Joseph Campbell, Symbols and Culture

Symbols are a means of complex communication that often can have multiple levels of meaning. This separates symbols from signs, as signs have only one meaning.

Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.

Symbols are the basis of all human understanding and serve as vehicles of conception for all human knowledge. Symbols facilitate understanding of the world in which we live, thus serving as the grounds upon which we make judgments.In this way, people use symbols not only to make sense of the world around them, but also to identify and cooperate in society through constitutive rhetoric. For the person seeking to create a new quantum reality the ability to wisely choose certain signs over other or merging seemingly diverse, and at times even paradoxical signs can open the door to new realities.

Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols, and signification as communicative behavior. Semiotics studies focus on the relationship of the signifier and the signified, also taking into account interpretation of visual cues, body language, sound, and other contextual clues. Semiotics is important for the student exploring the creation of a quantum reality since QRs are formed through new ways of thinking, speaking and behaving and semiotics is linked with both linguistics and psychology. Semioticians thus not only study what a symbol implies, but also how it got its meaning and how it functions to make meaning in society. Symbols allow the human brain continuously to create meaning using sensory input and decode symbols through both denotation and connotation.

 

Joseph Campbell had a deep interest in the work of Carl Jung and translated many of the pioneering psychoanalyst’s writings in from German into English. It was Jung  who studying archetypes, proposed an alternative definition of symbol, distinguishing it from the term sigs. This is something also addressed by Wittgenstein and others.In Jung’s view, a sign stands for something known, as a word stands for its referent. He contrasted this with symbol, which he used to stand for something that is unknown and that cannot be made clear or precise. An example of a symbol in this sense is Christ as a symbol of the archetype called self.  For example, written languages are composed of a variety of different symbols that create words. Through these written words humans communicate with each other. The influential literary critic Kenneth Burke described Homo sapiens as a “symbol-using, symbol making, and symbol misusing animal” to suggest that a person creates symbols as well as misuses them. Burke was best known for his analyses based on the nature of knowledge and  was one of the first individuals to stray away from more traditional rhetoric and view literature as “symbolic action.”

 

One example Burke uses to indicate what he means by the misuse of symbol is the story of a man who, when told that a particular food item was whale blubber, could barely keep from throwing it up. Later, his friend discovered it was actually just a dumpling. But the man’s reaction was a direct consequence of the symbol of “blubber” representing something inedible in his mind. In addition, the symbol of “blubber” was created by the man through various kinds of learning.

Burke goes on to describe symbols as also being derived from Sigmund Freud‘s work on condensation and displacement, further stating that symbols are not just relevant to the theory of dreams but also to “normal symbol systems”. He says they are related through “substitution”, where one word, phrase, or symbol is substituted for another in order to change the meaning. In other words, if one person does not understand a certain word or phrase, another person may substitute a synonym or symbol in order to get the meaning across. However, upon learning the new way of interpreting a specific symbol, the person may change his or her already-formed ideas to incorporate the new information.

 

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This blog is from Lewis Harrison’s Book.

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Lewis Harrison is a speaker on stress management and sales and is a radio talk show host. He also owns a company that offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Veges, Dallas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

Truth and Game Based Thinking

 

In game based thinking and Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Thinking (LAGT)  “truth” means constancy or sincerity in action or character. In general terms it is difficult if not impossible to specifically define truth since the word has a variety of meanings including a state of being in accord with fact or reality; fidelity to the original or to the standard or the ideal;  or as anything that is the  direct opposite of falsehood. There are various definitions of truth based on whether you are defining something logically, factually, or ethically.

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Recently we held a conference on stress management at the Catskills Bed and Breakfast – www.TheCatskillsBedandBreakfast.com -. We had speakers, training sessions and offered corporate on-site chair massage during the breaks. During the conference the question of “What is “Truth” kept arising.

 

Why is it so difficult to define “Truth”? Because we are working with language, and language and words are at best “tools” by which humans convey information to one another. At the very best the word, “truth” must have a beneficial use to be retained within language.

 

Defining what is required to make something beneficial (called potency and applicability by philosophers) can be called a “criterion”.  The method used to recognize a “truth” is called a criterion of truth. Since there is no single accepted criterion, all criteria are nothing more than “theories“.

 

Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars and philosophers. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth: what things are the  truth bearers capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.

Being that there is no one definite of truth, it is not easy to ever use the word accurately or even effectively. In game based thinking it really falls under the concept of specialized language. Within LHAGT truth generally refers to the quality of “faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, veracity”, as well as to “an agreement of what    is a  fact or agreed upon reality“.  In most of the Germanic languages (excluding English) there is a terminological distinction between truth “fidelity” and truth “factuality”.  In the early 21st century “deflationary” or “minimalist” theories of truth have gained some popularity in academic circles. This approach to truth is based on the idea that the application of a term like “true” to a statement does not really tell us anything important about the thing that is supposedly true. At best, according to this approach, saying that something is “true” becomes a tool within a conversation used to emphasize claims, gain agreement, or to form certain types of generalizations.

