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nmuntz's picture


So, as everyone hopefully remembers, on Tuesday the classes met!  It was lovely to hear new voices and opinions as we discussed the secrets of the unconscious.  We began after some short discussion and introductions, with Professor Grobstein showing us (in a split second) an image of what appeared to be a skull.  However, on closer inspection, the skull turned out to be a woman at a vanity!  We played with more brain teasers/optical illusions and came to the somewhat frightening realization that our mind makes up some of the things we see.  As Professor Grobstein said, "You never know what you see is real....we can bring into existence things we've never seen before."  This lead to the obvious discussion on: is this a scary thing, or not a scary thing?  Professor Grobstein ended Tuesday's class by revising a student's post on the forum to:

"The ground we stand in itself revisable, if we want/choose to allow it to be so."

 Thursday's class was mostly run by our beloved Ashton, as Paul was showing the other class the brain he brought with him in a lunchbox!  Our main focus in this discussion was on language and communication.  This seemed to generate mainly a lot of questions, such as:

Is language only for humans, though animals can communicate?

How about literacy rates?  Why can we speak easily, but not write easily? 

Are reading and writing two different languages?

Sheena brought up a very interesting point:

You can't tell if someone doesn't know how to read/write just by talking to them.  What is more valuable: reading or communicating verbally and therefore being able to understand context?

Then we discussed text messaging and internet "languages" such as ttyl, g2g, rofl, etc.

Grobstein then said, "Language is a set of rules that lie in the unconscious.  Then you have to teach the rules consciously when reading and writing."

The class discussion ended with Paul saying, "Everything wants to share information.  language allows us to report our own internal state, and it also allows us a way of getting information about the internal state of other people."

Here is a link to a movie of communication between other animals.  Do you think that this is a form of language?


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