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Re: [xmca] "Rising to the concrete"

Huw, I suspect you may have misunderstood my comment about "analog " and "digital" belonging to a completely different frame than "abstract/concrete" and "general/universal." This does not at all mean that the distinction is irrelevant. Words and concepts are meaningful only as part of a certain system of some kind, and when a word or concept belonging to one system or semantic register is introduced into another system or discourse (here myself mixing several frames) one must take especial care to explain oneself.

I suspect that much of what I say on xmca is meaningless or obscure to others. To be honest, Huw, I can't make sense of this post of yours. That is not I suspect because I am dumb or because you are mad, but we seem to be using two different conceptual frames. It's like inserting FORTRAN code into a javascript. For example, as someone who learnt my computer science before there was such a discipline, I do not see "analog" as meaning "continuous," rather it means modelling the material world in some kind of artefact whose behaviour is governed by other natural laws which are controllable. So the natural, material world itself, in that frame, cannot be analog, though it undoubtedly is continuous.

Unfortunately Huw, we live in a world where almost every individual uses their own unique semantic register and this makes collaboration, let alone communication (which BTW I do not see as synonymous with behaviour) more and more difficult, especially if we dance carelessly over the polysemous nature of the words we share. The multiplicity of semantic frames is something we have to live with because it is part of the individualistic, politically and econommically liberal world we inhabit, but the other side is that we cannot take understanding for granted.


Huw Lloyd wrote:
On 18 August 2012 02:33, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:


Where do you locate the *as if* structure of understanding?  Wolfgang Iser
proposes a literary anthropology model that posits the actual/real realm
AND the imaginal realm  MEDIATED by the fictional.  In this model the
distinctions or boundaries between the actual and the fictional are not
distinct and clear.

Hi Larry,

By "as if", I understand you to mean analogous to.

As I understand it analogy has its basis in the analog (continuous).
Although we could relate to a digitally conceived arrangement by analogy to
another digitally understood thing.

In terms of concept formation.  I perceive metaphor to refer to the whole
by virtue of something else, and the analog to refer to relevant structure
of the conception by virtue of some other structure that is known to you.
Neither, however, directly tackle the actual structure of the new concept,
rather they help you to orient to it appropriately.

I'm not keen on the phrase 'real'.  Everything is real.  The thought of a
flying elephant is real.  So to delimit the real, is to disconsider things
that are real, as not real.  I think this kind of boundary puts up
resistance too, to the uptake of the mentally materialized ideal through
mediated activity.  It would be like dividing a tennis court where one side
of the net is the real and the other the non-real, and then focusing upon
the real and the non-real as two different things.   So there is no
boundary between thoughts of the actual and thoughts of the fictional, it
just so happens that some of the behaviour of the tennis player on the
"non-real" side are particularly appropriate -- they have veracity.

Briefly, on the appropriateness of analog and digital, here are a few

- Dialectics is related to analytics in similar ways, I believe, as analog
is related to digital.

The material out of which dialectics reveals itself is analytic structure.
The creative dialectic thought postulates analytic conceptions from which
it can rebound.  The abstractions out of which concepts are formed are
analytic formulations.  The digital meanwhile inheres within the analog.

- A simple virtue of these distinctions is to assist in heeding logical
errors.  For instance, linguists and cognitive scientists conceive of the
word or thought coming first.  They may say that communication is speaking
or wording.  But this is to put the digital before the analog.
Communication is much more than wording, communication is behaviour.

- Typologies are implicated too.  I believe they can be related such things
as value and inner-form.

- Meanwhile in the business of imagination and intuition, of raising the
unconscious to the conscious, is, I believe, inherently a raising of
analogic to digital.  In a similar way to how words help to build

So, to say that "analog and digital" is not relevant seems to me to be
rather dogmatic (using Davydov's definition).

Anthony Wilden's "Analog and Digital Communication" (system and structure)
may be a good place to delve further, which may appeal and relate to much
of your own studies, Larry, e.g. p173:

"The conception of the nip emerging from the bite as a metonymy and then
becoming part of the code (as a metaphor) once it has been integrated into
a higher level of communication, seems to be borne out of a number of
studies of animal and infant communication.  Bronowski (1967:385) points
out that "the normal unit of animal communication, even among primates, is
a whole message", and Bruner emphasizes McNeills' argument that the child's
first semantic system is a holophrastic 'sentence dictionary' in which
words correspond to complete sentences."



On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com
On 17 August 2012 19:03, Ivan Rosero <irosero@ucsd.edu> wrote:

In the interest of understanding you Huw, these two lines in your most
recent post jumped out at me

To assert that something is not relevant is to prevent such creative

Going back to the other contention, your assertion that analog and
digital belong to a different frame is wrong.  The only possible truth
the assertion is that they have nothing to do with your frame...

The following lines also struck me

To abstract is to measure.  To measure is to compare.  Comparison is

These assertions create a pretty big universe of seemingly irrelevant
things to thinking about abstraction and comparison.  I wonder, for
example, if abstraction can be about something other than measuring?
would the following sentence count as comparison?

"A dog is kind of like a sheep."

Yes, it can count as comparison.

If yes, is this a "digital" comparison?  If no, what is this sentence
your estimation?

Yes.   For the dog to be conceived of as like a sheep, you are comparing
model of a dog with a model of a sheep.

Likewise the only means of comparing the two living things is by various
measurements.  To say that one is like another is to compare conceptions
made from aggregated abstractions.

But you could say "My dog is a sheep", which is not such a comparison.

I do not like writing that someone is wrong, but then I do not like
obfuscation even more.  If you think it's out of place, please forgive


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*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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