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If words are just labels with arbitrary meaning and if everything is relative and all theories are tolerated, what is there left to hold societies, or anything else, together? What is there to keep it all from flying apart; God, love, magnetism? Given security we cannot afford, without any certainty and only our assumptions in our pockets: what is the future of mutual understanding?

How can we transcend words, definitions and extensions of words, and more words, definitions and extensions of words, and both real and petty arguments caught in endless loops.    Like the philosopher Edmund Husserl, I believe that beneath the changing flux of human experience and awareness, there are certain invariant structures of consciousness.  Such structures appear to be ethnographically grounded and necessary to mutual understanding between members in a society.

We may inquire into what is necessary to the achievement of a mutual understanding.  We can begin by allowing that human “understanding” is a collection of mental and physical (psychophysical) and ethnographically-oriented processes grounded in cognates originating in and concerning human nature.

Why “cognates” instead of “words;” isn’t that another word? A cognate may be defined as any one of a number of objects or entities allied in origin or nature. Irrespective of their grammatical role in language, for example, the entities referred to as “self” and “others” are functional examples of “psychophysical cognates” that find their origins in thought, (i.e. as abstractions) and in all the evolutionary conditions of human nature, essentially; –in all of what matters to human being.

It is nothing other than salience or relevance of self and others to the domain of human knowledge that remains invariant. Some may scoff at this at first reading –finding it silly to claim that the salience of self’ and others’ knowledge is what makes it significant; but this is more profound than that. It is not a cop out either, as we have a precise and thoroughly tested and published mathematical model that holds out promise of being a sound basis for an ethnomethodological framework.

Relevant to this essay is the fact that a language includes the apparatus for composing and encoding knowledge, and for recording the extensions of invariant cognates of knowledge and understanding and their salient configurations as they are decoded, adopted, retained, rearranged, reassessed, redeveloped (or changed) over time. An important observation is that knowledge is not reduced to salience or relevance, it becomes so. This is why reductionist methods of AI have not and will not work.

Reductionism is characterized by dissection and separation of parts. Linguists, for example, dissect language into parts of speech and parse or translate the grammar of each sentence in a language into true/false assertions and propositions. When my colleague, computer scientist Tom Adi, and I began his investigation into language in the early 1980’s we came from the point of view of what language actually accomplishes.

This approach to investigating language provided findings that support an ethnographic philosophy of language. As such, it is concerned with four central problems: the nature of preserving meaning and transmitting knowledge, the use of language to accomplish such goals, language cognition, and the relationship between language, information and reality.  According to  Adi’s theory, a language can be defined as a unity–  a synthesis of cognates confirmed in experience by the matters at hand:

  1. A language is the image or projection of a synthesis of cognates in a domain of interactions by which the comprehensive recognition of perceptible objects and sensible (and successful) activities becomes possible; leading to awareness and general consciousness.
  2. In human languages, such cognates are represented by phonemes (in spoken languages) and morphemes (in written ones). These are used to compose and order the knowledge necessary to consciousness and mutual understanding.

This ethnographic view of language is my own philosophy synthesized from my understanding, practice and work with Adi’s theories and scientific observations, axioms and propositions, i.e. his new “science of relevancy” (i.e., a way to analyze the relations in a domain of knowledge representations (given language as inputs, e.g. text) to determine something relevant (the output) to matters at hand). As such it is concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning and making sense, the purpose of language use, language cognition, and the relationship between language, information and reality.

Adi and I did not make use of reductionist techniques or materialistic or linguistic dogma in arriving at Adi’s axioms and propositions or in developing applicable computer models and algorithms, mainly because it was simply not applicable.  This is obviously a quite different philosophy of language than what is generally accepted today. It is not the way language is normally approached and studied by linguists, psychologists and logicians.

We take it as self-evident that human language, which ranges over a domain of human interactions, augments (adds to) human knowledge and expands cognition, awareness and consciousness (mutual understanding). Perhaps you do too? As I was there to learn of Adi’s theory first hand, I can personally attest to this claim.

Using a few propositions and a selected procedure from Adi’s theory, I am able to induce and explain the sensibility and perceptibility of expressions in languages in which I am not a speaker. Because all human language must range over this domain of interactions, any language can be translated into any other language ranging over the same domain. When Adi and I started working together in the early eighties that was our hypothesis; it is what we set out to investigate, beginning in the area of developing automatic language translation systems.

We noticed that there were large differences in the ways translators and interpreters choose their words and use alternative phrases and idioms. Their choices (which they often kept on closely guarded index cards) appeared to be based on subtle though perceptible differences in translating the reference and sensibility of a text or message along with the words.

Looking to the linguistic literature, we found that there is no procedural or computational theory of such ethnomethodological practices among translators, or in the classical traditions of interpretation. Language translation on computers is largely about word for word or phrase for phrase replacement. It tries to make the output sensible but it is emphatically not about making matters perceptible –that is left to people checking the machine translation. This sense of making matters perceptible also characterizes the difference between what interpreters and translators do. We had as an objective the development of intelligent technology and we wanted our system to be like interpreters –making matters more perceptible and sensible.

We decided to begin our own search for a theory of meaning that could be a foundation for translating not only the language people use but what the people actually mean to say. Having the capacity to speak and converse in a dozen languages helped to understand the ethnographic and “knowledge representation” problem, and being a computer scientist, made Tom Adi uniquely capable of performing this semantic study. I commissioned the completion of study.

Thusly, Adi does not begin his investigation into language from the point of view of the parts of speech or grammar. Having a sound idea of what language actually accomplishes. (i.e. it helps us synthesize knowledge in our domain of interactions; it helps us make sense of natural processes, objects and events). Adi sought to determine exactly how it is accomplished. We began looking for a language in which to begin a study because how this synthesis is accomplished must be determined, with all possible precision, empirically — i.e. by way of observation and experiment.

Neither of us had any preference for which language became the basis of the study, yet, based on discussions with linguists and colleagues, we held out this idea of “a perfect text” as an exemplar to begin with: a perfect text is one in which the language and the meaning it conveys is perfectly clear and completely unambiguous. Adi expected to find natural laws using such a text. He initially focused his efforts onto exactly how language might be synthesized according to natural laws and in light of Einstein’s relativity and the modern standard model of physics.

Adi studied textbooks about the analysis of the nature of the hydrogen atom, speculations over the smooth surface of water and texts on chemical bonding as well; reading the summaries and overviews written by Russian physicists and German chemists. He reasoned that language must behave in ways similar to atoms; in the way they bond and form new or changed bonds in chemical reactions.  He felt that smoothness at the surface of water and the continuity in language must be related and reflected on ways that establish this fact, i.e.,  he sought processes that are somehow similar to the operations and laws of particle physics and in chemistry. This means language is to be seen as a natural rather than a social phenomena.  The processes of  atomic and chemical bonding drives biophysical processes– and the operation or behavior of all of it is well-defined –according to natural laws.

