8 Responses to #CritLit2010 reflections – fourth week

  1. Hi Maria,
    An interesting analysis on syntax. May Semantic Web include a pragmatics – rhetorical analysis? I think this would be difficult. Even through coding and classification of the narratives with sensemaking tools, I don’t think it works with precision with metaphors, such as the examples quoted by George and commented by Stephen, where it is a merely of interpretation whether knowledge could be “parked” in another persons’ brain. Are we referring to the Internet as a part of the brain, or the person merely a node in the network, and the brain within one’s head is merely a store of knowledge (or distributed knowledge)? Are there contradictions in this rhetorical statement? It requires further probing, inquiry to further clarify the meaning. Often, metaphors are often imprecise, and so I wonder if “ontology”could be applied given that metaphors used in narratives are often interpreted quite differently under different context. So I think that’s why we would still have difficulties in understanding what is behind the syntax in the Semantic Web. Another example relates to the issues of translation of language from one to another, where the grammar, the choice of words may significantly affect the tone, and the meaning of the sentence and message. “The spirit is weak, but the flesh is strong” would be translated to mean: “The wine is tasteless, but the meat is strong in taste”. The rest is “up to your interpretation”… Is this an imprecise translation, when decoded with any translators (human or machine)? I think we need human intervention, when it comes to meaningful translation, to rearrange the words, or to fix grammatical “errors” due to the translation.

    • John,

      Thank you for your insightful views.

      With regards to your comment about if Semantic Web may include
      a pragmatics rhetorical analysis, I agree that it would be difficult to do so. Computers do not have the ability to handle complexities of language the human have; different word meaning and the influence of context. They could handle in a literal level, for example technical language. Even though, Artificial Intelligence is trying to do this I do not know if ,for the time being, it could develop the ability to recognize meaning differences from cultural sensitivity.

      About the idea if the Internet as a part of the brain, or the person merely a node in the network, and the brain within one’s head is merely a store of knowledge (or distributed knowledge)? I think that there are many theories about it, for example, Joel De Rosnay is a teacher and researcher in biochemistry and informatics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed (on his book “The Symbiotic Man”) basing its argument that there is no distinction between man and technology, but hybrids between culture and nature. He postulates the existence of a cybiont as being (Not a man) who co-evolution in the environment, both natural (ecosphere – biosphere) and artificial (technosphere). Theultimate interface between man and machine, would be theregarding biological brain – brain-mail: interface bioelectronics. I think your theory is based on belief. Another author, Sonia Abadi, in “Pensamiento en red” in a metaphoric level says that in network Human are nodes or hubs on the net. We can follow those thesis and accept or refuse them depending our beliefs.

      About to “require further probing, inquiry to further clarify the meaning of words”, I believe that in the pursuit of truth, evidence,our arguments are subject to restrictions of a universe of values and assessments of situations and of the facts. In this regard, it is interesting to dwell on knowing the beliefs that guide our discussions reported as part of an analysis of our ways of argument because, to some extent, are the effects of our inter subjective processes and inter group relationship.

      It is always interesting to read his thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to read the posts.

      María Fernanda

      • maferarenas says:


        With regards to “errors” on translating, I find errors on my post that change meaning. I made a mistake when I said “I think your theory is based on belief” I mean Joel De Rosnay´s theory is based on belief.

        Excuse me for the inaccuracies of language.There will be many in my posts.

        María Fernanda

  2. Pingback: #CritLit2010 Syntax and Semantic « Suifaijohnmak's Weblog

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    • maferarenas says:

      Do you think so? I wish too there was more debate on this blog.
      : – (
      I will read George Stephen ´s blog post about evaluation auto evaluation. Thank you.

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