[FoRK] Re: "Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them."

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Wed Apr 18 06:50:31 PDT 2007

Lion Kimbro wrote:
>  Tom Higgins,
>
>  ...
>
>  As for personification:  Quite fair, to question
>  the tendency, and yet, it is what happens.  As we all
>  saw here, Jeff *did indeed* personify the universe.
>
>  I do not know why we do it, I only know that we have
>  great difficulty completely segregating thought from
>  feeling.  I'd wager that they are intertwined by vast
>  networks of association.
>
>  People who hang out with mountains DO tend to
>  care for them, and even to personify them.  I think,
>  contrary to what you wrote, it DOES enhance the
>  enjoyment of the mountain for them.  I do not know
>  why this is the case, but it DOES seems to be the
>  case.
>
>  If we are all, ultimately, rock, water, meat,
>  ("thinking meat!",) and so on, ... ...then why would
>  it be absurd to feel affection for a mountain?
I personify things all the time.  I will say "this code tries to 
accomplish X".  Personification is one of two things:

A shorthand for a precise reference that isn't really the focus of the 
statement (as above), or:
A reflection of my own thinking, value system, symbolism, and humanity.

I might personify a mountain, or a country, or the weather, but I'm 
really talking about the affect or meaning that such a thing has on me 
or other humans.

Clearly I do not think such a thing is alive or has a spirit or other 
supernatural concept.
Sometimes these concepts are combined.  My understanding of Gaia seems 
to indicate that those who place great value in the concept are using 
both senses of personification. 

sdw


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