Adi began looking for natural laws and processes that somehow regulate the ways people use language to interpret something and unify it in their own awareness and intuition, and he found them. His observations and experiments were later published (in Semiotics and Intelligent Systems Development, 2007) as a set of proofs to a semantic theory of ancient Arabic. By the time of that publication, we had already rendered the theory into an axiomatic model of language and we further developed in situ methods and computer algorithms for synthesizing ethnographic “knowledge-types” (Plato’s eide) from text and messages written in any of the English, French or German languages.  (See this peer-reviewed paper for more information.)

The major difference between the work of cognitive scientists and linguists, and Adi, is the frame of inquiry. Adi asks: what task does language have — what problem must it solve — in order to accomplish what it does. It is the formulation and analysis of this task which is the starting point and primary focus of Adi’s investigation.

Language is often cast in terms of modern communications science while the problem language solves is a memory problem not a communications problem. This is regrettable on many levels though there is no need to dwell on that here.  What we found is that the cognates of families of human languages organize, encode and range over a kind of permanent memory space, accommodating the definite domain of human knowledge while being constrained by the more indeterminate domain of human interactions (ethnographic activities).

The advent of the phonetic alphabet gave the world its most efficacious form of interpersonal memory –a solution space. Phonetic alphabets represent a synthesis of elementary processes and conditions (i.e. laws, semantics, poiesis: to make something determinate) ranging (via Adi’s micro-syntax) over the domain of human interactions. The phonetic alphabet was the world’s first recording technology: A world-famous device for more permanently recording the dimensions of mutual understanding or human consciousness. This is done by encoding it within the long term memory or name-space of human language.

In summary, human language appears to be a recording system. It provides the means and methods to encode (and to access) knowledge from the domain of human interactions for all generations. It was because of this realization and formulation that Adi’s semantic study was successful and we immediately derived useful operational knowledge that we could and did turn into state-of-the-art technology.

It is true that the industry is hooked on analytics. Don’t you know that analysis and synthesis go hand-in-hand? Where are the developers, the entrepreneurs, the organizers? Which of these are you? Don’t you believe people need ways to synthesize perceptible knowledge salient to matters at hand?

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The political, religious and aristocratic coloring characterizing the present state of humanity subverts the validity of human cultures by monopolizing and maintaining “trust in the system”. One needn’t disrupt or subvert the present politico-economic systems in order to illuminate the space of language and correct the course and currency of the relevant orders.

What compels me and motivates the subject is the admonition: — the public interest requires doing today those things that men of intelligence and goodwill would wish, 5 or 10 years hence, had been done.  My concern is with humanity and a future filled with depression fueled by the imminent collapse of public institutions founded on misplaced “trust in the system.”

Modern politico-economic systems, or orders –as they are called, are the means by which the state and its enterprising exponents are given to the misplaced trust by maintaining the “ignorant bliss” of its culture. The way societies are controlled is with an insidious method of thought control inherited by modern heads of state and economy.  This method is so insidious that almost all of the present dilettante, public and professional members of society have been beguiled, falling victim to its perplexing effects.

One of the more serious side-effects of this mortal condition is a repressive and subversive mentality that exists at all levels in nearly all public societies, even in democracies. The foundation of this condition, now afflicting almost all of humanity, originates in the monopolization of the trust and validity of the word by the political systems and orders of history whose succession has been written into the permanent space of language.  Modern leaders are found to be conniving a “new world order” to strengthen the monopoly.

Political, academic and economic leaders along with the exponents of each of the political states and systems support each other; often while neglecting and hindering the progress, intellectual development and well-being of the people they pledge to govern, educate and support. This is done in order to increase the power and wealth of the members of the order or “insiders.”

Monopolization of the word has led to rampant skepticism and fracturing use and dependence on metaphor and politically-charged dialog. This serves only the desire for the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few leaders of the political state and economy. Proponents of the currency of the system have been beguiled by its charms as exponents of their own wealth and reputation.

The insidious effect, hardly unintentional, is to curb, retard or otherwise control the progress of humanity which is the cause of considerable suffering and undefinable harm — disarming the people by preoccupying, burdening and binding them with their own concerns for their welfare and well-being and the tiresome rule of mediocrity. That leaders are skilled negotiators of their politico-economic domain comes sharply into focus in the manifestation of unbridled greed in their financing and banking exponents.

Monopolization of the word by institutions and the political establishment is perpetuated in the following ways:

The most vocal critics of political repressions are outsiders that are easily silenced by charges of not having the proper training or credentials. The method is to show evidence of being quoted out of context or having misgivings that spring from radical purpose, ignorance or simple misunderstanding.

The reasoning of insiders and experts has a character different than that of the critic. This reasoning is far more obtuse, often employing as evidence the thing it needs to prove; as was done in the justification to make war in Iraq. In most literary and social sciences, such as psychology, linguistics and communications, information and computer science, important aspects of language and literature — sensibility, generous tastes, wide experience — are subverted by outright speculation or speculative model-building.

Poststructuralism is self-defeating, offers no explanation as to what language really is, and its proponents seem purposefully willing to act as if they are ignorant of the fact that the relevant institutions are in need of reform.  While theories of “language” and “semantics” are widely quoted by critics or writers in the new media and tenaciously entrenched in universities, it is largely a mediocrity of unexplained standards of political devising: a local currency of wealth and reputation.

All this constitutes a tiresome and convoluted prose that exists in academic disciplines, law and literature and in the use of technical vocabulary in private and public communities.  This make evaluation of the discipline or community difficult, making course correction nigh impossible and rendering it unfathomable to find and establish fundamentally correct processes and criterion for their evaluation, thus:

  • civil understanding of what is happening is diverted by political aims or greed.
  • civil enforcement has become indifferent, perhaps intentionally so.
  • the very notion of a safe and secure future, without terrorism or inhumanity, is blocked and shut out by ignorance, immediate skepticism and outright disbelief.

The vernacular of the exploding political administrations along with that of the public and popular press quantitatively increases the numbers of words.  They press the words into temporal media, aiming to monopolize them, while apparently qualitatively emptying the words of substance and content through excessive dispersion.  The cost of collecting, storing, processing and publishing the indifferent, often empty or senseless, words — is born by society. While enterprising insiders increase their own lot in the currency of wealth and reputation, they add far too little to the qualitative and permanent space of language.

Appreciation of a culture’s art is coincidentally assigned a temporal index of its value in the local currency of the day, often subverting the permanent qualities such work ought project.

Enough? Is it time to think about the permanence to the future of humanity instead of the currency of wealth and reputation?  Ought not a writer taking up the pen aim to enliven the permanent space of language?  If there exists ways to liberate society from the bonds of indifference, needn’t there already be criteria and processes for resolving how to do it?

