The E-primitive Thought Experiment


#101
We didn't have to give up literacy to acknowledge the flux of the world or understand it now, did we?

We really don’t understand the flux of the world. We acknowledge it, but we can’t understand it. They say that quantum physics is almost impossible for anyone to entirely understand, and that’s largely because of our literacy, because we can only very superficially acknowledge the actual nature of the world while still caught in the illusory halls of “TO BE.” On the other hand, observe how easily Indian language speakers grasp quantum physics. That means that the difficulty of quantum physics is precisely the problem of literacy’s “thing-like” universe. If you can say you actually understand quantum physics, then I’ll believe you that your thinking has actually not been hampered by literacy. But we don’t understand it; at best, we can acknowledge it and forsake the possibility of understanding it, but that’s not the same. By following the scientific path of the colonized mind all the way around, we’ve ended up back at the beginning, and can now see that the most important scientific questions are things we were far better equipped to explore before we started.

Even Native Americans had words for buffalo, longhouse, man, woman, "two-spirit," and tipi, which had to be nouns, even if they had different meanings or more than word for buffalo (as did some Native American languages).

By in large, they weren’t nouns, that’s the whole point. You’re obviously not understanding how big the difference is here. Here’s an example that Willem posted:

Joseph Rael, of the Thunder Caller Clan, grew up in Picurís Pueblo in northern New Mexico. When he was 6, his family moved there from the Ute Reservation in southern Colorado, and he had to learn three new languages: Tewa, which was spoken at Picurís; Spanish, the language of people in the surrounding villages; and English, which was taught at Indian Day School.

“I felt like I’d walked into another dimension in time . . . another reality,” he said.

To illustrate, he described the experience of getting water at the communal well. “In English, it meant to me the Pavlovian thing. You hear the words, run to the buckets, get them, go outside, get to the pump, get the water and then you bring it back.

“Now, here’s what it means in Tewa. Aah-paah-ii-meh (ah pa HI may). ‘Aah’ is purity and clarity. ‘Paah’ is light. ‘Ii’ is awareness. ‘Meh’ is movement. When I went to get water, I became the activities I was doing. I became purity … clarity … light … awareness … and movement.”

Most animist languages don’t deal with nouns, names of things. They deal with actions. That’s why you get those silly Indian names; they’re not silly in their original context, they’re made silly by the awkwardness of translating not just from an Indian language to English, but from a universe of events to a universe of things. For instance, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) typically named trees for the sounds they made as wind swept through them; it’s not quite the same as our nouns, and I find myself struggling to explain it in colonized terms the same way a quantum physicist struggles to explain his field, and for very similar reasons: the limitations implied in the only words we have simply do not apply.

There are objects in the picture, the picture is a picture, but there are actions as well. Cartoonists can show actions and verbs in pictures, like the "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoon mentioned in this thread. What's wrong with acknowledging both? Can't the two ways of seeing the picture be both valid?

You’re missing the point. There’s only one that you can concentrate on, only one that you can notice first. Everyone eventually sees both; the question is, when asked, “What does this show?” what is your first answer? Is it a picture of a runner running, or is it a picture of running, with a runner? When you look at a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, what’s the first thing you see? Do you see the objects, or the action? You can only see one of them first. Eventually, you see both, but which one you see first reflects your basic view of the universe. If the universe is a set of things, or if the universe is a set of relationships, will change everything. If you see the universe as things that can relate, that means you live in a universe of things. It’s a universe of things, and one of the things the things happen to do is to relate. If you live in a universe of relationships, then there are no things, because “things” would be formed by their relationships, and relationships can change, so they’re not “things.” Things have a consistent nature; things persist; things ARE. That can’t be in a universe of relationship. That’s what quantum mechanics tells us, what animist languages confirm, and what the colonized mind cannot accept.

Wait a minute. It was we who define words. You've redefined horticulture and agriculture countless times, can we not redefine what a fact is or acknowledge it should be redefined? How does "redefining" a word invalidate using it?

Because then we’re not talking about the word. If you redefine it, you’re not talking about what the word means, you’re scrapping that and coming up with a totally different meaning. I have never redefined horticulture or agriculture: I have reiterated, clarified and repeated the meaning they already have, but I’ve never redefined it. If you redefine a fact so that it no longer means “fact,” but instead means, “bowling ball,” you’re not communicating, you’re just playing the silliest of word games.

Sure, the book changed. But it obviously could change.

They didn’t change, though. You just made a new book that was different from the old book in just one way. That’s not changing it, that’s creating something new.

Here's another example--I edit my words constantly. The posts I've written--I sometimes edit ten times before I finish them. Notice that I erased the point about the Kwakiutl after writing it even though you quoted it, since I saw that it was indeed off-track. I change them if I feel like it. Yes, the editing must stop, but some change initially is possible. It's not all-or-nothing the way I felt you argued it. Of course, if you didn't argue that, then I apologize for misunderstanding you.

It’s still not changing it, it’s creating something new. I responded to a version of your post that no longer exists; the post that’s there now is a new post. We’re not talking about a changing post, we’re talking about different (but similiar) posts being created.

To compare: if I were to cut my hair off, that would be a change. If you were to clone me without my hair and then kill me, that’s not changing, that’s creating something similar, but still new. That’s what happens when you edit a book, a post, or any other written work: you create something similar, but new. It’s not the same written work, so it’s not changing.

How is this not?

Where’s your empathy sense? Is it in your skin, your eyes, your ears? Where is your sense of empathy located? Where’s your empathy organ? I can see a sunset, smell a flower, feel a breeze, or taste a piece of fruit–does empathy go into that list? Can I empathize a starry night?

Empathy is very deeply tied to our senses; it prompts our senses to emulate sensations we may have never felt first-hand, and it is instructed by our sensuous experience, but it is not, in itself, a sense.

Yes, and obviously one can still analyze things in oral settings even when they are still literate.

Actually, no. “Analysis,” as we mean it, doesn’t really happen in oral societies. Tracking, instead, forms the basic mental model of inquiry.

Sure, a song is different--so why does literacy inherently blind you if we still know how to analyze oral things differently?

Because we live in a universe of things. Even music becomes a thing. A song is made up of notes and chords, for instance. Once you live in a universe of things, you can never again live in a universe of relationships.

You still were able to acknowledge that in a "literate" context.

Which is rather like being able to wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I’m in a prison!” Is that sufficient? No; you probably want out of the prison, too. Yes, from a literate context we can acknowledge how our literacy traps us, makes us stupid, and makes it impossible for us to ever understand what the universe is actually like. So, stop there and be happy we have writing? No, that’s the point at which we should be looking to see how we can break free of that cognitive cage.

I will not deny that my mind has probably been colonized in some form by literacy. I'm sure yours has too.

It absolutely has. And there’s the challenge of rewilding our language, which is what E-Primitive is for.

Again, my argument here is this: can one think dually, and that is acknowledge a context for the "literate" mind as well as acknowledge the "sensuous" mind? I believe so. You might not, but my "observations" have made me conclude that I can.

And this is my argument: you can think with a whole multitude of perspectives, but the literate mindset of “IS” and “ARE” and “TO BE” is not one of them, because that is a colonizing paradigm that throttles every other perspective. It contradicts every other perspective, so it cannot co-exist with them. All other perspectives complement and enrich one another; this kills every other perspective until only it exists. So, if you try to “think dually,” you’re really just thinking literately.

I said valuable, not necessary. I was also pointing out that you have defended facts as consistent. Again, I did not say that I believed those facts were consistent or unchanging, just that that was how you defended them. If I said something else, I will "retract" that.

But I haven’t defended them as facts. I’ve defended them as consistent observations, even as consequences, but not as facts. If I used such language, it was due to my poverty of language. All I have is this crappy, domesticated language riddled with “TO BE” and other such nonsense, and it makes it impossible to think, much less communicate, clearly.

Consider mathematics. Two plus two equals four. Four plus four equals eight.

Math was a bad example … I think Zerzan gets pretty silly on this one, but this is still a convention. What does “two” mean? Or “four”? Furthermore, counting really only takes hold after domestication. The things that populate a hunter-gatherer’s world are too heterogeneous for counting to have any meaning. Only with domestication do you have interchangeable organisms. Yes, there were plenty of Indian cultures with domestication.

Okay, how about gravity? Apples drop when you let go of them unless they are otherwise supported. That's consistent, is it not? Every apple that is let go drops, or a ball.

But it’s much more accurate to talk about this in terms of relationships than “facts.” Gravity is not a fact; it’s a relationship between two bodies.

Yes, that's true. But again, why do you have to say "appears" consistently? People might prefer saying the "leaves are green," but they know they will turn brown.

So, “the leaves are green” is a contraction for, “the leaves appear green, even though I’m saying they ‘are’ green, I don’t actually mean that, because that would be absurd”? What about saying what you mean rather than making people guess? Do you see the confusion this all causes?

That is part of the problem of E-Prime; in trying to rehabilitate English, it can become very clumsy and unwieldy. Animist languages manage to express what they actually mean without this problem, and that’s part of what it means to rewild our language: to say what we mean, and to be able to say it concisely.

Why did I have to change my speech to acknowledge that leaves will turn brown.

Because right now, you’ve become so used to an impoverished language built on absurd assumptions that you’ve accepted as a given that no one could ever possibly mean what they’re saying. So what good is it? Your language is constantly seperating you from your senses, every time you say “is” or “are” instead of “looks” or “smells,” and in return for that sacrifice you get to “move gradually from paradox to nonsense to total gibberish,” and you get to be cut off from any real understanding of the way the world works because you’re so busy trying to understand what everything “is.”

