Is language a virus?

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Is language a virus?

Post by pinback » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:32 pm

I dunno, Aardvark posed the question in the IRC channel and then left.

Seemed like a good topic.
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Post by AArdvark » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:15 pm

There's things...I have things that needed doing. I discovered hexchat on my linux machine and logged into the IRC world for a moment. Then I went and did things. Computers don't save us time, they take away from the time we have.

Anyway, I did ask that question.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:56 pm

We enjoy conversing with you there.
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Post by RealNC » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:21 pm

So I went and looked up the definition for "virus" to see if there's some creative way to fit language into that.

I'm stuck. Can someone find a way to make language consist of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat?

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Post by pinback » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:26 pm

Correction: Seemed like a good topic until RealNC brought his inimitable brand of downer pedantry to the party.

NEXT TOPIC.
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Post by Billy Mays » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:28 pm

I was going to shit all over this topic, and then much to my chagrin, it turns out language can in fact be a virus as defined by definition 2 of Merriam-Webster:


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virus

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Post by AArdvark » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:40 pm

I read something about it in Snow Crash years ago.

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Post by pinback » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:53 pm

Language is that which allows thought to separate the inseparable, to pull the finite from the infinite. It IS the apparent separation of the finite from the infinite. You call this an "apple", implying that it is separate from that which is "not-apple", an ultimately illusory distinction. And you do the same with "me" and "you".

It is a helpful practical tool, but currently the most destructive force in the universe. To confirm, listen to the voices in the news, or the voices in your own mind, virtually all of which are composed of language.

Used skillfully, it is that which can point towards the infinite source, and peace, of all things.

Used otherwise, it is that from which springs suffering, war, insanity, and this bulletin board system.
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Post by AArdvark » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:23 pm

Actually I was going for the phenomenon where you have someone...let's say Shakespeare, who wrote the line from Hamlet:

"Would's thou take thy toast? Fie varlet!" (or something like that)

Everyone that saw the play repeated the words to everyone else and the words spread until they were in the common lexicon. Eventually Noah Webster wrote that shit down in his big ol' book and now it's commonplace. So language spreads like a virus because everyone that uses the words spreads them to other people.

Anyway, there weren't any infinite voices in my head or anything like that.

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Post by Flack » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:40 pm

I'll buy that. I've been using the phrase "something's rotten in Denmark" my whole life and only recently read Hamlet. Words and ideas spread and mutate.
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Post by Tdarcos » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:54 pm

It's been said that memes have some of the characteristics of a virus.

Look at how religion has spread despite there being not so much as a scintilla of evidence of the existence of any god or gods. And for the amount of damage religion has done to humanity, it might as well be the equivalent of a fast-moving fatal disease.
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Post by AArdvark » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:13 pm

I guess along those lines other things, such as the macarena and emojiis, could be considered a virus. Or at least have virus-like attributes. It's interesting that biological virii are proteins made up of molecules, which are not themselves alive...and yet they behave as if they are. Does that mean words are not alive but in some weird unknown matrix we are not privy to...they are alive?


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Post by pinback » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:40 pm

Look at how religion has spread despite there being not so much as a scintilla of evidence of the existence of any god or gods. And for the amount of damage religion has done to humanity, it might as well be the equivalent of a fast-moving fatal disease.
Same with the self.
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Post by Tdarcos » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:37 am

AArdvark wrote:It's interesting that biological virii are proteins made up of molecules, which are not themselves alive...and yet they behave as if they are.
In one of Dr. Michael Chrichton's first books, The Andromeda Strain (1969), there is a part where some students in medical school are asked to provide unusual examples of living things. For the purpose of the assignment because of the problems involved, viruses were declared to be nonliving.

So the problem of classifying viruses has a long history.
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Post by pinback » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:56 am

That's two Andromeda Strain references in a single week, Dr.

Let's reel it in a bit.
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Post by Flack » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:38 pm

Tdarcos wrote:In one of Dr. Michael Chrichton's first books, The Andromeda Strain (1969), there is a part where some students in medical school are asked to provide unusual examples of living things.
To nit pick, it's "Crichton."
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Post by Tdarcos » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:11 pm

Flack wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:In one of Dr. Michael Chrichton's first books, The Andromeda Strain (1969), there is a part where some students in medical school are asked to provide unusual examples of living things.
To nit pick, it's "Crichton."
You're absolutely right. I have complained many times - and even offered to write it - for a "5 minute correction" feature. (Allows editing up to 5 minutes after posting.) Many times I have written items and checked and rechecked them, and still caught a mistake after posting.

Again I appreciate your help in allowing me to be aware of my mistakes. Fuck you very much.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:12 am

Tdarcos wrote:Again I appreciate your help in allowing me to be aware of my mistakes. Fuck you very much.
Another reason why I am disabling your account for a week.
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Post by Flack » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:06 am

Tdarcos wrote:You're absolutely right. I have complained many times - and even offered to write it - for a "5 minute correction" feature. (Allows editing up to 5 minutes after posting.) Many times I have written items and checked and rechecked them, and still caught a mistake after posting.

Again I appreciate your help in allowing me to be aware of my mistakes. Fuck you very much.
The misnomer that the quality of Paul's posts would significantly improve by giving him five additional minutes to edit them shall be known from this day forward as "Chrichton's Theory."
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Post by The Happiness Engine » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:06 pm

Tdarcos wrote:You're absolutely right. I have complained many times - and even offered to write it - for a "5 minute correction" feature. (Allows editing up to 5 minutes after posting.) Many times I have written items and checked and rechecked them, and still caught a mistake after posting.
You stupid assholes. If you care about your words take a fucking minute to ACTUALLY READ what you wrote instead of just glancing over it. I go through 3 or 4 revisions for every stupid thought I shit out here. It's not hard, even if you only have one eye slowly getting obscured by hair and fat.

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