The Map Is Not The T..

The Map Is Not The Territory
- Alfred Korzybski
'The menu is not the meal. – Alan Watts
La trahison des images - René Magritte
Steven Pinker
The Stuff of Thought
He asserts that language must do two things:
1. convey a message to an audience, and
2. negotiate the social relationship between
the speaker and the audience.
Baudrillard’s Simulacra
"Simulacra and Simulation" breaks the sign-order into 4 stages:
• The first stage is a faithful image/copy, a sign is a "reflection of a profound reality”.
• The second stage is perversion of reality, this is where we come to believe the sign to be an
unfaithful copy, which "masks and denatures" reality as an "evil appearance - it is of the order of
maleficence". Here, signs and images do not faithfully reveal reality to us, but can hint at the
existence of an obscure reality which the sign itself is incapable of encapsulating.
• The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the simulacrum pretends to be a
faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original. Signs and images claim to represent something real,
but no representation is taking place and arbitrary images are merely suggested as things which
they have no relationship to. Baudrillard calls this the "order of sorcery", a regime of semantic
algebra where all human meaning is conjured artificially to appear as a reference to the
(increasingly) hermetic truth.
• The fourth stage is pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality
whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or
signs is only of the order of other such claims. This is a regime of total equivalency, where cultural
products need no longer even pretend to be real in a naïve sense, because the experiences of
consumers' lives are so predominantly artificial that even claims to reality are expected to be
phrased in artificial, "hyperreal" terms. Any naïve pretension to reality as such is perceived as
bereft of critical self-awareness, and thus as oversentimental.
Language is a Virus?
• My general theory since 1971 has been that the Word
is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognized
as such because it has achieved a state of relatively
stable symbiosis with its human host; that is to say, the
Word Virus (the Other Half) has established itself so
firmly as an accepted part of the human organism that
it can now sneer at gangster viruses like smallpox and
turn them in to the Pasteur Institute. But the Word
clearly bears the single identifying feature of virus: it is
an organism with no internal function other than to
replicate itself. (Burroughs, 1986)
Linguistic Relativity
• Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf
hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is
often defined as having two versions:
(i) the strong version that language determines
thought and that linguistic categories limit and
determine cognitive categories and
(ii) the weak version that linguistic categories
and usage influence thought and certain kinds
of non-linguistic behaviour.
Charles Sanders Peirce
Peirce's Categories (technical name: the cenopythagorean categories)
As universe of
characterizaton: experience:
Ideas, chance,
Quality of feeling
Brute facts,
(dyadic) relation
Representation, Habits, laws,
As quantity:
Reference to a
ground (a
ground is a pure
abstraction of a
monadic (the
quale, in the
sense of the
such, which has
the quality)
Reference to a
correlate (by its
dyadic (the
relate and the
Reference to an
triadic (sign,
continuity, "all"
Peircean Trichotomies
• An icon (also called likeness and semblance) is a sign that denotes its object by virtue
of a quality which is shared by them but which the icon has irrespectively of the object.
The icon (for instance, a portrait or a diagram) resembles or imitates its object.
(a) the image, which depends on a simple quality;
(b) the diagram, whose internal relations, mainly dyadic or so taken, represent by
analogy the relations in something; and
(c) the metaphor, which represents the representative character of a sign by
representing a parallelism in something else.
• An index is a sign that denotes its object by virtue of an actual connection involving
them (for example smoke coming from a building is a reagent index of fire).
• A symbol is a sign that denotes its object solely by virtue of the fact that it will be
interpreted to do so.
Semiotic Triangle
Universality of Color Terms
Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution (1969) (ISBN 1-57586-162-3) is a book by Brent Berlin
and Paul Kay. Berlin and Kay's work proposed that the kinds of basic color terms a culture has, such as
black, brown or red, are predictable by the number of color terms the culture has.
