Sentences don't have meaning, they symbolically represent ideas

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:02:40 AM2/17/10
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http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.html#links

There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
"that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
self.
We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
propositions.

r norman

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:17:23 AM2/17/10
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Well, well. Some college sophomore has just learned about Jacques
Derrida and had a real fun time at a drunken bull session where he
discovered the secrets of the universe and is now ready to share this
arcana with us.

guscubed

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:26:56 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 5:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...

>
> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> anything.

I'm sorry, I don't understand you. You seem to be posting a
meaningless string of vowels and consonants... off topic ones at that.

> And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> self.
> We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> propositions.

One has to wonder why you bother trying to communicate anything at all
as you have clearly decided to disappear into you own solipsistic
navel

David Hare-Scott

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:56:21 AM2/17/10
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You are living proof that communication is impossible in some situations.
But it isn't for the reasons that you imagine.

David

backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 3:36:53 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 8:17�am, r norman <r_s_nor...@comcast.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 22:02:40 -0800 (PST), backspace
>
>
>
> <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...

>
> >There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> >or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> >"that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> >itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> >anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> >cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> >communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> >propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> >Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> >representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> >create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> >self.
> >We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> >sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> >propositions.
>
> Well, well. �Some college sophomore has just learned about Jacques
> Derrida and had a real fun time at a drunken bull session where he
> discovered the secrets of the universe and is now ready to share this
> arcana with us.

And ......? Do you agree disagree with the author, he basically stated
what the wiikipedia pragmatics article wrote.

Woland

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Feb 17, 2010, 3:39:33 AM2/17/10
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Sorry, I couldn't understand that since you just blew my mind and
forgot what the words mean.

Iain

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Feb 17, 2010, 3:54:16 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 6:02�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> "that."

So?

--Iain


backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 4:01:56 AM2/17/10
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So? So what does Fitness mean then.................:)

backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 4:31:05 AM2/17/10
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Fitness is a symbolic representation of some idea, this idea was the
suitability of white people above black people by Spencer who sold a
million books, he used the word "suitability" and "fitness" as its
synonym. Darwin was read in terms of Spencer. The concept of
suitability can't be measured , there is no such thing as suitability
flux measured in Gauss for example.

What would be the modern concept with fitness, what idea does it
symbolically represent. Fitness itself means nothing it is a symbol
string, devoid of intent. Only you can have intent, only you have a
proposition.


Burkhard

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Feb 17, 2010, 4:35:51 AM2/17/10
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You have been told this again and again. "Having more offspring",and it
involves counting.

Erwin Moller

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Feb 17, 2010, 5:21:21 AM2/17/10
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backspace schreef:


Yes.
We use words to express ideas/concepts/etc.
We can also express things by making faces or punch somebody.
This is no news at all.

Futhermore: It is important to be precise when discussing stuff: you
should avoid the possibility that different people interpret your words
differently.

But why are you posting this?
You used a lot of words, but it is still not clear to me what it is
excactly that you want to tell us all. :-/

Regards,
Erwin Moller


--
"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to
make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the
other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious
deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult."
-- C.A.R. Hoare

David Hare-Scott

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Feb 17, 2010, 6:17:56 AM2/17/10
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And now laaaadies and geeenlemens who will step up and take a ride on the
all new, improved, revolving, reciprocating, scintillating, oscillating,
regurgitating word game? Come, come don't be shy. I must warn you that if
you play you do stand a 98.65% chance of receiving a "survival of the
fittest is a tautology" enema before the end of the ride.

David

Eric Root

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Feb 17, 2010, 7:09:49 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 1:02�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...

Sorry, to symbollically represent ideas is the same as to mean
something. By the way, evolution really happens.

Eric Root

Ron O

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Feb 17, 2010, 7:16:51 AM2/17/10
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"Having more offspring that survive to reproduce." It seems to be a
mystery to backspace how one allele out of several can take over and
become fixed in a population to the exclusion of the other alleles.
You can take flies that are segregating two different alleles (forms
of a gene) of one of the alcohol dehydrogenase genes and you can even
make an artificial population where the allele frequencies are 50:50.
Keep putting a certain percentage of ethanol in the fly food and one
allele will nearly always take over and become fixed. You can repeat
as many times as you want to. Backspace can't understand how this
happens over and over again. He has to deny it by saying stupid
things like Darwin never said differential reproductive success as if
that isn't what Darwin was talking about.

