Rahil

Category Archives for: Philosophy of Language

Book-shops and Learning

26 June 2016

[aka Re-visiting the Eslite Book-store]

Back to the place I began reading, for a day, before I leave Taipei, and leave reading again.

I now see why this book-store was so conducive before: the selection is amazing. A normal, rather large library in itself is of almost no organizational use. It’s good for the purpose of research, as it can provide written source sources, but that’s it. It doesn’t offer a general education in any way. It’s a mess of information, like the Internet, except more out-dated and disorganized (physical organization hits it’s limit compared to searchable digital organization). The book-store, though sufficiently large for any human, just provides a a few shelves for world history or Western philosophy. The selection top notch: top publishers, highly regarded, highly readable, organizations of knowledge: A Little History of the World, Sapiens, What is Cultural History?, Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican) – that’s what I’ve got next to me at the moment.

This kind of organization, a well-selected library is quite a different experience from Wikipedia too. Wikipedia doesn’t organize information in the way that people can. People can organize the same information into infinite ways and mediums. For Wikipedia, though not restricted, the format is quite standard. If I look at the history of the world article, it’s likely chronologically and spatially ordered somewhat, leading to separate histories of each country. The small topics chosen by Harari in Sapiens to describe the history of the world through ideas like science and empire of the industrial-research-technology complex just doesn’t fit Wikipedia’s format. The mapping of knowledge, the gaining of wisdom, seems entirely dependent on the way information is organized. That is, after all, what artists do: manipulate information (via material [non-digital and digital]).

This better explains my first experience with books here. I found the Western Philosophy section and the readings must have organized my mind because the selection was so damn good. I [can only] imagine few people [in the world] that [may have] began reading with Bacon, Montaigne, Wittgenstein, Russell, in that order. Perhaps western philosophy initially lead me in the wrong directions; it being merely an intellectual history, but it was a start.

Now, I feel I can peruse the entire library, though I still choose to stick to culture (cultural theory and maybe cultural history) and those finer gems: highly readable, uniquely organized writings. But I don’t feel there’s much use. [Written] Organization is for the weak. Its detail will always be lossy and of low-quality. It’s best to stay skeptic: all written history is false and all philosophy is bullshit. Now, with only a map, go out and consume and alter the world!

Leave a comment | Categories: Applied Philosophy, Art, Communication, Epistemology, Experience, Humanities, Literature, Media, Philosophy, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Literature, Uncategorized

Philosophy of Music

09 June 2016

[this is a drafty mess transcribed from paper. Really need some kind of bluetooth flexible keyboard to use with a smartphone…]

page 0

[todo: Taiwan culture and streets, clingy relationships, social world of locality]

page 1

I finally got some cheap, yet amazingly good, headphones. Listening to them reminds me of a past time of my life — programming for capital in VA [Virginia, USA], commuting to college, doing chore-like work at home (repetitive organizing on the computer); Now I’m able to see that the way I survived the suburbs is because I abused music.

Using technology is not normal. It is much slower to communicate through technology than it is to simply talk — within one’s head, out loud, or through writing. Technology distracts thinking and communicating.
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Music interrupts, blocks thinking and communicating. To blog, for instance, I may need to connect to the internet, charge my digital device. Looking at my blog may distract further, directing thought toward design — trying to make it more readable, increasing interaction. It [technology] distracts from the content, from the act of writing, the act of thought expression.
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Music blocks thinking. It’s the only way to act, it seems. To take an action that is not communication nor survival, one must drug onelsef with more ot push one’s body to act.

With more, people organize, over-organize, over-work, over-accumulate capital. They forget to talk. Asia talks; America works. In Taiwan, reading is common (though likely passively), a common way to communicate. In America, new arts are created to communicate which all require more work (game-making!) to communicate the message compared to human language. Why not just communicate via human language? (Maybe music blocks people from expressing through human language.)
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It also may block thought of the environment. It helps people focus on something — media, art, material, “work”, but rarely does it lead to talking to people nearby, to thinking about how the environemnt came to be, history, others, social problems, etc. It is a mind-altering drug, one that inhibits verbal expression.

page 2?