 

One of my students asked me “How can anyone seriously question a scientific truth? The laws of nature are the laws of nature. 2 plus 2 is 4. A dog is a dog. It would seem that everything else is either some metaphysical notion or simply some unprovable belief?”

This very question is addressed by William James famously (1842–1910). In his work “Radical Empiricism”, James points out that clear distinctions of type and category are the constant goals of scientific reasoning. Once these distinctions are discovered, success is declared. But according to James in the world of daily experience things are organized differently involving inherent and intractable ambiguities.

Other  ideas on truth include Russell’s Paradox

Kripke’s Theory of Truth

Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem

The Liars’ Paradox

 

You may also wish to read my book “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times”

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Lewis Harrison is a motivational speaker specializing in game based thinking and applied game theory. He is a  seminar leader, futurist, entrepreneur, NPR affiliated radio talk show (WIOXRadio.org) host, success and life coach and a best-selling author.

He is the creator of a web site – www.askLewis.com.  that focuses on the application of gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on personal growth and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

Ask Lewis

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Lewis Harrison is a motivational speaker specializing in game based thinking and applied game theory. He is a  seminar leader, futurist, entrepreneur, NPR affiliated radio talk show (WIOXRadio.org) host, success and life coach and a best-selling author.

 

Lewis also owns a company that offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Veges, Dallas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

 

 

He is the creator of a web site – www.askLewis.com.  that focuses on the application of gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on personal growth and human potential.

 

 

Lewis also owns a company that offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Veges, Dallas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

 

 

Problem Solving, Particle Swarm Optimization, & Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

I was having a conversation with one of my students this week about how mathematics and computer sciences can solve extremely complex problems. She specifically asked me to describe it in a simple and understandable way.

 

This was not difficult to do since though I have some skill at understanding complex theories related to problem solving and decision science but I’m not very skilled at mathematics.

I walked with her outside of our retreat center and pointed to the sky. There was a swarm of Canadian Geese flying over head. I said to her, “That is a Particle Swarm. That pattern of geese is the basis of one of the most important problem solving t- tools ever developed “Particle Swarm Optimization”.

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PSO. among the most common metaheuristic algorithms is  a computational method often used in In computer science,  that optimizes a problem by trying to improve a   a member of a set of possible solutions(a candidate solution) to a given problem with regard to a given measure of quality. Described in more simple terms Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)  is a mathematical, population  based algorithm for solving problems related to social behavior and engineering.

Particle Swarm Optimization combines rigid paradigms with more flexible social paradigms -social-psychological principles.  Swarm optimization provides insights into social behavior that was not easily recognized before.

PSO It has been used in many engineering applications, in art installations, to compose music, and to model organizations and markets. The first description of the particle swarm optimization algorithm was 1995 and was presented by James Kennedy and Russell C. Barnhart.

Kennedy and Barnhart observed that individuals naturally seem to solve problems most effectively by speaking with other individual.  Each individual remembers a situation where they were highly effective in solving a specific problem. This information is presented to others in the group (swarm.)  At the same time the individual is able to interact with and observe others in the swarm and note the optimum solution for the same problem.  This may possibly be a superior solution that may already exist in the swarm, or in areas of the swarm. As these individuals interact with the swarm and are a reflection of the swarm, their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs, change to ever-greater levels of effectiveness in the solving of problems.  In this algorithm any individual may be a potential or “ candidate” solution. This is known as a particle, hence the name “particle swarm.”

PSO

It is amazing to observe the changes that take place in the “swarm” of particles. It is as if individuals are moving toward one another in a social space where rapport and commonality of thought co-exist. (sociocognitive space.)

 

As with many mathematically based techniques (PSO) has evolved greatly since its development. The form in which it is presently applied is barely recognizable when compared to the original version of the algorithm.

This type of algorithm can be applied in LHAGT since that approach to problem solving and decision making  explores the use of problem solving skills, human resource skills and many other variables, interacting and continually elevating the process towards ever more productivity and effectiveness at a lower and lower cost.  This is the essence of Particle Swarm Optimization.

Even if an individual is not a mathematician they can  make sense out of this. What be required is the willingness of the individual to seek out experts, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists to solve extreme problems using PSO.  PSO is one of the most valuable tools for  solve extreme problems and there are few downsides. As extreme problems of ever-greater difficulty present themselves, new modifications are developed for multi-objective optimization.  This solution can be applied to find solutions for linear or non-linear obstacles. Mathematicians have also modified PSOs to create new versions known as “repulsive particle swarm optimization.

 

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The master decision maker is defined as such because he/she has the ability and willingness to think out of the box and delegate to others who can do the same.

Join our Facebook Game Theory Group

at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/602287903244843/

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Lewis Harrison is an author, content rich, motivational speaker, mentor and coach. You can reach him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Lewis is an explicator and demystifier on the links between spirituality, game theory, quantum physics, economics, personal growth and human potential.

He often uses Swarm Optimization at trade shows where there are thousands of attendees.

He offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Veges, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.