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    nmw 05:10:03 on 2015/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , love, , , , , , ,   

    The Theory of Handles and Relationships 

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    In a sense, this is a theory of what it means to be a theory… — but that would actually make it appear rather insignificant. It is much more: It is also a description of relationships, and the role these play in our daily lives, and in our incessant search for love and the meaning of life in general.

    This is a theory of cognition, and in particular of semantics. Handles are viewed as a subset of words (which are themselves subsets of language). Each handle is viewed as an especially significant sign of meaning, existence, or simply some sort of cognitive element in the mixed-up ether that makes up the universe of all ideas whatsoever.

    Every person, human, being or life form is presumed to have the faculty to acquire and hold a number of such handles. The lower bound of this number range is 2. Everything is assumed to have a concept of at least 2 handles (for example: “myself” and “everything else”). The upper bound is far more variable — for the sake of argument, let me arbitrarily assume that the number for humans is on the order of 2000 (in part simply because the range 2-2000 is easy to remember). The range will vary not only across species, but also across all individuals within e.g. “human beings”. More is not better or worse than less — it is simply different.

    Note that the vocabulary of words (and therefore of concepts in general) is assumed to be greater than the number of handles. The subset of handles is assumed to be something like a catalog of concepts used to orient thinking, speculation, interests, etc. Hence, for example: We might guess that for physicists such as Newton, Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler… that they might have all used a handle such as “motion” (whether or not they used the same language — that does not deserve to be the focus of our attention at this moment). This simply means that “motion” is simply one of the handles they might have used, much in the same way that a painter might carry a palette of colors as they paint a picture of the way they see the world.

    The relationship between handles and relationships is by and large undefined — mostly because we have not examined these phenomena sufficiently to understand that such a relationship exists. This theory simply hypothesizes that there are some ways that handles and relationships are related… in a “wishful thinking” sort of way. It may be that well-defined mathematical formulas and algorithms are shared among the corresponding handles, or perhaps it may be that people in a relationship share a “way of thinking” about things that is related… — such as that Bob Dylan and John Lennon both might tend to think about things as songs, or that both William Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas tend to think in narrative manners, or that Vincent Van Gogh and Michelangelo might have thought in visual terms.

    Since the precise manner in which handles and relationships are related, the “open” nature of the theory also depicts the individual as free to choose the manner in which to “construct” handles. It is hypothesized that the more relationships correspond in some (as yet unknown) manner, the closer, the deeper, the more significant the relationship is between two (or more) people. Perhaps different kinds of relationships also have different kinds of regularities among the manners in which handles correspond — such that friends might tend to have similar handle configurations, and that lovers might be more prone to complementary handles.

    All such speculations are entirely unknown and remain yet-to-be examined.

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 20:00:30 on 2015/01/01 Permalink
    Tags: , commerce, , commercialization, , , consume, , consumers, , , , , , , love, , , , , Pink Floyd, quest, , Speak to me, together, togetherness, us and them   

    Loving Heartstrings: The Search for Meaning is a Quest for Love 

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    Over the holidays, I have been mildly entertained by people discussing what are the best bang-for-your-buck opportunities for consumption… — this or that party, celebration, offer, whatever. I do not claim to be entirely innocent of the “quest for deals” scene, but I have to say the commercialization of experiences has become rather blasé and is no longer truly enticing for me. Free junk and get more for your money are not even close the kind of thrill I seek these days.

    What I want is meaning: I want someone to tell me their story in a way that involves me, that pulls at my heartstrings so strongly that I cannot resist but to pour out my heart and plead for more, plus to open the opportunity for me to get my foot in the door… to cross the threshold of perception into a realm that we, not just me, engage in together.

    Why do I want others to speak to me? Why can’t I just as well talk to them? Well, the answer may surprise you. I can choose to participate, but I cannot force others to do so… — but, then: how can I force them to speak? I can’t. But nature does. No one can not speak. Everyone is always sending out messages — even if that message is something like “I have locked myself in my room and I refuse to open up to you.”

    Such a message tells me something. It pulls on my heartstrings. I want to become engaged, I want to participate… somehow, in a “positive” way, as best as I can.