Is that enough of a reason to suggest that we might want to explore rewilding our language?

First, what is "to be?"

“To be” asserts something about an object’s nature.

The idea that “objects” exist comes from literacy, and the “thing-ness” each word implies. That it has a “nature” stems from the way literacy removes us from our sensuous experience, talking about a “tree,” rather than that tree or that tree, which implies some “tree-ness,” which brings us to Plato’s world of Forms and Aristotlean ideals, from which real, sensuous objects derive.

“To be” only makes sense in that context; it asserts something about the Form of an object. “Light is a wave” asserts that the Form of light derives from the Form of wave. “Light is a particle” asserts that the Form of light derives from the Form of particle. These two contradict each other, since particle and wave are two different Forms, so light cannot be both. It leads us to a paradox.

But the paradox exists only inside of the illusions created by literacy, as we’ve seen. Without literacy, words are events, not things; there are no Forms, and no objects. Instead, the universe is made up of relationships. In that context, light can very easily “be” both a particle and a wave, only because “to be” ceases to mean anything. It’s gibberish; it’s as meaningful as asgbrfgrweg.

Again, I've said things at static equations, but I didn't have to lose my literacy to be open to the possibility they might change.

That’s because on the deeper levels that really matter here, you’re not open to the possibility they might change. You never have been. Light being a particle and a wave is still a paradox for you. You haven’t given up literacy, and that’s why you’re capable of only the most superficial acknowledgement that the world isn’t the way you understand it. That’s a very different thing from actually understanding it.

Yes, and we did that without giving up writing. We did it instinctively, and argued that literacy had one way of thinking, but we had to use another way of thinking to analyze emotions.

I really haven’t even gotten to emotions. We’ve come to the understanding that “to be” is nonsense, but do we have an understanding of something that isn’t nonsense? No. We’re still literate, still looking at “things” and their “natures.” We can see that it’s absurd and stupid, but we’re still doing it, and mostly for lack of any alternative. Figuring out some alternative is exactly what rewilding our language is about.

Why does everything have to be taken literally?

We’re talking about language. Even though all of us know that we don’t really mean what we’re saying and we’ve accepted that sorry truth, repeating it still trains our minds to think in those terms. We may know that it’s wrong, but we’re still reinforcing that mental cage every time we use those words, because that’s what those words mean.

Not if it's easier for us to say it. If we all instinctively will change what we mean, what's the problem with saying is, if we're willing to nonverbally and subconsciously change it?

Words don’t change simply by declaration. Words are matters of mutual agreement. Now if you can get everyone to agree that “to be” no longer means “to be,” then you’re still talking about E-Prime, just by different means. Incredibly impractical, nigh comical means, but different means nonetheless. E-Prime is definitely awkward; trying to force a noun-denominated language into a more verb-denominated worldview would pretty much have to be, wouldn’t it? But that’s exactly the challenge, to explore ways of speaking and communicating that enrich rather than deaden our relationship with the living world.


#102

Char. limit again…

Interesting. I learned about the Kwakiutl argument based on Terra's argument, whom you thought was Taylor as well.

I can’t say I’m entirely certain he wasn’t, quite frankly; Taylor never really admitted who he was on the first question, it was only after he got caught with the details that he’d finally admit it sometimes. But I apologize if you’re not Taylor; given his sock puppetry, it’s hard to ever be entirely sure, especially since you’re now only the first person to ever give so much credence to his points besides himself (posing, of course, under various sock puppets that would always pipe up to mention what good points he’d made). I apologize for the insinuation, but given the history, I had to ask.

The Kwakiutl existed for thousands of years.

But as the chiefdom observed by Boaz et al? We have much less evidence for that.

And you also ignored the Tlingit, Makah, Haida, Chinook, and Salish cultures who also had their own variations of that culture, each with differences.

That’s because I’d be here for the next several years to go through them all in full detail. Some were divided between more chiefdom-level groups like the Kwakiutl and more traditional hunter-gatherer groups, and there were some significant differences, but I think the important points about the Pacific Northwest chiefdoms are adequately addressed with the case of the Kwakiutl, who were probably the most complex of those cultures. The differences between, say, patrilineality and matrilineality are important for a culture, but if we’re focusing on how complexity works with hunter-gatherers, that’s really quite beside the point.

Also, if the salmon runs did not increase, would there not have been environmental destruction before that time took place. You mentioned the Kwakiutl did not destroy their environment, and were kept in check with their carrying capacity. So how could that expansion have taken place?

The same way it was already taking place: a bigger potlatch each year. They probably never would have reached the kinds of environmental destruction we’ve caused; rather, they’d simply reach the point where the potlatches were too big to keep going up, and people would abandon the chiefs since the chiefs had failed on their promise to provide a bigger potlatch every year.

Also, I'm curious about where you have found the evidence that the Kwakiutl needed to grow and needed bigger potlatches. Do you have a citation or source for this?

Ummm, any intro to anthropology textbook? That’s rather the defining quality of a potlatch, that’s why it’s called “competitive feasting.” Franz Boas wrote some of the earliest accounts, but there’s whole libraries at this point on Kwakiutl potlatching.

...that's because I didn't find anything else to back up your argument, and I've read about the Kwakiutl a little bit.

Must’ve been a very little bit; that’s like reading a little bit on America and challenging someone’s assertion that they drive cars, I mean, really, really basic stuff.

It still doesn't make sense. They didn't deplete their resources, they were not agriculturalists, and not a civilization, so why would they need growth?

Because the potlatch was competitive feasting. Competitive is the key term. No, I don’t suppose you’ll find anyone writing about it in terms of ecological overshoot, so you’ll need to apply some logic to extrapolate. The whole point of a potlatch is to shame your competitors (another chief, neighboring village, whatever) by throwing a bigger party than the last one they threw. So, the potlatches constantly became bigger and bigger. There’s actually a pretty extensive literature about how the whole Kwakiutl chiefdom was on the verge of collapse as it was colonized by Europeans because the potlatching was beginning to meet its limits.

However, we still argued "facts" now, didn't we? You're arguing that the Kwakiutl needed growth--stated as a consistent fact, because of the Prisoner's Dilemma, which emerges during hierarchies due to human nature--a consistent fact.

If we look at some deer tracks together, and debate where we think it went, are we discussing “facts” or sharing our observations and opinions? I don’t think this is a discussion of “facts,” but a question of where the tracks lead.

You argue that billions will have to die because of overshoot, and that they are not sustainable, and that no ecology can support billions sustainably, just millions. That you have stated as a consistent fact.

I’ve said that’s the only direction I can see these tracks possibly heading.

Okay. So the argument that Sungir is unsustainable, I guess, can not be proven and might never will be. So let's not try to argue that they are unsustainable or sustainable if this is a "fact" that cannot be proven.

Actually, I think I provided a very good argument right there that it wasn’t sustainable.

But again, being able to cope with it--so what? Isn't that called "adaptation?" Why is having to adapt to hierarchy make it not part of human nature, or how does that argue that people can't not like it?

If you have to adapt to it, then obviously it’s not part of human nature, or you wouldn’t have to adapt to it. And you can’t say that someone genuinely enjoys something if it takes great psychological effort to ignore the pain it causes him, no matter how much he says he loves it.

I was making a point in that you can still retract words even when they are written officially. So literality is not inherently unchanging.

Yes it is. A retraction just issues a new piece of literature that contradicts the old one. They both still exist, both unchanging.

Sorry, I've observed that there are people that like civilization. They prefer living in large cities. They prefer working and they like their work. They would abhor the nation of leaving civilization.

I’ve observed many, many people who say things like that, but not a one who didn’t start showing the truth after just a little bit of scratching.

I am not talking about children who learned English, I am talking about adult Native Americans like Sitting Bull who did learn English and could argue their animism in speeches to the "white man."

Which is quite irrelevant. It’s the languages you learn when you’re young that shape your mind. An Indian who learns English as an adult may be able to speak English, but he doesn’t think in English.

I don't remember Taylor arguing they had writing.

No, but he always liked to argue about the farmers in Bali, and generally make a good deal more out of them than they actually were.

But obviously you can have civilization without writing--you've said so yourself in your definitions of civilizations. Taylor did make the point that there are elements of animism in civilization--I won't argue that here.

Sure, you can have civilizations without writing, you just need some alternative means of objectifying the universe instead. And there’s not a culture on earth that doesn’t have some trace of animism; humans need a certain amount of animism to operate.

Okay, you acknowledged a fact. But that's my point! There obviously has to be a way to observe or argue that A causes be without arguing objective truth!

I didn’t acknowledge a fact, I talked about a consequence. Following tracks. Very different from the world of Forms.

Could you elaborate on this? I feel tons of emotions when I read books.

Sure. Emotions are also not senses. Related, absolutely, but not senses.

Why do I have to give up writing and reading to accept a little bit of both?

Because writing deadens your senses. You can’t have both because writing doesn’t play well with others.

David Abram did not argue that. Did Ong argue that?

No, but so what? I’m not David Abram. I’m not William Ong. I learned a lot from them, but I’m not a mindless mimic for them. Taylor used to make the same appeals to authority. No, it’s not something Abram or Ong ever said. It turns out I’m capable of learning from people who don’t always agree with me, and based on the observations they share, come to conclusions all my own. Why do I need someone with their name on a book jacket to repeat it before it becomes valid? I’m pointing to the tracks and I’m saying where I think they go. What does it matter if another tracker never said the same? Show me the tracks that go off differently than I’ve suggested, but don’t try to shut down my suggestion just because it hasn’t been suggested before.


#103

I understand why you would argue the similarities with Taylor, since I experienced similar frustrations that he did.

