The limits of general semiotic analyses as applied to human psychology

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Much of the work done in human semiotics involves analyses of semiotic codes.

Semiotics and semiotic codes are often treated like language or languages for which a grammar can be found.

One obvious problem with this sort of approach is semiotics indicates a set that is much broader than language. Stated another way, language is a subset of semiotics.

Human semiotics also include music, imagery, gesture, facial expression, emotion, and anything else that can communicate either within one mind or between two or more minds.

It is very helpful to analyze semiotic codes and it is very helpful to try to figure out how cultures, groups, and individuals use them. We can compare the semiotics of heroism in Chinese culture to that of French culture. Or the semiotics of gift-giving in American culture to that of Mexican culture. We can analyze movies, literature, science, and even engineering based on semiotic codes we have abstracted out of them.

We can do something similar for human psychology.

Analyses of this type are, in my view, general in that they involve schema or paradigms or grammars that say general things about how semiotic systems work or how individuals (or semiotic signs themselves) fit into those systems.

This is all good and general analyses of this sort can be indispensable aids to understanding.

General semiotic analyses are limited, however, in their application to human psychology because such analyses cannot effectively grasp the semiotic codes of the individual. Indeed general analyses are liable to conceal individual codes and interpretations more than usefully reveal them.

This is so because all individuals are always complex repositories of many general semiotic codes as well as many individual ones. And these codes are always changing, responding, being conditioned by new circumstances and many kinds of feedback.

Individuals as repositories of many codes, both external and internal, are complex and always changing and there is no general analysis that will ever fully capture that complexity.

For somewhat similar reasons, no individual acting alone can possibly perform a self-analysis that captures the full complexity of the many and always-changing semiotic codes that exist within them.

Self-analysis is far too subject to selection bias, memory, and even delusion to be considered accurate or objective. The individual is also far too complex for the individual to grasp alone. How can an individual possibly stand outside itself and see itself as it is? Where would the extra brain-space come from?

How can a system of complex semiotic codes use yet another code to successfully analyze itself?

Clearly, no individual human semiotic system can ever fully know itself.

To recap, 1) there is no general semiotic analysis that will ever capture the complexity of individual psychology, and 2) no individual acting alone can ever capture the complexity of the semiotic codes that exist within them.

Concerning point two, we could just as well say that no individual acting alone can ever capture the complexity of their own psychology.

We are thus prevented from finding a complex analysis of human psychology through a general analysis of semiotics and also through an individual’s self-analysis when acting alone.

This suggests, however, that two individuals acting together might be able to glimpse, if not grasp, how their complex semiotic codes are actually functioning when they interact with each other. If two individuals working together can honestly observe and discuss moments of dynamic real-time semiotic interaction between them, they should be able to begin to understand how their immensely complex and always-changing psycho-semiotic codes are actually functioning.

An approach of this type ought to work better for psychological understanding of the individuals involved than any mix of general semiotic analyses applied to them. Indeed, prefabricated, general semiotic analyses will tend to conceal the actual functioning of the idiosyncratic semiotics and semiotic codes used by those individuals.

The FIML method does not apply a general semiotic analysis to human psychology. Rather it uses a method or technique to allow two individuals working together to see and understand how their semiotics and semiotic codes are actually functioning.

first posted APRIL 16, 2015

Why USA is in decline and what we probably won’t do about it though maybe we will

Yet another very good essay from the Unz Review, where you will expose your tender eyes to ideas that shock the mainstream. A major reason Unz is good in the way that it is (variety, depth, boldness, truth, along with bs) is it fosters and encourages free speech. Essayists and commenters really can say what they want and that provides it with some of the best essays and hands-down the best comment section on the internet that I know of. As of 7 AM today, the comment section for this article is as good and thought provoking as the article itself.

