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All I know is that I don't know nuthin'.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006
I am most lusciously sorry for not having updated for such a long time. I am so, so sorry. I know that all of you have been waiting with bated breath, wondering just what the hell I will post next, and when.
Well, here it is. For Mark, Dav and Dad. For Lexy. For the random stranger that happens by. For, most importantly, you.
I've learned some things in the past... time since I last updated.
I've learned how to install a secondary harddrive.
I've learned how to replace the serpentine belt and alternator in my truck (with my dad).
I've learned how to be 29. Not surprisingly, it's not that different from being 28.
I've been doing thinking, reading, working and drinking.
Working and drinking are givens, really, so I won't go into detail about those two activites.
Thinking and reading, however, are two things that are pretty damned cool.
You may or may not know, but in college, I majored in Mass Communications. Oddly enough, I suck at communication, yet I am fascinated by it. While working a few weeks ago, I started thinking. The word "communication" is thrown about left and right at work. "Did you communicate this to whomever?" Well, no, I didn't. I told them. Using the word "communicate" in place of "tell" or "say to" really pisses me off. This minor irritant got me thinking about Language and language.
"Language" is the means by which we define reality. "language" is the means by which this reality is shared and propigated. You and I think and percieve in Late-20th-Century American English. When we were infants, we were a blank slate. Through constant exposure, or total immersion, our language centers were wired for that particular form of speech, grammar and perception. And I mean literally wired. The neuron connections were formed around American English. We are hard-wired for English. This forms not only our speech patterns, but our thought processes and perception. This is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is.
Then, I started reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. (Seriously, an excellent book. Use the Amazon link to the left to buy it.)
Holy, holy crap.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered a book published in 1991 expressed ideas that I had developed independently, but did it better, with more detail, and with expansions. Lemme paraphrase.
"Language", ie Reality, is analogous to binary.
"language", ie shared reality, is analogous to an OS.
An OS, be it Windows, Mac, UNIX, Linux, whatever, is just an accessible form of 1 and 0. These OSs are programmed using compiler programs like C, C++, BASIC, PASCAL, what have you. So...
Let's say that Windows is English. If you have a term that you want expressed in a form that English will understand, let's say Schadenfreude, you must use a programming language (one of the compilers) to define the term, which must then be complied into binary, and then understood by the OS.
Now, let's take a hacker. A wizard hacker. One who could write code on bare metal. This hacker can completely bypass the OS, skip the whole complier step, and start messing with the binary.
In the beginning, there was nothing. Then, there was Sumerian.
Sumerian came out of nowhere, as far as we can tell.
(I truly apologize for the sentence fragments. If this were a thesis paper, it'd be more detailed, with better segues and less beer, but I'm not being graded, and you can't flunk me.)
So, we have Sumer coming out of nowhere. Sumerian was the first recorded language, and the first recorded civilization. Nearly everyone knows about at least one Sumerian city -- Babel.
The Sumerians had been building Ziggurats -- towers to heaven, in effect. And, according to the Bible, God didn't dig on this. So, he struck everyone with a different language, which meant that construction couldn't happen, since no one could talk to each other. (This has always bothered me. Why couldn't the builders use simple drawings and such, or use math to construct things?)
Anyway, we have one language, and then we have many. Just all of a sudden -- we go from Sumerian to Akkadian, Hebrew, Greek, and Sanskrit. Was it God, or was it someone who knew how to hit the binary code that the OS of Language is placed over? In Sumerian myth, it was Eniki who brought multiple languages to the humans.
See, this is the shit that goes on in my head when I'm not thinking about rocknroll. This is why I'm single.
"So, you're cute. Wanna talk about the nature of Language and how it defines reality? Oh, really? Well, what about the purity of good rocknroll? Where are you going?"
In other things, the new Belle & Sebastian album, "The Life Pursuit", is fucking awesome.
Also, Mark, I had a dream with you in it. You were in a band, and were playing on Letterman. You were good, but WAY too much granola-hippie-dippie-jam band stuff.
Also, when the Robot Apocalypse happens (and it will. Just look at what Honda has done.), I am humanity's last hope. Well, me and Keanu. Provided that we have ninja swords.
Comments by: YACCS