Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 4:53 am
Let’s just get started. I will say briefly that these might be the strangest posts you read, but the most important.
Language would be cold and artless thing if we avoided metaphor. This idea of using a word not for its denotation, but, by placing it in a new context, for its connotation or other subjective qualities is an idea that begins this entire paradigm. To paint a proper picture, I must choose carefully from my palette, employ discerning strokes, and most importantly decide on a unifying theme for my message, whatever it is I’m trying to convey. You may jump up and argue that not every [painting] has a message, nor can a [painter] reliably convey the intended message. But that is not the discussion, nor, on a separate note, have I said anything interesting yet.
Trope is necessary to communicate nuance, to add texture and flavor. I submit, then, that as language is one medium of communication, that all systems of communication should possess some tropical cognate. This homogeny exists because there is an inherent structure to all systems, however seemingly “man-made.” ‘All systems of communication,’ as previously referenced, can be generalized even more to systems of information. As long as we move between members of a set, we can expect to see those cognates.
To solidify this concept, we can take an analog of Trope’s function in Language and predict it another medium. “Irony,” for example, is, at it’s simplest, a disparity in meaning. There should exist, by this Homogenic Principle of Media, some ironic mechanism in music, for example. Music is too large a medium, and so we can look at a member of the set of music for simplicity and clarity. Harmony, an indisputable facet of music as we know it, has tradition. Excuse the jargon, but the ubiquitous harmonic progression, I IV V I, can be said to have a kind of “meaning.” (This “meaning” has an important connotation of purpose.) And so, after we set up both sides of the equation, we can use a function “Irony” to create a patently ironic harmonic progression if we make a substitution, for example of IV with an inverted ii6, we have created an analogy of “irony” within music. Easier illustrated with dramatic irony, you can imagine yourself examples of ironic melodies or rhythms, the latter of which is rampant in jazz.
This basic and fundamental idea of cognates, analogy, and function sets is merely the beginning of this Homogenic Principle.