Ron Okimoto

Burkhard

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Feb 17, 2010, 7:28:23 AM2/17/10
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I wonder if it is a result of his job? Apparently, he is a stock trader,
that is he deals essentially in pushing around numbers and words which
long have become meaningless outside the exchange and whose connection
with the "real" economy and real, physical assets is debatable at best.

I suppose if I lived in this make belief world for any length of time,
and in particular if i could not admit to myself that I'm participating
in one big illusion (to express it charitably), I might protect my self
by thibnking that all of the world is like that.

backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 7:42:18 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 2:16�pm, Ron O <rokim...@cox.net> wrote:

>�He has to deny it by saying stupid


> things like Darwin never said differential reproductive success as if
> that isn't what Darwin was talking about.

Darwin never said DRS, it is a term that symbolically represents
somebodies idea: Who is this person?

backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 7:44:11 AM2/17/10
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Ok, talking about stock trading. Now there is something where people
deceive themselves over and over again, they see patterns that don't
exist invoking RSI, Stochastic, MACD which are to a large extent
meaningless. (not completely though)

Devils Advocaat

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Feb 17, 2010, 9:23:28 AM2/17/10
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If one follows your reasoning here, then all your words are
meaningless. :P

Kalkidas

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Feb 17, 2010, 9:48:05 AM2/17/10
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"backspace" <steph...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:c6d1f5e2-58d0-4abf...@j27g2000yqn.googlegroups.com...

> http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.html#links
>
> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> anything.

Shut the hell up, your meaningless words are disturbing us.


Will in New Haven

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Feb 17, 2010, 10:02:06 AM2/17/10
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Something you lack. If modern civilization didn't coddle wankers
someone would have busted a cap, or stuck a spear, in you long ago.
When someone finally kicks your sorry ass don't come to me with your
meaningless noises about injustice and intolerance.
--
Will in New Haven

Will in New Haven

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Feb 17, 2010, 10:04:09 AM2/17/10
to

Much as people have deluded themselves into seeing god acting in the
world for centuries.

raven1

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Feb 17, 2010, 10:06:56 AM2/17/10
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On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 22:02:40 -0800 (PST), backspace
<steph...@gmail.com> wrote:

What are you trying to say?

jillery

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Feb 17, 2010, 10:40:09 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 10:06�am, raven1 <quoththera...@nevermore.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 22:02:40 -0800 (PST), backspace
>
>
>
>
>
> <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...

>
> >There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> >or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> >"that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> >itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> >anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> >cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> >communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> >propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> >Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> >representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> >create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> >self.
> >We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> >sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> >propositions.
>
> What are you trying to say?

exactly

hersheyh

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Feb 17, 2010, 10:52:34 AM2/17/10
to

And his insanity involves regurgitating the same meaningless
pseudointelectual drivel again and again and expecting anyone to agree
with him this time.

Kermit

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Feb 17, 2010, 11:42:53 AM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 4:44�ソスam, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Feb 17, 2:28�ソスpm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Ron O wrote:
> > > On Feb 17, 3:35 am, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> > >> backspace wrote:
> > >>> On Feb 17, 10:54 am, Iain <iain_inks...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > >>>> On Feb 17, 6:02 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>>>> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > >>>>> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > >>>>> "that."
> > >>>> So?
> > >>>> --Iain
> > >>> So? So what does Fitness mean then.................:)
> > >> You have been told this again and again. "Having more offspring",and it
> > >> involves counting.
>
> > > "Having more offspring that survive to reproduce." �ソスIt seems to be a

