Ali Hashemi wrote:
> John Sowa's comment :
> http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/2010-03/msg00185.html#nid09 (01)
>> No technology from stone carving
>> to supercomputers has ever made any fundamental change in the
>> ways that people think, talk, and behave. Technology might
>> speed up and facilitate many kinds of interactions, but it
>> never changes human nature. (02)
>... I am concerned with the
> effects of media and technologies, and in my post I variously considered
> impacts of email, phone, telegraph, pen... Each has had a fundamental
> on *how* we think, and an even more marked impact on our phenotype.
> Sure the Pirahã is an extreme example .That doesn't invalidate thateEach
> type of technology has, as I've been using it, "fundamentally changed" how
> we perceive and interact with the world. (03)
I consider how we think and how we interact with the world to be to
different things. I also see a difference between how we perceive and
how we interpret what we perceive. (04)
Different methods of communication have certainly changed the way we
interact with other people. 100 years ago people would be very aware of
what times of the day the morning and afternoon mails arrived and went
out. To get same-day communication in a city, one would have to send the
message before a certain time -- or else pay for "special delivery".
Similarly, the timing of next day delivery to a nearby community was
generally known. (05)
On knowing the timing of communication with another, one communicated
with that in mind. How is that a fundamental difference in the
way people interact with the world? (06)
One interacts with another depending on how easy and rapid the interaction
is. New technologies have greatly broadened the set of people with which
one can interact rapidly. (07)
We see things as important depending on how they affect us and what we
intend (including what we intend for others). With different technologies
different considerations affect our communications. This certainly means
that the interactions are different, but i'm not sure that the differences
should be considered to be fundamental. (08)
People's view of space differ depending on how one considers utilizing
that space and the obstacles in so using. When people describe distance
to be physically covered they often refer to the amount of time needed
to traverse the space. Although 2 people may be 200 meters apart, it
makes a difference if they are on the same sidewalk, one on the ground
and the other deep in a coal mine, on opposite sides of a river/restricted
political border/superhighway, or on the 50th floors of two adjacent sky-
scrapers. Similarly, a parking lot at the base of a mountain 2 hours from
a hiker's home may be "farther away" from the mountain top than her home. (09)
The urban hiker will experience the foliage along the trail in a far
different way from a person who lives off the land. (010)
But none of this involves, imho, "how people think". They have different
things to think about, different priorities, different knowledge,
different languages, different communication forms, and different
mindsets. But the mental processes need not be considered to be
> Just so we're clear, what I'm really interested in are the differences
> afforded by different and novel media and technologies, if you wanna lump
> under culture and then shift the focus into cultural differences, go
> Certainly, technology and media become part of culture, but they affect
> culture in interesting ways on their own. (012)
Certainly. And to describe these things, ontologies would need different
terms and different rules. (013)
-- doug (014)
> On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 12:43 PM, John Bottoms
>> You lost me. Whast was the point you were making?
>> It seems that if something is culturally based it must by
>> definition be learned behavior and no part of "cognitive
>> -John Bottoms
>> FirstStar Networks
>> Concord, MA
>> T: 978-505-9878
>> Ali Hashemi wrote:
>> > Dear Ontolog,
>> > I apologize for the length of this message, I am generally internetted
>> > only through phone, so I am being thorough in my intermittent access.
>> > have tried to make the last section of the message more relevant to
>> > ontology mission.
>> > ===========> >
>> > Dear John, Dan and Pat,
>> > Pat,
>> > Thanks for that ... response. Perhaps as an exercise, we can reflect
>> > the very fact that you and I are able to have such a conversation.
>> > For fun, let's briefly devolve the history of languaged communication.
>> > Before internet, we could phone. Assuming we'd had met or exchanged
>> > information, either you or I would have had to call the other.
>> > Additionally, if you made the call, I'd have to happen to have the
>> > to talk (or pre the cell phone, had physically been in the same
>> > that you were calling).
>> > And before the phone? We could try to carry on this conversation via
>> > what, a telegraph? I suppose each day, we would excitedly go to the
>> > telegraph station to see the short, dotted response. You know,
>> > but old school.
