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Somes questions, related to a more formal (mathematical) view on languages, I would like to discuss.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1


Nature does nothing without a purpose. Thus we may ask: What is the evolutionary reason for the development of a spoken language? I also would include mathematics and computer languages in these considerations and compare these to spoken languages. In this formal sense, we could even consider the information exchange that bees use as a language. Do all bees around the world use the same language? Does a sudden change of the location of the beehive affect the communication? Why do Asian and Western civilizations use the same mathematical language, although there spoken language is so different?
Is the mathematical language unique? I don't believe that there is a compelling reason that this must be so. Could a different mathematical language lead to a different view of our physical and economical world?

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    Sep 18 2013: "Nature does nothing without a purpose. "

    it is already false. our current knowledge is that nature does nothing with purpose.
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      Sep 18 2013: Did you have a purpose in providing such an answer?
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        Sep 18 2013: can't answer that in any scientific model
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          Sep 18 2013: figures....
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          Sep 18 2013: I may be missing something here, but I thought your purpose was to question the premise. Questioning a premise is typically quite legitimate as a response to an argument.
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        Sep 18 2013: Yes, he had. Interestingly he does not seem to welcome the same purpose to be applied to his own comments and those who do are then just 'goofing around' ... lol :o)
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          Sep 18 2013: I like to goof around with Krisztian.......he's always so serious.......especially when he hasn't had his chocolate fix-for-the-day. ;o
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        Sep 18 2013: LOL!

        Oh Mary, you just woke my cat by making me laugh out loud ... ;o)

        But yes, TED conversations would be less interesting if Krisztián would have had his share of chocolate... :o) Actually, he is pretty clever in his very way, which makes in even more interesting to goof around with ... :o)

        It seems Austrian economics generates humor only in those who doesn't believe in it ... ;o)
        (Sorry Krisztián, I couldn't hold this one ... ;o))
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          Sep 19 2013: Sorry about your cat Lejan (not) ;) I hope he/she didn't scratch you....Meow....

          Yes, I also enjoy his cleverness.......

          Humor is very important, imho.
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        Sep 19 2013: Nope, no scratching, just the usual look of disgrace of the sort I usually get and AFTER I opened the food can for her ...

        On humor I agree with you!
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          Sep 19 2013: LOL!!

          Well, cats definitely have a purpose in life......to keep us humble.
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        Sep 19 2013: :o)

        For the sake of todays remaining harmony, I will withhold this wisdom from my cat until she starts to like me again... temporarily, for my opposing thumb ... ;o)
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          Sep 27 2013: Thanks for the youtube link to the moon documentary.
          And a female scientist narrates it!!
          That's just icing on the cake Lejan!!!
          I'll enjoy watching it tonight.
          Thanks again!!!
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        Sep 27 2013: And she is a very good narrator too!
        And a good scientist, as I assume she did a lot of the consulting side as well.

        All the rest goes to good old BBC's craftsmanship for excellent documentaries.

        You are welcome, enjoy the cake and let us know if you learned something and if yes, what its was ... and if no, how you come to know all these things ... :o) lol
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          Sep 27 2013: That video was absolutely stunning!
          I loved that she showed us all the wonderful things that happen due to the moon......I've fallen in love with the moon all over again!!

          And, despite what you might think, I am NOT a know-it-all.............LOL ;)
          I did learn ONE knew thing..hahahahaha

          The BBC documentaries are always so wonderful.
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          Sep 27 2013: Thank you. Excellent documentary!!
          I learned lots.....ex: that the moon is moving away from the Earth....and that our finger nails grow at the same rate as the moon is moving away from the Earth!!.....that makes me wish I could slow the growth of my finger nails to make the moon stay where it is:-)
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          Sep 27 2013: I had no idea that there was a BBC Scotland....is that where the documentary originated from? I did not catch that detail, I always assumed it was London.

          How do I picture the moon....masculine of feminine........huh.....I guess I have always pictured it neutral.........perhaps from being bilingual, I say la luna in Spanish and the moon in English.......so my mind gave it no particular orientation......it is just an object.

          What a peculiar question. How original of you!

          Have you ever seen the rapids that are in the beginning of the video?
          That must be really exciting to navigate in.......I was sitting on the edge of my seat feeling a bit anxious just watching her in that boat.

