An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday January 8th 2013    Tim Candler

    If I think of words as expressions of consciousness, I can then think of them as emanations from the universe.  I do this because Consciousness is consciousness, and at the moment I prefer to think of Consciousness as a property of matter, and our species here on earth is this property's  prime exploiter. Oil, can look pretty too, it might be worshipped as the sepulture of past life forms, but mostly it's prized as a source of carbon that can travel through pipes.  But, if I think of language as purely an object of my mind, I can then understand it as being gone when we are gone, in the same way that a Dodo is gone when the Dodo is gone.  Easy enough to portray the universe as sharing physics, the Higgs Boson corralling mass around elemental particles, and on toward entropy and the ultimate cool, or the conclusion of thought.  The question, "Is the universe physics?" is an easier one to react positively too.  But, "Is the universe language?" has its more enjoyable problems.  An "out-there-ness" that appeals to me, because sometimes it makes more sense, or it satisfy's in the pursuit of happiness, a Grim Boson for many of us..

      There is the argument that both math and language, are no more than constructs that have emerged in the minds of people.  These constructs exist nowhere else, and that both these constructs of language and math should  be thought of as mechanisms with which to gain better advantage in competition with Saber Tooth Tigers, or the Woolly Mammoth and between ourselves. Which is to say, that both math and language, in the course of our progress through time, have been useful to us and us alone. The Nautilus has no grasp of geometry, the Oak Tree does not calculate or curse, this argument will foolishly insist.  Which suggests that Math and Language are no more than tools, and they have an analogy in flint arrow heads or Bessemer steel, or banking, or opposable thumbs, and no other species have yet to explore such panicles.  Me, I like to sit on the edge, stare down into the darkness, think of language as emanations of a universe where Physics and Math is the work of poets.  Call me a heckler, if you wish to.

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