The problem is whole populations have lost their humanity due to indoctrination into a (false) sense of security where people have been lured into misplacing their trust. Modern generations seem to have lost the capacity for sustained attention along with the ability for processing exact thought for themselves.

The permanent space exclusive to humanity and no other living creature on earth has been successfully hidden by covering it in a “modern mind” some thing which many people seem to have lost in the pages of a forgotten history while they have actually lost authority over their own thinking. This myth of modern mind is so insidious it infects the speech of everyone without exception even though no one can say what or where that thing we call “mind” resides or what it is, exactly.  Its method is perplexing, the consequences of which demeans humanity.

While I cannot claim to know what it is, I know that the academic discipline of philosophy and psychiatry invokes states of consciousness that do not exist, and perhaps that is where the mind was hatched, for to “have a mind” is surely nothing but a dubious figure of speech.

That no one can say where such a thing as mind goes when a person supposed to have one dies, or even manifest or display one for all to see, should be salient to even the dimmest of human intellects.  Yet the popular concept of a thing or space called “a mind” persists. It persists because it serves those who would monopolize trust in the validity of the “word” (logos) to increase the currency of their wealth and reputation.

In order to confiscate the space of language from the people, authorities invented the fiction of the modern and popular mind so that the more permanent space of language could be obfuscated by the temporal politico-economic order of political peers and their banking exponents. If this so-called modern and popular mind exists at all, it as only as a phantom — controlled (curbed like the dog that it is) by exponents holding fast and firm to a misplaced trust in the temporal usurper’s of authority over humanity.

Do people need to consider their own humanity in order for humanity to become more humane?

Why or why not?

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Albert Einstein wrote: “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.”

The partnership between human beings and computers is long and enduring and there are so many examples of just how powerful the influence of computers really is. This was especially true after the debut of the personal computer, and again after the debut of the Internet that gets us connected today.

When spreadsheets came out we became better tabulators. When word-processing and spell-checkers arrived we became better writers. The widespread use of relational databases made it easier to collect, store and manage information making us more intelligent about larger collections of data.

Over the decades of computing the costs of storing data have dropped to nearly nothing.  In many cases storing data on the Internet is free.  The costs of collecting data has dropped significantly.  There was a time, not so long ago, that the 300 baud modem was the most common way to connect or be “on-line” with another computer.  The costs to download 10 megabytes over long distance telephone lines was not inexpensive.  Now people connect to the Internet over public wireless networks in most cities. It is offered free by many business establishments. People now download a thousand times the amount of data moved in 1985.

But something went wrong. The five basic means and capabilities needed for intelligence are collection, storage, retrieval, analysis and dissemination. We have systems of collection, storage, retrieval and dissemination but the systems we do have for analysis are not generally something anyone can run on their personal computer.  Even if we can run them on a desktop pc, they are complex systems that require significant expertise to make them work well in limited areas of specialization.

Analyzing the patterns and ordering the data helps us learn about the world and obtain to better and more complete theories.  Albert Einstien wrote:  “Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve authority over us that we forget their earthy origins and accept them as unalterable givens.  Thus they might come to be stamped as “necessities of thought,” “a priori givens,” etc.  The path of scientific progress is often made impassable for a long time by such errors.  Therefore it is by no means an idle game if we become practiced in analyzing long-held  commonplace concepts and showing the circumstances on which their justification and usefulness depend, and how they have grown up,  individually, out of the givens of experience.  Thus, their excessive authority will be broken.  They will be removed if they cannot be properly legitimated, corrected if their correlation with  given things be far too superfluous, or replaced if a new system can be established that we prefer for any reason.”

Yet, still, here and now as we are in the twenty-first century we are lacking knowledge of those things that are given in our individual, private, and our public, social experience.  There is no model, no theory by which we can know, count and measure the givens of experience.  Einstein also wrote that: “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.”

So, it is a fair question to ask after the adequate representation to the givens of experience.  It is reported that in a letter to his son, Einstein wrote that: “Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

Isn’t it time to move on to a new way of thinking about intelligence and our means and capability to alter the structure and order of our independent, yet collective reality?  This video below defines simple basic and abstract elements of thinking that could make it possible for computers to do more intelligent analysis in much simpler ways, and to help us become better thinkers in the process.

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The comments to my last post have prompted this one.  I have often been confronted with disagreement; much more so than others. Being outspoken on the subjects of meaning and relevance accounts for some of the excess.  It seems as if most disagreement is rooted in a confused sense of relevance and meaning in the world.

I believe most people would agree that social and political problems hinge on a fundamental difference in points of view.  It is the same as saying that everyone sees or perceives of things differently.  It is the exemplification of the screen of relativity; that everything in the world is relative.  If everything in the world is relative in this sense of ‘being’ relative, it is relative first and foremost to the point of view of the observer.   This begs the question: Is it even possible that there is a shared and (relatively) objective point of view about existence?

If one cares to look into the literature of relativity and objectivity, it is fair to say that there is substantial confusion among academics.  The first cause of confusion, in my view and experience, is that people seem to forget they are subject to the physical and biological nature of being here and that confuses their thoughts and actions. Related to that is the way people lose touch with the nature of being in existence. It is pretty common to say that someone has lost their perspective. It could also be that they lose their point of view.  It takes critical thinking to find it again.

An important first step of critical thinking is to establish a point of view, for example.  If we are talking about meaning that people share, we also need a shared point of view. I will call this shared point of view “a proprioceptive insight to being in existence” and remark that it is an objective viewpoint that applies equally to everyone.

A proprioceptive insight relates to the stimuli connected with the position and movement of the body that are produced and perceived within an organism. We are concerned here with individuals, and the production or creation of meaning within human beings.  I will point out that when we include the “social context” in connection with such production, in addition to meaning connected with or reacting upon the position and movement of the human body, one finds the symbols and objects of language, and the leaders, cultures and institutions of human societies, numbering among the stimuli.

Proprioception is seen by some scientists, psychologists mainly, as one of the common senses.  In my view, all people develop their own proprioceptive insight that nonetheless centers on their own existence.  It is due to this fact, that everyone, in essence, everyone in a body, already shares the same point of view towards external objects and sense-data.  Some people are more aware of this than others.

Dancer’s, for example, exemplify a highly-developed if not exceptional and professional insight into the proprioceptive sense of their own bodies and the relationships of the movement and positions of their limbs –in a formal sense– according to the design of movement.  They posses a keen ability to recognize, or they acquire sensory knowledge of, the position and location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts. In order to create her work of art, using all her physical capability and know-how, the professional dancer strives to interpret the movement designed by the choreographer with the finest technical precision and detail and most obvious fidelity.

Few people will have the proprioception of a dancer and still fewer know or admit to such an objective view of the world –even while it is an essential element in the formulation of one’s knowledge; one that can be uncovered with critical thinking. It may be due to this sort of ‘forgetfulness’ and the adoption of contrary viewpoints that people lose sight of what is relevant, significant and decisive. So this post will examine the unfolding of meaning from an objective or proprioceptive point of view. Along the way, hopefully, we will see how a person can be easily misled. Note that I am composing this from experience that I will mention at the end.

