Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why Babbling is So Important

Why Babbling is So Important

Technique itself springs from play,
practice of practice, persistently
experimenting with tools
testing limits &

(Sampling & reconfiguring
Stephen Nachmanovitch:
Free Play. Improvisation in
Life & Art)

At dinner I mentioned to our daughter,
who was then seven years old, that it
was hard to imagine 138, 000 people

No, it’s easy’ she said.

Lots and
lots of
dots, in
blue water. Annie Dillard

Why is babbling so important?
The infant is like a person who has
been given a complicated piece of
audio equipment bristling with un-
labeled knobs and switches, but
missing the instruction manual.

[They] resort to what hackers call
frobing—fiddling aimlessly with
the controls to see what happens

(like bear going over the mountains)

Babies begin to play with sounds,
rather than using them to express
physical and emotional states,
and their sequences of
& smacks begin to reassemble
consonants and vowels: the super
sonic ratioed-dance of Discontinuity
& The Continuuuummms.

This is prerequisite to duplicating
speech of groan-ups. Some computer
scientists, inspired by infants, believe
that a good robot could learn an internal
software model of its articulators by
observing the consequences of its
own babbling and flailing.

(Reconfiguring & fiddling with
Steven Pinker: The Language Instinct:
How the Mind Creates Language)

Inspiration may be a form of
super-consciousness, or perhaps
of sub-consciousness—I wouldn’t

But I am sure that it is the

antithesis of self-consciousness.
Aaron Copland

The creation of something new is
not accomplished by intellect but
by the play instinct acting from
inner necessity. The creative
mind plays with the thing it loves.
Carl Jung

“Augustine said to a group of people,
‘We are talking about God. What
wonder is it that you do not

If you do understand, then it is
not God.”

For the Time Being (Dillard)

Instead of naming the gap
between talking the talk
and walking the walk
between theory
and practice
between idea
and execution
between what I know
and what I feel

call it the truth.

I don’t understand. If I did, it
wouldn’t be the truth
between the idea
and the reality
and act
and creation
and response
and spasm
and existence
and descent

hollow house
hole hull hall holy hello:
covered concealed & safe as
an under world full of buried pleasure.)

xxxooo, Presbyter

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