virus: Translation

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 12:39:10 +0100

>From: "Corey A. Cook" <>
>Date: Sun, 06 Apr 97 18:58:04 CT

>I wrote:
>>Good point, but not the one I was trying to make. I was trying to
>>steer the conversation towards the conclusion that a new spoken
>>language might need to be developed in order to more accuratly
>>translate from mindspeak to speech.

The trouble with inventing a new language is that you make up a code
which seems intutuive to your mind...which not neccesarily intutitive to
mine. Why not stick with the engine that is churning already?

There is a very high activation barrier to learning a completly new
language...but not inaccessible. Computer programers, mathematicians,
and chemists (those off the top of my head) have each created whole
new languages which resemble English not at all...that are not in fact
even phonetic in nature. But these languages were developed to deal
(as hack solutions) with specific areas, and each has rapidly undergone
a great deal of mutation and selection (I learned to program in BASIC,
Many finacial institutions use computers who's programs are still
written in COBOL...which is a problem considering almost nobody
is teaching it anymore, and reminds me of this exchange in
"The Empire Strikes Back":

Han Solo: "Shut everything down"
C-3PO: "I'm afraid to ask, sir, but does that include me?"
Han Solo: "NOooo, I need you to a talk to the Falcon; find out what's
wrong with the hyperdrive.

My powerbook is designed to read and emulate PC files and software.
When we build machines to translate information from our other
machines, how can we continue to deny our cyborg nature?

As McLuhan said: Media are the extensions of man, and electronic
media are the extensions of our nervous system.

Prepare to be assimilated.

But, I digress.

>Martz replied:
>>Something to translate from mindspeak to conscious thought might be a
>>start. I reckon there is vast semantic distance even there.
>First, let's try to list all the steps a meme has to go through in order
>to transmit.
>1) Mindspeak. The bottem level. Actual thought.
> Concepts and abstraction.
>2) Internal Verbalation. Conscious thought. May (or may not) be in
> a verbal language.
>3) Speech. Talking.
>4) Transmission. Telephone, e-mail, etc.
>5) Recieve.
>6) Decode.
>There may be more. This is getting complicated.

Review your Dennett. Are you sure you aren't reconstructing a Cartesian
I think I see a "central meaner" hiding in 1) and 2) above. Is that just me?
Actually, as I recall, Dennett isn't all that fond of "1)" the language of pure
thought...he thinks its a misconception.

Actually, If you check your local book store/library I think Umberto Eco has
published a book in the past year or so on the "myth of the language
of pure thought." or something like that. I didn't buy it right then
since I already had over $100 in books in had when I was paging through
it (and I wonder where my money goes! ;-) )...might be interesting, though.


Reed Konsler