To understand why this forgetfulness affects society, let’s start with what is learned in early childhood.

During the early months and years of their lives, children begin their learning by occupying themselves with apprehending the extent of the sensations to all parts of their bodies. In each child’s life, eventually one’s insight or knowledge of proprioception is extended to sensing external or projected objects and happenings (simple occurrences, events or beings in and of themselves) in relation to the position and location of the body or its parts. “Ultimately all observation, scientific or popular, consists in the determination of the spatial relation of the bodily organs of the observer to the location of ‘projected’ sense-data.” — Alfred North Whitehead in Symbolism Its Meaning and Effect (Barbour-Page Lectures — retrievable here. Note that: All quotations in this post are taken from this source.)

In this age of modernity, many people seem to wallow in immediate sense-data and their own inhibitions and diversions while they act as if the future is irrelevant and ignore salient facts that may determine their own fate. These people will often treat the sheer conditions of existence as accidental, or as something indiscernible, ineffable and unimportant; when exactly the opposite is true. As Alfred North Whitehead tells it: “The bonds of causal efficacy arise from without us. They disclose the character of the world from which we issue, an inescapable condition round which we shape ourselves. The bonds of presentational immediacy arise from within us, and are subject to intensifications and inhibitions and diversions according as we accept their challenge or reject it.

Whitehead goes on in his lecture to talk about and define causal efficacy and presentational immediacy at some length; I would urge my readers to take it in using the link above, it is not so hard to follow. Here and now, I want to focus on the conflict that arises from these bonds, the effects it has on the individual and society, and the forgetfulness that increases doubt and uncertainty. It is the conflict here that is also at the root of the failure to resolve substantial public and political issues; such as can be seen in the problem of terrorism.

Politicians have created this problem of terrorism that binds us to activities that do too little to eradicate it. The very notion of terrorism spawns its own form of presentational immediacy that causes the senses to be hijacked –in that one’s own attention is steered away from the possibility of resolution– being faced with a vague yet terrifying unknown clouds the senses with emotional anger or fear. This is the case in America, where many Americans gladly accept the erosion of civil liberties, once guaranteed by its Constitution, as necessary to defend against the inevitability of a terrorist attack.

There is as little resolve to defend against the erosion of civil liberties as there is to deprive terrorism of its existence in this world. As Whitehead defines it: “Irresolution in action arises from consciousness of a somewhat distant relevant future, combined with inability to evaluate its precise type. If we were not conscious of relevance, why is there irresolution in a sudden crisis?” For too many people, superstition, uncertainty or doubt is indubitably and simultaneously a part of the definiteness of the present; it affects people: making them unwitting pawns of the would-be “controlling presences” that lurk behind the projected sense-data –the presentation of terrorism in the popular press and in politically-charged rhetoric, for example.  But let’s not get hung up on politics.

Whitehead wrote: “The reason why the projected sense-data are in general used as symbol, is that they are handy, definite, and manageable. We can see, or not see, as we like: we can hear, or not hear. There are limits to this handiness of the sense-data: but they are emphatically the manageable elements in our perceptions of the world.

Note that much of the projected sense-data are symbols in some deeper sense, e.g., as politicians, religious leaders, experts, can be used as symbols in and of themselves; as well as the propositions, facts and information we get from or about experts, politicians and religious zealots in the news and on the Internet, for example. Most of what we take as symbol is generated from the immediate sense-data –such as one’s own symbolic conception of terrorism– and it takes its place among the manageable elements of one’s experience. We can surely hear and see as we like according to choice and free speech, but as Whitehead warned there are limits to this handiness.

When these symbols come to represent the inevitability of the way things are –to be taken as the controlling presences of now and the future– they have been taken too far. Referring to the manageable character and definiteness to the presentational immediacy of projected-sense data used as symbol, Whitehead tells us that: “The sense of controlling presences has the contrary character: it is unmanageable, vague, and ill-defined. But for all their vagueness, for all their lack of definition, these controlling presences, these sources of power, these things with an inner life, with their own richness of content, these beings, with the destiny of the world hidden in their natures, are what we want to know about.

Some people tend to take, or rather mistake, trending topics, popular knowledge and celebrity as what they want to know about –it is because of this feeling, perhaps, that celebrity is important to them. The trouble is that, for some, the mistaken person or object of desire joins the controlling presences in their lives.  Rap artists and comedians become role models. Dissidents and zealots command the press and the public attention. Neither politicians nor athletes can escape their celebrity.

Yet: “As we cross a road busy with traffic, we see the colour of the cars, their shapes, the gay colours of their occupants; but at the moment we are absorbed in using this immediate show as a symbol for the forces determining the immediate future.” Neither politicians, artists nor experts gets involved in this immediate task. How then can they rise to the occasion of being among the controlling presences in one’s own life?  Whitehead tells us by explaining that: “We enjoy the symbol, but we also penetrate to the meaning. The symbols do not create their meaning: the meaning, in the form of actual effective beings reacting upon us, exists for us in its own right. But the symbols discover this meaning for us.

Confronted with a need to cross a highway, the symbolic definition of each element of the projected sense-data is not as weighty as the relevance of the immediate future and the accord between the immediate goal and the natural forces –those regarded as controlling or regulating the phenomena. The need, the lack of a traffic signal, the sequence of moving vehicles, their speed, and the makes and models of the cars, along with their descriptions and occupants, uncovers or shows much of that meaning in the weight of the relationships symbolizing the present configuration of ‘projected sense-data’.

The projected sense-data co-mingles with the objects of presentational immediacy and one’s own sense of the familiar. Emotional desire moves us to immerse ourselves in determining the relevance of the immediate future to the wholeness of the present and the efficacy of our intention. If it were otherwise, if we were delving into the accurate definitions because the projected sense-data were unfamiliar, as is the norm with computers, the relevance of the immediate future would necessarily be inhibited –perhaps with devastating consequences.

In human beings, unlike machines, all possibilities are potentials as we act from the proprioceptive sense of our own being in relation to this confrontation with reality and the forces determining whether we make the passage safely or not. The emotions that move us, these forces and future possibilities, coalesce into a unified state of relevance at the precise moment of resolution.  This unfolding of meaning –the apprehension or grasp of it, in and of itself– provides all that is essential.

Now I don’t really expect many reader’s to get my meaning, and all of sudden become capable of perceiving the unfolding of meaning; that otherwise, and for some people, all happens in a flash. Those people who have experienced such occasions, can recall and think about the salient features.  Whitehead wrote that: “Certain emotions, such as anger and terror, are apt to inhibit the apprehension of sense-data; but they wholly depend upon a vivid apprehension of the relevance of immediate past to the present, and of the present to the future. Again an inhibition of familiar sense-data provokes the terrifying sense of vague presences, effective for good or evil over our fate.

