Language is a virus from outer space...

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    Nov 03, 2007 9:36 PM GMT
    This afternoon, I received an interesting telephone call from a gentleman in England. Apparently he read a story about my work, or something that I had written, and decided that I might be receptive to his theories. Or perhaps he just wanted to dissipate some unused cell phone minutes.

    To be brief, (he was not brief) this gentleman practices a sort of numerology of words. He finds hidden messages within the spelling of words in english and french. Of course, messages must have an origin, and he has deduced that the senders of these messages are spirits of dead cells and other entities that have passed into a paranormal dimension upon death. Somehow, they subconsciously influence our choice of words, to spread their messages. Presumably they have particularly strong influence on lexicographers.

    For example, the gentleman would probably deconstruct the name "RealJock" to read something like:
    Re: all JO See? OK?
    Meaning that what this site is all about is everyone maturbating on cam in chat, watching each other, and seeking approval. SPOOKY, eh?

    By the way, as a caution to our religious members, he warned against excessive prayer: Since prayer occurs via language in a meditative state, this renders one excessively susceptible to the influence of paranormal entities. Now, I wish that I had asked for his views on what demons may lurk in the currents of the internet!

    I would describe this gentleman's theories as a numerology of the alphabet. Others have described this as apophenia
    , or the observation of patterns where none exist. Similar thought processes probably go into the formulation of conspiracy theories and political platforms.

    Pattern-seeking may be an initial stage in the creative process. It is also the first stage in scientific investigation, but is then followed by (hopefully) objective tests of whether the perceived pattern is valid.

    Anyway, does anyone have cogent thoughts on this, or entertaining word deconstructions to share?
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    Nov 03, 2007 11:04 PM GMT
    That is all it is. We are pattern-seeking creatures and language is highly combinatorial. You can arrange and rearrange words and their letters in seemingly infinite ways to fit a pattern we seek. There has been much research done on this so it is far from initial. I recommend The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought, both exquisite books by Steven Pinker.

    It is the same with numbers. While the combinations seem infinite, there is a finite amount of particular words that can be structured into syntax in order to convey a rational expression. Something similar to : Word - 10 words - 10 words - 10 words, etc. In a regularly constructed sentence, which is on average 20 words, that's 10^20. So, there is an "alphanumeric" sequencing behind language. Language, as I see it, is a cognitive process as a window into our thoughts. As we know, there are some restrictions with language while our thoughts seem to express everything to crisp, fine detail.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Nov 03, 2007 11:21 PM GMT
    "he has deduced that the senders of these messages are spirits of dead cells and other entities"

    He DEDUCED this or just made it up?

    And just for the fun of it --
    mindgarden or...
    minding a red hen

    hmm. deep.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Nov 03, 2007 11:25 PM GMT
    "As we know, there are some restrictions with language while our thoughts seem to express everything to crisp, fine detail."

    TooL, I think the operative word is "seem." Often we don't find out how messy our thoughts are until we try to put them in words
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    Nov 04, 2007 2:07 AM GMT
    Law of Fives, anyone?

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    Nov 04, 2007 5:12 AM GMT
    Your friend reminds me of John Nash in "A beautiful mind." I saw an interesting documentary on that too.

    When I took an IQ test for my ADD diagnosis, I scored high in the area of pattern recognition or something. I do tend to be drawn to pattern disruptions and out of place objects but nothing crazy like that guy's theories.

    I think pattern begets pattern and everything around us is pattern. Whatever comes from our mind is bound to be pattern. An interesting book about numbers,pattern and information is "Mind Tools - the five levels of mathematical reality" by Rudy Rucker.

