Epistemic Crisis > Existential Crisis

Names of things are not as objective as we’d like them to be/how are you even reading this right now? Language is an old mysterious invention, more grueling than the mystery of life itself, it often seems to me. In many cases language appears to just take upon a life of itself. There’s the thing-the object delineated from a sea of color and texture- and then there’s the sign/symbol/syntax which adheres to it. It’s like a clone.

Notice how you’re still reading this right now? But if I have the urge to say something like, “rhino campus legal sneeze bucket face nine,” I would be isolating myself and no one would want to hang out with me and I’d starve to death. The information age would continue to blossom without me, and my genetic imprint would evaporate into extinction. Verbal behavior is a strange tool to our survival. It is what helps us collect in groups- mingling, coercing, reproducing, and generating heat. It is most often what signifies intelligence to us, which is almost ironic because it’s as basic as eating food. And besides, what does authentic “intelligence” even mean?

Remember the game “telephone” you used to play in grade school? That game is supposed to show you how ~meaning~ becomes distorted through so many filters; but it also displays how gossip carries across networks regardless of spatial constraints. Just like ants, signaling toward food, water, and resources, gossip has transitioned people out of the agricultural lifestyle into the industrial hive. “Intelligence” is a funny word to explain this linguistic, social tendency, since insects do it all the time and no one considers them intelligent. Could there be a language more expressive than that which is phonetically bound? Does the rudimentary language of the computer serve as a useful medium to the human brain- one in which it is possible to escape epistemic doom? What a circular thought! What a linear ploy!

Binary scares people for no reason. The basic fear is that free will is an illusion and determinism prevails- regardless of humanity’s best interest. It is “cold.” But that’s a rather arrogant conclusion to make, I think! It might be possible that humans overestimate their value in relation to systems of organization in nature. At the same time, this self-referential separation might actually be what aids the growth of virtual realities since it hierarchically generates economic platforms to expand on (ie, food, water, etc.) In any case, the dichotomy between culture and nature always seemed pretty debatable… I guess everything is debatable when you consider the linguistic cloak…

The idea that humans are inherently useless or easily duplicable is off-putting to some people. Binary usually exerts this idea because it encloses input/environment and output/behavior into neatly compacted parameters. We don’t think of the English language as being detrimental though, so why should we harbor any bias against ones and zeroes? Whereas English forces constraints around ideological objects delineated in space; the beautiful, potentially poetic, medium of binary serves just as a dichromatic paint palette for your regular old replication needs. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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