TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development


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Is our human language the most intelligent tool to communicate? Do you trust your intuition more than the words?

I MEAN OUR LANGUAGE-OF-WORDS. Perhaps we spend immensely more time on talking than any animal.

Even while using multiple devices for communicating practically in any distance on earth for exchanging our feelings or information, we still do not understand one another any better than millennia ago.

As we see on TED most of the time we discuss or argue over our man-made TERMS, which we commonly use, but understand/interpret in different ways. We spend a lot of time arguing over the words themselves, over their meaning.

How much confusion we create by using language and its conventional terms?

Is our human language the most intelligent tool to communicate after all?


Closing Statement from Vera Nova

“Our view of man will remain superficial so long as we fail to go back to that origin [of silence], so long as we fail to find, beneath the chatter of words, the primordial silence, and as long as we do not describe the action which breaks this silence. the spoken word is a gesture, and its meaning, a world.”

― Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

I'd like to thank you every member who has participated in this challenging conversation.

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  • Mar 27 2014: Vera
    Before the spoken and written word is condemned, as outdated, would it not be advantageous to master the language.first?
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      Mar 27 2014: I think that our human language is the most outstandingly artificial and confusing "method" of communication among all who exist in this natural world.

      I (personally) think that our language is highly symbolic based on our unique human Imagination. It has been developed since those first cave images depicted on cave walls.

      These cave images became our prehistoric art expressions, but I believe that this art created a revolution changing human mentality. Since the images were observed by others who somehow learned to recognise these images and became very excited, the first human conversations occurred over Depicted Symbols.

      I only guess that later in history these flat images became symbolic signs, these were our first abstract signs for communicating one another. We learn to recognize them and translate to prehistoric "words", the pronounceable sounds identifying the meaning of these flat symbols. I trust that letters were created afterwards, as some small details for various usage. Chinese language can still be a great example of symbolic images as whole phrases..

      I clearly see that our imagination is deeply artistic, based on our selective perceptions. This does not mean that we are all great artists, we can be very poor and horrible artists. I mean our abilities of creating something beyond real experience brewed on highly emotional imagination.

      If we accept the most fundamental law of nature of Flux, unavoidable instant, irreversible change, we'd understand why our mind's scenarios can be so " far away" from our Immediate experience while we're playing with our ephemeral imagination.

      I believe that every living being in this world has perceptions in order to adjust to its environment, and that these very perceptions are primordially artistic: we Focus on something that seems most attractive, but greatly Limited by perceptions we deal with our reality only based on fluctuating imagination.
      • Mar 27 2014: Vera
        It would seem by your writing that you may be somewhat of a metaphysical philosopher, in that you look for that, which may not be there.
        That the spoken word is emitted from a naturally evolved voice box; how then is it unnatural? Man did not fabricate this out of of materials unknown to nature. He did not fabricate the box.
        The debate as to when Man achieved language is still raging. There is no conclusive evidence, as to a chronologically fixed date. It would have been well before the drawings, which were a mere 35 to 40,000 years ago. and probably was. Some notables guess at about a million years. Language in all probability began when pre-humans began to group. In groups language becomes important for survival, for direction.
        Pragmatism is a good study in philosophical wonderings. Materialism adds to the flavor and most importantly, materialism rounds out the threesome.
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          Mar 28 2014: 1. I'm not for to argue regarding that our experience is rooted in something unnatural. I actually meant to say that everything we make out of our existence is based on our nature's granted inborn abilities.

          I did not say that human language was in use only since the caveman arts.. it is as old as human kind itself. I pointed out that I believe that language had a great jump towards abstract imagination and thinking, since people started playing with flat images on the walls as symbols of certain experience.

          2. Would I categorize my thinking within Metaphisical interpretations of life? probably I would but only when I clear up the fact that all our physical, tangible experiences may not be ever possible without ephemeral set of our sense perceptions, whether we use them instinctivelly and subconsciously or through our physical bodies. The process of perceiving itself is still super mystery for researchers and scientists, unless they are conviniently and entirely ignore this very mental process, explaining it as some "chemical" reaction in brains.

          Long time ago G. Berkeley has mercilessly murdered already popular in his time materialistic mentality. Later I. Kant put this concept into his whimsical expression "things-in-themselves".
          Berkeley and Kant's work gets great attention these days, especially among physicists.

          Ironically "solid" materialism is entirelly based on appearances created by our deeply instinctive sensations. I think this ancient (since Democritus's atomic model) Materialistic approach is helplessly outdated in general and particular; while the old-fashioned Mataphysical ideas are not convincing enough for those minds who trust only superficial theater of consciousness.

          I'm closely involved in this new research on human perceptions and the laws of their limitations.
          WIll be happy to share with whatever I know so far.
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          Mar 28 2014: Charles, I've read your brief "profile" on ted and i think I understand your curiosity regarding the essence of life. It is a "subject" that is missing in our education since the old Greeks.

          After attending a few toughest schools in Europe I came to realize that no teaching or training can make one a philosopher unless he/she is born to be one. If you're born to be a true philosopher you're forever on your own - you cannot fit any institution.

          I was wondering why some great philosophers made up their famous dialogs talking with their imaginative "friends" but not with real individuals.. I answered: every one of them was very lonely for he could not find anyone on his level, to think together.

          "To live alone is the fate of all great souls."
          Arthur Schopenhauer

          Best Regards

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