> > > mystery to backspace how one allele out of several can take over and
> > > become fixed in a population to the exclusion of the other alleles.
> > > You can take flies that are segregating two different alleles (forms
> > > of a gene) of one of the alcohol dehydrogenase genes and you can even
> > > make an artificial population where the allele frequencies are 50:50.
> > > Keep putting a certain percentage of ethanol in the fly food and one
> > > allele will nearly always take over and become fixed. �ソスYou can repeat
> > > as many times as you want to. �ソスBackspace can't understand how this
> > > happens over and over again. �ソスHe has to deny it by saying stupid

> > > things like Darwin never said differential reproductive success as if
> > > that isn't what Darwin was talking about.
>
> > > Ron Okimoto
>
> > I wonder if it is a result of his job? Apparently, he is a stock trader,
> > that is he deals essentially in pushing around numbers and words which
> > long have become �ソスmeaningless outside the exchange and whose connection

> > with the "real" economy and real, physical assets is debatable at best.
>
> > I suppose if I lived in this make belief world for any length of time,
> > and in particular if i could not admit to myself that I'm participating
> > in one big illusion (to express it charitably), I might protect my self
> > by thibnking that all of the world is like that.
>
> Ok, talking about stock trading. Now there is something where people
> deceive themselves over and over again, they see patterns that don't
> exist invoking RSI, Stochastic, MACD which are to a large extent
> meaningless. �ソス(not completely though)

Excellent observation, actually. These people who think they see
patterns where none exist are victims of (perpetrators of) pareidolia.
Much like Creationists. You can tell they are imagining things because
when they act on them, they do not get results better than random
chance. There *are real patterns in the stock market, but because they
are strongly affected by unknown or unpredictable factors, they are
unreliable.

Science, however works, largely because it tests its ideas against
reality every step of the way.

Kermit

Kermit

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Feb 17, 2010, 11:49:41 AM2/17/10
to

It doesn't matter what he said. Science (the study of how reality
works) is not constrained by past ideas or past use of language.
Darwin was not a prophet, nor a founder of a religion.

He did, however, understand this idea perfectly well. He used
different words to describe it. This is an elementary language skill,
and a concept readily understood by most children.

"Oh look, it's bigger now."
"No, it's larger."
"You're both wrong, it's simply not as small as it used to be."
"Can any of you truly use these words without explaining who first
used them, and who gave you the authority to use them differently?"

Kermit

Kermit

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Feb 17, 2010, 11:52:37 AM2/17/10
to
On Feb 16, 10:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:


"Sentences don't have meaning, they symbolically represent ideas "

BWAhahahahahahahahha!

<snips meaningless sentences>

Kermit

aganunitsi

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Feb 17, 2010, 11:54:56 AM2/17/10
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On Feb 16, 10:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...

>
> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> self.
> We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> propositions.

Good gravy that is a convoluted bucket of BS.

Correct, no word intrinsically means anything by itself. Therefore no
string of words intrinsically means anything by itself. Like a gaggle
of words sitting in a book buried under the ground - meaningless.

From there you go down the BS highway by dropping the concepts
"intrinsically" and "by itself".

Let us assume the word is not by itself - add an observer. And let us
assume the observer has defined this word. Now the words have meaning
and communication with the word can occur. Your freakin' BS mystery is
solved.

backspace

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 12:04:25 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 6:49�pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Darwin never said DRS, it is a term that symbolically represents
> > somebodies idea: Who is this person?

> It doesn't matter what he said. Science (the study of how reality
> works) is not constrained by past ideas or past use of language.
> Darwin was not a prophet, nor a founder of a religion.

> He did, however, understand this idea perfectly well. He used
> different words to describe it.

You mean he understood your concept that you are symbolically
representing with ''differential reproductive success'' ? What is this
concept.


backspace

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 12:21:59 PM2/17/10
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On Feb 17, 6:54�pm, aganunitsi <ssyke...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> On Feb 16, 10:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...
>
> > There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> > itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> > anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> > cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> > communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> > propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> > Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> > representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> > create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> > self.
> > We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> > sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> > propositions.

> Let us assume the word is not by itself - add an observer.
But without an observer the words "are by themselves" so to speak or
are just patterns.

> And let us assume the observer has defined this word.

