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#30318 - 10/06/09 11:54 AM Language and communication
Woland Moderator Offline
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Dear friends.

This discussion emerged from, and was derailing, another thread.
Thus I have taken the liberty of separating it from its mother.

The original thread can be found here.


A comment or two:

I found the essay on paleface-hordes quite entertaining.
It can be read in many a way, which I am quite sure was the intention of the author.
Rabulistic as the essay might be, there is an anarchistic quality to it which I both like, and strongly identify with.

What puzzles me to some extent is the comments it attracted.
(No, not the enthusiastic flaming committed by young Caladrius...)

Firstly; why do most of you read a "return" to the tribal structure as a step backwards in evolution?
There seem to be a consensus that the embrace of a tribal structure equals reverting to the stone-age.
Rather silly if you ask me, stamping "Luddite" in the forehead of such a notion.
Anyone for tennis?

The "sickness" of our culture is plain to see.
At least from the perspective of those outside, or on the fringes of the western world.
I do not think an in-depth explanation is necessary?
Lets just say that Buttfuck, Indiana is the place where sheep and pseudo-wolves alike is governed by foxes.
Democrazy is a runaway death-train indeed.

I agree wholeheartedly with the statement that the Hellenistic, and later Judeo/Christian, mindset is where it all went wrong.
The hypocrisy of our "civilization" is astonishing.
De-personalized, castrated, without any sense of individual honour.
No question about it.
So far so good...

Now; how should one interpret the authors use of the word "Magian"?
An extremely vague notion, (skillfully intended?).
A mixture of Religion and Media perhaps?
He is loudly gesturing whilst pointing at a more than real conspiracy; the good old: Church, State, Capital...
It might be a cliche, but that does not make it less real.

What impresses me most is the "style" of his rabulism.
Shouting from the temple walls, semantic mannerisms adopted from many a charismatic orator.
Simply a call for submission(s)?
Perhaps, perhaps not...
His polarization is as forced as it is forceful.
I strongly suspect that the author is more concerned with combustion, than with truthfulness.
Probably could not give a fuck whether the recipients agree or not.
It is cold outside, the vehicles needs a jump-start...


P.S.

Dear Morgan.
How on earth can you state that empathy is un-satanic?
Few things in life is more self-serving than...


Edited by Woland (10/08/09 04:05 AM)
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#30340 - 10/07/09 11:37 AM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Woland]
Diavolo Offline
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It's quite interesting to read your reply Woland. Something that I witnessed since long is that we (as a whole if you like) are losing the ability to read in "depth". Writing has to be easy, broken down in swallowable bits, and preferably be about that what we directly associate with it, thus what has been popularized in our mind. We read and we react to that, even if only internal. What we are forgetting is that there was a step between those; "think". We should read, think about what has been read, and then react.
I fear esotericism will go extinct in this age.

Many people forget language is also a tool, not only to express ones ideas clearly if needed, but on other occasions it can serve quite different functions. Maybe that is confusing to some people but quite possible some words are not always written with them as a reader in mind.

D.

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#30346 - 10/07/09 02:08 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Diavolo]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

Many people forget language is also a tool, not only to express ones ideas clearly if needed, but on other occasions it can serve quite different functions.

I for one would love to see this expounded upon. What other function(s) does language serve besides effective communication of ideas?

I for one really like it when ideas are expressed clearly and am finding it more and more a rarity.

There is so much fluff out there,and it certainly doesn't seem to be lessening. Writings that bob and weave around without ever really saying anything or arriving at anything resembling a point are certainly in the majority insofar as the entire 'occult' scene goes, but it doesn't seem to end there. Whether it be books, essays or internet posting, in general I think more clarity of expression would certainly be a boon.

It is actually quite refreshing when people use language to express ideas clearly and concisely rather than rely on abstractions and generalizations.
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#30350 - 10/07/09 06:23 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Woland Moderator Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
 Quote:

Many people forget language is also a tool, not only to express ones ideas clearly if needed, but on other occasions it can serve quite different functions.

I for one would love to see this expounded upon. What other function(s) does language serve besides effective communication of ideas?


Music?
Novels?
Metaphor?
Poetry?
Abstraction?
Philosophy?
Emotion?

Sometimes I fear for your immortal soul, wee Dan.
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#30351 - 10/07/09 06:50 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Woland]
Dan_Dread Offline
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All of your 'examples' are that of language being used to communicate ideas.

Music is not language, unless you mean lyrics, in which case ideas are being conveyed.

Novels are nothing if not a collection of(generally fictitious yet entertaining) ideas. The more successful ones generally communicate them clearly as well.

What use is a metaphor that doesn't communicate an idea? Isn't that the point of a metaphor?