Here are few numbers, we’ll start with two: 447 million and 4.67 billion. These two numbers speak volumes, and are in the foundation of the America’s decline and increasingly irrational behavior which may, quoting Bachman Turner Overdrive’s famous hit, get us to the point of a proverbial ain’t seen nothing yet. The first number is a population of European Union, while the second one is a population of Asia. Asia’s population constitutes around 60% of all the world’s population. Second place in this count is taken by Africa, around 1.37 billion, and the third–by Latin America and Caribbean with respectable 659 million which is considerably larger still than the population of the European Union. The Northern America’s population is around 371 million, which in the larger scheme of things doesn’t look that impressive. In fact, it isn’t.

The Dictatorship of Numbers

Thought provoking video

I do not totally agree with this video and at times it sounds like a boomer rant against young people, but he makes some good points. It’s worth viewing or I would not post it. In my view, the problems he addresses largely originate with boomer greed and mutual self-approval, which define the culture of that cohort: selfish, self-indulgent, intellectually lazy and often wrong. It is boomers who have bequeathed to the young the main causes of their problems: lefty shit education, shit news media, shit Big Tech censorship, shit demographics, shit politics, timid ideas and ideological indoctrination rather than robust training in how and why to think. All around us, the world of both young and old is a shrunken, angry, stupid version of itself because wherever we turn thought is banned, circumscribed, punished. Even on this small blog I have to be careful about what I say or some asshole, young or old, will cancel me. It’s not young people who conducted and allowed a fraudulent election to pass or who corrupted the FBI and DOJ or who ruined MSM, our schools, our nation. That fault lies much more with boomers, I am sorry to say.

Happy Easter to All

mind only, logos, God, moral imperative, logical imperative, God’s will, karma, shila, prajna, Tathagata, conscience (not mine but logos itself), logic, reason, truth, reality, sacred, enlightened, ultimate reality, dhyana, samadhi, satori, science, mathematics

what these words have in common is they all mean the same thing

is there moral imperative? yes, see above

Happy Easter to All

Don’t be intimidated by the left; learn to answer back

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A deep basis of thought is imagined or rehearsed speech. If we cannot imagine a good response to a verbal attack, we will tend to be intimidated by it and shrink from of it even as we sense it is false. We might even concede to demands based on intimidation alone because with no answer, we are unable to think clearly about what is happening. We surrender without a fight.

A strong example of this might be a leftist accuses you of racism and on that basis demands a concession from you. How do you respond? If you deny you are racist, a person like that will claim your denial is proof of racism.

Since racial identity is completely normal, even appearing in babies who cleave toward people who look like their parents, every human being has some level of racial awareness. You can drill that out of people, or turn it around, but the root instinct is always going to be there. Even the left admits this.

Continue reading “Don’t be intimidated by the left; learn to answer back”

High-status selves

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A good thing about our times is we are able to observe many high status people in much more detail than ever before, especially in video interviews. Bill & Melinda Gates, Elon Musk, Prince Harry, Deborah Birx, politicians, academics, artists, and so on.

What I notice is virtually none of them are all that special. Gates has money, Harry has pedigree, academics have credentials, artists some sort of fame or briefly noted skill. In their narrow areas of expertise, each one usually has a few minutes of something interesting to say. Beyond that, listening to Bill Gates is less interesting than listening to one of my neighbors.

Musk runs around with actresses, as does Harry. That seems hollow and lonely, a grown man chasing a common image of desire. Birx is a self-promoting drone while Melinda is a self-satisfied one.

To their credit, by not hiding in their basements, they are revealing the emptiness of the human ego.

Another place you can see, or rather hear, that emptiness is on NPR where everybody talks like they are reading a children’s book to children. I admit being cynical about the news and public life. Rather than speak the truth most of it is a lie or a mask.

It’s basic Buddhism that our ego-selves are made of greed, anger, ignorance, pride, and doubt. So it’s good to see the above, how people really are.

