Synesthetes: Synesthetic Metaphor

climate

There is a very interesting presentation on TED.com by a neurologist who has come up with innovative ways of treating his patients. In the third part of his presentation he talks of Synesthesia which is the ability to experience multiple sensory perceptions in place of one. For example tasting sound or seeing touch.

He points out that there is a part of the brain that, when damaged, disables the ability to understand metaphor and disables Synesthesia. He also demonstrates that we are all synesthetes with a simple experiment.

Understanding icons, in the context of this research, is a synesthetic experience and may show that contrary to my initial reservations, there is some truth to inherent meaning in icons that may be universal.

I have a blog post that is broader in scope than this neurologist’s conclusions. You can find his presentation under “Who Is A Synesthete?”

Here’s the Link: http://blog.grantczerepak.com/2008/11/15/synesthetes/

The moment you say “blue is cool” or “red is hot” you are expressing Synesthetic metaphor.

Here’s some audio recordings from MIT interviewing Synesthetes (each is about 1 minute):

Anyone who can make metaphor is expressing their own Synesthesia. I personally think this is an area of research that should be explored to help people develop their own Synesthetic abilities. It should also be explored to help us find commonalities in Synesthetic perception to develop Icons and Icon languages.

Richard Cytowic has written a book called, The Man Who Tasted Shapes.

I don’t agree with his separation of Synesthesia from common Synesthetic experience, but his insights are worth reading.

Further Links:

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Universe: The Fabrics of Perception

https://i2.wp.com/www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/clothing/pictures/weaving.jpg

I am working with the Latin language and it is helping me to classify my thoughts more effectively by understanding historical correlations in meaning. For example matter was considered a fabric. The term for light, “lume”, comes from the term loom which alludes to textile manufacture. In fact all of the textile terms merge with geometry where they were practically applied.

WEAVE: a fabric
POINT: a intersection
LINE: a line
ANG: a cut
HEIR: an area
VOL: layers
QUAL: a bundle

These terms have influenced our thinking for literally thousands of years. We still talk of the “fabric” of space, the fabric of time and “material” or whatever. We are unintentionally applying a metaphor. Yet it is a metaphor that has served us well.

At this point I present a scale that I have arrived at for human sensory perception.

outsideness

– 8 , – 2 , – 1 , 0 , + 1 , + 2 , + 8

where

8 is infinity

2 is two

1 is one

0 is zero

+ is positive

– is negative

– 8 : WEAVE below perception: Datrice
– 2 : POINT: below acception: Sortrice
– 1 : LINE: below exception: Matrice
0 : ANGE: exception: Natrice
+ 1 : HEIR above exception: Patrice
+ 2 : VOL: above acception: Fratrice
+ 8 : QUAL: above perception: Satrice

1. WHO: Eyes: Occipital Lobe: Speciatation of Matter.

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root ASTR for the night sky:

– 8 : WEAVISTER: below perception
– 2 : POINTISTER: below acception
– 1 : LINISTER: below exception
0 : ANGISTER: exception
+ 1 : HEIRISTER above exception
+ 2 : VOLISTER: above acception
+ 8 : QUALESTER: above perception

PhotonicPhotons, PhotonicElectrons, PhotoincIons, PhotonicGases, PhotonicLiquids, PhotonicSolids, PhotonicMolecules

2. WHAT: Ears: Temporal Lobe: Association of Matter

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root FUL for Electricity or “Lightning” which is interesting because it means we hear events.

– 8 : WEAVIFUL: below perception
– 2 : POINTIFUL: below acception
– 1 : LINIFUL: below exception
0 : ANGIFUL: exception
+ 1 : HEIRIFUL: above exception
+ 2 : VOLIFUL: above acception
+ 8 : QUALIFUL: above perception

ElectronicPhotons, ElectronicElectons, ElectronicIons, ElectronicGases, ElectronicLiquids, ElectronicSolids, ElectronicMolecules

3. WHEN: Nose: Brainstem: Attibution of Matter

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root FIED for Ions or burn which is interesting because it means we smell ions or things that are reactive.

– 8 : WEAVEFIED: below perception
– 2 : POINTFIED: below acception
– 1 : LINEFIED: below exception
0 : ANGFIED: exception
+ 1 : HEIRFIED: above exception
+ 2 : VOLFIED: above acception
+ 8 : QUALIFIED: above perception

IonicPhotons, IonicElectrons, IonicIons, IonicGases, IonicLiquids, IonicSolids, IonicMolecules

4. WHERE: Throat: Parietal Lobe: Domination of Matter

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root AER for Gases

– 8 : WEAVIER: below perception
– 2 : POINTIER: below acception
– 1 : LINIER: below exception
0 : ANGIER: exception
+ 1 : HEIRIER: above exception
+ 2 : VOLIER: above acception
+ 8 : QUALIER: above perception

GasicPhotons, GasicElectrons, GasicIons, GasicGases, GasicLiquids, GasicSolids, GasicMolecules

5. WHY: Mouth: Frontal Lobe: Ingestion of Matter

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root AEST for Liquids or “Sea” which is interesting because it means that the Sea is the surface of the water.

– 8 : WEAVIEST: below perception
– 2 : POINTIEST: below acception
– 1 : LINIEST: below exception
0 : ANGIEST: exception
+ 1 : HEIRIEST: above exception
+ 2 : VOLIEST: above acception
+ 8 : QUALIEST: above perception

LiquidicPhotons, LiquidicElectons, LiquidicIons, LiquidicGases, LiquidicLiquids, LiquiidicSolids, LiquidicMolecules

6. HOW: Body: Cerebellum: Deduction of Matter

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root TER for Liquids or “Earth” because it means that the creators of the word Earth meant “water”.