However, I have finished this discussion. I’ve discussed all I need to discuss, and will thus not reply with any of these responses. Thank you very much for participating, Jason.


#104

[quote=“Dickens, post:103, topic:91”]I understand why you would argue the similarities with Taylor, since I experienced similar frustrations that he did.

However, I have finished this discussion. I’ve discussed all I need to discuss, and will thus not reply with any of these responses. Thank you very much for participating, Jason.[/quote]

Awesome e-prime usage, Dickens, I love it! 8)

I hope you don’t mean that you have finished with the whole subject discussion “The E-primitive Thought Experiments”; you have a lot of good things to bring to the table and look forward to them. Understandable, to me, if you’d like to leave this discussion with, Jason. I feel ya man! But don’t leave the rest of us here in the Dickens Dust. Ha ha…:wink:

E


#105

Saying that emotions “are” or “are not” a sense sounds very civilized and kills other perspectives. Maybe there’s a wilder (feraler?) way we could approach the question.

I had the same initial reaction as Jason to the idea of calling emotional reactions to a book a sensual experience. OK, granted, reading (or writing) a book differs by a few steps from an interaction with other people, animals, or places–something you literally see with your eyes (words on a page), then think and interpret with your mind or inner world into an idea of an experience. But thinking about it a bit, what do our senses do? Make “sense” in our body/self of our experiences. MMMM, smells like jasmine. Looks like a blue sky. We receive those experiences with our nose and eyes. When an event provokes an emotional response, (sun came up–yay!happy! friend died–sad!) where do we receive it?

No specifics handy, but I know I’ve heard of people in other places or times understanding and describing the “seat of emotions” differently than we do. Well, Chinese Medicine (civilized) assigns various emotions to internal organs. I feel curious how animists understand this. Perhaps they don’t have such a need to define this sort of thing, or give it a name (sense or not sense, that is the question!!!). :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess most of us would say, we feel emotions in our brain (I don’t really wish to get scientific here, but brain is part of the chain for the other receivers too, according to the religion of science), or our gut, or our “heart”–not the literal organ, but an idea of heart as part of us–maybe “spirit” is too hard for us Amurikans to say with a straight face, since no one has looked at it under a microscope.

I guess emotional responses have more complexity than the others. Maybe we sense/receive/feel them in many places in our body, and also in places that don’t really have a “place”. And maybe it varies. Do we create emotions, too? Without stimulus? Uh oh, complexity advances. . .

Maybe emotions don’t follow all the same “rules” as the other things we think of as senses, but it seems useful to me in the pursuit of rewilding to look a little more closely at this assumption. Emotions act like senses in some of the ways they function for us, as part of the filter or cloud or mirror that transitions across the continuum between me and not me.

I gotta add: I don’t care if we put a name on this, or have a winner. I’m just pondering/babbling out loud–whoops, in writing.

P. S. Now I see something I didn’t see before in the example of the book response. Empathy–hm. Adds another layer, even when you empathize with someone right in front of you having an experience not directly involving you. Yet the action before you still provokes an emotional response.


#106

Now I will eat my words and continue this discussion. I thought I was done, but I do have some things to say here. Thank you for your verifications about the differences between animist and our language. If you have any more examples like Willem’s example, I’d be interested in seeing them.

Yarrow dreamer, I agree with you. I see all this as a spectrum–not either-or. We still have sensory perceptions despite our language.

No, but so what? I'm not David Abram. I'm not William Ong. I learned a lot from them, but I'm not a mindless mimic for them. Taylor used to make the same appeals to authority. No, it's not something Abram or Ong ever said. It turns out I'm capable of learning from people who don't always agree with me, and based on the observations they share, come to conclusions all my own. Why do I need someone with their name on a book jacket to repeat it before it becomes valid? I'm pointing to the tracks and I'm saying where I think they go. What does it matter if another tracker never said the same? Show me the tracks that go off differently than I've suggested, but don't try to shut down my suggestion just because it hasn't been suggested before.

You must have misunderstood me. I never meant to say that your ideas were false SOLELY on the basis that they weren’t said by others. Of course you’re not a mindless mimic; and I wouldn’t think you to be one as well. But the fact remains that what you say is unique, and thus, you need to back up your arguments with facts and your research. I happen to disagree with you that literacy is absolutely blinding, largely based on my own observations, which I’ll discuss later. That’s how I think the tracks lead. But of course you are not David Abram, or Ong. You’ve made conclusions after reading them, and I’ve made my own conclusions after reading them and based on my life experience.

I disagree with you in many ways, but I’ve argued them based on my observations, just as you have argued yours with your observations. I never meant to actually just shut down your arguments SOLELY on the basis that they hadn’t been said before. Actually, I tried to argue that they had not been said before, and also, I had not affirmed them. Some things I hear said that have not been said before, and then my personal experiences affirm them–so I agree with them. So I would not argue that your arguments are false solely because they are individual arguments. For example, I’ve read Charles C. Mann–he says things that others haven’t said, but I agree with him extensively because of the evidence he’s said to back up his arguments about rethinking Native Americans.

I used those arguments simply because I didn’t agree with the evidence you argued as well as the fact you were the only one I saw who stated it. In the Kwakiutl’s case, I couldn’t find any citations to back up your claim about increasing potlatches. That was not to invalidate the point, but just to see what the research was.

I am not Taylor. And unlike Taylor, I do not barrage this forum with dozens of posts. I’m able to consolidate my thoughts into one or two posts.

It’s just that I agree with Abram sometimes rather than agreeing with you, and have not seen any others argue this in an absolute context the way you have. That’s why there must not be citations–they are your arguments. But I have still learned many things from you–the concept of “E-Prime,” for example. I don’t agree with everything you say, but I can still learn from people whom I don’t agree with all the time the way you say you can.

Again, if you disagree with people at times, and I disagree with people at times–who is to say what’s right? Abram thinks he’s right all the time, even though you don’t see everyone as right all the time. You think you’re right all the time, and even when you see you’re wrong, you change your mind to be right. So obviously no one is right all the time.

I guess I just cannot understand why saying “to be” must absolutely imply blindness the way you say it. I believe it to be extremely short-sighted to only be able to see “to be” that way–I feel as if I kept myself open and just cannot understand that argument, or the reasoning behind it. I have read it, but I just have difficulty understanding why saying “to be” must be interpreted that way.

We all have a different slant on the world. All of us do. I do acknowledge that.

Here’s why I asked for citations on the Kwakiutl:

The Kwakiutl arguments were different. You must have researched the increasing potlatches based on another source. You have cited Boas, and I’m off to read about what he said about the chiefdoms. I learned about potlatches in the fifth grade, and know there’s a lot of literature about it, but nothing I had read about potlatches told me about how the potlatches had to increase or that the society’s resource consumption had to grow, and that the chiefdoms would collapse as a result.

I haven’t heard anyone define “competitive feasting” in that fashion, as expansion, as well. I also did not read anything that said the chiefdoms did not exist as chiefdoms for less than a thousand years. I’ve read literature on the potlatches–but have not found any literature that argues that they had to grow or get bigger or else the chiefdom would collapse. I understand that it would take too long to state those other variations–but they did exist nonetheless–you are right about that. I’m not going to ask you or expect you to write about them–you are right, it would take too long. You used the Kwakiutl to explain the other societies–I am sorry I did not pick up on this. That’s why we can discuss things like this–to clarify misunderstandings such as those.

I must have read a different “intro to anthropology” book, since I didn’t pick that up when I read about the Kwakiutl. I won’t bug you any more about this.

That’s why I asked about the citations. I apologize. I’m off to do a little more research now.

The same is true with Sungir. I’m off to read more about whatever evidence there is about your arguments for Sungir.

Also, I apologize for saying you contradicted yourself about the Kwakiutl and Sungir. I actually considered the nuance in your argument, since you did not entirely argue sustainability in your “Exceptions that prove the rule” argument. But again, I can’t read your mind. I wanted to confirm my suspicions, but I was not totally blind to them.

That’s what confuses me. Sometimes you make a statement you had to have read about, don’t cite your source entirely, and leave people like me in the dark when I look for another person’s research.

I’m not going to reply to everything else, Jason, because twice my replies have resulted in the forum crashing on me. I write my reply, and then when I post it, my dialog box freezes. So I’m not going to reply to your arguments. I cannot because my computer has crashed twice, and I can’t invest more time in it. But I just cannot understand the arguments about the blinding nature of “to be,” and might never will. The crashing is the result of my computer, not the forum.

But I am going to write this about myself:

I did not learn to read the way other kids did. Like Taylor, I am autistic–that’s why I share the same confusions he does, and was intrigued by his difficulties in understanding. But I learned to read on a sensual basis. While I was born as a regular child, I exhibited signs of autism by the time I was 18 months old. But I had developed normally before then. I could read and write letters by the time I was two, but was almost totally nonverbal. By three, I only spoke when I copied people’s speech like a parrot, or when I was reading words and letters. My mind could not process speech, but my parents have shown me videos and told me how I actually taught myself to read as if I was learning how to speak.

I had toy letters that I felt in my hands on a tactile basis. I looked at them and analyzed them. I did the same with numbers as well. I watched movies like “Dr. Seuss’ ABC’s” and learned capital and lower-case letters that way. By the time I was four, I could not say my name or hello, but I could read any word phonetically. I could not understand all that I said, but read it. I would later do chores for my mother so she would buy me brass numbers and letters so I could feel them in many hands and look at them with my eyes.

