Friday, March 30, 2007

Vomiting Rocks

The best thing about getting drunk is that vomiting becomes the most enjoyable experience imaginable!! I can't really say how good it feels to be laying right over the toilet, letting all the shit out!!

Its funny, how last night I was feeling down, and tonight things feel cool, that even vomit tastes great!! Nothing beats getting over the "3rg" (my favorite alcoholic drink) while parking at a hill, the sun rising, and the "3ood" (a traditional Arabic music instrument) in the background. Once the sun rose, "Fairouz" -the ONLY good quality Arab music- started on the radio.

Guess with this post I have to end my day, and get to a good night sleep!! Hope this entry will still make sense after getting sober! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fucked From The Inside

The hardest moment is when you realize that you have failed BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS!! Failing when the Judge is YOU!!

I failed a long time ago...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Open Your Mind

"A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push." (source)

Ludwig Wittgenstein

When you are stuck at a problem, approach it from other angles..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Language Acquisition - Part 6: Linguistic Determinism Hypothesis

At several points so far, I discussed how our environment and physiology influences our language. I also supported this view by three hypotheses, the first one is the deep structure hypothesis, the second is the critical period hypothesis, and the third is Wittgenstein's view that humans cannot understand animals because they live in different environments and have different needs.

But the interaction between us as humans and language is a two way lane. Thats to say, the human nature affects language (as explained previously). Not only that, language affects our abilities and understanding of our surrounding, it might even cripple the human understanding.

This view is usually called "Linguistic Determinism", which simply means that human thoughts is determined by (or limited by) their language.

In a study of a Brazilian tribe whose language only defines the numbers one and two, it has been shown that those people had difficulties recognizing groups of four items or more. For that tribe, numbers are one, two, and "many"!! In an experiment, the members of that tribe were shown a random number of items (with a maximum of ten items), and were asked to make another pile that contains the same number of items. For piles made up of one, two, or three items, the members were able to make such a pile. Most of them failed to create piles of four or more items!!

The above study shows that because the tribe members couldn't verbally specify the number of items in each pile, they consequently failed to represent that number in piles.

Also, think about why certain linguistics professionals insist that in order to eliminate sexism in our communities, we should use non-sexist language. For example, "chairperson" replaces "chairman", "mailperson" replaces "mailman", and say "businessperson" replaces "businessman". This replacement might seem useless "political correctness", but experts believe that changing the use of such words can dramatically catalyze fighting sexism.

Humans since the beginning were aware of the differences between males and females, and they consequently reflected that in their language. Humans ever since starting of thinking of everything as male or female, black or white, ...etc. Thats an example of how our world affected our language, and consequently our language affected our thoughts. It is hypothesized that changing language can act in the reverse manner of reshaping our thoughts.

In extreme cases, some believe that what we define as "logic" is merely a consequence of the grammar we use in languages, and that language eliminates all forms of objectivity. If Linguistic Determinism was true, one has to think of how our personality, perceptions, and views are limited by the language we acquired as infants. Wittgenstein recognizes this limitation when he says:
"The limits of my language are the limits of my world. All I know is what I have words for." (source)

In this series:
Language Acquisition - Part 1: General Discussion
Language Acquisition - Part 2: The Influence Of Physiological Formation
Language Acquisition - Part 3: Deep Structure Hypothesis
Language Acquisition - Part 4: Ambiguities
Language Acquisition - Part 5: The Problem Of Representation
Language Acquisition - Part 6: Linguistic Determinism Hypothesis
Language Acquisition - Part 7: Possible Applications For The Investigation

Friday, March 23, 2007

Political Systems Oversimplified

Ten friends are sitting in a coffee-shop. Eight of them want to order black coffee, and two of them want to order coffee with milk.
  • If the two decide for the whole group that they have to drink coffee with milk, and order ten coffees with milk, we call that dictatorship.
  • If the eight decide for the whole group that they have to drink black coffee, and order ten black coffees, we call that democracy.
  • If they decide to have two separate orders, two coffees with milk, and eight black coffees, we call that liberalism.