– 8 : WEAVITER: below perception
– 2 : POINITER: below acception
– 1 : LINITER: below exception
0 : ANGITER: exception
+ 1 : HEIRITER: above exception
+ 2 : VOLITER: above acception
+ 8 : QUALITER: above perception

SolidicPhotons,  SolidicElectons, SolidicIons, SolidicGases, SolidicLiquids, SolidicSolidsSolidic, Molecules

HOW MUCH: Gut: brain region unknown

+ 8 , + 2 , + 1 , 0 , – 1 , – 2 , – 8

Standard prefixes with root DUCT for Counting which is interesting because this involves the digestive process.  Molecule literally means “soft stone”.  Another word for dung.

– 8 : WEAVIDUCT: below perception
– 2 : POINTIDUCT: below acception
– 1 : LINIDUCT: below exception
0 : ANGIDUCT: exception
+ 1 : HEIRIDUCT above exception
+ 2 : VOLIDUCT: above acception
+ 8 : QUALIDUCT: above perception

MoleculicPhotons, MoleculicElectrons, MoleculicIons, MoleculicGases, MoleculicLiquids, MoleculicSolids, MoleculicMolecules.

Note: The seven International System Units are:

– 8 : WEAVE: below perception: Candela
– 2 : POINT: below acception: Ampere
– 1 : LINE: below exception: Kelvin
0 : ANG: exception: Metre
+ 1 : HEIRabove exception: Second
+ 2 : VOL: above acception: Kilogram
+ 8 : QUAL: above perception: Mole

I posted all of the above, because I believe that classification is underrated. If we spent more time thinking about the aesthetics of our classification language, which is presently total crap, we might make more discoveries.

How much do we conceal from ourselves because we deceive ourselves into thinkng a dogmatic classification system won’t bear fruit.

Have you ever seen this guy?

https://relationary.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/mendeleevphoto.jpg

He beat his brains out letting the data talk to him and came up with this:

Periodic Table

When Dmitri Mendeleev created this table to describe periodic behaviour of the elements, many of the elements had not been discovered. However, the table projected what the properties of those elements would be making the search much easier.  Dmitri also was very good at making Vodka.

As I have discussed there are Satrice, Fratrice, Patrice, Natrice, Matrice, Sortrice and Datrice networks.  Each of them classify in different ways.  Understanding these networks and their classification are the road to new discoveries.  Networks are classification systems.

I just saw this in the New York Times:

knowledgemap

It is called a “Knowledge Map”.  It is a plot of the link clicking behaviour of a scientific community.  Not what they say is important, but where they are going that they think is important.  From this information it may be possible to reorganize knowledge to make it more accessible to everyone.

And that is what we are all here for getting and giving access.

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The Brain: Hardwiring and Softwiring

I’m just finishing a very fine book by Steven Pinker, The Languange Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

and several years ago I read Donald D. Hoffman’s book, Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See. Both books deal with the same subject: What part of our minds are hardwired–instinct–and what parts of our minds are softwired–reason. It is a truly fascinating exploration.

Stephen Pinker in The Language Instinct very thoroughly explores all the aspects of spoken language. He discusses how broken pidgin languages are turned into grammatically rich creoles by children. He explains that whether a person learns a language or not they can have complex thought he calls Mentalese. He explains Chomsky’s concept of a Universal Grammar and how, with language, learning does not cause mental complexity, but mental complexity causes learning. He reveals that children have an acute sense of the morphology of words and rapidly acquire vocabulary as listemes because of the nature of the relationship between child, adult and reality. The perception of speech as well as the physical production of speech is explored. How we derive meaning from language rejects the technical concept of packets being transmitted and received for a much more subjective process of interpretation. The ability of children to learn language is treated as an evolutionary trade off existing only long enough to adopt the tribes language and then shutdown to make way for other special priorities. The “Language Organ” or region of the brain that is responsible for speech is narrowed down. The chain of being is pushed aside for the bush of evolution to reveal that hundreds of thousands of generations existed for language and homo sapiens sapiens to evolve separate from all our other primate cousins. The difference between living spoken language is separated from living written language, the discipline required for each and the fact that language is never in decay. Finally the relativism of the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) or tabula rasa as proposed by Margaret Mead is rejected, Pinker takes sides with the Evolutionary Psychologists stating that environment alone cannot create the complexity of the mind, the mind must have many complex modules to be able to learn from the environment at all. He discusses Donald E. Brown’s Universal Person (UP) inspired by Chomsky’s Universal Grammar (UG). Finally, Pinker tries to define the modules of the human mind and here I get excited as I find I am able to fit them easily into the Six Hats, Six Coats model. Pinker says that language is a system and extrapolates to say humans are a system of both hardwiring and softwiring.

Hoffman’s book deals with an aspect of mind that more easily subscribes to the module concept than language because it is a much more detached, empirical exercise to test for the visual hardwiring that humans have through the use of visual illusions. Hoffman takes us through many aspects of vision such as facial recognition, edge and shadow and color and the perceptual development of children to reveal what appears to be hardwired and softwired. He concludes with a relativistic statement, but I think that he chooses this because of the political desire of scientists to distance themselves from the eugenics of the first half of the 20th century instead of an objective conclusion that, yes, we have a complex module in our brain specifically hardwired and softwired for vision as used by our species. In other words, when presented with the depth of Steven Pinker’s work compared to the breadth of Donald Hoffman’s work, I believe that we do have a vision instinct.

All in all I believe that Steven Pinker’s and Donald Hoffman’s work is revealing that humans minds are far more than just an empty neural net at birth. That in fact there is an evolved complex predefined structure that humans make use of through the learning stages of childhood to understand their environment that diminishes to adult levels at puberty. Consequently, no form of Artificial Intelligence will succeed unless it also comes with a robust collection of Artificial Instincts.

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