Language as a Way of Knowing Multi-Task

2.“Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man” – Thomas Szasz

I totally agree with this statement. The only way we can understand people, understand why they do things is if we can speak to them by use of language. We can only get so much from watching others actions, but is that really understanding them? Watching what they do, but not truly understanding why? I don’t think we should judge people by their actions, even if they seem bad. Because without knowing their logic behind it or what the person who are doing those actions is thinking, we can create false accusations or opinions on this person who could actually be a good person.

3. ARTS: In what ways can the arts be considered the language of human emotions?

Art is definitely is the language of human emotions, its what emotions look like to people. However, only some people can really depict these emotions correctly. Art I think is itself a language, but only some people understand it. It is a language that can not be taught, something that you are born with; you either know it or you don’t. Everyone can understand and feel emotions, but only some people can draw them.

In my video, you can definitely see the passion and the emotion that these artists have and incorporate in their pieces  Most artists understand what the artist is trying to say through the visual language the piece gives off. However people who don’t understand art language would just see these pieces as graffiti rather than art.

4. Blog Questions:

1.) How much could you know about the world if you had no language or means of communicating with other people?

If there was no language or means of communicating with other people we would only know our experiences in our world. Which isn’t a whole lot of knowledge about the world compared to how much we are able to gain thorough communicating with other people and getting to know their experiences and points of view.

2.)What are some examples of words that have entered the English language as a result of the computer revolution?

There are plenty of words that have been entered into the English language as a result of the computer revolution. Most of them are derived from what shortened words people use when texting or computer chatting and popular slang (look at all the new words in the link on ‘words’ to see what i’m talking about).

3.) Try to define as precisely as possible these words: a. triangle    b. love     c. table  What is the difference? Which was easiest to define?

A triangle is three sides connecting with each other which create a shape. Love is when a person really likes something. A table is a piece of  rectangular wood with traditionally four legs.  Love is a feeling, it is not a physical thing. While a table is a physical object and a triangle is neither. The easiest to define is a table because a triangle isn’t an actual object so its hard to define and love is really hard to define because it is an emotion that can mean many different things.

4.) How would you try to explain to a blind person what the word RED means? What does this suggest to you about the limitations of definitions?

I wouldn’t because even if I did they wouldn’t understand it. You can’t describe a color without using the words dark and light. Even if a blind person was able to understand what dark and light looked like, that’s probably the only words you could use to describe a color. A color can’t really be described. There are many limitations of definitions. Some things aren’t able to be understood unless they are seen. There are only so many words, thus only so many things can be accurately described.

5.) To what extent is your use of languages accompanied by images? Does every word conjure up an image or only some of them?

I think certain words in a language are accompanied by images. For example, the word “moist”. When people used adjectives and nouns we tend to visualize an image of what they’re saying. But it depends some people visualize more than others.

6.) Do you think a robot (or Siri) could use and respond appropriately to language? What differences would it make in real life if that were the case?

I think it would be really helpful if Siri could act as a translator, so that the user and another person could communicate to each other. It would make plenty of differences, aiding people visiting foreign countries to be able to communicate with others. However it could also cause many people not  to study foreign language because they would just easily use Siri, which could cause a language to be destroyed. For example, in Taiwan people speak Taiwanese and Mandarin. However only older people speak Taiwanese, so it is slowly dying off. If people choose to communicate using Siri the desire to learn Taiwanese to communicate with the elderly would be even lower. Causing this language to die off.

5. COMMENT with your own personal thoughts or questions on the 4 VIDEOS found on this blog post.


Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography- In this video, Stephen explains how people these days are now more interested in learning about things in the arts than about words. This is because of our culture. In our culture, learning how to play a musical instrument, draw and paint or dance is something that we embrace because we view it as interesting and as talent. Knowing about words, something that is related to school, is something that we sometimes look down upon. People who know a lot about words are usually referred to as ‘nerds’. So because most people want to conform with society and want and enjoy expressing their creativity they choose to do extra curricular activities.

Stephen Fry Interview- In this video, Stephen describes how language separates humans from the rest of the world. While looking at a monkey Stephen says, “so closely related, but so different. And I think it is language that’s the thing that is most different about us.” Although language has helped us become so much more “developed” compared to other organisms it also has created some negative effects. Global warming, extinction of other organisms and deforestation are just a few things that humans have done to hurt our planet. Humans are the cause of this awful thing upon us, because we have been able to communicate thus allowing us to expand very rapidly. Where as other organisms aren’t able to communicate, but don’t damage our home.

Stephen Fry discussing swear words- Even though this was very short, it was the most interesting video! Stephen actually pointed out something that was very intriguing that was so obvious, but I had never thought about before. In the video, Stephen said that people are looked down upon when they use the f word, even though it is a ‘good word’ because it means to make love which is supposed to be a good thing, but no one even notices when people use words like torture, which is a very bad word. I thought this was very insightful and interesting.

