Friday, October 05, 2007

msb-0207 Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought"

msb-0207 Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought"


Feedback comes first, so...

I am still unemployed and looking for anything that will pay the rent...

My mother's still hanging there.

I received a book "The Stuff of Thought" by "Steven Pinker", (ISBN: 978-0-670-06327-7) which I am I am reading "voraciously".

Its of course about one of my great obsessions, "words."

---- "Small Bodies" by: "Magnetic Four"

Feed Forward comes next, so...

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Say "your" piece on this segment.

Share with other MSers whatever "you" want to share.

Drop me an email: charles at

And I would apreciate if someone could write a review of this podcast on iTunes [ ] You can just select the link and, eventually, scroll down the iTunes page to "Customer Reviews"

---- "Stay Small " by: "The Receiving End Of Sirens"

Feed Me comes third, so...

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---- "When Did You Get So Small?" by: "Todd Lerner"


Just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean that life has stopped around me, or even in me. (I'm continuing the musical theme of "Small and Insignificant" that I started last episode because I just loved all the music I found on the PMN [the Podsafe Music Network] Its such a trip for me, to browse through the tens of thousands of songs looking for appropriate music [and occasionally being just so blown away by some artist or other that I have to rewrite or recast the theme of the particular episode.])

This episode is going to be a quiet one because Steven Pinker's book is about something that I love, "words" (its also about thought,) and, more specifically, its about "verbs."

---- "Small " by: "Amy Abdou"


Now I am a great friend of "nouns" and "adjectives" but this book is making amply clear to me that I really don't "know" "verbs" as well as I should.

This must be the main difference between my mode of thinking, call it "Martian", and that of the rest of the world, call it "Human".

(Well... It certainly feels that way to me at times. Perhaps that explains why I was so enamored of formal languages and automata while the rest of the class was utterly bored and wondering "When are we ever going to use any of this shit anyway?"

But "Rovira Diagrams", which I shoved your way back in episode msb-0195, were, to me, a natural recasting into graphical form of a formal language that I had developed, way back when I was asked to solve a very real problem: documenting online systems.)

But is everybody else is thinking in terms of "verbs"? (When the use of nouns and a formal grammar and syntax are a much more rational way to describe computer systems.)

Now I wonder "why" people use these linguistic constructs, these "construals" to quote the book, even when these are not the most descriptive or accurate. (I tend to see relationships as discrete objects and I describe them as such using nouns, while the quote "normal way" unquote uses verbs [as in phrases like "Object A has many Objects B" {I use instead "Relationship R links One Object A and many Objects B". (The "links" are instantiated in connections.) (This leaves me with an explicitly defined relationship, which is manipulatable, instead of just something implicitly defined through the initial use of "has", which leaves you wondering why it is, what it is, where it is and what do you do with it?)}])

The difference between the "verbalizing" and my "objectification of the relationships"
may explain much. (The first part of dealing with a situation [in this case, its my extraterrestrial point of view on life, the universe and everything] comes with the language used to describe it.)

---- "Small " by: "adrienne pierce"


"The Stuff of Thought" by "Steven Pinker", (ISBN: 978-0-670-06327-7) is a book which is providing me with wonderful insight that may be more widely applicable than first meets the eye.

Sorry, but I have to read some more now.

---- "Insignificant" by: "Oscar Trim"


Yeah, I'm, avoiding things by focusing on minutia rather than seeing "the big picture"; the big picture is pretty freakin' scary.

Can you blame me?


Miss Chris said...

I can't blame you at all... Whatever gets you through, I always say.

Charles-A. Rovira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles-A. Rovira said...

Sorry, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) censored my previous post.

But thanks for your kind sentiment.

But I read something today
that really set me off and its going to be the focus of my wrath and of the music on the next podcast.

Miss Chris said...

It's funny (not really) how the legal system will go after a "downloader" so ruthlessly but they won't do the same with child molesters.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

That's debatable.

The downloader is not doing anything illegal.

The woman got nailed because of the potential uploads from her computer.(*)

Its the person who puts it up there to download who is acting as a music publisher.

If the proper rights are secured, the RIAA has nothing to say.

If they aren't and its for one of their clients, then they go after 'em.

As for child molesters... I refuse to vote for 'em.

*) Since she didn't earn any money from her, quote, misdeed, unquote, I'd tell her to turn over the proceeds from all the sales of the music and that the RIAA will have to be satisfied with that.

The RIAA is just trying to make a point.

You might own the records but you don't own the music.

The problem is that nobody checks.

Nor should they be allowed to sell music under false pretenses.

If they own the music, then they should not be able to put some artists name on the record.