Re: future language

From: Trupeljak Ozren (
Date: Wed May 01 2002 - 00:04:47 BST

  • Next message: Trupeljak Ozren: "RE: future language"

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    Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 16:04:47 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    Subject: Re: future language
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    --- Grant Callaghan <> wrote:
    > I foresee something like what you are talking about, but it's
    > probably too
    > far out for this list. As we use our technology to alter our bodies
    > and
    > augment our senses, I believe will be able one day to connect
    > directly to
    > our brains and communicate on the level from which language is
    > created on a daily basis.

    And what exactly level is that? We do not have some sort of "machine
    language" level of our minds, as far as I know. The process of thinking
    itself uses language to "finalize" the product and make it into
    non-system specific information that can then be passed on to others.
    If you just send a bunch of neural impulses to some other brain, I bet
    that you won't transmitt *any* information at all...

    > All words are approximations of a complex idea that
    > springs
    > first from the mind and then is translated into a system of sounds.

    Again, as far as we know, this process uses mental symbols that are
    very much part of what language itself is.

    > The
    > sounds it is translated into belong to a culture, which is what
    > separates
    > languages into vessels of culture. But when we can make a connection

    > directly to a place like the amigdala and transmit the complete
    > thought from
    > one mind to another over something like the internet, languages as we
    > know
    > them will fade away completely just as individual languages are doing
    > now.

    Amigdala has a lot to do with specific emotions that we are
    experiencing, but this is first time ever that I hear that thoughts
    themselves are created/reside there. I suppose that your meaning was
    that when we find the place where thoughts reside, then we can
    transmitt them to other people without the intervening "medium" of
    vocal language? (I might be understanding you incorrectly, in which
    case I apologize for misinterpretation)
    What if thought process is actually holographic? What if thought can
    not be separated from the "medium" without using some sort of language?
    What if thoughts can not even exist at certain levels of complexity
    *without* a language as a medium?

    > Thought is the universal language, in my mind, and the technology for

    > transmitting it is being developed in laboratories all over the
    > world.

    Why do you think that the specific thoughts themselves could be
    recognisible as thoughts to different minds? Why do you think that
    mental symbols are universal across the species, and not in actuality
    culturaly determined?

    > The
    > language we "speak" then will be the language of pure thought and
    > ideas.

    IMO, it is still going to be *a language*. Actually, it might be a
    number of different, optimised languages. To a certain extent this is
    what we are doing right now, too. You use math symbolism to express and
    transmit ideas that are cumbersome/non-expressible in our normal day to
    day language. You use visual language (of cinema, for example) to
    transmit and express whole ranges of emotions and important stories in
    a very information-dense format. Etc...

    > But, like I said above, that may be too far in the future for the
    > thinkers
    > here. The wave of technology that is rolling over us and changing
    > the way
    > we interact with each other at ever increasing speeds is bound to
    > make
    > language as we know it too cumbersome to handle the amount of data we
    > will
    > have to deal with. When the very air is filled with bits of dust
    > that
    > measure and transmit things like the temperature, moisture, proximity
    > of
    > people, and things we can't even imagine today, it will take
    > augmentation of
    > our senses and our brains to collect, analyze, and share all of the
    > data
    > coming at us from our senses, the sensors and other people.

    I actually agree with you there. This is going to change our minds in a
    profoundly revolutionary jump. Part of this augmentation of our minds,
    IMO, are the new optimised languages for specific data subsets that we
    don't have to cope with, right now.

    > We've almost reached a stage where the future borders on
    > being
    > impossible to predict. But, then, it always was, wasn't it?
    > Grant

    Well, no, it wasn't, but that's just a quibble. The main survival
    advantage that a specific culture/language set gives to a group animal
    like we are, is the capability of prediction. Why does some tribal
    language have thousands of words for medical propertis of different
    herbs? Because this increases their chance of predicting what will
    happen if you actually use those plants to try and heal someone. Same
    thing with everything else, from traditional mythology up to religions
    and science. We have an obsession with knowing the future, a very real,
    biologicaly driven obsession. This is why we expend so much effort to
    find new ways of doing it...:)

    There are very few men - and they are exceptions - who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment.

    Carl von Clausewitz

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