Map of Meaning and All Its Plurality
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)
Meaning Multiple Maps? A planksip Perspective and Möbius on Terra Firma
Map of Meaning and All Its Plurality
Inspired by Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”. The titled responsion is a primer towards plurality.
Map of Meaning versus Maps of Meanings. The added plurality of interpretation is less dogmatic but terribly inefficient when we limit our sights on what matters versus matter itself. Priorities people, priorities!
The Map of Meaning and All Its Plurality is a book written by the fictional phenomenon Christopher Alexander. The book focuses on the human mind. It is not a book for those who are looking for a book about brainpower; instead, it is more of a book about all the different ways we interpret the world around us and use our brains to figure out how everything else works.
The author discusses how we use our language in our daily lives. He also goes into the different ways that people have tried to figure out exactly how to make sense of the world around us. In fact, Alexander actually goes a step further and uses all of these different methods and combines them together to form one big idea of what the whole map of meaning is all about.
The Map of Meaning and All Its Plurality provides you with a very interesting perspective of how we process information. We all know that our brains do not work in the same way; the rate a which some of use our brains to process only information if differnt to those who utilize their brains to interpret meaning in and novel ways. Patterns, however, do persist and Alexander goes into all of these different techniques that many people have used in order to figure out the meaning emerging within their individual life times. This epiphenomial projection of sorts is an emergent phenomenon that defines human consciousness. Some of the techniques used to provide a generalized location to consciousness itself include the following:
- Human brain activity has three layers, which are known as the parietal lobe, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe. In each layer of the human brain, you will be able to see things like language, memory, thinking, and even emotions.
- Each layer has its own style of how it processes information in different ways. You might get the meaning from memory and think of a picture or something along the lines of what you were thinking, but with the temporal lobe, you might get the meaning from something that you have read; thus, you can get both the picture and the meaning from one source.
- You will notice that each layer has its own ways of figuring out things. This is because each layer has its own purpose, which includes being able to use these different methods to figure out the meaning of anything.
- There are so many different things that humans use their brains to learn about and sometimes even find out more about. that they use this knowledge to create new theories and concepts. Some of these things include the use of language, science, mathematics, and even psychology. These are just a few examples.
The whole theory of this book will give you a look at how the human mind works and all of the different ways that it processes information and uses that information to create new ideas.
When you look at all of the different ways that human brains process information, it creates a unique way of looking at life. It also creates a very unique way of looking at the different experiences that we have and the meaning of those experiences, as well as the way that each experience is created from the past.
The Map of Meaning and All Its Plurality also gives you a very unique way of viewing all of the different ways that humans look at life. and all of the different experiences that they have and make us look at those experiences in a new light. that is, hopefully, one that will change the way that we look at things in life.
You will also learn more about how the different layers in our brains can change people’s lives and change the way that people look at things. When you use this knowledge to create new ideas and solve problems, you will have a new way of looking at the world around you.
This is definitely something that will help you find new things, change the way that you think, and learn a whole new world that you have never seen before. By using the many different techniques and theories that are presented in this book.
As a relatively new philosopher without any institutional education in the field of philosophy, I only started taking philosophy more seriously in 2016. Until that point, the entire ‘corpus’ from famous intellectuals of our past was esoteric for me, to say the most. I really knew nothing of the rich history of thinkers, that now, I extend reverence to all culturally cherished literature. Sometimes known as the Classics, the more time I spent immersed in classical literature, Art, Science and History the more my entire world view opened up. Essentially, I was the same person. Now, I am not going to go into a long explanation on identity now but feel free to click on identity and discover a different type of counterfactual. The thoughts that emerge from the projected canvas behind you are clickable, a journey if you will. As you can imagine, I am recreating a thought process, hence the train of thought running in the background. The dining car sounds with the landscape whizzing by on your profile side could mean right or left but that doesn’t matter does it? Do you get the picture? Right or left in our subjective think-speech is ultimately an ethical claim. On this imaginary train ride, we sit opposite each other, just as we are now, me projecting thoughts out of the screen and you choose which thoughts to follow. This is the psychology behind the Christian dogma of Bearing Witness, and as the full-time apologetic Psychologist Jordan B. Peterson likes to advocate towards; there is some value in there somewhere, in that Christian cloud of smoke and mirrors. How would you like me to demystify that for you or at the very least tell you how I approach this problem? Otherwise, I will take this opportunity to elaborate further on the Platonic Ideal. Goodness is ideal. It’s the subjective ordering of these ideals that Plato gave us, we repay his generosity with footnotes, thanks to Whitehead, et alia. As a philosopher, I prefer to focus on first principles, which most often flow through the Hellenic Western ‘Continent’ but there are instances where I am pulled into problems that no ancient civilization, or the wisdom that it gave us, is equipped to face.
