IGS Discussion Forums: Learning GS Topics: Wisdom and GS
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 10:58 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail


Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Friday, November 30, 2007 - 02:49 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

I like "I have not yet made sense of this.".

Written in E-prime. (no "to be")
Extensionally indicates past events. (have ... made)
Does not abstract to a personal (dis-)ability. (uses "not yet" rather than the more abstract - sometimes self-fufilling - "can't")
Etensionally indicates the subject. ("this")
Recognizes time N+1 "is not" times 1, ..., N.
Consciousness of abstracting. (made sense, or sensing)

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, December 3, 2007 - 06:13 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

David, Correct. My previous post had to do with with the large number of posts about "that" not making sense or not understanding.

I gave my perspective on wisdom long ago in this post, to which no one responded in any overt way.

Here's some more on the former subject.

I'm not making sense of this entire thread.
"I'm not making this entire thread sensible to me."
In this entire thread I'm not sensing ... I do not know what ....
In this entire thread I'm not sensing ???

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Tuesday, December 4, 2007 - 08:41 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

I think of a difference between "I didn't understand ..." and "I didn't making sense of ..." in terms of level of abstraction with "understand" indicating a higher level of abstraction response than "make sense of".

I think there are cases where we can make perfect sense of what we see (hear,etc.), but not understand it. I knew "engineering types" who could reproduce drawing of mechanical or electrical systems on board ship, so they "made sense" of what they saw, but they did not understand what the drawing "meant" in terms of being able to explain what each part did.

Of course, this distinction depends on what experience each person brings to the terms 'sense' and 'understand'.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Tuesday, December 4, 2007 - 09:45 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail


When I was taking a course in artificial intelligence, a group of programmers with different experiences came together as a team. We were to implement a logic translation system that converted "ordinary" English into formal logic, based on earlier exploratory work which had been written in the BASIC programming language. Our task was to write the system, or a version thereof, in the artificial-intelligence programming language Lisp. The professor and I noted that each of the programmers were writing their modules in lisp code that "looked" like the speciality language of that person - except for me. These programmers were looking for conststructs in Lisp that matched the language they knew best. I described this process as "literal translation". The Mumps programmer wrote a Lisp module that showed the structure and looked like Mumps; the PL-1 programmer wrote a Lisp module that showed the structure and looked like PL-1, etc.

I, on the other hand, was quickly "thinking in Lisp", and I was taking advantage of the special abilities of Lisp to do things that could not be done in the other languages. I had had the experience of programming in multiple languages, including Forth, Assembly, Basic, Pascal, Ada, and more, so I was prepared to look for and use the special capabilies of Lisp.

Prolog has many of the characteristics of "object oriented programming" and may have been one of the first language to implement a feature in which an "object" has both noun- and verb-like "properties". Objects "do things" (verb) and "return a value" (noun).

What I bring from my experience to your comment suggests that I would loosely associate your use of the term 'wisdom' [limited to this context] with understanding the language structure and capabilities in ways that allow using its special characteristics - "thinking in the language" as opposed to serial computation languages.

Object oriented programming brings multiple "levels of abstraction" to the structure of the language in ways that are more general than simple subroutines, but an important portion of the usable knowledge of these languages is in how they are implemented - implementation specific differences. Another is knowing whether the system supports asynchronous processes, in which timing of independent modules becomes a critical factor - such as in interrupt routines. When you have forty-eleven things going on at once, and no idea which ones will finish in what order, you need special superviory process to manage them.

The transition from thinking "iteratively" and thinking in terms of multi-level asynchronous process represents a fairly significant paradigm shift, and it requires a build up of experiences.

A hierarchy might include (each level including the previous):
(Pure) sequential code.
Subroutines. (Invented by Ada Agusta King, Countess of Lovelace - daughter of Lord Byron - working with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine in 1842)
Recursive functions.
Interrupt routines.
Asynchronous processes.
Object oriented programming.
and more.

We used to call a function that did something other than return a value "dirty". Now that's the basis of object oriented programming. But, you'd better keep track of the "dirt" with careful documentation.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - 10:01 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

The time-binding record has define:wisdom.

