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Word Association: this makes you think of what?

I’m quite certain this is some guy’s name, or maybe the name of a graffiti crew, but it makes me think of one thing:  Noam Chomsky.  When I saw it on the concrete highway support, I thought that some student of media and communications, or maybe a linguistics students.  Then I realized that it didn’t actually say “Chomsky” – it says CHOMtcki or something.  Too bad, seeing as how Chomsky was a student of language and communication.  When I saw this my mind went back to the first time I watched “Manufacturing Consent” and how outraged I was at how mass media twists and manipulates, often through the simplest means like inclusion vs. exclusion, the popular opinion on major issues.  It was through Chomsky I first came across the plight of the East Timorese and the lack of coverage of their problems with Indonesia.  I also thought back to my earliest years in university when I first started reading Chomsky’s work.

It is kind of weird, however, to see what came to my mind through a mistake in reading.  This got me thinking: how much of what I read is what is actually written and how much of my experience while reading is a direct result of where my mind goes while I’m reading?  How much is a result of my own experience that, while it may be somewhat non sequitur to the reading material, shapes my understanding of what I read, of how I see the world.  If a misread word can conjure up memories of my earliest years in post-secondary academia, what happens when I read things properly?  I have taught introductory psychology courses and I know, basically, how my brain works.  I also know that both “nature and nurture” play a big part in how I have become who I am today.  But what if the way I see the world is entirely different from the way you see the world, but we both believe that we see it the same way because we only have the vocabulary we share to make sense of it?  Words would, then, make our ability to express our experiences less personal and more communal, thus bringing us together when our own perception is moving us apart.

Whoa.

Maybe I need some sleep.

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8 responses

  1. I really like the cut up fruit on your header. It has an interesting feel to it especially with the knife in it. Your graffiti is so colorful, but I was more moved by what you wrote. What we have read yesterday certainly has filtered what we are reading now or will read in the future. I think miscommunications is rooted in the belief that we all see the world the same because we speak the same language.

    February 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  2. I remember watching a film by Richard Linklater called “Waking Life”. In one part, a woman posits that the word “love” means different things to different people, depending on their experience of love, yet there is an assumption that everyone thinks that what “love” means to them is what it means to everyone else. Maybe if we were clearer in our language and our intentions we would have less miscommunication and, ergo, less conflicts.

    February 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    • Thats a nice point darthbergen..

      February 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

      • Thanks. I think, therefore I am, I guess.

        February 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  3. A whole plant of chives and George Clooney.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

  4. It says, “Chem” TCK. Chem would be his Tag (Graffiti) name and TCK would be his crew. One thing about graffiti is you always got to rep your crew, and although your crew is a large part of your life, the “Game” is all about “Getting Up”. So your name is what is bigger and goes out there.

    I tag/graff “Evoce”, so when I do mine, it’ll say: “Evoce! oNe!” The One means I’m proclaiming that I’m number one, either on this street, in the ‘hood, or in the graff game. Originally, graffiti writers added numbers at the end of their name to show off what Street they live on. Due to the Vandal Squad, it’s pretty stupid to continue this.

    Anyway, so many times, in my case, you’ll see me as “Evoce! oNeR! NTK!” Where NTK is my crew: Night Time Kings.

    I’m liking your blog, by the way. Definitely going to subscribe.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    • Thanks for the explanation and nice words.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

  5. taehoonger

    Honestly, when I first saw the photo (without looking at what you wrote), I also thought it said “Noam Chomsky.”

    Actually, “Gnome Chompski,” instead. Believe me, I know who Noam Chomsky is, but since I’ve been in a sort of zombie-apocalypse mood already, I immediately associated the art with that special prize in L4D2′s Dark Carnival.

    Haha, but I digress.

    February 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

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