Then I finally started talking, after an intensive auditory therapy called “auditory integration training.” I then was able to talk, but could not talk properly. I felt that by writing, I could communicate. I learned how to type at age five. I wrote poems and used typing to state my feelings. I could not speak properly. I did not understand pronouns, for example, and often said “I” for you" and “James” for “he,” and “you” for “I.” I did not speak properly until I was six. But I learned language by being taught it by my mother, who exposed me to music and her own voice. Language did not come to me–it had to be learned, the way reading must be learned and taught to children. Typically you have to teach a child to read. But I read on my own based on my sensory inputs and how I processed language, the way other children learn to speak by processing language.

For a year this came to an abrupt halt due to a sight condition I had. My eyes didn’t “track” or “work together,” meaning my eyes saw things separately. I could read but could not sustain reading because my eyes didn’t see things together, and I preferred looking only through one eye since it hurt me to see through both eyes. But after intensive eye therapy for six months, I started reading whole novels by the age of seven. I would read them out loud and record them onto audiocassettes. My mother said I read them with proper intonation. I understood some of what I was reading as well, even though the novels were books at a fourth or fifth-grade reading level.

I’ve used reading or writing on a sensual basis. So I cannot just believe that reading or writing blinds people, given my own observations and my own life experience. Are we not what we perceive? Why must my observations about literacy be invalid while yours are? If everything is an observation rather than a fact, why try to invalidate my observations? You’ve observed that literacy blinds us to our senses. I did not observe that in the entirety of my life. You’ve given me the evidence as to why that is, with Ong, Abram, etc. but my observations show differently. Why are they invalid if they are just as much observations as yours are?

If your arguments are indeed observations, rather than facts, then I’ll accept that. You didn’t state facts. That was your intent, as you said. You are right–you stated observations based on your research and how you interpreted your research. You didn’t state facts–so neither is your new piece on “cities” with the “Shape of Collapse” facts either. They are observations. But you indeed defended them extensively, even when people argued the opposite.

But I still had trouble understanding language in many ways. I couldn’t watch movies and understand what people said without requiring the use of closed captions, because I had a difficulty understanding what they said. I instinctively saw the words of speech in my mind, and my mind instinctively translated them. I even saw letters in things and the world–square letters in brick walls, playground equipment, and they stood out to me in my eyes, as well as dot patterns and puzzles.

Then I discovered the “American Girls Collection.” Even though I was a boy, I loved reading the books of the “American Girls Collection.” I was accused of not having empathy or understanding for other people’s emotions. But I understood the emotions of these individuals. I felt sorrow when they felt sorrow, and joy when they felt joy. And through these characters I grew to feel sorrow for living people, and the family I lived in. Writing taught me how to have empathy when I read, and later when I started to write myself.

Later, between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, I wrote four novels. I felt that the books wrote themselves in my head. The words just came to me and I just wrote them. I have felt inclined toward the written word my whole life. It enhanced my perceptions of things. That was my observation. I do not observe writing as a blinder, I observed it as an enhancer. It was how I communicated before I could talk. It’s also how many nonverbal individuals with autism also communicate. Sometimes they have “letterboards,” which mean pictures of keyboards they use and type words out with their fingers to converse with people.

Even today, I have the ability to read in many directions. In other words, I can read letters and printed words “upside-down,” “sideways,” "backwards, and forwards, something that astonishes even other literate people.

I’d like to also add that Abram shows the differences between various forms of writing, and even shows how many animals write with tracks. Is that not “writing?” And is tracking nothing more than a form of “reading?” What about the petroglyphs of Native American cultures? They seem to be a form of writing as well. I might also add then when I first typed and wrote, it was in poetry. Poetry is about the senses–it is different from other types of writing, and Abram shows how Homer’s poems aided orality versus just trying to blind oneself to a literal mode of thinking.

I am now a fully oral person, and even am paid to lecture on autism around the country. But I learned my orality from literacy, not the other way around. I cannot understand why you assert “to be” implies blindness, because I don’t see how that must imply not changing, and why you must take that literally. You’ve argued that saying “is” and “are” is worthless if it’s a contraction for something else is absurd–I just don’t see that.

I also work well with children, like Taylor. That’s a common ability among people with autism. You’ve stated that children are born animist. I can see many animist tendencies among children, and I enjoy every minute when I interact with them on that level. So I can still feel a passionate, happy feeling when I bring life to an inanimate toy with a child. I believe there is life to it when the child I work with talks to a toy. I worked with a child who walked to a dog and started barking and acting like the dog–interacting with it. I joined in. I felt I was communicating with the dog as well. I actually found myself as a teenager gravitating toward little kids because of their mysticism. Obviously they could not read or write yet, but I still felt that part of me inside me, even though I was literate. I enjoy working with children because of that, and see how children see the world in that way–but still am literate.

When I walked dogs as a child with my sister, and made money with it, I felt I was connecting with the emotions of the dogs I walked. I could tell him nonverbally to slow down or speed up, and he would when I walked him. When I dogsat for one dog, I would let him lick me and I found I could tell him when I asked him to stop. I’ve always felt animals had emotions because I’ve observed these emotions with my eyes–one of my five senses.


#107

!

All my indecisions about going to college have been erased. I will print this and read it instead.

I have so much work to do.

Personally I’m thankful for the written word because in the community of my childhood did not have master storytellers and without recorded stories I would have missed out on a lot. If there was a Homer or a Twain on every block things would have been much different.

As for E-Prime somewhere I saw it compared to a foreign language. Looks more like a dialect to me.

All this stuff of autism really fascinates me. I’ll have to think of something to say about that.


#108

There is so much to read here and it’s some of the most challenging densest stuff I’ve ever seen. I nearly flung the papers to the ground in frustration at my own inability to grasp everything being said.

My thoughts on facts.

I know that I was alive yesterday, but I do not know everything that happened yesterday or claim to know every reason why, rotten or otherwise.

If you compare the lifeforce of a human to a house, it’s as if the whole universe is going on, and maybe once the house finally falls all those facts can be completed unified integrated and understood, but until then we can only experience what comes through the door, and with the exception of the simplest of things like 2 and 2, and that might even change on a level microsopes cannot observe, those things cannot be known fully same as nobody knows someones entire life story the first time they meet them.

All I can say for a fact is this is the slice of oddity life left on the porch today and it tasted a certain way to me, but I couldn’t quite identify a few of the spices.

As for my thoughts on literacy being the unchangeble absolute, I read a story to my friend the other day, and we occasionally paused to speculate on the events lying around the next corner and discuss the things that could have happened differently if the characters had puppet strings and we were in control of their fates.

Also things took on different meanings as I spoke them certain ways. I bet if someone else read the story with someone else it would not have been the same.

The same thing happens everytime I read. Every single time. The dead exact same story written down with definite different results.


#109

Hit the character limit as well, so I’ll post the rest of my reply here. Due to a technical difficulty, the rest of my continued post was pushed after “Teek-Tok’s.”

I also will argue something else. In your quotes of orality and literacy, it is stated, in Goody and Watt:

[i]The advent of writing in literate cultures changes the structure of knowledge and cultural tradition. Human interaction is not limited to the impermanence of oral utterance in an event-bound context. (Goody & Watt, 1968) Writing fixes utterance as visual records that are stable, transferable across space and time, and cumulative outside the memory of individuals.

Goody (1977) explains that writing transforms speech by abstracting its components. Words in written texts are more “thing-like” (Ong, 1982, p. 97). Their meaning can be looked up in other written texts and do not require direct ratification through interpersonal situations. Written texts enable backward-scanning of thought to make corrections and resolve inconsistencies. This self-analysis or criticism is inhibited by face-to-face communication in oral cultures.

Writing enables both the recording and the dissecting of verbal utterance. Literate cultures have permanent records of past thought which can be compared and questioned skeptically. Such skepticism enables the building and testing of alternative explanations of knowledge. In ancient Greece, the shift from oral to literate thought processes resulted in the “logical, specialized, and cumulative intellectual tradition” of Plato.[/i]

After reading the excerpt from Goody and Watt, however, I ask the following: could it not be considered a form of blindness to not have that ability to have that self-analysis and questioning that writing allows in a culture? What’s so wrong with both–the oral tradition and the written tradition? Why is there no value in the ability to self-analyze or criticize what one has written or said, or to have records of past thoughts?

I know I’ve read your arguments on this, and have asked similar questions before that you have responded to.

I ask them now because my observations, my life experiences, and my research have led to conclusions different from yours, Jason. You’ve said your observations, and now I have said mine.

But I haven't defended them as facts. I've defended them as consistent observations, even as consequences, but not as facts. If I used such language, it was due to my poverty of language. All I have is this crappy, domesticated language riddled with "TO BE" and other such nonsense, and it makes it impossible to think, much less communicate, clearly.

You did not use such language. I misunderstood you. But again, you were still able to communicate the flaws I made in this “crappy, domesticated” language. We can still use this “crappy, domesticated” language to show how it can blind us. I just don’t understand how “TO BE” and other nonsense MUST equate domestication, or unclear communication. When you wrote your true intentions, even in “b-english,” I understood them. You didn’t have to transfer to another form of English to acknowledge these shortcomings.

But I don’t instinctively believe in them, and if we can redefine what words like “to be” should mean, why do we have to change our wording if we can reinterpret those words in a new way? Me–I would find it a lot easier to just redefine words rather than having to change everything I say if I understand what those changes should be. It makes it easier for me to communicate with other people. Not everyone who joins this discussion after all, will know about E-Prime before we introduce it to them. At some time, we on this forum might need a way of explaning the differences in both versions of English–“B-English” and “E-Prime,” as well as our “E-Primitive.”

I think also of the Internet. The Internet has enabled you to have an audience in a way you could not. Yet the Internet requires writing. Of course, that doesn’t argue the value of the Internet, but I have noticed a different writing style that the Internet has that books don’t have.

