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Anonymous

The limitation of language
    #1645266 - 06/19/03 05:12 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

If there are concepts that are inexpressable by language, how are we supposed to convey these concepts to other people? I was thinking about this while really stoned last night. It seemed inevitable to me that some sort of direct mind-to-mind communication ("telepathy", et cetera) would evolve in humans as our ideas become more complex. When under the influence of mind-expanding drugs many people have thoughts and concepts that they are unable to express in words. I just couldn't help but think as humans evolve, their sober thoughts will eventually become this complex also. Thus language is very limited in this sense (not to mention in the general sense). Feelings like empathy and our emotions are also inexpressable in words, but we attempt to express them by actions. I see language as a source of disharmony among people, as words are misconstrued and misunderstood all the time, creating conflicts and arguments of all sorts (and assumptions!). Body language is an excellent nonverbal communicator, but can only express so much, and nothing near the abstract concepts that psychedelics bring to our minds.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1645347 - 06/19/03 05:38 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I've really grown a certain loathing for verbal communication.


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Offlinelucid
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: Grav]
    #1645372 - 06/19/03 05:46 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

one word... "art"...


--------------------
"no-mind un-thinks no-thought..."


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1645416 - 06/19/03 05:56 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I can't understand what you're trying to convey, Max - language just doesn't seem to work very well sometimes  :tongue:


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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Offlinelucid
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: Strumpling]
    #1645442 - 06/19/03 06:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

say that again ?


--------------------
"no-mind un-thinks no-thought..."


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Offlinelucid
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: lucid]
    #1645445 - 06/19/03 06:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

heck, I'm going back to grunting and humming...


--------------------
"no-mind un-thinks no-thought..."


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OfflineBrugman
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1645482 - 06/19/03 06:18 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Yeah.
Language is kind of like a bastardized way of communicating our thoughts to others. Not exactly the clearest method..


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: Brugman]
    #1645496 - 06/19/03 06:24 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

using words all the time also makes us think in terms of words. of course there are those experiences or thoughts that just cannot be put into words. but for the most part, our thoughts take the form of words.

i wonder what would happen if a person spent an extended period of time alone, not using any words with anyone. i wonder what his thoughts would take the form of then.


--------------------
Namaste.


Edited by RebelSteve33 (06/19/03 08:02 PM)


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InvisibleRevelation

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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1645539 - 06/19/03 06:38 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

It seemed inevitable to me that some sort of direct mind-to-mind communication ("telepathy", et cetera) would evolve in humans as our ideas become more complex...

That's what I've been thinking too, but it must depend on whether or not there are "limits" to evolution. I mean, i think it's pretty amazing that there are animals that can fly through the air, and other animals that can live under water. If a person had never seen a bird before, wouldn't he think it impossible that such a creature could exist?

I don't think we really have any idea what evolution is capable of... so I would agree that the possibility of direct mind to mind communication isn't that far fetched.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1645567 - 06/19/03 06:47 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

"of course there are those experiences or thoughts (usually drug induced) that just cannot be put into words."

I don't know if I can agree with "usually drug induced" on that one :wink: I think we experience things all day every day that seem impossible to express through current language.. Taking a piss for instance is a highly complex and deep experience in my opinion :wink:


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: Strumpling]
    #1645777 - 06/19/03 08:02 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

LOL!  Okay, I edited my post. :wink:


--------------------
Namaste.


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InvisibleTeragon
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1645780 - 06/19/03 08:02 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I've mused the idea of writing this post for over a year now. But every time I went to write it I stopped because I felt too constrained by my choice of words.
Quote:

Feelings like empathy and our emotions are also inexpressable in words, but we attempt to express them by actions. I see language as a source of disharmony among people, as words are misconstrued and misunderstood all the time, creating conflicts and arguments of all sorts (and assumptions!).




I totally agree with this and it is the reason as to why I really really hate language. What perpetuates this even more so is the personal connotations that almost every word carries with it. Words stike up different thoughts/images in various people's heads and allows for a very different interpretation from person to person. Miscommunication is the source of much conflict and if we could find a way to perfectly portray our thoughts/ideas it would change a lot of things.

I strive for ways to break the verbal barrier everyday. Everyone else should too as to make communication a hell of a lot easier.

I'll stop here. :grin: 


--------------------
need that cash to feed them jones.


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: Teragon]
    #1646164 - 06/19/03 10:48 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think that it is less likely that we develop a version of 'telepathy', which would rely on unspoken communication of the same verbal (or language based) thought patterns... If/when such an evolutionary step occurs, I think it is far more likely to become a form of empathy.

