Saturday, June 9, 2007

Semiotics 2

I'm writing the following with the understanding that when and if I attain academic standing sometime in my life, this may go into a book in one form or another. I'm only offering this free on the internet under the condition that anyone who uses it will cite the source (Terrapin, Eucaleh. The Motist Agenda, 2007) in the way they would with a book or other formalized manuscript. That said, here's a little more on my understanding of semiotics, and the implications of semiotic thinking:

Assuming perfection, simplicity is waste(~1). The exception is qualities.

To seek perfection in simplicity or singularity (in the sense of low dimensionalism) is to minimize waste, but only insofar as perfection in an absolute sense has not been achieved.

It is worth noting that in a categorical sense singularity is imperfect outside the context of a breadth of opportunities and manifestations. (I.e. it is useless to think of individual identity or symbolism apart from the lives it might live, or the field of associations for the symbol.)

Singularity without a context becomes impotent, or ceases to be singular. The being or reality that does not extend beyond itself must be simple, perfect, or a form of waste. Through consciousness, a being extends through the simple or wasteful towards qualities that do not change. The qualities themselves are simple, since they are the least wasteful and simplest presence of perfection in reality. However, this is not to say that qualities are most perfect, for the qualities themselves have an object without which no consciousness could perceive them.

In some sense, the object is a thought. Yet simply by being a thought this does not make it a conscious thought. The activity of thinking gives life to a thought as though the thought had been a fixed sign brought to life.

Often the fixed shape of a thought takes form prior to its consciousness in a thinking process. However, the process of "signing" may be adopted ona conscious level as a means of informing the direction of the cognitive process, specifically in corroborating diverse notions towards a new realization built upon the intentions and principles of previous insights. In other words, a similar system approaches one symbol and the next.

Thus in the context of this network of signs, each being itself a thought, thinking takes place through one of two actions:

1. A transformation is made between two previously existing signs or

2. Through a comparison of two or more previous signs, a new sign is formed.(~2)

In the sense that I understand them, the first type of thinking is constructive and is a less conscious form of sign building. The second kind is the mark of special intelligence and even genius.


1. This has implications, for example in the choice to build houses independent of one another. Designing a perfect conglomerate is far more valuable than divided simplicity because of the nature of hierarchies. It may also ultimately be more efficient, e.g. if there is only one plan there is less conflict. Nevertheless it may run against the grain of standardization, fair market economy, and minimal input from specialists.

2. For simplicity's sake we may do well to consider that a new sign is not a new graphical symbol, but rather a new understanding that comes through the association of two different symbols (either of which may in itself exist as an abstract understanding rather than a visually or tactically percieved object).