Language vs Concepts

Been thinking a lot about ideas (would that make these meta-ideas?). :) Ideas are a mental construct which exists solely in the mind (probably, if you froze time, as a specific orientation of electrical impulses and chemical distribution). These constructs (models) must be stored in some serialized form (it seems unlikely that it's electrical impulses at that point, but it seems only slightly less likely that the brain is orienting chemicals in such a way that when read they reproduce the model) which will remain currently undefined. In order to think about a previously constructed idea the model must be retrieved from storage and brought into the working (conscious) area. (most of these words are approximations of the ideas i'm trying to convey). If an idea is to be shared we must chose and apply a translator (which has been constructed through the process of learning a language) which translates the idea into a series of datum which are then passed to our output channel of choice - typing, speaking, sign-language, tap-dancing, whatever. When a idea contains elements for which the translator doesn't have a mapping we chose (and this choice becomes part of the translator with repetition and reinforcement (via feedback)) an approximation (which must be measurable) for the idea. The measure of this approximation is what is "lost in translation". Some languages have single words for macro-level concepts (a nap taken in the afternoon = "siesta", but in English a "nap" can be at any time so we have to qualify it if we're talking about a particular type of nap whereas other languages have already created mappings for those more macro-level concepts; most of which evolve based on cultural norms and patterns). Question - can a culture contain multiple spoken languages? For instance in Chinese culture there are many languages but in that case have we not over-generalized the word "culture"? How could many languages evolve if there were not many cultures? And what's the finest granularity of a culture? A single household would seem to always have a common language, moral sense, and belief, tho those tend to break down on generational boundaries (when the younger generation must question the morals and beliefs taken as unassailable by the older generation; and i suppose this is with language as well since slang evolves, for the most part, in younger generations who find their concepts of the world don't have one-to-one mappings with the current language they were raised with and thus create new words for these concepts, but is this a new language or just an expanded vocabulary? which i guess raises the question of what is a language? alphabet; grammatical structure; sequencing and translation rules for words to add concepts of tense, gender, cardinality (singular vs plural), and so forth; vocabulary? is a language which is a near super-set of another language the same language? but i digress... so the idea is mapped through a translator to a series of impulses which are then sent through an output stream to some external device. the receiver (if any) of this series of impulses (if we assume the output device properly translated the impulses - we didn't mispronounce or misspell a word so badly that the receiver can't recover the original impulse) is then translated into impulses in the receiver which goes through their own language-specific translator (which was developed entirely within the context of their own experiences with that language) into a stream of ideas in their conscious working space. and what are the odds that the collection of ideas in the receiver are identical to the collection of ideas in the transmitter? if you're talking about two humans which were not raised in nearly-identical cultures at nearly-identical times and the ideas are not wholly mapped into the cultural model for ideas i would say the chances are quite slim that they are identical. that is not to say they are not very similar (as they must be in most cases since, for the most part, humans are able to successfully communicate about a great many things). but when a concept is novel is must be related in terms of existing accepted concepts between transmitter and receiver and via discussion and conversation the two exchange the concept repeatedly, providing the feedback needed to train the translator (tho we seem to generate different translators for different receivers - explaining programming to a computer-using adult is (typically) easier than explaining it to a child, for whom you must choose different mappings for the same concept even tho you're talking to each in the same spoken language. when the receiver is a computer the translation must be exact because the computer is not allowed to have a translator which allows for generalization (if i tell the computer that "x = x + 3" it is not allowed to generalize that into any other result but that the value of x afterwards is 3 greater than the value before. and it is because of this constant need for exact communication with computers that programmers are, typically, rather exacting in their communication in general. the same is more or less true (tho perhaps for different reasons) for other types of engineers - being precise in communication is vital for bridges to not fall down, electrical circuits to not burst into flames, and x-ray machines to not cook the patient they are imaging. unfortunately it tends to drive the rest of the population to frustration since they tend to (seem to) prefer the more vague and abstract way of communicating full of opinions and feelings and other such unquantifiable variables. and what is the point of all this rambling? i have no idea; but i'm not about to waste the time i spent writing it without wasting the times of others who happen to chose to read it. :)

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