The observer has used symbols to represent his idea, his idea isn't
the symbols but is only something another conscious agent can
comprehend. The symbols in an of themselves don't represent anything
other than themselves in the same way a rock only represents itself.

> Now the words have meaning and communication with the word can occur.

The word "fitness" still doesn't haven't meaning, meaning is an idea
it is only what you perceive it be. For me to comprehend your idea you
symbolically encode your idea using the symbols "f-i-t-n-e-s-s",
"fitness" is the representation of your idea that induces in me to to
sort of (hopefully) have the same idea. The symbols f, t, s are just
shapes used by signal sender to symbolically encode his idea to signal
receiver. Information is a representation of something other than
itself. Without intent(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatics) the
"s", "t", "f" only represent themselves.

Lets presume the last human dies, to whom and to what would
"f,i,t,n,e,s,s" or "s,i,t,n,e,f,s" or "e,s,t,i,n,e,f,s" mean? Each of
these patterns like a pattern of rocks in the desert wouldn't
represent anything other than itself. Mad and Dam are symbolically
close but they are used to conceptually convey something much further
apart so to speak. IF there weren't a single conscious entity left in
this universe to whom would "mad" or "dam" represent a concept,idea or
emotion? Thus abstract Language, Idea or Mind came first. Does the
letter "M" have meaning or is it just four spikes joining each other
on the edges, a pattern?

Inez

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Feb 17, 2010, 12:35:49 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 16, 10:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...
>
> There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> self.
> We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> propositions.

The bible then, which is afterall just words, has no meaning. Who can
say what is intended by "god" anyway? It could just mean that someone
has a green light.

aganunitsi

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Feb 17, 2010, 12:52:30 PM2/17/10
to
> But without an observer the words "are by themselves" so to speak or
> are just patterns.

Correct, words without observers are by themselves. By themselves they
are not even patterns - an observer is required to define a pattern.

>The observer has used symbols to represent his idea, his idea isn't
>the symbols but is only something another conscious agent can
>comprehend. The symbols in an of themselves don't represent anything
>other than themselves in the same way a rock only represents itself.

Correct-ish. As long as there is an observer the symbol can have
meaning. Just like how a rock can have meaning when an observer is
present who has defined a meaning in that rock. Like that rock all
those Muslims bow to every day. And no, you don't need another
consicous agent. Words can have meaning to one observer alone. I can
make notes intended solely for my own use.

> The word "fitness" still doesn't haven't meaning, meaning is an idea
> it is only what you perceive it be. For me to comprehend your idea you

Again you're proceeding along a line of logic while abandoning your
previous propositions. Your proposition includes the phrase "by
itself". The word "fitness" has no meaning by itself. The word
"fitness" in the presence of an observer who has defined it is no
longer by itself, and has meaning.


> Lets presume the last human dies, to whom and to what would
> "f,i,t,n,e,s,s" or "s,i,t,n,e,f,s" or "e,s,t,i,n,e,f,s" mean?

Until you can bring back an observer, nothing. You've gone and put
them by themselves.


backspace

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:01:09 PM2/17/10
to

When we think of a Dam it conjures up images of gleaming water, we
could symbolically represent it with say "Zzopstf" if signal sender
and signal receiver agree in advance to use "Zzopstf" as the symbolic
representation of "gleaming water". Thus the question is what would
the meaning of "Zzopstf" be to signal receiver who doesn't know what
signal sender is communicating? It would be meaningless, just as
meaningless as finding Chinese script that symbolically represents a
dam to Chinese signal senders and receivers by a person not
understanding Chinese. In his reference frame he is seeing a series of
wiggles: They have no meaning in and of it self, it doesn't conjure up
an image of dam in his mimd. Thus the concept of a "dam" can't be
eternally associated with a specific symbolic representation. In the
same way the various concepts can't be fixed with the symbol
"fitness" , "fitness" only represents symbolically an agreed apon
aidea to signal sender/receiver

