Signs and Books

Signs and Symbols

I love to share my thoughts with others and enjoy seeing the potential effect it may create in their lives.


Signs and Symbols / The Process of Design

The first step in problem solving is to recognize that a problem exists, because you have looked at a situation as it is now and you can imagine a future in which things have changed and improved. Or perhaps you can imagine a future in which things have changed but have not improved, and you want to avoid (or minimize) these changes. Either way, if you want to take advantage of your opportunity to make a difference, you will generate and evaluate ideas (and actions) that will help you make progress toward a solution. These ideas and actions are the focus of this section.

Improvising in Design:

While you’re reading about the process of design below, it’s important to remember that design method is not a rigid step-by-step framework. Instead, design method is a flexible improvisational framework, it’s just a way to describe the structured improvisation, guided by goals, that occurs during the process of design.

If an artist can translate the meaning and purpose of a work into easily understandable words, it means one of two things:

  • Either the artist is lying, in order to ease the way with patrons and funders; or the artist is a fool.
    And if dishonesty is the reason, that too is something that vitiates art. No serious art is easy to interpret. Nor is there ever a single valid interpretation of art. If art is good, there are many things to be said about it and much that will remain unsayable.

About my drawings

Trying to talk of the unconscious with a type of language that is the language that speaks the unconscious.
Drawing has always been at the core of my practice, at the beginnings of my work. Some of my earliest serious work after leaving art school was drawing. Since then, while my work has not always ended up as drawing, it has always started there, or at least moved through drawing. No matter where it ends ­ sculpture, video, photography whatever ­ my practice begins with ideas and then become drawings. For much of the last ten years, I have primarily used drawing as a way to develop ideas and then to communicate those ideas during the production process. I don’t show these drawings. I don’t personally regard them as art works. They are part of the process; partial, necessary rather than important, more or less resolved ­ literally unfinished.

The mechanism underlying the understanding of signs and symbols represents one of the most exciting topics of current neuroscience research. Most researchers attribute the binding between a sign and its meaning to a “binding area” or “semantic centre” in the cortex. However, opinions differ widely as the where this area is localised and imaging results indicate activation of a wide range of cortical areas during semantic tasks. Moreover, patients with lesions in various brain areas show semantic deficits, for example in processing specific semantic classes of words. Should the concept of a mechanism for meaning therefore be abandoned?
A solution lies in the nature of meaning itself. For a long time, philosophers have tried to define what “meaning” might be, or what the word “meaning” means. The result of this work is that a range of different kinds of meaning exist and, correspondingly, there are a range of word kinds with different meaning characteristics. Traditionally, the meaning of a word is seen as the object it relates to, but other words obviously relate to actions and it is feasible that the different kinds of words call upon different brain areas.
A model of category-specific semantic processing will be highlighted along with some empirical evidence supporting it. The neuroscience results will also be related to their philosophical roots and the implications of neuroscience research for more general questions about language and thought may be touched upon in closing.

Meaning is a notion in semantics classically defined as having two components:

  • Reference, anything in the referential real denoted by a word or expression…
  • Sense, the system of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships between a lexical unit and other lexical units in a language.

This is the most important question, since all reasoning is an interpretation of signs of some kind. But it is also a very difficult question, calling for deep reflection.
It is necessary to recognise three different states of mind. First, imagine a person in a dreamy state. Let us suppose he is thinking of nothing but a red colour. Not thinking about it, either, that is, not asking nor answering any questions about it, not even saying to himself that it pleases him, but just contemplating it, as his fancy brings it up. Perhaps, when he gets tired of the red, he will change it to some other colour, – say a turquoise blue, – or a rose-colour; – but if he does so, it will be in the play of fancy without any reason and without any compulsion. This is about as near as may be to a state of mind in which something is present, without compulsion and without reason; it is called Feeling. Except in a half-waking hour, nobody really is in a state of feeling, pure and simple. But whenever we are awake, something is present to the mind, and what is present, without reference to any compulsion or reason, is feeling.
Second, imagine our dreamer suddenly to hear a loud and prolonged steam whistle. At the instant it begins, he is startled. He instinctively tries to get away; his hands go to his ears. It is not so much that it is unpleasing, but it forces itself so upon him. The instinctive resistance is a necessary part of it: the man would not be sensible his will was borne down, if he had no self-assertion to be borne down. It is the same when we exert ourselves against outer resistance; except for that resistance we should not have anything upon which to exercise strength. This sense of acting and of being acted upon, which is our sense of the reality of things, – both of outward things and of ourselves, – may be called the sense of Reaction. It does not reside in any one Feeling; it comes upon the breaking of one feeling by another feeling. It essentially involves two things acting upon one another.
Third, let us imagine that our now-awakened dreamer, unable to shut out the piercing sound, jumps up and seeks to make his escape by the door, which we will suppose had been blown to with a bang just as the whistle commenced. But the instant our man opens the door let us say the whistle ceases. Much relieved, he thinks he will return to his seat, and so shuts the door, again. No sooner, however, has he done so than the whistle recommences. He asks himself whether the shutting of the door had anything to do with it; and once more opens the mysterious portal. As he opens it, the sound ceases. He is now in a third state of mind: he is Thinking. That is, he is aware of learning, or of going through a process by which a phenomenon is found to be governed by a rule, or has a general knowable way of behaving. He finds that one action is the means, or middle, for bringing about another result. This third state of mind is entirely different from the other two. In the second there was only a sense of brute force; now there is a sense of government by a general rule. In Reaction only two things are involved; but in government there is a third thing which is a means to an end. The very word means signifies something which is in the middle between two others. Moreover, this third state of mind, or Thought, is a sense of learning, and learning is the means by which we pass from ignorance to knowledge. As the most rudimentary sense of Reaction involves two states of Feeling, so it will be found that the most rudimentary Thought involves three states of Feeling.

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