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fig.32—here we go again; the (pre)Freudian (per)version


Questioning about semiosis has become central to a great number of disciplines,” notes Eco 1997, “even on the part of those who did not think they were practicing semiotics, or were practicing it unwittingly...” How great a number? Should we define ‘semiosis’ as [the conveyance of information via codes] we would recapture every sensate organism—but “it was not because biologists had been reading books on semiotics that they began talking about genetic ‘codes’.” If we define ‘culture’ as [learned behaviors in excess of species differentiators] we put it in two words: learned differentia, or in one: technology—which chimps can convey, but not bees, despite their use of codes. In fig.32 we banish “artificial intelligence” to the bestiaries of Borges, and trace our Intelligent Artifice technology to the artificial memory techné of Lull and Bruno: first, we contrapose natural to artificial; thus, second, we oppose artificial to organic, the mark of living organism, in contrast, third, to all things inorganic. The metaterms then drop in, pairwise: 

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fig.33—here we go again; the (re)vitalist (re)version


—To the X: just as we speak of natural+organic forms as animate subjects, we call artificial+inorganic forms inanimate objects. To the Y: when we call natural­-but-inorganic “stuff” material we imply the converse, organic­-but-artificial “stuff of thought” is immaterial—but, as Bruno noted to Henri III, “my memory is not magic, but scientific.” Culture, technology, artifice, memory. Lions and tigers and bears. To practice ‘semiotics’ is not to seek one ‘right answer’ but to think through various angles on a problem. So, to revoke our preliminary “natural” shortcut: Kroeber warrants that the course of organic evolution can be portrayed properly as a tree of life [...] the course of development of human culture in history cannot be so described, even metaphorically,” then describes it metaphorically!—recursion a nutshell. His recourse portrays, and describes, yet Names Life vs. Culture by Reification. While advocates strive to discern social from natural sciences via discourse terms, fig.33 recaps the problematic to discourse timeframes. We will have to take another tack.

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