• Banno
    5.6k
    It's doing things with words.
  • T Clark
    3.4k
    It's doing things with words.Banno

    Come on, Banno. You know you have to do better than that. 5 words? Fucking Australians. There's a good chance the moderators will delete your post, with good reason.

    Language is not the same as communication. It's is a medium of communication. So, what is communication? It is moving information from one head to another. Rather, moving experience from one mind to another.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    Then why, Captain Obvious, would it be redundant and unecessary to tell me, "It is raining", when I'm looking outside at it raining?
  • Banno
    5.6k
    I'm kinda thinking that the definitions of information and of language will come out in the wash.

    Language... is a medium of communication.T Clark
    Yeah, I don't agree. Communication has information at one end and more or less the same information at the other end. Language, on the other hand, builds or constructs or sets up information.
  • Banno
    5.6k
    Then why would it be redundant to tell me, "It is raining", when I'm looking outside at it raining?Harry Hindu

    Perhaps, you not being a native speaker of English, I am explaining to you how to make use of "It's raining".

    Which fits in exactly with the OP. It's what we do that counts, not the information involved.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    Perhaps, you not being a native speaker of English, I am explaining to you how to make use of "It's raining".Banno
    But if I was a native english speaker it would be redundant and what you mean by "explaining to me how to make use" is explaining what the auditory symbols refer to, which arent just other sounds, but the actual thing you're taking about.

    What else could you mean by "using" words?
  • Banno
    5.6k
    So, who agree with Harry?
  • Banno
    5.6k
    But if I was a native english speakerHarry Hindu

    ...so context is important, which is part of what we are doing, not part of the transmitted information.

    Hence, it is what we are doing that counts, not the information involved.

    Any information involved is perhaps only significant in that it has an effect on what happens.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.9k
    Language, on the other hand, builds or constructs or sets up information.Banno

    Perhaps in the land of Oz, but I've never seen language build, construct, or set up a damn thing. "English and Swahili are languages." They do not sow, neither do they reap. They are employed but do not get paid.

    So I would agree that "Language is not moving information from one head to another." Communication that is sent and received moves information from one head to another, and it may not involve English or Swahili. Old lady elementary school teachers are quite good at transmitting information without language. They have a look which says, "You'd fucking better stop doing that in the next three seconds or I will make you very unhappy." My elderly elementary school teacher sister uses those expressions at family gatherings to convey various disapproving communications to her siblings (usually) or sometimes her (or other people's) children or grandchildren.

    Every year it works less and less. Her siblings give her the "fuck you" smile.

    English and Swahili are both sets of sounds or ink-bits on paper which have been assigned meanings and uses. Language is a repository constructed by bright apes over many years. We learn it, then we deploy it. If we do it well, those familiar with the language will interpret the sounds or the ink bits and will probably interpret what they heard or read reasonably accurately.

    So, Banno, will you bare it all for our edification?
  • Banno
    5.6k
    I've never seen language build, construct, or set up a damn thing.Bitter Crank

    "I name this child Bitter Crank".
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    Perhaps, you not being a native speaker of English, I am explaining to you how to make use of "It's raining".

    Which fits in exactly with the OP. It's what we do that counts, not the information involved.
    Banno
    How is explaining how to make use of something not moving information from one head to another?

    Hence, it is what we are doing that counts, not the information involved.Banno
    And I asked what you were doing if not referring to states-of-affairs with sounds and scribbles.
  • Banno
    5.6k
    How is explaining how to make use of something not moving information from one head to another?Harry Hindu

    What moved?
  • Banno
    5.6k
    And I asked what you were doing if not referring to states-of-affairs with sounds and scribbles.Harry Hindu

    As if language were all nouns.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    It's doing things with words.Banno

    But sometimes doing things with words results in moving information from one head to another.

    Why else would the talking heads on Fox News be on 24 hours a day?
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    What moved?Banno
    Well, "moved" would be the wrong word. The information is still in your head. It didn't leave your head and get moved to the listener. "Copied" is the proper term to use. Information about how to use certain sounds is copied from one head to another.

