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Monday, September 3, 2012

Quantum Psychology, Chapter 11

I love this sentence from the chapter, about maps or models of the universe: "Some maps seem to contain fairly large areas of fiction, also -- a possibility we always seem to remember when considering other people's ideas but quickly forget when considering our own."

The second exercize in the chapter seems meant for a group meeting together so I've omitted it, but here is the first:

Brief Exercise:

Meditate on the differences between the two sentences following, and note how coding (typographical convention) helps us distinguish between the two meanings:

1. Water is not a word.

2. "Water" is a word.

Got it? No, you probably haven't. Not yet. You only think you've got it ...

Also, returning to an earlier exercise in dividing objects into two categories, Eric Wagner suggests dividing them into "good" and "bad." Here is the list of objects; Eric suggested the images, although I lost Eric's turkey feather and had to substitute another one.


Eric Wagner said...

Yes, I think I've got it, but I probably have a long way to go. It makes me think of the difference between "bad writing," an absolute aesthetic observation and what I consider "bad writing." I've spent a fair amount of time looking at the ballots for the recent Sight and Sound poll . I find it interesting how voters from all over the world cast most of their votes for the usual suspects from the canon, but many non-canonical movies I love get an occassional vote, like the Monkee's "Head." Also, films I hate like "Starship Troopers" also get an occassional vote.

Thom Foolery said...

Without using the typographical conventions of quotation marks to identify the word "water" as a word, then the two sentences would be contradictory.

As it is, the first sentence points to the fact that two moles of hydrogen atoms combined with one mole of oxygen atoms produce, at standard temperature and pressure, one mole of a a liquid that is many things, but none of them a word. The second sentence, using the aforementioned typographical convention, tells us that "water" (the word) is a word.

And yet, even in the first sentence we're using a combination of ink marks on a page (or pixels on a screen) and small mouth noises to indicate that the reality of water is beyond ink marks and mouth noises. Is that what RAW means when he says we probably haven't gotten it yet and only think we've gotten it?

Adrian said...

Thing being, both of them exist within the referential system I'm using here - printed words. And that syste, has conventions of its own, which in this instance 'mean' that 1 refers to 'actual' water, and 2 the written code to represent the experience of water. So, assuming those game rules are accepted, there is a particular kind of meaning. This coding is useful and has its downside, assuming that the letters 'water' describe all forms of H2O (...another coding) from human tears to the muddly liquid that your puppy splashes in.

Unknown said...

I felt the code he mentions is the quotation marks and they indicate the "real" version of the word. I see this elsewhere too even when people talk they raise their hands and say the word inside hand made quotations when they want to indicate its accuracy... or sarcasm to its accuracy.

phodecidus said...

Although water is not a word I think our experience of it is influenced by our understanding of "water". If ya catch my drift, dude.

I hope the turkey feather wasn't of sentimental value.

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Anonymous said...

I think this explored in analytic philosophey under the Use-mention distinction. It is also explored by korzybski (being influenced by analytic philosophy) in 'Science and Sanity', explored how ignoring the distinction or not being aware of it can lead to certain somatic reactions. Having a narrow understanding (connotation) of a certain word and believing that that conotation is both absolutely what the word means and absolutely indicative of reality (U/M D error), could possibly lead to dogmatism and rigidity.

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