Categories
Philosophy

Language

Language is fascinating. From the inside of the (i.e. this) referential system, the combinatorial possibilities are effectively unbounded. Notice that linguistic compression waves of complexity as ordered information pass quite autonomously through a transmission medium of narrative cognition, culture, communication – encoded through and as our minds.

Human thought and behaviour becomes the extended phenotype through which linguistic information adaptively interacts and recursively shapes the world it inhabits. Just as DNA is in one sense an inverse mapping of environmental experience and influence, language is an evolving encoding (and decoding) mechanism of symbolic abstractions that distils contextual experience into an abbreviated, compressed representation.

We should not be so surprised to discover that there are very many abstract centers of intelligence and complex distributed computation all around us. Language is in this sense an instance of potential intelligence and self-ordered complexity for which we are each and all mere transient bearers. We are not, as it turns out, at the center of this system – nothing is.

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