Re: future language

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Wed May 01 2002 - 08:02:49 BST

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: future language
    Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 00:02:49 -0700
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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...:)
    It's been my observation over these past 70 and more years that most of the
    predictions of the future made in my lifetime were more wrong than right.


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