>> > And before that? Well we could mail, I guess airmail or before that,
>> > rail or boat or perhaps horse, or lights along an imperial road. It
>> > might take days, weeks or months, but I guess it'd make the
>> > of how this conversation would evolve all the more intriguing.
>> > Let's also consider the act of writing. Imagine instead of typing, at
>> > what, 40-120 words per minute, we had to grasp a pen and write these
>> > messages on paper. For me at least, the type of thought that comes out
>> > through pen is profoundly different than when on the computer. Imagine
>> > if we had to use a quill and ink, refreshing the tip every few
>> > And what if we had to use stone? To communicate our ideas, you and I,
>> > living in different locale would either have to send each other stone
>> > carvings or happen upon one another in some fair town, a port most
>> > likely, and sit down to an enlightening discussion. If I were on
>> > continent, to carry out this conversation, would require a commitment
>> > months to travel to a common physical location. I would certainly hope
>> > that the results of said conversation would be worth that time!
>> > Now, were you actually suggesting that the way we consider space has
>> > changed? That the way we form, exchange, communicate and shape our
>> > thought has not fundamentally changed?
>> > Our agency in space has increased. Our projection of mind, ability to
>> > share and engage has been transformed.
>> > Our understanding of a social network has changed. The very notion of
>> > what it means to be a productive, living human being is radically
>> > The fact that you and I take this projection of thought and language
>> > through space for granted – the fact that it is so trivial, trite and
>> > assumed that we, one located in Quebec, the other in Florida can so
>> > easily converse at near instantaneous speed is exactly the point.
>> > me again, how is this all complete fantasy?
>> > It is incontrovertible that different senses, different sense
>> > are more suited to different types of knowledge. Even if I turn my
>> > speaker upside down, sound still comes at me right side up... I can
>> > stare at sheet music all day, but I at least, won't really appreciate
>> > Bach's Cello Suite No.6 in D Major unless I hear it.
>> > Now I certainly am not taking the strong position. I won't deny that
>> > there are other routes to such appreciation, but obviously, certain
>> > are better suited. And our lifestyles reinforce these choices and have
>> > other attendant effects...
>> > => >
>> > As this email is long, I won’t go into the details of the rest of your
>> > post, but if you like, I can do so… I do have to however remark on
>> > attack on Postman (I don't recall McLuhan proclaiming "the world is
>> > going to hell, or at least to some undesirable place, in a
>> > I wish I had Postman’s book physically with me (it’s been lent out to
>> > friend), or that I had a pdf copy, but alas, my everyday assumptions
>> > this work in space and time are challenged.
>> > I have become so used to thinking of text as remotely accessible, that
>> > it is only in the absence of such access, I can appreciate that it is
>> > quite remarkable what was once considered an intimately physically
>> > artefact has been transformed into “mere” electricity…
>> > Let's quickly unpack the implicit assumptions in McLuhan and Postman.
>> > 1) Our interaction with the world is mediated by our senses
>> > 2) Depending on what we are doing, we are engaging our senses in
>> > different ratios (i.e. watching TV, we are more aware of what our eyes
>> > see; playing basketball, we are more aware of our sense of touch;
>> > listening to music, we are more aware of our hearing...)
>> > 3) Habitual, repetition of the same types of actions affects one's
>> > disposition
>> > And here's the "leap"
>> > 4) Different media, technologies, lifestyles will draw out and
>> > biases in those who repeatedly engage in them
>> > Does the above acceptable to you?
>> > Now extend this basic premise to public discourse. Simply because of
>> > over exuberant tone of your post, I'm tempted to ask if you've been
>> > hiding under a rock for the past 20 years. However, I’ll leave that as
>> > voiced temptation.
>> > More relevantly, consider a news broadcast in 2010 vs. one in 1960.
>> > Consider a "serious" interview today, to one 30 years ago. Is it even
>> > conceivable we might have a televised Chomsky - Foucault debate today
>> > (irrespective of whatever one thinks about their ideas)?
>> > About the most complex message that the current US presidential
>> > affords (quite literally), is "hope and change."
