SEMS, Whorf, and Diversity

Dan, for over a day I thought this was your writing. My Adobe reader needed upgrading and my Windows Installer is often installing something I can’t detect which blocks all updates. It cleared and I was able to view Whorf’s ancient pdf, and find the above a direct quote – and still very important.

Whorf seem concerned that we can’t have a universal language. However, since each language provides a different window on reality, and there are many, any universal language may lock us into a subset of all possible frames. If everyone has a first language that is not the universal language, it may not be all that bad.

The different scientific languages also provide multiple perspectives. Our problem is that each believes their language (and frames) are the best and most correct. We need to develop a system where diversity is primary and where there are no norms or deviations treated as objective.

You are probably familiar with my view that WE ARE WORLDS, not individuals sharing a common world. ALL that we experience and know is ourselves, we are autopoietic systems (although Maturana resisted generalizing from the biological cell). We structurally couple rather than interact, which from a new perspective may actually be more powerful. There are larger systems, only we can’t know of them directly. The unifier for this is the SEM or Latour’s Multifaceted Mobiles. Mountains may appear stable for years but they can’t be replicated. SEMS, the raw pattern, can theoretically be viewed by everyone – and we know it is the same. Interpretations will vary as to language and unique cognitive/emotive/performance competency profiles – which can be sems.

We can study the sems in stone cut millennia ago, and our sems may be viewed millennia in the future. Eventually computers can organize sems strictly as to pattern, without interpretation – although meta-interpretation may result in alternative organizations.

I speculate on a 3M, trinity, reality: Matter/Mind/Marks or Material/Mental//Media. Are molecules sems, are DNA sequences sems? Not created by humans, but repeatable structures. We need technology to read their patterns, but some might some need magnification to see very tiny inscriptions, or pixel patterns. The atom and smaller are actually conceptual artifacts, as are structures much larger than humans. What are the implications of this?

What are the implications of this for our development team, for the various stages of YWorlds, and for the rest of this century? It might be interesting as a small project to gather short sems from everyone reporting on their interpretation of a common sem. This may already be common practice in some areas of semantic analysis.

How might this impact the YWorlds proof process, of which I remain quite confused.


Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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