Friday, March 13, 2009

The symbols of language

I very clearly remember the first time that I encountered an unfamiliar alphabet: it was an event which occurred in the family grocery store when I was very small, perhaps three years old. I had not yet learned to read English, and it had not yet been explained to me that there could exist other communication systems apart from pictures. One afternoon, I asked my mother what the funny black squiggles were in the text balloons in the Batman comic book I was holding. She told the cashier"and the comic book too." Fixated, I became transfixed by the black squiggles, which no longer seemed quite so funny; but although I stared at them until I was dizzy, I could find no way to render them intelligible except to match them with the graphic story. Only later did I learn that these marks were the English alphabet. Since that time, I have been preoccupied by the possibility that abstract forms can connect us to a reality beyond language, and bridge the thin line between nonsense and the divine.

Somewhere between the visual noise of television static, and the visual order of the text you are now reading, lies a fascinating realm of visual semi-sense. Precisely where do the borders of that realm lie? By studying that realm of semi-sense, I surmise that we may come to a deeper understanding of precisely how sense-making occurs at all. To do this, there has been written software which attempts to generate artifacts that seem to make sense, but in fact, don't.

What other forms of relative communication may exist? We use mathmatics to explain the universe. Radio and television bring us words and images though sound sound waves and video signals. We know whales and other marine chreatures communication on a sonic level in the water. What other vibrations are resonating around us now for which we that we have not yet discovered a filter to make them meaningful.

The benefits of solitude and medititation are well documented but is there an explanation why. If we try to tune our vibrations or conscieneness to those in nature what benefits or insignts might we receive? Cognitive relevance might be the next study of human evolution.

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