What is reading? | INFJ Forum

What is reading?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by enfp can be shy, Mar 25, 2010.

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  1. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    And what is language?..

    How do we define that something has been "read"? Reciting? Quoting? Extracting information? What information, how much, who says it was extracted correctly? Do you see what I see? Some people skim through pages and reconstruct them in their own way. We could say they (re)"write" the books they read, as much as they read them. Other people can repeat word for word, and still don't understand it, at all. Where is the meaning, how is it communicated between us, how are we sure we are even having a contact with another person / author. Maybe it's all in our own heads?

    What about "dyslexics"? It is suspected that many great scientists, and even some writers, have been "dyslexic", i.e. they couldn't read very well or very fast the writings of other people (this is claimed even for A.Einstein). Who is to say then, what is "disability" and what isn't. If the language or some of its representations do not fit many people's abilities, maybe there should be efficient alternatives? Are visual thinkers "smarter" than audio thinkers? Probably not.

    Is language a sort of cult / dogma? Is there a way to make it more accessible to more people? There are now audiobooks, video lectures, presentations, movies, plays, interactive games. Are some of these mediums of learning necessarily more valuable than others? Some animal studies of primates show that in their language acquisition they also differentiate in skills, some are more talkative learners, others are more reserved learners etc.


     
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  2. Entyqua

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    *walks in thread, feels dizzy*

    uhm...I lika reading...
     
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  3. Gaze

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    Is knowledge and understanding dependent on language or communication? Then reading exists as a means to an end, and can't be avoided.

    Reading is rereading, rewriting, and interpretation as you've said. Language is incapable of adequately reflecting or representing complete thought of course, and our own individual neurons are not tied to a linear structure of line by line "reading". So, thinking as a branch and reading on a vertical line seems a bit contradictory.

    Thinking style and reading strategies are related but still fairly independent.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  4. OP
    enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Hey congrats, Enty, you have over 7000 posts. :)

    Now, how is anyone sure that they've ever read anything? How does that work? You know it's not like chopping wood. If you haven't chopped it - it's not chopped; if you have chopped it - it's chopped. (!!!) :) Where is this line in reading? It's an exploration experience, like any other. Eyes, going through some symbols, little patterned drawings, usually black on white. It becomes mechanical for most people, and they never question it later, like walking, or seeing. But walking and seeing are always imperfect too. They get some sense of quality, because they are much more interactive. If you didn't see, you would bump into things, and if you didn't walk, you couldn't move yourself to other places. Where is the reality that confirms the same about reading and language? Probably within the way others use language in regard to the same reading sources. How are you sure that you aren't forming a human cult subset of those who read and write for each other, and remain misunderstood by everybody else. Where's the justification for elitism within such group?

    Restraint, thank you, you raise another big issue: brain works non-linearly, and all formal and natural languages work very linearly, including logic. What if human decisions are physically not consistent with the ideal of logic anyway? We could simulate it, force ourselves to act as if we were prisoners of our language(s), but we still couldn't become this, even if we wanted it badly. Most of the humanistic notions remain ideals, on paper, and on images; way too static and way too linear to match any reality, even simpler animal reality, let alone human's.
     
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  5. NeverAmI

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    Reading/writing is a form of symbological representation that attempts to convey a thought from one person to another.

    Each different way of communicating has its own values and different brains definitely have different preferences for which symbological representations are most easily interpreted.

    For fictional books, there isn't necessarily one meaning that is meant to be conveyed, you are absolutely free to derive your own meaning and to assign whatever priority you like. This also leaves room for misinterpretations of seemingly simple statements. Many are simply to be used for enjoyment rather than to understand any specific message or lesson, although I would think many authors do have some messages and lessons they might slip into their books.

    In the idea of a mentor teaching an apprentice, spoken language (symbological representations through voice) in combination with actions may be used to convey what needs to be taught. Often the mentor will ask for feedback from the apprentice, such as asking the apprentice to convey the lesson back in different words. The mentor can then interpret whether his teaching was accurate. If it wasn't then the mentor can attempt to explain it in a different way, and this can occur until the mentor either dismisses the apprentice or the apprentice shows signs of comprehension that are satisifactory to the mentor.