Good poetry..if there is in fact such a thing..should convey ideas. The ideas in question should make you 'feel' something I suppose, but without first conveying the ideas in a way that can be understood by the reader it isn't worth very much.

Abstraction..could you clarify? Intentionally using language for abstraction, ie writing intentional platitudes, hardly seems a very useful endeavor. Or do you mean something else?

What is philosophy if not the exchange of ideas through effective communication?

And finally, emotion - emotion should only be felt AFTER an idea has been so effectively communicated as to stir the reader in one way or another.

Maybe you would like to explain out how anything on that list qualifies as a use for language other than communication? Maybe leave out the condescending this time if it's not too much trouble.
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#30352 - 10/07/09 07:44 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Caladrius Offline
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You seem to have a very narrow understanding of what "language" is?
Sometimes "language things" don't have a concise and clearly defined "idea" written in them; such as the ending remark Woland directed at you. But it did Evoke or Provoke feelings in you and even "idea." Which may not have been the feelings and idea the remark was originally intended to produce.

It isn't like there is a clear and precisely hidden message embedded in a painting of the Mona Lisa, and if I walk in front of it I telepathically pick up the clear idea the artist wanted me to get. Its more of the painting evoking or stimulating feelings and thoughts inside me.

The same with Music, Metaphor, Mythos, Allegory, Poetry, Esoterica, and Zen Koans. Sometimes they are presented without a "set" idea which has more of the intent of stimulating your own feelings and thoughts. What is the sound of one hand clapping? Sometimes such things have no set correct "idea." In the sense that when hearing a musical piece, reading a good poem, or looking at a great painting has no right or wrong way to interpret them.

The Bible is a good example of something that rather than transmits a well defined, clear "idea," it evokes in you thinking and speculations, and based on you level of understanding you interpret or give an idea to certain scriptures.

Body language is a large part of our process of communication which really has no set or clearly defined idea to it, but rather evokes or stimulates in you a feeling, idea, thought, or whatever. Which is why at times you can misread someone, say getting the "wrong idea" based on the way a girl is looking at you and such.

So, some methods of language does transmit established ideas, like a lecture or a thesis. While other forms of language communication Evokes, Stimulates, Provokes, feelings, thoughts, and ideas in you. There is a difference between Transmission of an idea, and the Evocation of an idea. One form introduces a thought in you: or spoon feeds you. The other stimulates you to produce/manifest your own thoughts: or to think for yourself. You seem more conditioned to recognize only the former.


Edited by Caladrius (10/07/09 07:49 PM)
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#30353 - 10/07/09 08:04 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Woland Moderator Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Maybe you would like to explain out how anything on that list qualifies as a use for language other than communication? Maybe leave out the condescending this time if it's not too much trouble.


Steady as she goes wee Dan.

You were not addressing communication per se.
You were addressing "effective" communication...

Away with the fluff!
Bring on nu-speak!

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread

All of your 'examples' are that of language being used to communicate ideas.


Indeed.
Language is of course (an attempt on) communicating ideas.
Ideas that might be trivial or important.
The effectiveness of language is a matter of dispute.

You got a girl or boyfriend?
Does it want to talk from time to time?
Communication is a bitch, and utterly in the mind of the beholder.

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Music is not language, unless you mean lyrics, in which case ideas are being conveyed.


Man, did you walk right into that one!
Music is the most successful language on the planet.
Cross-cultural communication on its absolute best.

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Novels are nothing if not a collection of(generally fictitious yet entertaining) ideas. The more successful ones generally communicate them clearly as well.


Your last statement was bordering on comical.
This one actually is...

Kafka? Hamsun? Dostojevskij? Camus? Sartre? Genet? DeSade?
The list goes on and on.

For entertainment purposes?
You must be fucking joking...

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
What use is a metaphor that doesn't communicate an idea? Isn't that the point of a metaphor?


A metaphor ATTEMPTS to communicate an idea.
Does thesis, antithesis, synthesis mean anything to you?

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Good poetry..if there is in fact such a thing..should convey ideas. The ideas in question should make you 'feel' something I suppose, but without first conveying the ideas in a way that can be understood by the reader it isn't worth very much.


Good poetry (and there is such a thing) both can and should mean different things to different individuals.
It is more of a reflection (another useful tool) than "effective communication".

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Abstraction..could you clarify? Intentionally using language for abstraction, ie writing intentional platitudes, hardly seems a very useful endeavor. Or do you mean something else?


Abstraction is another useful tool, thus the existence.
Heavily used in debate, related to metaphor.
Reducing the "problem" to factors, in an attempt to grasp the big picture.
Go forth and google, yah lazy bugger.

