Lover of Meaning
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“I love Meaning.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m fascinated by language.
Language is the tool of tools, the most powerful technology we possess. It makes collective learning and all other technologies possible.
Language is our interface with reality, which profoundly shapes perception. It’s also a social-interface, which creates a shared-reality.
Language encodes reality. Our model of reality – what I call subjective reality – is to a large extent linguistic.
Language shapes reality, it profoundly influences behavior. In a profound sense, human history was shaped by ideas.
In a sense, language is like water to the fish. And just like water to the fish, for most of my life, it was invisible. I was blind to its magic and beauty. It took me a while to discover it, and when I finally did, it became the central focus of my life.
When we think of language, we normally think of words and symbols. The implicit metaphoric-model is words as containers for meaning. I found that model limiting, so I’ve come to use a different model: words as labels, which point to something beyond themselves. I call that something the Universe of Meaning. Words differ from language to language, but they reference the same universe of meaning, which, on a fundamental level, is modeled after our shared collective experience.
My interest in language is purely practical. I use language as a tool for exploring and shaping the universe of meaning, with the ultimate end of bettering myself and understanding reality, and for the pure joy of creating.”
“What are your most important tools in this process?”
“Questions and models, principles, and metaphors.