Tag Archives: surface structure

Non-Hammer Hammers

26 Jan

The most obvious non-hammer hammers are air hammers and electric hammers. They look nothing like hammers but they perform the function and are readily accepted as such.

So what is the point of that?

A nail gun is a hammer.

As we go down to lower level structures we can trace two paths for a hammer concept.

One is a direction we are not going to pursue.  Very far, anyway. But, lets take a whiff of it. How far it can go. And perhaps why. Or  perhaps we should explore why first.

Oh, pardon me.

This is a blog proclaiming philosophy and I’m not being logical. There is no logical progression to this section of the blog at all.

That is because I am engaging in a Metalog. A MetaBlog.  I first came across the term metalog in Gregory Bateson’s “Steps to an Ecology of Mind”. If you are not familiar with Gregory Bateson, I cannot recommend him too highly.

Discussing the parts in a way that allows them to all come together in an understandable way. This is because we are dealing with the imagination, which resides in the deeper structures of the mind rather than logic which resides totally on the surface.

This is why logic is so complex and requires so much “intelligence” to be able to follow it. Because it is so divorced from reality. It is Extreme Surface Structure™ and Extreme Low Context Structure™. Once it has reached the maximum Extreme Low Context Surface Structure™ it becomes almost totally divorced from reality.

In order to keep it grounded its practitioners most negotiate a bizarre maze of rules, mostly called “fallacies” that appear to the uninitiated as unending and unimaginably complex.

Imagination is both simpler and requires less “intelligence” because it is reality itself. In fact it only requires the amount of intelligence required to negotiate the context it is faced with.

Which means an intelligence only requires the imagination that is required for the survival of the life form it inhabits.

Thus an army of ants only needs the amount of imagination required to use leaves to cross the water which prevents their progress.  Extreme Low Context Surface Thinkers™ ask, “How can an ant be so intelligent as this?”

A question that is nearly impossible to answer.

A Full Context Deep Structure Thinker™ asks, “How could an ant imagine this?”

In other words the question becomes, “What sensory experience can an ant bring to this problem of crossing water?” When asked in this way it becomes obvious. Ants walk on leaves. They have had that experience. Leaves float on water. Not sure how an ant would / could perceive that. One guess would be an accidental event some ants have survived.

Extreme Low Context Surface Structure Thinkers™ operate on the assumption the mind is designed for the purpose of discovering and determining Truth.

A Full Context Deep Structure Thinker™ assumes that all experience is processed by the mind for the single purpose of survival. A sort of Darwinistic approach to thinking.

Extreme Low Context Surface Structure Thinkers™  lump all sensory experience besides intellect as useless and totally discount all emotions as erroneous. They quickly and easily point out all the errors one can fall into when people rely on their emotional reactions.

And this is true.

What they don’t acknowledge is that “Logical Reasoning” and “Logical Reasoning” alone causes just as many errors, if not more, than emotional reactions.

The first being that there is such a thing as “pure reason”.

The second being that “truth” is attainable through a judicious manipulation of words.

The third is that Emotions and Sensory Experience should be discounted.

What the hell does this have to do with hammers?

Because where I am going to go with the concept of hammers has no Logical equivalent. There may be someone somewhere so skilled at Logical Manipulation to arrive at it, but I cannot conceive how they would, or even why they would.

It is not what logic is designed to do.

Logic takes itself seriously.

Logic is never playful.

The closest I have ever seen to logic being playful is the nine legged cat. And its purpose was to prove that you have to follow logical principles or you would make ridiculous mistakes.

A cat has four more legs than no cat.

No cat has five legs.

Therefore a cat has nine legs.

Extreme High Context Deep Structure Thinkers™ see reasoning as a survival tool that works best when treated as a mental playground.

The next blog will take the simple household hammer to this mental playground.

© 2014, all rights reserved.

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Yet More Hammers

18 Jan

 

 

We discussed claw hammers, roofing hammers, and ball pein hammers.

 

Each of these at some point is used to pound a nail at some point. But not all hammers are. Club hammers and sledge hammers are specifically for smashing things to bits. Rocks, bricks, etc. Although club hammers are very useful for tapping on chisels so as to carve out wood or stone.

 

A joiner’s mallet is considered a hammer although it is normally made of wood and is used tap wooden joints together without damaging the wood of the joints.

 

Then there are rubber mallets. We are all familiar with them.

 

Is a pattern emerging here?

 

At the Extreme Surface Structure™ level a hammer is a hammer. In order to have a logical discussion of a hammer you must define your particular hammer.

