Literacy and Numeracy: Stone Axes and Bone Knives

stonetoolsboneknives

Ultimately, everything is metaphor, whether we relate a taste to a strawberry or a color to a sound.  I use the word synesthesis broadly to describe the mechanism in memory that makes this possible.  The more I read, the more I am discovering that the structure is relatively the same in most individuals, but the perceptual history of every individual shapes the content of this structure differently.

There is some research that shows identical twins when together take different paths, however separated identical twins take similar paths.  You can find this in the work of Steven Pinker.

What is known is multiple sensory cues are better than individual sensory cues.  A visual cue will have a synergistic effect in memory when accompanied by other sensory cues including what I call the “cognitive sense”.  This being the case, the classroom is a terrible environment for learning and it is generally better to be immersed and learning in an environment with as many real sensory cues as possible right from the start.  This is why immersion is regarded as the best way to learn language although there are some caveats.

Steven Pinker has found that restricting language does limit people in their thinking, however in a generation the children build complete grammars with the language they are given and even coin new words as their experience dictates.  Language is a living, evolving thing within and across generations and cannot be contained in a 1984 fashion.  Nor is it wise to attempt to freeze a language you are studying, because it is a moving target.  Spelling guides, pronunciation keys, dictionaries, thesauruses, quotations, encyclopedias, news was never meant to police your thinking, but to equip you to think more broadly than your current abilities.  You weren’t meant to follow these books, you were meant to read to lead.  The books were meant to follow you.

Memory is infinitely flexible.  We are continually living a life where our mental data is accumulating and where we encounter crisis, climax and resolution or some variation mentally and we make the mental leap or stand on the cliff edge unable to evolve and cornered by our past.

Physics, Chemistry, Chronology, Geology, Psychology, Biology, Mathematics are the foundation stones of our sensory perception and our symbol systems and every one of these symbol systems evolves as we accomplish a phase change in any one due to an accumulation of exceptions until the system on which the symbols are based breaks down.  We call these phase change points “zero” and “infinity”, but zero and infinity are only place holders on a continuum be it linear, geometric, exponential or hyperbolic that has yet to show a limit of any kind.  All they mark are phase changes.

As Goedel demonstrated mathematically no system is complete, therefore no symbol system is complete.  There will always be phenomena that have yet to be represented and cannot be represented by the present system.  This is true for any language as well.  Listen to the phenomenal aural vocabulary of our youth as they imitate the sounds of their environment such as instruments and devices that our previous generation never heard.  Can we capture those “sound effects” with our current alphabet or icons?  I listen to children and youths communicating without uttering a single word in any language.  They communicate in the sounds and visual action of their home entertainment systems!  Anime is creating a world of children who speak a language their parents cannot fathom unless they are watching what their children watch.

And don’t be surprised to find children are no less intelligent than we were.  They don’t need the literacy we had to function in their environment quite effectively.  Measures of literacy and numeracy are irrelevant justifications for perpetuating an obsolete educational system.  The problem isn’t your children, it’s your educators.  Your children will define what communication will be in the future and we have to learn their lingua, not teach them ours.  Educators refusing to make the leap are, as Elliot said, “hollow men”.  Our children’s communication tools and cognitive abilities are in many ways superior to the cognitive tricks we use to think literally and mathematically with alphabets and numbers.  And that is all they are, a bag of tricks hammered into us for over twelve years.  Our literacy and numeracy tools are like stone axes and bone knives compared to what our children are using now.  Children can compose in video, audio, events, graphics, text, gesture and digits faster than we ever could read, rite and rithmatic with our pencils.  What makes our technology so exceptional or even worth preserving?  Are you still using a stone axe?

Welcome to the world of Marshall McLuhan.  Make the leap and learn the new media.  Let your children get on with computing.

The next time your child gets poor results on a literacy or numeracy test, tell the teachers to get their shit together and teach new media or find another job.

Love your children not your herd teachers.

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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:

Perception: Geometric Sensory Scales

The following tables are something I have been playing with regarding sensory input, system international units, geometric scales and a consistent Latin terminology.  If some of the terms sound familiar it is because they are validly constructed Latin words.  The sensory system start at the top to bottom.  The scales start at the right to left. I think historically, such tables were created to create vocabulary.  The English language has abandoned this to its logical loss.  Double-click the table to see it on its own page.

giovio-geoveo-controls

giovio-gidovido-controls

Universe: The Fabrics of Perception

https://i0.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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