          I, like Juliette, also thought it interesting that the moon is moving away from Earth......couldn't it be possible that instead of moving away, it is just following some sort of orbit, and eventually it will come back around to being closer?
          I mean, I'm no astronomer, but isn't that possible? What do you think?
        • Sep 28 2013: Like the BBC documentaries, hope this series continues for many years and that they can retain the quality in times of tight budgets. One of my favorites is "Das Wunder des Lichts", don´t know the english title.
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        Sep 27 2013: You probably learned, that there is such a thing as BBC Scotland, which, not to long ago, was absolutely new to me ... ;o)

        Yet I am glad you liked it.

        If you think about the moon, how do you picture it? Is it 'masculine', 'feminine' or 'neutral' to you?

        In the German language the moon is masculine, which is indicated by the masculine article 'der' in 'der Mond'. Whereas Earth is feminine and called 'die Erde'.

        What I found interesting was, that as I take a step south of my country, in Italy both are seen feminine, 'la luna' and 'la terra', and one step to the west, it is the same with the French 'la lune' and 'la terre'.

        If I remember correctly, you are of Spanish origin, which would give you the moon as a 'she' as well, yet did the English language influenced what the moon is to you today?
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        Sep 27 2013: Yes, there is a BBC Scotland and it operates even independent from BBC London. They also have a radio program which is in broadcasted in the Gaelic language.

        Thank you for your answer on how you picture the moon and it is interesting to see how different one and the same 'object' as you named it gets perceived.

        In many respects my story is similar to Maggie Aderin-Pocock, the narrator, regarding the moon. As a child, the moon fascinated me and so we became friends and companions ever since. Like Maggie I was dyslexic as a child and got hooked on science to graduate many years later in aerospace technology in the same hope to get somewhat closer to what fascinated me. And as it worked out for Maggie, it didn't worked out for me, as for other reasons I choose a different business later on. Nevertheless, the moon has never been just an object to me and is deeply rooted in my spirituality, which is pagan by its nature.

        As for the orbit of the moon, it would need a force for it to come closer again, which isn't there.

        The extra force the moon gets to spiral out of us, is the equivalent of the braking effect it has on earth and which gets exchanged via gravity. Just to stay where it is, the moon needed an equally strong force of this 'breaking energy' pushing on its far side, of which there is none.

        Also there is no 'memory buffer' or 'force buffer' in orbit mechanics which would release certain fractions of force over time which it might once received by some other impact. So besides some 'damping' and time relaying effects due to inertia, for the moon there is nothing to expect by now for it ever to return towards us again.

        So our only hope now is Juliette Zahn and if she manages to gain control over her fingernails ... :o)

        Mind over matter over time ... go Juliette, go, go, go ... ;o)
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          Sep 28 2013: I am going to come back and reply to this later on......I have a busy day.......
          Lots of information to digest here.
          Catch you later!
          Say hi to your cat. :)
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          Sep 28 2013: Huh, so, there is no chance that the moon is just moving in an orbit farther away, and then will come closer? You are sure that there would be a force needed to bring the moon back.......well then, I'm glad she said we are in no immediate danger, since it would take millions of years for the moon to ever get far enough away to create any harm to earth's environment.

          As I thought about this movie, and reflected on the beauty of our planet, a thought struck me. We are in constant motion......revolving and orbiting the sun. And our galaxy is also moving through the universe. Yet, our atmosphere, is always around us, protecting us. We have a wonderful shield that protects us from solar radiation. I do not think the majority of humans truly know how wonderful our earth environment is.

          Something else that I found rather interesting from the video was how the distance between our earth and the sun and the moon, allows for those beautiful full eclipses. And even though the moon and sun are not the same size.....the distances involved allows for that phenomenal event every so often...Monday August 21, 2017 is the next one. The last one we got to see from the US was back in 1991.

          And yowza.....did you see Mars bouncing all over?......I wish I had known that when I taught the lesson on the planets. My second graders would have loved it.