Let us briefly take a moment to explore the concept of the Platonic ideal. First of all, just who in the world was Plato? Plato (pronounced as play-toe, not to be confused with Play-Dough, the little clay mold children’s plaything that you used to try and eat frequently as a littlun, much to your mother’s chagrin…but honestly, why did they make it taste so good if you’re not supposed to eat it? They knew what they were doing, man…) was a highly influential philosopher from Athens, Greece, during the Classical period (the time period from around fifth century BC all the way up to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC) of the Ancient Greek historical record. A student of Socrates, the original philosopher, to whom the entire discipline of philosophy owes the utmost reverence and gratitude, and, later on, an instructor to Aristotle, another heavy-hitter in the world of big-time thinkers, Plato was instrumental in the development of modern Western thought.
Perhaps one of Plato’s biggest contributions to the realm of high-level discussion is the concept of the Platonic ideal. Basically, it works as follows:
You see a picture of a cat.
You compare this picture of a cat to cats that you’ve seen in your life.
But what do you compare those cats to?
You compare those cats to some idealized “cat” — an intangible ideal that only exists within the confines of one’s own mind, untraceable to the world of form in which we humans meander through on a daily basis (except for when we shut our eyes and transcend it for a handful of hours).
Therein lies the true magic of the Platonic ideal: accessing that magical place in your mind where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. There is no snarly, snaggletoothed demon kitty trying to fervently claw and gnaw at your gonads, without restraint. There is only “cat” in its purest form, free from any defects or defilements that may cause you to want to put the little bastard up for adoption (sorry, Billy, but you’ve got to stop biting me so much when I’m trying to write — and, for goodness’ sake, get off of the keyboard! How many times have I toarsdciaekdcjaeisdfjieadsjiofc…Billy! Enough!)
“For Goodness’ Sake?”
Well, yeah — it’s an expression. You’ve never heard it before?
“Of course I’ve heard it — I’ve just never really thought about it, I guess. That is, up until now. What exactly is this “goodness” you speak of? Is it something tangible? Can it be measured? Can I see a picture of it?”
Alas, I am unable to provide you with a physical portrait of “goodness,” as it is yet another Platonic ideal; that being said, I can illustrate just what this ideal might look like in the world of form:
Your cat sees you huddled in the corner, eyes welling up, after coming home from a long day of being yelled at by employers, relatives, and significant others. He slowly strolls on over to you and curls up, nice and snug, right by your side. He begins to kiss, rather than bite.
That is goodness. Mm…mmmm…mmmmmmmm. Real good it is.
There are a couple of thinkers that, for me, are ideal in terms of a starting point for an idealized imagining of what friendship should be. I have be careful here, my use of the word should indicates an ethical claim. It’s this derivative and the movements we make towards understanding that provides the conceptual nodes of myelinating understanding that define our dissent. Having someone to share it with makes all the difference. For me, I go to Aristotle, Plato, Cicero and relatively recently Anthony Grayling. Ultimately we can be, however ephemeral, more than the sum of our better selves when we cultivate friendships.
