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fig.71—“rotating memories of our machines­-that-think-like-men”


 Given that Bruno’s “multiplex vincula” have snarled academic bow­-ties of every stripe, we shan’t waste time putting thumbscrews to wingnuts. As we unfold texts and tools, we shall strive to verify Wildgen’s warrant to the satisfaction of Quine qua schoolmarm. But if this over­-compressed section makes you(r eyes) cross, discount it as but a bonus round for propellorheads. In fig.71 we take a preliminary spin on Bruno’s meta­-model: First, we reorient fig.32 (§1.4) to the classical distinction of artificial memory from natural. Second, we cross a comparable: phenomenal sense vs. symbolic code. Third, we rewind the clock by way of the metaterms: one, the architectural mnemotechné, as from Cicero via Augustine, imposed artificial structure to the phenomenal inventory; two, Llull imposed combinatorial algorithms to the symbolic inventory; three, Bruno reapplied Llull’s semantic fields via natural memory to concatenate, e.g., the allegorical phantasmata of Greek mythology within four, an architecturally constrained archetypal metapsychology. Presto. 

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1592: “Philosophy’s court admits of no synonyms, unless in this day and age we wish to reckon amongst philosophers those grammarians who have acquired their chief distinction from the despicable power of words while harmonizing in the style of parrots and monkeys; nor unless we wish to compete with Cicero in the profession of sciences by trading small Greek words for large Latin ones, thereby mixing linguistic knowledge into the matters under consideration.”—thus, while Bruno took inspiration from “the divine Cusanus” via his topical twists on Lull, he (obviously) left the ecumenical tones of both—and thus took leave in untimely expiration. Nevertheless, he goads us to rein in Kroeber’s (flogged nag of a Darwinian) metaphor: while branches grow outward to “diverge”, channels flow around to “converge” like rivulets, “anastomose” like vessels, and “coalesce” like pools. As such, in computational linguistics we should prefer hydrodynamical models to phytomorphological metaphors. As for historical linguistics? We shall freely warrant the “Shakespeare did it” defense of Sarah Palin’s handy foot­-in-mouth portmanteau—for, per cognitive linguistics, it precisely purported her intent.

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