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
What is philosophy if not the exchange of ideas through effective communication?


Let's take a look at good old Nietsche.
A great novelist, an eminent poet, and one of the biggies in our line of thinking.
(You've read him, not?)

An effective communicator?
Do you claim to have understood what he is rambling about?
Do you take his writings as his literal opinion?


 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
And finally, emotion - emotion should only be felt AFTER an idea has been so effectively communicated as to stir the reader in one way or another.


Oh should it now?
Good to know...

You want it fast, you want it cheap, you want it good.
Life will at some point teach you that two tends to exclude the third.
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#30354 - 10/07/09 08:24 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Caladrius]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
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 Quote:

Sometimes "language things" don't have a concise and clearly defined "idea" written in them; such as the ending remark Woland directed at you. But it did Evoke or Provoke feelings in you and even "idea." Which may not have been the feelings and idea the remark was originally intended to produce.

That's great and all, but I didn't say language had to have ideas 'written in them'. The original claim was that there are 'other uses' for language besides conveying ideas, and that is what I am challenging.I didn't specify methods by which language can transfer ideas, or attempt to exclude any. Your attempt to narrow my position by changing the wording is rather disingenuous.

Everything you wrote regarding other forms of communication not related to written language are neither here nor there, so I'm not going to bother addressing them.

 Quote:

There is a difference between Transmission of an idea, and the Evocation of an idea. One form introduces a thought in you: or spoon feeds you. The other stimulates you to produce/manifest your own thoughts: or to think for yourself. You seem more conditioned to recognize only the former.

Things are not always what they seem, so they say. I am fully aware that abstract writing can evoke this or that subjective experience in the reader, and through personal exegesis ideas can be garnered. As much as I don't find this sort of thing very useful, it still falls under the heading of using language to convey ideas, albeit in a sloppy and hit and miss sort of fashion.

Anyone can spew abstract stream of consciousness texts, and regardless if intended by the author or not given enough readership someone will probably get some sort of personal meaning from it. So what?

I would still like to see Diavolos claim expounded upon. Not going to hold my breath, though.
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#30356 - 10/07/09 09:00 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Woland]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Sigh. Ok feel free to talk down to me from WAAAAY up there. Whatever.


I think it's time to define a couple of terms.
 Originally Posted By: websters

Language:
1 a : the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community b (1) : audible, articulate, meaningful sound as produced by the action of the vocal organs (2) : a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings (3) : the suggestion by objects, actions, or conditions of associated ideas or feelings <language in their very gesture Shakespeare> (4) : the means by which animals communicate (5) : a formal system of signs and symbols


Firstly, music is only a language if you really stretch the definition of language. It could be said that the intentional transmission of feelings through instrumental music could qualify as a rudimentary language, but you would indeed need rubber arms to reach that premise.

On novels,

 Originally Posted By: wikipedia
A novel is defined as a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes.

Key word:fictitious. Generally novels are written for entertainment purposes, but generally does not mean exclusively. You managed to both avoid my actual point and get a couple digs in all at once. Way to go!

 Quote:

Does thesis, antithesis, synthesis mean anything to you?

Well, yes. So what? I said a metaphor exists to transmit an idea. Your further attempts at belittlement are really neither here nor there.
 Quote:

Abstraction is another useful tool, thus the existence.
Heavily used in debate, related to metaphor.
Reducing the "problem" to factors, in an attempt to grasp the big picture.
Go forth and google, yah lazy bugger.


I know what abstraction is. Please save the school teacher routine for someone else. You claimed abstraction was a function of language intended for a different purpose than the conveying of ideas. What you wrote here only supports my position by placing abstraction as a language technique useful in breaking down and clarifying ideas.

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#30358 - 10/07/09 09:14 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Caladrius Offline
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Debates like this is like an after school fight. Just when you think it's mano y mano. It turns into a Mexican fight with Dan bringing in his boy Webster and the Wikipedia gang.
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#30360 - 10/07/09 10:00 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Woland Moderator Offline
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Dear Danny.

You keep missing the point.
Maybe the Florette irritates you to much?
Merely a reflection on your own hatchet, old chap.
I will put it aside for the time being.

Quite disappointingly you sought refuge at the feet of the Oracle (Merriam Webster).
I will merely direct your attention on paragraph 2. in the MB definition of language:

a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings

This is the definition of music.
It might not be clear to you, it is clear to me.
Ideas are individual, communication has limitations.

In order to spell it out (and get back to the topic):

The use of comparative association is an important tool in the conveying of ideas.
Any individual who has practised within anything creative, be that science or the arts, knows this to be a fact.
Oblique strategies is effective as hell.

