On 12/14/2012 11:09 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Friday, December 14, 2012 2:00:47 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
On 12/14/2012 6:16 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
It is in the nature of outer messages that they are not conveyed in any
language. To find an explicit language in which to convey outer messages
be a breakthrough� it would be a contradiction in terms!
But from the outside we can determine when a message is passed by observing
actions.� This is how we've come to understand some of the language of
The 'outer messages' are not explicit language because they are implicit in
actions.� We tend to forget this because humans do so much internal
language relative to their actions - but ultimately meaning is grounded in
to the world.� Because other humans are such a big part of our world and we
interact with them by language, we start to think of meaning and language as
existing in a separate world.
I agree mostly, but I would point out that although we can determine when a message is
passed, we can't be sure that a message is not being passed. We infer messages from
observing behaviors which are familiar to us, but there be much more going on than we
would know to imagine. How much could an alien with a telescope learn by looking at your
behavior - or maybe he is only looking at your car and assumes that you are some kind of
Right. Stanislaw Lem has written stories on the theme of the near impossibility of
All of that in the quote is Hofstader's writing, btw. Only the comment at the
end is mine.
Yes, I understood that.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at