    As far as the Law of Fives, I do have an unusual infusion for 5's in dates and other numbers assigned to me, but I do not attribute anything supernatural to it. Its more like a fun game.
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    Nov 04, 2007 6:44 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit:

    I just have to say: Rudy Rucker totally kicks ass. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 04, 2007 8:45 AM GMT
    This thread reminds me of that movie with Jim Carrey, "The Number 23". Interesting topic for a movie but directed and edited terribly.
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    Nov 05, 2007 1:27 AM GMT
    There can be a law of any number. I prefer the golden ratio, and don't find "five" anywhere there... but anyway. Numbers are pliable beyond any form of possible imagination. Just like with the number 666. You can sequence every letter in your name to carry a particular numerical value and when added, they come out to equal 666. Why not call it the Law of 666? It is pointless and the mind does not work in such a way. Same with the number 23, mention. The 9/11 coincidences. We're pattern-seeking beings because our cortex evolved in such a way to foster cognitive processes that associate and correlate patterns within neural networks. I am more than certain that if you set some sort of equation and bestow a particular value on every letter in this post and add them, they will equal 5. Obviously, an arduous task and my arithmetic power is piss-poor. So, I leave it to the mathematician (if any) to solve it.
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    Dec 31, 2007 4:35 PM GMT
    Try to work with russian words. It will be more interesting because this language consist of both asian and european words.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 13, 2008 7:06 PM GMT
    Boy this is weird. But, I'm glad someone is looking into it. Maybe there's something to it. If there is, maybe it can be useful for stock speculation.
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    Apr 13, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    People who have an affinity for numerology and the paranormal, to me, seem to be searching for evidence in support of a conclusion.

    In your example, he could conclude this is a cam wanking site. So just do a little hocus pocus on the name Real Jock and viola... it's confirmed according to numerology.

    That's so patently absurd and risible.

    When I was in Bible college, the nascent phenomenon of "backwards masking" in music was all the rage. Of course the Beatles really did do this (brilliantly) in the song Revolution Number 9.

    But hysterical Christian "scholars" at the time were busy unmasking all sorts of alleged backwards masking. It finally imploded in its own absurdity when one professor (who happened to teach at my school) announced, with wide media coverage, that the theme song to the TV show Mr. Ed, when played backwards could be heard to say, "Someone sang this song for Satan."

    And this was alleged to be part of a conspiracy of subliminal messages aimed at turning so many millions of innocent fans of Mr. Ed into devil worshipers.

    I even read a book called "Backwards Masking Unmasked", I was so fascinated by the subject at the time. It hasn't come to be as much of a classic as "Reefer Madness" for unintentional hilarity, but only because it's more obscure.

    b81692c008a0390d60d15010._AA240_.L.jpg



    But to all of this, I suggest picking up a copy of a truly great book:

    41SQSC4RTXL._SL500_BO2,204,203,200_PIsit
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    Apr 13, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    This all reminds me of how the Catholic Church was once opposed to yoga on the grounds that the chanting and ohms would invoke demonic possession, via the altered state of mind induced by lengthy chanting/Sanskrit prayer/etc. (Never mind that normal prayer could likely do the same, if you follow the 'logic' forward.)

    My very Catholic aunt, bless her heart, had a video she insisted I watch after I'd been practicing yoga for about 3 years. It showed a woman supposedly possessed after having a long meditative yoga session. I laughed and suggested they get improved tracking for their sound editor, as everything was off a half second.

    My point is that opposing forces will use all sorts of arguments/theories in the effort of discredit.
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    Apr 13, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    John43620 saidBoy this is weird. But, I'm glad someone is looking into it. Maybe there's something to it. If there is, maybe it can be useful for stock speculation.


    You want stock advice? I used to be a floor trader on the stock exchange in New York. For what it's worth, here's my opinion: short the indexes. It's going to be a rough couple of years still.
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    Apr 13, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    You want stock advice? I used to be a floor trader on the stock exchange in New York. For what it's worth, here's my opinion: short the indexes. It's going to be a rough couple of years still.



    "Short the indexes." Hmmm....

    Or did he REALLY mean...

    "Sho rtth ein dexes!!!!"

    I DEDUCED it!


    *cue weired theremin music*

    K
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    Apr 14, 2008 10:19 AM GMT
    Has anyone see the movie 'The Number 23'?
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    May 20, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    Gee, I wish I got phone calls from people like that.

    Charlie