The role of the “truth teller” in a narcissistic family

I was unfamiliar with the idea of the scapegoat also being a “truth teller” in a narcissistic family. The truth teller might also be called a witness; it’s the child that knows something is not right and thus threatens the vulnerable narcissist. Many if not most traditional cultures have very large narcissistic components. Their moral strictures, religions, duties, values, manners, etc. almost all contain elements of narcissism. So there is an important historical dimension to this diagnosis.

Aspects of Buddhism as it is traditionally practiced even today can also be seen as being narcissistic or fostering narcissism. Same for all the Abrahamic religions, Confucianism, Aztec beliefs and so on across the globe. Just as consciousness is fundamental to our human reality so are the many ways of interpreting it, almost all of which historically have tended toward narcissistic systems.

Truth tellers typically are most likely to escape the web of the narcissistic family even though their role in it was to be the most despised, the scapegoat. Sometimes I see the Buddha as a truth teller who freed himself from his father’s make-believe world despite the power and luxury it offered. He was more a golden child I suppose than a scapegoat. In this vein, Jesus can be seen as an outcast black sheep who was tortured and grossly humiliated. Both embody the hardship of earning freedom from delusion.

Children at the border are being trafficked for money and US govt is aiding and encouraging

…’I consider it human trafficking,’ he said. ‘It’s not the burden of taking kids in because we have the heart for it, but these are kids that were taken from the border for a money scheme and now they’re going to use us resource parents to take care of them.’

‘The cartels have realized that under Biden there is serious money to be made from people trafficking without any of the distribution issues you face with narcotics,’ a source said. ‘People are the new dope.’

link to original

I so wish our country practiced what Buddhists call “wise compassion.” Who among us is so dim they cannot understand how Biden policies are causing far more harm than good.

USA cannot defend Taiwan, war-games show

This is a fairly detailed article well-worth reading in full, Below is a small excerpt. ABN

…the PLA had clearly studied U.S. military operations over the course of two wars against Iraq. Both operations relied on a methodical, months-long buildup of forces to uncontested bases in the region, followed by U.S. aircraft dominating the skies and then carrying out devastating attacks on the enemy’s command-and-control systems.

China’s answer was a well-funded strategy that the Pentagon refers to as “anti-access, area denial” (A2/AD), meaning it would prevent an adversary like the U.S. from being able to carry out the sort of significant military buildup it carried during the two Iraq wars. The PLA’s military plans rely on space-based and airborne surveillance and reconnaissance platforms; massive precision-guided missile arsenals; submarines; militarized man-made islands in the South China Sea; and a host of conventional air and naval forces to hold U.S. and allied bases, ports and warships in the region at risk. Because it lies only 90 miles from Taiwan, China needs only to hold U.S. forces at bay for a matter of weeks to achieve its strategic objective of capturing Taiwan.

“Whenever we war-gamed a Taiwan scenario over the years, our Blue Team routinely got its ass handed to it, because in that scenario time is a precious commodity and it plays to China’s strength in terms of proximity and capabilities,” said David Ochmanek, a senior RAND Corporation analyst and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development. “That kind of lopsided defeat is a visceral experience for U.S. officers on the Blue Team, and as such the war games have been a great consciousness-raising device. But the U.S. military is still not keeping pace with Chinese advances. For that reason, I don’t think we’re much better off than a decade ago when we started taking this challenge more seriously.”

‘We’re going to lose fast’: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack

Obvious point but good to hear coming from a federal judge

We have the exact same problem in academia all the way from K-PhD. This shows with immense clarity that the left is a vicious cult incapable of tolerating diverse ideas. In game-theory terms, they have reached a Nash-equilibrium with all other forms of thought and see no profit in changing their ways. I guess that means, the rest of us who love real thought and debate have to push back against the left strongly enough that they realize their position is making all of us lose, including them.

UPDATE: This is a good sign: US Soldiers Openly Questioning Why BLM Riots Weren’t Treated Like Capitol ‘Insurrection’. This is not: Who’s Miseducating America’s Elites?