Friday, September 26, 2008

Time-Binding - So What? Part I

A reader of this weblog (I'll call him J) wrote
I'm not very interested in time-binding...Time binding seems like a description transformed into prescription (?); e.g. "Dog's often bark, therefore, dogs should bark 'better'. Where's the logic in this? [i.e. Why is this transformation relevant, and what authorizes this particular description over all the other potential descriptions of 'what dominantly characterizes humans'
He also said that he was interested in "applications to 'our' everyday life." He seemed to have some difficulty seeing how time-binding and perhaps other formulations/principles of general semantics could be used "for assessing our personal goals, dreams, and/or purposes in life."

Since I like to make my blogposts shorter rather than longer, I'm going to take more than one blogpost to unpack this. Here goes.

Let me start with a rough and ready set of statements about time-binding from the glossary of Drive Yourself Sane.
Time-Binding: the characteristic human ability, using language and other symbols, to transmit information across time; the potential for individuals to learn from their own and other people's experiences; the potential for each generation to start where the last generation left off, the potential to become aware of this ability; this allows for the formation of cultures and the ability to study cultures, etc.
Starting from this, I'll try to address J's puzzlement.

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