08 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 Words are More Powerful than Pictures

This “algebraic” flexibility of a word encapsulates the essence of something while leaving unnecessary concretes out. A photo doesn’t and can’t. Further, a word offers enormous flexibility in terms of input/output. It can be spoken, thought, gestured (as in sign language), written, grammatically combined with other words, or stored with very little memory. A photo can’t. Words are altered by syntax and grammatical endings. A photo can’t be modified in this way, other than the temp...
Folksonomies: communication
Folksonomies: communication
  1  notes
 
27 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 History of the Concept of Art

Nowadays when someone speaks of "art" you probably think first of "fine arts" such as painting and sculpture, but before the twentieth century the word was generally used in quite a different sense. Since this older meaning of "art" still survives in many idioms, especially when we are contrasting art with science, I would like to spend the next few minutes talking about art in its classical sense. In medieval times, the first universities were established to teach the seven so-called "liber...
Folksonomies: science art humanities
Folksonomies: science art humanities
  1  notes
 
23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Why Do We Like Certain Tunes or Understand Certain Senten...

Contrast two answers to the question, Why do we like certain tunes? Because they have certain structural features.Because they resemble other tunes we like.   The first answer has to do with the laws and rules that make tunes pleasant. In language, we know some laws for sentences; that is, we know the forms sentences must have to be syntactically acceptable, if not the things they must have to make them sensible or even pleasant to the ear. As to melody, it seems that we only know som...
  1  notes
 
12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Futility of Linguistic Prescription

When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, and clear ...
  1  notes
 
22 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Ask Nature Many Questions at Once

No aphorism is more frequently repeated . . . than that we must ask Nature few questions, or ideally, one question at a time. The writer is convinced that this view is wholly mistaken. Nature, he suggests, will best respond to a logically and carefully thought out questionnaire; indeed if we ask her a single question, she will often refuse to answer until some other topic has been discussed.
  1  notes

Against the common wisdom of asking one question at a time.

29 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Artificial Languages

Here are six well-known constructed languaiages that can help you think and express yourself in novel ways. Esperanto. Esperanto is the most widely spoken conlang on Earth, with an estimated 2 million speakers, putting it on par with Lithuanian, Icelandic, and Hebrew. 1 It was designed in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof as a kind of neutral, universal second language that would allow native speakers of all languages to meet one another on even ground, with none having an intrinsic fluency advanta...
Folksonomies: language linguistics
Folksonomies: language linguistics
  1  notes

Tools for thinking in different ways.