When you pick up a paper with "232zghtt23lltr" written on it , without
knowing who wrote it one can't say that for somebody out there it
doesn't represent an idea(it could be the product code). Thus
"232zghtt23lltr" and "fitness" in an of itself has no meaning: It can
only represent an idea. We are so used to using words like "dam" to
encode our ideas that we forget we are only communicating ideas, the
idea is independent of its symbolic representation: Dam like Mad have
no meaning, only ideas have meaning, what it is to have meaning is
only something a conscious agent can comprehend. The series of lines
on paper that make up "dam" can't appreciate the beauty of a dam.


r norman

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:17:15 PM2/17/10
to

In case you hadn't already got that impression... this is all quite
trivial nonsense. It might earn a C- in an intro philosophy course
and that only because it seems to be organized into sentences and
paragraphs without excessive grammatical or spelling errors. Perhaps
if you would actually read what some modern (actually post-modern)
philosophers have to say about language and meaning and work from
there you would have something interesting to add about this subject.


aganunitsi

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Feb 17, 2010, 1:19:44 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 10:01嚙窮m, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 7:21嚙緘m, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 17, 6:54嚙緘m, aganunitsi <ssyke...@mindspring.com> wrote:

>
> > > On Feb 16, 10:02嚙緘m, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...
>
> > > > There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > > > or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > > > "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> > > > itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> > > > anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> > > > cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> > > > communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> > > > propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> > > > Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> > > > representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> > > > create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> > > > self.
> > > > We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> > > > sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> > > > propositions.
> > > Let us assume the word is not by itself - add an observer.
>
> > But without an observer the words "are by themselves" so to speak or
> > are just patterns.
>
> > > And let us 嚙窮ssume the observer has defined this word.

>
> > The observer has used symbols to represent his idea, his idea isn't
> > the symbols but is only something another conscious agent can
> > comprehend. The symbols in an of themselves don't represent anything
> > other than themselves in the same way a rock only represents itself.
>
> > > Now the words have meaning 嚙窮nd communication with the word can occur.

>
> > The word "fitness" still doesn't haven't meaning, meaning is an idea
> > it is only what you perceive it be. For me to comprehend your idea you
> > symbolically encode your idea using the symbols "f-i-t-n-e-s-s",
> > "fitness" is the representation of your idea that induces in me to to
> > sort of (hopefully) have the same idea. The symbols 嚙篆, t, s are just

> > shapes used by signal sender to symbolically encode his idea to signal
> > receiver. Information is a representation of something other than
> > itself. Without intent(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatics) the
> > "s", "t", "f" only represent themselves.
>
> > Lets presume the last human dies, to whom and to what would
> > "f,i,t,n,e,s,s" or "s,i,t,n,e,f,s" or "e,s,t,i,n,e,f,s" mean? Each of
> > these patterns like a pattern of rocks in the desert wouldn't
> > represent anything other than itself. 嚙瞎ad and Dam are symbolically

> > close but they are used to conceptually convey something much further
> > apart so to speak. 嚙瘢F there weren't a single conscious entity left in

Ideas, by themselves, have no meaning.

Kermit

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 1:42:54 PM2/17/10
to

Really... how do you ask for food at a grocery store? Do you just
point and grunt?

Kermit

Kermit

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 1:59:01 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 10:01�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 7:21�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>

<snip>

>
> When we think of a Dam it conjures up images of gleaming water, we
> could symbolically represent it with say "Zzopstf" if signal sender
> and signal receiver agree in advance to use "Zzopstf" as the symbolic
> representation of "gleaming water". Thus the question is what would
> the meaning of "Zzopstf" be to signal receiver who doesn't know what
> signal sender is communicating? It would be meaningless, just as
> meaningless as finding Chinese script that symbolically represents a
> dam to Chinese signal senders and receivers by a person not
> understanding Chinese. In his reference frame he is seeing a series of
> wiggles: They have no meaning in and of it self, it doesn't conjure up
> an image of dam in his mimd. Thus the concept of a "dam" can't be
> eternally associated with a specific symbolic representation.

And yet you think we are, for some reason, obligated to use the
specific words of Darwin to represent any particular idea. For someone
who seems to be in love with his own thoughts, you don't really listen
to yourself much.

