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"1996
Map versus Territory
Description versus Thing
Name versus Thing Named
Menu versus Meal

The map is not the territory.
Korzybski
The menu is not the meal.
Watts

Area of Inquiry: Semiotics / Semantics

Architects make models of their designs before building the actual structure. The mind's perusing of the triply extensional model may suggest faults evident neither in the conception nor in any subsequent two-dimensional sketch or blueprint. Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling aided his theoretical chemistry with balls and struts he could assemble into "molecules." But more basically, modeling has become the preferred metaphor for cognitive theorists for what we all do on a regular basis in our daily lives: our extensional self, the 5'8" 148 LB me, for example, that's been breathing and metabolizing for a half-dozen decades, lives on or near the surface of a similarly extensional planet, the Earth; yet our mental self lives exclusively among our mental models of that environment.

When you come home in the middle of the night and bark you shins after your family has rearranged the furniture, it's because you have a model of your living room in your mind that no longer matches the actual position of its objects. You need to turn the light on and form a new model.

Man is nowhere more foolish than when he confuses the contents of his consciousness for the truth, for reality, for what actually is. That is most true where the confusion is between the contents of his consciousness and all that actually is: most dangerous when his confusion has the support of his cultural group.

Even greater danger comes from the common situation of some men substituting the first for the second, milking the confusion. The first situation is an honest confusion; the second is loaded dice.

With the light on it's still not the repositioned coffee table that you're seeing: it's the light reflected from that object and interpreted by your utterly non-dimensional mind as "coffee table." At the moment your shin was in rude contact with the coffee table, it wasn't the table but your impact with it that you were feeling.

Our extensional bodies live in an extensional reality; our conscious selves make images in an intensional universe of space/time: one with no dimensions in space, its only dimension being some decimal fraction of time. We know nothing of reality except through the input of our senses and through the output of our minds as it processes that input.

Our minds have no "contact" with reality that isn't mental."

cont'd


http://ionaarc.blogspot.com/2009/03/mental-modeling.html
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