I believe I was at a point of only acting to communicate. I didn’t do anything else. I’d talk to the people around me, then, to books, then run out of energy and collapse, partly because my body had become fail, partly because capitalism doesn’t allow that kind of life of mind. It prefers a life of bodily action, of movement of commodity. The movement of commodity is the opposite of the movement of meanings (communication). It is detestable, a chore, it provokes humans to abuse music; whereas communication is enjoyable, not requiring music.

If joy comes from the creation of communication, then the creation of commoidity requires a kind of drug to make-up for the lack of enjoyment. It is ideal to creat ecommodity whilst creating communicationl but that isn’t always possible (though, technology helps immensely here, with eBook listening, audio-recording, telephones, etc.). Eventually, either from habit of work, habit of listening to music, one nearly forgets to communicate. That’s frightening, because that’s the difference between a person who expresses and one that doesn’t, the difference between a free mind and a restricted mind. [A free person and restricted person {slave}?] America is full of restricted minds. Asia is full of free minds.

The West prioritizes media, the communication through mediums. The East prioritizes [direct] communication, even in it’s simply a conversation with a friend. There is much widsom in the people as opposed to media. It doesn’t distribute well, but it’s a healthy lifestyle. The West begins with (Plato and) Aristotle. The East relies on the oral world which retains the culture. Culture is not distributed through media; It is through human interaction, direct communication. That is opposite of the culture industry of America. [todo: should continue*****].

[todo: epistemology of music]

[todo: action and music]

Without music I only act toward survival and communication — the socio-political expressions. Music allows me to live unsocially. It gives energy without people. I needed people during my time in Asia. I was dependent on people. I strived to do everything with people [todo: need anchor to Taiwan section]. I tried to socio-politically cooperate to strive toward ideals (civic, social, design). I didn’t work, I just communicated.

page 3?

America has been running on music at least since slaves worked to their own creative folk tunes; Now, white brokers on Wall street work while listening to hip-hop. Maybe the creation of music is skewed toward the working class because they need it to get by, influenced and inspired by it, mimic the creation of it, listening to raps about wage-labor whilst laboring for wage. I sure did — through game, film, and fine arts / new media. That expression, anti-capitalism in America is perhaps the strongest emotion in American culture, perhaps even more-so than love (all forms of it). And it [the creation capitalism-influenced art] probably has not been broken since capitalism has existed.

last page?

That is why the East lacks art through mediums — most is expression through oral communication, then to written communication, then lastly to other mediums. The history of the complex part of Eastern art is perhaps solely literature. It is because America listens to music that they [tend to] communicate through mediums.

digression: How is communication prioritized? I guess that’s left to attention. Communication is just information.

empty page with title

[todo: American culture and music -> media]

an older page

Music is awful. It blocks thinking. Gives energy, for physical exercise, but actions are not thought of, just taken. It blocks thinking before taking an action. The decision-making phase is skipped. Is this action? Is this life? How can such mindlessness be? How wild the affects of music are.

Leave a comment | Categories: Action, Applied Philosophy, Communication, Drafts, Experience, Filmmaking, Health, Humanities, Media, Metaphysics, Music, Personal, Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Music, Philosophy of Technology, Semiotics, Social Philosophy, temp, Thoughts

My Blog Contains a Pattern Language

01 May 2016

My blog contains a pattern language, and many posts titles are design patterns (take care of locality, hourly ethics), and many emphasized words within the posts are design patterns (todo: get a few).

This is what naturally happens when one communicates through a known human language: ideas are created, represented as words, and when writing about philosophy or design, patterns could be created, patterns to another language: a pattern language.

Writings on design, such as this one, seem to tend to easily generate [design] patterns.

Philosophy patterns appear more often in continental philosophy and critical theory, both of which are more dialectical, perhaps requiring the creation of words to describe social phenomenon. Marx’s terms come to mind: accumulation of capital, surplus value, Zizek’s surplus enjoyment, and core critical theory terms such as ideology and hagemony.

This was one of the reasons I enjoyed reading these kinds of philosophy, and believe it’s worth getting a dictionary of critical theory terms. I wanted to describe reality, but didn’t have a language to describe it. Then I read some philosophy (substantially from Wikipedia) and found the terms they used useful; They helped me write and more accurately transform my thoughts into a human language.

