Language and Evolution
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Huck Turner" wrote:
> franklyn wrote in message
> > Does Evolution imply going from the less complex to the more
> No. The assumption that evolution always leads to greater complexity
> probably often stems from the misconceived idea that evolution is like
> ladder with humans at the top. Paul Davies makes this mistake in his
> "The Cosmic Blueprint" for instance.
> > Is change without increasing complexity evolution? How do you define
> > complexity?
> I don't think complexity is a property of objects in the world,
> but rather a property of how we perceive them. For instance,
> what is complex to a child is often simple to an adult.
I agree. The ideogrammatic languages are considered complex
by today's time-centered standards of "economy of expression".
Whereas in the past where, as Marshall Mcluhan notes, the
ancients were space-centered, and the concept of complexity
was much different then. For them the "economy of expression"
was not in terms of brevity but in terms of compression of
many ideas into a small amount of space: the ideograms of
non-tensed grammars as opposed to the phonetic Indo-European
lineage of grammars.
I've wondered if 2-d(+?) Fourier transforms of ideograms could be used
to make a thesauraus of an ideogrammatic language. Tricky.
In such languages as Cantonese the problem is very complex
and the Cantonese toungue twister: "I have 188 white ducks."
displays this. But this apparent complexity probably serves or served
some evolutionary purpose such as the extension of the ideogrammatic
spatial compression to a spoken language.
" How was it that tribal cultures existing in conditions of
varying privation afforded themselves the 'luxury' of artistic
expression? Neither the mechanical materialistic theory of culture
as a passive reflection of existing social/economic forms, nor
the personal expression notion of the supposed compulsion of
unique individuals to "express themselves", explains this
adequately. There must be a material need which only art can
satisfy for it to be such an essential activity."
" I feel that I am doing with photography exactly what the
ideogram stone carvers of the Indus Valley Civilisation were
doing with communication, what the Chinese poets were doing
with their highly pictorial script. Coming from the world of
popular music, the acoustic equivalent of the Middle Ages, my
icons are derived from music and unlike other visual forms
such as cinema and painting, not the world of conversation; in
other words, it comes from the world of gratuitousness,
self-existence, atomic free-will and not the world of order and