In the case of crossing the busy highway: the cars, the road, the state, the occupants, past experience, the present, everything –all the ‘projected sense-data’ — is condensed into points or bodies in a space and time that is (all-at-once) intrinsically connected to our own proprioceptive being and location. What has happened, what is happening and what will happen next are each relevant and each commands its own body of being in the projected sense-data. “Our relationships to these bodies are precisely our reactions to them. The projection of our sensations is nothing else than the illustration of the world in partial accordance with the systematic scheme, in space and in time, to which these reactions conform.”

I hope my readers will bear in mind that the projection of our sensations is both real and imaginary, and they too take refuge in, and stay true to, the systematic scheme of existence, in space and in time, that is the changeless and unbounded wholeness and efficacy to creation.

Together with Tom Adi, I went looking for “meaning” beginning in the early 1980’s, or rather, we went looking for what constitutes meaning. I believe we not only found what constitutes relevance and meaning or semantics in natural language, Tom found natural laws to the wholeness and accord that exists between causal efficacy and presentational immediacy. In my view, Adi’s elementary processes are the same entity as Whitehead’s controlling presences.

Beginning with the assumption that all bodies (abstract as well as concrete bodies) are in motion, according to physical laws, and; using a polar coordinate system for making measurements of orientation, distance and length from a center point; we tested Adi’s semantic theory and procedures thoroughly. First, an algebraic language was created using Adi’s elementary processes and conditions of existence as its abstract/mental objects.

These processes, called Assignment, Manifestation and Containment, and their conditions of existence are most recently explained here.  We also developed algorithmic methods for reasoning about this “relation of meaning” between the words or symbols of text expressions. During this exercise we learned more about these elementary processes and the conditions of existence.  It is fair to say we are still learning today as we have only broken the surface.

We transformed the language, mathematical apparatus and methods into computer software (Readware) to test the reasoning and new theories of semantics, language learning and cognition.  We submitted the software to repetitive, formal and informal capability testing in text analysis, classification and text retrieval use cases –where relevance, recall and precision is measured. Performance testing was conducted from 1987 until 2007 in which it passed all tests with exceptional margins.

Some of the work has been peer reviewed and published in scientific journals and books; this report is in the public domain.  Yet, it takes a proprioceptive sensibility to make use of the functions. It also takes critical thinking to understand this work, and to understand the sense of meaning and the conditions of the existence from which we all issue.

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In a 2008 post, Semantics Maps, Meaning and Other Nebulous Notions, I described how an alphabet represents a set of sound symbols that are interpreted as word formulas in readware technology. If you skip over my long-winded ranting about what is called semantics and ontology in the computer industry, you will see that I included Adi’s matrix for English near the bottom. This matrix semantically maps the (atomic) sound symbols of the language from the creative powers and substance of thought (a creative soul).

Essentially, this is a mapping from a unified awareness, or the essence of a world-building thought or mind, into the atomic symbols of the language. On the other hand, one might see it is a mapping of the symbols we use to make language about the world onto any resident human’s thoughts of the world. I did not characterize it in this way, as the formulable essence of a world-making soul, as I did in the post previous to this one. Instead, I just put the definition out there relating it to the ways words and thoughts represent the world, i.e., their semantics. Yet, no one seemed to understand the semantic functions of Adi’s elementary processes and polarities; at least few people shared any comments with me.

In the later half of this decade, I found that many computer professionals, especially writers and promoters in the field, were expecting breakthroughs in semantic technology, from existing efforts, and did not have the time of day to entertain something so different as the software we created.  Instead, they stayed with the status quo –which is how it has been for the last few decades. Nearly everyone, it seems, has taken up a position on the sidelines –waiting for the next big thing.

Now here we are in 2010 and I am here talking about the same things I was ranting about from 1998 to 2008, because there are serious problems with the way people seem to be thinking. When you mention “creative thinking,” for example, people tend to think of brainstorming and executive retreats with NLP.  This is so wrong-headed that it is just one more thing that tears us down. You don’t have to take my word for it.

In a recent Newsweek article about the crises in creativity, authors and writers talked about the fact in some detail, there is also an audio interview with the writer. While they mentioned that so-called “brainstorming,” practiced by corporations and educational facilities, does not work, they were not able to say how thinking works. They were reporting that, using the Torrance Creativity Quotient (CQ) scale, they could definitively show that creativity is on the decline –and has been since 1990– while the IQ scores of children are increasing about 10% per year due to the Flynn effect (where each generation of children show an increase in IQ score).

My experience is not with education but with reading and processing information and semantic recognition. In the process of implementing a semantic recognition system, for reading and understanding the meaningful relations of the expressions of a text, I learned about the powers of creative thinking, directly, by trial and practice. And I believe I understand creative thinking correctly when I characterize it as the intellectual power of a world-building soul. Calling it a world-building or world-making soul is a way of representing the necessary processes of creativity. It does not matter what we call it, as long as everyone understands what it is we are doing here (with language or with thought).

No one would debate that people do represent the world of experience with language, but the formal methods of functional grammar and lexical semantics seem only to help determine if a statement meets the truth conditions covered by a rule. Scientist and logicians in this field do not concern themselves with what is in the world or with the way the world works, the way thought works or with how the world is represented in thought. If you ask them, they proudly say –that’s not our call or concern.

Instead they concern themselves with structuring and mapping the logic of a belief, proposition or “speech acts” and with the sentimental composition of particular statements about some thing (usually in or related to the content or context), where such logical strictures are then related to each other and proven true or false either by logic or by contest.  If it is language or even knowledge that describes the way the world works, then the problem with linguistic, lexical and logical semantics is that there is no semantic thesis that adequately defines the all-important relationship that holds between one’s thought of the world and one’s language of the world.

Thought, it seems, does not represent the world in the same way as does a natural language –or even with a private language of thought as philosophers once mused. No scientist or layman familiar with this topic would deny that there is a transformation of structure between thought and language. The semantics of the symbol must capture this transformation and account for all its values.

This post will review, for my readers, the central premise of the search for artificial intelligence and recast the character of Adi’s semantic thesis: explaining how world-making is empowered by the intellect, enacted by thought or mind; revealing the semantic relationship between thought and symbol and the means to objectively interpret the meaning of words, phrases and other expressions of any natural language.

Apparently, very few authorities recognize the phonemes of language as symbols. There is no mention of phonemes or morphemes in the examples of symbols in the physical symbol system page at Wikipedia.  For computer scientists, the symbol functions as a representation according to a computational or representational theory of mind (CTM/RTM).  In this regard, a phoneme qualifies as a symbol.  In addition, the number and range of the inventory of phonetic sounds of the human language is relatively stable over a much longer period than some of the other symbols listed as examples.

