Categories
Philosophy

Semantic Ambiguity

The dynamism and flexibility of language is simultaneously its strength and its weakness. This is a corollary of the abstract/logical and concrete/material extensibility that haunts technology as cyber (in)security but is by no means limited there. It is an irreducibly discontinuous symmetry of uncertainty that plagues all organisations and institutional contexts. The incessant invention of […]

Categories
Philosophy

Language Divides Us Against Ourselves

There are senses in which the act of definition and assertion of epistemological necessity or structure upon any context, evidence or experience is already (in a limited sense) an act of violence, of difference and disassembly. Our taxonomies and lexicons are in many ways not of the world so much as they are forced upon […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Building Peace

Curiouser and curiouser: observe how an aspiration to coordinate or construct and administratively or diplomatically assert peace becomes itself yet another game and grammar of difference, of competition, of jockeying words, behavioural idioms, contested concepts and roles; exclusive and self-sustaining as a professional career or community of experts which, while the endeavour is nominally admirable, […]

Categories
Philosophy

Embracing Emptiness

Wittgenstein once remarked that when addressing mystery and that which lies beyond language (and thus – beyond cognition) we should remain silent as there is nothing useful that can be said. He was correct, but for the wrong reason. That which lies beyond language and structural or grammatical utility does not necessarily (or at least […]

Categories
communication

Change is as easy as A, B, C

As it ever has been with this human being: finding an order, a pattern a convention or conceptual trope we tend on the whole – and with very little convincing required to overcome what minimal (and liminal) barriers to our gullibility that might exist – to mistake the order we find as being meaningful, objective, […]

Categories
Philosophy

Strategic Blindspots

Context: Colouring Russian views of conflict in the 21st century Positing strategic culture, as are all cultures, as a semantic overlay or usefully-reductive functional self-representation (if even as that which exists unacknowledged or notionally unconscious) of any state is compelling and undoubtedly carries some gravity but such articulate eloquence often masks a fatal analytical flaw. […]

Categories
Philosophy

No Limits

Is it really so? Is ICT or any other language and hyper-extended (or reflexive) cognition really the limit of our world? That would surely to be to assume that that world – any world – was in some aspirational sense bounded, complete, even if only by, in or of itself; but the language, the grammar […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Is the study of language itself a language?

Can we consider the instance and structural context of the study of language to itself be a rare or unique language? What is a language? Can any ordered bearer of information be a language? Is a language only that ordered pattern of information that is understood, known, comprehended, intelligible? Is material reality a language? Is […]

Categories
communication

The Consolation of Etymology: Pugilistic Spell-Checkers

I am engaged in an unrelenting death-match of Greco-Roman wrestling with mobile device spell checkers. I have had some very near-misses on social media. The spell checker on my phone recently tried to insert Gestapo instead of gestalt and circumcision instead of circumlocution; needless to say – this would have dramatically re-framed the intended meaning […]

Categories
communication Complexity culture

Language is an Operating System

Language is something of an operating system. Language also represents a self-propagating, abstract information system – much like culture or socioeconomic reality – that inhabits us just as much as we inhabit it. Human beings, technologies, artefacts and communication systems are the medium through which this linguistic entity manifests and self-replicates. The resilience of this […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Entropy Binds

To what extent does a procedural (i.e. temporal) experience of cognition, language, culture and technology bias us towards linear problem-solving and reductionist explanation? The aggregate sum of all (multithreaded) organisational heuristics may itself be a non-linear and adaptively dynamic system as a fact but from an individual thread of experience (within that gestalt), planning, problem-solving […]

Categories
narrative

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Complex Emptiness of (Self and) Words

The curiousity of narrative is precisely the (very) many degrees of freedom available to the hyper-inflating interior spaces of language and an associated conceptual eloquence of psychologically-resonant teleology implicit to story-telling. The resonance derives from the ways that language and narrative reflexively shape experience, perception, culture and cognition. The degrees of freedom highlight the logical […]