But, reading is not necessary, as I mentioned before, words can always be created. People know the idea behind ideology and hagemony, but just don’t know the word. Connecting ideas to existing words is not necessary. Perhaps even, it results in negative consequences, because the language’s vocabulary (and grammar?) narrows and limits what thoughts can be represented or expressed. It is always better (including efficient) to create words [as opposed to finding and using existing ones]; It is creative and more fun. Perhaps it is even better to not create words, instead prioritizing visual, audio, and reality.

Leave a comment | Categories: Applied Philosophy, Communication, Critical Theory, Design, Humanities, Linguistics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Social Philosophy

Mapping Grammar

01 January 2015

Can grammar be mapped?

Can grammar be mapped to automatons (i.e. state machines)?

Can it be done programmatically?

According to the formal grammar Wikipedia article, it should be possible to at least map it to automatons.

[todo: find source for possibility of create mapping program]

Then why are we still reading words? Shouldn’t we be able to see state machines on Wikipedia?

Instead of reading a 300 page book, in front of that book should be the ideas in the form of a state machine. When people read, I believe people consciencely or unconsciencely organize ideas into similar mental structures, often etching them on the sides of books.

The Prince by Machiavelli has a pretty good struture (don’t read it; it’s ancient), similar to treatises. The Wikipedia article on it consolidates it further, but it’s still an eyesore. Each chapter or pair of chapters are cut down to a sentence to a few paragraphs.

Let’s take a sample paragraph form The Prince:
“…if such a prince of ordinary ability, he will always maintain his state, unless some extraordinary and inordinate force deprive him of it; and although it may be taken away from him, he will regain it with the slightest mistake of the usurper.”

What does a paragraph from The Prince look like as a state machine?

hereditary princedom (state 1) — prince causes extraordinary force -> revolution and new prince (state 2) — usurper causes slightest mistake -> go to state 1
[todo: take picture of diagram on paper]

Because Machiavelli’s view is so simple, this idea turns out to be a simple sequence of cause and events; Causality. Causality can be easily mapped. This is much easier to consume, understand, and most importantly, actively think about, to argue against. All Wikipedia articles that are instances of causality should be mapped to a flow chart.

More complex ideas will require more complex diagrams. But even those should be possible to map.

Some ideas are a set of rules. For example ethical treatises. Sets of rules are a program, and a game. One should be able to input data into these and get output.

[todo: try more examples].

The goal of philologists should be to create a program that can read all texts and translate them into readable diagrams (though, since the translating has been done, maybe those translations will parse better).

Once a program is created, it can be used to create diagrams for each Wikipedia article.

When the ideas become mapped, they then have a language that computers can understand, and can be used to combine them with other ideas. When all of the ideas of the world are combined, a meta-view of the world is created, and thus, the greatest view of the world, including the nature of humans in it.

todo:
read more en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_grammar
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causality
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_mapping
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automata_theory
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite-state_machine

Unnecessary babbling. Do not read further.
How this came about:
These questions come from my loathing of books. I have a personal history of progressive education which does not involve books. Real experience, films, history, and biographies with Wikipedia by my side is my method of learning. So when it came to a point where I incarcerated myself in my parent’s house, I tried reading a bunch of books, which started out as fun, but I could not handle reading someone else’s ideas. It didn’t provoke thought. I found it difficult to argue with words Without constant experience, consuming media loses value.

[todo: It seems there are two kinds of media – history and idea.]

The ideas behind books can be, and are, cut down to a small Wikipedia article. People spends years, write a book, and the only thing that matters is that small idea. It doesn’t really matter how they got to that idea, and I don’t particularly care. It’s more of a matter of seeing if an idea matches with my worldview.

To see if an idea, or even an entire worldview I quickly became attracted to the form of a treatise. Books that start with a preposition build upon that. Notable examples were Wittgenstein’s Tractacus and Liebniz’s Monadology (don’t read those books; Only their structure matters). Nothing else quite made sense, especially those related to social sciences.

When I read Chomsky’s Understanding Power and The Life and Death of Great American Cities, I want to see state machines. Nodes and paths… [todo: dozed off]

Leave a comment | Categories: Applied Philosophy, Communication, Design, Humanities, Media, Philosophy, Philosophy of Language