Monday, August 11, 2014
In Defense of Nonsense (if not no sense at all)
IN Defense of NONSENSE if not no-sense-at-all.
“Wittgenstein had an enormous effect on [Bertrand]Russell.
First Russell thought Wittgenstein had a new kind of
sensibility.[Witt] gave Russell the sense that he really
knew something incommunicable, that there was some
thing he was trying to get at, that Russell was not seeing it.
As a result of these interactions, Russell actually gave up
mathematical logic. Wittgenstein convinced him that his
old ways of doing things were wrong. Russell said that he
couldn't quite understand what Wittgenstein was saying,
but he felt in his bones that he must be right. That's the kind
of effect that Wittgenstein had on people.”
Goedel and the Nature of Mathematical Truth.
IN my dreams, wittgensteinian-like, I urge bertrand Russell
terriers terrified to ease their grip on mathematical canny
doggone logically positive cynicism, not that there’s any thing
wrong with THAT but that they might push away from childish
flings as merely necessary but insufficient like words are as
inadequate as students tell me, tattooed so to speak from head
to toes with images & other signs & symbols of our bawdy languages.
You can understand Gödel's saying, as he's quoted
saying to the mathematician Menger one night when
they were walking home together from one of the
meetings of the positivists, something like: "The more
I think about language the less possible it seems to me
that we ever understand one another."
In computer-programming talk: program-language looks like
gobble de gook to inhabitants of User-Friendly World, might
as well be glossolalia, squeaking in tongues of angles to user-friendly
Flatlanders as far as program- language-ing is concerned: babble if
when a deep
program-language way of talking leaks
collapsed, conflated & spilling across the screen of my tectonic
“MU!” I mutter, descriptively. “It’s nonsense to utter Non Sense!
This will never do.” As if a sphere pancaked into a circle presumed
to serve as Representative re-presenting the great state of Sphereville
and we allowed it, too, without acknowledging our cognitive dissonance. .
Of what we cannot speak thereof we must be silent."
It's ambiguous. It could mean that all facts can be said
and they can be said clearly, or it could mean that there
are facts that are out there, but our language is not adequate
for expressing them: that our language is leaving out chunks
of reality. If we try to express the unsayable in language, we'll
violate the rules of language and commit nonsense.
“mystical” & “mystery” & “myopia”: all 3 from Indo European mu—
imitative of inarticulate sounds: mum, mumbling, muttering
variations on silent, dumb, mute; Gk – muein: to close the lips;
in other words THAT which is unsayable is merely unsayable
& mystery. And to try to say what can’t be said articulately is to utter
nonsense, but important nonsense.