> In the
> same way the various concepts can't be fixed with the symbol
> "fitness" , "fitness" only represents symbolically an agreed apon
> aidea to signal sender/receiver
>
> When you pick up a paper with "232zghtt23lltr" written on it , without
> knowing who wrote it one can't say that for somebody out there it
> doesn't represent an idea(it could be the product code). Thus
> "232zghtt23lltr" and "fitness" in an of itself has no meaning: It can
> only represent an idea. We are so used to using words like "dam" to
> encode our ideas that we forget we are only communicating ideas, the
> idea is independent of its symbolic representation: Dam like Mad have
> no meaning,

You've never been in a flood, have you?

What is an idea without words of some kind? Other than simple imagery
(like a cat waiting at a mouse hole, who perhaps has the idea or image
of a mouse in its head).

The chosen symbols may be arbitrary (chosen by accident of birth and
history) but ideas without some set of symbols are necessarily simple
and thoughtless.

What would the idea "square root of 81" be like without the symbolism
of words? Human, complex ideas are built on other ideas. Without words
we are reduced to little more than pre-verbal cat brains.

> only ideas have meaning, what it is to have meaning is
> only something a conscious agent can comprehend. The series of lines
> on paper that make up "dam" can't appreciate the beauty of a dam.

Nor can they scratch their butt. So?

What meaning does "square root of 81" have without symbols?

What meaning is there in "only ideas have meaning" if no words of any
language are used?

Kermit

Devils Advocaat

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 2:37:06 PM2/17/10
to

Revolver toads hopefully upper wisdom back whales through discards!

backspace

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 2:42:54 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 8:19�pm, aganunitsi <ssyke...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> > When you pick up a paper with "232zghtt23lltr" written on it , without
> > knowing who wrote it one can't say that for somebody out there it
> > doesn't represent an idea(it could be the product code). Thus
> > "232zghtt23lltr" and "fitness" in an of itself has no meaning: It can
> > only represent an idea. We are so used to using words like "dam" to
> > encode our ideas that we forget we are only communicating ideas, the
> > idea is independent of its symbolic representation: Dam like Mad have
> > no meaning, only ideas have meaning, what it is to have meaning is
> > only something a conscious agent can comprehend. The series of lines
> > on paper that make up "dam" can't appreciate the beauty of a dam.

> Ideas, by themselves, have no meaning.

That sentence represented your idea, which means your ideas are
meaningless.

backspace

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 2:47:13 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 8:59�pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 10:01�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Feb 17, 7:21�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>
>
> > When we think of a Dam it conjures up images of gleaming water, we
> > could symbolically represent it with say "Zzopstf" if signal sender
> > and signal receiver agree in advance to use "Zzopstf" as the symbolic
> > representation of "gleaming water". Thus the question is what would
> > the meaning of "Zzopstf" be to signal receiver who doesn't know what
> > signal sender is communicating? It would be meaningless, just as
> > meaningless as finding Chinese script that symbolically represents a
> > dam to Chinese signal senders and receivers by a person not
> > understanding Chinese. In his reference frame he is seeing a series of
> > wiggles: They have no meaning in and of it self, it doesn't conjure up
> > an image of dam in his mimd. Thus the concept of a "dam" can't be
> > eternally associated with a specific symbolic representation.

> And yet you think we are, for some reason, obligated to use the
> specific words of Darwin to represent any particular idea.

You are obligated to say which idea with "fitness" you are referring
to , who is this person that formulated a technical concept with the
word "Fitness" that explained how brains skipped PID and Fuzzy logic
going straight for Neural network control in every creature. How did
the abstract concept of a neural network happen to come into existence
in each mammal independently as they evolved on separate continents.

raven1

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 2:52:45 PM2/17/10
to

Elementary penguin singing "Hare Krishna", man you should have seen
them kicking Edgar Allan Poe...

Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 2:57:18 PM2/17/10
to

You can say that again!

Mitchell Coffey

Burkhard

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 3:04:06 PM2/17/10
to

Habromania ? Abarticular bacillicides darraign abyssopelagic mackinaws,
an no mistake.

aganunitsi

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 3:04:41 PM2/17/10
to
> > Ideas, by themselves, have no meaning.
>
> That sentence represented your idea, which means your ideas are
> meaningless.