          So, how exactly does the moon fall into your spirituality? Do you have any rituals or traditions, or is it more of a meditative, kind of spirituality. I hope you don't mind me asking.
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          Oct 4 2013: "Remember the moon stays bright, when it doesn't avoid the night.":-)

          http://glad.is/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/rumi-the-moon-stays-bright.jpg
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        Sep 28 2013: The English title of this BBC documentary is called: 'Light Fantastic'
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        Sep 28 2013: No stress please, my cat sleeps anyway ... ;o)
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        Sep 28 2013: Yup, I am positive that a force is needed to push the moon back to us. Take my cat for example, to which I couldn't pass your 'hi' over, because she is sleeping almost the whole day now. She lays on my bed and doesn't move anywhere in relation to me. So if I wished her to change position, I had no other alternative but to apply a 'force' on her for this- and despite all consequences - to happen. No force, no moving cat ... its that simple ... :o)

        'I do not think the majority of humans truly know how wonderful our earth environment is. '

        And this is exactly the reason, why we keep poking holes in this our life-jacket while floating in this all deadly ocean.

        In fact, earth is making its way through space pretty quickly. And even my cat, which is still not moving relative to me, is orbiting around the sun at a speed of about 66.616 mph. 'On top' of that, she also orbits around the center of our galaxy at about 503.310 mph. And even though she appears to me quite lazy today, she has overcome a huge distance since she balled up this morning... :o)

        So next time the officer hands out your speeding ticket, you can be grateful for the point of reference he/she choose to measure your speed ... :o)

        I think it is amazing that we live in times, in which by chance we have this beautiful event of the total eclipse. Unfortunately, I missed the last one in Europe, as I have moved to your country just a view days before. Yet there are others to come to have a look at, hopefully ...

        How did you experience the interest of your second graders on that topic? How did they perceive this knowledge? Have the been highly into it, or did they remain on 'average' levels?

        My spiritual connection to the moon is difficult to explain, but I do not follow any tradition nor have I any rituals surrounding it. It is more of an high respect and awe about this ancient cycle. Whenever I am not aware about the current phase its in, i know I have to 'slow down' and to readjust my perception of time.
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          Sep 29 2013: I have a quote in my collection that reads:

          "Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year".

          Your reflections reminded me of it.

          I find that small children are naturally drawn to astronomy. They are fascinated with outer space. The unit I teach on the planets includes details of the entire solar system.
          I spend an entire month on it. One of my favorite activities is to observe and draw the moon during it's Lunar cycle.
          The vocabulary...........New moon, crescent moon, gibbous moon really gets the kids very excited ......little 7 year olds love to talk "science"............they feel like experts when they own the vocabulary. You should hear them talk and argue over the kind of moon that was out the previous night. They are too funny.

          Look at one of the activities we do to see if the kids understood the lesson (We use Oreo cookies)

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F6g1Uapdcs0/UQqNoqy4x8I/AAAAAAAAFGs/jCNEg3Y7UwM/s640/OreoMoonPhases.png

          I remember seeing a set of prints at Restoration Hardware (a local store) that were really nice too.....look....

          http://media.restorationhardware.com/is/image/rhis/prod1870285?$l-pd1$

          I guess I understand how you feel about the moon.
          I kind of feel that way about the constellations visible during the cool winter nights.
          I crane my neck back and walk indoors staring at the sky.
          The universe, in it's entirety, is very awe-inspiring.

          Wouldn't it have been something to be alive 3,000 years ago when we could have seen the milky way easily?

          A place I would love to visit is Chile.......where the European Southern Observatory has it's telescopes. Have you seen this time lapse video done by them?
          Look:

          http://videos.komando.com/watch/1034/viral-videos-gorgeous-night-sky-time-lapse

          Did you ever see this talk?

          http://www.ted.com/talks/lucianne_walkowicz_look_up_for_a_change.html

          That is where I first learned about the observatory in Chile.
          Enjoy!!
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        Sep 30 2013: Thank you for all this interesting information.

        I am very glad to hear that small children are still drawn naturally to astronomy, and this despite their highly distracting environments of today. Yet if I would have been in your class. I would have not learned about the lunar cycle, as all of my cookie models would have disappeared mysteriously from my desk ... probably by the presence of a nearby black hole ... :o)

        The milky way still isl easily visible today, just stay away of lit areas, such as cities or villages and this on clear, dry nights and best in wintertimes. Once you are out of this backscattering 'light pollution', you will get to see the whole beauty of our galaxy. Chile is fine, but no necessity to get a fine view on our stars with our eyes.

        I haven't seen the video you linked and will have a look at it soon. Thank you.

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