View RSS Feed

Memories of the 28th Century

Miscellaneous thoughts about miscellaneous matters

  1. Word Abuse

    by , 03-05-2023 at 06:05 PM (Memories of the 28th Century)
    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'. From Alice in Wonderland by Charles Dodson, AKA Lewis Carroll

    One fundamental element of language is that the words have the same meanings for everyone using that language. On the other hand, metaphorical and ironic uses of words are common and are meaningful, and languages evolve, in part, by people using words in different ways. Some people use words ...
  2. On Hiding Faces

    by , 05-06-2020 at 09:04 PM (Memories of the 28th Century)
    Everything tells a story about itself. The story I was thinking about was stereotypes, but there's more to it than the traditional discussion, because humans announce themselves with their faces. People looked like what they are. That means that people who look like idiots almost certainly are idiots, and people who pleasant and friendly almost certainly are pleasant and friendly, regardless of other factors. But people who try to convince you that they are your friends but look like they intend ...

    Updated 05-07-2020 at 06:51 PM by PeterL

  3. Character Abduction

    by , 11-01-2018 at 09:03 AM (Memories of the 28th Century)
    Recently I was writing a story about Harry visiting Atlantis, and Plato entered into the story for obvious reasons, and that got me to thinking about using people and characters as characters. That was especially true, when I was trying to use Socrates as a character also, but that didn't work out, because his execution came too early in Plato's career. But that didn't stop me from wondering what Socrates was actually like in the real world. That was after I realized that I didn't think much of ...
  4. Beauty and Ugliness

    by , 12-17-2013 at 10:53 AM (Memories of the 28th Century)
    The matter of unconscious communication came to mind again today. I was reading Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages by Umberto Eco, when I remembered that the best explanation for beauty among humans is as a sign of genetic superiority. If someone has healthy genes it shows up as healthy, well-proportioned features. Observations and measurements have shown that a woman whose waist measurement is 70% of her hip measurement is ideal in that way, I didnít have anything to do with that study, but it accords ...
  5. Parallels In Meanings

    by , 09-18-2013 at 11:59 AM (Memories of the 28th Century)
    I thought that I had already written a neat little piece on metaphor, but I canít find it. Maybe I didnít actually write it but only thought about writing it, or maybe I donít have a copy of it. That was back in the days when I was reading everything by Umberto Eco (He has written more since then, so I will have to read some more.) Eco has a section in The Role of the Reader about metaphor, and I will have to reread that, or skim it at least. He wrote of circuitous paths from item A to the meaning ...