Keep track of the words you use on any given day. At the end of the day, tally which words expressed what you meant and which did not. Next, for sentences. It seems unlikely that a disparity would not be found. The mapping of thought onto language is a practical assumption we make every day. The better question to ask is whether or not thoughts themselves actually follow the rules of language. A usefully futile exercise.
Maybe the more important problem is: What is the smallest set of signs to most efficiently (or accurately) categorize, understand or communicate? Structure appears to also be important, but how and to what extent seems reliant on signs in the end. Regardless, these three purposes seem both inter-related and entirely independent.
If we assume that thought is ancillary to language, that we think by talking to ourselves, then understanding and communication are fundamentally similar. This requires signs to inherently carry meaning beyond their signifying function, or deeper meaning in language to rely on a long concatenation of metaphors. The latter seems more likely, but then the question of shared metaphors becomes rather pressing. How do these arise? How do we maintain or communicate personal meaning? This seems ridiculous to me. Perhaps repeated interaction forms notions of common signs, their meanings and their poetic uses, but metaphors themselves rely on experience, on understanding which predates language. Then again, it may be that their indexing function is what allows us to work beyond ourselves, so to speak. Placeholders are useful, even if solely personal. This suggests that language is merely a tool for thought.
The next assumption to be made is that categorization is required for understanding (and thus communication). This appears to rest on the assumption that differentiation and holism are logical opposites. If we understand holistically, then categorization is optional. If we understand through differentiation, then categorization is required. Of course, most likely both occur, though language necessarily favors the latter over the former. In fact, the greatest triumphs of the arts appear to be those which create or evince an experience much larger than the words or materials utilized. From this vantage, the question of aesthetic universality and difference becomes intimately related to the social sciences as critical observers of phenomena of the post-.
I went to the Funky Buddha tonight. Those uninitiated - it is the popular center of hipster dance activity in Chicago. I was not cool enough, for sure. I wore a shirt referencing Derrida. The woman working the bar took my first order, but then looked at me with a passe glance and had other indie hipster bartenders take my order. Very amusing. Five drinks i think? 3 for my female friends. Unoffended, that was the key at the moment apparently. Regardless, there was much dancing to be had - good beats, reasonable songs, acceptable sound system.
Then home. A $60 night, but worth it. Now for the first time in a very long time, ramen and anime. Ah! My goddess. So be it. Judge me and fuck you. I take my simple pleasures as I can find them, my simple dreams as I can manifest them.
There are many who teach me. Whether I learn or whether the abstraction of me learns makes me worry. At the same time, to think that the mind and the body are thus somehow disconnected immediately brings up questions pertaining to the soul. Can I truly learn without learning? It seems so. The disjunction between experience and thought has been proven many times. I don't know which is controlled and constrained, but I imagine both in their own way, ultimately. Yet one is more free than the other I think. I have invested heavily in the pure process of liberation, perhaps to the detriment of the information I could have at my fingertips. Content has never interested me, yet form is only useful in its application. I have dissolved the playing field and contracted my ambitions to be merely an ability to process. The middle way is not only an idea, it is an action. I've forgotten kindness, maybe. Kindness and a certain kind of freedom.
It's like I expect to die, and yet I know that it's not my time.
So I've known 2 murderers and met 3 nobel prize winners... I feel the existence of this 2:3 ratio is pretty odd.
Actually, I can only think of 2 nobel prize winners right now. Lederman and Heckman. That would make it 2:2. I should avoid the economics department while I'm here.
If subjectivity is the result of man's primal belief that he is not merely an object an interesting question becomes how he has been reobjectified by his own structures. The constraints of the physical world are rejected as omnipotent determinants of our existence. Implicitly, we identify ourselves as an emergent property of these constraints. Whether by complexity theory today or the philosophical construction of free will in the past, we continue to produce homologous intellectual abstractions of this fundamental experience. Simply through being in the world as a being and not an object we assume knowledge of our distinct position, the revelation of awareness. Yet to what degree are we aware of our constraints and what does this bode for our subjectivity?
