Straight vs. crooked

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 7871
Date: 2001-07-14

I think perhaps I should clarify (in public) my ideas of why I am
being so Platonic about snakes etc.

I used to be interested in Artificial Intelligence when I worked
with Computer Science. Some of the idea of AI can be compared to what
the people doing "generative semantics" were trying to do in the
seventies, namely to find a set of semantic primitives that was
sufficient to describe the world.

One set of words/concepts you need is for geometry; at least for the
notions of point, line and circle. And similarly for 3D.

You also need a kind of (usually pre-Gallileian) mechanics. The idea
of an object moving along a straight line (until the force in it is
spent) etc. Note that mechanics in this sense is meant to be a
deductive, not an empirical discipline. It is 3D geometry with the
added dimension of time.

The question is if mechanics isn't, so to speak, the first science
and geometry is derived from it by reduction? I will propose that.

So stone- and bronze-age peoples needed a concept of "moving in a
straight line"
which is

and as Hegel would say, things posit their opposites (now don't
correct me, all of you who were pestered with this in scholl!), so
therefore naturally the idea of "moving in a not straight line"
posited itself:

in other words "the straight arrow" vs. "the crooked arrow". This
should definitely be understood in moral terms too.

Which makes the "rex", as Benveniste explains him, a very important
man (unless, of course, he was once a navigator; why were those guys
so interested in astronomy anyway)?