Words do change on the Internet. You update your web site constantly. So does any web site maker, webmaster, or a person who maintains a website. So I think the Internet not only is a way of short-cutting hierarchy due to “open-source” blogs, it also shows literality and writing in a way that does change. I’ve changed my words constantly on this forum. I’ve noticed I can change words in a way I can’t. So I see how writing is different on the Internet versus a book. Endings can change the way they can’t on books.

Now, onto another argument.

DICKENS: Even Native Americans had words for buffalo, longhouse, man, woman, "two-spirit," and tipi, which had to be nouns, even if they had different meanings or more than word for buffalo (as did some Native American languages).

JASON: By in large, they weren’t nouns, that’s the whole point. You’re obviously not understanding how big the difference is here.

So how do you acknowledge differences between males, females, other genders, or differences between rabbits, coyotes, deer, and other animals, without a concept of nouns? Could you elaborate on this?

Also, could you elaborate more on how an animist language mixes their nouns and verbs? While I am arguing and debating some of your points on your posts, I’m also interested in learning as much as I can about E-prime, E-primitive, the impacts of “to be,” and other related concepts, etc.

Because writing deadens your senses. You can't have both because writing doesn't play well with others.

Are you stating this as fact, or as one of your observations?

I still don’t understand this, though, based on my own experience–why? Why doesn’t writing play well with other perceptions? Why must writing deaden your senses? Why do you think this?

I know I’ve been repeating myself numerous times and I have asked these questions and many others before, but I think it’s in part because I am just not convinced by your arguments yet. I haven’t observed this in myself, who as I said before, used writing with what I observed were my other perceptions. Those were my observations on my experiences with writing.

David Abram also shows, in his book, that the alphabet is a form of magic, and a form of animism in itself. We’ve taken these dead symbols and put life to them. Why is writing so deadening to the senses if it is actually magical and a form of animism in of itself? I agree with Abram’s point of view here. Sure, Plato and Aristotle used literacy to blind themselves to plants and other objects, but Homer’s poems were used to aid an oral story, not to blind oneself to an oral way of thinking. Literacy, apparently, can be used in various ways.

I also noticed you did not make any mention here about poetry. Poetry is a very different form of writing, and most people see that. David Abram even shows how poetry, in the form of Homer’s poems, was used for a different purpose than Plato and Aristotle’s works. Abram classifies poetry as a different form of writing than the works of Plato and Aristotle. Do you think, or have you observed, poetry to be just as deadening to one’s senses as other forms of writing? If you think poetry is just as deadening, then why do you think that?

There are obviously many different forms of writing here that need to be discussed if you have observed, or argue that all writing must be deadening to one’s senses.

Also, you are literate too and have not given up literacy. You will also always be literate. How do you envision your own rewilding and going feral if you are still literate? Obviously your path is not mine, but it is still your path.

So, "the leaves are green" is a contraction for, "the leaves appear green, even though I'm saying they 'are' green, I don't actually mean that, because that would be absurd"? What about saying what you mean rather than making people guess? Do you see the confusion this all causes?

How does this cause confusion? Almost everyone I know assumes that when someone says “the leaves are green,” that’s based on their appearance. And most people will agree that in spring and summer, leaves are green, and are always green on “evergreen” trees–thus the name “evergreen” trees. Why would someone be making people guess if that’s what they’re thinking already? Do you automatically assume that if someone says the “leaves are green” they must be that way in an unchanging context? I haven’t thought like that.

My observations have been that people don’t take things exactly literally. So where’s the confusion?

Which is quite irrelevant. It's the languages you learn when you're young that shape your mind. An Indian who learns English as an adult may be able to speak English, but he doesn't think in English.

I think it is relevant. If an Indian like Sitting Bull can learn English as an adult but still not think in English, then a literate person who learns to speak an animist language, or “E-Primitive” should be able to understand both languages. Why wouldn’t this work both ways? But if that was true, then all of us who know “B-English” would then be unable to understand any other language. My question is–if it’s possible for even a person speaking “B-English” to learn an animist language, or to create “E-Prime,” then how did or does literacy deaden our senses entirely, or how does speaking verbs like “to be,” and our concept of “nouns” and “verbs” inherently blind us?

If we say a word like “to be,” or read a static text, which is supposed to mean “static,” yet mentally acknowledge a changing world despite our ability to read or the words we speak, I just don’t see what the big deal is about having to change words or abandon a form of communication such as literacy to attain that perception.

I’m also not convinced by your argument about how learning English as a child must necessarily force you to think differently than a person speaking a Native American, or animist language. How do you “think in English” versus “not think in English?” as you said in your quote, rather than “think in a Native American language” versus “not think in a Native American language.” Obviously people have been able to be bilingual and speak English and Native American languages at the same time. Some originally spoke English, others spoke Native American. Every society does have some element of animism–even English does have some traces of animism, such as our acknowledgement of onamatopeic words, and the onamataopeic words we do have, such as our words for animal sounds, like “bark,” “moo,” “oink,” etc.

I think of the Native American names you’ve talked about and mentioned before in this discussion, such as “Dances with Wolves,” and “Stands with a Fist,” that appeared in the Kevin Costner movie “Dances with Wolves.” You say they are silly because of our language–I do not think that they are.

How are they silly? I think that the fact that we can still translate their mixed “noun-verbs” or “verbs” that link things with relationships with actions means that even in standard English, or “B-English,” we are still able to translate and explain the differences between a Native American language in our standard English language means that our problems lie more with definitions than just mere words. Words are just letters and/or sounds put together–it’s what they mean that counts. We understand that the name “Dances with Wolves” relates to a different language and culture with different nouns/verbs, or verbs entirely. What more needs to be understood? We translated their names into the English language, and were able to perform that translation. If so, then what needs to be changed about our language to understand the difference of the relationships of the world, and the nature of “quantum physics,” etc.?

How do our ways of speaking, our “nouns” and “verbs,” in our English language change the way we see things? I know these have been answered before many times, and I’ve said this question before, and I’m repeating myself again as I’ve done before, but these questions are all interrelated and keep appearing in my mind multiple times when I read your responses to my posts.

When reading your posts and the early part of this discussion (before I joined this discussion), I’ve considered the following possibilities in my brain–are the “noun-verb” differences of English versus other Native American languages the difference between an animist versus a non-animist language, or are they just differences between one language and another? I would assume that there are differences even between two “animist” languages. Obviously they are different than “B-English” and an “animist” language, but there would still be differences. I mention this because even you admit that there is no fully “non-animist” culture, and humans require some form of animism to function. As stated above, I believe that even English has some form of animist influence in it, because it still does have “verbs” and some onamatopeic words (assuming those things do define animist languages).

So I sometimes think that to call a language “animist” or “non-animist” seems to be a little misleading at times. Perhaps another form of terms might make a little more sense. Sure, the shamans of Bali may not have writing, and may be domesticated, but they are still animist, so obviously there can be forms of animism in a civilization.

It’s similar to Shinto in Japan–it’s quite an animistic religion as well, even though someone argued on this forum that Japanese is a “domesticated” language. I don’t know a word of Japanese, however, so I couldn’t confirm one way or another about the content of the Japanese language, and how domesticated or wild it is, etc.

Finally, if a civilization does not have writing, then what are those other ways it can, or must “objectify the world,” in the way you are discussing? Could you describe an example of this, or elaborate a little more on this?

How does a person speak English but not “think in English?” What do you mean by this?

That’s just my opinion, and my observation, based on my life story and what I have felt in my life.

Literally, after all, one of the very few times I’ve actually seen the words “to be” used often was in the famous quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” How would you translate that in E-Prime?

To summarize my questions on the response to this quote, or comment, whatever you wish to call it: I ask these questions not because I believe any ideas here are wrong or right. Neither do I ask these questions because I don’t know all of the answers myself. I ask them because when I think about, attempt to understand, and then understand the ideas presented here, these are some of the questions that come up, and have came up, in my mind. For this and other reasons, I have written some of the questions I have pondered, in my mind, on this forum, and on this post. What you see here are some of those questions I asked myself when thinking over your previous response.

If we look at some deer tracks together, and debate where we think it went, are we discussing "facts" or sharing our observations and opinions? I don't think this is a discussion of "facts," but a question of where the tracks lead.

Exactly. Of course this is not a discussion about facts. We are sharing our observations and opinions. That is precisely what I believe this discussion is–a discussion of observations and opinions.

Because of the character limit, I’m not going to address any more quotes, reponses, or things you have said, but I will say that I do understand your arguments a little more than I did. I didn’t want to say this after every argument I asked a question about (so I wouldn’t repeat myself too much, or more than I already have), but I guess I’m just not convinced by all of your arguments yet. I’m still interested in what you have to say, however.

Thank you for your time, Jason. I’ll stop now and wait for your thoughts on these posts.

I’ll be out of town for the next few weeks, however, with no Internet access when I’m traveling, so I won’t be writing any responses any time soon.


#110
I guess emotional responses have more complexity than the others. Maybe we sense/receive/feel them in many places in our body, and also in places that don't really have a "place". And maybe it varies. Do we create emotions, too? Without stimulus? Uh oh, complexity advances. . .

I’m working on a big article on emotions, so I can’t get into a full response without taking this at great length, but take a look at Damasio. We feel emotion with our whole body, and it is a reliable sense of our internal state. “The mind is embodied, not just embrained,” as Damasio put it.

Emotions act like senses in some of the ways they function for us, as part of the filter or cloud or mirror that transitions across the continuum between me and not me.

Absolutely; emotions are as much a sense as your eyes or ears. But empathy is a little different than just plain emotion; empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s place. Empathy is a imaginative, not sensuous. Imagination is also important, but let’s not confuse the two.