Berlin and Kay posit seven levels in which cultures fall, with Stage I languages having only the colors black
(dark–cool) and white (light–warm). Languages in Stage VII have eight or more basic color terms. This
includes English, which has eleven basic color terms. The authors theorize that as languages evolve, they
acquire new basic color terms in a strict chronological sequence; if a basic color term is found in a
language, then the colors of all earlier stages should also be present. The sequence is as follows:
Stage I: Dark-cool and light-warm (this covers a larger set of colors than English "black" and "white".)
Stage II: Red
Stage III: Either green or yellow
Stage IV: Both green and yellow
Stage V: Blue
Stage VI: Brown
Stage VII: Purple, pink, orange, or grey
Berkeleyan Idealism
George Berkeley never actually wrote the words "If a tree falls in a forest and
nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?", but it is likely that passages
from his "A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge“ (1710)
served as the inspiration for this kind of questioning, which countered Locke’s view
of perception as having primary (objective) and secondary (subjective) qualities.
By 1884, Scientific American echoed Berkeley’s idealism, stating
“Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism
of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling
of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air.
If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.”
Gilles Deleuze
The Logic of Sense
The two tables or series are like the sky
and the earth, propositions and things,
expressions and consumptions. Carroll
would say they are the multiplication
table and the dinner table.
He thought he saw an Elephant
That practiced on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
“At length I realize,” he said,
“The bitterness of Life!”
He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
“Poor thing,” he said, “poor silly thing!
It’s waiting to be fed!”
He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister’s Husband’s Niece.
“Unless you leave this house,” he said,
“I’ll send for the Police!”
He thought he saw a Garden-Door
That opened with a key:
He looked again, and found it was
A Double Rule of Three:
“And all its mystery,” he said,
“Is clear as day to me!”
He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
“Were I to swallow this,” he said,
“I should be very ill!”
He thought he saw an Argument
That proved he was the Pope:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bar of Mottled Soap.
“A fact so dread,” he faintly said,
“Extinguishes all hope!”
- Lewis Carroll, The Mad Gardener’s Song
Gregory Bateson
Information – Bateson defined information as "a difference which makes a
difference." For Bateson, information in fact mediated Alfred Korzybski's
map–territory relation, and thereby resolved, according to Bateson, the
mind-body problem.
Double Bind: Full double bind requires several conditions to be met:
The victim of double bind receives contradictory injunctions or emotional
messages on different levels of communication (for example, love is
expressed by words, and hate or detachment by nonverbal behaviour; or a
child is encouraged to speak freely, but criticised or silenced whenever he
or she actually does so).
No metacommunication is possible – for example, asking which of the two
messages is valid or describing the communication as making no sense.
The victim cannot leave the communication field.
Failing to fulfill the contradictory injunctions is punished (for example, by
withdrawal of love).
Mind As Information
The rise of Artificial Intelligence theory in the last 30 years has been accompanied
by a swing toward semiotic functionalism.
Church-Turing Thesis - Every effectively calculable function (effectively decidable
predicate) is general recursive.
Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene, Proposed ‘memes’ to model the transmission
of behaviors.
Holographic Universe – David Bohm; “particles are not separate "parts", but facets
of a deeper and more underlying unity that is ultimately as holographic and
Daniel Dennett – Consciousness Explained, argues for neural Darwinism, points
out optical illusions, cognitive bias, etc.
Films such as The Matrix and Inception assert digital functionalism.
Problems With Infocentrism
Infocentrism inverts idealism, retaining they syntactic and pragmatic forms but
Truncating semantic dimension.
Raymond Tallis – Aping Mankind, cites ‘Neuromania and Darwinitis’ as bad
Science, failing to represent the full measure of humanity in consciousness.
Multisense Realism – My attempt to recover both the humanity and realism of
Pre-scientific idealism without sacrificing the relativism and universality of
Contemporary physics.
Information is seen to be an effect of awareness rather than a cause, so that
The map is not the territory and neither is the territory only a map (information).
Human consciousness is a multi-channel, multi-layer experience which is best
Modeled as a continuum of sense, ranging from gross physical detection to
Subtle psychological meaning. Map and territory are dual aspects of a single
Neutral monism of meta-juxtaposition that is experienced as well as computed.
Multisense Realism
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