This CTM-based approach has survived years of enormous effort. With more than fifty years of support, it has enjoyed large amounts of funding and a take-up in every computer science department at every university. Students and their professors and all manner of well-funded AI researchers have been working on CTM/RTM-driven efforts under the premise of the Physical Symbols System Hypothesis (1976, PSSH; original paper by Alan Newell and Herbert Simon).

Their hypothesis is that a physical symbol system (such as a computer system) has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligence.  That thesis has been hotly debated and any development of a general “intelligence” has remained illusive, but you needn’t have my word about it. Nils Nilsson’s 2007 paper is a good view on the status of PSSH since 1976, and its prospects today, where he writes:

Newell and Simon admitted that
The hypothesis could indeed be false. Intelligent behavior is not so easy to produce that any system will exhibit it willy-nilly. Indeed, there are people whose analyses lead them to conclude either on philosophical or on scientific grounds that the hypothesis is false. Scientifically, one can attack or defend it only by bringing forth empirical evidence about the natural world.

There has certainly been no shortage of intelligent, even brilliant, computer, cognitive and brain scientists working from this premise and the counter premise –that there is no “intelligence”; it is just a bunch of patterns, neurons and chemical reactions.  Unfortunately neither approach is completely satisfying or demonstrative of more than a kind of mechanical or algorithmic reckoning; acting out of a specific rule, or from initial conditions. These are so specific that these “physical symbol systems’ tend to break unless they are narrowly focused in a well defined domain. People, the other example of “physical symbol systems” in evidence, are far more resilient.

In my last post, I argued that the empirical evidence is that people have a soul (naturally) and computer systems don’t.  I hope that I identified that as the main problem in the field, and if not, I am doing so here and now.  I described the character that Tom Adi and I were looking for when we began our work on search and the semantic recognition problems in 1984. Tom and I had both been working in the computer industry since the late seventies, but not in AI and outside of university settings, and so I was not familiar with the PSSH or with Jerry Fodor’s Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) from the same time period (at the time).

For different reasons, the affinity that Tom and I shared, was that: linguists, philosophers and logicians, and psychologists, had so far failed to give an adequate account of concepts.  None offered a semantic thesis sufficient to explain the way people represent the world in thought and language. Both of us saw this as a reason for the “meaning” failure in automatic translation systems. That is the problem that prompted Tom to organize and undertake an original semantic study into the roots of meaning –so to speak.

While I previously believed otherwise, since then, I have found that the conventions of language are not part of the foundations of thinking. According to Adi’s research and findings, they may be derived directly from Adi’s elementary objects of thought.  It not only seems right, as it is in one’s own experience, it makes sense that first comes the orderly form of thought then comes language.

Some writers seem to confuse the power to synthesize and generate ideas with mental faculties used in the production of language out of the human disposition (claims/conclusions) and the ensuing expression and discourse in the chain of events.  I did that myself in the early part of my career. What took years of reconciliation for me to learn (in light of Adi’s results), is that: each and every true thought is an enactment –either the act of enacting, or the state of being enacted– an activity that is quite apart from but linked (through the disposition) to the faculty of language in people.

I want to now introduce readers to a fresh application of the psychological notion of thinking; how human thought (or mind) operates, and; what mind operates on (Adi’s objects and processes); how Adi’s semantics link those intellectual processes –the objects of thought– to language, and; how this formative intellect is encoded and carried by the physical symbols of the world of experience. In that regard, let me first define what I mean here by the term thinking.

I don’t mean to define the mental faculties, such as pattern recognition, memory, logical reasoning and the rest; this post is not about those mental faculties and processes.  I will not bring out Adi’s formal definitions here as they are available on another page (accessible using the tab at the top of this blog). Here I will attempt to characterize the activity of thinking as the transformation and synthesis of sensation, information and perception into the substance of the universal essence –the intellectual power of a world-making soul.

At the end, I hope to have demonstrated how it is this essence, this formulable essence found by Tom Adi, that is the essence of ANY material or matter, indeed, any phenomena within the psychological world of experience. For if this notion were not so; if the essence of world-making were not so formulable –so capable of being easily formulated– how could any child represent the world in their thought and thinking –either with or without language.

I hope to demonstrate to my reader not only that the intellectual powers and essence to thought are formulable, functional and instrumental to symbolic representation, but how so. I will show that it is the true thought’s substantial essence and intellectual power that becomes, as it manifests itself in every disposition and dispensation (i.e., the intellectual power of thought issuing from the authority to use it; e.g., the authority to assign a name) every inference we make and all the reckoning we do.

Before I do that I want to explain why the objects in the psychological world of experience, including natural languages, logical propositions and other accepted physical symbols, are insufficient for general intelligence in our artificial symbolic processing systems.  Because, by focusing on words and ungrounded propositions in a psychological world that is in flux with emotion and full of uncertainty, scientists seem to have reached a dead-end.  No amount of sequencing can straighten it out. This is because the world of experience is to thinking (and intellectual thought processes) what the quantum world is to the world of classical mechanics.

In the Ontology of Action/Enactment below, we have the universe of action and reaction represented by the science of physics and its major fields or divisions. Opposite, as if a mirror image on the right, we have the universe of enactment (and the state of either enacting or being enacted) and reenactment (and the state of either reacting or being re-enacted).  One side is material, the other immaterial.  Both sides (along with the nature of each respective universe) are implicated in the world-building nature to life.

While quantum mechanics is rendered below the horizon and opposite consciousness it can only be associated for a short time.  It is a transformation of thinking to consider and realize how classical mechanics is more descriptive of the nature of thought or mind than quantum mechanics.  In a sane person, the mind is as decisive, orderly and determined as our solar system in spite of current experience that is so often disorderly and absurd.

Being in the world of experience is unpredictable; it is full of uncertainty. There are swarms of composite particulars and indefinite substance made up of all kinds of individual and material particles and immaterial ideas –ambiguity at every turn– corresponding to visible and invisible particles, attractions and repulsions. That everything has a spin, including language, should not be lost on the modern individual in tune with events of the last decade.

True and considered thought, on the other hand, must summon from the disposition of a world-building soul, the powers of world-making –for discovering the set of laws or principles and the physical operations– the powers for enacting the set of forces and constraints, those governing the lawful composition and destruction of bodies, along with the operations for moving, aggregating and separating them. These are the powers the human race needs to survive.

The human mind seeks to control the character and motions of the bodies that are distributed within the boundaries and in the domain and range of things in the psychological world of experience. Thought works through the action and the force of intellectual and creative powers. It is a biological function: to think is to become, to be –to manifest thought and make manifest its grand schemes. Thinking with the objects of thought produce the symbols, words, sentences and statements, science, art, and all manner of institutions along with the rest of culture.