    And you still haven't explained what you mean by "use" as in "using words". Do you mean just making sounds with your mouth, or do you mean referring to states-of-affairs that aren't sounds from your mouth with sounds from your mouth?
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    As if language were all nouns.Banno
    Who said all states-of-affairs were nouns?

    It would be a much more interesting conversation if you weren't being purposefully obtuse.
  • T Clark
    3.4k
    I often wondered: why do people enjoy arguing with obvious morons? Morons are incorrigible, and all arguments to give them insight fail. What's the point?god must be atheist

    The discussion in this thread is not at the peak level of philosophical discourse which might be hoped for, but I don't think it deserves the sort of pointless, insulting, self-aggrandizing criticism you have provided. If you don't like a comment or thread, you are not obligated to respond to it. I suggest you consider that approach in the future unless you have something substantive to contribute.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    The problem with the OP is that it is all information, so you can't escape receiving information via the senses. Words are just different kinds of visual scribbles or sounds, which means that language is just a kind of information provided by your senses' interaction with the environment.
  • creativesoul
    5.6k
    What sort of things can be moved? How about all of the things that have a spatiotemporal location?
  • StreetlightX
    3.8k
    Surely the former is a subset of the latter.
  • Banno
    5.6k
    Oh, Mr T, this is a Grand Topic! Just watch...
  • Banno
    5.6k
    Surely the former is a subset of the latter.StreetlightX

    Ah. That language is a subset of information transfer.

    It's a tempting notion. And to some extent is doubtless right.

    Wittgenstein observes that there is a way of understanding a rule that is not found in stating it, but in following it. Is the information in a rule is given in the stating of that rule? If so, then since the enacting of a rule is so much more than the mere stating of that rule, the enacting that occurs in language is more than the mere information conveyed.

    So even if language were a subset of information transfer, it is so much more!

    Consider a transaction in which "slab" results in the apprentice bringing the slab. So much more is involved than just the transfer of information...
  • Banno
    5.6k
    What sort of things can be moved? How about all of the things that have a spatiotemporal location?creativesoul

    Yeah - @Terrapin Station?
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    What sort of things can be moved? How about all of the things that have a spatiotemporal location?creativesoul

    Does information have a spatiotemporal location? We often say a file is moved from one computer to another. It might be uploaded, downloaded, synched to the cloud or what not.

    We could say any instance of some piece of digital information, such as your banking number, is on a particular machine. But is it on the hard drive, in memory, inside the processor cache? Do the bytes that make up the file reside on one location, or in various ones that change as the operating system or whatever program moves bits around?

    Or what if we just think in general about the capital of Australia. Does that information reside on Earth?
  • NOS4A2
    11
    No, information does not travel through the air. If it did we’d know every language just by hearing it. First we must have the tools to decipher the language. We know the meaning by learning the meaning.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    No, information does not travel through the air. If it did we’d know every language just by hearing it. First we must have the tools to decipher the language. We know the meaning by learning the meaning.NOS4A2

    Radio and microwaves travel through the air transmitting a boatload of information from satellites, radios and cell towers.
  • NOS4A2
    11


    None of which means anything unless something can decipher it.
  • Banno
    5.6k


    My other reply was a bit brief.

    I have in mind the sort of acts Austin wrote about in Speech Acts. So while asking of the salt does not move the salt, it does cause the salt to be moved.
  • Banno
    5.6k
    Does information have a spatiotemporal location?Marchesk

    Now, a signal has a location - or set of locations...

    And entropy had a location...

    And information can be understood as Shannon entropy...

    So...

    Well, I'm not going to say it. But someone else might.
  • PossibleAaran
    243
    "Where is the library"
    "It's on 23rd street".

    The second person gives information to the first person, who thereafter knows where the library is. This is done via language. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    PA
  • Banno
    5.6k
    None of which means anything unless something can decipher it.NOS4A2

    An excellent point. Does information mean anything without a decipherer?
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