Assumptions about Communication, etc.

Steve Long Salinas17 at AOL.COM
Tue Feb 27 00:05:55 UTC 2001

In a message dated 2/26/2001 5:26:11 PM, lexes at MINDSPRING.COM writes:
<< Because "intention" is a problem when attempting to define communication
(as recent list postings indicate).  Because it is less a problem when the
concept is approached from the receiver's point of view than from the
senders, I approach the task from the perspective of the former rather than
the latter. >>

Of course, the well-intended question here is whether this solves the problem
or avoids it.

If the rabbit sees the wolf and runs (having volitioned and interpreted and
based on that ran), is that a communication?  Not matter what the wolf's
intentions were?

If the rabbit doesn't see the wolf and gets caught, is that a failure to

If the rabbit sees a dead tree about to fall on it and volitions and
interprets and runs, is that a communication?

If a rabbit fails to see the dead tree falling and gets crushed, is that a
failure to communicate?

The presence of another "being" isn't really necessary to these scenarios if w
e avoid the intention of the sender.

If a sender can communicate by an "unintended" act (e.g., myself being spied
on in the shower, the wolf being seen by the rabbit) then there is no reason
to separate the unintending sender from the sender that is incapable of
intending.  If I "read" the weather or the water, I can get very meaningful
messages, highly functional in terms of my future safety or comfort.  If
"communication" resides entirely in the receiver without the need for
intention in the sender, then all the world's a sender.

"Signatures of all things I am here to read." - James Joyce

Steve Long

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