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Thought Experiment
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshine wrote:
@Nem - You're a very literal person, aren't you?

Do words have a meaning of themselves for me to follow, 'literally,' as it were, which we discover through some arcane mechanism, or do they simply refer to a meaning derived from the social interactions of their users? Even if we accept that words are like labels placed upon things the understanding of that label still has to be acquired in some fashion and it's not as if you can verbally describe a thing to someone who doesn't have a coinciding language basis as yourself.

I don't think that others honestly do think something other than white pixels is there when they look at it or you wouldn't be able to make a meaningful reference to it in order to ask them what is in the, 'blank spaces.' You'd probably just get a, 'What? What blank spaces? There's a river there.' Or whatever else they saw. You cannot both see a total absence of everything, a blankness as it were, and simultaneously see something else. You can overlay the two certainly, fill it in with imagination, but that's not the same thing.

That's probably what most people are doing though and due to the social situation it's possible to guess that you might want a story about what might be there. In which case the question then becomes what story? After all there are many possible ways to interpret the available information, am I meant to offer one which represents my state of mind? Is that really what's being asked for or am I being asked to represent an idealised state of mind? And then representing my mind in terms of a picture's background causes can easily lead to misinterpretation - we don't share a similar enough cultural background to draw valid interpretations from it. And if I'm thinking of representing my mind and you wanted me to inadvertently reveal something aren't I just showing you whatever picture of it I want you to have; doesn't that in a way defeat the point of the thing, at least on the basis of those premises? Also I myself may be uncertain of my state of mind, it is the rare person who can stand up and claim to entirely know their own mind, a great part of life is often viewed as self discovery. Although I might be tempted to claim that what people talk of as discovery is actually creation the very fact that I’d have to make that claim introduces some variations between the logical domain of my statements and your own and as such would invalidate them anyway. And then it might be a sociology experiment along the lines of symbolic meaning when the actual answer you're looking for is to see who interprets the world along the lines of actual 'factual' reality and who assigns symbolic meaning and why. You may not really want a story at all for all your statement says otherwise.

I’d like words to have a literal meaning, because then I could just go to the dictionary when someone is being confusing and find out exactly what they meant, people would be obliged to describe their positions accurately in order to preserve that meaning. However my answer comes with a shallow interpretation of the social meaning of the question entirely because the words do not have a literal meaning and I’m ill equipped to guess at anything deeper.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3532
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*headdesk* Nem, you're overanalyzing. This is an opportunity to spontaneously use your imagination. That is all.
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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Nem: That was awesome. XD
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew Nem couldn't go this long without philosophizing about something. It's almost a relief to have the old Nem back. ^_^
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, AsA, I was thinking a very similar thing. I missed Nem's discourses on various topics, usually they make me stretch my brain just a big to keep up. I love exercising my brain, so I love Nem's long replies. Very Happy
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sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Up in the Clouds

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Asa, this was both what you said, and every example Nem gave in that delicious rant.

I do these things because I am fascinated to the point of distraction with people, specifically their minds and the way they think. I am have no single direction of understanding I seek to pursue, but simply desire a greater view of the diversity of people as a whole.

My intent here was for anyone who wanted to reply to this in whatever way they chose, my own words and the drawing were simply a prompt and a starting point to see where others went from there. Generally, I don't draw conclusions from the replies I get, but now and then someone's response pops out at me as something indicative of a solid conclusion that could potentially be made regarding that person. I don't deny that these conclusions are entirely subjective, but then my goal wasn't a scientific study, but rather to simply sit back and enjoy whatever little pieces of insight I can find from the results.

So, thank you for participating Smile
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, I like to do the same thing. ^_^
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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electricpanda



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 608
Location: Smelbourne

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's at a manor house, going outside via impressive front stairs (that piece of wall is part of the balustrade). There's a sweeping lawn/garden. At any rate, she's probably very rich, and probably going off to do something less-than-pleasant.