What is a friend? Indeed, there are a number of individuals to whom the term would apply. You’ve got your closest confidants, those who you have known and kept in relatively close contact with for quite some time, and who would likely sacrifice a sizable chunk of their own utility if it meant providing you with some relief, even if it is only temporary (as is everything, of course…anicca). These are your “best friends” and they enjoy a special status amongst the rest of your social circle — the types of people that will end up being the best man at your wedding (or one of the bridesmaids if you’ve got lady parts).
Next up, you’ve got the folks at the office, or in the classroom, that make work a little bit less sorrow-inducing. I’m not just talking about any old colleague or professional acquaintance — I’m talking about the people that you look forward to seeing each day, and who you know you can complain about the boss or professor to without harboring any fear that they may rat you out like a little sewer-dwelling mutated vermin (a descriptor that is quite apt for the vast majority of those who work in office settings). While these individuals may not necessarily end up getting an invite to all of your social gatherings, particularly the more debaucherous engagements, they are nonetheless still folks that you can reliably depend on to provide you with some form of temporary ataraxia. Thus, they still fall into the category of “friend”.
Then, of course, you’ve got those friends that you will, from time to time, sleep with — and not just the type of sleep where you both lay on your back with your eyes closed. You may be laying on your back at certain points, and your eyelids will likely shutter back and forth periodically, but there is definitely a lot more movement involved in this type of sleeping arrangement.
Now, a bit more on these types of friends. For some strange reason, society has placed a number of stigmas on each of the various terms they are referred to by. A girlfriend or boyfriend, for instance, is seen as the paragon of these sorts of friendships — in many cases, the only legitimate form they can exist under. However, to the individual on which the label is placed, it can carry a significant amount of unwanted baggage. Calling someone your girlfriend implies, at least in contemporary society, that you are involved in an exclusive, committed relationship with someone and are responsible for paying for their meals and buying them things. Having a boyfriend, in turn, implies having to put up with random outbursts of frustration and anger that likely have nothing to do with you.
Much more preferable to the whole girlfriend/boyfriend dynamic is another friendship phenomenon known as “friends with benefits.” The name is perfect, as these lucky folks get to reap all of the benefits of friendship, coupled with the love-making that occurs in romantic relationships, without having to wield any of that excess baggage typically associated with those types of relationships.
It truly is a beautiful thing. Try it sometime.
When it comes to Aethetics I default to Antonio Demasio, his felt consciousness model is foundational to my intellectual pedadoggy. The origin of beauty is an orderly arrangement, a predictability of sorts. What we value or socially perceive as Art is another conversation.
Let’s map out two conceptual epistemological claims, which everyone should know is just a knowledge structure. On the right hand let’s say, we have the Sciences, while on the left we have the Humanities. I’m taking a quantum leap in assumption and a well stated argument so let’s set this up as much more of a shared imaginative exercise, with a little of welcomed rhetoric for affect, not so much good measure.
I would like to acknowledge that Science is right and thank Goodness that Science is so ubiquitous, Science gives us all of the creature comforts and a Eudaemonic type existence for more people now than any time in history. I understand that this favorable claim is supported by empirical data but a larger affect of population growth has driven much of what we have come to call culture. Do you see where i am going with this? I have just presented data that doesnt support my claim. Some would call this a red herring but I am acknowledging the claim and presenting it as valid. What I am saying is that out side the reference to the data is a broader brushstroke of reality but there is a several magnitude increase in potential if we can tap into the intellicual rigour coming out of the Humanities. If both Science and the Humanities are going to communicate more effectively we all promise Science will never have to waiver or compromise Scientific due process in this marriage. Do you except? The only problem with this matrimonial proposition is that it represents a false Dichotomy. We are already submerged in cultural influence, what we do with it, between friends, is another beautiful story.
