Comment on Stuck in the Neolithic

folkert Tue, Dec 2, 2008
"We talk far too much. We should talk less and draw more. I personally should like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic Nature, communicate everything I have to say in sketches. That fig tree, this little snake, the cocoon on my window sill quietly awaiting its future – all these are momentous signatures.

A person able to decipher their meaning properly would soon be able to dispense with the written or the spoken word altogether. The more I think of it, there is something futile, mediocre, even (I am tempted to say) foppish about speech. By contrast, how the gravity of Nature and he silence startle you, when you stand face to face with her, undistracted, before a barren ridge or in the desolation of ancient hills."


Speech — cultivated and evolved over time as a tool for hunting, collaboration, survival — is such a bottle neck for "modern" thinking and communication... I think that we experience high level, complex ideas much more visually at first, language is a cumbersome output/transfer mechanism we employ to (wirelessly) transmit ideas to each other (bit of an oversimplification).

It feels like a "non representative way of engagement" is sometimes the only way of encountering, engaging and interacting with (yet unencountered) reality — before the point language is used to describe or understand. Coming up with richer forms of idea-exchange seems very important. Thought is like water, it takes the shape of its container. Representations are containers, symbols — it's essential to be able to perceive reality before incoming information is filed away using this mechanism precisely because mind forms, or deforms, reality.

One example is from mathematics, which, recently with the help of computers, is moving towards a much more visual understanding. Trying to understand what a six or seven-dimensional process might look like is impossible for most people, but if someone shows you an animation of a six or seven-dimensional process things become a lot clearer a lot faster without a word being said. Flows of energy, understanding complex economies, fractal hierarchies of nature — everything is getting a lot more complicated and will require much more sophisticated tools.