about daily matters, about subjects which could be easily pointed out in a external world. But when it comes to the abstracts, should you say it can be handled as easily as previous one?

Let`s exclude number 7. And give even one more assumption: in cases 4, 5, 6, 8 both, originator and receiver are not doing these intentionally.

So, looks like, for communication to succeed, both sides should be willing to change to adjust their alphabets and coding tables ;o)

But this is quite rare situation... just recalled one story
--------------------------
" In a small fuggy room a number of people were talking vigorously, gesticulating, smoking and argueing again... they were giving birth to The Truth...
Truth was born...
She looked around. People were disputing, shaking thier cigars with agression, spilling coffee.
She sat on a table, coughing on a heavy smoke... watched for a while...
and then left...

And people kept debating, dropping ashes all over ... "
---------------------------

lexico
16-04-05, 15:20
where elegant, structured, pretty pieces of ribbons & wrappings must be discarded to let us free fall in frictionless space ... down to the dark, bottomless abyss where loom the leviathans & behemoths fiercer than crocodiles & hippopotami in our cozy little zoos; perhaps we shall find ourselves in the belly of the big fish of Job ? :D
Back to Pushkin (or whoever that was)
* and keeping in mind another thread :D *
oh, yeah, and one more thing to keep in there:

so, people transform the world through their activity. But communication is also a kind of activity. When you are delivering your message, what do you transform?
Or better say: whom?Your introduction of symbolic action is interesting indeed. You already gave the answer by framing it in the personal interrogative whom; if the logic is valid, then it must be a person, or a being with a personal attribute. Hence humans, pets, and divinity could all be affected. From a social point of view, those who are in communication should be affected, and to the degree of closeness or rate of symbolic exchange.

Interestingly, matter is also pictured as exchanging tiny packets of particles & energy giving rise to bonds; chemical or physical. Are these views mere anthropomorphic reflections onto the physical world, or is the physical-chemical model the basis of symbolic bonds between humans; or further yet, are these models on two distinct & totally unrelated levels of existence, but only superficial parallels on the surface only found by human observation ?

Formally I could say that of the three levels of existence 1) ontological 2) cognitive 3) symbolic-communicative, primarily 3) would be the primary area of transformation resulting from the transmission of messages. Nevertheless, your initial framing of the question tempts me to think (logically opens up the possibility of thinking) that perception thru the senses at level 2) cognitive may as well be affected. And who is to say that either material existence or human existence governing material constructs known as civilization (cities, population, transportation, factories, libraries, schools, city dumps, diminishing rain-forests & other natural reserves, polar ice caps, ozone layer, vegetation, fishery, animal husbandry, deserts, landfills, dams, waterways, power-lines, all other human landscape modifications) are not the results or by-products parallel to the human exchange of messages ? An interesting read on the human transformation of nature thru symbolic action in A History of Knowledge (http://www.thymos.com/know/history.html) by Piero Scaruffi.

On the theological level, which encompasses all three, the utterance of a word was supposed to have initiated the ordering of chaos into neatly delineated cosmos (Genesis; The Gospel According to John the Apostle). The Judeo-Christian ideology, or at least the Gnostic school of Chritian Chruch, held to the belief that knowledge of the secrets of the universe was conveyed thru the letters of the word of God (a medieval corruption of it being the school of Cabala.) In this version of world view, an utterance is an irrevocable act of creation or a defiling of it and thus has absolute value and positive existence.
Can one readily and easily change the state he is in? Especially, regarding case number 1 of your quote?
it`s not a big problem to talk about daily matters, about subjects which could be easily pointed out in a external world. But when it comes to the abstracts, should you say it can be handled as easily as previous one? Chameleons, lizards, squids, walking sticks, moths, frogs, flounders, and humans are known to blend in with the natural or social settings with relative ease. As for the patterns of sensory perception, symbolic significations, and linguistic reasoning, there should exist the socially shared common factors as well as individual elements. Can they can be changed or not ? Although it can be said that some can, and some cannot, I don't know how to give a systematic classification and characterization of the changeable and the unchangeable. What also need to be considered are the individual tendencies that make a person more readily changeable or less. These should be interesting things to be learned from trying to answer these, I think.
Let`s exclude number 7. And give even one more assumption: in cases 4, 5, 6, 8 both, originator and receiver are not doing these intentionally.

So, looks like, for communication to succeed, both sides should be willing to change to adjust their alphabets and coding tables ;o)

But this is quite rare situation...Continuing in your line of reasoning, the willingness to change is not such a geat hindrance depending on the individual. Some of the most striking examples of willingness to change can be found in language situations that involve a non-native language or a message in an unknown language. Whereas the majority of the human population would show (really ?) negative reaction to a message in an unfamiliar tongue, there are those who strive on it. A sizeable portion of the current Japan Reference membership are indeed those who are not intimidated by exotic languages, attracted, and even fascinated by them. Any statistics ? should be very exciting to study these xenilingophiles, ;-)

"No. 7: Originator has lied before." It just didn't hit me that "intention" would become an issue. As for this point you raise about intention & non-intention, I had not thought of it becoming an issue when considering the mechanics of communication breakdown, since the two communicating parties would be naturally assumed to be willing to communicate with success, and not to fail.
How about adjusting 'lying' to 'give unreliable information' and there's no need to exculde no. 7. The lying part should be generalized, and rewritten

"No. 7: Originator has given unreliable information before."

Nevertheless, for the sake of logical completion, why not analyze further the 8 divisions of typical failures into two for each of those. Let me spell out all the possible configurations that would make some sense in reality.

