Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Error of Language

"The Human Condition" is such a lovely colloquialism. In so few words, it implies that there is something unique about being human, and that it is a condition which is shared throughout every subdivision of humanity. At some point in almost every human's life, he or she will learn, suffer, and pass on his or her knowledge to another human being. This occurs regardless of status. That single property, the ability to share gained knowledge and experience, is demonstrated by no other conscious species known to man. This more than anything is why humanity has such diverse cultures, technologies, and arts. Man's ability to communicate in such a unique way is what puts us at the top of the food chain.

It's a shame that something so complex and beautiful is also so flawed.

The error of our unique system of communication is that it assumes the human mind is homogeneous. When we speak to each other, we don't give each other ideas. We bounce our own ideas off of each other's flesh, with the assumption that the other person has the proper ingredients in their mental archives to develop the same idea on their own. The knowledge that two twice is four is useless, unless you first know that one twice is two.

If I asked us both to imagine a wooden chair, we would imagine different chairs. Perhaps it would be shaped differently, or perhaps it would be made of a different type of wood. Odds are, you will remember a wooden chair you've encountered in the past, and I will remember one I've encountered in mine. If you were mistaken or lied to, you might not even imagine a wooden chair. If you were mistakenly raised to believe desks were chairs, you would hear me mention a "wooden chair" and instead you would imagine a wooden desk. This is because, even though I'm facilitating your thoughts, I'm not giving them to you. You're having them on your own.

In this way, our minds are not homogeneous. Every new experience is relative to our personal perception. The world you live in, in the way you perceive it, is exclusive to you. And the error of language, I think, is a demonstration of this truth.

What I mean to convey is that, in reading this blog it will be difficult for me to express all of my ideas in a way that can be understood similarly by all readers. That is neither my goal nor my hope. The posts that follow are going to be rich with messages of individualism, and respectively I hope that you will approach them as an individual. Blogger has graciously provided a comment section below which I hope will serve as a medium for discussion, especially where common ground can't be found.

And now, I present Artifice. What I hope will someday be a journal of my collected thoughts on existence. I have chosen the name Artifice because it is my opinion that the world is artificial in some way, and this blog will give me the opportunity to back that up.

"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see, but it is impossible." -Rene Magritte