Wrong again. All of my ideas, by definition, have me and are therefore
not by themselves. Since my ideas are not by themselves, they have
meaning. Or are you trying to say I am not an observer of my own
ideas? How dare you!

jillery

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 3:23:51 PM2/17/10
to

Right. What he said.

Virgil

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 3:36:01 PM2/17/10
to
In article <hlgvja$9t7$1...@speranza.aioe.org>, "Kalkidas" <e...@joes.pub>
wrote:

> "backspace" <steph...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:c6d1f5e2-58d0-4abf...@j27g2000yqn.googlegroups.com...
> > http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.html#lin
> > ks


> >
> > There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> > itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> > anything.
>

> Shut the hell up, your meaningless words are disturbing us.

The you are much too easily disturbed.

Devils Advocaat

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 5:05:43 PM2/17/10
to

Marmalade retro-thrusters plentiful feathers renumerate?

Devils Advocaat

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 5:07:14 PM2/17/10
to
On 17 Feb, 19:52, raven1 <quoththera...@nevermore.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Feb 2010 11:37:06 -0800 (PST), Devils Advocaat
>
>
>
>
>

Cubic dogs regurgitate William's back passage!

hersheyh

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 5:17:47 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 12:21�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 6:54�pm, aganunitsi <ssyke...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 16, 10:02�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...
>
> > > There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > > or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > > "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> > > itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> > > anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> > > cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> > > communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> > > propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> > > Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> > > representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> > > create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> > > self.
> > > We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> > > sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> > > propositions.
> > Let us assume the word is not by itself - add an observer.
>
> But without an observer the words "are by themselves" so to speak or
> are just patterns.

This fully explains the problem! Person after person has carefully
and correctly described what what "fitness" means to biologists in
response to you. But there simply is no intelligent observer on
*your* end capable of deciphering the meaning. It is like talking to a
very stupid rock.

Louann Miller

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 5:35:30 PM2/17/10
to
Devils Advocaat <mank...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in news:e3f18663-50a1-42e6-
b04f-484...@z19g2000yqk.googlegroups.com:

>> >Revolver toads hopefully upper wisdom back whales through discards!
>>
>> Elementary penguin singing "Hare Krishna", man you should have seen
>> them kicking Edgar Allan Poe...
>
> Cubic dogs regurgitate William's back passage!

There's porn for that. I bet.

Ron O

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 6:43:56 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 6:42�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 2:16�pm, Ron O <rokim...@cox.net> wrote:
>
> >�He has to deny it by saying stupid
> > things like Darwin never said differential reproductive success as if
> > that isn't what Darwin was talking about.
>
> Darwin never said DRS, it is a term that symbolically represents
> somebodies idea: Who is this person?

Obviously not you, and just as obviously it doesn't matter.

Ron Okimoto

haiku jones

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 7:18:36 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 5:42�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 2:16�pm, Ron O <rokim...@cox.net> wrote:
>
> >�He has to deny it by saying stupid
> > things like Darwin never said differential reproductive success as if
> > that isn't what Darwin was talking about.
>

> Darwin never said DRS, it is a term that symbolically represents
> somebodies idea: Who is this person?

I'm not sure whose idea it is which is indicated by
"music", "death", "baseball", "funny", or
"paradimethyaminobenzaldehyde"

In practices, it matters not one jot.