Inasmuch as physical constraints represent a dimension of reality in which we are mere objects we face a fundamental problem. A multivalent scientific approach to the world is simultaneously reductionist and fragmented. The linear heirarchy of paradigms according to scale is supposedly complete in spite of their wildly different approaches to the same phenomena. First, if this is true we become objects in total. Second, if this is false we must understand the origins, implications and possibilities of these paradigms. They would then represent a truly subjective experience. Whether this divergence from realism represents a phenomena independent of reality is a question better left for another day. Regardless, individual awareness appears to range from one extreme to the other - from the purely physical to the quasi-physical to the paradigmatic. Respect for only physical constraints objectifies a man. More precisely, he is considered an animal and we consider animals to be mere objects. Thus another range appears to exist, whereby respect for non-physical constraints becomes coincident with subjectivity. The recognition of social mores is fundamental to humanity. So far as these expectations act to guide our action, we are objectified by our own subjectivity.
(I think in this situation 'we' represents a strange object. This object is the encapsulation of a very specific idea - the average person. Choice still appears to be relevant. People act in disregard to physical and non-physical constraints. These people, however, suffer the consequences. Death - be it social, economic, biological, etc - serves to regulate behavior. Thus it becomes possible to speak of the group of relatively average people... as long as we admit that deviation is a normal phenomenon in many settings.)
The Sears Tower is 110 stories tall. On the top of it are two radio antenna, one 253' tall and the other 283' tall. At various times of the year the building management shine different colored lights onto these gigantic white columns. Last night I noticed that they were bathed in orange and maroon.
Despite being a 12 hour drive from Virginia Tech, and being unable to fly down to Blacksburg for the weekend, I was able to have dinner with Katie, Bryan and Beth last night. We talked. We sat around with each other. We made up a small, albeit temporary, community. Somehow I think this has filled the hole I've been feeling all week. Something about it was perfectly satisfying.
The question of activity and passivity is quite interesting. What compels us into either? How do we evaluate the states of others? I feel this has a deeper link....
The world exists as a system of constraints on our activities. This is the case for all things in the world. Atoms, rocks, plants, animals, us. Though we attribute ourselves a special place among the others. We always already assume we have freedom, will, choice. We see the things in the world that appear to lack this attribute and we see what simply is. All "things" in the world are passive actors merely being acted upon by surrounding forces. We even distinguish ourselves from animals by claiming that their "instinctual" needs represent immovable edifices. We are free from these things through choice. We choose how to satisfy our basic needs and we choose who we love and we choose where to go and we choose who to be. Yet we can only live to satisfy these needs, we can't choose who we love, where we are chooses where we can go, and our being chooses who we are.
Passivity is being in a structure. Activity is making your structure while being in it. We claim to break the rules, yet even the possibility of breaking the rules that delimit us is impossible. The assumption is that we are ever outside the structure which physically constitutes us. So long as the world is assumed to work in a regular manner, our "choices" are simply a part of this order. As soon as we perceive ourselves as beings unrequired to follow the order of the world we create the other-worldly.
More crazy people, but crazy people that come across with a 51% or greater probability of enjoying my company. I love them all quite dearly, so this is all I need, that 1%, to truly be able to let go. Some are closer to 90%, and some people I scare with my joking, reminding me that I too am a little crazy.
Everyone has their reasons and their stories. I'm returning to my basal thirst for simple truth. I think I got some of that from some people. I also got asked some very good questions while very drunk by a very drunk friend whom I wish I could make very happy and free spirited again.
It's important to remember the feeling of a place, but more important to understand how your people make that feeling. I was truly happy this time. Truly, wonderfully satisfied with the moment. And on top of that, I got the most ridiculously basic pleasure of seeing and being treated kindly by a lot of very pretty, intelligent, pleasant girls.