The Birth of a Word- In this video, Deb Roy talks about how humans learn words. By recording thousands of hours of home videos, he was able to show a recording of his son’s transition of saying Gaga to Water. I thought this was really weird. Its such a hassle to install all these different cameras in every room in your house and its not even worth it. I mean honestly, when is this guy Deb actually gonna have time to sit down and watch his thousands of hours of  home videos?

Touch & Sound Blog Reflection

Touch Articles:

Kissing device lets you send a long-distance smooch- A new egg shaped device with lips called the Kissinger has been created to send “wireless kisses.” Where is all of the funding coming from to keep making this product? How many were actually purchased?

The Cutting Edge of Haptics- Scientist have created a new technology called Haptics that can be used to fool a human’s sense of touch. It is even able convince a person that a flat surface is sharp. Could Haptics cause physical pain or do they just serve as a mind trick?

10 Psychological Effects of Nonsexual Touch- Touching another individual can have a profound effect on their behavior and/or actions. Do the individuals that don’t respond to touch have similar traits to each other? How are the people who don’t respond related to one another?

Sleeping beauties seek fairy tale love at Ukraine art installation- At the National Art Museum in Ukraine, five women were hired to pretend to sleep on several beds while other men kissed them. However all the “sleeping beauties” and the men who come to kiss them have to sign a contract that says if the beauty opens her eyes, they must get married. How can you put something as serious as marriage all on the lines of a kiss?

Dating with Science: Touch A Girl’s Arm And She Will Basically Fall In Love With You- Women like men more if they physically touch them then if they don’t. Why do our brains associate touch with love?

The Body Language of Touch- Touch is used commonly to aid communication between individuals in many different cultures and can promote the release of oxytocin, a chemical largely related to establishing trust and bonds,  in our bodies. If an organism is never “touched” is it able to have any sort of relationships with other individuals?

Sound Articles:

 The World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive is Now Online- Cornell University has just created a website with audio from the largest to the oldest natural sounds. How will access to this online sound database help scientists/others with their research?

The Cocktail Party Effect- When humans are in a large group of people they are able to tune out of their conversation and listen in on other conversations around them. What are  the negative effects of the cocktail party effect?

Environmental Cues That Boost Creativity- Creativity is not just something that we are either born with or not, it is a factor that we can improve on. Are most creative people ascetically drawn by the color blue, since it is known to “give” more creativity to an individual?

Make the City Sound Better- A new automobile called The Sound Taxi is able to pick up noise from its surroundings, traffic and sirens, and turn it into modern music. The taxi plays this music for all those surrounding the vehicle on its huge speakers located on the outside of the car. Do the sound taxis cultivate revenue by transporting people  or do they only play music for people? What are its other uses?

Beethoven’s Deafness May Have Influenced His Music Throughout The Years: Study- Beethoven began creating music with much higher notes as his hearing became worse. What, in terms of his hearing, caused Beethoven to make higher pitched music?

The Sound of Taste- We tend to associate certain sounds can amplify a ‘good’ taste of food. What types of sounds do we like best to hear while tasting food?

Curate on a Video:

I watched The Man Who Couldn’t Smell Pt.III, which emphasized smell as one of the most emotional senses. This video talked about how we associate smells from people and identify these sents with feelings. Which sense is more dominant when choosing a mate smell or sight?

Color or Synesthesia Project Proposal

1. What is the overall theme – color or synesthesia? (If synesthesia, what senses are you addressing?)


2. What Ways of Knowing are you addressing besides Sense Perception? (Reasoning? Emotion? Language?)


3. To what Areas of Knowledge does your project relate? (Arts, Psychology/Human Sciences, Maths, Natural Sciences, Ethics, History?)

Psychology/Human Sciences

4. What is it exactly, you plan to do and/or investigate?

I plan to take pictures of 5 women and record all of their voices on soundcloud. I will then upload all of the pictures and audio onto thinglink. I’m going to have each of the 5 individual  have the 5 audio voices on their picture. 

5. What is your driving question? (should be open-ended, perhaps starting with “How do we know” or “To what extent”)

Are people able to match voices with their pictures of complete strangers?

6. How is your project inherently about knowledge/knowing?

It questions a human’s knowledge of sound and sight.

7. What materials will you need?


8. Who could assist you / mentor you on this project?

Ms. Burvall

9. How will you present the project to the class?

I will have up on the board and I will show the class the 5 pictures and let them listen to the 5 audio recordings and see if they are able to match the pictures up with the correct voices. 

10. Projects are due the Cycle of March 1 – how do you plan to manage the time for this task?

I plan to do a little at a time. I have many other projects due around the same time, so I have to do those as well.