I still like "Wisdom: The compassionate use of knowledge." best.

I think we usually hold a warm ethical component to wisdom that is not part of intelligence. Consider it a part of the time-binding ethic of cooperating with others, and maintaining an attitude of support and respect for other people.

I think it's not just efficient and innovative solutions to problems, but such solutions that take into consideration the people, their circumstances, and has what many would evaluate as good, compassionate, warm, supportive, etc..

I would apply intelligence, knowledge, and experiences as applicable to problem solving in general and in computer languages in particular, but it's not "wisdom" unless it also supports people in a positive way.

But it's obviously a "concept by intuition" and one that is very abstract at that, and you know what that means -- it means a considerable amount of variability in usage among people.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - 12:50 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Hi Vilmart,
I really dislike the word 'control' with respect to emotions, especially when we have a submerged "hydraulic pressure" metaphor that seems to be commonly applied. I much prefer the word "manage". Moreover, some general semantics techings and related research points us towards a surmised "how" to manage our emotions. Earlier, in another post, I wrote:


Nina Bull did work on emotions in the 1940's, and Charlotte Read incorporated that work into general semantics at seminars. It went under the name, "The Attitude Theory of Emotion". I researched the reference material from Charlotte's bibliography, and discovered that it primarily dealt with body postures, feelings, and behavior, on the "output" side of our nervous process. I put that together with general semantics structural differential and abstracting on the "input" side of our nervous process to come up with a six-stage information processing model to relate both the emotional response process and the abstracting process. That model is described in my paper Think-Feel and Know-Act. It shows where the key to managing emotions can be found. The key is at the evaluation or decision process where we decide that something is "good" or "bad". We automatically orient toward "good" and away from "bad", and the corresponding emotions and behavior follow. By delaying the decision (the general semantics delayed response) we won't have a position to orient to or from, and consequently, no body posture, no build up of feelings, no follow-on action. Learn to choose when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say I have not decided. Over simplified? Yes. But, its a start.(more)

By choosing to say "I really don't know whether this is "good" or "bad", whether I "like it" or "don't like it", whether it's "desirable" or it's "undesirable", etc, we remain uncommitted to any orientation towards or away from the object, action, event, situation, person, etc. Achieving the Zen-like "no-mind" state about the value of something frees us from internal "pressure" to act. Since, according to Nina Bull's theory, the feeling states of emotions build up when the action orientation is inhibited, we have prevented this build-up by not taking an orientation, and that we have done by remaining undecided - delayed (indefinitely) reaction.

Getting to internalize this perspective, however, takes a lot of work and a lot of consciusness of abstracting. Have you seen the film "Anger Management"?

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Thursday, December 6, 2007 - 09:08 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Hi Vilmart,

In American English, with our strong historical emphasis on individual freedom in both social an religious contexts, the word 'control' has a negative connotation, especially when applied to people both inter- and intra-personal processes (as I assess my personal experience) with the term.

Some general semanticists would say that it's just a word, and meaning is in people, not words; but that's a gross oversimplification of the relationship and influence of the contexts in which words are used as we are growing and learning. We form associations that are positive and negative with words starting when our mothers scold us for using "grown-up" words associated with a social taboo. These experiences, when examined collectively, show influence that affects how we feel about things.

Example of such contxtual usage that, after many exposures, builds up neural positive or negative associations:

Netural: "the circut controls the temperature by turning the heat on or off depending on the sensed temperature, in order to keep the temperature from falling below the set point."

Ambivilant: Parents need to control what their children watch on TV. (Positive for some parents, negative for some parents and most kids.)

Negative: The church seeks to control behavior by branding some acts a sin. (Goes against freedom.)


Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Thursday, December 6, 2007 - 12:35 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Hi Thomas,
I agree with "educating" and "training" (which I do see as different) our individual semantic reactions. My perspective holds that Nina Bull's theory "suggests" a how to do this with respect to emotional responses, because it shows us where in the process we can intervene with the most leverage. We can apply than general perspective to many different specific situations - individual semantic reactions.