If you have any more examples like Willem's example, I'd be interested in seeing them.

See the Animist Language category at the College of Mythic Cartography, and these.

But the fact remains that what you say is unique, and thus, you need to back up your arguments with facts and your research.

Which I have.

I guess I just cannot understand why saying "to be" must absolutely imply blindness the way you say it. I believe it to be extremely short-sighted to only be able to see "to be" that way--I feel as if I kept myself open and just cannot understand that argument, or the reasoning behind it. I have read it, but I just have difficulty understanding why saying "to be" must be interpreted that way.

Because ultimately, that’s what “to be” means. “To be” only makes sense in a world of Forms. So even if you know on a conscious level that such a notion is ludicrous, every time you use those terms you train your mind to think in those terms. We know that the way the brain works actually emulates trails in many regards. The more times you walk down a particular trail of thought, the more well-worn that trail becomes, and the easier it becomes to take. You take it instinctively. Carving out a new trail takes effort. Every time you say “to be,” you’re following that trail of dualistic thinking in your mind, reinforcing the habits of thought that take Platonic dualism as a given, unecessary to say out loud because it’s so fundamentally accepted. You may know that it’s false, but you still think and act like it’s true.

...but nothing I had read about potlatches told me about how the potlatches had to increase or that the society's resource consumption had to grow, and that the chiefdoms would collapse as a result.

Well that’s wierd. That’s one of the defining properties of a potlatch: it’s competitive feasting. If it’s not bigger than the last one, it’s not even worth throwing at all.

I haven't heard anyone define "competitive feasting" in that fashion, as expansion, as well.

I imagine not; it’s usually defined in terms of competing “Big Men” or chiefs outdoing each other by throwing more expensive parties than the other one. That’s how it’s usually defined. So step back and take a look at it sideways, if you will. If the whole point is to make it bigger than the last one, that means it’s an escalation, every bit as much as a market growth economy.

I also did not read anything that said the chiefdoms did not exist as chiefdoms for less than a thousand years.

There are some archaeologists that contend that all chiefdoms are short-term, transitional forms. It’s certainly true that we don’t have any archaeological evidence of very long-lived chiefdoms. Most of the chiefdoms we encountered were formed in the centuries preceding European contact, and largely because the effects of European contact preceded the actual contact. Archaeologically, for instance, we don’t have much evidence about the Kwakiutl chiefdom that goes back very far. That doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but it keeps the question open.

I've read literature on the potlatches--but have not found any literature that argues that they had to grow or get bigger or else the chiefdom would collapse.

In those terms precisely, I’m sure, but think about it: the goal of each potlatch was to be bigger than the last potlatch, and I’m sure you read about how potlatches were abandoned if they couldn’t be bigger than the previous one. So, that means that eventually, the potlatches would end, and what would then happen to the Kwakiutl chiefdoms?

That's what confuses me. Sometimes you make a statement you had to have read about, don't cite your source entirely, and leave people like me in the dark when I look for another person's research.

It is true, I only cite what I consider to be contentious or difficult to find information. Things that are “general knowledge,” I don’t cite. This is pretty standard practice. It can be difficult peeling back just how explicit I need to be, and what constitutes “general knowledge.” Actually, the very basic information can be some of the most difficult to fish up a citation for, precisely because it’s considered general knowledge, so nobody writes much about it except in introductory textbooks, and nobody else bothers to cite it, either.

Like Taylor, I am autistic--that's why I share the same confusions he does, and was intrigued by his difficulties in understanding.

That explains a lot, and why we’re encountering this same challenge. As I’m sure you know, your autism requires an unusual level of explicitness. To peel back to make an argument explicit enough for an autistic person like you or Taylor requires an unusual amount of effort. The “general knowledge” that I can appeal to for the general audience and be understood is all too easy to miss for you, since it’s the very nature of your problem to need very explicit explanation. I try, but I fail as often as not. I hope you can understand.

The story of how you taught yourself to communicate is fascinating, and I do agree with Abram that reading is a very potent kind of synaesthetic experience, as your experience clearly illustrates further. But it still appeals to a world of ideas, a “tree” rather than any actual, physical tree. Particularly the word “to be,” which only makes sense to the literate mind, cuts us off from our sensuous experience. It assigns a quality to the “object,” rather than describing our sensuous experience. “The apples are red” assigns an immutable characteristic to the “apples,” not any real apples in the real world, but the notion of “apples.” “I saw red apples” refers to your sensuous experience of particular, real apples. One language alienates us from our senses, while the other roots us in it. There’s the difference between B-English and E-Prime.

I've used reading or writing on a sensual basis. So I cannot just believe that reading or writing blinds people, given my own observations and my own life experience. Are we not what we perceive? Why must my observations about literacy be invalid while yours are? If everything is an observation rather than a fact, why try to invalidate my observations? You've observed that literacy blinds us to our senses. I did not observe that in the entirety of my life. You've given me the evidence as to why that is, with Ong, Abram, etc. but my observations show differently. Why are they invalid if they are just as much observations as yours are?

They’re not invalid at all, but I think when you say that you’ve been reading or writing on a sensual basis, you’re conflating some things. You mentioned feeling the letters, and Abram talks about the synaesthetic of reading (you hear a printed symbol), so yes, to some extent, your senses are involved in reading and writing, obviously. And it’s a fundamentally synaesthetic experience: you hear printed symbols, you can touch letters, etc. Abram calls it a potent form of magic, and I think he’s on to something: a kind of magic so potent that we become drunk on it and forget that any others exist.

It’s precisely that synaesthetic experience that trains our mind to see a universe of objects when we read. You felt each letter, you felt it as an object. The word, the particular combination of letters, is also an object. You can feel it. The rest of us can look at it; we’ve studied how people read, and they don’t typically see a word as a collection of letters. They recognize the shape of the word, and the beginning and ending most acutely. Misspellings in the middle are the easiest to miss. The word itself takes on a discrete life of its own, so when I say, “tree,” you remember the feel of the letters “T” and “R” and “E” and “E”, and we, as Ong said:

Though words are grounded in oral speech, writing tyrannically locks them into a visual field forever. A literate person, asked to think of the word “nevertheless,” will normally (and I strongly suspect always) have some image, at least vague, of the spelled-out word and be quite unable ever to think of the word “nevertheless” for, let us say, 60 seconds, without adverting to any lettering but only to the sound. This is to say, a literate person cannot fully recover a sense of what the word is to purely oral people.

Compare this to pre-literate humanity. For them, words existed like notes in songs; they were events, performances, and indeed, we see that animist languages have a good deal in common with music.

In a primary oral culture where no one has ever ‘looked up’ anything is an empty phrase: it would have no conceivable meaning. Without writing, words have no visual presence, even when the objects they represent are visual. They are sounds. You might “call” them back–”recall” them. But there is nowhere to “look” for them. They have no focus and no trace (a visual metaphor, showing dependency on writing), not even a trajectory. They are occurrences, events.

This fundamentally transforms the way we see the universe. The pre-literate mind sees a world of events and occurences, one formed more by the relationships between the sounds than the sounds themselves. Oral performances can sometimes seem grating or nonsensical to the literate mind (look at the use of cliches in Homer’s epics, which were oral performances where writing was used basically as a transcription with little other influence on the work), because we focus on the syntax; the pre-literate mind is more likely to focus on the context.

With writing, words are, according to Ong, tyrannical locked in the visual field forever. They are always objects. And that brings with it an implication that the object, the word, represents some basic reality of which all the sensuous beings in our experience derive: an Aristotlean ideal, or a Platonic Form, or a Cartesian spirit. Thus, no individual tree is as important as “Tree,” the ideal tree of which all physical trees are mere shadows. This is the worldview in which “to be” makes sense.

Now that we’re literate, simply becoming pre-literate is not possible, but perhaps we can find some way forward as a post-literate people by rewilding our language? That’s what E-Prime takes a first, small stumble towards, and E-Primitive takes another. It’s not complete, but it’s a start. What the end point is, I don’t entirely know, but we need something better than what we have now.

They are observations. But you indeed defended them extensively, even when people argued the opposite.

Sure; you don’t need to appeal to some objective standard of truth in order to believe that your interpretation of your observations holds best, and to challenge others’ interpretations.

But I still had trouble understanding language in many ways. I couldn't watch movies and understand what people said without requiring the use of closed captions, because I had a difficulty understanding what they said. I instinctively saw the words of speech in my mind, and my mind instinctively translated them. I even saw letters in things and the world--square letters in brick walls, playground equipment, and they stood out to me in my eyes, as well as dot patterns and puzzles.

This is somewhat common for people with autism, and though I haven’t yet delved into the details, I suspect there may be more than a passing coincidence in the similarities between autism and writing.

But I still had trouble understanding language in many ways. I couldn't watch movies and understand what people said without requiring the use of closed captions, because I had a difficulty understanding what they said. I instinctively saw the words of speech in my mind, and my mind instinctively translated them. I even saw letters in things and the world--square letters in brick walls, playground equipment, and they stood out to me in my eyes, as well as dot patterns and puzzles.

As Abram wrote, there’s a spectrum, and the key is porousness. Some languages are more porous than others. All forms of writing close us off somewhat, but only the most extreme–a.k.a., true alphabets, descended from Greek–cut us off entirely. “To be” is part of the extreme end of that spectrum.

I am now a fully oral person, and even am paid to lecture on autism around the country. But I learned my orality from literacy, not the other way around.

