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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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292                V. MATHEMATICS A A LANGUAGE
order abstractions and the time-binding ability to extend our nervous system by extra-neural means, which, in the meantime, may play a most important neural role and become active nervous impulses. The last is only possible if some abstractions are static, and so can be recorded, leading ultimately to further extensions of the human nervous system by extra-neural means, such as microscopes, telescopes, and practically all modern scientific instruments, books, and other records.
To illustrate what has been said here, I know of no better example than is found in moving pictures. When we watch a moving picture representing some life occurrence, our 'emotions' are aroused, we 'live through' the drama; but the details, in the main, are blurred, and a short time after seeing it either we forget it all or in parts, or our memory falsifies most effectively what was seen. It is easy to verify the above experimentally by seeing one picture twice or three times, with an interval of a few days between each seeing. The picture was 'moving', all was changing, shifting, dynamic, similar to the world and our feelings on the un-speakable levels. The impressions were vague, ' shifting, non-lasting, and what was left of it was mostly coloured by the individual mood., while seeing the moving picture. Naturally, under such conditions, there is little possibility of a rational scientific analysis of a situation.
But if we stop the moving film which ran, say, thirty minutes, and analyse the static and extensional series of small pictures on the reel, we find that the drama which so stirred our 'emotions' in its moving aspect becomes a series of slightly different static pictures, each difference between the given jerk or grimace being a measurable entity, establishing relations which last indefinitely.
The moving picture represents the usually brief processes going on in the lower nerve centres, 'close to life', but unreliable and evading scrutiny. The arrested static film which lasts indefinitely, giving measurable differences between the recorded jerks and grimaces, obviously allows analysis and gives a good analogy of the working of higher nerve centres, disclosing also that all life occurrences have many aspects, the selection of which is mostly a problem of our pleasure and of the selection of language. The moving picture gives us the process; each static film of the reel gives us stages of the process in chosen intervals. In case we want a moving picture of a growing plant, for instance, we photograph it at given intervals and then run it in a moving-picture projector, and then we see the process of growth. These are empirical facts, and the calculus supplies us with a language of similar structure with many other important consequences.