9/26/2016

Chomsky Out, Plato Back

Noam Chomsky's theories about the genetic epistemology of language may end up in the dustbin of history even during my lifetime.

A long and detailed article at Scientific American includes this:
In the new usage-based approach (which includes ideas from functional linguistics, cognitive linguistics and construction grammar), children are not born with a universal, dedicated tool for learning grammar. Instead they inherit the mental equivalent of a Swiss Army knife: a set of general-purpose tools—such as categorization, the reading of communicative intentions, and analogy making, with which children build grammatical categories and rules from the language they hear around them.

(Emphasis added.)

Ah, I knew it would come back to analogy some time.

Plato's Theaetetus, please call your office.

Of course if rational discourse is "ratio-nal" it must be analogical.  How else can you explain the verbing of nouns (all the Greats do it!). And how else could children understand the nonsense of If I Ran the Circus? -- I mean, "The Flummox will carry a Lurch in a pail / And a Fibbel will carry the Flummox's tail"?  The soul of man is deeply analogical, and I don't think it's a genetic mutation either.

Plus I never liked Chomsky:  I got the impression he was singularly invested in reducing the human mind to strictly binary operations.

9/12/2016

Now I'm Archie Bunker

The "All in the Family" Archie Bunker.

All of a sudden, as I approach the mark of completing three decades on this planet, I find out that I am the anachronism in the room.

I'm an Archie in a Meathead world.

8/19/2016

This is why we all need quad-rotor delivery service

Floods.  Fires.  Earthquakes.  Tornadoes.

These things happen.

UPS and FedEx are amazing, but they aren't magical flying carpets when disasters strike.




We need to ditch the FAA and get going with autonomous aerobot deliveries.

The devices the Luddite media call "drones" (Cuz, y'know? DRONES!!! They, like, KILL people, man!!!) need to be developed for the greater marketplace.

I for one welcome our future aerobot delivery persons.

8/05/2016

Velocitas Populi

My commute to work is nasty, brutish and (thankfully) short.

I hop onto the freeway, a few minutes later I hit my exit and it's just a few blocks to work.

But those few minutes of freeway can be exciting.  Because of some inclines, loaded big rigs are topping out at about 50 MPH.  If it's not too windy, my little old Civic does 65 to 70 MPH.  But increasingly we are menaced by weavers doing I kid you not 90+ MPH.

Reckless and foolhardy.  These people are getting way too close to other cars.  Do they think this is a video game?

Remember how the fashionistas used to say, "Black (or Teal, or Whatever) is the new Red"?

Well, nowadays, 70 is the new 55.

I can hardly wait till "Drive Defensively" means a roof mounted brick launcher or .50 BMG.

7/27/2016

Korean Cease-Fire 1953

27 July marks the anniversary of the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Panmunjom in 1953.

The Korean War Conflict never ended.

The Kim dynasty continue their version of Two Steps Forward One Step Back.

But the Forgotten War continues to be forgotten by most in the West or allied to the West.

4/08/2016

Apostolic Exhortation "On Love in the Family"

Pope Francis has officially issued a document in the aftermath of the synod on marriage and the family last fall.

AMORIS LÆTITIA  issued 8 April 2016 (though the file date from the Vatican web site is 19 March) is a 264 page PDF.

No, I have not read it yet.

The first thing I did after downloading was do a search for the term "chastity."

In 264 pages on marriage and the family, chastity occurs a total of ONCE.

Not looking forward to opening this can of stale bait...

2/11/2016

This is that animated wind map thing

The one I keep mentioning and forgetting to give anybody the link.

The season for being "heedless of the wind and weather" is behind us!

Go look.  I'ts cool and doesn't take a long time to load.  You can move the globe around and resize if necessary.

You're welcome.