I don’t think that makes you “a fully oral person,” at least not in the same sense that a !Kung storyteller is a fully oral person. If you think of the word “nevertheless,” how long does it take before you begin feeling the letters, for instance? You can’t think of the word for very long before coming back around to it as a thing, an object, and that ultimately implies the static world of Forms. It may be a distant thought way in the back of your mind, barely ever brought to the forefront of conscious thought, but I’ll bet that if you fully follow the trails of thought in your mind, you’ll find that’s the unspoken, underlying assumption.

I cannot understand why you assert "to be" implies blindness, because I don't see how that must imply not changing, and why you must take that literally.

Because that’s what the word means. Even if you use the word to mean “I don’t actually mean what I’m saying,” the very formulation of your thoughts in those terms wears those paths in your thoughts down a little more, habituates to that pattern of thinking, and basically trains you to think in those terms. Even if you don’t mean what you’re saying, that’s what others understand you to mean, because that’s what you’ve said. If I don’t remain sad forever, then it’s not true that I am sad. It means I experienced sadness, but I am not sad. Sadness is not a fundamental part of my being. It’s just something I experienced.

Personally I'm thankful for the written word because in the community of my childhood did not have master storytellers and without recorded stories I would have missed out on a lot. If there was a Homer or a Twain on every block things would have been much different.

Well, there’s the crux, isn’t it? There used to be a Homer or a Twain on every block. That situation changed because of literacy. So you can’t really talk about how literacy is necessary as an incomplete cure for a problem that literacy creates, now can you?

I know that I was alive yesterday, but I do not know everything that happened yesterday or claim to know every reason why, rotten or otherwise.

Do you? How? Memories can be planted, fabricated and changed; do you really know you were alive yesterday? How can you prove it to yourself?


#111
You did not use such language. I misunderstood you.

Not explicitly, no. Of course, I didn’t explicitly call them facts, either. So I left it as an unspoken, underlying assumption that I presented my observations. We all have huge complexes of unspoken, underlying assumptions. That’s one of mine.

I just don't understand how "TO BE" and other nonsense MUST equate domestication, or unclear communication. When you wrote your true intentions, even in "b-english," I understood them. You didn't have to transfer to another form of English to acknowledge these shortcomings.

Yes, with enough effort, you can make B-English work. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re training our thoughts to see the world as a collection of objects every time we do, and that makes us more and more domesticated every time we say it.

But I don't instinctively believe in them, and if we can redefine what words like "to be" should mean, why do we have to change our wording if we can reinterpret those words in a new way?

We define words as a society, not as individuals. So we can’t just redefine the language however we like, we need to use the lagnuage in new ways that rewild us instead of domesticate us.

Me--I would find it a lot easier to just redefine words rather than having to change everything I say if I understand what those changes should be.

But language is about communication: it’s not enough for you to understand the new meanings you’ve given to words, they need to be understood by others.

Not everyone who joins this discussion after all, will know about E-Prime before we introduce it to them. At some time, we on this forum might need a way of explaning the differences in both versions of English--"B-English" and "E-Prime," as well as our "E-Primitive."

You don’t need to explain E-Prime to someone to use it, and they don’t need to understand what E-Prime is in order to understand you. E-Prime is a subset of English, not a whole new language. It’s much easier to understand than trying to redefine “be.”

I think also of the Internet. The Internet has enabled you to have an audience in a way you could not. Yet the Internet requires writing. Of course, that doesn't argue the value of the Internet, but I have noticed a different writing style that the Internet has that books don't have.

Of course; every medium has its own style. Newspapers have a style that books don’t have, too.

Words do change on the Internet. You update your web site constantly. So does any web site maker, webmaster, or a person who maintains a website.

The words aren’t actually changing, any more than last month’s issue of Science changed because they issued this month’s issue.

So I think the Internet not only is a way of short-cutting hierarchy due to "open-source" blogs, it also shows literality and writing in a way that does change. I've changed my words constantly on this forum. I've noticed I can change words in a way I can't. So I see how writing is different on the Internet versus a book. Endings can change the way they can't on books.

Walter Ong agrees with you; he called it “second orality.” I don’t think so. The most important aspects of literacy–the “thingness” of the universe, the world of Forms, etc.–is all still there, and I think the mutability of the internet has been exaggerated. Being able to respond to comments is no more revolutionary than letters to the editor; it doesn’t make writing a dynamic medium, it just allows for a great deal more writing to be piled up.

So how do you acknowledge differences between males, females, other genders, or differences between rabbits, coyotes, deer, and other animals, without a concept of nouns? Could you elaborate on this?

They’re different verbs, generally, or different adverbs. I male humanly, while my wife females humanly. That’s nonsense in English, but that may be a much closer literal translation of some animist languages (though we’d still need to get rid of those nouns “I” and “my wife”). Maling humanly married wifing femaling humanly, maybe? The closer we get to actual animist languages, the less sense it makes in English.

Are you stating this as fact, or as one of your observations?

As an observation on par with, “You can’t throw an ice cube into a fire without it melting.” There’s a clear cause and effect in place.

...but Homer's poems were used to aid an oral story, not to blind oneself to an oral way of thinking.

Homer himself was not literate. His poems were written down by others, like a transcription. The poems are actually crucial in documenting pre-literate vs. literate thinking and speaking in ancient Greece, which gives us a great field for comparison.

I also noticed you did not make any mention here about poetry. Poetry is a very different form of writing, and most people see that.

Poetry is very often more transcription than actual writing. Poems are largely meant to be performed, rather than read, and that gives them a touch more orality. I think you’ve missed the point about Homer, though; Homer’s value for us right now doesn’t come from being a poet, but because he was illiterate. He did not write down his epics, and never intended them to be written down. They were composed as completely oral works, which a literate person eventually wrote down. But unlike the works of Plato, or even most modern poets, they existed as purely oral works before they were written down.

Do you think, or have you observed, poetry to be just as deadening to one's senses as other forms of writing?

Insofar as poems are written to be performed, and thus rely on cadence, rhythm, and other elements common in an oral tradition, they can represent a slightly less deadening form of writing, by evoking a synaesthetic experience and thus relating us back to our sensuous experience. But a poem performed still has more impact in that regard than a poem written.

There are obviously many different forms of writing here that need to be discussed if you have observed, or argue that all writing must be deadening to one's senses.

But the things they have in common–the written word–is precisely what most deadens us to our senses, by removing us from our senses and tyrannical locking words in the visual field forever.

Also, you are literate too and have not given up literacy. You will also always be literate. How do you envision your own rewilding and going feral if you are still literate? Obviously your path is not mine, but it is still your path.

I hope that’s not a dismissal; telling a fellow inmate that he should stop planning the escape because he’s in the prison too is hardly a good argument. As I wrote above, simply going “back” isn’t possible. We can’t unlearn reading. So we’ll need to try to find some way forward. That’s what it means to rewild your language. E-Prime is one step forward; E-Primitive is another. I don’t know where it will all end, but I do think we have to try.

How does this cause confusion? Almost everyone I know assumes that when someone says "the leaves are green," that's based on their appearance.

And does it now become a little more clear why almost everyone you know has also accepted cognitive dissonance as a way of life, alienation and isolation as basic norms of living, and why something like post-modernism proliferates, when we can’t even say what we mean?

My observations have been that people don't take things exactly literally. So where's the confusion?

Much deeper. I think that’s a basic cause for much of the existential crisis of modern society, because our thoughts are polluted with nonsensical language that cuts us off from our senses and doesn’t even allow us to say what we mean. We’re basketcases, and this is a substantial part of the reason why. How could it be otherwise? “Is” is the most commonly used word in English, and yet as many times as we use it every day, we barely ever actually mean it. That kind of repeated stress may not lead to immediate confusion, but I don’t see how it could do anything other than build up into a generalized confusion, listlessness and frustration–precisely the kind we can see all around us.

If an Indian like Sitting Bull can learn English as an adult but still not think in English, then a literate person who learns to speak an animist language, or "E-Primitive" should be able to understand both languages. Why wouldn't this work both ways?

You’re talking about it only working one way. Sitting Bull learned English, but it never shaped his patterns of thought, because those patterns were already in place when he learned English. Likewise, animist language may not succeed in shaping our patterns of thought, because they’re already shaped. Sitting Bull spoke two languages, but he only understood one. Same thing.

My question is--if it's possible for even a person speaking "B-English" to learn an animist language, or to create "E-Prime," then how did or does literacy deaden our senses entirely, or how does speaking verbs like "to be," and our concept of "nouns" and "verbs" inherently blind us?

You’re adding to my argument an absoluteness that I never implied. Wrtiing deadens your senses the way that fire burns. You can burn something a little bit without burning it entirely, and you can deaden your senses a little bit without deadening them entirely. But it’s still important to know what writing does.

If we say a word like "to be," or read a static text, which is supposed to mean "static," yet mentally acknowledge a changing world despite our ability to read or the words we speak, I just don't see what the big deal is about having to change words or abandon a form of communication such as literacy to attain that perception.

Because you’ve put yourself in an eternal double-bind. You never mean what you say. That kind of constant, repeated cognitive dissonance builds, until you end up … well, like us, frankly.

I'm also not convinced by your argument about how learning English as a child must necessarily force you to think differently than a person speaking a Native American, or animist language.

For that, look into the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

How do you "think in English" versus "not think in English?" as you said in your quote, rather than "think in a Native American language" versus "not think in a Native American language."

