Map / Territory Scrapbook

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Thinking Tools / Semiotics /

My Mental Modeling module and its attendant scrapbook file have become overburdened over the past couple of decades. I’ll be moving Thinking Tools materials here from my pkTools blog: meantime I jot related notes here, may merge, resort, re-edit later.

Semantic theology will never sell among humans.

2013 10 09’s-still-legally-dead-201043615.html
Judge tells living man that he’s still legally dead
Semantics is the perpetual readjusting of maps to territory. Guy disappears, court declares him dead; guy reappears, and the court insists on yesterday’s, now clearly false, map!

We can’t help being wrong; what’s really wrong is to stay wrong.

2011 08 08 Simile declares that something is like something; metaphor uses something2 as something1. Algebra instructs us to say that if A = B, then you can calculate quantities using either. But at some point shouldn’t we remember our magic and by strict semantics remember that even if A equals B, B is Not A!
Semantic theology will never sell among humans.
Catholic politics depend on confusions between truth, god, pope: The truth is right, therefore God is right, therefore the pope we substitute stands for god, is the equivalent of god, therefore is god, therefore we can forget god by substituting the pope, all jesuits.
Or as the Nazis say, the state is the truth, is god, therefore …

The Jews had elaborate rituals to declare that God gave Canaan to them the Jews. But by the time your garden variety kleptocrats were saying that God gave the Americas to the white thieves, and that fed-funded universities and client media could keep science’s records for science, it gets a little thin.

Meantime I know all these confusions first hand: the university wouldn’t listen to me whether I spoke for God, for god, for truth, for Truth, for intelligence, for consciousness, for science … The Nazis just reset the klepbot defaults to We are innocent, We are saved, There are no valid fingerprints of our hands around Christ’s throat, The blood we suck he wanted to give us.

Perfect parasite mentality: Jesus and Korzybski helpless to help.

2011 06 21 I repeat “territory,” the actual universe, is logically distinct from “map,” a mental model of territory. Korzybski tried to teach us that sanity requires distinguishing the types, human habits blur them. Bateson reported that psychologists had found that humans weren’t wired to make the distinction, evolution thus far has doomed us to fall short. Even those rare few of us who work at exercising the distinction can’t do it consistently well.

What I want to add to my notes on the subject today centers of the concept of resolution. Columbus might draw a map of the earth in a sand tray such that his idea of the earth fits in the trays 3 x 4 frame. The queens advisers understand that Columbus isn’t saying that the earth is less than 3 x 4; he’s saying that shapes, ratios, relationships correspond. To go into further detail Columbus not ony needs a bigger sand tray, he needs information from the parts of the earth itself that no European know to them had yet visited. An astronaut today may need a drawing surface bigger than 3 x 4 just to map a reception area in Houston: the wet bar is here, the hors d’oeuvres table is here, President Obama will be seated here …

Stephen Wright has made some wonderful jokes on these problems: “One mile equals one mile” (defeating the whole idea of “map”) … “I live at E4” (making a quintessential map / territory confusion)…

Online a couple of decades ago I looked up a satellite photo of my neighborhood. By golly, I could see my house, my shed, my tree, my car port … Had I been standing there, had I been holding hands with my Catherine at the time the photograph was taken, had I been getting mugged, had I been committing a murder, I (nor Catherine nor the mugger nor my victim) would have appeared in the photo. The photo showed things bigger than so many square feet; it showed nothing smaller than so many square feet. You have to consider the “map”‘s “resolution”!

God might look at man and “see” no crime so small as seems so big to us. You have to know the resolution at which we’ll be scrutinized. Deicide? Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Memory as Map
Last evening, just after I posted the above and closed my internet connection, I had a memory flash of my grandmother’s funeral. My father’s mother: a very grainy memory. I was a toddler. There are experts who will tell you not to believe me, No one has such early memories, they’ll assure you. They’ll explain that I’m confusing stories I’ve heard with memory. “Churches, circles of faith, no incompatible evidence welcome, interrupt and discredit testimony before it can be given. That’s all of our problem, but it’s not mine at the moment. I had a flash of memory, an image or two: tiny me, all these strangers, the huge coffin, my grandfather’s house, my grandmother’s, the house I would learn my father grew up in, turned into a funeral parlor, my grandmother, still, in the dark coffin, everything between her corpse and that dark wood a brilliant combo of white satin and white lace.

It’s a map, a fragment of a map: my toddler’s image of my grandmother in her coffin. Small, black and white, low res …

Thereafter I had related
2015 11 08 Whoops, whatever had followed has gone missing.

Harold & Maude
A delicious example of map / territory confusion just hit me: in the movie Harold’s mother opens, reads, and answers his mail. One letter is from a college she’s applied to in his name. Harold sits helpless as mom reads the questions addressed to him, answers them, never for a momeht referring to him: never checking the map against the terriroty. Delicious: never seen the familiar point so comically noted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same mindset that caused them.

Semiotics Menu

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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