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Philosophy

Language Lies

Language lies to us about its ability to facilitate communication. Anything beyond the most trivial of instances of description and communication carries enormous degrees of uncertainty and ambiguity. This is both the strength and the weakness of symbolic language, but ultimately – language itself benefits most.

Human minds are bound by an acquired linguistic intuition of self-reflexive teleology to forever perceive the facts of this world in binary fashion; as dualities, opposites, polarities and (inevitably) as a partisan adversarialism that only ever generates the cyclical catastrophes of endless intra- and interpersonal catastrophe, writ-small in tribal groups and writ-large in Global dissonance. Notice, also, that a general tendency and autonomous material or logical bias towards difference and individuation or dissociative alienation is as much a cause as a consequence of this binary definition.

There is an irony (and a paradoxical trap) here. The systems of information, communication and technology through which we seek to self-define and describe or influence our world are simultaneously those facts and non-linearly adaptive moving frames of reference (as symbolic representation and information encoding) that ensure that we can never fully either self-define or describe anything with definitive certainty. There are foundational problems (and opportunities!) of self-containment in logic (and minds).

Information-processing systems such as languages autonomously seek sustainable continuity and tenure in the transmission medium of minds and artefacts. The endemic uncertainty and stochastic volatility of a cognitively hyper-extended technological vessel of communication is not oriented towards closure, it is implicitly directed towards openness and partial failure. This is one reason why we still so poorly understand the rich broth of interdependent and natively self-interested information and conceptual systems we inhabit; they generate inherent ambiguities for the same reason that genetic codes harness thermodynamic uncertainty as a method of optimally-resilient, distributed self-replication and metamorphosis.

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