Unintentional Communication Failure
1A. The code tables on either side of the channel are different by accident.
2A. The message is too short to exclude impossible readings by accident.
3A. The message contains ambiguous words. 1-to-many definitions by accident.
4A. The originator knows more than the receiver, and is unknowlingly withholding that info.
5A. The originator mistakenly assumes the receiver knows more than (s)he actually does.
6A. The receiver mistakenly assumes more than (s)he knows as a fact.
7A. The originator has inadvertently given bad information before; the receiver does not fully rely on the originator's message.
8A. The assumed genre of the communication is misunderstood.

Intentional Communication Failure (for various effects)
1B. The code tables on either side of the channel are doubly encoded for security.
2B. The message is too short to exclude impossible readings by design.
3B. The message contains ambiguous words by design. 1-to-many definitions.
4B. The originator knows more than the receiver, and is intentionally withholding that info.
5B. The originator pretends to assume the receiver knows more than (s)he actually does.
6B. The receiver pretends to know more than (s)he knows as a fact.
7B. The originator has lied before; the receiver does not trust the originator.
8B. The assumed genre of the communication is ambiguated by design.

I don't know exactly how this subdivision of intentional/unintentional bad communication will affect our discussion, but the obvious examples of both in real life seem to suggest that this is somehow related to poetic use of language, propaganda, lies in all three colors of white, grey & black (are there red ones, too ?), military codes, strategic misinformation, tactical trickery, and many, many more.
just recalled one story
--------------------------
" In a small foggy room a number of people were talking vigorously, gesticulating, smoking and arguing again... they were giving birth to The Truth...
Truth was born...
She looked around. People were disputing, shaking their cigars with aggression, spilling coffee.
She sat on a table, coughing on a heavy smoke... watched for a while...
and then left...

And people kept debating, dropping ashes all over ... "
---------------------------Nice, juicy story; here is my version of Cosmogony.
---------------------------
"In the pre-world before the creation of this little thingy called universe, God all-mightly ruling over the heavenly court posted up a topic with the command, "Discuss !" But only sheer silence prevailed because none dared utter a word. What embarrassment ! Blushing, God announced his well-thought out decision. 'I shall have two messengers go around creating some motion. One is my breath to walk among men breathing in life. The other is death to cause dissent and condescension.' And thenceforth was the forum given enough juice to start a lively discussion on end." According to this popular myth, brilliant Truth has gone hybernating somewhere ... for our sake. :D

Index
17-04-05, 18:19
This looks like a private thread just for the two of you, but I thought I'd pop my head in. I can't say I have anything at all to add so please forgive my interruption but I couldn't help myself. Don't mind me, carry on....I hope to catch up to where you are soon.

Void
19-04-05, 19:18
part one



Continuing in your line of reasoning, the willingness to change is not such a geat hindrance depending on the individual. Some of the most striking examples of willingness to change can be found in language situations that involve a non-native language or a message in an unknown language.


Agreed, agreed ;)

I found today what i am trying to say. Let`s hope i won`t screw up with translation of terminology. There exits two "logical entities" of a word.
1. Signification. (translating i chose this word among othe synonyms because of "signify" and the root "sign". Very close to the morphology of a russian one). That`s historically formed system of relations what are behind the word.
2. Meaning. (this one is chosen because of a question "what do you mean?"). This part is very subjective, derived from pesonal experience, or to some recent events (happy or not). We all understand what 'coal' is, but it is not the same for a housewife making a fire in a stove (though, it`s a part of a history now), or for a mine worker, of for a geologist, or for a girl who just stained her brand new dress.

And that second "entity" is usually the cause of differences in code tables. This is something what is not easily stepped over, even with a help of imagination.


part two

these subdivision of intentional/ unintentional communicatin failures, probably itself is an answer to many questions. Certainly, there is an Art of Deceiving, when you can toy with the language, and with minds and feelings of the others as well. Very usefull Art in negotiations (political and business). But the both sides are in it intentionally, willing to succeed and deep in their stomach ready to lose

..........

parts 3 and 4 are to come later on

Void
20-04-05, 17:22
part three

So, back to that human ability and need to change the world around them. O, no, a little bit backwards.


Interestingly, matter is also pictured as exchanging tiny packets of
particles & energy giving rise to bonds; chemical or physical. Are
these views mere anthropomorphic reflections onto the physical world,
or is the physical-chemical model the basis of symbolic bonds between
humans; or further yet, are these models on two distinct & totally
unrelated levels of existence, but only superficial parallels
on the surface only found by human observation ?

we are all part of a nature (whatever we might think of our origin). And the laws of nature also guide and govern us, our personal behavior and the social one.

There is one, but essential difference. In fact, very weak and naked beings, we possess a tremendous tool to defend ourselves. Our intelligence (mind, reason). Every animal, insect, plant or bacteria transforms the world, to make it more suitable for its life style. These transformations slowly change the "look" of Earth. But any transformation in biospere does not step over the law of 'natural cycles of matter and energy'.
Humans change the world in a different way, they adapt to almost any conditions, and, thus, anthropospere spreaded all over, taking most of the ecological niches and destroying a lot of them too. We are also involved in natural cycles (though, we tend to destroy their fine balance), but at the same time we are in some non-equilibrium exchange of information. All means and forms of communication let us to build socio-sphere (of cultural, historical, political and any related content). But it is said that we also might form one more layer calld noospere. I think, you are aware of this idea

:smoke: