Friday, April 26, 2019

Plain Text Philosophy

One of the dumber arguments some philosophers make, is that one should refrain from using words with well-established meanings, when inventing new language games. "Don't recycle pawn as that's spoken for. How about fawn?" They presume to steer one away from the high inertia high value words. That's like saying to a little kid: "don't use gold in your funny money game, as that's a real adult word, and you're just a little kid. Until you have real gold someday, you should say shmold".

That's all preamble to explaining how I see our subcultures, our dialects, our namespaces, as only partially overlapping, because we do, in fact, ignore these obstreperous philosophers, and use the words we want, including gold, energy, vector, gravity, radiation and whatever else we might get our paws on and hold on to (I'm not saying it's easy to hold on, given precession and all that).

We all want to build for the ages, and we know that using words like fawn or shmold (i.e. off-beat, never-heard-of) is going to put us at a disadvantage.

Fuller gets a lot of notoriety for coining a couple words, such as tensegrity and in-stairs versus out-stairs (he doesn't even take full credit for dymaxion) but really what he did most is take some high value high inertia "physics words" (as if any one discipline owns them) and bend them into his own basket-weaving language of Synergetics.

Tension is "that which holds together" (over very long distances sometimes) whereas islands of compression (shorter range) keep stuff apart or keep separate. Synergetics inspires lots of mental cartoons, mental imagery, along with tactile experiences, to show us what gravity and radiation mean in that namespace.

Three rods of a tripod press down and want to splay apart (radiational) on the slippery ice, but a triangular tension band around the base (gravitational) keeps them from so doing. Nothing moves, yet we appreciate the dynamism in this equilibrium.

Did he need Newton's permission to invent this new gravity & precession suite? Einstein was bending space-time in new ways. Isn't "bending space" just what we do, as science minded? We make bubbles, we subtract 720 degrees, we systematize.

Hadron collision accounting (CERN stuff) and Synergetics are not "at odds" so much as they co-develop as different language games (or sets thereof); different tools, different engines. Synergetics has a section on its vocabulary's remoteness, which is intentional, and designed not to interfere with others pursuing their own disciplines. But, per my preamble, he's not about to deny himself access to the gravity well of high value words, when inking his own thinking.

This idea that language boils down to names, and names point at the thing they mean (which is how they mean) is not an idea I hold on to. I let go of that way of thinking long ago.

My universe therefore has room for many partially overlapping discourses that flow downhill, like mountain streams, without needing to "point" to anything.

To take another example: I cast General Systems Theory as *versus* Economics, i.e. have GST on your resume and you're more likely to play an intelligent role in my company. Economics is too superstitious. But from another angle, we're talking about two ways of thinking that cover a lot of the same bread and butter topics, regarding ecosystem management and so on.

Spaceship maintenance. Janitorial services, Global U.

Regarding 2D, 1D and so on: if you see a circle (flat) or rectangle (tennis court) in your head, where is your viewpoint? Every line could be a pencil, every plane a sheet of paper. Have you ever experienced "infinitely thin"? Philosophers claim to picture it on private TV somewhere. Chalkboards don't help.

Besides, I always have an angle on any 2D shape. Even an infinite plane has a position relative to mine. I cannot myself be a 2D being, Abbott's Flatland notwithstanding, not even mentally. I occupy volume. Volume is enclosed by four walls, a tetrahedron. My Kantian idea of space, even res cogitans, not just res extensa, is 4D. Four walls. Four windows.

But ya'll steeped in Cartesianism and its 3-axis octahedron of six vectors, three basis, three not, are stuck in the a specific 3D talk. I empathize about the stuckness part, but readily admit to the utility of the apparatus. I use it too, all the time.

But when I'm wanting to communicate Synergetics, I'm all about the four windows and how anything you see on brain-TV is in a 4D studio. I can hold up pieces of paper and pencils and talk about all these shapes, but I have no need of either infinite extension nor infinite thinness. It's easier to just see everything topological as a morphed tetrahedron, rolled flat, rolled thin, made into a ball, whatever. It's 4D all the way down.