Well that’s easy. Languages have grammatical structures, and those structures also structure our thoughts. People who think in English have a basic assumption that the world is made up of objects made up of smaller objects, like words made out of letters, that it’s basically populated by nouns, and that you can talk about verbs and how nouns relate, so you might have a subject and a verb and an object. Then, you can describe the nouns and the things that they ARE. Like the words themselves, the objects are unchanging and static. That’s the nature of the noun-object; otherwise, you’d need to describe them more in terms of verbs to accurately describe them if they’re subject to change. But the world fundamentally defies that assumption, so you end up in a double-bind, referring to a world of Forms and the ideal Apple, from which the apple in your hand has descended (and degraded) by some degree. You talk about the imperfections that separate the apple in your hand from the ideal Apple, the Form of Apple. The basic worldview this trains you to see is a world that’s rotting. Everything is falling apart, towards Fimbulvinter. The mythology of progress is a somewhat more superficial story eventually overlaid on top of this one.

How are they silly? I think that the fact that we can still translate their mixed "noun-verbs" or "verbs" that link things with relationships with actions means that even in standard English, or "B-English," we are still able to translate and explain the differences between a Native American language in our standard English language means that our problems lie more with definitions than just mere words.

I’ve always thought they sound rather silly. But the thing is, we haven’t really translated them. Not very well, anyway. Look at my example above: “Maling humanly married femaling humanly.” The closer we get to actually expressing what an animist language really says in English, the less sensible it becomes. We’re really failing to translate them more than anything. I suspect this is why the Navajo Windtalkers succeeded so much in WW2: simply translating Navajo would not be too difficult; it would be a simple cipher, from a cyptological standpoint. What would be difficult would be the grammar; how to translate verb-based lagnuage into a noun-based world.

We understand that the name "Dances with Wolves" relates to a different language and culture with different nouns/verbs, or verbs entirely. What more needs to be understood?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the name actually means, rather than just knowing that it’s a name from a different language that you don’t understand? This seems like the basic form of your argument about how we can understand the failings of B-English and express them in writing, so obviously B-English is sufficient. I don’t think it’s sufficient just to state the problem; I think after that, we should try solving it.

I've considered the following possibilities in my brain--are the "noun-verb" differences of English versus other Native American languages the difference between an animist versus a non-animist language, or are they just differences between one language and another?

They’re the difference between an animist versus a non-animist language. Native American languages include a large number of whole language families, and other animists have languages that are similar in this regard. Meanwhile, English is not unique in its noun-basis, either. In Japanese, almost everything is nouns, with various affixes taking the place of most other parts of speech. All of the Indo-European languages operate like English. The clearest dividing line is between wild humans and domesticated humans.

I would assume that there are differences even between two "animist" languages.

Absolutely. Animist languages tend to be very ecologically-based, so they tend to reflect the ecology their in and vary as much as the ecology does. But there are some things they tend to hold in common, including the verb-denominated basis.

Finally, if a civilization does not have writing, then what are those other ways it can, or must "objectify the world," in the way you are discussing? Could you describe an example of this, or elaborate a little more on this?

If you have writing, you have to have a written word of some kind for things in the world. The written word is an object, and it naturally leads you to objectify that thing, as well. See examples above about apples or the word “nevertheless.”

How does a person speak English but not "think in English?" What do you mean by this?

I can speak some German, but I don’t think in German. I think in English, and then I translate into German. So I don’t think “Meine Name ist Jason,” I think “My name is Jason … OK, that’s Mein Name, no, Meine name, it’s feminine … is is ist … Meine Name ist Jason.” German grammar and vocabulary emphasis isn’t having much impact on how I think. I’m not thinking in German, I’m just speaking it.

Literally, after all, one of the very few times I've actually seen the words "to be" used often was in the famous quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "To be or not to be, that is the question." How would you translate that in E-Prime?

Really, you don’t. As Robert Anton Wilson wrote in the essay linked above, E-Prime does make it difficult to say nonsensical or misleading things. But Hamlet was talking about suicide, so you’d just change the whole soliloquy:

To live or not to live, I must ask;
Whether I act nobler as I suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or as I take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh inherits — I devoutly wish
To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, that challenges me,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. That trembling fear
Makes calamity of so long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s abuses,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Becomes sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.


#112

Well, I’m going to be traveling now (I’m leaving tomorrow night, actually, and will be gone for at least a week), and since all conversations must come to a close at some time, I think this is the time for this conversation to end. I’ve learned a lot, and I now understand your arguments a little more. I don’t agree with everything you say, but then, neither do you agree with everything everyone else says as well. As you’ve said before, you don’t agree with anyone 100% of the time. Neither should anyone–you are right about that. I might change my mind later, but for now, I think I’ve said enough.

However, since you did ask me a few questions, I will answer them.

DICKENS: But the fact remains that what you say is unique, and thus, you need to back up your arguments with facts and your research.

JASON: Which I have.

Exactly. I did not try to dismiss your claims solely on their uniqueness. You’ve backed up your arguments, and I see that. I don’t agree with everything you say 100% of the time, obviously, but then, as you have said before, you don’t agree with everyone else 100% of the time either.

DICKENS: I am now a fully oral person, and even am paid to lecture on autism around the country. But I learned my orality from literacy, not the other way around.

JASON: I don’t think that makes you “a fully oral person,” at least not in the same sense that a !Kung storyteller is a fully oral person. If you think of the word “nevertheless,” how long does it take before you begin feeling the letters, for instance? You can’t think of the word for very long before coming back around to it as a thing, an object, and that ultimately implies the static world of Forms. It may be a distant thought way in the back of your mind, barely ever brought to the forefront of conscious thought, but I’ll bet that if you fully follow the trails of thought in your mind, you’ll find that’s the unspoken, underlying assumption.

You misunderstood me here. What I meant by “fully oral” was that I was able to speak English fluently by an oral basis. Of course I am not a fully oral person in the sense that a !Kung storyteller is–I did not mean that at all.

Wouldn't it be nice to know what the name actually means, rather than just knowing that it's a name from a different language that you don't understand? This seems like the basic form of your argument about how we can understand the failings of B-English, such as in the verb "to be," and express them in writing, so obviously B-English is sufficient. I don't think it's sufficient just to state the problem; I think after that, we should try solving it.

Part of my point, however, is questioning if it is truly a problem after all. Ultimately, after all, a problem is only a problem if someone calls it a problem.

As I said before:

If we can acknowledge the failings of B-English in B-English, why do we have to invest time in changing how we speak? You argue about “stating a problem,” yet I just don’t see if it is a problem after all if we acknowledge the “literal” shortcomings of B-English and can internally think beyond them.

I guess I just don’t agree, based on my observations, that a certain way of speaking and certain word usage can somehow blind you from another way of perception if you can understand a different reinterpretation of the way you speak. That’s why I question whether or not this is actually a problem.

DICKENS: Also, you are literate too and have not given up literacy. You will also always be literate. How do you envision your own rewilding and going feral if you are still literate? Obviously your path is not mine, but it is still your path.

JASON: I hope that’s not a dismissal; telling a fellow inmate that he should stop planning the escape because he’s in the prison too is hardly a good argument. As I wrote above, simply going “back” isn’t possible. We can’t unlearn reading. So we’ll need to try to find some way forward. That’s what it means to rewild your language. E-Prime is one step forward; E-Primitive is another. I don’t know where it will all end, but I do think we have to try.

Absolutely. This is not a dismissal at all, of any of your arguments. Of course you should try–we all should try. My views of how to do this may differ from yours, but I do believe some part of “rewilding,” as you put it, should take place.

That’s it for this response. I’ve enjoyed this conversation, and now I believe it is time for it to close. You may think differently, but then, we all ultimately, we all observe things a little differently.


#113

Aye, I think we’re starting to repeat ourselves a bit, so this is a good place to stop this particular branch of the discussion. Obviously we have differing views, and readers can see why and decide for themselves, and we’ll all be enriched by the efforts of others going in different directions than ourselves.


#114

Yes it has become a madness of very long posts OO fun to read at first but then… wow another one?


#115

[quote=“Urban Scout, post:1, topic:91”]E-prime (or english-prime) refers to using the english language without the verb “to be.”

After living in a several thousand year old sedentary culture, our language has changed quite a bit. No indigenous languages have a verb “to be.” To Be attempt to fix and tame the constantly changing world. This is that, for example. I believe that the verb To Be originated from this culture from our perception of masters over the planet. Gods. Only gods get to decide what “is” and “isn’t.”[/quote]

Dear Urban Scout, if you do not mind, I would like to use your statement here as intro to a thesis paper I am writing. However I have hit a realisation that I think makes more sense, or perhaps, what I believe. I am almost done with my thesis, just editing it, hopefully I will make it public by tomorrow.

To me, the end would read,

"I believe that the verb To Be originated from this culture from our perception of men as masters over the planet. Only God are able to decide what “is” and “isn’t.”
(using the word get implies something gave God(s) authority to do so).
However, I am unsure how there can be more than one God, in relation to a master over the planet. Can a planet have two masters? Is one not higher than the other? If one is higher than the other than why not simply serve that one God rather than multiple Gods, and thus live in turmoil (as men do) about what to do, and how to live.

I’d like to append that since we know of the word is, we know of God, and that using the word is should only be used in questions (to God) for no man can define what “is” and “isn’t”. The rest will be explained in my thesis.


#116

I found this site, which seems to apply a bit.

http://www.enformy.com/dma-verb.htm


#117

I would love for you to use it, and thank you for asking first.


#118

I noticed a typo…just wanted clarification in this response.

But the things they have in common–the written word–is precisely what most deadens us to our senses, by removing us from our senses and tyrannical locking words in the visual field forever.

Did you mean “tyrannically” versus “tyrannical?” I sensed a typo here. If it isn’t, you can tell me.


#119

Yup, typo. I’m prone to them. :slight_smile:


#120

Thanks. However, the typo example that I mentioned–was I correct when I saw that typo? Or are you referring to another typo in the sentence?