Re: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint
Joshua Allen wrote: >>Then you badly misunderstood the article. When sinophone and > > anglophone > >>native speakers were compared *on an English-language test*, the > > former > >>were quicker to respond to "Is X earlier than Y?" if they had been > > primed > >>with questions like "Is X above Y?" than if the priming question was >>"Is X before Y (spatially)?", whereas anglophone native speakers were >>the other way about. > > Yes, that's exactly what I said -- Lera proved that questions addressed > in the listener's representational system are more quickly understood. > You chose to ignore my point that the differences between the two groups > would have been even more pronounced if you had divided two groups based > on vertical vs. horizontal representation systems rather than childhood > language. I'm not arguing that the results are false, but that such > correlations are easy to find and they exist apart from linguistic > boundaries, and they are not nearly as significant or meaningful as > people think. > > Childhood language may be correlated with certain internal > representational system choices, but it's not deterministic, and the > results of such experiments are little more than parlor tricks. It > would be equally easy to deduce a set of terms that had different > affinity between men and women (and in fact, I have participated in one > such experiment). Then the researcher could separate men from women > without having to see or hear them, simply by noting response times to > particular questions. The same could be done to separate Jew and Moslem > by using particular metaphors peculiar to each culture. Again, parlor > tricks. The question is, what's the significance? Many languages do > not have as many words to classify relatives (aunt, great-uncle, etc.) > as English does. You could easily concoct an experiment that > highlighted these differences. But does it "prove" that these people > have trouble thinking beyond the extended family? Maybe it proves that > they are more intimately aware of family connections ("my brother's > wife's mother" is more descriptive than "brother's mother-in-law" or > "sister-in-law's mom"). If I were a huckster or racist, I could "prove" > nearly any thesis with these facts. > > This stuff is conducted with the same scientific and logical rigor as > phrenology, and is the worst kind of deceit because it is used so often > by facists to cloak their wild theses in a mantle of scientific purity. > Again, I welcome people to read the papers available and come to their > own conclusions, and would warn that if they find themselves attaching > anything beyond "parlor trick" mentality to the Sapir-Whorf crowd, > please stay away from anything requiring crisp thinking :-) So anyone who accepts, in part, that language may influence thought is lending support to hucksters, racists and fascists? I think I will take your advice and stay away from that sort of "crisp thinking". ;-} Bob Foster http://xmlbuddy.com/
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