Haiku Jones

Will in New Haven

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 7:16:06 PM2/17/10
to
On Feb 17, 5:17嚙緘m, hersheyh <hershe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 12:21嚙緘m, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 17, 6:54嚙緘m, aganunitsi <ssyke...@mindspring.com> wrote:

>
> > > On Feb 16, 10:02嚙緘m, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > >http://www.alanrhoda.net/blog/2007/04/propositions-and-make-believe.h...
>
> > > > There is not one word in any language which intrinsicly means "this"
> > > > or "that." Rather, all words are symbols representing "this" or
> > > > "that." Since not a single word actually *means* anything at all, of
> > > > itself, it follows that no number of them strung together can mean
> > > > anything. And yet, we use both words and sentences continuously; we
> > > > cannot communicate very much without them. Even the effective
> > > > communication of most emotions requires words. Ideas/concepts/
> > > > propositions have meaning, certainly; but sentences are not ideas.
> > > > Rather, sentences, whether spoken or written, are are symbolic
> > > > representations of ideas, they are signals by which one mind seeks to
> > > > create an idea in another mind ... or "flesh-out" an idea to one's own
> > > > self.
> > > > We (including I) quite often call sentences, or at least a certain
> > > > sort of sentence, "propositions," but they really aren't themselves
> > > > propositions.
> > > Let us assume the word is not by itself - add an observer.
>
> > But without an observer the words "are by themselves" so to speak or
> > are just patterns.
>
> This fully explains the problem! 嚙瞑erson after person has carefully

> and correctly described what what "fitness" means to biologists in
> response to you. 嚙畿ut there simply is no intelligent observer on

> *your* end capable of deciphering the meaning. It is like talking to a
> very stupid rock.
>

It is more like talking to a typewriter (look it up if you aren't old
enough to know what it means) that _backspaces_ through everything you
say and then comes back with the same objections it had before you
said it. His screen name is descriptive and an admission of his
strategy. Since we cannot gather in an alley somewhere to kick him to
death I generally leave him alone.

--
Will in New Haven


Devils Advocaat

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 12:54:47 AM2/18/10
to
On 17 Feb, 22:35, Louann Miller <louan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Devils Advocaat <mankyg...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in news:e3f18663-50a1-42e6-
> b04f-4843ca19a...@z19g2000yqk.googlegroups.com:

>
> >> >Revolver toads hopefully upper wisdom back whales through discards!
>
> >> Elementary penguin singing "Hare Krishna", man you should have seen
> >> them kicking Edgar Allan Poe...
>
> > Cubic dogs regurgitate William's back passage!
>
> There's porn for that. I bet.

Script oscillators tsunami?!?

backspace

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:04:31 AM2/18/10
to
On Feb 18, 12:17�am, hersheyh <hershe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> This fully explains the problem! �Person after person has carefully
> and correctly described what what "fitness" means to biologists in
> response to you.
The symbol "fitness" has no meaning, which biologist with what idea is
using the symbol "Fitness" to encode his idea? Only an idea can have
meaning, meaning is only something a conscious agent understands.
Name him just a name, like Newton, Maxwell - who is this person. You
say you have a theory: What is your theory and where was it
established by whom? The "biologists" - and who are they.

Where is the differential equations, not word terms like ToE,
differential reproductive success but math that relates inputs to
outputs.

Woland

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:16:34 AM2/18/10
to

Here are the Hardy-Weinberg equations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardy%E2%80%93Weinberg_principle
http://anthro.palomar.edu/synthetic/synth_2.htm

You've been shown these before and have never commented on them. This
makes you a dishonest jerk.

Woland

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:17:35 AM2/18/10
to

David Hare-Scott

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:27:23 AM2/18/10
to

Do you ever feel that some other entity is controlling your thoughts?

David

John Wilkins

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:34:40 AM2/18/10
to
In article <hlimki$gp2$1...@news.albasani.net>, David Hare-Scott
<sec...@nospam.com> wrote:

Does he hear voices when nobody else is around? Does he think that he
is actually someone else much more important than everyone admits? Does
he suddenly cry or leave things lying around in a mess? Is he unable to
look after his own hygiene?

If the answer to these questions is "yes", see your doctor for
medication and therapy.

David Hare-Scott

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 1:31:52 AM2/18/10
to

No I think he is quite honest. He cannot make that connection. He cannot
make the connection that he keeps posting essentially the same stuff and it
is as pointless this time as the last and the one before. He cannot help
it.

David

josephus

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 7:45:59 AM2/17/10
to
Kermit wrote:
> On Feb 17, 4:44 am, backspace<stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 17, 2:28 pm, Burkhard<b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> Ron