I noticed an opening response technique that often happens in a philosophical conversation. People, including myself, will preface their remarks with, “For me, dot, dot, dot…”. An example would be, For me, the universe is a living ecosystem on someone’s desk”. Now, I actually do entertain this lab experiment hypothesis from time to time, not necessarily to contemplate its actual claim on reality but I think about animals, laboratory, domesticated, vertebrate and nonvertebrate. We control animals under the thumb of Prometheus. Because of our cognitive abilities to generate proof through abstraction, and our closely coupled “discoveries”, technology itself has been ratcheting humanity forward ever since it was “given” fire. And now what? This technology has modified our realities, the reality and potential of our species to Be something truly remarkable, or something more akin to a virus? Who knows, I guess that’s up to us. Regardless, this is the reality, which by the way, we should all be facing, one where the technology-leveraged lifestyles that we lead may or may not prepare our future generations for the challenges that lie ahead.
What can we predict? What should we focus on collectively, how should or could we shape technology for Good outcomes. The bar isn’t set very high, or so it would seem. Goodness is ideal. It’s the subjective ordering of these ideals that Plato gave us, we repay his generosity with footnotes, thanks to Whitehead, et alia. As a philosopher, I prefer to focus on first principles, of which most often flow through the Hellenic Western ‘Continent’ but there are instances where I am pulled into problems that no ancient civilization, or the wisdom that it gave us, is equipped to face. Would you say that we, as a species, dominate the world and all living creatures on the planet? The same could not be said for the collapsing reality of Athens at the hands of the Spartan junta. I am not saying that we have a natural right to an ideal history but we do have the right, collectively, to work towards this ideal.
Do you think we are the most advanced species on earth? Anytime I think about our hierarchical position on this planet, I am somewhat humbled by our sample size of one, collectively speaking of course, with the realization that if measured by biomass, total ant biomass is very similar. Ant populations right beside the human race, neck and neck if you were, competing on behalf of future generations. Our will or the collective cultural reaction to technology has placed us into a niche which is incredibly prosperous for the time being, Ants, on the other hand, have more than 12,000 species to combat even rapid changes to the environment. We have one species, that of Sapiens. Our secret weapon or evolutionary advantage is the constellation of ambiguity and subjectivity between our individual ears, the frequency for which is highly tuned to language or information transfer to be more exact. Meaning is what I am referring to, and not all meaning is created or remains equivalent. Just like the entire field and concept of Science, meaning may be subjective but it has its limits and agreeing on these limits is what binds social contracts. For me, we have arrived at a state of apparent domination but as I say apparent, I can’t help but think of apparition; a ghostly imagining of something scary. 10,000 years is the entire span of culture as we know it, and I am being extremely generous with that claim. Compared to evolution, coupling the two seams futile. I mean that’s my best guess so far. The reality here is that the conversation about cultural evolution is a hot topic with the academic community, more so for the advocates like Edward.O. Wilson, Bret Weinstein and Charles J Lumsden. Here I fall into thoughts about Hegemony, Culture and the Zeitgeist.
Everything humans do, essentially, is for aesthetic purposes.
Now, I mean, certainly there is also an evolutionary component to human behavior, as we are still all merely biological creatures living in a shared ecosystem, competing for resources. However, it is obvious that, for the vast majority of us (at least those of us living in the developed world), the competition for resources is not as pressing of a concern as it was in the yesterdays of yesteryear. These days, it seems as if there is a new r-word (no, not that one) that human beings have all rallied around in order to scoop up as much of it as we possibly can: relevance.
From Bob Dylan taking the stage, armed with amplifiers, ready to rock, at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival to the election of Donald fricking Trump as the President Of The United States Of America, the fight for relevance has now completely eclipsed the fight for survival.
Indeed, each of us is taking part, day in and day out, knowingly or unknowingly, in the struggle to be seen as “cool.” This is nothing particularly new — it dates back to ancient times, as a matter of fact. And because each person has a different definition of “cool,” there are a number of methods people have employed in their quest to uphold their own particular vision of it.