    In literature it is not possible for the writer to ask for feedback from the reader in any efficient way. However, the writer can reach a MUCH larger audience than in a typical mentor/apprentice or even educational atmosphere. Literature has also been one of the purest forms of communication to traverse extended periods of time prior to the invention of recordable video and audio. Sometimes the writer will ask for input from others, and based on that feedback they will attempt to predict ways that people may not comprehend the initial message, and so they will repeat the same lesson multiple times in different ways just to make sure that one of those ways may sink in to the reader.

    However, there is no guarantee that the reader will ever fully grasp what the author attempts to portray. Some authors are applauded for their ability to convey complex ideas with simple symbology, some are applauded for the beauty of the interconnections of symbols they use, some are applauded for the extreme symbology they use. The immortal authors seemingly have a full grasp of all the above and more, able to reach the mind of almost every reader with their message.

    The scholar has long been assigned the task of being the expert on certain texts for interpreting the meaning behind them. Even so, if time has past without constant interpretations taught throughout history, there is a good chance many ancient texts are misinterpreted.

    Before the invention of paper/papyrus many ancients took their lessons and made them into myth, something that assigns emotional connection to the story which makes it much easier to maintain than simply relaying a collection of facts. The symbological characters in the myth are not only easy to grasp and remember, but also fun. The myth can make interpretation difficult at times, but it was the seemingly most efficient ways of communication traversing over time.


    Not 100% on any of this, but that is how I understand it.
     
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    #5 NeverAmI, Mar 25, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  6. Entyqua

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    DANG it and I was going to watch that this time...I always miss my milestones...now if they were actually decent posts...

    uhm...this is just too much for me...I know I read because I put the letters together that form the words in spaces, and punctuation, that form a thought, then complete a image in my mind.

    I know as I am writing this that I am also reading, thinking, processing, and working through the thought to form a coherent representation of my thoughts. Perhaps reading is second nature, but one has to learn to do it. we learn that in the word CAT to make the hard kuh sound followed by a long AHH sound and complete with a solid tuh sound...in another language you would learn separate rules for such a word.

    language and reading has been around since the first recorded writings...
     
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  7. NeverAmI

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    I feel this conversation veering toward Wittgenstein.

    I don't understand what you mean by human decisions physically not linear. I can understand the idea that logic can't always apply to the 'irrationality' of the psyche, although the magical irrationality seems to be fading as we learn more.

    As for humanisitic notions being too static or short-sighted, I wouldn't think that has anything to do with language or logic. Humans had to come up with those meanings in the first place. If you mean that over time the original meaning is lost due to misinterpretation, then yes, that makes sense. A lot of that would seem to be due to the ability or inability of an author or speaker.

    Language is but one of many tools. If you want to ensure your message is properly conveyed, then use as many tools as possible.
     
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  8. Barnabas

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    redirect your question to "what am I?" if can find a answer to this the you will be able to answer what is writting and reading. If you can't then you already have your answer.
     
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  9. Gaze

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    Agree. But . . . I think we're talking about the reverse . . .

    Our thought processes are too complex for us to know or determine their full origin, motives, or reasoning. Consequently, humanistic notions, based on human logic, often refuses to consider it's weakness or frailties, when understanding and explaining logic and reasoning. We are not always aware of what we think, why we think the way we do, and the consequences to our thought processes. The conscious and unconscious mix and meld. Thus, language can never match human reason, or the logic of reality or truth (which often eludes human reasoning) it seeks to represent so well, but incompletely.
     
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    #9 Gaze, Mar 25, 2010
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  10. NeverAmI

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  11. OP
    enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    In this research article they try to define dyslexia as the consistent deterioration of reading ability, while improving IQ scores. (in non-dyslexic people the two skills develop together)
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/1/93.full.pdf

    Of course, IQ is just another bullshit, and just another formal language, but nevertheless. It shows the difference between such communication systems, when it comes to mental development; sometimes they go together, sometimes they don't.
     
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  12. NeverAmI

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    Well, an IQ is a form of measurement, the measurements are accurate in comparing between people's abilities to do certain things. The inferences made based off an IQ can be BS, very true.

    I still hold that IQ has a definite purpose, albeit not to stroke one's ego nor as a single metric of a person's value.
     