Spoken language is imprecise. We all know of examples (hundreds of them, more likely) of phrases, single words, or more complex ideas that could be construed in nearly as many ways as there are people to construe them.

Intent is the underlying nature of communication. As someone pointed out, I could use the word "Dude" to mean "Hi", "Hey, is this yours?", "Are you coming?", "Cut it out, fucker!", or "I am so about to carve my name in your chest with an icepick!". It is the intent behind the word that drives it.

If we were simply able to telepathically 'say' "dude" to one another, then what would make that better than our already imprecise spoken language? However, if we were able to both transmit and receive the intent behind the "dude", whether spoken or not, then we would instantly have a better understanding of the person we were communicating with, not just the communication iteself.

Of course, I could be wrong.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Offlinejohnnyfive
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1646213 - 06/19/03 11:00 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Good post,

Here's swami, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, ....lol, like jaws :laugh: :grin:


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And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: johnnyfive]
    #1646260 - 06/19/03 11:15 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Naw, too easy. I need a challenge. :smile: 


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineFloatingMind
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: johnnyfive]
    #1646266 - 06/19/03 11:18 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

You think of the limitations of language - but think about how awesome it is. I mean, just start to look at random things - such as the toliet - you know it is a toliet because that's what you've been taught. Somewhere in your brain you have the 'fastest computer', that accesses files in nano seconds. You instantly know the meaning of the word as well (Not in all cases, but mostly).

Say a sentence out loud, or ask someone to say one out loud. Your brain decyphers the message instantly and you instantly know what the hell the person is talking about (usually - again, some people just haven't learned certain things).

I dunno, I just guess it's pretty cool that humans even have such complex langauges with such complex brains to 'intercept' these messages - although, I can't convey what I actually want to say exactly due to the limitations of words.

It's almost like a double edged sword. :tongue: Like someone else said though: art (no limitations).

Edit: I think what I'm trying to say, is language is already so complex. Yet it is not complex enough to convey such complex things such as emotions. However, language is still awesome.


--------------------
I fly higher than ever, with drugs as my wings.


Edited by FloatingMind (06/19/03 11:19 PM)


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Anonymous

Re: The limitation of language [Re: Swami]
    #1646305 - 06/19/03 11:32 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

And what's that supposed to mean?


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: ]
    #1646704 - 06/20/03 01:48 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

how can you know the limitations of language until you have first mastered it?


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Offlinelucid
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Re: The limitation of language [Re: infidelGOD]
    #1646984 - 06/20/03 03:16 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

>how can you know the limitations of language until you have first
>mastered it?
hmmm... interesting, I think what comes into play here is:
symantics
vocabulary
& what exactly do we mean by "comprehension" and what
does it mean to "convey an experience or thought"
I know dip about languagues or cognitive theory, but
knowing dip has never stopped me before :grin: <IGNORAMOUS ALERT>
zo, if a language consisted entirely of the pharase
"forget about it" (u'll get this if u've seen the movie
Donnie Brasco), how much can that "convey" ? depending
on the tone used to deliver the phrase, it can be used
to describe a variety of experiences/events. So one would think
a complete language as rich as any of our current lanaguages
(English, French, etc) must have a staggering ability to convey
ideas - if that were'nt so, we wouldn't have billions of books
out there, even if many of the same thoughts are conveyed the
nuances are different - but I guess we could start questioning
the "granularity" of language and it's ability to distinguish
finer meaning and experience. Ultimately we need to consider what
it means to "convey" and idea to another person. Experience and
Subjectivity come into play. i.e. if u say "red" do I experience
"red" the same way u do ? does it matter if I do ? and if it does
matter then is that a limitation of language ?
I guess I put forward more questions than answers, but I meant to
illuminate that the topic is quite complex.
And now my head is starting to hurt (heck it's almost 4 am)...
back to no-mind (see life is so much easier without thoughts
to think about, without thoughts to convey and without thinking
about how to convey them :grin:)... I'm a vegetable...


--------------------
"no-mind un-thinks no-thought..."


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: The limitation of language [Re: lucid]
    #1647057 - 06/20/03 03:46 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

you conveyed quite a bit there... :wink:

I'm not saying there are no limitations to language.
there are some things that will never be conveyed by words. on the other hand... there's probably a word for whatever you're thinking this very moment. you might not be aware of that word, but it probably exists.


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