    Such engagement gives my life meaning. My life is not isolated. I cannot not react. Our existence is about you and me. We are interwoven with us and them. 8)

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 20:41:59 on 2014/12/27 Permalink
    Tags: All This Time, documentary, , , life event, life events, love, lyrics, , song, songwriting, Sting   

    It’s always me that ends up getting wet 

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    I was thinking of some lyrics from a song by Sting earlier — and I’ll get to that in a moment — but what happened is that I sat down and watched his “All This Time” DVD, because I thought this episode from Sting’s life (and how he interpreted it) might have something to say to me right now.

    First let me say that of course the “backstory” part of the DVD does a good job of promoting Sting… even though I also think he is probably one of the best songwriters of our time. In this part, Sting reveals some of the thinking behind his songwriting —  and one thing I found particularly interesting is the way he says a song is sort of something shared between the songwriter and the listener, in the sense of being a vibe that channels both writer’s and listener’s feelings and experiences. In this sense, when Sting sings “it’s always me”, he is also sort of saying that he also acknowledges that it’s also always you.

    The thing that motivated me to watch this film now is in part this sentiment of “it’s always me”… but also that I remembered that the film is somewhat of a documentary of how events rained on his parade in a very significant way: The birthday party Sting spent a lot of time, money and effort orchestrating was pretty much ruined by something chaotic, entirely beyond his control, and again, it seems, Sting ended up getting wet. :| The entire event had a very somber aura, and this was very much not the fault of any of the people who participated.

    The lyrics I was thinking of when I turned to get the movie were also a long-time favorite of mine: “If you love somebody, set them free”. This is really the crux of what I was thinking about, and it also applies to loving yourself.

    In this case, my thinking goes like this: If you love yourself, then you will neither berate yourself, nor will you allow others to berate you. If you love others, then you will not berate them… — and you will also not allow them to berate you. If you allowed them to berate you, then you would not be allowing them to set you free (or, in other words: to love you). Any kind of “rating scheme” whatsoever is an indication of a lack of trust in the other person, an unwillingness to let them live their life the way they want to (as another great songwriter, Jimi Hendrix, once put it).

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 11:21:23 on 2014/12/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , events, , experiences, experiential, , , , , , live, love, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Live to Make “Love Life” Stories 

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    Why should anyone write down their life story — isn’t simply living it good enough?

    I think not — and the reason why is quite similar to the reason why many people keep journals of their dreams. In fact: This idea came to me in a dream, and since I don’t keep a dream journal, I have forgotten some of the minor details of the plot. Yet it was a quite lucid dream, and therefore I remember the main gist and the major thrust of the idea quite well.

    First of all: Life stories are made by stringing life experiences and life events together. You yourself create the narrative, even if the individual building blocks seem to be plain matters of fact… and you can actually build many different narratives from the same facts.

    Second, very little of what we believe are obviously true facts are actually very much open to interpretation. Everyone has their own point of view, and these different perspectives create inherently different biases — there is no such thing as an unbiased opinion. It is far more fruitful to become aware of bias than to attempt to eradicate it.

    From the above two observations, it should be quite clear already that the complexity of managing so many “variables” is quite formidable. It has often been said that one reason why humans started to write was in order to externalize data and thereby free up space in the CPUs — their brains, their capacity to think, ponder, reason, etc. without at the same time having to worry about each and every bit of detail. This is the reasoning behind storing data externally — in other words: writing it down.

    Another similar motivation for storing data externally is to document the same event from different perspectives — this is the main reason why the “Wisdom of the Crowds” idea became so popular. What many overlooked in their fanatical flocking to overcrowded websites, though, was that this only helps if the different perspectives actually complement each other. Millions of identical perspectives do not really improve the view of any particular event.

    Ultimately, one primary reason to document your own life experiences is to enrich your own perspective on your own life — and perhaps also your perspective on the life of others. Do you know people who might “feature” you in their story — but do so in a way that makes it clear that your existence in the story is after all mainly about them? You can enrich your story by weaving other people’s stories into your own (whether or not they reciprocate by weaving your story into theirs). Be willing to tell other people’s stories: They will love it! You will expand your own horizons! And, in the end: You will have woven a fabric of love — a loving network of interwoven stories that complement each other and from which each and every individual gains perspective. :)

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