Last time on rogue planet...
If you're just tuning in, make sure to start with part 1.
- The philosophical theory from the 17th century that cognitive scientists unwittingly borrowed when they explained the mind as a machine
- Why it's not enough to explain how humans learn to use a word if you want to understand what words mean
- The vital difference between trading information tags and really understanding a word (and it's missing from Elon's brain implant)
Is the brain chip going to make you some kind of nerd computer god... or is it going to leave you mutilated and inhuman?
We'll get to that.
First, let's pick up where we left off talking about language.
This is going to be a slightly longer than usual post, so only members can read the whole thing.
If words don't symbolize things, then how DOES language work?
It's tempting to give The Answer, but truth is, we just don't know.
Philosophers don't know and the scientists, trash-talking aside, haven't done a lot to improve our ignorance.
Today's consumerist loves having complete and final answers. They cannot stand even the idea of mystery and uncertainty.
Oh, those cursed philosophers always talking and asking questions! Why can't we just get some answers?
Settling for bad and stupid answers for answer's sake is one of the damn dumbest things I ever heard in my life.
Nerds, geeks, and other gamma personalities need complete answers because uncertainty unsettles them. They have to spoil the movie and spoil reality with their nerd fan-fiction.
Out here in the real world where stuff happens, we never have certainty.
Truth is, we don't know how language works. Nobody does. It's a total mystery how or when or why language appeared in our ancestors somewhere between 5000 and 15,000 years ago.
Covering over that mystery with a bad and stupid answer like "computers!" isn't helping you out just because you like to code and enjoy Isaac Asimov books.
A lot of cognitive scientists today are in love with the 'machine model' of the human mind. They think that because they've got an answer, there are no other questions.
But there are critics of the machine model, going all the way back to the beginning.
Writers and thinkers you've probably never heard of were critical of this 'transparent' theory of language and minds even back in the 17th century.
They gave us a very different take on language.
And worse still...
With their total and happy lack of historical knowledge, today's over-specialized loud-mouthed pro-scientists have no idea that they're reinventing a wheel that was old when Rome ruled the world.