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DeWitt on the Untranslatability of Games - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon — LiveJournal
August 16th, 2009
07:33 pm


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DeWitt on the Untranslatability of Games

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Date:August 17th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)

Between Natural and Game

Games are not translatable because their vocabulary is limited. Game talk can describe in detail relevant scenarios, like one Eskimo language has 400 words for snow. But it was not meant to describe anything else.

Turing complete computer languages can describe each other pretty well, and they are not natural languages. This is because they were made to express a wider selection of scenarios.

Now let us take this farther then intended, as Abbot takes the triangle in Flatland first to lower dimensions, and then to dimensions more than he, and even I, can imagine.

Our own natural language limits us. When we acquire terms in a new field, we limit our mind to analysing using those terms only. May it be a selection of phobias or or physical effects. Most of us will not look for a new physical effect to explain the result they saw, but seek the answer in known effects and their interpretation. We think only what can be expressed in words, otherwise we call it "a feeling". We do not even express all the sounds we could have - a born baby can pronounce every language, but we educate it and limit its sound vocabulary to express only the sounds in its mother tongue.

When we give knowledge, we take away options for new knowledge.
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Date:August 18th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)

Re: Between Natural and Game

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