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On the Importance of Abstracting and Codification of Sensations

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posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:00 AM
This post has the purpose of detailing an importance of codifying personal sensations. It is meant as an abstraction of the author's own personal sensations, which can only be made more communicable and more accurate by further discussion and clarification.

It is the authors belief that abstracting, codifying, and even categorizing personal sensations into approximations captured by words creates small peaks across the continuum of consciousness and experience. And that these peaks of approximations are like small stepping stones cresting above the level of chaos and confusion and allows the human will to cross the wide and strong river of existence to the side of liberation and free will.

In fact, it is the position of the author that even the words that are used to describe the empirical world are truly only abstractions and codifications of the unique personal sensation that an individual has when perceiving that which we refer to as the material world.

I. The Benefit to the Human

The following is an excerpt form Helen Keller's autobiography. It describes how one day Miss Keller's teacher prepared to take her for a walk:

She brought me my hat, and I knew I was going out into the warm sunshine. This thought, if a wordless sensation may be called a thought, made me hop and skip with pleasure.

We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over my hand she spelled into the other the word w-a-t-e-r, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motion of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten-- a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that W-A-T-E-R meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that in time could be swept away.

I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned into the house, every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me.

The preceding passage illustrates the level of liberation gained when an individual is able to codify an abstraction of a personal sensation, and that much more when the codification is communicable. So here we see three very important phases of a cycle of learning which empowers the being with more freedom in their world than they previously experienced.

1. The realization that symbols can be used to represent personal sensations.

2. The first codification of a sensation. This can be termed the process of abstraction.

3. The realization that this symbol can be given to another individual who in turn has the capability of understanding your meaning within a particular realm of certainty. This can be termed basic communication.

II. The Benefit to the Community

The following is an excerpt from Charles Darwin's Descent of Man:

If it could be proved that certain high mental powers, such as the formation of general concepts, self-consciousness, et cetera, were absolutely peculiar to man, which seems extremely doubtful, it is not improbable that these qualities are merely the incidental results of other highly-advanced intellectual faculties; and these again mainly the results of the continued use of a perfect language.

This is not to say that any language is perfect in the sense of "completeness" but in the sense of "accuracy".

Incidentally, it is interesting to note how even though "Accuracy" and "Completeness" fall under the umbrella of the word "Perfect", they have subtle differences in sensation of the word "Perfect" which when communicated in approximations such as these two words, have huge differences in meanings.

It stands to reason that the grasp of accurate communication is one of the requirements for widespread use of technology. As well as the requirement for any technology, because the accurate codifying of sensations is required for the individual to make any distinction in graduated degrees between one extreme and another. Whereas technology depends on degrees in accuracy, it also depends on language.

It should be noted that the author does not believe that technology for the sake of technology benefits society 100% of the time, but it is his belief that something as crude as a lean-to shelter is considered technology and has very tangible benefits for a community.

[edit on 4-6-2009 by HunkaHunka]


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