(no subject)

Althusser said that the greatest event of history to date was the encounter of the working class with Marx’s theory of capital. Althusser, of course, conceived of Marxism as a science, and not as an ideology. Nevertheless, this notion of an encounter, that is, of a mutual recognition between one, or several social formations and a discourse is perhaps the best characterization of ideology. The theory of rational expectations and financial markets; Pontifical Infallibility and the Catholic Church; inferiority of the Jews and the Nazi concentration camps: an ideology is a theory of the social formations that will make it real, and therefore true.

-- Jean Pierre Malrieu. Evaluative Semantics: Cognition, Language and Ideology

(no subject)

Of course, no matter how keenly, how admirably, a story, a piece of music, a picture is discussed and analyzed, there will be minds that remain blank and spines that remain unkindled.

-- Nabokov, Lecture on "The Metamorphosis"

There is so much we want to do to others' minds

Q: Why are speakers so willing to talk and hence share information?
A: Speakers speak in order to affect the mental states of their listeners. We speak so much because, as a highly social species, there is so much we want to do to others' minds.

-- Thom Scott-Phillips. Speaking Our Minds: Why Human Communication Is Different, and How Language Evolved to Make It Special

A logic worth its salt

A logic worth its salt should be understood as a method of correct reasoning about some class of entities, not as an empty formal game. For equational logic, the entities in question are sets, functions between them, and the relation of identity between elements. For rewriting logic, the entities in question are concurrent systems having states, and evolving by means of transitions. The signature of a rewrite theory describes a particular structure for the states of a system—e.g., multiset, binary tree, etc.—so that its states can be distributed according to such a structure.

― Dynamic Worlds: From the Frame Problem to Knowledge Management


We cannot easily imagine a more familiar or fundamental notion than this, or a notion more ubiquitous in its applications. On this score it is like the notions of logic: like identity, negation, alternation, and the rest. And yet, strangely, there is something logically repugnant about it. For we are baffled when we try to relate the general notion of similarity significantly to logical terms. One's first hasty suggestion might be to say that things are similar when they have all or most or many properties in common. Or, trying to be less vague, one might try defining comparative similarity—“a is more similar to b than to c”—as meaning that a shares more properties with b than with c. But any such course only reduces our problem to the unpromising task of settling what to count as a property.

― W. V. Quine “Ontological Relativity & Other Essays”

To never return home

Perpetual Journey is inspired by the heartbreaking story of Laika the space dog, sent to an unwitting death in the most frightening of circumstances. Looking outside the capsule, the creature had no sense of scale, or purpose, or the weight of expectations. Instead she saw only the unfamiliar, spinning abyss ...

The thought of it and the melody keep haunting me, like that perpetual spinning abyss.