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  13. SpaceCowgirl

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    I'm dyslexic and I don't think it changes my interpretation of what I read. It makes it hard for me to spell, use grammar, I read words backwards sometimes, so it was hard for me to read and write as a kid(I still managed to be a bookworm) All this stuff stopped being much of a problem by grade 12. It also takes me longer to process any information but that might be unrelated. It basically causes me to see things in more dimentions, like I can easily draw 3-dimensional graphs and picture them easily, and this causes me to flip words and letters around, and I can read things upside down and sideways easier than most people. It makes it harder to transfer the information from the paper to my brain but once I do, the information itself is the same for me as anyone else reading it. At least i think it is...

    And yeah...IQ isn't very accurate but it's the most accurate way we have of measuring intelligence

    And same for language; it's not completely accurate but it's the best way we have to convey our thoughts. Until we can read each others minds!:m155:
     
  14. OP
    enfp can be shy

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    @NAI, well, IQ is some test(s). It certainly cannot be considered precise equivalent with intelligence, because all kinds of deviations exist. I also cringe at the whole measuring that people got used to, in general. Brrr..

    @SpaceCowgirl, that's amazing, so they call that dyslexia? Then I might have (had) it too. I began writing endless stories in countless notebooks, soon after I got some grasp of the alphabet (by that time already had written noted music compositions). However, in music notation and in writing I would flip randomly any possible symmetries, eg: the letter "E" ( =| ). Later I learned not to do it. At first, I couldn't even understand how it was happening. I would write words with two or more occurrences of the same letter (like "lEarnEd") with each of these same letters flipped uniquely randomly (in this case, with 50% probability they may have been in different direction, or the same direction).

    About whether what we read is the same that other people read, the question is addressed to anybody, regardless of how they read, and yeah, it seems close to Wittgenstein and the hermeneutics. To me, written language is like a cave picture on the wall; some see aliens and flying saucers, others see humans with enlarged heads and cosmic galaxies.
     
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  15. arbygil

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    Reading and comprehension are two different things. We can all read, but to cognitively comprehend what we've read are vastly different things. I remember doing a paper like this ages ago, for one of my linguistics courses...although it was more about the study of whole language and what language means. But it's all in the same boat: It's about communication and what it means to successfully communicate as human beings.

    The studies are quite fascinating, actually. Noam Chomsky is a good study when it comes to the study of whole language, and what that means.
     
  16. OP
    enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Chomsky and Pinker are biased, imho. (of course, it could be that I, and the primatologists, are biased) They assume language has some innate relation with the human mind, which is not necessarily true, but luckily by now the studies of animal language acquisition are getting much stronger than before. I think eventually Chomsky would wish he hasn't stated some of the things he has stated in the past about language. Because they begin to seem almost like religious dogma, at some point of data gathering from experiments with the wild world(s). We'll see.
     
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  17. SpaceCowgirl

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    That sounds exactly like dyslexia, I used to flip letters around to. One other thing my grandma told me is that when a dyslexic walks into a room we see the whole room at once instead off looking at specific objects one at a time. It can be funny, like one time I thought I got 18% on a test and was very upset, but looked back at my paper to see I had 81% :lol:
     
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  18. OP
    enfp can be shy

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    So, one of my greatest professors has been dyslexic then! He has become head of the department by now, lol. He would flip around his own formulas (even when not commutative), and he knew about it, so he would warn students to be prepared for that quirk. I don't consider such condition static though, it's evolving process; it probably shouldn't be labeled.
     
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  19. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    I find your description of dyslexia fascinating, especially since I have several family members with dyslexia. I'm not dyslexic but since acquiring a brain injury many years ago, I read differently. I read much more slowly and I think my comprehension has been affected. Pre-injury I could read and see many levels in what I was reading. I took pleasure in bouncing around among the levels and looking at how they were related or, in some cases, disparate. I've lost this ability and my reading and comprehension is more linear.

    So for me the answer to the question "what is reading" has changed, I may not even understand the discussion going on here, whereas before I think I would've enjoyed it.
     
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  20. WhiteWolf

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    Follow a course "The philosophy of language" and you never want to hear this question again....
    Its fascinating, but there is just sooooooo much to it, so many aspects.
    What is meaning, what is truth, speech acts , reference and description, names, propositions, metaphors, pretence, interpretation, etc.

    (I got a nice 700 page book full of articles about this stuff)


    I don't think any type of thinker is smarter then another type, just by being of one type. Every type has got its benefits and disadvantages.
     
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