Re: virus: Sign memes & Chomsky

Corey A. Cook (
Mon, 14 Apr 97 15:40:20 CT

Tony wrote:
>Blundering sounds fun, If we drift too far from reality there
>are plenty of fellow CoVists who will steer us back I am sure. I can see
>this leading to me having to read
>Stephen Pinker's book _The Language Instinct_.
> I have just added it to my "order it from the library list"

I'll see if the library has a copy next time I'm there.

>>>The model you propose can not explain why in all linguisticaly isolated
>>>environments so far discovered, the grammar (at a high level of
>>>abstraction) is the same.
>>It can if you question the statement "linguisticaly isolated enviroment".
> I think the examples from the program qualified. Completely deaf
>children who had only ever had contact with hearing people. I accept
>that they may have had some common gestures. But they all developed a
>higher level of grammar once they were brought together. This grammar
>enabled comunications that were many orders richer than the most fluent
>of all the children in gestures alone. In separated incidences of this
>(deaf children being brought together) the grammar always followed the
>universal grammar rules proposed by chomsky. What is more, the level of
>sophistication of the grammar grew as the age at which the children were
>brought together fell, evidence for some kind of age dependant LAD
>activity as you (I think) said.

I would love to argue in favor of my model against yours, but I don't
remember what it is. I can't save copies of very many letters, and I
didn't do so in this case. If you have a copy of what my model is,
read it back to me and we can have fun trashing it.

>> I am all for language
>>evolution. The problem is I want it NOW, not fifty years from now.
> I want everything now, and I never want to die, I guess I am
>going to be very dissapointed in the long run.

A kindred spirit!

>Its free access to all information that I believe will allow
>this process of evolution to continue, I am not advocating a special
>experiment with a special group of children.
>I think that the process of world wide awakening of individual
>consciousness' is a natural process. All the misguided atempts at
>controlling information are doomed to failure in the long term (although
>in a single lifetime it does allow the wicked to rule the good in some
>isolated pockets IMHO.)

I couldn't agree with you more. The total and unabridged access to
information may very well throw our culture into anarchy as more and
more people wake up to the fact that they are letting others control
them. But hopefully, what we are truly seeing are the birth-pangs of
a new and better civilization.

I'm feeling very optimistic, today.

Corey A. Cook

* The One Universal Truth: *
* Sometimes, you're wrong. *