Knowledge and Language

Communication major dimensions scheme

All our knowledge is limited by the capability of the language to express it. The languages we have developed over thousands of years are so limited that we can’t even describe perfectly what we see or smell or touch or hear or taste. This is the basic information which is made available to us through our sensory organs. In fact, the information collected by our sensory organs is our main source of collecting the knowledge about this universe. Unfortunately, the languages developed by us can not convey even a small fraction of this knowledge.

Incidentally, the capability of our sensory organs itself is very limited. We don’t have a super vision like an eagle or a vulture. Our sense of smell is very poor as compared to most other creatures on this earth. The power of our ears is also not extra ordinary. Overall, the information that we collect through our sensory organs is extremely limited. On top of that we can’t communicate even a small fraction of this information using the languages that we have developed.

Today we do try to use audio-visual media to somewhat plug the inadequacies of the language but even that is not enough. The best audio-visual form today is a video which is a poor representation of the three-dimensional world on a small two dimensional screen. Even today after all the development we have done, there is no way of converting any information about smell, taste and touch into a communicable form. It is believed that Dolphins can communicate information about a three dimensional object through audio signals. This is an indication that there are other superior ways of communication which are not available to us.

In spite of all these limitations, we are under a false impression that we have made huge progress in understanding the nature.

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  • mpcnb  On December 3, 2008 at 5:01 am

    I think we’ve done a pretty good job of understanding nature and life given our limitations. And while we may not have an eagle’s super-vision, we have developed technologies to aid us enhance that vision and work around other sensory limitations.

    Don’t you feel proud that today we’ve theories which range from quarks to supernova’s and we’ve created technologies which deal with time at the order of nano-seconds?

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