I assume that by
"compression" here you mean "abbreviation."
"Compression" is only effective if it is unambiguous - so in language
design it is important to be able to formally transform the short form into an
I was using the word “compression” in the same way as Marcus
Hutter, who carried Solomonov’s idea that intelligence is compressed
experience. Whether that compression is ambiguous or not, the compressed
representation helps the agent relate present situations to stored (compressed)
situations so that lessons learned in previous situations can be considered in
new, similar, situations.
My background in control theory (all those years ago
in grad school) fits his rendition of how this process works in the brain. It
may not be so familiar to you in those terms if you are thinking of lossless
storage. I think the brain is able to process lossy storage of situations
through its cortical columns and the wiring among them, but who the h knows?
I can email you a copy of his paper if you request
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Steven
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 3:11 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Sapir-Whorf
This is a valid point I think.
I assume that by "compression" here you mean
"abbreviation." "Compression" is only effective if it is
unambiguous - so in language design it is important to be able to formally
transform the short form into an unambiguous form.
On Feb 23, 2013, at 1:39 PM, "Rich Cooper"
> Since the primary topic of this forum is
ontology, I found a very relevant quote from Simon Spero’s link to SWH in
> The categories and types that we isolate from the
world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in
the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of
impressions which has to be organized by our minds—and this means largely by
the linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into
concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to
an agreement to organize it in this way—an agreement that holds throughout our
speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.
> This seems related to the “engineering language”
phenomenon noted by Steven Ericsson-Zenith regarding such languages as Lisp and
C, and how their user communities differ.
> So the proper conclusion, IMHO, is that the
“categories and types” that Sapir noted as “staring each observer in the face”
are subjected to the compression effects of each language as practiced. C
emphasizes the procedural, but in fact any declarative structure in Lisp can
also be represented in C, though less compactly. So in C it is easier, and
more compressed, to write procedural code, while Lisp offers a more compact
representation of declarations, and a somewhat foggier representation of
> I suppose that early peoples would have placed a
high value on compression of language, since speech during a hunt would have
risked losing the hunted critter. The emphasis of compressed structures would
have had evolutionary value, and hence would have affected the way we descended
from the most cost-effective speakers rather than from the more prosaically
> Personally, I prefer Delphi
and Lisp to most others, such as Prolog or COBOL or FORTRAN. The elegance of
my preferred two is what draws me; either Delphi
(with its elaborate component set) or Lisp (with its flowery expressiveness)
can support elegant programming.
> Elegant programming can support discussions of
the correctness of the program among programmers more easily than obfuscated
programs in inelegant languages. Since this form of language is important to
us in modern usage, more important than the deeper compression I suspect early
peoples used, I prefer it.
> Rich Cooper
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
> 9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Simon Spero
> Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:25 PM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum]
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