“On a planet reduced to village size by new media, cities themselves appear quaint and odd, like archaic forms already overlaid with new patterns of culture.”
Marshall McLuhan • Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man • 1964
All of us have our own unique life experiences, if only because in our material universe two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
So what! That sounds self evident. Where is the detail in the devil, why do each of us not have our own language? why do we share a common meaning for words when our actual experiences are different.
A child experiences a table different than an adult; taller and shorter people experience the table differently,
Or the customer, the waiter or the bus person will experience the table differently but we speak or write the word “table” the same —“Put the box on the table please, ” and we all understand it even though each us has a different history of experiences with “table.” I guess its convenient⸮.
Why do we speak the same language? Is that a stupid question!
We are raised in a family, living in a society and as we grow up each of us naturally learns the language,
But to learn to read & write we go to formal school, we also learn vocabulary to expand that capability beyond the confines of a family experience . . . or a small town experience . . . or the confines of a country . . . or advances/creations in technology.
And as hurt feelings or lawsuits or differing individual characteristics present, this commonality is not always equally shared among individuals , but then even with differences it is not disagreement about the existence of the word or the thing represented by the word but differences in the meaning of the word.
The differences among people are so small as opposed to what they might be given that the individual experiences are all different.
Words, concept, categories— it is humans who share the ability to create language, or complex language if you think other life forms have some shared capabilities of communication with each,
Life forms do differentiate and categorize things in the universe, a requirement for survival and whatever may appear tob e communication is not the same “quality of complexity ” as the human ability.
A set of pixels once appearing on my monitor repeated.
Another set of my shado images colored and repeated. I call them blankets because I like Pueblo weaving . . .
“Then weave for us a garment of brightest;
May the warp be the white light of morning,
May the weft be the red light of evening,
May the fringes be the falling rain.
May the border be the standing rainbow,
Then weave for us a garment of brightness
That we may walk fittingly where birds sing,
That we may walk fittingly where the grass is green.”
from a Tewa song
Just aimlessly putting things into a pattern with no tradition-direction, no established shared symbols. For traditional societies the visual the basic elements of art have had long periods to develop meaning. modern societies, increasingly artist are called upon to create new meanings.
One way works to build cultural cohesiveness; the other works to generate diversity. Can these be combined to have cohesive diversity.
Not when our minor differences become more important than our major samenesses . .
I wish, I wish, I wish in vane—or vein or vain—
I could even be 10% as good a person as I seem to fool others into thinking I am.
If we did not have this quality of language, would we still be able to communicate with each other? Would we know were not communicating? Would we know what are missing?
At he end of the day emptiness is form; form is emptiness,
from The Great Prajnaparmita Heart Sutra