2010.06.20 19:00 - Word Time Travel

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.

    There were two participants, Calvino and The Log.  After a rather long sit in silence, the following words were uttered:

    Calvino Rabeni: Words as time machines...or cultural memory.

    And ... poof!  A session came into existence.  It didn't stray far from its origin, and the topic became - the power of words as a bridge between Being and Action.

    Calvino Rabeni: "A vocation, from the Latin vocare (verb, to call), is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in secular contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity."
    Calvino Rabeni: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocation
    Calvino Rabeni: "The word "vocation" comes from the Latin vocare(verb to call); [1] Its usage before the sixteenth century, referred firstly to the "call" by God to the individual, or calling of all humankind to salvation,"
    Calvino Rabeni: "The idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life."
    Calvino Rabeni: "since the origination of Vocational Guidance in 1908, by the engineer Frank Parsons, the use of the term 'vocation' has evolved to include the notion of using our talents and capabilities to good-effect in choosing and enjoying a career. This expansion of the use of word has led to the term being used with far less reference to religious ideology and harks back to the Latin origination of the word."
    Calvino Rabeni: That's pretty interesting.

    Most obvious was the root "voc" as in "vocal" or "voice".  The biblical notion came to mind "In the Beginning was the Word"; much later this was labeled a logocentric idea of how things originate, which suggests some interesting contraries.  Meanwhile, I was thinking about the long strange trip that this web page took to come into existence, with a tip of the hat to Vanevar Bush, Tim Berners-Lee, and Ward Cunningham, among others...  But getting back to "vocation":

    Calvino Rabeni: One impression I have is that of a person "being called" or responding to a "call" that comes from outside.
    Calvino Rabeni: That suggests looking at the other side of this action.
    Calvino Rabeni: What if the "call" originates with a person instead of outside?
    Calvino Rabeni: I guess that action would be associated with the word "Invocation"
    Calvino Rabeni: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=invoke
    Calvino Rabeni: That appears to suggest a time when an indivdual is capable of initiating the call, but it seems to retain its spiritual quality of "beyondness"
    Calvino Rabeni: "S: (v) raise, conjure, conjure up, invoke, evoke, stir, call down, arouse, bring up, put forward, call forth (summon into action or bring into existence, often as if by magic) "
    Calvino Rabeni: Hmmmm
    Calvino Rabeni: "bring into existence"...
    Calvino Rabeni: It sounds like a way of relating to "Being"
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that magical thinking?
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems clearly possible in the world of human meaning :)
    Calvino Rabeni: On the other hand, it seems dubious I could "poof into existence" something like an egg salad sandwich...
    Calvino Rabeni: Although if I wanted one, I could "create" the intention, that I could then consider the cause of me going into the kitchen, initiating a sequence that culminates in...
    Calvino Rabeni: Voila! An egg salad sandwich!
    Calvino Rabeni: GTG, time for dinner
    Calvino Rabeni: Nice chatting with you, Log :)

    And then, there were the distinctions that "got away" - the difference between Word and Voice, which don't always necessarily go together.  A voice can consist of pure sound, shaped and carried as words; the meaning of Word in the current culture surely has left behind some of that sound quality that it carried in the earlier oral cultures.  Sound has qualities of spatiality, ephemerality, and presence, all rather different than the nature of Word as it later became associated with the concept of "information."

    Log readers might like to know the sequel ... an egg salad sandwich did not appear; however, in its place was a nice bowl of bean salad with sweet red peppers.

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