Thinking is a creative and evolutionary procedure. Aggregated true or provisionally-true thought –some might call that a meme or a unit of cultural transmission– progresses along the onto-genetic trajectory of a world-making soul. It should be no surprise that thinking, like life, is a biological process on an evolutionary path. Life is the union of both passable and impassable aspects to being.

The intimacy everyone knows and feels with thought and art is the indubitable knowledge people have to rise above other creatures (and creature-habits). The power to become cultured and to build a world suitable and similar to one’s most cultured ideal of being. This is about wielding the power that once was the exclusive domain of the Pharaoh’s of Egypt, the Princes of Arabia and Persia, India and China, the Emperors of Rome and all the Popes and Kings that came before us.

If I were to carry this metaphor out, one might imagine a combination of powers to be required, including the power of dominion: authority and control. It is necessary to have authority (or control) over the necessary functionality as well as all internal or external constituents in the function, domain and range of one’s thought, for reason of establishing the identity, appearance and order of authority; for example.

One would need the power and authority to name, assign, dispose or dispense with any matter. One needs be capable of decreeing any event or occurrence, either actual or potential, or material or immaterial, to be, happen or to take place. This, for the sake of the unified control over the distribution of functions of the human imagination (and motor skills) and one’s reason and power to distinguish and determine the constituents, including the language, in the function, domain and range of one’s thought. Thirdly, one would need the power and ability to accommodate, order and unify all the external and internal constituents determined to be relevant, into the unification function, domain and range of one’s thought. I call this unity and these powers the power of thought.

These powers are credible enough to explain how things come into being, and; in the formal semantic theory proposed by Tom Adi, they comprise the formulable essence of the psychological experience of all the things we find in material existence. They are: the power of assignment, the power of manifestation, and; the power of containment. Adi calls these elementary processes implicating the process of assigning, the process of manifesting and the process of containing, without commenting further. I identify them with the intellectual powers of thought (mind or consciousness). Let’s examine them one by one.

The Power of Assignment:  The power, authority, faculty and liberty and the necessary and sufficient process to confer status (such as equality, e.g., A=A) property, rights or truth, to confer is to bring together and also to compare; it is a movement (to give) to name, to identify, to indicate, point to, attend to, etc. In business, the power of assignment is indispensable, as it is in nearly all aspects of one’s own life and personal affairs.

The Power of Manifestation: The power, authority, faculty and liberty and the necessary and sufficient process to create, project, appear or make some thing or entity to appear, happen or take place. Just like one manifests one’s own thoughts in their behavior. When you make a decision to go to a location different from where you presently are, you use this power to enact that disposition and make it actually happen. Your motor functions react to your intellectual will power. If your intellectual will power is strong it will happen.

The Power of Containment: The power, authority, faculty and liberty and process necessary and sufficient to accommodate, quantize, structure, frame and otherwise create order out of chaos.

According to Adi’s theory, assignment, manifestation and containment are elementary processes. They combine into a power set (the formulable essence of the set of intellectual powers) available to the consciousness of any individual. It is my view, that Adi’s processes are consumed by the mental (cognitive, imaginative, rational) faculties of thinking by splitting them into formative functions (e.g., thinking as an influential experience).

The semantic matrix at the top represents these ontic and formative functions distributed over the potential of perceived relationships within the domain (of thought, mind) and ranging over all world-making operations. These are expressed with operations typical of simple and compound and polarized actions, reactions, interactions, and bonds; enabling simple and compound compositions, and so forth. This is part of Adi’s semantics and derives from the semantic matrix where each phonetic symbol is taken as the sign of a specific, selective and formative operation or function in the domain and range of one’s own thought.

In one language study conducted in English, Tom Adi compiled statistics of the distribution of these ontic functions over about 30,000 frequently-used words; (complex lexical symbols) expressing such polarized actions and interactions using the English language. Every part of speech was represented according to how commonplace each part of speech is in regular use. All the words included in the study had three or more letters. We found out many interesting things, not the least of which is: there is an absence of action and interaction by containment (there is no word in English expressing a containment mapping applied to a defined domain set) in any of the vocabulary we tested.

Tom interpreted this as a natural law of complex systems. As a law of system control– there is no direct control. That is: No process or object can directly control (exercise a mapping of containment on) another process or object. Control of others (other interacting objects) is either enacted by assignment (control by instruction, the most common form) or by manifestation (control by action causing a reaction).

Adi found that control, in the great majority of interactions (925/991 or about 93% of the vocabulary falling into this group), is enacted by assignment, i.e. by issuing instructions that others execute (machine control, obedience, cooperation in good faith). In a small percentage (66/991 or about 7%) of interactions, control is the enactment of a manifestation causing a reaction (e.g., a behavior causing a reaction: imitation, following a leader, reacting to a catalyst or provocateur). This has interesting personal and social implications. For example, a human community is never directly coerced to do anything.

I would like to go further but, seeing as this post is longer than the last, and having laid out the link between thought and the symbols of language, I will leave my reader to absorb these notions and to sort out some of the rest of the implications.  While this post has been mainly about the semantic link between (atomic) thoughts and atomic symbols. In the next post, I will get to the semantics of molecular symbols (words). I will show some examples of how they influence the disposition and how we learn from them.

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In this post I will try to demonstrate  the semantics of identity in the context of “identity theft” –explaining why “identity theft” exists and why it is so absurd.  The reason is not very complex, so the understanding of it is within anyone’s capacity.  There are at least three perspectives considered below.

There is of course the personal and victimized perspective.  I shall refer to this as the victim’s perspective for the people are undoubtedly victimized by “identity theft”.  And there is another perspective mainly shared by political, banking and lending institutions, and big business.  The perspective of these stakeholders is the institutional perspective and it is shared by these establishments.  The third perspective is that of the skeptic and the critical thinker –not that all skeptics are critical thinkers and vice-versa.

To understand  the semantics of identity one must first understand that thinking is inseparable from doing.

In addition to the fact that there are at least two perspectives to any identity there are at least two ways of intersecting these active perspectives.   To understand the semantics, we can look at a static state of affairs –as we often must– and to do so, we freeze a situation for retrospective analysis.

There is also a way of seeing what is happening as a dynamic interrelated set of entities, objects and processes, because, as a matter of fact, everything is always moving and in motion.  One side is not independent of the other, each is an aspect of a single object or entity.   There is then, a static aspect to identity and a dynamic aspect to identity.

I am sure most readers would take all that as rather abstract so let’s try to make it more concrete at the risk of sounding a little absurd in the face of reality.  Recall now that the institutional establishments have invented the phrase “identity theft”, and that such establishments have a stake in controlling one’s identity.  Now theft of course, means that something, usually property, is stolen by somebody else, so we can dispense with further discussion of that part of the phrase.  The rest of the phrase implies that it is one’s own identity being stolen.

Let’s examine that; beginning with personal identity as this is the case we all know best.  For all our intents and purposes, the proper name of an identity is one such (relatively) static aspect of identity. A proper name has its own semantics.  A proper name is a label and sometimes a handle for an identity.