>> > Policy is reduced to soundbites. Public awareness of issues is (with
>> > many many exceptions) dominated by knee-jerk reactions and cartoonish
>> > television personalities. Voters are spend inordinate amounts of time
>> > trying to decide whether evolution should be taught in school, or
>> > whether two men or two women should be allowed to enjoy the same
>> > as others.
>> > I could go on and on… Again, due to my limited internetting, I would
>> > need to physically go to a library to access the requisite research,
>> > I am not very inclined to do so right now. I'm sure you can see what
>> > saying :D, but if you need more convincing, I suggest you consult the
>> > reading list of nearly any Public Relations, Media Studies or Critical
>> > Theory or any number of other related graduate level programs.
>> > ===============> > John and Dan,
>> > I believe our misunderstanding if at all, hangs on the phrase
>> > “fundamental change.” See below for what I’m calling “fundamental
>> > change.” The Pirahá culture is indeed quite remarkable, and as Dan
>> > pointed out in the reference to Nisbett, there are indeed well
>> > demonstrated cultural effects. I would also add this recent study,
>> > http://www.physorg.com/news189262051.html (Daniel Casasanto, Olga
>> > Fotakopoulou, Lera Boroditsky, “Space and Time in the Child's Mind:
>> > Evidence for a Cross-Dimensional Asymmetry (p 387-405)” Cognitive
>> > Science (2010). ) Now it would be interesting for a follow up study to
>> > see if children from societies which read right to left also look at
>> > timeline right to left.
>> > More recently, these works by Gianquinto provide some interesting
>> > insight to the differences that visual thinking affords:
>> > and
>> > And in the interest of making this post more relevant to ontolog in a
>> > direct way, I would recommend the following two papers:
>> > Eugene Wigner, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the
>> > Natural Sciences.” Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics,
>> > (
>> > <http://www.dartmouth.edu/%7Ematc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html> )
>> > and in response ( http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/feb102005/415.pdf )
>> > and finally
>> > Y. Lazenbik, “Can a Biologist Fix a Radio? or, What I Learned while
>> > Studying Apoptosis.” Biochemistry, Vol 69, No 12, 2004. (
>> > http://protein.bio.msu.su/biokhimiya/contents/v69/pdf/bcm_1403.pdf )
>> > I mention these only as inspiration. I don't wholly agree with the
>> > conclusions of any, but they spur tasty thinking.
>> > Mathematics and formal logics are media. They come equipped with a way
>> > of accessing or more accurately, fruitfully representing the world.
>> > that we are often interested in only those results which carry
>> > exploitable properties. The strong version of the Sapir-Whorf
>> > actually applies to formal languages, where certain thoughts are
>> > inexpressible.
>> > Moreover, when we use formal ontologies, our chosen language of
>> > description / representation biases, selects and focuses our attention
>> > on the useful constructs available via said language.
>> > This is one of the reasons why COLORE pays so much attention to well
>> > developed theories in mathematics. It is also incidentally one of the
>> > reasons that semantic mappings are facilitated when one describes
>> > of the world using at least first order expressivity. The idea of
>> > logical lego-like building blocks follows quite naturally from this,
>> > corresponds roughly to the modules and their arrangement into core
>> > hierarchies in COLORE.
>> > There are broadly to approaches to expressing something in a formal
>> > language. Fit the world into the language, or see which parts of the
>> > language correspond to the world. Both approaches at the same time
>> > sense to me.
>> > Now I'm not suggesting that this is the single correct
>> > of the problem space, but simply that this perspective leads to (and
>> > led to)
>> > some useful results. It is not a panacea, but a woefully underused
>> > at our disposal.
>> > =============> > Best,
>> > Ali
>> > --
>> > Founding Director, www.reseed.ca <http://www.reseed.ca>
>> > www.pinkarmy.org <http://www.pinkarmy.org>
>> > (•`'·.¸(`'·.¸(•)¸.·'´)¸.·'´•) .,.,
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > _________________________________________________________________
>> > Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
>> > Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
>> > Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>> > Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>> > To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
>> > To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
>> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
>> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
>> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Founding Director, www.reseed.ca
> (•`'·.¸(`'·.¸(•)¸.·'´)¸.·'´•) .,.,
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
doug foxvog doug@xxxxxxxxxx http://ProgressiveAustin.org (016)
"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (018)