Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cooing Honesty

You are quite delightful. And dreadfully demoralizing.

The Duchess of Harley in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Basic Definitions and Core Meaning Elements

What I want to see is whether, beginning with the definition of a single term, I can build the entire set of ultimate and irreducible conceptual terms.

What is a distinction? What does it mean to "make" or "draw" a distinction?

The free dictionary says its the act of distinguishing, or differentiation. So we're down to distinction, difference, distinguish. Let's look up distinguish. Percieve or recognize as distinct. Distinct means readily distinguishable from all others.Note that here we meet up with the first real repetition beyond the meanings of different forms of the same root word.

Or discrete, a new term. So we see now a set of stubbornly basic terms emerging that are in some sense and to some extent cross-defined.

Now putting aside the "readily" issue, which itself is interesting and significant to our story, we're still on the word distinct. Clearly defined. Unquestionable. Again, and although these are evolved meanings, we have to bypass such interesting questions for now and ask a question. Notice the new core term?

Define means to state the prescribed meaning, nature, or basic qualities. To explain. To delineate the outline or form of. To specify distinctly. Now we're getting somewhere!

A number of new key terms have now emerged. Explain is interesting. State. Delineate. Form. Outline. Specify. I'm going to skip prescribe for now.

So with the different forms of a word, we arrive at some peripheral terms in their respective definitions. The definitions of peripheral forms of a root word are peripheral precisely because they introduce terms that are not in some way as closely synonymous with the original root word. So let's go back and include only the root words in the definition of the original word, and root terms of those originally defining words.

Distinct is basic because the word distinguishable in its definition is mere repetition. Discrete is separate. Connect, a core defining term is negated. Separate is apart or disunited. Part. Unite. Two core defining terms are negated.

So far, then, distinct, discrete, and separate are basic according to their definitions, although separate may not be basic because it is not repeated in the other two definitions like distinct. So it's distinct and discrete for sure. But we'll still keep separate in mind because it still does seem to have some unique differences that are difficult to deal with right now.

But in defining distinct, we ran into the word define itself. And once we looked up define, we found explain. To explain is to state differences in meaning, nature, or basic qualities. State.

State differences. Difference. Differ. Differ means to be dis-similar or un-like. So Differ is basic. and therefore, as noun form, difference is basic. But let's look it up too, to make sure. Yep, same thing. Negations including dis-parity.

I just realized that these words themselves are negations, so I'll have to go back and look at their etymologies.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Anecdotal Evidence

The only thing interesting about a refuted system is the personal element, which is always irrefutable.

Adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks

Friday, May 07, 2010

Goodbye, Collective Fred

The task is to bring to light great individual human beings,
which we must always love and honor, and who no future
enlightenment can take away from us.

Adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Truth and Scepticism

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Palm Apodaca

I had to leave this place because I got depressed seeing all the crap. The thing is, they're making more crap. They got so many stores and stuff and junk full of crap. I can't believe it. Pretty soon, there won't be any room for humanity, because of all the crap. They're selling more crap that people buy than you can imagine. Crap. I believe everybody should have a big hole where they throw the stuff in and burn it. They'd never find a hole big enough. Never.

We've been collecting more garbage every day until we started thinking we should get a garbage disposal. But what's that? More crap. I've never seen such crap.  I'm not that neat, but I am clean. But some people. People's homes, just filth. I've been in people's homes. In my personal observation, more people are neat than clean. I'm seeing more filth. A lot of filth. What they need to do every day, no, once in a while, is do a cockroach thing where they spray the homes. Imagine if their doors were painted a pretty color and they had a pot outside. And they picked up. Then it wouldn't be filthy with Coke bottles and whiskey bottles...and those signs everywhere, they should be erased! All those signs selling you crap and more crap and more crap. I don't know. I don't even want to talk about it. It's just filthy. People are filthy. I think that's the biggest thing that's wrong with people. They'd be less violent if they were clean. Because then they wouldn't have anybody to pick on. Dirt. Not dirt. See, dirt isn't bad. It's filth. Filth is bad. That's what starts maggots and riots.

The truckers. They know the best places to stop, and I know why. They know where there's no filth! Animals are not like that. They're always cleaning themselves. Did you ever see pigeons? They're always picking themselves and their friends. They're always picking bugs out of their hair of something. But even our cars stink. Even though we now have electric vehicles you can travel in and not cause a stink. Can you believe it? Why? Man! People like to create a stink. I've seen filth that you wouldn't believe. What a stink. What a stink. I don't even wanna talk about it.

Adapted from Palm Apodaca (Helena Kallianiotes)
"Five Easy Pieces"