A label is meaningful for separating things, for calling people and for tracking, that is; a proper name is meaningful in the context of labeling things for distribution, segregation, control and similar purposes.  Now, notice that we are no longer talking about identity. Here, now, we are talking about the utility of proper names.  Now this fact –a seemingly innocuous switch of subject– seems very important to me. Particularly as many people are victims of “identity theft” these days.

It is here that the skeptic might be thinking that all this is absurd and that it matters not what name is used for any purpose. Identity theft, for example, does not have to mean that one’s identity is being stolen some skeptic may say.  To that I would respond that words and names are often convenient labels but it does not make them true or correct labels.  For the labels to be determined to be true, one must be able to examine the case and its implications in order to come to an agreement as to whether it is a true or correct application of the label.

If you are following me, you will resolve after due consideration, that “identity theft” is not a true description of what is happening in such a state of affairs and within the surrounding cloud of circumstances.  If you are a victim of so-called “identity theft” What is being stolen is not your identity or even your proper name –because many people share the same proper name– what is being stolen is data or “information” linked to your occupational being here (and all about your participation in an economy).

Now, it matters only whether some property of the victim is being stolen or whether property of the establishment is being stolen or otherwise  misappropriated.

Your credit cards and wallet and bank account numbers and passwords in your possession are your property, but your credit history files are not your property.  The data in your credit history file is stored on computers that are not your own. The files and computers belong to the bureaucratic and institutional establishments. The data inside these files are fully intended and designed to provide information about you and to further segregate and classify you.

Now almost everyone has heard of the situation referred to by calling it “identity theft”. That actually means that someone has broken into your credit history and related files and is illegally using the information there to impersonate you.

By calling it “identity theft” instead a high-tech crime of “data hacking” and theft of “information”, bankers and big business retailers and other lenders are able to make it your problem. e.g., as if your “identity” is being stolen. Though it is not your identity being stolen. Why is their data and systems being hacked your problem and not their problem?  Shouldn’t they be held accountable?  Is it because “they have the power” and you do not?  If that is what you think; that answers why it is your problem.

Understand that it is the actual digital files and information that they –the institutional establishment– created about you that is being misappropriated.  The files and information are not your property. Because they are not your property, why should you be required to ensure the safety and security of these files? Why aren’t they held accountable for their own property and for the damage they do to your reputation?  The answer is simple.  You do not realize your own power and you do not exercise your will to object and to push back against the establishment when it goes wrong-headed.

Therefore your elected officials with legal power over the institutional establishment allow them to do it. Electing new politicians cannot help you, if you are not thinking correctly.  The new politicians will allow it too. For one, they will say: It has always been that way.  The real or true reason though, is: It is allowed because the semantics are unclear.  The semantics are unclear because the labels are being used in a confusing way.  The consequence of confusion is more confusion.  A consequence is the effect of taking an action, so that is to say that wrong-headed actions are taken.  In the wake of confusion, lucrative deals come more readily than when things are more settled.

The semantics of identity is assignment.  Assignment is an elementary semantic process.  What does it take to make an assignment?  What are you doing when you make an assignment?  Creating theories and concepts about the way things appear and their implications is a part of critical thinking.

In the case that I tried to frame above, the issue is identify theft.  So, we must question our assumptions about identity and what it is.  Without semantics –that is, without basic symbolic knowledge of the original cause and the interrelationship of identity to the wholesome and unified awareness, one might accept that an identity is only a name, label, or some nomenclature that we use in language and in talking about people and other things.

Critical thinking requires one to be clear and precise about their concepts.

So my concept of identity converges to the assignment of a name or label in order to identify the object or process occurring to the awareness.  The semantics of identity is assignment.  This is to say, quite objectively, that an occurrence that appears to have an identity (such as the appearance of the computer before you) is such identity only because we have assigned it the name “computer”.  Identity is a symptom of the assignment we make.  What does it take to make an assignment?  What are you doing when you make an assignment?  You are using your authority and free will to do something.  Framing and answering such questions is a part of critical thinking.

If you are a parent, ask yourself, who or what gave you the authority to assign your child a name –their identity.  No kingdom or government regulates such a thing.  If you are not a parent , ask yourself, what gives you the authority to call something good or bad — to pass judgement by association –by naming or referring to something substantive of a thing.  What power or right gives you, or me for that matter, the authority to call the computer a computer and not a calculator or some other name?

The semantics of identity is assignment.  An assignment confers rights to being.  When you make an assignment, what you are doing, is that you are conferring rights.  Thinking is inseparable from doing.

Whether it is done subconsciously, preconsciously or consciously, because it  is a matter of implication and consequence, and because it is held almost entirely within the realm of the mind and within the “processes of thinking”, until it becomes a matter of fact or consequence, most people tend not to even notice that they are exercising their own personal authority.  You exercise your authority to make an assignment while making any decision that is involved in creating or affirming any identity. This is done by conferring upon it, its right to identity.   Think of it… what power! What Grace?

Your right to identity along with your proper name — was conferred upon you by your parents. No one can take that away.  In fact, if you want to change your name, you need a judge to grant that right for good reason.  Why do you give into the ruse that your identity is being stolen –so easily?  Because the bankers and lenders say so?

Your parents give you your name, but your own self-identity arises from that perfect union and nurture from which your being here unfolds. Your rights to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a birthright.  Does it make you happy that the institutional establishment has taking over control of your life and liberty and that they have abrogated your own power and property of self-identity and used it for their own profit?

If you do not like that reasoning, try this:  If you are a victim of so-called identity theft, then you have apparently nothing more to lose.  Why not go to court and point out to the judge that your identity is quite intact and that it was the lender’s data files that were hacked and stolen and that has created havoc in your life along with financial ruin.  Now of course, you cannot do this if you are careless with your own property:  your files, data and information.  In this, case you must suffer the consequences of being careless, unthinking and out of touch with what is happening around you.

I am not a lawyer.   Perhaps one will comment. I believe if you are careful and the theft is not of your own property– i.e., your identity or your wallet or card or something else in your care and possession, then you have a case for judicial review.  If your judge concurs that it is indeed a credit or banking system or file being hacked, causing in its wake irreparable harm that you can document, the judge may rule that the banker or creditor is a fault for not protecting the information in the first place.

Disclosing one’s private information, whether intentionally or not, is a crime that should carry hefty penalties as a multiple of the damage that is inflicted on the victim. Now don’t you agree after all, that we should all think more carefully and critically about the way words are used?

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The Semantics of Disconnect

Check out this ebook about what matters now (it is in pdf format).  I have added my meme below.  If you are touched by what matters most to you, you should post the ebook at your blog and add your meme to it.

My meme for what matters now is the

D i s c o n n e c t

in meaning and life that many people experience.

The Choice

It is your Choice.

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