To some, being “cool” may mean being able to do whatever you want, without listening to any so-called “authorities” or, god-forbid, “The Man” himself- the establishment, the power structure, the tools of social control used historically to quell revolutionary thought or action. To others, it may simply mean acquiring a whole lot of capital and climbing the social ladder, perpetually, until realizing that none of that stuff ultimately means anything and then joining a zen monastery in Myanmar, where the rest of their days are spent sitting criss-cross applesauce, pondering the triviality of human existence.
That actually might be the coolest version of being cool. But aesthetics are largely subjective, and one person’s cool is most definitely another person’s lame. For instance, your dad might think he’s the coolest cat in the world, with his nineteen-eighty-six glam rock hair-do, complete with the leather jacket, sport bike, Oakley shades, goatee, and double chin, the first of which serves as a resting place for the aforementioned goatee. To you and the rest of the girls at summer camp, though, he is the epitome of all that is lame about Generation X, with all of his trite Reaganite aphorisms and National Lampoon references.
Still, though, you and your friends are also operating from your own respective aesthetic standpoint. You are not safe from the game — nobody is. Even those monks I mentioned earlier — they are all competing, aesthetically, with each other. Collectively, all monks are competing with the Dalai Lama. And, of course, the Dalai Lama is competing with the Buddha himself.
Who was the Buddha competing with, then?
You. Who is me. Who is all.
As a University program philosophy moderator, I noticed the preemptive, ‘for me,’ salutation is used in almost a negotiative manner so that any and all criticism conveniently fall into a protective bubble of identity. Although I am not a plularist, I do have pluralustic tendencies, although, the complexity of what emerges is the key to understanding and a Consilience towards unifying knowledge. Use for me as you like but for me has a direct link to Plato and ideal form. Perverse, I know, but don’t blame me. That’s society speaking. For me that is!
For me, the phrase “for me” is quite innocuous. I mean, for me, “for me” is merely just a coupling of the words “for” and “me” — a preposition the subject to whom it refers, bound together in a sort of modest matrimonial affair. “For me”, there is very little else to say about these two words, when put together, except that I haven’t really noticed it enough to have any strong opinions on it, either way. But, clearly, at least one person has some rather charged feelings towards “for me” or else I would not have been asked to ramble, at length, about “for me”. So, let’s do this — for me, for you, and for anyone else out there who may care to delve a bit deeper into this topic.
I guess one reason that someone may feel a certain type of way about “for me” is because of how selfish it comes off as, at least when the words first hit your ears. I mean, really — for you? What about ME?!?
Wait…now I’m being selfish.
In all seriousness, none of this “you” and “me” business even matters, to tell you the truth. There is no real meaningful distinction between the two, at least not one that can be discerned by anyone that has ever transcended this realm. Now, by transcending this realm, I don’t mean scoop a little bit of mescaline into your favorite breakfast cereal (I’m all about Raisin Bran, personally; however, these days I’ve mostly just been eating oats in the morning) and moseying on down to the nearest state park for some sort of “transcendent” Walden-esque experience. Nope — ’tis far too easy a feat. As a rule of thumb, if you can get it done with a little bit of money, it’s probably not actually transcendence.
A truly transcendent experience requires an immense amount of effort — a level which most people are unable to expend, for fear of what it might lead to. Because, you see, once you actually transcend this physical realm and enter the void, that place where, as the ever-eloquent Meechy Darko once profoundly put it, “there is no hate, and you don’t need flesh”, then you are never fully able to leave. You may immerse yourself back into the world of form, but you will never be able to forget what you have learned from your brief excursion out of its boundaries. You will emerge a new soul, a more enlightened soul — part of the universal soul. You will become closer to the ultimate goal of uniting with the collective consciousness, the supreme Godhead, the eternal Brahman, and begin to move in lockstep with your fellow humans (who are really just fragments of your own divinity). Everything you do will have a heightened purpose, due to this newfound heightened awareness.
Even better — you probably won’t be saying “for me” as much. You may end up just saying “for us”. Actually probably not. That would be creepy, like Smeagol or something.
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