@ Nem:
Fun. Adj. 1. Informal. of or pertaining to fun, esp. to social fun: a fun thing to do; really a fun person.
2. Informal. whimsical: flamboyant: The fashions this year are definitely on the fun side.

I think you're bringing objectivity to, what is at heart, a subjective matter. :p As the above example illustrates.
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daydreamer_girl



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
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Location: Kaneedaaaa!!!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me it looks like she is getting a dress made, because it looks unfinished, most likely for a wedding of her own. And she's just waiting for the seamstresses to come back from what they are doing so they can finish the dress. They are in a dress shop I guess and all the workers are off to the side somewhere doing their business. She is leaning on a table with dress materials, scraps and sewing kits. It seems a little hectic in there, except for the girl in the dress standing patiently. Beside her is a rack of dresses that she got bored looking at while waiting, but looks at it anyway because there's not much else to do but stand and wait.

She tries to get the attention of one of the seamstresses to tell them that there is a string that is sticking out of the bottom of her dress.

And that's what I see.

@ Nem: Wow Nem, I wish I could write half as good as you and how much thought you put into the thing. Durr, I still haven't gotten a good grasp of what you mean through all that but I'm trying!

So far it looks like you need concrete answers in order for you to base your own perceptions on something, annd that you try to find precise logic in the question that is being asked. And by the observations above, you seem to be very objective person when it comes to things, and have difficulty seeing the logic in something meant to be subjective or seemingly without purpose or analysis. Am I right?

I think the question sunshine asking is not whether what should be there in the picture, as in literally, but what could be there if you had to make up the situation. So if you want it to be a river or a gigantic robot then cool, because I think that's what sunshine is precisely asking.
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firefly



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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Location: Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She is a ball room going out, to meet someone that she loves outside. She, as the person she is meeting, feels dislocated in a ball room.

(yes, yes, my psique is all about the masks we wear everyday, lol)
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RoseBlood



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
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Location: Gallifrey. . . (Before the Time Wars. Duh- I time- traveled to get here.)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her name is Marine.

She was getting married, but the most important people in her lives couldn't make it (her parents and intimate family).

She thinks her dress is too skimpy, anyway.

so because of all this, she is both nervous and ashamed- and still yet frightened of what she's about to go through with.
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sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Emma - wow, that's probably the most visually detailed response I've ever had to one of these things Razz Never would have imagined dress racks or sewing materials, myself


@ firefly - That would be psyche, and it's only about masks if that's what you're getting out of it Wink
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daydreamer_girl



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
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Location: Kaneedaaaa!!!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably because I always seemed to try to see more in pictures than there is already. That's probably why I remember more in childhood picture book pictures than there really is. So when I look back I kind of am disappointed.

I like to daydream about stories in my mind, if you can already tell by my username XD
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Beneath a vast mound of curly hair

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshine wrote:
@Tyris - This artist has left the space blank so that the viewer is required to come up with a more detailed background on their own, without the artist's guidance. ^_^ I've done such drawings before, specifically with the intention of having other people decide what's there instead.
And yet, aside from the off-panel authority figure (who is, by definition, off-panel), we didn't fill in the blank space, filling in the invisible history instead.
Of course, that probably says something by itself. Everything you do says something, even - possibly especially - if you don't want it to.

daydreamer_girl wrote:
So far it looks like you need concrete answers
Our answer had "concrete" in it. Does that help? Wink
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GoddessDragonsbane



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well lets see...

I see her as a princess of some sort. She's the middle of three children, her older sister is the one that will be queen. She's standing in a clearing in the middle of a forest with a soft breeze blowing through, smelling faintly of juniper. Its just after dusk, the first stars just starting to fill the sky.

The platform on which she stands is that of a temple or other worshipping ground, she went there to get away from the ball her parents were having, celebrating her birthday. She's not really into the whole princess thing.

On her way to the temple she got caught in a very light summer shower and now she's contemplating wether she should turn back and go home or if she should venture further into the forest.

Thats what I feel from the picture anyway Razz
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