Why follow a system where one size fits all (as in majoritarian democracy and dictatorship), when we can give each exactly what they need?!

PS: This blog is not affiliated with any political parties

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dreams And Hallucinations

Hallucinations are defined as perceptual sensing of non-existing objects, or shortly delusions of perception. So when someone hears, sees, or smells things that have no basis for existence, we call those people as delusional.

Imagine a place where "normal people" don't have dreams. And one day, a guy wakes up and tells his fellows about his visions while sleeping... It's a no-brainier: He is delusional... And we cannot change the fact that dreaming is an act of delusion.

So back to our earth where people dream at night. One has to ask: Why is the delusion of dreaming not getting intensive treatment by psychologists?! Guess we have generally accepted dreams as healthy delusions. What I am trying to say, is that medicine isn't treating cases of hallucinations because hallucinations are bad or anything, just because people have labeled certain people as lunatics, while overlooking the obvious hallucinations that people get almost every night.

There is another case of delusions that I experience on daily basis. Thinking. Yes, thinking is a delusion. When I think of some formula I see it forming in my imagination... I actually see a formula and manipulate that formula in my head... If thats not delusion, I dunno what is!!

So one has to ask the question: Based on what do we label people as lunatics?! Another question that comes to the surface is: Is medicine an objective science or is it simply based to enforce the normative view of a society?! - This latter question begs itself strongly. For example, in psychology we label pedophiles as mentally sick... Why mentally sick?! Is there a biological reason to consider them mentally sick?! Or is it simply because people don't like pedophiles so we label them as mentally sick?!

Medicine can make things work both ways... We can make a hallucinating person stop being delusional using some drugs. On the other hand, we can make a non-delusional person become hallucinating by prescribing other types of drugs... So we have drugs for both cases, so based on what we choose one but not the other?! Also a psychologist might be able to turn a non-pedophile into a pedophile, and might be able to turn a pedophile into a non-pedophile... Which one do we choose?! Based on what?!

Medicine has considered homosexuality as a mental illness, but now this is no longer the case... Based on what?! The normative view?!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Lady Sovereign in "Love Me or Hate Me":
If you love me then thank you!
If you hate me then fuck you! (Full lyrics)

We don't need no faces, it doesn't need to be complicated...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A God That Exists

Isn't it funny how many religious people mock Hindus for believing that COWS are sacred?! They brag about having a God that is more powerful and more thoughtful and stuff... I can't help myself but laugh!! Even if those Hindus think COWS are GOD, at least we know that their God does exist!!

PS: Hindus don't actually worship cows - This is a common misconception

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Assembly Line In The Acedemic Field

Can you imagine how life would be without Philosophers, Mathematicians, Scientists, and Engineers?! It would be so dull! But which one of them is most important to society?! My answer is: All of them are equally important. The four of them integrate together to make inventions.

I want to make this analogy. In any computer system, someone has to build the computer, another develops a compiler, and a third writes code. Could one of them be useful without the other?! NO! If someone writes a C++ code, but there are no C++ compilers, whats the use?! If someone has designed a compiler, but we have no computer to run the code on, whats the use?!

This analogy gives rise to what is conventionally called "Black Box" models and "White Box" models. Where one person uses basic components to create a more complex system that can later be used without actually understanding how the component system was created in the first place.

Philosophers create the machine which drives the mathematics - They founded the basis on which mathematics can be coherently defined. Mathematicians create ready to use formulae for scientists and engineers to use. Its all "Black Boxes" handed from one to another.

But the "White Box" view gives the person more understanding of the system being used. It enables them to use that system more effectively, and even more flexibility to create more complex systems.

For that, it is not enough to have Philosophers. Not enough to have Mathematicians. Not enough to have Scientists. And even not enough to have Engineers. For a good system we need all the four combined together!