 

Linguistics, as other sciences, have been heavily influenced by Logical Thinking, and this, unfortunately, has done more to inhibit science than to advance it. As such Linguistic discussion fall into either Surface structure or Deep structure. Further being limited by logic Linguists discuss words, and words alone.

 

In the reality of the mind, the Extreme Surface Structure™ is a top-level where everything is distinct and separate. This, like all other features of humanity is a survival tool and not to be considered a lesser form of thought. It is just as useful as Deep Structured thought. This gives us the ability to recognize our hammer. Either it is my hammer or it is not my hammer. Either I can use it for the purpose I need it for, or I can’t.

 

While Linguistics divides structures into two, surface and deep, a more useful way of thinking of is of levels, more like a staircase leading downwards.

 

This is where we leave the world of words and enter the world of pictures and maps. Basically the connections between things. That is what a map is. It shows relationships.

 

So we go down a level.

 

At this level we recognize that all these hammers with all their different functions, made with all their different materials, are all hammers.

 

At this level  a hammer becomes not an object, but a concept.

 

Things with handles that have heads on the ends are hammers.

 

Once we have the concept the question becomes what can we do with it?

 

Lets explore that in the next blog.

 

© 2013 all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

Calling All Hammers

11 Jan

Some people may find this section a bit complex. In order to discuss the simple, lowly, hammer in a way that will effectively relate to Map Thinking™ we must take on several subjects. Prescriptive Grammar and how it conjoins with Aristotlean Logic to limit our thinking rather than to expand it. Hand in hand with this we must explore a concept in Transformational Grammar called “Deep Structure”. But we will explore the latter in a slightly different way than “normal”. We will do it Mapologically™. That is we will, almost automatically discuss “Surface Structure”, what it is and why it exists. Something I have not seen tackled in my readings of Transformation Grammar. A pugnacious oversight in my opinion. (Note: The term “deep structure” doesn’t seem to be in vogue right now and I used it in a slightly different way than it is used in transformational grammar. We’ll get into that later.)

 

 

Yeah, I know. A hammer is a hammer.

What is so complicated about that?

 

We have a thing. We call this thing a hammer. From now on that is its name: Hammer.

We have named an object. A very specific object. When people say “Hammer” they normally mean an everyday claw hammer.

 

There are other kinds. In order to fully understand mapping we must understand both these other kinds of hammers and this thing called “deep structure”.

But first:

We will discuss some of the various kinds of hammers.

 

Claw hammers, most common, used by most people. Has one flat side to hit nails with and a claw on the other side to pull out the nails we have mishammered. (Oh, and please forgive me, [the] Gods of Grammar — No such word as “mishammered” has been ordained by them to exist — Therefore it MUST NOT be used even though everyone understands its meaning immediately. My sins I do confess.)

Normal people using their naturally grown Mapping skills and Deep Structure connections they will use a normal claw hammer for a lot of “inappropriate” things. Such as perhaps to use the claw for a screwdriver, or a hoe to dig in the dirt, or the wooden handle to widen a hole in drywall, or even the edge t the top of the handle to scrape away paint.

Superior people, who have mastered the concept of “Logical Necessity” are horrified by these sacrileges against surface structure. They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that “Hammers are hammers” and “They are not designed for those tasks.”.

 

But hammers are used for some pretty odd things.

 

Roofing hammers actually look more like hatchets than claw hammers. At least on the “Claw” end.

It is possible some genius got tired of being told they were using the claw inappropriately and invented a better claw to do the job. Or it may have happened some other way.

Doesn’t matter. Point made.

 

Ball Pein hammers have an entirely different use. It is normally used to beat metal into shape. Auto body repair people rely on them extensively.

 

Logically this makes a Ball Pein hammer one thing and a Claw Hammer another, entirely different thing.

 

This is in fact surface structure. Using surface structure, in the form of Logic, we can deny there is any similarity between the two at all. A proponent of surface structure, stated as logic, will tell you, “A claw hammer is a claw hammer and a ball pein hammer is a ball pein hammer. Two entirely different things. They are used in two different ways to accomplish two different functions.”

Logical necessity forces us to agree.

A more linguistically centered approach would recognize that on a deeper level of thinking we understand that both objects are in fact the same in some way. They are both hammers, as their name implies.

 

The innate Fallacy of Logic is its assumption that extreme Surface Structural Thinking™ is The Superior way to reason.

It is in fact inferior.

The innate Fallacy of Linguistics is its assumption that Surface Structural Thinking™ is The Natural Way to Think and that Deep Structural Thinking™ is some complex function of the inner mind that must somehow be unraveled.

It is in fact simple and natural, but it is suppressed.

 

The next blog will introduce you to yet more hammers, and the opportunity to expand your map.

 

 

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