If you feel that an expression bobs and weaves around the subject, might it not be that you simply are missing the point?
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#30365 - 10/08/09 02:31 AM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Woland]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
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Interesting question and turn within this discussion.

I agree with Woland that language isn't only used for communication only. But the aspects summed by woland are more or less quite gentle.
To make things a little more easy for me I pick out the aspect of music.

Within common music mostly ideas and philosophical themes are being sang. But this isn't always the case, within music the words serve another purpose. They describe, take away the listener within the world created by the song. It is as if they "guide" the listener. I can agree with you dan, when you say that it still is a form of communication. But then again, there are bands who produce songs with an imaginary language.
--> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8beuAaY_PI (Ishtar- O Julissi Na Jalini)
I have to admit that maybe one of the first sentences is a bit Ukrainian alike, but neverless the words don't really have a meaning at all. In here, the imaginary language simply serves as an instrument to back the song up. It's purpose is to create a feeling and not to communicate an idea.

Another example might be the Belgian band "voice male", while some of their numbers are pure "vocal" (ie, they use no instruments and only use their voice to produce background music) most songs they cover include a singer. While not a very perfect example, they are worth mentioning. (There is also an American Band with the same name being located in Utah, they do the same thing.) To give a little example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1JYSHkPF_M
Voice male ft Belle Perez - Hijo de la luna

In both examples given language is used as a mere instrument to create an emotion, a feeling.
Another function language can be used for is for the aspect of recreation. The terms poetry, novels and abstraction are linked to this.

I also have to admit that within novels and poetry language can be used to communicate a vision or idea. But most of the time recreational purpose.
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#30368 - 10/08/09 12:32 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dimitri]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

Quite disappointingly you sought refuge at the feet of the Oracle (Merriam Webster).

Defining terms is step one to any productive discussion. Too often it is completely skipped over and things go nowhere, as was/is the case here. Again it comes back to clear communication vs generalizations and esoteric meanderings.
 Quote:

The use of comparative association is an important tool in the conveying of ideas.
Any individual who has practised[sic] within anything creative, be that science or the arts, knows this to be a fact.
Oblique strategies is effective as hell.

So what? I am not arguing against this.My main argument is that language is a tool for conveying ideas, and is more effective if done clearly and concisely. If something needs to be subjectively interpreted via exegesis to ascertain any sort of meaning, or if no two people get the same thing out of it, any real 'communication' is lost. Take the 'bible' as an example.
 Quote:

If you feel that an expression bobs and weaves around the subject, might it not be that you simply are missing the point?


MY main beef and the underlying sentiment here, to quit beating around the bush as it were, is that many like to 'play pretend' at understanding what all too often adds up to little more than platitudes and then proceed to sneer down their noses at those that don't understand the 'secret wisdom' therein. It's pretentious as all hell and all too common not only here but in the occult community in specific, and in society in general. It's just another way for people of average intelligence to play bigshot out of some over inflated sense of self importance.
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#30369 - 10/08/09 01:57 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Dan_Dread]
Diavolo Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread

MY main beef and the underlying sentiment here, to quit beating around the bush as it were, is that many like to 'play pretend' at understanding what all too often adds up to little more than platitudes and then proceed to sneer down their noses at those that don't understand the 'secret wisdom' therein. It's pretentious as all hell and all too common not only here but in the occult community in specific, and in society in general. It's just another way for people of average intelligence to play bigshot out of some over inflated sense of self importance.


Should I interpret this as a rallying call for egalitarianism?
"No effort required any longer, we'll dumb anything written so far down that everyone will instantly 'get' it. No child left behind!!!"

If you add depth to what is written, it is inevitably only recognized by those having the same depth. Liber AL vel Legis by Crowley is a perfect example of this. Nonsensical to most, one of the more important books written to others. Animal Farm, just a story to most. Mein Kampf; an autobiography? The protocols of the elders of Zion. The list goes on and on. Some communicate ideas, others trigger 'insights', some are catalysts for action.

Oh and the comments about not holding your breath and such are not needed. As known I've been without Internet during my move so don't expect me to feel obliged to camp at someone's computer because you seem desperate for answers anyone else could have figure out on their own.

Thank you.

D.

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#30370 - 10/08/09 02:32 PM Re: Yet Another ONA Thread! [Re: Diavolo]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Well you certainly put your own spin on that didn't you? Egalitarianism? Oh my!

It was never 'answers' I was after from you, rather a challenge to you to back up a claim you made. You tend to deal in abstractions and generalizations a lot, and I thought if there was some bedrock to your rather airy ideas maybe some productive discussion could follow. I suspect there is none to be had.
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