Re: language

Max M (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:47:39 +0100

>From: david gobel <>

>As I read the various threads, I am struck by one thing - the written word,
>english, human language is very hard pressed to convey sufficiently
>accurate and precise meanings.

The weakneses of natural language with its ambiguity and imprecision is also it's biggest strength beacuse that is what makes it possible to use the old language in new domains.

Model of mass comunication:

Sender --> Message --> coding --> transmission --> Decoding --> Receiver --> Interpretet message

Ordinary language contains both information and exformation. Informaton is the exact words we are saying with a very direct, concrete and logical meaning. Exformation can only be used when the sender are adressing a group with the same experiences as he has.
It is implied meaning that has been popularised in the Generation-X meme, where everybody is talking to each other via. movie quotes.

An example: "I'll be back" said with a thick austrian accent. This draws it's exformation fro terminator and all of the terminator mythology.

A second example:

"Transhuman drinking song" by Max M ;-)

I've been glad I've been glad
For the things that I've had
I've been glad I've been glad I've been glad

I am sad I am sad
for what I wont longer have
I am sad I am sad I am sad

But I'll be glad I'll be glad
to become more than that
I'll be glad I'll be glad I'll be glad

Here the title is a contradiction in terms as transhumanism and drinking
parties generally doesn't mix to well. I am thinking about all the focus on
health, longivity and the functionality of the brain being seriously
affected by liquor. At least I don't imagine transhumans at the local pub
singing out loud while massively drunk. Could be wrong though. Perhaps the
receiver would even have to know me to know it is not meant to be taken too

The rest of the song is about uploading, and most transhumans will recognise
this. Especially as the word Transhuman is in the title.

This song most likely could not be understood by any non-transhumanists, but
i'll bet that most people on this list will have gotten it right away even
though I was communicating thru exformation. And notice I didn't use any
metaphors in the song. All of the exformation and the meaning came from our
common knowledge about Transhumanism.

My point? I find that often when somebody disagrees with me on a subject on
this list, it is because I make my messages too short by using too much
exformation. When I then later explains my views in more detail and with
more precise information, generally we either agree or at least agree to

I once asked a poet why on the earth he wrote poems. He told me that he
liked the precission he could acheive with the language. I knew exactly what
he meant (me being a lyric writing musician myself). Unfortunately the
precision is only there for the sender of the message. The more condensed
the language the harder the decoding.

One of the important things we are doing on this list is creating a language
giving us all the exformation we need to convey our meaning in short precise

Furthermore we also need to invent more words to express the new memes
resulting from this exformation. But then... we probably will. There is
hardly a post on the list without a "" word. A so called "embryomeme".

Remember who coined that one. ;-)

Max M Rasmussen
New Media Director

"Embryomeme: Suggestion of a new meme to be used in a group with a shared
set of knowledge. Usualy made by somebody with an inflated ego trying to
coin the phrase."